One of the regularly asked questions at Fi Darby Freelance is,
‘What are your writing niches?’
You would imagine that this would be an easy question to answer, we all have our own favourite topics and expertise in certain areas. In an ideal world everybody would be writing about the things they love. I would choose the outdoors and literature above another topic anytime. However, as freelance writers, we live in the business world and we can’t control demand any more than we can control the weather.
Client Choice of Niche
Clients (particularly web development agencies) require blog posts and other web copy on a wide range of topics. When I started out as a freelancer I was tempted to turn down topics I didn’t understand. This would have been a bad idea for three reasons:
- Freelance writing is a competitive world and annoying your client by being fussy about topics is not a tactic set to impress.
- Learning about new topics is actually quite easy; much of the required information is already on the web and just needs verifying and assembling.
- The more niches you can demonstrate in your portfolio, the more chances you will have of being picked up by a client.
Most Interesting Niches
It goes without saying that if you are interested in your topic you will produce a piece of work that is more lively and engaging, you will also feel more motivated. The same is true if you have developed a level of expertise in a subject. If you have got to a stage in your writing where you can be more choosy about your work, you might want to have a brain-storming session in which you consider topics away from your main interests on which you would like to write.
A great way to test your levels of interest is to write a piece. You could either do this for practice or pitch it to possible interested parties.
It also pays to know which niches you definitely would not like to write about. For me this would include sport as I find it a tad confusing.
Even if you always enjoy your writing, you should remember that freelancing is your business; it is the bread and butter that is going to keep a roof over your head and pay your bills. To this end, and to help you enjoy the freedom of freelance work, it can be a good idea to work out which niches pay best.
Traditionally these have included real estate, technology, medical writing and e-learning. However you might find in the future that other factors such as blog length, media (e.g. video scripts), graphics inclusion (e.g. infographics) and an innovative angle are the things that tip the pay-scale balance.
We have found here at Fi Darby Freelance that it pays to keep an open mind about niche writing work. What was a chore one week may well become your favourite topic the next. What pays well in February might not be as lucrative by April. We wouldn’t want to stop you having your favourite topics however; that way you can look out for matching clients and savour your writing when a job in a niche you love lands in your lap.
Keen to avoid some of the common writing pitfalls? We have some advice for you here
After some tips on how to make money from freelance writing?