Freelance writing niches

Freelance writing niches: the case against choosing a niche

Common advice across the freelancing field is that focussing on freelance writing niches can help you to get ahead. 

The theory is this. When you take a jack of all trades approach to your freelance copywriting, you never really “specialise”. This means that you can’t build a reputation as “the one to watch” because you’re spreading your expertise too thin.

When you focus on one niche, you can position yourself as an expert and land higher paying jobs. It’s also easier to find those jobs, because you dominate the search space for those high converting keywords.

Well, the COVID-19 outbreak may have made you think twice about wanting to specialise. Some of us saw a boost in work, as companies used the “downtime” to spruce up their websites. 

But others saw their workload grind to a halt. Clients got nervous about spending, so they paused accounts and went into survival mode. 

If you were one of those focussed on one niche, you ran the risk of losing your entire income. Your ability to continue earning money came down to chance. A simple case of whether or not your chosen niche shut down for the duration.

What’s the alternative to freelance writing niches?

You can still find a way to zone in one niche that doesn’t limit you to one industry. You could focus on B2B copywriting. You could focus on email copywriting for any industry. You could focus on high converting landing pages.

Finding your freelance writing niche doesn’t have to mean focussing on a specific industry. And it could even improve your chances of finding work if you shift your focus to a few different areas. For example, I offer specific landing pages for dental copywriting and startup copywriting.

I know what you’re thinking: but what about my brand? How will people know I’m the best at what I do if I can’t plaster my niche all over my brand?

To this I would say: your website and branding can only do so much, eventually your portfolio and testimonials have to start doing the talking for you. 

Why this approach to finding a niche might be even better

Have you ever looked at another person’s portfolio and been bowled over by the utter monotony? I see this a lot with web designers who focus on one specific niche, such as entrepreneurs.

What happens?

Every website looks the same. They might vary the fonts and the colour scheme, but the bones of the website are nearly identical.

If I was looking for a web designer, I would only want to work with someone who could guarantee something unique.

And the same goes for copywriting. 

If you focus on one niche, you’re going to be writing about the same things, day after day, for different companies. You’re also going to be applying a narrow scope of expertise. 

For the client, this means that the same SEO magic you’re applying to their website, you’ll also be applying it to every other website you work on. And if that happens to be 10 other companies in the exact same industry, no one gets to enjoy a competitive edge by working with you.

Is there a compromise?

By all means, scour the web for articles about profitable freelance writing niches. Get this out of your system. And then focus on what brings you joy, where your passion lies, and where you can bring genuine value to a company.

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