Seeking a top supplement copywriter? I am Pat Dougherty, The Natural Health Writer, and I’ve been creating dietary supplement content for 20 years. I wrote this guide to share the best qualities, talents and skills to look for in a nutritional supplement copywriter — whether you work with me, hire someone else, or even do it yourself. Let’s get to it!
What to Look For in a Supplement Copywriter
Dietary supplement copywriting is a different beast from other markets. These are products people will ingest for health. It’s not a random widget. It requires extensive knowledge and deep understanding of dietary supplements to write marketing copy that is effective, responsible and compliant.
Here’s a short checklist on what to look for in a dietary supplement content writer:
- Industry Knowledge: Must have solid understanding of the health and wellness industry, including dietary supplements, vitamins, minerals, and herbal products. They should be familiar with regulatory guidelines and terminology specific to this field.
- Research Background: A copywriter in this space should know how to research health sciences, nutrition, herbalism and similar fields. This knowledge can be invaluable for creating accurate and credible content.
- Writing Experience: A vast portfolio for relevant writing experience in the supplement industry is helpful. Demonstrating a track record of creating persuasive, informative, and engaging copy.
- Understanding of Target Audience: Ability to understand your target audience’s needs, concerns, and preferences. They should be able to tailor their writing to resonate with your customers.
- SEO Skills: In the digital age, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is crucial. Good supplement copywriting should include SEO best practices, which grant a huge advantage that helps your content rank well on search engines.
- Compliance with Regulations: Any copywriter for supplements must know regulatory requirements for supplement marketing, such as the FDA guidelines in the United States. They should be able to write copy that complies with these regulations, and should be familiar with DSHEA. More on that in a minute.
- Creativity: While compliance is important, creativity is also key. A copywriter should be able to craft compelling and unique messaging that sets your supplements apart from the competition.
- Timeliness and Reliability: Ensure that the copywriter is dependable and can meet deadlines consistently. Timely delivery of content is crucial for marketing campaigns and product launches.
- Communication Skills: Effective communication is essential. The copywriter should be able to collaborate with your team, understand your brand’s voice and goals, and provide updates on project progress.
- Adaptability: The supplement industry is ever-evolving. Look for a copywriter who can adapt to changing trends, research findings, and customer preferences.
- Portfolio Diversity: A diverse portfolio that showcases a range of supplement sales copy, such as product descriptions, blog posts, a sales letter, direct mail, social media content, and email campaigns, can be a sign of a well-rounded copywriter.
- Passion for Health and Wellness: A genuine passion for health and wellness can be a valuable asset. A copywriter who is personally invested in the industry is more likely to produce compelling and authentic content
- Attention to Detail: Copywriting for health supplements requires a high level of accuracy. Look for a copywriter who pays attention to detail to avoid misinformation and errors.
- AI Fluency: AI-assisted copy can accelerate dietary supplement content creation. But bad prompts can lead to misinformation that is bad for your customers. Be sure to work with a writer who fact-checks AI and draws from experience to produce something original, compliant, safe and substantiated.
By thoroughly evaluating potential supplement copywriters based on these criteria, your company can find a qualified professional who can effectively convey the benefits of your products and connect with your target audience.
My Supplement Copywriting Specialties
This is a big story. Far too large for a single article. To make it easier for now, I will focus on my most in-demand specialties, as well as those that I recommend for your supplement business development.
I am a versatile supplement writer. It’s been 20 years, I feel I have done it all! So whatever you need, I’m your huckleberry. Before I get into specialties, I want to clarify copywriter vs. content writer. I identify as both. But what’s the difference?
- Copywriters create persuasive content with the primary aim of driving specific actions;
- Content writers produce informative and engaging content to inform or entertain the audience
Both roles are important in dietary supplement marketing and communication, and they often complement each other in a broader content strategy. Because education drives supplement sales, a great copywriter in this industry must excel at both.
Brand and Product Genesis
This is one of the most valuable services I offer. It is an incredibly important step on your way to supplement success! Whether you have a clear idea of what you want your supplement to be, or are starting from scratch, I am here to help.
In its most valuable form, this skill involves taking a list of supplement ingredients and turning them into a winning brand.
