PS has worked as a freelance writer since 2012. When she's not traveling and writing, she helps people with web design and development.
Let us start by taking an example of successful lawyers. Most of the lawyers, whom you are known to be successful in their career are so because of their specialization. They became so expert in a speck field, that their demand became huge and thus, turn out to be the most marketable lawyers. Similarly, that’s how the writing field works. Specialized writers comparatively have a higher demand than generalized writers. They also tend to find work more easily.
As a beginner writer, it is recommended to focus on a few areas rather than building a portfolio of diverse fields such as short stories, real estate, technology and so on. If an editor is looking for a writer who can craft an article on cooking, then he/she will look for Alex, the cooking expert and not Bob, who writes about biotech, dogs, home buying, agriculture, and sports as well as cooking.
This may definitely sound a limited opportunity. But in reality, if you try to be everything for everyone then you’ll fail to be anything for anyone. Specialized writers have a steady workflow and constant cash coming in.
Select a Topic and a Medium
Starting with the writing career, it is important for you to decide what topic you have expertise in and what is your preferred medium such as websites, magazines, book, etc. it is better to go with at most 3-4 areas in the beginning and do thorough research on them. For example, if you wish to write about basic yoga asanas for beginners for fitness’s magazines, then you've got a very competitive field. You can also carry your skills forward by writing in trade and custom magazines as well as newsletters and blog posts.
If your interest lies in travel writing niche, then you will need to fetch ideas from travel bureaus and publications and present yours or someone else’s travel diaries in a lucrative manner.
On the other hand, if your focus is on medical writing, then you must have to know about pharmaceuticals companies and how you can persuade the patients to do the clinical trials and so on.
In short, what you decide your niche be doesn’t matter at all. What really matters is you’ve at least decided to start somewhere.
Importance of Choosing a Niche
Choosing a niche may not sound tempting to you, but it has immense benefits mentioned below:
- You can easily market yourself to find the targeted clients.
- You have the advantage of promoting yourself as an expert.
- Being an expert, you've got the option to demand higher fees and thus, command more respect.
- You will have more referrals, since working on a particular niche will make you an expert, your clients will trust you more.
- You will have the benefit of knowing industry-specific terminology and strategies.
How to Choose a Niche?
For many writers, choosing a niche is not a difficult job, since, many of them have experience in a particular field and they decide to go with the same area on their writing career.
On the other hand, many writers are left confused about which one to go for. It can be because they know a little bit about everything or they are just looking to make money through any niche possible. Here are a few ways to find a suitable niche for you:
- Look at your hobbies, it may be collecting coins or surfing the Internet. But even for this, you can forge at least 1000 articles, if you research thoroughly.
- Look at the needs. Sometimes a specific field is in high demand and you can grab that opportunity to become a specialized writer.
- Look at all the possible niches that you can work upon. It’s fine to work on multiple niches at the same time. You can connect with different clients and you may also find the niche, in which you can specialize.
- Look at the list of your previous clients, if you are an experienced writer, find the projects you enjoyed the most and had the highest earning.
Before finalizing the niche, ask the following question to yourself:
- Am I passionate about this area?
- Is this the most profitable niche?
- Are clients trying to target new potential customers in that niche?
- Are the clients well-versed with the niche or do they need to learn?
- Do clients look for that particular niche writers frequently?
- Am I expert enough to handle any topic related to the niche?
- Which magazines and websites I visit most frequently?
Is it risky to choose a niche?
This is a big myth that most of the people think they’ll miss several opportunities to earn more, but that’s not the case. Most of the clients approach you through referral. The moment you become a specialized writer, you’ll understand you are an easy sell.
On the other hand, it may be possible if someone is looking for a legal writer, but you are a fiction writer, then yes they may reject you. But at the same time, there are clients who consider these writers to be expert enough to handle any topic.
How to attract clients in your chosen niche?
Once you’ve chosen your niche, you can reach more clients through various approaches:
- Ask for referrals from your present clients.
- Start with possible clients nearby you, living in your city.
