Have you been searching for an easy-to-understand and quick-to-follow guide on how to identify your freelance writing niche? Then you are in for a treat! (kahit hindi ko birthday)
This post covers 11 simple, actionable, and absolutely effective ways so you can finally start with an initial niche and get out of that “feeling stuck” moment.
But before we dive right in, let us make sure that we are in the same boat – that we understand “freelance writing niche” the same way. (baka iba iyong pagkaka-explain ko doon sa iba pang mga nabasa mo, so please agree with me first below before we proceed para hindi ka malito along the way).
What is a “niche” in the freelance writing industry?
A freelance writing niche for me is:
YOUR SPECIALIZATION + YOUR MARKET (or the specific group of people you serve).
It reflects who you are as a writer. For example: I call myself a “Website Copywriter for Holistic Entrepreneurs”.
How did that sound to you? Did it sound intimidating that you are now saying to yourself, “Oh, paano na ako niyan, hindi ko alam kung ano ang specialization at market ko. Wala nga akong specialization eh.”
Now, this is the reason why this blog post was written – it is to help you come up with an initial freelance writing niche that you can use to position yourself better in your profiles, elevator pitches, and websites or portfolios (if you have).
How to Find Your Niche in 3 Easy Steps
First, you need to identify what industries are out there that need your help. Industries like wealth or money making, relationships, health and wellness, and hobbies are just some of those who are looking for help.
Next, find out what kind of assistance they need. For the writing part, they might need help with blog post writing, email copywriting, ebook writing, and technical writing, and others.
Lastly, decide what you can learn to do for them. For example, you found out that the industry that you want to help needs a blog post writer to nurture their audience and generate organic traffic to their website, then you can learn how to write blog posts that satisfy their needs.
Do you really need to identify your writing niche?
Parang mabusisi naman.
Is this a requirement?
Can’t I just take on whatever I see fit out there?
Yes, it is absolutely critical for you to identify your writing niche. And yes, you can also just take on whatever you see fit.
Remember when I kept mentioning above that you just need to identify an “initial” niche so that you can move forward?
As a freelance writer, identifying your niche helps you stand out in this highly competitive business in the long run. Maaaring mabusisi but it will help you manage your resources better – time, effort, attention since you will have to focus on opportunities which offer growth for your business.
Pero sabi mo, initial lang.
This is if it’s keeping you stuck in that place. Pick one from your top choices and move forward from there. If it didn’t gain the results that you want or if you are attracting a different market looking for different type of writing services, you can change it. Set a certain period to test it out first.
And though you can take on other writing projects and pursue other clients who need your help, sticking and mastering your specific niche helps your freelance writing business grow quicker.
You will be seen as a master or expert that your potential clients will trust. This allows you to establish a system that generates consistent future clients due to possible referrals. Personally, this will be beneficial to you as well because writing about something you master and are passionate about will always guarantee quality content.
“But being a jack of all trades could give me more opportunities,” you might say.
Yes, I could agree with that. However, it is highly likely that you will be all over the place writing just because – no specific goal.
Here’s what I must say. Build authority and for sure you will become the go to person of serious clients who want to partner with experts like you.
So, are you determined now to identify your specific freelance writing niche?
11 Ways to Discover a Freelance Writing Niche that Will Make You Stand Out
Below are simple, easy, and effective ways to discover your niche if you are still uncertain of who you want to be as a freelance writer.
Be Aware of Who you Are and Who you Want to Help
The first thing you might want to do is be aware of what you want to become as a writer and what industry you would like to help. Try to answer the questions below and see if which of these will give you a little bit of clarity. I recommend that you write down your answers in a piece of paper and respond from your heart.
- What topics excite you when thinking or writing about it?
Just feel free to write down whatever comes to your mind. Nobody is seeing it anyways, lol!
- What topics catch your attention the most?
When you browse through your social media feeds, what do you like to read about? What do you usually search on Google or YouTube? These could be good indicators.