To achieve this, I draw upon 20+ years supplement marketing experience from all angles. If you have a list of ingredients, you can hand it off to me and I will take care of:
- Positioning. I define and explain the unique value and identity of your supplement within a target market to differentiate it from competitors.
- Supplement marketing copy. Product names, punchy taglines, descriptive phrases that grab attention and convey why consumers need to have your product.
- Claims. I research, build confidential files for each ingredient, assess dosages and more to build claims that are respectful to FDA while still selling the product.
- Storytelling. Building off my research, I write romantic storytelling copy that addresses the customer’s need and builds an emotional connection.
- Ad copy. I develop a portfolio of seed advertising concepts that serve as inspiration and can be planted further down the line for robust growth.
- Base copy. I create a dossier of everything in the short- to medium-range, creating a wellspring of good copy that can be disseminated through multiple mediums.
- Quality copy. Involves differentiating your product by the quality of your ingredients, manufacturing processes, formulation, and even your philosophy and “about us.”
- Sell sheets. These aggregate all of the above and more into a single sales-driven front-and-back sheet that summarizes the most important features and benefits
Of course, there are more aspects of supplement genesis. But these are a few of the most important. I love doing genesis projects because they are so beneficial to my clients, especially those who are launching a supplement for the first time.
SEO, Blog Article Writing, Web Content Marketing
The early part of my career revolved around print publications. Brochures, pamphlets, magazines, booklets, direct response pieces, catalog projects, you name it. All to sell nutritional supplements, with the occasional complementary piece on alternative health and physical fitness.
The medium was incredible at the time. But I watched it evolve into the digital information age. As as it changed, I adapted with the times. When I started writing website content, a truth quickly became apparent: The Google likes me. Really likes me.
This may be attributed to the fact that I really started gaining steam with web content around the Google Panda Update of 2011. This crucial update raised the bar on writing quality. Since I was already obsessively focused on writing original, high-quality content, I naturally achieved great search engine ranking results.
Since then, I have had the good fortune of working closely with some of the world’s leading SEO experts.
Now, my content is built upon a foundation of exceptionally high-quality writing, advanced SEO practices, and deep research that meets the Google’s more recent E-E-A-T demands.
It has been truly remarkable the past few years to see the game-changing results my content marketing services can produce.
Example: For one client, I published 83 web articles across three brands in one month (managing a small team; I’m not that fast!). Exquisitely written, thoroughly researched and referenced, masterfully SEO-tuned, and skillfully crafted to sell product. A few months later:
- 99% of the articles produced were on the first page of Google
- 93% had secured number one ranking in Google
This was a full-spectrum assignment. It involved:
- Creating the blog post format/template
- Establishing the voice and tone of posts
- Developing a full editorial calendar and schedule
- Researching and referencing each article
- Writing each piece with a focus on FDA-friendliness
- Image sourcing, with a focus on public domain images
- Internal linking to relevant pages
- External linking to credible sources
- SEO practices; keyword research, meta tags, excerpts, etc.
- Helping to build a sales funnel that integrates with blog posts
- Everything else you can imagine, including training my team
The Natural Health Writer cannot take full credit for these spectacular results.
Site authority counts, backlinks count, and other talented individuals contributed to this success.
If you want to rank great website content, E-E-A-T is the name of the game these days. And I am the answer to each of these criteria:
- Experience – I have been writing content for the dietary supplement industry for 20+ years, and have generated more sales for dozens of leading manufacturers
- Expertise – My experience has built expertise in every aspect of dietary supplements and natural health products: Marketing, sales, training, publicity, compliance, formulation, quality testing, everything!
- Authoritativeness – I am a convincing force in the industry, creating science-based content that makes a compelling case for the consumer. I guarantee that my content is all original: authoritative and authentic.
- Trustworthiness – Talk is cheap. I ensure trustworthiness by keeping claims respectful to FDA guidelines, referencing credible external sites, citing real research and otherwise maintaining transparency across all content that I produce.
In my opinion, building a large archive of blog content supporting your products is a great investment. Readers are supplement consumers. And more clicks from great articles can vault you ahead of competition that blogs ineffectively (if at all!)