- Create a sheet, more specifically, a google sheet named it Prospects. Find the possible real users who have similar interests like yours through social media accounts and write their names along with social media handles, phone number and email address(if available). You can also take the help of a virtual assistant. Pitch them, “Hey, I just found your profile really compelling. I think we share similar interests.” If their response is positive, then advertise your skills saying, “That’s great. If you ever need some writing services, then we can collaborate. I’ve done several writing jobs from ghostwriting to blog posts in the car dealership.”
- Search LinkedIn, find Facebook groups and look for Twitter profiles through keywords. Don’t be afraid, reaching out to potential clients through social media is pretty easy, just say, “Hey, I really find your content to be very interesting. I share similar interests. I just thought to send a message to say hi! ”
- Use websites like hunter.io to find potential people’s contact information such as email address.
- Write different subject lines
- Use an attention-grabbing email template, explain your work and yourself.
- Don’t try to sell anything in the first place. Approach them casually, build relationships first and then get to the point.
- Maintain a record of which subject lines and email templates have received the highest response.
- Use your websites’ space to speak directly to the clients.
- Start a blog to discuss topics related to your niche. Write at least 1000 words in each blog post. Ask readers to comment and indulge yourself in forums.
Is it fine to have more than one writing niche?
Writers struggle to find the niches they’re passionate about. They go on buying multiple domains and start with one or two articles on the individuals' websites. It is fine to have more than one niche, but it won’t be fruitful if you can’t finish what you started. If you work on multiple niches, it is important to put equal focus on each one of them and carry them all together.
On the other hand, attracting clients can be a bit difficult, since they can’t understand your primary focus. If they hear that you are a technical writer, but your site is filled up with other niche content as well, then they’ll be left confused.
Working as a versatile writer sounds good and may be profitable to an extent, but being a specialized writer can give you mastery in a particular field.
What are the most profitable niches?
The most profitable niches are also the most competitive niches, you need to work smarter and harder to become an outstanding writer in any of these niches:
- Technical writing
- Business writing
- Video content
- Direct mail
- B2B White-papers
- Case studies
- Real estate
- Content marketing
These niches are definitely the most profitable niches, don’t get disheartened if you do not specialize in any of these. Every niche is equally profitable if you do research and work extensively. Many writers who specialize in other niches like parenting, gardening, nursery have managed to earn more than $70k per year.
On the other hand, if you think there is already huge competition in the above-mentioned niches and you don’t stand a chance, then you are absolutely wrong. Though these niches are hugely popular, yet they have their subparts, for example, copywriting is a wide field that covers writing persuasive content for newspaper, magazines, radios, television, websites and social media. If you look at the famous copywriters, you’ll notice that none of them is an expert in writing for all of these media. So, in short, there’s a scope in everything, just don’t fail to try your luck and keep on working hard.
What if I am stuck with one niche forever?
Being a freelance writer, you set your own rules. You can change your specialization whenever you want. But don’t make it a weekly setting. Try to stick to a niche for at least half a year. So, you know it deeply and can find great work with ease along with remarkable testimonials.
Is it fine for a beginner to work for a particular niche?
Imagine you are a computer engineer and you are looking for a technical writer to help you with documenting your project. You come across two writers. The first one says, “I can write about diverse topics, business, technology, software, medicine, real estate, wine, music. I can certainly help you with your documentation.”
The second one says, “I work with software engineers and managers. Here are a few of my recommendations that you must include in your documentation to give a better explanation of your projects. I can also help you convert the technical jargons and terminologies into plain English so that even non-technical staff can understand your project.”
Which one sounds more promising?
Being a beginner, you may be lured by several plots, but it is better to go for a particular kind of work. You’ll notice how it builds up your profit and also make you a luxurious resource for the clients since you bring more value to the table because you know a lot.
Many writers build their empire through failures, lessons, and experiences. Still, joining an online course is a great opportunity for you to surpass failures and achieve a higher success rate. SkillShare and Lynda can help you a great deal to cover the loopholes in your work. You can also rebrand your website to market yourself as a specialized writer as well as advertise your skills on Craigslist and Gumtree.
PS Tavishi (author) from India on June 08, 2019:
Thanks Gupi. I am glad it helped you. )
Gupi on June 08, 2019:
Great informative article. Lots of key advice. Thanks for sharing.