How to pick a profitable freelance writing niche

I know you want to make money in the comforts of your home with your writing skills. I don’t blame you, there’s only a few who would cringe at that thought. All the freedom to work from wherever and not have to answer to anyone. It’s a dream. But like any of those, you must work to achieve them.

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The topic of niching down has been discussed in detail by a lot of professional freelance writers. Most of them agree that you should pick a niche when you begin freelance writing. I am no different.

Here are some reasons why it is important to niche down when you’re just starting out.

It makes you easy to hire

Picture this…

You have a well-established online apparel store. You want to get a cool design ready for the summer season, the peak season for your business. You want to create a print design that will get your buyers hooked at first glance. You are not exactly design-savvy so you outsource the design work. You plough through all the proposals you’ve received and narrowed them down to three professionals charging the same price.

 One calls themself a “graphic designer” and sends you his brilliant portfolio where he has created logos, business cards, brochures, …and one t-shirt design.

The other one also calls themself a graphic designer but focuses on logo designs. He sends you a variety of impressive designs, for businesses and brands, websites, and t-shirts print designs.

The last one, also a graphic designer, calls himself “T-shirt print designer” and he has made countless t-shirt prints for individuals, brands, and companies. He has many different concepts, he plays with textures, techniques, and colours. He even has a partner t-shirt provider who provides a variety of quality blank canvas t-shirts at a discount for his clients.

Which one would you choose?

Obviously, the last one because his service is exactly what you want. The other two might also have impressive designs and capabilities, but the last person is the one who speaks directly to your need and hence the one who gets the job.

That is what niching down does. You want to make your service speak directly to someone’s need so that when they come across your offer, they don’t think twice about hiring you.

So, when you’re starting, please pick a niche. This will also lessen the risk of getting overwhelmed and that’s another reason why you should niche down.     

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Niching down will reduce the potentially of getting overwhelmed.

A lot of people say they’d probably have started making money very early on their freelance writing careers if they’d just picked a niche and worked with that. I am “a lot of people.” See I chose to leave my options open. I thought, “why must I limit myself by picking a little niche to focus on? How will I get clients? I don’t even know what niches are profitable. If I just called myself “freelance writer,” I will appeal to many people and increase my chances of getting hired. There’s a lot of people looking for freelance writers.”

Can you guess how that worked for me? I did not make any money. And I don’t mean I made some 20 bucks from time-to-time like many people do when they say they never made money. I made no money. None at all. So if someone was to ask me whether to niche down or not, my answer would be, without hesitation, pick a niche. You can always expand or switch niches as you grow.

One huge problem I faced was with pitching. When I pitched, I had no idea how to structure my pitch and portfolio. A client would be looking for a beauty product description writer. I would get all excited because I know I’ve written a number of articles, only to find that I have only one beauty article and it was a blog post. So immediately, I was swallowed by the competition, before I even pitched. 

So, narrow down your topics and gradually build on that. It’ll help you keep your sanity through your journey of starting a writing biz.

Now if you’re worried that you might not know where the money is currently and the risk picking a niche that will not make you a dime, worry not. I’ve included a list of what is currently making people lots of money so read on and get ready to pick a profitable niche.

So, picking a niche will…

  • Make you easy to hire
  • Put you as an authority on your niche
  • Reduce the chances of getting overwhelmed

What’s the best way to pick a niche?

Well, I don’t know if I should call it best, per se, but here are some steps that you can follow through to pick your niche. Pick a pen and paper write through these steps.

Find out what topics are profitable

The aim is to start a business and every business must make money. So this is where you should start. Find out what writing niches are paying the most from the internet or by contacting some freelance writers you know. If you don’t know any freelance writers, Facebook groups are a very good resource. People there are willing to help you with the best advice, and you may find some clients there too. I’ve researched some profitable niches for you, I’ll list them at the end of this article.

Write down all the profitable niches you find on your paper.

Narrow down your list by doing the following:

Check your knowledge, professional or experiential

Consider what you know. It can be either something you studied at school, something you learned from a job, or just something you do continuously out of habit. Use this information to narrow down your list of professional niches and create a new list.

Consider things you’d love to learn about.

Also, from the list you made in 1., look for topics you’d enjoy learning about and add them to the list above.

Research the demand for writers and competition

From your new list, find out which niches have a need for writers and also consider the competition within each niche.  If the niche is profitable, and there are a ton of freelance writers offering their services, it’s going to be hard to gain traction in that niche. Ideally, you want to find a niche with a huge demand and low competition.

One way you can do this research is looking at job boards like ProBlogger and craigslist, and content mills like Fivver and Upwork. On content mills, Search for your niche and find out how many freelance writers are offering those services. On job boards, see how many jobs you can find in each niche. This will give you an idea of how saturated and in-demand a niche is.

Narrow down your list by taking out everything that does not have a lot of jobs.

Pick your niche

If you still have a number of niches at this point, that’s amazing. You get to let your preference guide you.

Your niche will not be written on stone so do not spend too much time trying to pick a perfect niche. Make a decision and run with it. When starting a business, you need to be proactive and get things done fast before overwhelm sets in and weighs you down. Besides, You want to get started creating your portfolio ASAP.

What are the most profitable freelance writing topics (September 2020)?

  • Email copywriting
  • Sales page and landing page copy
  • Sales letter
  • Tech writing
  • Business writing
  • Video and webinar script writing
  • Financial service writing
  • Academic writing
  • Ghost writing
  • SaasS content writing
  • SEO writing
This will be absolutely useless if you do not take action now. Pick your niche now when this information is still raw.

Next, we are going to create your portfolio. Stay tuned.

6 thoughts on “How to pick a profitable freelance writing niche

  1. I really enjoyed how straightforward and honest you were about the freelance writing lifestyle. I definitely want to get into that and I will definitely do my research on a profitable niche that I am confident I can build up and be better at. Thank you for sharing xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great informational post! Definitely picking a niche is critical, I say this from the experience of a blogger and picking my niche helped me narrow down what to write about. Thank you for this great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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