Don’t Forget Regulatory Expertise!
You can’t get the full benefit of supplement marketing if your copywriter is making highly risky claims about your products. In the dietary supplement industry, it is crucial to remain respectful of regulatory guidelines from the FDA, FTC, and Amazon (if you’re selling on there).
In the dietary supplement industry, compliance takes good copywriting to great copywriting.
My own experience includes 20 years of interfacing with marketing directors and lawyers to create compliant copy that still sells great! I am proud of this expertise, and feel my compliance ability is a unique advantage that’s been a big part of my clients’ success.
DSHEA Knowledge: the Big Fundamental
If you are interviewing a copywriter to help you sell nutritional supplements, one of the first questions you should ask: “What do you know about DSHEA?”. This is what separates a top supplement copywriter from an impostor.
There are so many companies selling products, and so many copywriters describing those products, who clearly have no understanding or no respect for the very legislation that has enabled our industry to thrive for the past 25+ years.
Now that I’m thinking about it, another great way to phrase this question would be “What does DSHEA stand for?”
(A reminder, it is the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act!)
Either you know it, or you don’t. And if you don’t, you should learn about it before you start as a health supplement copywriter.
I have expertise in DSHEA that no other supplement copywriter can match.
I broke into the nutritional supplement industry in 2003, about 10 years after the passage of DSHEA. My first role was as a copywriter and creative specialist for Natural Organics Inc., more widely known as Nature’s Plus. In this role, I was fortunate to work closely with Gerald Kessler, a primary architect of DSHEA a true nutritional supplement industry legend.
The lesson: if you want to hire a good nutritional supplement copywriter, make sure that they know what DSHEA. If you want to hire the best supplement copywriter, contact me.
FDA Writing: Respect the Agency
Please respect the FDA. I can help you with FDA writing for your nutritional supplements. Zebulon Rogerson, 1978 – U.S. Food and Drug Administration / Public domain
This one plays off the DSHEA knowledge prerequisite. If you’re hiring a health copywriter who claims nutritional supplement marketing expertise, take a look at the claims that are in samples that they provide.
Are they responsible? Are they respectful? Or do they flout FDA guidelines and create risk for the supplement brands?
In this sphere, again, the Natural Health Writer has experience and expertise that no other supplement copywriter can match. But it wasn’t easy. I learned this the hard way.
Specifically, I have sat down with lawyers representing some of the biggest nutritional supplement brands in the world…. and had my copy mercilessly shredded.
It was painful, but I am most grateful for this experience. Working closely with leading industry lawyers has given me insight on how to manage nutritional supplement copywriting from a legal perspective.
Note: I am not a lawyer. Instead, I focus on making their lives easier. I strive to get my content close to target. Only a lawyer can definitively declare nutritional supplement copy to be FDA-compliant.
FDA writing is my passion. I know the pitfalls. I know the red flags. I know the ticking time bombs. I write to avoid these dangers and keep it respectful. The end result:
CLIENTS ARE ASTONISHED AT HOW QUICKLY AND EASILY MY SUPPLEMENT COPYWRITING PASSES LEGAL REVIEW.
Less time and legal means less money spent on lawyers and faster speed to market – all while remaining respectful to both the FDA and the nutritional supplement industry at large.
Dietary Supplement Research & Development
If a supplement writer is getting his or her information about your product from unreliable sources, you can be setting your company up for a lot of problems:
- Regulatory concerns
- Legal concerns
- Ethical concerns
It is crucially important that we connect our customers with reliable and accurate information about nutritional supplements. So they can use them for maximum effect, safely, comfortably, and cost-effectively.
All of this circles back to nutritional supplement research.
It is not about the information anymore. It is about the questions we ask to get the information. It is about where we choose to seek the information. I know how to find the good stuff!
To reiterate an earlier point, the best supplement copywriter must see things that no one else can see.
When you apply this to research, the context changes to asking questions that no one else asks. This leads to better copy across the board.
SUPPLEMENT COPYWRITING CAN ONLY ACHIEVE GREATNESS WHEN IT IS BACKED BY GREAT RESEARCH.
