Monday morning. 7 A.M. Your alarm blares its way through your peaceful sleep and tears you violently into the waking world.
You lazily get dressed and make your miserable commute. You get to your desk, and your boss has already assigned you some meaningless assignment that doesn't actually need to get done.
You sit at your desk and wait till five, then you have a brief reprieve until you have to do it all again. If that sounds familiar, you've probably already thought about quitting so you can work freelance.
If you find the right freelance writing niches, you've got it made in the shade, working from home doing what you want to do while collecting a pretty sum on your own time.
But if you don't end up in the right niche, you can end up just as miserable as you were at your nine-to-five.
If you want to make the most of your potential earnings, you've got to zero in on the best niches for you.
Here's how to find them.
Deeper, Not Wider
As more and more companies put more effort into their content marketing strategy, they have begun to value great copy.
It's no longer enough to just hit a few keywords and boost their SEO. No, they need content that is engaging and shareable; content that will increase brand awareness and establish them as experts in their field.
As a writer, this means that you need to be able to write eloquently and intelligently about that topic.
You might be able to find clients willing to pay you to b.s. your way through any old topic, but those clients are becoming fewer and further between.
If you want to make a good living as a freelance writer now, it's better to have deep knowledge in a few subjects rather than surface-level knowledge in many.
But how do you choose which niche to become an expert in?
Comb Through Your Resume
Mark Twain once gave the most indelible piece of advice to writers: write what you know.
While that axiom is usually adopted by novelists, it applies double for content writers. After all, time is money— especially for freelancers. And the more knowledgeable you are in a subject, the less time you need to spend researching it.
But you might have relevant knowledge that you might not have thought about.
Look through your resume and look for positions that might give you an edge in certain subjects.
For example, if you've worked in a human resources department, you might have a near-expert level understanding of hiring, firing, benefits, payroll, and anything else that HR might entail.
Look for anything in your job history that you can leverage into a gainful niche.
Look For Demand
One of the most fundamental elements of economics is that of demand. If something is not in demand, then no one is going to pay for it.
The trick to finding an in-demand writing niche is finding something that clients are already asking for.
Comb through freelance job sites and pay attention to what niches have the most listings. Stay away from entry-level niches with low barriers of entry. They might get you paid faster, but they can cause your earnings to stagnate.
Watch For Competition
While you're searching for in-demand niches, pay attention to what other writers around you are focusing on.
A lot of competition might mean high demand, but it also means that it will be harder for you to stand out from the crowd.
If you're bidding against too many other writers, you may need to lower your rate to get an edge—which defeats the purpose of finding a profitable niche.
Bringing It Together
The perfect niche is going to have a combination of the previous three attributes. It will combine your knowledge of a subject, demand for that subject, and low competition with other writers.
And hopefully, it'd be something that you actually enjoy writing about. If you have a deep knowledge of HR practices, but you just quit your HR job because you hated the entire industry, writing about it will just build resentment.
Weigh your possible niches by these criteria and see which hit the most marks.
Pay attention to your personal values as well. It might be better for you to turn down a more profitable niche in favor of a subject that you have more of a passion for.
Create a Relevant Portfolio
Once you've decided on a niche, it's time to look for jobs.
When you're applying for writing jobs, the best tool in your arsenal is your portfolio. Your portfolio shows off previous work to show potential clients what you can do and how you can best serve them.
But here's the chicken-and-the-egg scenario: how do you build a portfolio showcasing your work in a certain niche without getting jobs in that niche?
Pitch a few dream articles to yourself and write pieces specifically for your portfolio. Keep headlines topical and relevant.
True, no one likes working for free, but these sample pieces can help you land some higher paying gigs further down the road.
Find Your Freelance Writing Niches
Once you've sorted through the myriad of freelance writing niches to find the perfect one, it's time to get to work!
Join our freelancing community to find relevant jobs, connect with clients, and even get advice from seasoned freelancers.
Register for an account today and see where freelancing can take you!