When you’re starting a new freelance writing career, taking any job that comes your way can make sense. After all, you need the money and saying ‘No’ to cash can come back to bite you. However, as your career continues, you’ll find being a jack-of-all-trades isn’t sustainable.
Writers who do a bit of everything almost never earn as much money as those that focus on one or two niches. As long as there’s demand for their services, they can command higher prices thanks to the shorter supply of writers who can do what they can.
Today, I’ll explain three reasons why specializing in a freelance writer niche can pay off big time. Then, we’ll discuss how to take your first steps down that path. Let’s jump in!
1. You Can Charge Higher Rates
Every single one of us wants more money for our work. However, you need an edge over other writers if you want to charge higher rates, and specialization is the best way to get there.
Simply put, the fewer people that can do the same work as you, the more you can charge for it. It’s a truth that holds for all professions, and freelance writing is no exception. If you know a niche inside out, then you can build a solid career on that experience. The only trick is choosing a niche with a demand for content!
When I started out, I took any job that came my way. I wrote about slot machines, dozens of articles about lawnmowers, and even cryptocurrencies. Eventually, I landed a steady gig writing about WordPress, which I knew how to use due to my development background. This allowed me to build a stable income. These days, my only niches are WordPress and freelancing, and I love it.
If you’re ready to stop chasing odd freelance writing jobs, here are some tips to get you on the right track:
- Tailor your portfolio around one niche and trim the projects that don’t fit into it.
- Discuss your experience with that niche in your portfolio and talk about your client success stories.
- Use your social media accounts to share relevant work for the field you choose. Start networking with other professionals there.
- When you’re pitching new clients in your niche, focus on the value you can bring over less experienced writers.
The key here is for you to start selling yourself as a specialist instead of just another freelance writer. For example, if you want to focus on web design, introduce yourself as a Specialist in Web Design Content and so on. If you have an excellent portfolio to back you up, you’ll land bigger fish.
2. It Makes it Easier to Find Clients
Once you’ve begun to get your name out there as the guy to go to when someone needs content in your niche, finding clients becomes that much easier. If you’re terrific, you may not even have to pursue new work leads on your own, but that’s only true when you make it to the top.
Supply and demand also works to your advantage here. If your niche is strong enough, but has only a small pool of writers, people will notice you. Some of your clients may even refer you to other people if it’s a close community, so there’s no downside to specialization.
Personally, I’m still at a place where I try to chase down jobs now and then. However, I have enough long-term gigs that I can mostly focus on my own projects without worrying about income. Compare this to when I first started slinging articles online. Back then, I had to fight tooth and nail for each new client, which often meant accepting meager rates.
If you want to build a steady freelance writing business, you’ll need a decent client base to start off. Once you’ve chosen a niche to specialize in, you can hunt down new gigs in places such as the Paid to Blog Jobs board, where people curate every listing. That way, you won’t have to waste time chasing down leads, and you’ll be able to focus on pitching real clients with decent budgets.
3. Research Takes Less Time
As freelance writers, a large part of our job depends on research. If someone asks you to write about a topic you don’t know about, you’ll Google it and spend time learning everything you need to before you start typing.
If you were to sit down and add all the time you’ve spent researching different article topics, chances are you’d be surprised. All those hours could’ve been spent writing if you focused on jobs where you already knew the subject.
That’s one of the best parts about choosing a freelance writer niche. You can devote yourself to learning it inside and out. As your experience grows, you’ll need to spend less and less time on research. For example, if a client asked me to write a piece about the best WordPress site builders, I could write it quickly, because I’ve already got experience with them. In practice, that means you can multiply your earning potential as you cut down on the time it takes to research and write an article.
The faster you can write articles, the more you effectively earn per hour. Naturally, getting to that point takes time and effort. There aren’t any shortcuts to experience, but there are some things you can do to use your time efficiently:
- Make a list of websites and publications that deal with your niche and check them out periodically to catch up on the latest developments.
- Consider attending networking events or joining online groups that deal in your field so you can talk with other experts.
As your career grows, your efforts should be on making better use of your time. Every freelance writing assignment for your niche builds experience, and it can improve your portfolio. The sooner you start focusing your efforts, the quicker you’ll reap the rewards.
Specializing in a freelance writer niche may not be as difficult as you think. Most people know a couple of topics inside out, and if there happens to be any demand for writers in those niches, you’re golden. Personally, I had to devote myself to learn about my current niche since no one wanted to pay me to write about Italian cooking. However, it paid off nicely, and it can work for you too.
If you’re still unsure why it pays off to specialize as a freelance writer, here are three excellent reasons:
- You can charge higher rates for the same amount of work.
- It’s easier to find clients depending on which niche you’re writing about.
- You’ll spend less time on research since you already know your stuff.
Do you have any questions about how to choose a freelance writer niche? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.