- What industries ignite your passion?
This sounds serious and intense, but hear your heart and for sure, you can easily answer this. Is there an industry that personally draws your attention because of the stories it shares? What is it? Why?
- How about your personal mission in life?
This is another interesting but challenging way to be aware of yourself but once you nail this down, it could help you check if there is an industry that shares the same mission.
- Who are your personal influencers?
Now, this sounds easier to answer, right? Is it your parents? Your elder sister? Go ahead and list their names down and take note of their attributes that you appreciate and admire. Aside from those in your inner circle, who else influences you? Sometimes, these individuals impact us for some reason. You know what? How about if you target them as your ideal client and see what they need help with?
- What are your strengths and areas of expertise?
Understandably, this is tricky since people are naturally self-conscious and do not like to boast of their expertise. Setting this aside, knowing what you are already good at will help you find your niche easier. Just go on and list these down. It could be things you did from your previous job or while you were still studying.
- What industries are thriving right now?
Go ahead and do your own research and be aware of what they need help with. Find out what their problems are and see what skills you need to learn to help solve these. You don’t need to be an expert right away, sometimes, practicing by jumping in and helping them in actual projects is the best way for you to grow and become an expert.
- What are the trends now?
Dropshipping? Food deliveries? Face Shields? Or Covid Supplies in particular? How can you be of help to businesses in these areas?
Once you have answered these questions, you will personally feel you have at least accomplished something. Am I right? How do you feel now that you found out something new about yourself? Thank me later because once you’ve nailed down an initial freelance writing niche for you to start with, I am certain you will achieve more in the coming days.
What does your Market Need?
Cool, so now that you know who you are and who you want to help, it’s time to identify your specialization. Below are questions that might help guide you through this process.
- What type of writers is in-demand right now?
Do your homework and find out what skills are mostly needed. If it’s in-demand, it could also mean, it can earn you a better income. I know someone who chose to do all the effort and learn a skill just because she learned that this could help her achieve the monthly income that she wants.
- What do they need help with?
You can find out by reaching out to the market that you have initially identified above. By reaching out, I mean asking them directly through Surveys or Questionnaires. You can also make friends with them, build rapport, and ask them through e-mail messages or private messages on social media. Or, if you want to come up with more concise data, get in a call with them.
- After you have established awareness and identified the need, the next thing you would want to do is to continue with this Research and Validate Stage. It should be a continuous process to determine if these businesses are still around and thriving.
Okay, so I hope that this activity has been helpful to you.
So what should I do next?
It’s time for you to identify an ideal client persona to inspire you throughout the stages of your freelance writing business. This will not be discussed in this blog post but if I get some love in my e-mail, then I could write a separate blog post about it.
I would really appreciate it if you would also join the FWSG (Freelance Writing Side Gig) Community and share your biggest takeaway with the group.
Now let’s do a quick check:
How do you feel right now?
Are you feeling more grounded?
More pumped to take on the business and be a rockstar online freelance writer with a well-defined niche?
Conclusion: How to Become an Authority in Your Niche as a Writer
“Do I really need to stick to just one niche?”
To be honest, you don’t have to. Like I said earlier, if the initial freelance writing niche that you chose is not giving you results, you can change it.
I am just suggesting that you identify a specific one while starting out so that you can stand out right at the beginning of your journey even if you are not yet an expert. You will have a specific Title in your profile, a specific offer or description in your About section, and a specific market to attract.
Also, do take note that sticking to one niche, for now, does not mean being limited to the same task. You can definitely accept other tasks your potential clients might need help with especially if it would help achieve the desired results you talked about for the project.
Whew! I bet this was an exciting exercise for you, yes or no? In a nutshell, do make sure you have established awareness and identified needs which you can research and validate. After you have gone through the steps and, hopefully, identified your niche, the next step is for you to start building your freelance writer portfolio.
If you need some guidance on how to build and optimize your freelance writer portfolio, send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy writing! See you again next week for another discussion you will surely love.