It shouldn’t come as a surprise, not all freelance writing niches offer the same level of opportunities. If you’re passionate about knitting scarves, for example, then all the more power to you. However, you probably won’t find a lot of writing gigs in that niche (never mind ones that pay decently).
Broadly speaking, the more money there is in a niche, the easier it is to find projects as a freelance writer. Some fields – such as health and beauty – are so popular that talented writers with great portfolios can drown in work.
If you have experience in any of the profitable niches we’ll discuss below, then you’re off to a great start. For each niche, we’ll talk about what type of work you can find and the qualifications you’ll need, so let’s dive right in!
How to Break Into Niches that Require Experience if You’re a New Writer
All the fields we’re going to discuss in this article are incredibly competitive. That means websites are constantly fighting each other to get as much traffic as possible and convert that into paying customers.
As a freelance writer, that’s excellent news for you because it means the work is there. All you need to know is where to find good opportunities and keep pitching clients until you have as much work as you can handle.
The problem is, most profitable niches for freelance writers demand a lot of experience. Health websites, for example, often want their team to have provable experience in the field.
As you can imagine, though, most healthcare specialists with years of experience aren’t going to be fighting for freelance writing gigs. That’s an extreme example, of course, but the point is, if you want to carve a place for yourself in a competitive niche, you need experience. For freelance writers, that means two things:
- A professional-looking portfolio that showcases multiple projects related to the fields you want to work in.
- An up-to-date resume or CV that breaks down your experience and qualifications.
Usually, I recommend that you focus your time on improving your portfolio and getting more bylines. However, having an up-to-date resume (even if it’s not that impressive) can also come in handy. In my experience, long-term writing positions are more likely to ask you for both, so it pays to come prepared.
Ultimately, there are a lot of writing gigs that go overboard with the qualifications they require. My advice is to apply for any and all positions you feel you’re qualified for, even if you don’t quite meet all their requirements. Often, employers do this to filter as many candidates as possible, but they’ll be happy to make exceptions for talented writers.
3 Most Profitable Niches for Freelance Writers
When it comes to freelance writing, your best bet for a long and successful career is to follow the money. The more specialization your niche requires, the higher the rates you’ll be able to command. That is, of course, as long as there’s demand for work in that area. The demand is there for these three niches.
1. Health and Beauty
There’s a big difference between the health and beauty industries online. A website that’s all about providing advice for a healthy diet is not the same as one that focuses on makeup reviews, to give an example. However, both fields are ultimately personal improvement and taking care of yourself, which is why I decided to bundle them together.
More importantly, health and beauty are multi-billion dollar industries with plenty of work opportunities. To give you an example, here’s a listing I found after a quick search for health-related gigs on one of my favorite job boards:
That particular gig offers between $100-200 per article, which, to be fair, isn’t all that great considering the level of specialization required. However, it’s more than most entry-level writing opportunities pay.
Another example of a job posting for a writer on health topics has even more stringent requirements:
Ultimately, the health and beauty niches are excellent options for new writers, but you need a lot of bylines to get access to the best-paying gigs. Plus, you have to be incredibly careful about the content you publish since your articles might lead readers to make significant lifestyle changes.
2. Legal Writing
When I first got into freelance writing, it amazed me how many job offers there were from legal firms in need of content, so I started digging into why that is. If you take a peek into how much companies spend on online advertising, you’ll notice how competitive keywords related to legal issues can get.
As you may know, legal counsel can be incredibly expensive. It stands to reason that firms – both small and large – spend a lot of money on content so that people in need of their advice can find them more easily.
That represents a very lucrative opportunity for freelance writers. Legal firms are some of the best clients you can land as a writer. The problem is, even the most basic writing jobs require experience and lawyers will ask you for a resume and not just a portfolio.
If you don’t have any legal background, then this is an incredibly difficult field to break into. It’s not the kind of experience you can fake your way into either, so tread carefully!
3. SEO and Online Marketing
As a freelance writer, most of the job offers you’ll find will have you create content for websites. That can mean blog posts, tutorials, in-depth reviews, and anything in between. The goal of that content is almost always to get a parent website more traffic, all thanks to the magic of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
There are hundreds of millions of websites vying for traffic in different niches. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that SEO itself is a lucrative niche for freelance writers. If you know the basics of SEO and can teach people how to get better results, then a lot of doors will open for you:
The same goes for online marketing. Knowing how to promote your business online is a great way to increase profits and there are a lot of marketing processes that work across plenty of industries. Email marketing, for example, can be a powerful tool regardless of what type of business you run. That means writers with experience using that type of tool can also find a lot of opportunities.
Of the niches we’ve covered so far, SEO and online marketing are some of the ‘easiest’ to break into. That’s not to say they’re not incredibly complex fields, but they focus on the kind of knowledge you can learn on your own. With a few blog posts and bylines under your name, it shouldn’t be hard to land some paying gigs, which makes getting more jobs easier down the line.
The more specialized your work is, the more likely you are to command high wages. That applies to basically any industry. Freelance writing isn’t an exception. If you want to maximize your chances of finding work as a writer, focusing your efforts on profitable niches is a smart move.
Some of the most profitable niches for freelance writers include health and beauty, law, SEO, and online marketing. Keep in mind, though – a lot of jobs in those fields ask for tons of experience, so it can take a while to break in, so to speak. That’s where your portfolio comes in. If you don’t have anything to show yet, it’s time to start adding content to it.
Do you have any questions about what niches you should be focusing on as a freelance writer? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.
Excellently written article. There are so many industries that there will always be new niches coming up for new writers. Science is giving rise to new fields and technology is going to demand more content.
A. Wms. says
As a business writer with a passion for research and fact-finding, I have found my niche in writing white papers. I am currently writing my first one, since I don’t have any experience.
I realize the intensity of compiling the paper. I have written many business plans, which can be just as in-depth.
I would like to know if you have any advice regarding the white-paper niche?
The Biz Writer