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I am Dale King, a specialist dental copywriter. I love to share my knowledge of working within the dental niche with other like-minded individuals. 

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dental content writer

Dental Content Writing – 8 Key Points To Know Before Starting

The old saying that ‘hindsight is a wonderful thing’ never rang truer than when looking back on my early years when dental content writing for paying clients

. If I had known then what I know now, I probably definitely would have done things differently.

Alas, I didn’t, and instead, I naively set off on the path to quickly conquer the dental writing world, or so I thought. Needless to say, it didn’t quite work out that way.

While I now earn a reasonable living as an established content writer and dental copywriter, getting here has taken a lot of blood, sweat, tears and foul-ups.

With this in mind, I don’t want you to fall into the same traps. So, a post about the key things I wish I  had known before starting my dental content-writing business should help.

So here goes:

Rule #1 – Never Put All Your Eggs Into One Basket

This is perhaps the biggest lesson I learned, and, to be honest, one that took a long while.

You see, early on in my dental writing career, I was contacted by an agency that proceeded to give me a lot of work. When I say a lot of work, I mean 40+ blog posts a month plus a multitude of website rewrites, downloadable guides, etc.

Now, as I did, you might see this as a fantastic opportunity.

Moreover, because I’d entered into a long-term contract with them, this was a regular gig for several years, month in and month out.

However, in hindsight, it gave me little time to do other important stuff like building relationships and growing my business. Essentially, I was a paid employee but without the benefits.

Instead of continually hustling, I was in a comfortable place and (even though I failed to realise it at the time) my business stagnated.

So, when the contract ended, my client pipeline was pretty much zero, and I was left with a significant financial hole to fill and next to no clients to call on.

Inevitably, it left me frantically scratching around, trying to find work.

Not a good place to be, right?

Thankfully, I’m better placed now, but that was a massive lesson for me.  

The beauty of dental content writing, or any form of freelancing, is that it gives you the flexibility to work with multiple clients. So, my advice to my former self would be not to put all my eggs in one basket, no matter how lucrative the contract is.

Rule #2 – Be Prepared To Wear Many Hats

a dental content writer wears many hats

When I started writing, I pictured myself tapping away on my trusty keyboard without a care.

Isn’t that great?

In reality, here’s what my day actually looks like.

  • Answering emails
  • Chasing up unpaid invoices
  • Blog Planning
  • Marketing


Oh, and eventually, client-facing work!

In reality, only around 60% of my day is devoted to actual writing. Being a good dental content writer is fundamental, but having the skill set to run a small business is equally important.

The problem is, when I started, I only knew how to write. I didn’t know how to be an administrator, financial manager, marketeer, planner or brand builder, so I made many mistakes in the beginning.

Through these mistakes, I’ve gradually learnt the key business skills needed to be a small business owner.

If I had to speak to my former self, I’d say familiarise yourself with the necessary skills now so you can hit the ground running.

Rule #3 – Know You’ll Do a Lot of Work You Won’t Be Paid For

This kind of tags on from the previous point but in a typical employer/employee relationship, you get paid for whatever work you do.

However, when you go it alone, this isn’t the case. Answering emails, responding to client queries, chasing up unpaid invoices, writing blogs for your website, and marketing are not billable tasks. Instead, these functions are just part and parcel of running your business.

This is a trap I fell into when I first started as a dental content writer, and it was a hard lesson to learn.

I thought I had 40+ hours a week to do paid client-facing work. The reality is that because of all the time-consuming, administrative stuff, it turned out that my billable hours were less, much less!

So why is this important?

Understanding billable hours is crucial when working out your hourly rate. You probably need to charge more per hour than you think for client-facing work; otherwise, you won’t make any money. 

So, do work out your billable hours and price yourself accordingly.

If you’re unsure how to do this, I have you covered in a previous blog post which you can view here.  

Rule #4 - Dental Content Writing Highs And Lows Aren’t Just Limited To Your First Few Months

When I started as a dental content writer, I wasn’t expecting it to be plain sailing. I knew there were going to be highs and lows, but I thought they’d get easier once I got established, and on the whole, everything would be peachy.

That hasn’t always been the case.

The highs and lows are still there, except different experiences have replaced them. Now I get the apparent highs when potential clients approach me, or I get referred to someone, but I also experience lows like the need to endlessly chase up invoices or a client who doesn’t follow through with their schedule.

The point is this…

Highs and lows are not exclusive to new writers. Instead, it’s part of life as a solopreneur. So learn to embrace the joys when they happen (and they will), and don’t get too discouraged when you hit the lows.

