Why I’m a Health and Wellness Content Writer

Hi, I’m not a doctor, and no, I don’t play one on tv. What I am is a health and wellness writer, and that’s possibly the last thing I ever intended to be.

For years and years in this freelance game, I was a “generalist”. I would write about anything for anyone. Real estate. Law. Insurance. Cryptocurrencies. Education. Software. Web dev. Business coaches. Weight loss. Political campaigns. CBD and hemp. Even “sexy” men’s under garments and swim wear. (Maaaaaan, was the research fun for that one!)

Maybe it’s my slight touch of ADHD, or maybe it’s just because I’m a hopeless autodidact always craving to learn about new topics and share new-to-me findings, but the idea of “settling” into a niche never appealed to me.

I’ll get bored. I’ll get burnt out. I’ll become stifled and find nothing but the damn blinking cursor every time I sit down.

Happy Birthday, Health and Wellness Writer!

And then, several things happened:

  1. I ended up in hospital with my own health crisis. Business fell completely apart and, to be honest, I’m still rebuilding 2 years on. I could easily make any change, take any “pivot” I chose because in many respects, I was given the chance to start over.
  2. I was asked by a freelance writing coach to look back on the non-writing jobs I’ve had in the past and choose which ones I liked the best. And then to do the same with the writing gigs and clients. A pattern soon emerged. (More on this in a moment…..)
  3. My birthday in 2020 was the very day the national emergency over the coronavirus was declared and the entire world suddenly became obsessed with health and wellness. Suddenly, I was having articles featured on The Odyssey Online magazine and being asked to give Zoom room talks to fellow entrepreneurs and instant work-from-home folks.

So, a health and wellness content writer was (sorta) born.

A Health and Wellness History

Why “sorta”? Well, remember #2 up there? Looking back, the non-writing gigs I had enjoyed the most were:

*training and working as an EMT
*working for a hospice
*working in an assisted living home for seniors
*working in an assisted living home for disabled teens and young adults

And my favorite writing clients and gigs were:

*a cosmetologist (plastic surgeon) in Beverley Hills
*an oncologist in DC
*a chiropractor in NYC
*a massage therapist in CO
*a marijuana campaign in CA (we lost, but we fought the good fight)
*a spa in OR
*a dentist in MD
*an herb farm in Australia
*a mental health group in Canada
*a nutritionist in FL
*a healthy lifestyle coach in GA

I had accidentally, over the years, found my niche. My people. My tribe. And I had never realized it.

I had also been really bad about keeping up with any health and wellness related portfolio or testimonials, because I didn’t really think of it as “work”. I was “helping” those who help others. It didn’t seem right to ask them for favors.

My Favorite Health and Wellness Topics

I prefer the “softer” side of health and wellness. To be honest, while I enjoyed the “hard medicine” of the plastic surgeon and the oncologist and the dentist, they weren’t exactly the easiest jobs in the world.

Too technical. Too many “big” words. Too much Latin to decipher. I spent half my time writing for those guys decoding the medical jargon so their readers and patients could understand what they were saying. I was only part writer. The rest was translating and defining.

My “softer” health and wellness peeps, though, were wonderful clients and easy to work for. Looking back, those jobs flew by, because I was just enjoying every minute of the work. It showed, too, in the quality of the work and in their satisfaction with it when our time together was over.

Narrowing things down a bit more (what do you call that, a sub-niche?), I’ve concluded that these are my favorite things to write about, and why.

Mental Health, especially for my fellow biz peeps out there.

I come from a long line of flakes, fruits, and nuts. And produced two more. Everyone in my immediate family has dealt or is dealing with some sort of mental health issue. The self-education alone that I’ve gained from my family members (and myself) on various issues like anxiety, depression, dysthymia, PTSD, ADHD, OCD, chronic stress, and manic-depressive disorder has been extensive.

I also believe, and know first-hand, that if you aren’t mentally healthy, your biz won’t be financially healthy. Your biz success really is all in your head.

Nutrition, especially plant-based and vegetarian lifestyles.

I was the kid who would rather feed her meat to the family farm dogs than eat it. I much prefer beans to burgers. Cheese to chicken. I also believe that a great deal of our society’s and culture’s health issues stem from what’s on our plates. We rely on medications to fix what our mouths have messed up. Our plates can, and should be, our apothecaries.

