We’ve all been there. As a new freelance writer, people tell you that you need to niche down to make more money. But how do you choose just one out of hundreds of freelance writing niches?
You’re probably frustrated,with so many freelance writing niches to choose from and you don’t know where to start. Maybe you even feel like giving up.
But don’t! I was there too at one time. Most new writers are. I had no idea what made a good freelance writing niche or how I was supposed to choose one, so I did nothing. For months…….
So, I’m going to help you get over that hurdle so you can start your freelance writing career off right.
Here’s What You’ll Learn in This Post:
- What a freelance writing niche is
- How to figure out if a freelance writing niche is profitable
- The most popular high paying niches by topic and project
- How to pick a profitable niche
What is a Freelance Writing Niche?
A freelance writing niche is a specialized segment of a market or specialized service or product. With freelance writing, a profitable niche is the industry you focus on or the project you choose to offer as a writing service.
That part of picking a niche is what confused me when I first started trying to find the perfect profitable niche. I asked for clarification in Facebook groups. I even emailed some bloggers of whose list I was on. I’m still waiting on those responses, but I get it.
Because I felt like it was one of the hardest things I struggled with, I designed a challenge that walks you through the process of picking the perfect niche for you. Check out the challenge here.>>Niche Down to Level Up Your Profits
Once you get past the newness of it all, things tend to fall into place easier. So, you can niche down by topic, by project, or both. I guess you could say I double-niched down because I write blog posts for businesses in the security industry.
I highly suggest you choose an industry to focus on because simply offering blog posts as a generalist is not going to set you up as an expert. Different industries use different lingo, and clients want to know that you can walk the walk and talk the talk.
If you look at most of the great copywriters, they all niched down. For instance, Elna Cain creates digital marketing content and copywriting for digitally native brands.
I mean, who would you want to hire if you own a store that sells CBD pills, for instance. The woman that positions herself as a health ambassador like Sheryl Craft or the writer who advertises they have a wide variety of experience from Facebook Ads to blog posts in every topic under the sun?
I think you’d pick Sheryl because she specializes in health writing, right? And she can command more money because she positioned herself as an expert.
But I’m sure you’re wondering what if I pick a niche and don’t like it? Well, that’s okay if you don’t like it go a different route. Nothing is forever; in fact, you’ll likely evolve over time as I did. I didn’t start with the goal of writing only blog posts. Over time I realized that writing blog posts was what I liked best, and I was good at it.
How Do You Know if a Freelance Writing Niche is Profitable?
There are a few things that tell you if a niche is profitable. One component is whether companies in that niche can afford to pay well. That element determines the rates.
And like any other business, the supply and demand chain directly affects the pay rates for writing. Generally, people will pay writers more in niches where there are few writers.
Choose a niche where writers are in short supply, but high demand, and you’re golden.
Popular, profitable niches can be here today and gone tomorrow, depending on trends and global issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Some industries are were barely affected while others were hit hard.
Google Trends is a great resource to see what topics are trending, and when they are the most popular.
Another thing that affects how much money you can make writing is how fast you write. The quicker you write, the more you make per hour, and specializing also helps you write faster since it builds your knowledge of a topic. It also provides you with plenty of resources to rely on.
Now, on to those profitable freelance writing niches.
Profitable Freelance Writing Niches by Project
Here’s a look at different profitable niches by project.
1. Ghostwriting Books
Ghostwriting, in general, is one of the best-paid niches to choose from. As a ghostwriter, you write content that someone else publishes as theirs. It’s not as bad as it sounds because ghostwriters get paid well to give up credit.
There’s not an industry out there that doesn’t use ghostwriters because content is a crucial part of online marketing. One of the biggest reasons is because businesses need contact and most upper management people have the knowledge but don’t have the time to write content.
Companies and individuals will pay you to write everything from blog posts to white papers to emails.
Ghostwriting books is probably the highest paying ghostwriting services you can offer for several reasons. For starters, you need experience writing books to get paid well. Plus, you make more money because you’re not getting the byline or credit, and the person taking credit can earn a lot of income from a book.
In some cases, you can even get a percentage of royalties made from it.
Depending on the scope of the project, pay for ghostwriting books can start at $10,000 and much more for longer ones. Both businesses and individual people hire ghostwriters for books because either they don’t have time or are not interested in writing a book themselves. Some people want to write a book but aren’t sure how to get it out of their head and onto paper.
You should consider learning how to be a ghostwriter because that’s one of the best ways to make money writing.
As a freelance writer, you’ll likely write an e-Book at some point if not for yourself than someone else. E-books come in all lengths and are getting more advanced every day. There are plenty of people and businesses who have job postings in the hundreds, but you can make thousands.
The key to getting paid well is finding someone who understands just how valuable e-Books are for marketing.
3. Grant Writing
As someone who has dealt with grants, I can attest that they aren’t the most exciting writing projects in the world. But there is definitely money in grant writing. Large non-profit businesses hire freelance writers for grant writing all the time. You can make a couple of thousand dollars for each project.
4. Long-Form Blog Posts
Although I write a lot of short blog posts for businesses in the security industry, I love writing long-form articles as well.
