Have you chosen your niche as a freelance writer yet?
Or, here’s a better question: do you even know what a freelance writing niche is?
If you said no to both questions, don’t panic. It’s normal to start out as a new freelance writer and not know what a niche is or why it matters.
When I first started freelance writing, I didn’t have a clue about much of anything. I had to figure things out as I went along.
But choosing a niche sooner, rather than later, is a smart move if you’re a beginning freelancer who wants to earn real money from your writing. There are tons of people trying out freelance writing these days and if you want to stand out in the crowd, being in the right niche is key.
Having a niche is like having a specialty–it’s what helps make you known as a writer. It’s one of the keys to eventually becoming an expert, which is HUGE if you want to grow a six-figure writing income.
What Is a Freelance Writing Niche Anyway?
In general terms, a niche means a place or position. With freelance writing, your niche can mean two things:
- What topic (or topics) you write about
- What kind of content you write
When it comes to topics, you can go really broad or really narrow. So for example, my main topic is finance. But as a finance expert, I write about lots of subtopics, such as:
- Credit and debt
- Small business
You can break pretty much any broad topic down into subtopics.
So let’s say your chosen topic is parenting. Your subtopics might include parenting styles, parenting toddlers, parenting challenges, etc. If your main topic is digital marketing, then your subtopics might be marketing trends, social media marketing, email marketing and so on.
These are just two examples and there are plenty of other big topics out there with smaller subtopics. On the flip side, you might have a tight topic focus. For example, you might only write about baby-wearing or video marketing.
As far as what type of content you write goes, you might write any of the following:
- Blog posts
- Short informational articles
- In-depth guides
- Reported stories
- White papers
- Website copy
- Email marketing copy
- Video scripts
- Grant proposals
- Social media content
Your niche represents where your topics and the type of writing you do intersect.
So for me, that means writing blog posts, short articles and in-depth guides for clients in the finance space. But you might write website copy or white papers or something completely different, based on your skills.
Do You Need a Freelance Writing Niche?
Some freelance writers who’ve been at it a while will say no, you don’t need a niche to be successful as a writer. But I disagree.
Having a niche gives you a definite edge when it comes to landing high-paying freelance writing gigs and quality clients.
Sure, some clients are perfectly fine to use a writer who’s a generalist or jack of all trades. But the real money to be made with freelance writing is in the niched-down segments of the market.
Why is that?
Because when you have a finely tuned niche and you’ve defined what you want to be known for as a writer, you’re on the right track to position yourself as an expert. And I can tell you from personal experience that being an expert in a particular topic or writing style is a golden ticket to make hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a single blog post or article.
Here’s the thing, companies and clients are willing to pay big bucks for writers who have expertise in a certain area and know their topic inside and out. Once you become a recognized expert in your niche, you might be surprised at how your whole dynamic changes when it comes to looking for writing gigs.
Instead of spending hours a day on job boards, clients will start coming to you. And that’s the sweet spot you want to be in to make more money freelance writing.
Most Popular Types of Freelance Writing Niches
If you haven’t settled on a niche yet or you’re thinking about changing up your current freelance writing niche, you might be wondering which ones pay the best.
In a nutshell, the best-paying freelance niches are the ones that are in the highest demand. That means people are searching for content surrounding those topics regularly.
With that in mind, here’s a quick look at which niches have the best money-making potential.
1. Finance (my niche!)
Finance is a hugely popular freelance writing niche for one very simple reason: money is a big mystery to a lot of people.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written about the same topics, answering the same basic questions, like what is a budget?
There’s always a demand for finance content because people want to learn how to manage their money better. The kind of clients you could write for in this niche include:
- Personal finance websites (for example, I write for U.S. News, NerdWallet and others)
- Banks and credit card companies
- Nonprofits in the finance space
- Government agencies (for instance, the SBA has its own blog)
And you don’t have to have a degree in finance to write about it either. Everything I know about money is completely self-taught so if I can become a finance expert, then anyone can.
2. Digital marketing
The internet has created an entirely new landscape for marketers and it’s a great choice for a profitable freelance writing niche.
There are so many topics you can write about:
- Social media marketing
- Search engine optimization
- Email marketing
The list goes on and on. Digital marketing companies and brands pay big bucks for writers who are experts on selling in the online space.
3. Health and wellness
Health and wellness is another in-demand niche because there are tons of people out there trying to live their best life. And to do so, they need content about things like:
- Weight loss
- Yoga and meditation
- How to stop smoking
- Healthy recipes
- Mental health
- Essential oils
There’s so much room within this freelance writing niche to explore and find topics that appeal to you. And just like finance, you don’t necessarily need to be a doctor or have a degree in one of these areas to write about it knowledgeably.
