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 Melissa Mitri’s story.
I’ve always wanted to be a freelance nutrition writer. I’ve been a practicing Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for over 12 years working in hospitals and private practice, but always had a goal to write articles – whether that be for blogs, websites, or national magazines. I looked up to other Registered Dietitians who were able to make money writing nutrition articles, and thought, I want to do that too.
My Professional Background
I’ve been a Registered Dietitian working with clients for over 12 years. I mainly have worked in hospitals, and more recently opened my private practice, Melissa Mitri Nutrition, a little over a year ago. I’ve worked primarily in weight management and bariatrics, and specialize in women’s health and weight management in my own practice. I help women break out of the restrictive dieting mentality to lose weight permanently. I work with my clients on creating healthy habits, practicing self-care, and incorporating mindfulness practices into their everyday lives.
How I started as a Health and Nutrition Content Writer
I started blogging on my own website. I did this regularly, every other week, for about 3 months. I wrote as often as I could, on my own website as well as published articles on LinkedIn. Then, I started gaining connections on social media and wrote a few guest blogs for other health related websites. This helped me to gain exposure, and also to produce writing samples for my portfolio.
I used these samples to send to potential clients. Since almost all writing clients will ask for samples, establishing at least 3 samples to share is an essential first step. Once I had a handful of samples, I began pitching to clients as well as applying for writing jobs on Upwork.
I also joined the “RD’s Who Write” Facebook group facilitated by Ana Reisdorf, to hear what others were doing, get advice, and find writing opportunities. This group provides a sense of community and a safe place to ask questions related to freelance writing.
I recently took Ana’s online writing course “Freelance Writing for the RD” and it was beyond helpful. This course shows you exactly how to start, where to get writing samples, where to find writing jobs, and how to make money as a dietitian writer. Since completing this course, I have continued pitching to brands and clients, and building on my portfolio with new opportunities.
How to Make Money Writing Nutrition Articles
I’m sure you’ve heard the term “know your worth” before, but as a freelance nutrition writer, this most certainly applies. While those first few samples may be for free or minimal pay, after that you should be paid for your writing.
Research the company you’re applying to, pitch a story idea, and share your expertise. Determine your freelance writing rate, whether that’s per word or per article. Set a minimum rate you are comfortable with, and say no to opportunities that pay less than that.
My advice would be if you want to make extra money as a dietitian, consider freelance health writing. It is flexible, profitable, and a great way to showcase your expertise. Hire a writing coach that can walk you through the steps you need to take to get opportunities faster and who to pitch to, so you don’t waste your time figuring it all out yourself.
By: Melissa Mitri, RD
Melissa is a health writer with over 12 years of experience in the field of nutrition. She specializes in helping women move away from restrictive habits that lead to vicious yo-yo weight cycles. Melissa enjoys writing about health, nutrition, and fitness with the goal of simplifying complex health topics for the reader. You can find out more about Melissa at www.melissamitri.com.
Want help getting started as a freelance nutrition writer? Check out my “Guide to Freelance Writing for RDs” or check out my 6-week course “Freelance Writing for the RD“.