If you want to grow your freelance writing income, one of the most important parts of the puzzle is having a profitable freelance writing niche.
Once you’ve nailed down a niche, you can be on your way to becoming an expert. And that’s where the real money lies in freelance writing.
But you’re probably wondering: Which freelance writing niches pay the best?
That’s a great question because some writing gigs are going to pay far more than others. And you want to be the writer who knows how to target those high-paying freelance writing niches so you can skyrocket your income into the six-figure range.
Choosing a niche isn’t always easy, but it’s important for making more money as a freelance writer. Sure, you could choose to write about anything but that doesn’t always add up to the most money-making potential.
And besides that, it doesn’t give you a chance to focus your writing efforts and develop a passion for your subject.
When I first started freelancing, I wrote about everything from scholarships to solar panels to golf rules. Those early gigs didn’t pay well and frankly, they were boring. Zeroing in on the finance niche solved both those problems.
So, if you don’t have a niche yet or you do but you’re wondering if you should change things up, I’m here to help. I’ve got a rundown of the most popular (and best-paying) freelance writing niches for 2020 and beyond.
What Is a Freelance Writing Niche?
Before we dive into the list of the best-paying niches for freelancers, let me explain what a freelance writing niche is if you don’t know.
In a nutshell, a niche is your specialty. It’s what you do and are known for as a writer.
Your niche can mean what you write about and the kind of writing you do. So for example, my topic niche is finance and the kind of content I write includes blog posts, reported articles and long-form guides.
It’s possible to have a broad niche or break it down into subtopics. So with finance, for instance, there are writers who only write about one thing, like cryptocurrency or stocks. But then there are writers like me who can write on a wide range of finance topics.
How to Choose a Freelance Writing Niche
Picking a niche is something you ideally do sooner in the game, rather than later. But no matter where you are in your freelance writing journey, there are a few rules to know for choosing a freelance writing niche.
- Your niche should be profitable. Otherwise, your writing may end up being more of a hobby than a business.
- There needs to be demand for your niche. This ties into freelance writing niches being profitable but basically, it means there has to be businesses and brands who will pay you money for the kind of writing you do.
- It should be something you’re interested in. Having a specific niche makes it a lot easier to become an expert. But if you’re not interested in or passionate about your niche, you’ll get burned out pretty quickly.
You’ll notice I didn’t say your freelance writing niche needed to be something you’re knowledgeable about. Unless you’re interested in doing technical or scientific writing, you don’t necessarily need to know a lot about your niche in the beginning.
When I started writing about finance and money, everything I knew was stuff I’d picked up by reading finance blogs and books. I was in a boatload of debt and had no savings and wanted to learn how to manage my money better.
I used what I learned from studying money as a hobby to break into the finance niche as a writer. The sites I wrote for early on didn’t care that I didn’t have a degree in finance or even journalism for that matter. I could write and I knew the basics of money, which was enough to get started.
Bottom line, don’t worry if you want to choose a freelance writing niche that’s new territory for you. If you’re committed to becoming an expert you can and will learn what you need to know along the way.
Most Profitable Freelance Writing Niches
Here’s what you’re really interested in, right? Where the most money can be made as a freelance writer.
As you go through the list, keep in mind that some of these niches are more established while others are newer. Getting started in a newer niche can have great profit potential as long as demand is sustainable for the long-term.
Also, know that many of these niches can be quite competitive. So you might be going up against other more experienced writers when trying to land gigs.
If you want to stand out when trying to get a foothold in the most competitive writing niches, keep these tips in mind:
- Create some killer writing samples. Your samples are one of the most important things for getting ahead of the game as a freelancer. If you don’t have any samples yet, consider starting a blog that can double as your portfolio and a marketing platform.
- Build your network. After stellar samples, who you know can also make a huge difference in landing freelance gigs. If you’re not working on networking yet, check out this post on how to leverage LinkedIn to get noticed as a writer.
- Perfect your pitch. Pitching is something you’ll have to get used to if you want to make it in a high-paying freelance writing niche. If you don’t have a clue how to write a perfect pitch, this guide can help.
Ready to see which freelance writing niches can help you grow your income fast? Let’s go!
Finance is hands-down one of the best niches to be in based on earning potential.
I’ve been writing about finance full-time since 2014 and I regularly make $30,000+ every month doing blog posts and articles for my awesome clients. And I know from other writers in my network that I’m not the only one banking those kinds of numbers.
So why is finance so popular?
The answer is simple: People always need help and advice on how to manage their money.