Plenty of people love to travel and travel writing is a hot niche to be in these days. If you’re skilled at travel writing, you could land gigs with travel magazines (print and digital), travel blogs, tourism companies and other clients in the travel business.
Plus, some travel writing gigs are hands-on, meaning the client expects you to travel to the destination you’re writing about. Depending on how you structure your freelance writer contract, you may be able to have the client cover your travel expenses on top of paying you to write an article.
Parenting is a topic that’s highly popular on Pinterest and there are plenty of websites and blogs devoted to parenting topics. This is a great freelance writing niche to try and break into if you’re a parent yourself since you can draw on your own experience for topics.
Depending on the client, you could write product reviews of top children’s toys, posts about natural or gentle parenting, articles about breastfeeding or anything in-between.
Other Lucrative Freelance Writing Niches
So far I’ve given you a shortlist of some of the best freelance writing niches to try. Here are a few other ideas to consider when narrowing down your niche:
- Entertainment writing
- Beauty and fashion
- Cannabis/CBD oils
- Health care writing
- White papers
- Grant writing
- Legal writing
- Tech writing
Note, some of these niches are topic-specific, others are format-specific. But it just goes to show how many different ways you can put your writing skills to work.
How to Choose a Freelance Writing Niche
So now that you know what a freelance writing niche is, it’s time to think about what you want yours to be.
Here’s my secret sauce formula for choosing a niche:
- Decide what you’re most interested in writing about
- Figure out what topics/type of writing you’re most knowledgeable about
- Combine the two in a profitable way
The last step might be the hardest.
Because it’s not enough to have a topic you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. There also has to be demand for the kind of writing you want to do.
So go back to your list of interests and skills and start connecting the dots. Look for areas where interests and skills overlap in a way that’s something a potential client would want and pay good money for.
For example, say you have a nursing background at your day job. You also have a talent for condensing boring information in a readable way. Your niche might be writing blog posts for a health website or insurance company.
The goal is to find something that pays well while still letting you write about things that interest you. Otherwise, you’re going to end up burned out fast. And that’s not what you want if you want to stick with freelance writing for the long-term.
How to Find Gigs In Your Freelance Writing Niche
If you’ve settled on a niche, then now you get to the good part–finding writing gigs so you can make money!
And I’ve got a really simple trick for doing that: use keywords to search for writing jobs.
Say you’re browsing for gigs on a freelance job board like Contena. You probably don’t have time to sift through all the listings so here’s what you do.
You use keywords that are relevant to your niche to filter out jobs.
For example, if I were searching for freelance writing gigs, I’d use words like:
- Finance writer
- Personal finance writer
- Freelance finance writer
- Expert finance writer
This way, I’m weeding out jobs that aren’t related to finance. I also plug in “remote” since I’m not interested in taking any full-time staff roles or jobs that require me to work in-house.
It’s a super-simple way to narrow down search results on job boards to find the gigs you’re most interested in. So if you’re not using this tactic to find gigs in your niche, give it a try!
Bonus Tip: Start a Blog to Find Your Niche
Blogging is a big part of what I do as a freelance writer and I have several clients who only ask me to write blog posts.
Starting a blog of your own as a freelance writer can be hugely helpful for several reasons.
First, it’s a good way to start establishing your brand and building your network. Networking and making connections can help you get more writing gigs.
Second, having a blog of your writing is a simple way to build a portfolio that you can use to attract and land clients. After all, it’s hard to prove yourself to would-be clients without writing samples.
And third, starting a blog can help you find your freelance writing niche if you’re not sure what it should be.
You can start a blog writing about several different topics in the beginning. And as you go along, you’ll (ideally) get a feel for what you most prefer writing about. Not to mention, you’ll get experience and build expertise writing about that topic.
If you don’t have a blog yet, starting one isn’t that difficult. I’ve got a simple tutorial you can check out to get started.
Or, if you’re ready to dive in you can head over to Siteground right now to get set up with a domain and hosting!
Don’t forget to snag your freelance writer contract template! Protect yourself and your writing business legally!
Have you chosen your freelance writing niche yet? Comment and tell me what you love to write about the most!
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6 thoughts on “What Is a Freelance Writing Niche? (And How to Choose a Profitable One)”
How did you learn about the more technical aspects of personal finance? How would you normally research on a topic related to saving, budgeting, credit cards or loans?
Honestly, I learned about it by writing about it. And the research part came from studying a lot of government websites for things like taxes, home-buying, mortgages, etc.
Dope. Real dope