Freelance writers can be differentiated into two categories: generalists and specialists.
The generalists are those who are open to writing just about any type of content. On the other hand, specialists are those who have found a niche for themselves. Specialists focus on writing content around a particular area or topic, and have established themselves to working with specific clients in their chosen area.
According to a study conducted by the Freelancers Union and Upwork in 2016, there are roughly 55 million individuals who are working as freelancers. Given this fact, what makes you stand out from this enormous crowd?
Now we go back to freelance writing. Specializing in a specific niche will make you a hot commodity. If you’re one-of-a-kind, you’ll be more in-demand. This is what makes specialists, well, special!
As a freelance writer, having a niche can be a great way to earn money and attract repeat clients. Best of all, you are free to write about what you love. So let’s talk about the important rules on how to identify your ideal freelance writing niche.
Rule #1: Find Your Area of Expertise
The first and most important rule is to ask yourself, ‘What topic or subject area do I know the most about or have the most experience in?’
You might currently (or used to) have a non-writing related experience but if you’ve gained enough skills or knowledge in that particular area, you may be able to write about it. For instance, if you’re working part-time as a web developer and a freelance writer at the same time, your area of expertise could be all about web development and web design programs.
On the other hand, if you’re working full-time as a freelance writer, or you have another writing-related job, your area of expertise may as well be writing itself. This could be anything, from content marketing, blogging, or even fiction writing.
Rule #2: Look for Writing Opportunities in the Market
Next would be to make sure that there’s work available for you, in your chosen freelance writing niche.
Looking for writing opportunities has become easier, thanks to the Internet. You can search for publications, blogs, as well as businesses and agencies that pay freelancers to write for them. Some companies even hire freelancers to write articles for their magazines.
If you see a gap in the market that could potentially offer writing opportunities, say, a business in your niche that might need to add a blog to their company website, go ahead and grab it. Do you have a knack for writing essays? The best academic writing services may be in need of talented freelance writers like yourself!
However, if it’s difficult to find a place for writing about your chosen niche (and in return, making money), it may be that your area of expertise is a little too specific. In this case, you may want to take a step back and see how you can broaden your niche so you can tap on a bigger market.
The gist is that no matter what your specialization is, make sure there’s a market for it. But of course, in order to be successful in your niche, you need to have passion for what you do. Which brings us to the next rule…
Rule #3: Choose A Niche That You Love
What do you love to read? When you’re out jogging, whiling away the time at a cafe, or contemplating on your commute, what are the topics you often think about? These are things that can point you toward the niche you may be passionate about.
If you have one too many options, deciding to pick a niche may be overwhelming. But don’t give up right away. Spend some time to write down possible ideas you could come up with. This list may consist of interesting topics for a blog, statistics that caught your attention, quotes that inspire you, or business-related strategies and tips. The sky’s the limit!
Another technique is to create a note for all kinds of writing projects and prompts you enjoy. Once you’ve written enough, try to figure out which of the stuff you’ve written got you engaged with the most. It’s a great way to narrow down your focus and discover what niche you’re truly passionate about.
Picking a freelance writing niche is a lot like dating: You spend time with someone (your clients), discover and learn as much as you can about yourself along the way, in the hopes that you will one day find “the one” (the niche) you can devote your career to. This devotion is everything, not just to your future clients but to yourself, as well!