Some of the topics you might cover as a finance writer include:
- How to budget
- Saving money and frugal living
- How to pay off debt (this is always a popular one)
- Buying a home
- Investing and planning for retirement
- Starting a side hustle or small business
I write about all of these things but they’re just the tip of the iceberg. If you have even the slightest interest in money, then finance belongs on your list of profitable freelance writing niches to consider.
2. Real Estate
Technically, you could consider real estate a subtopic of finance. But it deserves its own category as a freelance writing niche because there are so many different kinds of writing you can do.
For example, here are some of the ways you could make money as a real estate writer:
- Writing blog content for realtors
- Creating landing page and website copy for real estate sites
- Ghostwriting thought leadership pieces for real estate startups (I used to do this)
- Drafting email sequence copy for agents and brokers
- Writing articles about home-buying or real estate investing for online real estate magazines
There’s just so much you can do here. And even though trends point to fewer people buying homes these days, real estate is still a booming industry. So there’s true money-making potential here for new and established freelance writers.
3. Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is one of the highest-paying freelance writing niches simply because so many businesses are utilizing it to grow their audience.
Businesses and brands rely on content to attract new customers and they’re willing to pay top dollar to freelance writers for that content. For instance, some of the things you might be tapped to write include:
- Blog posts
- Sales brochures or landing pages
- Digital marketing materials
- Tutorials and how-to guides
- Video scripts
There are so many ways to put your writing skills to work. And in terms of how much you can make, skilled digital marketing copywriters can easily pull in $75,000 or more annually.
The travel industry earns billions of dollars each year and one of the ways they keep that going is by using content to draw in customers and make sales.
As a travel writer, your gigs may be focused primarily on writing guides or reviews. For example, you might be asked to write a review of a specific hotel or an in-depth guide to visiting a certain destination on a tight budget.
You can find travel writing gigs for online and offline publications or start your own travel blog. Some of the ways to monetize a travel blog include writing sponsored posts, promoting affiliate links and ads.
Aside from paying well, there’s another huge benefit of writing about travel. It’s one of the few freelance writing niches that pays you money to see the world!
5. Health and wellness
Health and wellness is another booming industry because people are always interested in how they can take better care of themselves. And there’s a lot of leeway when it comes to what you can write about.
For example, here are some of the subtopics that pay the most money in the health and wellness niche:
- Managing anxiety
- Losing weight
- Alternative medicine
- Yoga and meditation
- Cannabis and CBD oils
- Essential oils
- Keto diets
- Vegan and vegetarian lifestyles
- Addiction and recovery
- Senior health care
- Caring for special needs children
There’s so much room to explore different topics here, based on what you’re interested in.
6. White Papers
If you’ve never written a white paper before, it’s not as scary as it sounds.
Essentially, a white paper is like a thoroughly researched in-depth guide to a specific topic. For example, I’ve written white papers on the financial habits of millennials and trends in the mobile payments space.
White papers can be more time-consuming to write than other types of content. You might spend several days writing one versus taking 30 minutes to an hour to knock out a short blog post.
But the payoff can be pretty sweet. All of the white paper projects I’ve worked on have paid $2,500 or more. If you can get into white paper writing as your niche and write just one a week at that rate, you could easily clear $130,000 a year.
7. Case Studies
Case studies can be a powerful marketing tool for businesses that want to attract new customers.
A case study can focus on one story or a collection of stories that support why a particular business, product or service is worth someone’s time and money.
Case studies are a kind of social proof that companies use to showcase how they help their customers. A well-written case study can also be a huge sales driver if it convinces more people to spend money on their products or services.
In terms of writing a case study, they usually break down like this:
- Outline the challenge or problem
- Show how the business or brand solved the problem
- Detail the results
- Sum it all up with a conclusion and call to action
That’s not too complicated, right? If your writing skills include storytelling, then writing case studies could be one of the best freelance writing niches for you.
Ghostwriting means you write content that’s published under someone else’s name or byline.
There are many different things you can ghostwrite, from books and articles to blog posts. I ghostwrote several articles for the CEO of a fintech startup that were published on major financial sites. The CEO knew what he wanted to say but didn’t have time to do the writing himself, which is where I came in.
Ghostwriting is one of the more lucrative freelance writing niches because it’s in-demand and because you can charge more for work that you don’t get credit for. Or at least, that’s always been the rule I’ve followed.
If you’re okay with remaining anonymous as a writer, then ghostwriting could be for you. The most important thing to keep in mind is that since you’re writing for someone else, you have to be able to capture their tone and voice effectively in your writing.
