The path to being a freelance health and nutrition writer can be different for everyone. I shared my story of how I became a freelance writer in a previous post. I thought I would give the rest of the team of expert RD writers an opportunity to share their journey as well. Here is Meghan McMillin’s’ story.
As a Registered Dietitian, I’ve always enjoyed communicating and sharing information about food and nutrition. This is is one of the reasons I became a freelance nutrition writer. Working in a clinical setting and providing 1:1 counseling is important and valuable, but writing is a way for you to share your message with so many people at one time.
My Professional Background
Becoming a Registered Dietitian was actually a career change for me. Prior to becoming a dietitian, I worked in the hospitality industry for several years including restaurant management and event planning. After dealing with some personal health challenges and discovering the power of nutrition, I decided to become a dietitian and went back to school to earn my Master’s Degree in Nutrition, which I did in 2012. I went on to become a specialist in pediatric nutrition and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. I currently have a private practice where I specialize in women and children’s health.
How I started as a Freelance Nutrition Writer
My first experience with freelance writing was through freelance blogging. I started my own nutrition blog while still in graduate school. After that, I began writing more on social media including Facebook and Instagram. I later returned to freelance blogging once I started my private practice and launched my website.
It was through social media that I became acquainted with Ana Reisdorf and her group “RDs Who Write”. It was, and still is, an excellent resource to learn from others. I was amazed at the opportunities and potential to make money as a freelance writer.
I began saving writing samples and responding to pitches that were of interest to me. I also purchased Ana’s resource “Your Guide to Freelance Writing as an RDN”, which was extremely helpful. It was as if I had hired a writing coach. The tips and strategies provided in her guide are not the things you learn while studying to be a dietitian. Over time, I have been able to add to my portfolio and make money as a freelance nutrition writer.
How to Make Money Writing Articles
With writing, it’s all about practice, practice, practice! You have to be resilient and understand that you will hear way more “nos” than “yes”. In the beginning, it’s important to build your portfolio, so I suggest finding opportunities anywhere you can, whether its a personal blog, the local newspaper or the newsletter at your child’s daycare.
Decide on a rate to start and be firm. There are a lot of writing jobs out there that pay very little money and that’s great if you’re okay with it. Trust me, there are plenty of writers willing to take jobs for very little. It’s also okay to turn jobs down that don’t seem to value your time or expertise. Create a niche for yourself and then pitch to those dream clients. This approach is key to how to make money writing articles.
Being a freelance health and nutrition writer has given me an opportunity to add to my income and spread my message with more people.
By: Meghan McMillin, MS, RD
Meghan holds a Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a Board Certified Specialist in Pediatric Nutrition (CSP) and a International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).
Meghan has worked clinically for several years at a local hospital covering the women’s, NICU, and pediatric units. Currently, she operates the outpatient pediatric nutrition clinic, caring for children with a wide variety of needs including failure to thrive, allergies, picky eating, and obesity.