If you are a medical writer-or any type of writer-you can’t ignore the consumer-health market.
People are always looking for information to improve their health and the media knows it. Health-related articles are in the news every day-magazines, newspapers, Web sites, newsletters.
Did you know top consumer-health magazines pay up to $5,000 for a feature article? Some even pay $2.00 per word!
Pay rates for consumer health writing, of course, depend on several factors: whether the article is to be published in print or online, the type of article, the word count of the article/or the number of pages and whether diagrams, line drawings or photographs are included. Generally speaking, any article submitted to a magazine goes to a specific article editor, whereas any pictures or photographs go to an art or photographic editor. Both will have specific guidelines and rates, depending on the specific requirements of that magazine.
The standard average industry rates for writers are a general guide, but the reality can be very different. Smaller consumer health and other magazines can only afford the lower rates, whereas the larger magazines can afford considerably more. However, this does not by any means guarantee that each sized magazine is the same. In fact, the rates vary greatly. The following are the basic ranges expected by writers (freelance/staff/ghost), whether writing consumer health articles or other articles:
Print publications (freelance, staff and ghost writers):
* General Copy/News Articles/News Releases – $5 to $500/page
* Brochures/fact sheets: $50 to $1,000/project
* General advertising copy: $8 to $150/hour
* Advertising articles: $0.10 to $2/word, $5 to $3,000/article or $8 to $100/hour
* Medical reports/technical medical articles/General Consumer Health articles: $0.10 to $2/word, 50 to $16,000/project, or $8 to $125/hour
* Government publications (news stories/news releases/medical studies/medical reports: $1 to $3/word, $50 to $100,000/project, or $8 to $125/hour
* Newsletters (written only): $0.10 to $1.50/word, $50 to $6,000/issue, or $8 to $80/hour
Online Magazine/Web Content/General Website/Blog publications (freelance, staff and ghost writers):
* All types of articles and projects: 0.10 to $3/word, $2 to $3,000/article, $8 to $100/hour, or $50 to $16,000/project
The important thing to remember is that the rate of pay can be higher for writers that editors are more familiar with or have worked with before. New writers tend to accept these rates without question, which can hinder their ability to earn a livable income. In fact, the difference in the earning capacity of a new writer and an established writer, both of whom may possess equal and exceptional talent, is simply that the established writer has learned to negotiate pay rates and has kept a portfolio of their published works (self-published and other) as proof of their abilities. This is something that every new writer has to learn.