As a freelance writer, choosing a particular freelance writing niche is the first and hardest step to take. Most often you find advice on choosing a writing niche to be vague and complicated. A lot of people argue you should choose a niche to be able to make real money. But unfortunately, not much advice on how to achieve is given.
We present you with a freelance writing quiz to assist you find the right niche for you. But first, let’s talk about why picking a particular freelance niche has its benefits.
Advantages of picking a particular freelance writing niche
There are three major advantages of picking a niche for yourself. Here are a couple of reasons:
You can grow your expert reputation faster
Focus on your goal and try not to wander. The more you concentrate on your niche, the faster you will improve your reputation as an expert. Do not try to be a generalist. For example, writing about financial budgeting and then next about marketing techniques. You will never have enough time to become an expert if you write blogs in different areas.
Bottom line: By specialising in one niche, you become an expert in it. This will build your expert reputation quicker.
You can request more money as an expert
As with every career, the more you are specialised, the more you earn in your field and the more respected you are. Similarly, if you are an expert in your niche, then you can request more money.
Client Acquisition is easier
Once you know your niche, it puts you on the right track of knowing where to reach out to get attention. Company and services related to your field of work will be easier to pinpoint. If you are a freelance writer looking to sell your service, you will have relevant work to send them. In the end, your expertise will put you in the right advantage of being hired.
Now that we have learned why choosing a specific niche is beneficial, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Here’s a quiz we have created with the most important questions you should ask yourself before choosing your niche. These will help you choose the right niche for you.
Freelance Writing quiz to find the right Niche for you
1. What are you experienced in?
You need to go through your past work and list at least ten areas in which you have experience. Before you start, I am not talking about the professional experience only. You might be a former athlete who has competed in races and so is knowledgeable in that area. Or perhaps, you like to play music as a hobby.
If you are unsure where to begin, here is some food for thought to get you brainstorming:
What are my pastimes? What topics do people seek me for advice? What am I passionate about? What do I enjoy learning? What am I educated in? What is my experience in current and past jobs? Keep this list handy because eventually, you will need to compare it.
2. What do you wish to write about?
Apart from your areas of experience, what do you want to write about? Try to list 10 areas you would like to write about – remember this can be anything. Some might seem absurd or ludicrous, but it’s helpful to write them all down.
Keep this list, because the next step is to compare both lists (experience and writing interests).
3. Can you find an overlap between your experience and interests?
Look at your two lists again and see if any of the items in your lists overlap. The key is to find the overlay between your experience and writing interests. Keep in mind that the interest and experience don’t necessarily need to directly overlap. To form an overlap, you do not need to have two same entries. Rather, if your experience list includes athletics and one of your interests is fitness, then its a vital match. In this case, you could target fitness related to athletics.
In the end, you should end up with a list of areas that you have experience about and want to write about. Which brings us to our next question…
4. Is there a market for it?
This question is fundamental. If your niche has no market that is worth pursuing, then it is not worth writing about. This is the reason why I asked you to add a lot of items on your lists. There is a chance that there are quite a lot of ideas on your list that have a lack of market or don’t pay very well.
Next step is to look at your list and find your top 3 potential niches. According to have-a-word, three is the best number as 3 niches provide a better level of security and decrease the possibility of you getting nowhere.
To do this you need to go through your list and for each item, apply Keyword Research in Google and LinkedIn. Let’s say you are looking at athletics; then you would use variants such as ‘athletics writer’, ‘athletics writing jobs’, ‘athletics copywriter’ and more.
A helpful way of applying Keyword research if you are not sure what is right is to narrow it down the suggestions by:
- Search Volume – Aim for 1K-10K per month. Anything less than that usually means there’s little market for it.
- Competition – Stick to Low/Medium. This will tell you how competitive your phrase in organic and paid search.
- Suggested bid – Higher bids mean people are willing to pay more since it means that they make more when ranking for those keywords.
Once you have applied your keyword research, it is a good idea to also go through Google and LinkedIn search results and delve further into the types of results you get:
Here are some tips when going through Google search results:
- See if there is any advice on becoming a freelance writer in that niche.
- Is there a large competition with similar niches from other writers?
- What are users asking for advice on and are they writing topics?
- Are employers seeking to hire for that position within that area?
Here are some tips when going through LinkedIn results:
- Is there a big competition from other freelance workers in the same niche?
- Look at the quality of jobs posted. Are they coming from trusted brands?
- Go to LinkedIn groups and see if people are seeking help or advice with writing in that niche.
After you’ve applied your research, remove any entries that have no market. Unfortunately, if you could not find any information or examples of people earning money in one of your possible overlaps, then there is no market for it.
Once your list is cleaned and you are left with only marketable potential niches, then you need to assign each one a score of 10. The score should be based on the following:
- The type of market available
- Whether you are confident enough to answer the types of queries your audience requests.
- The types of jobs available for that niche and,
- If you feel you are passionate about it.
The three niche potentials that have the highest score are your starting points.
5. What kind of writer do you want to be?
Content Writers write an article that informs or captivates an audience. For companies selling a product, a content writer must work on building reputation and authority. On the other hand, for websites and publications not looking to sell a service, a content writer’s purpose is to entertain.
Bloggers create their own content and usually like to encompass a bit of everything. You can make a living out of it, but most blogging jobs pay lower than other forms of writing. The salaries range from $10 per 500 words to $1 per word.
The white paper can involve either explaining new developments, a numbered list, or a problem solution. Its usually around 5-10 pages long and requires an in-depth study of a topic. You will need a lot of time to research and performing interviews. If you are up for it though you are looking at around $4K-$6K per deliverable.
Press Release Writing
The press release is used to converse exciting news from companies looking to expand or top-level new hiring and more. This writing aims to inform you of new developments and create awareness. Since they are short in length, it is actually quite worth it since usually, press release writers earn around $500 apiece.
Your job will be to convince the audience for a call to action such as purchasing or subscribing. Since you will be directly involved with sales and profits, they tend to earn the most out of all freelance writers. In fact, some copywriters charge 5% of all sales made directly from their work.
There are many types of freelance writers. To see what fits you best, you can try to tie it with your niche. See what kind of freelance writers usually are used for your area of interest/expertise.
Choosing the right niche for you is not easy but this quiz will help you in your decision. To summarize, here are the following notes you should take away from this quiz:
- Choose 10+ of your areas of experience (could be professional or extracurricular)
- Choose 10+ of your interests and hobbies
- Find which subsets of your experience and interest overlap.
- Narrow down your niches by applying the keyword research and other techniques to determine which of them are marketable.
- Determine what kind of writer you want to be (this also relates to how marketable it is)