You’re a writer. You love to write. When words formulate into a witty, clever sentence you scramble to get them on paper, sending an electric pulse of adrenalin from your brain to your fingertips in one unmistakably familiar moment. There’s no doubting your unconditional affection for words, but how do you channel that passion to grow your freelance writing career? Furthermore, once you’ve decided to start freelance writing, there’s the task of choosing a freelance writing niche.
Freelance writing niches abound within the writing field, the myriad encompassing business, finance, food, travel, tech, beauty, wellness, and more. So, given the ever-expanding list of topics to write about, how do you zero in on yours? And more importantly, why is it important to choose a freelance writing niche in the first place?
I’ll admit, my freelance writing portfolio covers travel, beauty, health, wellness, and more. I first started freelancing with the intent of exclusively travel writing, and ultimately used my blog to segue into getting paid to travel write. That said, I quickly began writing about a diverse spectrum of niches. This is fine in the beginning when you want to spread your freelancer wings and explore the various types of freelance writing.
However, when it comes down to making money, you want to show prospective clients that you’re an expert in your niche, that you know it so thoroughly that no added explanation from them is required. Does that mean you can only write about one thing for the rest of your life? Certainly not.
As a compromise, start with 1-3 topics and focus your efforts on becoming an expert on them, then as you pick up more work, you’ll naturally gravitate more toward one from either demand or personal interest.
Are you passionate about vegan craft foods? Maybe financial figures rev your engine? Whatever it is that you daydream about, confide to your best friend about, could talk a stranger’s ear off about, incessantly read about… start researching that topic. You’ll quickly realize whether or not it’s a freelance writing niche.
Whether it’s a lucrative niche is an entirely different story. Once you’ve honed in on a few points of interest, start digging and see if there’s a demand for you to make money writing within that niche.
Now, let’s dive in deeper. Is this topic just a fad? Or, are you completely, whole-heartedly obsessed with it to the point that your friends are over it and you’re starting to wonder if you’re crazy? If that’s the case: perfect! The more in love with a subject you are, the more devoted you’ll be to researching, writing, and repeating within this niche.
Obsession alone won’t get you a paycheck though, but if a large population of dedicated readers are also obsessed with the same thing, then you’re on the right track.
Simply put, are people making money writing content within your freelance writing niche?
Sure, I’d love to lose myself inside the boundless space of my fictional imagination, and my ultimate goal is to get paid to write fiction. However, when you’re starting out: go where the business is, otherwise, you’re a creative writer, not a freelance writer. In very few instances you can achieve both. It’s not impossible because people are doing it, so why not be one of them? Start by researching industries that need freelance writers and focus on writing in that lucrative space where your interest and the industry meet.
If there’s no industry where your interest is, keep digging. Can you find a sub-topic or wider subject that your beloved niche might live within? Again, if not… do you have a runner up? If you’re stuck here, write down 5 niches that you find incredibly interesting. Now, go down the list until you unveil which ones are profitable freelance writing niches.
So, now what?
Now that you’ve narrowed down your prospective freelance writing niche, how do you break into it? I recommended starting a doc that hosts your research, including trending keywords and key phrases. These are the keys to the kingdom of viral content, and you’ll want to get a jumpstart on finding them. Here’s a breakdown for how to come up with some popular title concepts within your niche:
Congratulations! You’re now writing articles within your chosen niche. So… how do you make money writing and turn these articles into a paycheck?
Seriously, keep writing about your niche. When you’re not writing about your niche, read about your niche. Do everything you can to become an authority on the topic, because this will ultimately get you paid, or increase your rate because now you’re a specialist. Congrats! This can be a very tricky effort to balance when you’re interested in writing about several topics. And, hey– I’m not saying you have to be married to one niche forever, but focusing on one and running with it shows potential clients that you don’t need training wheels. You’re already familiar and experienced within the niche, you’re a great writer, and you provide a fast turnaround, so why wouldn’t they hire you?
So, what’s your freelance writing niche? Well, just one last question: What do you love? What do you dream about getting paid to write about?
Now that you’ve chosen your niche, let’s get to work building your freelance portfolio!
Christina Lyon is a coffee-sipping, word-obsessed business blogger, content writer, and blog consultant. She’s on fire for helping creative entrepreneurs and small biz owners build thriving blogs that enhance online visibility and convert to sales. When she’s not reading or writing, she loves to play music and explore the beaches and wild trails along the California coast with her husband Steve and rescue pup, Clio.
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