Long-form blog posts are usually 2,000 words or longer, and they also offer consistent work most of the time versus single projects. They provide in-depth information all about a topic in one article like ultimate guides.
Some writers are better at these posts than others. If you have a background in complicated topics like medical or a scientific field and can break them down, so they’re easier to understand, this might be the perfect niche for you.
But you can make any subject into a long-form article.
Pro Tip: I use Grammarly to help me edit my long-form content, so it’s clear, concise, and easy to read. It catches all of the grammar and spelling mistakes, and Grammarly Premium covers even more errors.
If you want to remain competitive in this niche, you should understand how to format long-form blog posts, create awesome headlines, and write with SEO in mind. You also need to be able to write in a conversational tone that’s easy to read.
5. Case Studies
Case studies are probably one of the most effective marketing strategies for businesses that want to attract new clients and customers with social proof that their product or service works.
Case studies are essentially a long testimonial where you analyze a client or customer’s problem and how that company or business solved it with their service or specific product. It’s all about a positive transition that highlights a business offering as a solution.
Case studies basically follow a customer journey through the process of identifying a specific need or problem and then using the company’s services and/or product to solve it. Cases studies are a wealth of information and a powerful marketing tool, so they pay well.
6. White Papers
Not to be confused with case studies, white papers are essentially in-depth reports that present a specific issue and solution written to persuade people to buy a product or service.
They are often a critical part of an email marketing strategy because white papers are usually offered as opt-in to get subscribers on a person or business’s email list.
Businesses can attract new potential clients and customers using white papers as a lead magnet. You’ll find this tactic used most in B2B marketing strategies.
White papers are quite time consuming and not a writing project that you can bang out fast. They are more formal than long-form blog posts, and you’ll use your copywriting skills for these projects. They vary in length but are usually five to ten pages in long.
It’s easy to make thousands of dollars just for one white paper project, meaning you can easily make over six figures writing just four per week depending on the industry.
7. Copywriting-Landing and Sales Pages
Once again, another money-making aspect of a business-sales and landing pages. Copywriting is a critical skill that you can really make money from as a writer. Every web page uses copywriting to attract email subscribers, new leads, and convert readers into paying customers.
The key here is writing sales pages for a specific niche like writing sales pages for diet companies or landing and sales pages for email marketers.
Writing website copy isn’t easy, but it’s a valuable skill. It’s all about using psychology and appealing to your target audience because people make decisions with emotions first and then justify them with logic.
If you really want to get good with writing copy for sales and landing pages, pick an industry to niche down to and then study sales pages in that niche. You need to get very specific to get the language down pat and understand the pain points of the audience so you can speak to them directly.
8. Email Marketing
Email marketing is most definitely an in-demand freelance writing niche because every blogger and marketer focuses on building an email list. As we’ve seen in the past, social media platforms come and go, or algorithms change, making it essential to create your own community.
Copywriting skills are necessary here because you need to keep your readers attention. Learning how to write compelling emails that readers click and buy from is an excellent skill to have, whether you write for your own list or for clients.
The key to your success in this niche is that you make more money when you get results for your clients!
People love infographics! They are an incredible way to showcase how a product or process works, or present information and selling. They pay well and require minimal work, so they are a great writing project to offer. Usually, you just write the content, and someone else designs them, so they really are easy to do.
10. Popular Consumer Magazine Articles
Print magazines are still a thing so that you can make excellent living writing articles for them. You can make a lot more money per word. Some magazines pay $1.50 per word, and others even more. The nice thing about writing for these publications is you get a byline, so your name is in print.
These are great pieces to use for your portfolio since you get credit for the article. Check out the 2020 Writer’s Market online to find high-paying magazines to write for. One of my first freelance writing jobs was writing blog article for four magazines in the cannabis industry, and I received credit for every article. So, it’s easy to show off your work.
11. Video Script Writing
Writing video scripts is a niche that I see more and more of every day. Everyone knows that video is exploding right now. It’s becoming more popular every day, so if you, this is definitely an in-demand niche. Video now dominates many marketing and social media channels, so if you start now, you’ll be ahead of many other writers looking for a profitable niche.
Businesses use videos everywhere, like on their home page, sales pages, and YouTube. Once again, niching down to an industry is good here too. Writing video scripts for companies that sell aftermarket car speakers and stereos allows you to specialize and make even more money.
12. Informational Copywriting
I’ve really upped my copywriting game over time with the help of Kate Doster’s Love Your List email marketing course. It’s more about email marketing, but she teaches you some of her best-copywriting tips, and she’s awesome.
But BK (Before Kate) copywriting scared me, so I found myself writing informational copy as a beginner because it was less frightening. Informational copywriting consists of writing web pages that describe a trend, service, platform, or issue.
I know people like Carol Tice over at Make a Living Writing that have made $1 a word for web content like this. It’s the perfect writing project for the person who strongly dislikes writing sales and landing pages.
13. Annual Reports
Publicly traded and non-profit companies must issue annual reports. These reports are in-depth, and for large businesses, they can be over 100 pages. The best is that these companies often outsource these reports to freelance writers.
