It’s counter-intuitive: how could limiting your options result in more work? As a Writer and a freelancer, you’re always reluctant to close a door, not knowing if there’s a window available to open. But aligning yourself with a niche will only increase your employability; after all, it’s hard for specialized industries to find a person with both the writing talent and the expertise to write knowledgeably about a subject. Once you find your clients, you’ll realize how invaluable your niche skills really are.
But how do you find your niche? I’ve struggled with this question myself. It’s so much easier—and safer—to offer general services, quickly researching a subject and writing a mostly engaging piece about it. Luckily, we have a few hints compiled to help you get started on your way to niche notoriety:
Exploit Your Experience
For many, freelance writing is supplementary to their day job. What’s your day job? Are you a fashion consultant? You’re in touch with all the cutting-edge styles (seriously, all the edges have been cut); there’s your niche. Are you a construction worker? Believe me, I’ve looked—it’s quite difficult to find a freelancer specializing in construction writing. Whatever it is you do, whatever your hobby or your weekend charity, whatever your passion—make it your writing niche. If you can write knowledgeably about it, you can be sure that many people out there can’t.
Passion Makes Perfect
We all have the friend that would sweep Jeopardy! Ken Jennings-style, if they would only apply. Some of us might even be that friend. If you just have too much knowledge to narrow it down to a single niche, try writing about all of them. That’s right; take some time to write at least 500 words on all the subjects you’re an expert on. Which one did you actually enjoy writing about? Which one was excruciating? What produced the best-quality product? I love writing about dogs (not that I ever get the chance to). I despise writing about the intricacies of computer science (not that I’m an expert). I could slam out an exquisite blog post extolling the virtues of the ancient Molossus breed in record time, but pin me down with a topic that includes any kind of technological acronym and watch me cringe. Writing about something you love will always produce more engaging, higher quality writing, and it will be a much faster process. Discover your passion and you’ve discovered your niche!
What if you don’t feel like an expert on anything? What if your area of expertise isn’t that popular? My friends, quiver not with fear. There are easy answers to all of these very important questions.
If you currently find yourself niche-less and without hope, consider spending your free time doing research. You don’t have to be an electrician to write about electrical systems—you just need to know your stuff and have excellent source material. This might mean investing in a few textbooks or, if you’re really serious, taking a course on the side. And don’t balk at the extra effort—all you need is one or two serious clients who are wowed by your dazzling combination of literary skill and industry knowledge to make it all worthwhile.
Finding writers with subject matter expertise is truly searching for a needle in a haystack. Clients will always appreciate having someone they can trust their work with; less fact-checking on their end will mean a bigger paycheck on yours. And once you’ve done your research, purchased your textbooks or taken your courses, the hardest part is over—minimal preparation will be required for your future projects, meaning more time to write and more time to amass your wealth.
You Can Have Several Niches
Don’t pigeonhole yourself when it comes to your specialty. I’m fairly aware that there are only 5 people on Earth who will want to pay me to write about dogs. This is why it’s important to have a few niches: when one proves less popular or profitable, there are at least two or three more to fall back on.
Are you one of the lucky few to have discovered your niche long ago? If you’re one of the rarities with both writing talent and special expertise in a certain subject, consider applying to be an approved writer for our newly-launched Offerings.