It’s no secret that to become a highly sought after freelance writer with a hugely successful business, you need to niche down.
What do I mean by this?
I mean the writers that are making a living from this are choosing one niche to write in.
That’s right – if you want to go from making $2 a post to $300 a post or more, it all revolves around showcasing your expertise in a single niche.
Clients will pay a premium for writers with expert knowledge who know the latest trends in their chosen niche. Why? Because they can’t find many writers like that!
The Biggest Mistake New Writers Make
As a new writer you’re bound to make mistakes. I have.
But, the biggest mistake new writers often make is not honing in on a niche. They may have several niches or offer several services.
Now, don’t get me wrong – as newbies, I actually encourage you in my course, to pick a few niches and services to offer.
Why? Because for the majority of people who choose to become a freelance writer, they haven’t a clue what they want to get paid to write about. To make it easy, it’s best to pick a few topics you enjoy writing on, or have knowledge about. The point is, to just take action and start.
But, down the road, this is where the biggest mistake occurs – these new freelance writers are now freshman writers with a few clips and clients under their belt. Yet , they still have several niches.
I have a confession to make – it took me a long time to niche down. I was afraid that if I changed my niches and only offered one niche, I’d get less work.
Boy, was I was wrong!
To make sure you don’t make the same mistake I made, sit down and work on finding a niche you:
- Have some knowledge in
- Want to get paid to write about
- Can see yourself writing in for a long time
Once you pick a niche you want to stick to, how do you become an expert? When I chose digital marketing for my niche, I wasn’t an expert at first.
Here are the steps I took to learn my niche and become an expert in it.
1. Guest Post in Your Niche
This is a given. Guest posting is a smart way to create samples of your work. Since most guest posts aren’t paid, what you receive in return is a bylined clip that you can use for your portfolio.
This helps beef up your portfolio if you’re lacking clips in your chosen niche. If you can guest post once or twice a month, you can quickly generate samples and start pitching to clients in your niche.
2. Follow Influencers
One of the things I did was follow influencers in the digital marketing niche. I chose Twitter mostly to connect with people like Neil Patel, Jon Morrow and Anna Hoffman.
These are usually the thought leaders in your industry, so following them can help you learn more about your niche. Maybe one of them is hosting a webinar or they came out with a blog post right up your alley.
Whatever it is, staying connected to influencers can be an easy way to research your niche.
I also followed blogs like Kissmetrics, Blogging Wizard, and Business 2 Community. Again, I wanted to stay up to date on trends, new tricks or tips in my industry.
3. Read Blogs and Sign Up to Their List
Not only do I follow key influencers and blogs, I also read their posts and sign up to their newsletter. Again, this is just another way to never miss any posts with valuable information that could help you land clients or generate more work in your niche.
One way I make sure to use this relevant information for future client work is to create a swipe file.
A swipe file is a place where you keep posts, links, screenshots, emails, landing pages, sales pages etc., that interest you. You can use them as reference, starting points or they can be used to help you form an angle to your post.
One of my swipe files is on Pinterest. I use a secret board and pin any relevant pins to help me with future client work.
4. Learn to Say No
This can be hard for many freelance writers.
Why would you give up a potential gig? I mean, they’re willing to pay you money right? If you want to command high rates and be a successful freelance writer, you’re going to have to pass up some work.
If it’s not going to help you grow in your niche, I say let it go. This was hard for me. I frequently get inquiries for my services, but if they aren’t in the digital marketing niche, I generally don’t take that gig. Instead, I pass it forward to another writer.
And you know what? I don’t say no very often because, like I’ve mentioned, I’m writing in my niche and prospects know this! I mainly get prospects interested in digital marketing content contacting me.
Start Your Niche Down Process
If you’re new, then give yourself some time to figure out what your ultimate niche is going to be. But make it a plan to niche down in the future.
You may find that a particular niche is more lucrative than the other niches you write in. This can form your decision to pick the more profitable niche instead of the others. That’s perfectly fine!
My original niches were parenting, psychology and natural health. But, once I learned about digital marketing and how profitable it was, I was hooked. I love writing in this niche because it helps me become a better entrepreneur and I get to collaborate with awesome influencers too!
Over to you – have you found your niche? Let me know!
And please pin me!