If you’re just beginning your freelancing journey, you might be wondering if it’s worth having a niche for your writing business.
You’re a writer, but you can – and should – be more specific than that.
As a Sydney-based freelance medical writer, I’m all for specialising. I believe having a niche provides a range of benefits that can help you to market yourself as a freelance writer, secure high-quality clients and keep your schedule full.
How I found my writing niche
After spending a few years working in health and medical publishing, I realised there was a lot of value in the medical knowledge base and skills I’d developed. But more importantly, I was loving the learning.
The medical terminology I’d picked up along the way, the textbooks I’d read, the statistics I’d analysed, and the medical research I’d reported on – it was all being stored away as if, in a way, I was completing my own version of a medical degree.
So when I made the decision to work for myself, it felt like a bit of a waste not to make the most of these experiences. I launched my business as a freelance health writer, and I’ve never looked back.
How do you choose a niche?
Your freelance writing niche could be defined through:
- The subject matter you write about – health, natural health, medicine, pharmaceuticals, public health, regulatory affairs, biotechnology, research, fitness, wellbeing, nutrition
- The type of client you work with – glossy magazines, premium brands, corporate brands, agencies, not-for-profits, government organisations, start-ups
- The style of writing you do – SEO copywriting, corporate copywriting, content marketing, health blogging, brand strategy
You might find that you already prefer one style or health topic above all else. Any specific experience or qualifications you have could inform your choice, too.
The pros of niche writing
Here are just some of the benefits of choosing a freelance writing niche for your business:
- Enjoy what you do – this is very important, as you really need to enjoy what you’re writing about if you’re going to make your freelancing career a success
- Take pride in your work – rather than feeling bored and uninspired by your work, you’ll be proud of it and will want to share it
- Have a point of difference – your niche focus can help you stand out when clients are choosing between you and other writers
- Write with greater ease – because you enjoy what you’re writing about, and have experience in the field, every new job will be a little bit easier than the last (hopefully!)
- Produce better quality work – the more you specialise, the more you’ll be honing your skills and producing a better standard of writing
- Work efficiently – you can use learnings from past projects to work more efficiently and help inform future projects
- Promote your writing business – use your niche to market your business and sell the benefits of working with you in a variety of ways
- Secure high-quality clients – the clients that find you will be searching for a writer with your specific skills and experience, so it’s more likely they’ll already know what they want
When writing niches overlap
So, what happens when clients want an SEO copywriter specialising in fashion – do they choose the SEO copywriter, or the writer with more experience in the fashion industry?
This decision usually comes down to whatever attribute clients find most valuable. However, you can do your best to address this and try to sway their choice with excellent messaging – that is, copywriting on your business website and social channels which expresses the specific benefits of working with you.
The cons of having a freelance writing niche
I haven’t found any cons associated with niche writing since I started out as a health writer. My core piece of advice is to do your research and ensure that there really is enough work available in the niche you choose.
You might be worried you’re limiting yourself too much if you choose to write about only one subject matter within the health realm. That’s why you need to choose a niche with a lot of potential and opportunity – and make sure it’s not saturated with similar types of writers.
As I mentioned earlier, when you’re choosing a niche it can help to think about what you enjoy doing as well as the specific fields you have experience in.
Freelancing is hard work, so you need to try and set yourself up to be relishing the work as much as the end result.
The best and most successful writers I know are those who are passionate about their areas of focus. They live and breathe their niches. This infectious enthusiasm impresses their clients – but most importantly, it inspires their readers.