How to Become an Expert in Your Freelance Writing Niche

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.

How to Become an Expert in Your Freelance Writing Niche

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!

As soon as I updated my writer website to reflect one niche, my income went up and the prospects I was attracting were the ideal kind.

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

Okay.

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.

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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, Adam Connell 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.

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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!

Hi I'm Elna and I'm a freelance writer and mom blogger. I help people just like you become a profitable freelance writer. Within 6 months of starting my freelance writing business from scratch I was able to earn a full-time living as a part-time freelance writer while taking care of my twin toddlers. Check out my free email course Get Paid to Write Online and learn the steps you need to take to be a freelance writer.

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36 Comments

Thank you Elna! I am just now finding my niche as a nomadic travel writer using memoir and creative non-fiction to analyze American culture. Your article was very helpful. Much appreciated.Reply to Elizabeth
Hi Elna! Thank you for this great post. I’m not an expert in any area but I am passionate about fundraising, and I have a bit of experience writing case studies…two very different niches. When starting with more than one niche, do you recommend having separate websites for each one?Reply to Nancy
Hi Nancy, You’re welcome. Glad you found this helpful! For your question, since it’s under the umbrella of freelance writing, I would have only one website promoting your writing services.Reply to Elna
Thanks for posting this! You mentioned that previous to you picking your digital marketing niche, you were focused on parenting and education. Besides digital marketing, what are some other examples of high profit niches? I am also interested in the parenting niche but would love to know other options, too!Reply to Rachel
Hey Rachel, Business and finance are great lucrative niches!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, Great and wonderful work you are doing out here in cyberland! I just recently ‘bumped’ into your site from one of my online travels. I’ve been searching for ideal blogs to follow as a newbie. So when I read a few posts, you influenced me and immediately subscribed to ‘hear’ more of you. I am just starting out as a freelancer (not yet niche defined), but would like to get into blogging with a focused niche and expand this focus eventually. I like your writing style. It’s persuasive, typical teacher style! I must mention that the comments by your readers on this post are great and very constructive too adding to the usefulness of the poist. Oh, by the way you can check out Evernote for clipping away and use as a notebook for scraps of info you need to use later in your work. Thanks and keep up the good work. Stay Alive and Blessed Today. PS: No gravatar yet but coming soon!Reply to JoeShiku
Hey Joeshiku, Thanks so much for becoming a follower 🙂 I’m happy to hear you are learning oodles 🙂 That’s a great tip to use Evernote for your swipe file. I haven’t used that app. In fact, I don’t use many digital apps like that. But thanks for the tip!Reply to Elna
I just found your site via a link from a blog post by Brent Jones. Looking forward to reading more!Reply to Niccolea
Hi Niccolea! Thanks for letting me know where you found me 🙂 Brent is an awesome blogger and freelancer and e-friend!Reply to Elna
Hi, Elna. I’m predominantly a fiction writer, but I’ve been reading quite a bit of your material and you are so inspiring. I’m not sure if any of my interests could be turned into profitable niches as I have only recently started paying attn to anyone’s blogs. I’ll have to do some more research on online non-fiction writing, I suppose. I’m considering your course just based on your enthusiasm and apparent success with what you are doing. Keep up the good work. (Oh- and how you get not one, but two children to take a nap at the same time is beyond me 🙂 You’re amazing! )Reply to Disa
Hi Disa! Thanks so much for your comment. Non-fiction writing is popular online, especially for businesses. Most of my clients are small businesses or entrepreneurs and I have no shortage of income. Ah, my twins! Since day one I’ve been “training” them to sleep at the same time, eat at the same time and do everything at the same time 🙂 So far it’s working but there are times when my daughter doesn’t have her daily nap. So, that means no work for me. I suspect they will be dropping their only nap in the next few months and I’m sort of worried about what I’m going to do when the time comes! I’m sure I’ll blog about it!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, Thanks for this wonderful post. Yes, I do need to niche down. I’ll make a list today of all my interests and skills and then select one or two. It’s going to be tough to exclude all the others but as you say, I can always change if my selections don’t work out. Hooyah!Reply to Rohi
Hi Rohi, That’s a great idea. By writing all your interest you can see clearly which ones would do well online. And you’re right, you can change it down the road.Reply to Elna
Hi Elna! I pinned this post to a few Pinterest boards… I hope it helps! I liked your idea about using a secret Pinterest board to create a sort of swipe file. That’s a really good idea… probably much better than my current system, which involves either booking things in Chrome, saving the URL to a spreadsheet, or worst of all, sending the URL to myself by email then filing it under “Keep”. LOL Have an awesome day! BrentReply to Brent
Hi Brent, Thanks! Yes, I am the same with my swipe files. You noticed in my post I said, one of me swipe files.. I do have a spread sheet and a google Doc for things I can’t pin. Streamline is my task for next month! Thanks for stopping by enjoy your weekend.Reply to Elna
Oh I meant to say just trying out my gravatar. Great advice. Veronica.Reply to Veronica
Hi Elna, I am taking your course write your way to your first 1k, yes I am finding it hard to pick a niche, as there are so many, but I need to as you say niche down. I love all your blog posts and advice. Keep up the good work, you are awesome. Veronica Gilkes.Reply to Veronica
Hi Veronica! Thanks so much. Yes, finding a niche can be hard, but the great thing is that you can try anything and see if that sticks. As I mentioned, I started out with parenting and education. I found it wasn’t that profitable so I ended up finding out about digital marketing. With time you’ll find a niche that sticks 🙂 I hope you are finding the course useful and hooray for your Gravatar 🙂Reply to Elna
I love this article! It is chock full of great advice. Thank you, Elna!Reply to Janet
Aww! Thanks Janet. So happy you found it helpful. If you need any help just email me!Reply to Elna
My niche is blogging, but it’s tough to narrow it down! I reached out to Adam, through a comment on his post, however, and he gave me some ideas. 🙂 Great advice!Reply to Lorraine
Hey Lorraine! Blogging is a great niche girl! You are awesome and a great blogger and writer. Loving your new blog and I KNOW it is helping other new writers find direction.Reply to Elna
It’s great how you always post exactly the content I need at the time I need it. I think you are reading my mind! Even though I am now earning a decent income, I have struggled with narrowing my niche, and just in the last couple of weeks have landed on the most profitable one for me with my education and background. I know this is the right next step for me to level up my business!Reply to Cheri
Hey Cheri, We are on the same wave length! So happy to hear your success with the course and in your business! So happy you are full-time girl! You can definitely doe this and focusing on one niche will totally help you level up!Reply to Elna
Hey elna, Once again briliant post and very compelling thoughts. I think I should also look for my niche in a better way which is difital marketing. I have interest in this n I like to read about it a lot. You are like a mentor to me n I really wish I also end up being a successful blogger like you.Reply to Afaf
Hey Afaf! Aww thanks so much. Glad to hear you are niching down girl! Digital marketing is a great niche to get into if you enjoy blogging, content marketing, branding, social media marketing and other forms of online marketing!Reply to Elna
Excellent Advice! I’ve been listening to your advice and taking action since February 2016. It’s really paying off Elna, thank you!Reply to Heather
Hey Heather! Thanks so much. It’s nice to meet and know fellow freelance writers. Happy to hear the course and my blog are helping ya out!Reply to Elna