Healthy lifestyle practices.

Massage therapy. Acupuncture. Yoga. Chiropracty. Walking. Running. Daily vitamin and herbal supplements. Meditation. Why? Take care of your body and your body will take care of you. Again, if you are suffering, your biz will suffer, too. Oh, and I practice and support most of these, myself.

Disability advocacy

I have two genetic “defects” that affect my daily life and work. One is neurological, and the other is hematological.

The neuro issue affects my hands and arms, legs and feet. It is degenerative and progressive. How disabled will I be before I leave this earthly realm is yet to be seen, but there are a whole host of things I can’t do now that I was perfectly capable of 20 years ago.

The blood disorder means I have to take a very expensive medication every day of my life or risk life-threatening blood clots that have hospitalized me twice already.

I’m also a body image advocate.

And yes, a real one, who believes that it’s not body positivity, but rather body neutrality we should be striving for. I also believe that being body neutral doesn’t mean you have to settle for the body you’ve got. You can strive to make changes. It’s just that those changes are because you want a healthier body, and not because some magazine or website or other person says you need a thinner or more muscular one.

What This Means for Your Health and Wellness Biz

So, what does all this mean for you, Dear Reader? There’s an awful lot of stuff about me in this post, after all.

What it means for you is that you can rely on me to understand your health and wellness biz. I’ve probably worked for a biz similar to yours, even if my portfolio doesn’t show it right now.

You’ll be getting a writer who cares. You can count on me to share your desire to help others. It’s what makes me get up in the morning and hit the keyboard.

You’ll be getting a writer who has a varied, but patterned background. While the topics listed above are my loves, my passions, the things I could give that “20 minute talk with no notes” on, they aren’t the only health and wellness topics I can write about. Hit me up if you’re curious to know if I can help you, too. I’m always ready for a change of pace.

Till next time, Dear One…..stay healthy!

Content Marketing 101: Now What?

(This is the fourth and final part of a 4 part series. You can find Part I, Part II, and Part III here on the blog. It is recommended if you are new to content marketing that you read those posts first.)

In this, our last and final post on introducing you to what content marketing is and what it can do for you, we’re going to talk about what happens, or at least should happen, once you’ve published your content for all the world to see or hear or read.

In the content marketing world, this is known as analyzing, repurposing, and republishing your content.

We’ll break each one down, give a brief description of it, show you an example, and explain why you should utilize it in your content marketing efforts.

Ready? Let’s get rollin’!

Analyzing Your Content Marketing

Some guys really get juiced over data. They could stare at charts and graphs and stats all day. Not me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t use a little bit of that stuff to guide my content marketing efforts.

How I Use My Data

I use Google Analytics on the blog. It tells me how many readers each post gets, how many comments, and where those readers and commenters are from. It also tells me when they read and comment. And all of that is very valuable to me as a content marketer.

Facebook and LinkedIn give me stats on my posts there, too. Some of the same info, but not always. I use all these numbers to determine some very important things.

For instance, all my blog posts go live on Tuesday. This is because most of my readers visit the site sometime in the latter half of the week, from Wednesday on. Publishing new content on Tuesday means there’s always something fresh for them to enjoy.

From previous blogging efforts of mine, and in working with client blogs, I know that posts between 750 and 1500 words do the best with readers. A few of mine go over that every now and then, but again, readers like variety, so it doesn’t seem to hurt the blogs any.

How to Use Your Data

You can follow your own stats and determine some of the very same aspects of your blog. When do you get the most visitors? What posts get the best responses? What type of content has the worst performance? Are they reading/watching/listening to the first offering of the week, but not the second? (Too much content can be a bad thing.)

And how about your promotional and engaging efforts on social media? When’s the best time to post on your profiles? What type of posts get the most comments, likes, engagement? What type of posts gets the most click-thrus to your main content source?

Follow the money may work for some guys, but for content marketers, we need to follow the data.

Repurposing Your Content

Don’t just assume that you can hit “Publish” and be done with any particular piece of content. You can be, but it’s best if you aren’t.

There’s a “thing” we do in content marketing called repurposing. We take really good tidbits of existing content and we create new and different content with them.

