Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.
A freelance writing niche is a writing specialty.
Your freelance writing niche is an area of industry or a type of project for which …
Just as in other professions, you can become you can become uber-specialized in a particular area of writing.
Consider a student that goes to medical school. After she graduates with “M.D.” next to her name, she becomes a surgical resident. The young doctor completes multiple surgical rotations and discovers that she’s particularly interested in obstetrical and gynecology surgery. One thing leads to another and she completes a fellowship in the niche of maternal-fetal surgery working on patients with high-risk pregnancies.
She started out in the same medical school program that produced psychiatrists and ophthalmologists. Along the way, each of them found their niche.
Likewise, writers can start anywhere. And over time, you can remain a generalist, if you choose. But chances are good that you’ll find an interest or develop the skills to specialize in one or a handful niches.
No, at least not when you’re starting out as a freelancer. Your first step is to get experience and clips. That may mean you wear a generalist’s hat for a while. At some point, you’ll choose a specialty … or it will choose you.
Yes. Finance, technology, personal development, and alternative health have consistently racked up big returns for freelance writers. Yet the “best-niches-to-be-in” list changes year to year, depending on the needs in the marketplace.
Absolutely! Every biz needs good writing. Plus, every client wants to hire people that produce quality work, that are enthusiastic, and that are easy to work with. Your best-earning niches are specific to you. Pursue an industry that interests you or where you have experience and you’ll be able to resonate with clients and readers.
Start with what you know or where you live. Small businesses will hire you because you are available. Beth Erickson lives in Kandiyohi, MN. More than twenty years ago, she was able to launch a successful copywriting business in that remote area and today runs a publishing company.
You can specialize in two different ways:
You can also specialize further in writing a specific kind of content for a specific industry. Let’s say your specialty is writing for nonprofits. Over time you develop a knack for writing fundraising appeal letters. And beyond that, you get really good at writing acquisition appeal letters – that is, letters that are designed to acquire new donors for an organization. Nonprofits in all kinds of industries will hire you to write their acquisition campaigns.
Write anything that comes your way in order to get experience and clips. And as you do, choose a niche area (or two or three) that interests you or in which you have vocational or life experience. Pitch to clients in that industry.
In the process, you’ll discover some important information. You’ll find out which industries excite you and which ones don’t. You’ll also find out what kinds of projects you’re good at and which ones are harder for you.
In the end, you’ll choose a freelance writing niche. Or it will choose you.
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