9. Video Script Writing
Video is taking up an increasingly large share of online traffic. This means there’s a whole new market opening up for freelance writers who are interested in scriptwriting.
I’ve dabbled in this a time or two and it was a fun experience. Writing out video scripts is almost like writing out a conversation.
This type of writing format requires you to be concise with your messaging in most cases. If you’re writing a script for a two-minute video, for example, you’ve only got so much time and room to say what you need to say.
In terms of how well it pays, scriptwriting gigs can pay per word, per page or a flat rate. But you could easily make upwards of $1/word or $300 to $500 per project to knock out short scripts.
Along with video, infographics are also becoming more popular as a way to package and sell information.
Infographics are similar to video, in that the copy you write needs to be concise and to the point. I’ve written many infographics for my finance clients I’ve learned that you have to get good at trimming the fat in your writing.
The great thing about infographics is that as freelance writing niches go, this one tends to pay the most money for the least work.
For example, I’ve earned $350 for a 200-word infographic that took me less than an hour to write. Brands usually hand the design part of the infographic off to someone else, so all you have to do is write the copy.
It’s a great way to make some killer money freelancing if you’re skilled at writing compactly. (And Grammarly is an awesome free tool that can help with that!)
Even More High-Paying Freelance Writing Niches
So far, I’ve given you 10 extremely profitable freelance writing niches to explore. But here are 10 more options to consider for boosting your freelance writing earnings:
Education is a hot topic and there are several sub-niches that pay well. For example, you could write about college planning, scholarships, homeschooling–those are just some of the topics that brands and businesses need content writers for.
2. Parenting and family
Parenting and family are like finance and wellness–people are always looking for advice on how they can improve. If you want to write about parenting, potential subtopics include natural parenting, raising blended families, single parenting and raising special needs children.
3. Beauty and fashion
I have zero fashion sense but if you’re always up on the latest trends, this could be one of the best freelance writing niches to crack. You could start a beauty or fashion blog of your own or write for high-profile sites in the beauty and fashion industry.
4. Technical writing
Technical writing is more or less what it sounds like–writing about technical topics. As a technical writer, you might create reports, white papers or even blog posts.
5. Scientific writing
Scientific writing can mean different things but generally, it involves writing in the scientific field. So for example, you might land a blog writing gig for a brand like National Geographic or help draft white papers and case studies for a pharmaceutical company.
6. Food and dining
Similar to travel, food and dining is another freelance writing niche where you can get hands-on with your topic. You might be asked to write restaurant reviews, for example, or create recipes or video scripts for food blogs.
7. Home decor
Home decor is another high-paying niche for freelance writers and it offers plenty of room to specialize. For example, you could write about home decor trends or pick a narrow niche, such as flooring or green construction.
8. Dating and relationships
People are always looking for advice on love, from how to find that perfect someone to making marriage work to managing life after divorce. If that’s something that interests you, you might find your calling as a relationship advice writer.
Sportswriting can be a lot of fun, especially if you’re getting paid to interview high-profile athletes or attending sporting events. If you can get onto the bigger sites like ESPN.com, you could make serious bank writing about your favorite sports teams.
10. Entertainment writing
Celebrities get so much media attention and there’s always a huge demand for writers who want to cover things like awards shows, celebrity scandals and who’s dating who. If you don’t want to write about celebs, you could also get paid well to write movie reviews, concert recaps or news pieces on upcoming TV, music and film releases.
Where Can I Find High-Paying Freelance Writing Jobs?
This is the golden question, right?
Once you’ve got your freelance writing niche down, it’s time to find those highly-lucrative gigs. And there are several ways you can do that, including:
- Pitching your ideal clients
- Leveraging your network to get referrals
- Scouring job boards
All three can be effective ways to find high-paying freelance writing clients. If you’re using job boards, my best advice is to be selective.
For example, you may want to invest a little money in a paid job board like Contena. This type of job board features higher-paying freelance writing gigs that you won’t fund listed elsewhere. Meaning, these aren’t jobs that pay pennies like the kind you find on Upwork.
Sure, you have to invest a little money to join the site. But it can be well worth it if you’re landing gigs that pay hundreds or thousands of dollars apiece.
Which Freelance Writing Niches Catch Your Eye?
I hope I’ve given you some ideas for choosing a freelance writing niche. Because once you’ve done that, you can start to see your income grow.
Do you have a preferred freelance writing niche? Head to the comments and tell me about it.
And don’t forget to pin and share this post!