How to Repurpose Content

How does that work? Here are some good, easy-to-do examples:

  • taking a really juicy statement and creating a “pull quote” from a blog post
  • taking stats from a data-heavy post and making an infographic with them
  • using a pull quote in an image or graphic
  • dumpster diving into several posts to create a listicle
  • using post content to create a one-pager or lead magnet
  • making sure there’s a transcript available of every podcast’s audio
  • compiling posts into an ebook or Kindle edition
  • taking a series of informational posts and creating a course

Granted, those last two aren’t for the newbie content marketer, but they show just how valuable content can live more than one life.

Why Repurpose Old Content?

Repurposing gets your older, existing content in front of new eyes, fresh minds, creating bonds with the newcomers to your brand. It also can breathe life into a valuable piece whose traffic has drifted off in search of that “greener grass on the other side”.

The best way to repurpose content is to create a repurposing plan. The easiest way to do that is to simply denote on your content marketing strategy plan when you will repurpose the piece after it’s been published, and how. What are you going to do with it? When will it makes it’s grand debut in its new form? You may not be able to decide the what until the piece is finished, but the when can be scheduled. You can create a long play – choosing weeks or even months after publishing. Or, you can repurpose this week’s content in your efforts to promote it this month.

The decisions are yours to make. The only wrong decision is to not repurpose your content at all.

Republishing Your Content

Whereas repurposing your content marketing efforts requires you to recreate the content in a different form, republishing doesn’t require much work at all.

That’s because you are simply going to give it a freshening up and then send it out into the world again.

Why Republish Content

Why would you do this? Four good reasons:

  • It refreshes valuable content with updated information. Say you’ve created a post about plant-based nutrition. It got some good responses and has a lot of basic info in it. Science has come along, however, with new and slightly different recommendations. Or some products you suggested are no longer available, and other ones have taken their place. Update the info and republish it as a new piece.
  • It’s good for your SEO. An older piece has established itself with the rankings and the bots. Republishing an updated version can keep it in their good graces.
  • Gets new eyes on old stuff. If you have been around for awhile, and have done your content marketing job well, you’ve undoubtedly grown your audience. Republishing older pieces with a bit of a refresh gets that old content in front of your new followers. It gives them the chance to experience what your older readers already have. It strengthens the bonds between them, and between you and them.
  • It can fill your publishing calendar during busy times. That ski trip over the holidays, or the weeks after baby is born, or the time it will take to pack and move across town or across the country needn’t be a time for your blog or podcast or email newsletters to go dark. You can fill it with old content that’s been spruced up a bit (and repurposed content, too) and not worry about leaving your followers hanging.

Putting a new date and a few updates on old content is an easy, quick, and efficient way to reuse your hard work to your best advantage.

How to Choose Content for Republishing

How to choose which content to republish? Use your data and your content marketing strategy plan.

First, choose pieces that did well the first time around. They apparently appeal to your audience and should do so again.

Next, look at the date of original publication. Don’t use anything newer than 6 months. It’s too soon. However, you can go back as far as you want.

Then, consult your plan and see what you can fit in with your existing content. As a result, you won’t interrupt a good run on one topic with an old post that discusses something completely “out there’ and off the wall.

Lastly, check the content for any “current event” or pop culture references and either update or remove them. The Uptown Funk challenge is over, after all. Note other updates needed, and you’re good to go.

You can do a formal content audit, or have one done, if need be, but following the guidelines above should help you find older content fit for republishing.

Summing Up

Maybe you haven’t even created your first piece of content yet. Maybe you’ve been blogging for 10 years. Whether you’ve hit “Publish” or Post the first time or the 1001st time, now you know that the job isn’t finished just because your content has gone live. Your SEO, your ROI, your audience, and your biz will all be better off with a bit of data analysis, a little content repurposing, and some content republishing thrown in.

This concludes our four part series on content marketing for the beginner. You should have enough info to at least have an intelligent conversation with a professional content marketer and creator like me. If you’re ready to have that conversation, drop me a note. I’ll be happy to sit down and talk with you.

If you’d like to just leave a comment, or if you have a question about what you should be doing after you send your content out onto the world’s stage, leave it below.