When it comes to research and the supplement industry no one can approach the skill of the Natural Health Writer.
I see things no one else sees. I ask questions that no one else asks. And I know how to find the good stuff — beyond PubMed — that establishes the exact kind of authority you need for high Google rankings and responsible supplement marketing.
It took a while to get here, but let’s talk about the crux of it all: great writing!
I believe the nutritional supplement industry is perhaps the most challenging industry for copywriting. You have to navigate all of the above concerns, but still produce effective sales copy.
So how can you do it? How can you sell health and wellness while facing so many limitations on the words you can use and claims you can make?
If I were to sum it up in one word, I would say storytelling. You have to say it without saying it. But you can tell parallel stories.
My method involves crystallizing the consumer’s desire. That is the destination. Then, we determine the route, which is often circuitous.
Connecting the supplement to a realization of the consumers’ ultimate desire requires a lot of research, parsing of information, positioning, development of claims, and more.
But ultimately the horsepower that drives us there is the writing itself.
- From a technical standpoint, The writing presents the solution in a way that is respectful to the customer, the industry, and the regulatory bodies that govern it.
- From a sales standpoint, writing must paint a beautiful picture of robust health and exhilarating vitality. It’s not easy. But I can take you there.
Merging these two lanes requires a skillful driver. The Natural Health Writer says, gimme the keys. Let’s ride.
Let’s drive. But not TOO fast. : ]
Best Supplement Copywriter Stack: Experience + Talent
THE ULTIMATE COMBINATION TO LOOK FOR IN THE BEST SUPPLEMENT COPYWRITER IS TALENT AND EXPERIENCE.
It is almost unbelievable for me to say it, but I have been a nutritional supplement copywriter for 20+ years. (!)
The first four years were with Nature’s Plus in a corporate environment. But I broke away from corporate to do more as a freelance supplement copywriter.
Since I left Nature’s Plus in 2007, I have:
- Created 3 natural health magazines, published 100K+ copies
- Developed and wrote 7 natural health booklets, published 10+ million copies
- Worked on a variety of jobs with dozens of the best companies in the nutritional supplement industry
- Written about hundreds of different supplements, targeting all sorts of demographics and myriad health concerns
- Written hundreds of Google-dominating nutritional supplement web articles
- Toured the inner workings of some of the greatest nutritional supplement manufacturing facilities on the planet
- Developed sales training programs for thousands of associates of a leading nutritional supplement retail chain
- Wrote scripts and collaborated with video producers to create dynamic dietary supplement storytelling videos and related media campaigns
- Worked with nutritional supplement visionaries and legends, including founders of several brands who launched the industry
- Collaborated with doctors and health practitioners who were entering the supplement industry for the first time.
- So. Much. More.
And the crazy part? I know in my heart that my best supplement sales copy is yet to come. I invite you to explore my site, read my words, and check out my body of work.
Learn more about my copywriting services for:
Weight loss supplements – If you’re planning a new initiative for your weight loss supplements, customer education with great content writing can go a long way in building credibility
Nootropic supplements – Brain-boosting nootropics remain one of the hottest categories.
Testosterone supplements – A tricky category! But in demand. I conquered it responsibly.
Immune support supplements – Since COVID, a very hard topic to discuss in supplement marketing. I know how to do it.
Sports nutrition supplements – One of my favorite spaces. I love the devoted audience and look forward to writing a lot more in this space.
I invite you to check out the rest of my website to see many more examples of my own copy techniques and my versatile copywriting skills for supplements.
Conclusion: Natural Health Writer is Numero Uno
Writing is what sells nutritional supplements. But the actual practice of nutritional supplement copywriting is incredibly complex.
To succeed, the writer must blend a combination of skills — educating the consumer in a responsible manner, maintaining careful respect for the FDA and other regulatory bodies, and selling the heck out of product with classic copywriting techniques.
If you want your supplement to excel in the marketplace, an el-cheapo writer off fiverr or similar just won’t cut it. You need a specialist.
If you are hiring a leading nutritional supplement copywriter, contact me, even if just to chat about the industry. I love this industry.
And if you don’t hire me, please do use the tips in this guide to find a writer who is a great fit for your brand.