When things get on top, take a day off and do something else. Then things never seem so bad when you come back the next day.

Rule #5 – Landing Good Clients Takes Time

landing a client takes time

When I first started freelancing, I used job platforms like Upwork. In this scenario, when a client likes your proposal and you align with their budget, you could be up and running pretty quickly. Sometimes within a few hours.

However, when you run your business in the real world, it rarely works like that. This is something that I certainly wasn’t used to.

Potential clients must trust you before they part with their hard-earned cash, so you need to build relationships.

If you’re lucky, you’ll get a response after an initial contact, exchange a few messages and answer any questions they have. Sometimes it’s a while before they respond, and even then, you may still get a “thanks but no thanks” or, worse still, get ghosted altogether.

However, if you persevere with patience, you will land a gig.

As fast as you try to hurry things along, potential clients aren’t going to move any quicker. If you do need to land a client quickly, there are steps you can take, but on the whole, finding great clients takes time, so you need to be patient.

Do that, build your brand and client relationships, and you will eventually get your rewards.

Rule #6 – Get a Dental Content Writing Routine

There’s one trait that any dental content writer needs to be successful – discipline. After all, no one can chastise you if you don’t ‘turn up for work’, so you have to be self-motivated.

The fantasy is that being your own boss means that you can work ‘whenever you like’.

The reality is that you won’t always feel like working, particularly when it’s a gorgeous day or a Monday morning, and you don’t feel like getting out of bed.

A working routine holds you accountable for times when you don’t feel like it – and trust me, you will!

In truth, many actions you take won’t have immediate consequences. So if you ‘pull a sickie’ or delay a deadline, you probably won’t feel the effects until weeks later when you open your wallet or purse and see a dark empty space where there was once money.

While the beauty of freelancing is that you can choose which hours you work, most solopreneurs have a fixed schedule where they work the same hours daily.

A proper work routine instils discipline, puts you in the mindset for work and puts regular cash into your account.

Rule #7 – Learn To live Life on The Edge

Ever heard of the saying the ‘sword of Damocles’? It stems from a Roman fable by Cicero where a King (Dionysius) allows one of his subjects, a peasant named Damocles, to experience a life of wealth and luxury for one day. But the entire time, a sword was suspended from the ceiling, threatening to drop on him at any moment.

This is a bit like freelancing. As quickly as you gain a client, the threat of losing them is never far away. You can go from earning good money to earning considerably less in the blink of an eye. It’s a precarious situation and one that isn’t for the faint-hearted.

The ebb and flow of freelancing life is all part of the norm and is something I wasn’t really prepared for when I started dental content writing.

The critical thing I’ve learned is to put plans in place to ensure that when client loss does happen, you have another one in the pipeline to fill the space. So, even when your calendar is solidly booked out for the next month or so, don’t overlook marketing.

As your career progresses, clients will start to come to you. You’ll get better at understanding that client opportunities don’t just occur on job boards, so always keep your ears, eyes and options open, even when you’re busy

Remember, that metaphoric sword is never far away.

Rule #8 Get Comfortable With The Word ‘No’.

say no

Of the eight things I wished I had known before I started dental content writing, this is up there. When I started, I would say yes to almost every client request because I needed the cash – pure and simple!

However, I quickly learnt that not all projects (and all clients) are opportunities that you’ll want to say yes to.

As a result, I’ve discovered that it’s perfectly okay to say no and, instead, to trust my gut. Whenever I accepted a project or extra client request that didn’t feel right, it came back to bite me – EVERY SINGLE TIME!

Here’s the thing;

Saying no is not lousy customer service; delivering a bad customer experience is.

Saying yes all the time is not sustainable, and it’s a surefire way to burn yourself out.

When you say yes to every request, you’ll experience work overload. That means you won’t be able to provide the level of service you want. This inevitably triggers a downward spiral where the clients you want to work with are being let down for the sake of work you didn’t want to take on.

Trust me, being in that position sucks!

Most freelancers, me included, want clients who are a good fit for their business – clients who understand the value you bring and the work you provide.

Trying to force a round peg into a square hole with client mismatch rarely works, and you’ll end up hating yourself for it.

Essentially, get comfortable saying no and use it as a filter to find the clients you love working with. It will make your business and your life easier in the long term.  

So there you have it, eight fundamentals I wish I had known before starting my dental content writing Business.

Unfortunately, the most important lessons are usually the hardest ones, and most of my success has been built on the back of the blunders, poor decisions and flat-out failures of my early years.

Hopefully, By reading this, you won’t make the same mistakes I did and will go from strength to strength.

Here’s to your success!