You’ve probably had people tell you that you need to choose a profitable freelance writing niche. What the heck does that mean?
Your niche is your specialty. In plain English, it’s what you write about.
Why Choose a Niche?
When I first started writing professionally, 8 million years ago, I had two little girls and I was pregnant with my third child. I didn’t really have one niche, because I thought that I shouldn’t turn away any work.
So yeah, I wrote a lot of about breastfeeding, but I also wrote about semiconductors and construction and blind IT pros and incorporating security features into architecture.
This meant that I spent a lot of time learning about new topics, which was fun, but not really profitable.
The contacts I made in one area didn’t really transfer over to any other areas, so I was constantly reaching out to new people, trying to get ahold of experts, trying to get people to return my calls and emails.
To find work, I used many different job boards and spent lots of time carefully crafting personalized letters to potential clients.
I landed a decent amount of work, for sure, but I put in a LOT of effort to get that work. And I was a “beginner” in many different areas, so I had a lot of assignments that paid $100, $250, and so on.
Sure, getting paid $100 to write a press release feels good. But what if I could have earned $300 for writing the same press release?
See, the moment I STOPPED looking for ANY writing job and started focusing on writing jobs in ONE AREA, my rates skyrocketed.
Like, instead of making $250 or even $500 for an article, I was suddenly getting paid $1000 and more for the same work.
How, exactly did I bring about this dramatic change? With strategery.
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Choose a Profitable Freelance Writing Niche
I have a fairly twisted sense of humor, and I often tell my husband that my second marriage will be for money. Look, it’s just as easy to love a rich man as a poor one, and it’s just as easy to pick a profitable freelance writing niche as it is to choose one that won’t make you any money.
The point here — yep, I do have a point — is that you should choose a profitable freelance writing niche if you want to make money from freelance writing. Passion is awesome, but last I checked, you can’t pay your mortgage with it.
Banks, stores, and service providers all want you to pay for things with money. When you choose a profitable freelance writing niche, you will have money.
Nowhere is it written that you must be a starving writer. So don’t be one.
You can find plenty of lists of potentially profitable freelance writing niches, such as this one,this one, and this one.
If you want to make money from writing, choose a niche that has the potential to pay well.
When I finally wised up and picked a niche, I went with technology.
It was a little bit weird — with just a handful of articles to my name, I was suddenly regarded as an expert writer in the tech world, and people started reaching out to me.
Thanks to my tech contacts, I was invited to write some online courses, and I quickly realized that online education was a ridiculously lucrative niche.
I was regularly earning thousands of dollars to write online courses for all kinds of companies.
The work was easy and fun and it paid really, really well.
Evaluate Your Niche Options
Does this mean that you should go into writing online courses or tech? Not necessarily, because if you hate technology and think that writing about it would be horrible, then it’s probably not a good choice for you.
Instead, think about the things you love and want to write about, and then think how you can put a profitable spin on them.
Remember, you want to spend your time getting paid for writing, not marketing yourself to a bunch of different areas, so look for topics where you can target a single, defined client base. Then consider where that client base is, and what work you can find.
Look into magazines, businesses, and job boards to find potential clients.
You should be able to find potential markets for at least one of your interests, and when you do, you’re on the way to a profitable niche.
For example, if your passion is model railroading, can you find at least a dozen magazines to pitch?
A quick Google search reveals that you can find A LOT of model railroad magazines, so we’re off to a good start here.
Can you find at least 50 businesses that are somehow related to the model railroad industry? Again, start with Google. I don’t actually know anything about model railroads, but if that’s your passion, you should have some idea of businesses in the industry.
Are there jobs for model railroad writers being posted?
Well… not so much, at least not outside those many magazines.
Maybe those magazines have enough work to keep you busy — or maybe you could look for a different niche.
Let’s try gardening. Again, you can find a lot of magazines for gardeners — and there are a LOT of gardening businesses, too. Especially if you consider lawn care and landscaping businesses to be a part of your target market.
And when I searched for gardening writing jobs on Upwork, I found over 200 results. Looks like you won’t have any problem turning this passion into a profitable niche.
If you’re ready to start freelance writing online, you definitely need to start by choosing a niche. And if you’re going to write for money, you might as well choose a profitable freelance writing niche, right?
What niche are you considering? What’s keeping you from getting started? How can I help you break into freelance writing?