If you’re considering transitioning to a writing career from nursing, you might wonder what types of…things you might actually be asked to write. In the industry, we call the things we write “content assets” or “content deliverables” or “articles,” depending on if you’re working on the content marketing side of things or the journalism side.
For the sake of this post, I’ll call these things “deliverables.” It’s a good, all-purpose term because it refers to anything you write that is delivered to the client.
Types of Journalism Deliverables
If you’re putting on your health reporter hat, you might be called upon by an editor to write any of these types of deliverables:
- News articles: straight news reporting that uses the inverted pyramid style
- Feature articles: reporting that doesn’t use inverted pyramid and generally is lengthier, with more interviews
- How-to stories (these are called “service articles” in the industry): pretty self-explanatory
- Interviews: recorded and transcribed conversations molded into entertaining stories
- Reviews: pieces that assess the pros and cons of services, products, etc.
- Listicles: list articles
- Slideshows: articles that tell the story through images and captions
- Webinars: online learning events that convey information through slides and commentary
- Columns: regular opinion pieces, often authored by the same writer each time
- Roundups: articles that include several news items related to a central theme
- Video scripts: pretty self-explanatory
That list is not exhaustive, but it gives you an idea of the breadth of deliverables you might be asked to produce as a health journalist. The great thing about starting your career as a journalist is that the skills you develop in crafting these deliverables can easily transfer to the content writing side.
Types of Content Deliverables
On the content marketing side of things, the list of deliverables is long and seems to keep growing every day. Some of these deliverables overlap with journalism. The difference between a “content deliverable” and a “journalism” piece lies in who is publishing it. If a media outlet publishes it, then it’s journalism. If a brand publishes it, then it’s content marketing.
The list of content deliverables includes everything on the journalism list, plus:
- Blog posts: usually short articles, either factual or opinion-based
- White papers: often lengthy, deep dives on a very specific industry topic
- Case studies: stories that examine what happened when someone used a client’s product or service
- Digital and print newsletters that healthcare providers, insurers, etc., send out to members or the general public
- Websites: this crosses over into copywriting and involves creating content for one or more pages of a website
- Mobile messages: pre-fab text messages that may convey a sales message or order status, etc., for people who have opted in
- Social media posts: brief, clickable text for a client’s social channels
- Ebooks: short or long deep dives on one or more aspects of an industry topic
- Quizzes: just what it looks like, Qs and As on a topic provided by the client
- Infographics: text and statistics to accompany an illustration that tells a story, outlines a process, and so on
Again, this is by no means an exhaustive list. Every day, someone comes up with some new type of content that they need writers to produce. This variety is what makes content writing so much fun!
No Expertise Required
You might be wondering if you’re expected to be an expert in all these various types of writing before you even get started as a nurse-writer. The answer is NO.
Most people have no real expertise in any of these types of writing when they start out, just like how you had no real experience doing a “hard stick” when you became a nurse. You grew in your nursing career by pouncing on opportunities to try new things – procedures and types of care you’d not previously had the chance to perform.
The same will be true for your writing career. After you’ve proven to a client you can write killer Facebook posts, eventually they might say to you, “Hey, we want to write a white paper. Are you up for trying that?”
Then you say yes, and boom! Suddenly you have experience writing white papers.
I always recommend to aspiring nurse-writers that they choose a few types of deliverables that appeal to them and try to get some solid experience with just those. For instance, you might choose to market yourself initially as a “blog post writer” or a “case study writer.”
Next, add a subject matter niche. Become the “holistic nutrition blog post writer” or the “medical device case study writer.” By specializing like this, you can build a great portfolio of clips (work samples) that help you leapfrog to opportunities to write different types of deliverables.
Does all this make sense? How can you make this method work for you? Tell me (or post a question) in the comments!
Don’t forget to subscribe to the RN2writer weekly newsletter for even more great content!