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Dental Assistant Explores Side Hustle as Dental Copywriter

Is there money to be made writing copy for dentists?


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Is there money to be made writing web copy for dentists?

Hi Susan!

I hope you don’t mind…but I found your name in a Google search. I have just begun a course in copywriting and I am attempting to pick a niche.

I have been a dental assistant for 18 years! And I LOVE dentistry, love my job…it just doesn’t pay much. So I’m looking for something to do on the side, from home. I’m a single mom of a ten-year-old boy, and I’m just trying to make a better life for the two of us.

If you don’t mind, I just wanted to know if this area of copy/content is in demand. When I started this course I knew for sure I wanted to write about home decor and interior decorating, because that is what I love to do in my own home. However…I’m thinking that with my knowledge in dentistry, and the number of dentists out there, that maybe I could make an impact in the area.

I would greatly appreciate any thoughts or advice you might have as I am dipping my toes into this exciting field. I understand completely if you don’t wish to speak on it, too. Totally fine, no hard feelings. Otherwise, thank you in advance for your time and consideration of my request.

Kind regards,

Helen K.

Dental assistant

As a dental assistant, you have first-hand experience that can help you be successful doing dental copywriting as a side hustle.

Hi Helen,

It’s nice to meet you. Congrats to you for deciding to learn a new skill and start a side hustle. And kudos for raising a son as a single mom and trying to make a better life for you both. You go, girl!

I think copywriting for dentists could be a viable niche. It’s an area I myself target so I’m a little hesitant to encourage you to pursue it. There are currently approximately 200,400 dentists working in dentistry in the U.S. as of 2019. And approximately $110 billion is spent yearly by Americans on oral healthcare. 

With numbers like that, it’s not surprising that dentists are highly competitive. In fact, there are digital marketing firms and ad agencies that have built their business around dentists, so while it’s a viable market, it’s not an undiscovered, untapped niche. 

Most dentists, like other medical professionals, do realize the value in having a quality website and informative dentistry articles on their site or blog to grow their healthcare practice. So why not give the niche a try? You have nothing to lose. If it doesn’t pan out, then go in another direction. You’ll have learned a lot in the process and can apply that new knowledge to other areas you pursue.

You may find that dentistry is a viable niche but is too competitive or not big enough to build your entire business around, so then you can build on the success you’ve had and add another niche specialty or service.

dental copywriter

Start with your employer. Would your dentist hire you to write a few articles for their website or blog?

Start with any dentists whom you know personally and are therefore willing to give you a chance. The practice(s) where you currently work is certainly worth investigating. Does it have a website or a blog? Would your dentist be willing to pay you to write articles (on your own time) for his or her blog? Could they see the benefit of having you freshen or expand on the existing information? 

If you can get a few items published, then you can show other dentists (presumably dentists not in direct competition with your current employer) your capabilities and demonstrate your experience in the field. At the same time, you’ll be gaining confidence in your writing ability.

You might want to consider broadening your horizons a bit. Instead of limiting your client base to dentists, you could also do copywriting for orthodontists, periodontists, endodontists, prosthodontists and oral surgeons. That gives you a much larger market to target.

One word of caution. Don’t think copywriting is going to be a golden ticket to immediate riches. Unfortunately, there are so many copywriters now, many of them overseas and selling their services on the cheap, that it is hard to get good rates, especially in a popular niche such as dentistry.

Of course, you bring specialized knowledge to the table, so that might give you an edge. But I get contacted by too many would-be copywriters who tell me, “I want to be a copywriter and have a business like yours, but I don’t have the 20+ years to build that business like you did. I need to start making money now!”

I understand that sentiment, but unfortunately, just because you’re inpatient doesn’t mean you get to be an instant success. Set realistic expectations. You can’t go from novice to expert copywriter with a thriving business in a matter of weeks. You have to do the work!

copywriter for dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons

Expand your copywriting services to include orthodontists, oral surgeons and related professions to increase your market reach.

You should know there are two types of online copywriting — marketing copy and SEO copy. Marketing copy is your typical website material. Typical pages include Home, About Us, FAQs, etc. The main purpose of marketing copy is to sell products and services.

SEO copy/content, however, would be articles designed to educate and inform, not sell, or at least not sell directly. So, for a dentist that might mean having a blog with posts on gingivitis, veneers and toothpaste reviews. That copy positions the dentist as an expert, an authority in the field, and indirectly helps attract patients to his or her practice. 

Of those two kinds of copy, marketing copy usually pays better, but those copywriting jobs are harder to land because the demand is less. Most dentists already have a website with the basics (Home, About, FAQs, etc.). But their blog can be expansive with no limit on the number of pages/posts.

Research SEO content to learn more about the subject and understand the motivation behind creating that content. Hint — it’s probably how you found me; you likely Googled copywriter for dentists or something similar.

You may want to check out fiverr.com and upwork.com to see if anyone else is targeting dentists and how they’re going about it. Also search for marketing firms that specialize in working with dentists. Learn from them, but don’t copy from them.

Good luck!

Susan Greene

Professional copywriter

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Testimonial

Thumbs UP!


So excited, this [web copy] reads through great!  I made a couple edits on the attached (Rev2), otherwise thumbs UP! You did an amazing job with the very limited info. to start. I appreciate your patience with me and all your suggestions. Thank you very much.


Wade Watkinson, PE
President
Watkinson Engineering
Seattle, Washington

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