Finding work as a freelance writer is hard enough even in fields with little competition. However, there are several niches where that competition is off the charts. If you plan to make a living writing about one of those, you’ll need to bring your A-game.
Some examples of highly-contested niches include finance and (surprisingly) psychedelics. Those are two examples that are contested for very different reasons. In either case, you’ll need a lot of experience to get the best jobs within those two fields.
In this article, we’re going to talk about the five hardest freelance writing niches to break into. I’ll also provide you with some tips for the fields I have experience working in, so let’s get to it!
1. Finance Writing
Breaking into finance writing is difficult for several reasons. For one, people don’t want to take financial advice from someone without a career or experience in the field.
If you’re an investment banker turned freelance writer, then you’re in the clear. You’re about as rare as a unicorn, so finding writing jobs with that impressive resume should be easy.
For regular mortals like us, finance a niche is a little harder. You can find job openings, but the requirements are usually a bit out there:
Your best bet, if you want to become a finance writer is to launch a blog of your own that doubles as a portfolio. If you have a blog full of financial writing samples, that’s going to be impressive enough to get you in the door for a lot of jobs.
Quick note: If you’re looking for jobs in cryptocurrency writing, it’s important to understand there aren’t all that many paying publications. Even those that do hire freelance writers often don’t offer the best rates.
2. Health and Fitness
The bar for health and fitness is lower than with finance. Few people expect to have doctors on staff writing articles about health tips and citing dozens of studies to back them up.
The downside of that lower bar is there is a lot of competition for health and fitness writing. In fact, those are perhaps the two most contested niches in the internet.
If you want to be taken seriously, there are two things you can do to boost your hireability as a health and fitness freelance writer:
- Cultivate a social media following. If you have a strong social media presence running health and/or fitness accounts, that can serve as your calling card for writing jobs.
- Look for guest post placements. A lot of health and fitness blogs are always open to guest posts and they offer a great way to start working on your portfolio.
Building a reputation as a writer in health and fitness is difficult, but it’s also one of the fields that offers the most work. A lot of publications in this nice pay their contributors very well, but once again – you need to bring a lot to the table.
For new writers, you can follow both of the recommendations above while looking for entry level jobs in the field. Those jobs may not pay too much, but they can provide you with some pieces to add to your portfolio.
For some strange reason, there are a lot of writers that advertise their services for projects about psychedelics. To be fair, it’s an incredibly interesting niche, but it’s also one with very little hiring potential.
Although the legal drug industry is flourishing in a lot of countries around the world, there’s not yet a lot of demand for content marketing within the field.
Content marketing can be anything from top-ten lists to guides on where to buy psychedelics, and more. Those types of articles are the bread and butter for freelance writers and if there isn’t enough demand within a field, it’s impossible to make a decent living in it.
For now, if you love to write about psychedelics, keep that as a hobby. Look into starting your own blog just for fun and if the field continues to grow, at some point, you’ll be perfectly positioned to benefit from it.
Gaming is another example of a field where making a living as a freelance writer is nearly impossible. Although there’s a lot of demand, most big gaming publications tend to stick with in-house writers.
The reason why it’s so hard to break into writing about games is because there are a lot of people willing to do it for free. Those that do get paid tend to follow more traditional career paths to end up there.
If you want to build a reputation for writing about video games, your best bet is to start with guest posting for big publications. Keep in mind, though – this niche lends itself more to a hobby than to a career.
5. Tech Writing
Tech writing is perhaps one of the most lucrative and contested fields in the market. However, it stands out because there are so many sub-niches to try your hand at that getting started may not be as daunting.
Some examples of popular tech niches for freelance writers include:
- Software reviews and comparisons
- Software documentation
Although most writing jobs in this category require a technical background, they tend to be much more relaxed in terms of requirements. Unlike with legal or finance writing, few people will ask to see your credentials for a tech job.
What you will need is a portfolio with pieces that show you have some level of expertise in whichever area you want to break into. Armed with that and a little persistence, you should have little difficulty finding well-paying jobs.
If you want to make a career as a freelance writer in a highly competitive niche, you better bring a lot of previous experience to the table. That’s the ‘easiest’ way to break into a field such as finance, law, or health as a freelance writer.
If you don’t have a background in those fields, you’ll need to get there step by step. That means taking low-level jobs, publishing your own content, and developing a portfolio that’s strong enough to help you stand out.
What do you think is the most contested niche in freelance writing? Share your experiences in the comments section below!