Writers creating these reports can command a lot of money, as in up to $10,000 for each project because they are enormous, seasonal projects.
The best way to start working on gigs like annual reports is to check your area business journal that compiles lists of all local, publicly traded companies. Then you can begin building relationships with these companies so you can make connections to help you get these writing jobs.
Freelance Writing Niches by Topic
Every industry hires writers to create content, so there are plenty to choose as a niche. Here are some of the most profitable freelance writing niches by topic.
14. CBD and Cannabis
This niche is thriving now. It’s even more popular than when I wrote in cannabis magazines beginning in 2017. There are so many avenues you can take with writing for businesses in the cannabis industry.
Cannabis blogs, CBD and alternative medicine shops, and cannabis dispensaries are excellent places to focus, but you can go beyond that like writing for businesses in the cannabis financial sector.
This niche is hot, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. It’s a profitable industry so that you can command higher prices.
15. Personal Finance/Finance
Finance and personal finance will probably always be popular honestly because people search for help with their finances all the time. People continually need help with budgeting and managing their finances.
You can focus on personal finance, credit card repair, mortgage lenders, accounting firms, savings and investment companies, and more. Cryptocurrency/blockchain are two other hot niches that can fall under finance or technical content writing.
You’ll make more money writing for companies in the finance industry that need content created that educates their readers. Companies in the above sectors have more money to pay writers.
16. Technical Content Writing
Technical content writing and technical writing are not interchangeable, believe it or not. But technical writers have a knack for turning complex principles and ideas into information easy for a variety of audiences to digest and understand. Some may say that I’m a technical writer, but technical writers tend to write documents like technical reports, instructions, process manuals, user manuals, and more.
These projects have one goal, and that’s to educate and help the reader do specific tasks. They aren’t entertaining or fun to read.
I’m more of a technical content writer because these writers write relevant and engaging content for tech companies with the primary goals being marketing and sales. You can definitely do both if that’s something you want to do.
Tech topics that fit these categories include B2B technology (which is primarily what I do in the security industry), blockchain/cryptocurrency, tech news, cybersecurity, and more.
In our technology-driven work, education and learning new skills is incredibly important. Like the finance niche, education is always popular because there’s people want to learn more about how to start new businesses or obtain new jobs.
Some of the best places to write for are colleges and universities, and student loans and online course providers all hire writers to create content that attracts new students. Homeschooling is booming right now.
Teachers, parents who homeschool, tutors, coaches, or even students could make great money writing in the education niche.
18. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
SaaS is another popular freelance writing niche that has remained popular for some time, probably because the software as a service niche is huge. Some of the most well-known SaaS examples include:
- Microsoft Office 365
- Adobe Creative Cloud
Jorden Makelle of Writing Revolt is an example of a freelance writer who made a lot of money writing for SaaS companies with no prior college education or background in it when she started. You can too!
19. Food, Dining, and Wine
Just about everyone on the planet dines out or drinks wine and, of course, add food to this general niche. There are many different opportunities in this niche. You can ghostwrite cookbooks for food bloggers and chefs, write for popular magazines in the food and wine magazines, or write for businesses in these industries.
These niches may be challenging to break into, but you can create a portfolio by writing for those popular magazines such as Martha Stewart Living, All Recipes, EatingWell, Bon Appetit, Taste of Home, and many more.
Building a portfolio with projects like articles for these magazines is a fabulous way to establish yourself as an expert and open doors to other opportunities.
20. Scientific Content Writing
Some may place this topic under technical content writing, but it’s more focused on science as a whole and scientific studies. This niche is one where you really need experience to be hugely successful OR write as I did for cannabis magazines or other science publications such as the Smithsonian, National Geographic, Psychology Today, Popular Science, and more.
However, not having a science background here really kept me from being as successful because I wrote a lot about the scientific processes behind ethanol extraction, or shatter wax as well as medical and cannabis research and more. So, having a strong scientific background is critical even if you aren’t an expert in cannabis medical research.
You can also offer other services to niche down further like white papers or case studies for businesses that sell cannabis extraction equipment, for instance.
21. Real Estate
While the real estate industry was hit hard by COVID-19, people still need to buy and sell houses. If local clients are ideal for you, then target local realtors. Knowledge or a background in real estate helps.
Realtors need writers to create engaging blog articles, reports on local ordinances and laws, home buying guides, and more. You can also write website copy and create landing pages for real estate websites.
Writing articles for popular home and real estate magazines like Realtor Magazine, Real Estate Magazine, National Mortgage Professional Magazine, and others is a great avenue to explore as well.
Final Thoughts and Advice: A Niche Isn’t Forever
So, what if you don’t like the niche you pick, or you find you need more knowledge of education? One of the best pieces of advice I can give you is that you shouldn’t stress over picking a niche because a freelance writing niche isn’t forever. Don’t be like me and put off starting your freelance writing business for months and months.
With all the freelance writing niches available there are plenty of freelance writing gigs available.
If you don’t feel like the one you picked is right for you, there are an endless number of freelance writing niches out there. Check out my niche Down to Level Up Your Profits Challenge to you walk you through picking a niche the easy way. Seriously, it will take the stress off of you.