How to Know Your Writing Niche Inside and Out (When You Know Nothing About It)

As a freelance writer, are you dreading finding a writing niche?

The age old freelance writing advice is to write what you know and to seek out opportunities that highlight your expertise.

Now, don’t get me wrong – that is definitely a great place to start, but what if you don’t know anything that is payable?

How to Know Your Writing Niche Inside and Out (When You Know Nothing About It)

What if you feel like none of your life experience or passions line up with what you want to write about or those topics don’t pay money? I was in the same boat.

When I first started freelance writing, I was a new mom and my primary interests included watching reality television in between nap times and perusing Amazon and Youtube.

I had no business degree. No journalism degree. In fact, I received a C in creative writing when I was a University student! Ha…

I had no business thinking I could become a freelance writer, but here I am.

With time I was able to become an expert in my chosen writing niche and I want to help you gain that confidence in choosing an unknown writing niche and mastering it.

Learn in this Video How I Became an Expert Digital Marketing Writer

As I mentioned earlier, deciding on your freelance writing niche often means drawing from your experiences or related job.

For me, I chose my experience in psychology, natural parenting and health.

These were topics I was familiar with or enjoyed learning about. After I decided those topics, I wrote samples. So, I wrote one for psychology about mental health, but my other sample didn’t relate to parenting or health. It was for culinary school and how to get into specialized schools.

During this time, I was also researching how to market my freelance writing business and I learned about social media.

I learned that I needed to be on Twitter and Linkedin for networking opportunities.

My research led me to guest posting and how that is a great way to get in front of your target client. So, I found a natural health blog that accepted guest posts and wrote a post on gut health for toddlers.

I was still learning more on how to leverage social media for my freelance writing business and found other business type blogs to guest post.

While I was guest posting about blog topics and content marketing, I wasn’t landing any gigs in that niche.

Instead, I picked up health gigs or gigs in my chosen writing niche topics. It wasn’t until a business reached out to me for editing & writing services in the digital marketing niche that I wrote in this niche topic.

I said okay and provided social media writing for them, even though I was new to learning about different social media platforms and content marketing.

This opened the doors to content marketing and I found out through my research, that I absolutely loved learning about digital marketing concepts.

I share my story with you to show that it was a process to get to expert level, but I definitely think I could have expedited the journey had I focused on one niche.

Can You Really Master Any Writing Niche?

Yes!

You have the capability to become an expert in any niche that you want to pursue. It’s not as simple as reading one book on your topic, and it can take you several years to feel and be treated as an expert.

However, once you become an expert in your niche, not only will you earn more money, but you will become a faster, more productive writer.

When I wrote on several different topics, it took me a long time to research those topics and write on them.

Now, if I am assigned a piece on blogger outreach or conversion tactics, I am able to write it quickly and confidently because my brain is a bank of knowledge on those subjects.

How Many Writing Niches Should You Become an Expert In?

If you can become an expert in any topic, then you should take on any writing job you can get, right? Wrong.

While I believe that you can be successful in any niche, you can’t be an expert in everything.

Potential freelance writing clients don’t want a jack of all trade writer that has a portfolio full of different niches. Instead, clients want the cream of the crop to write their content.

Think about it.

Who would you rather cook you a meal – a person who has devoted the past 10 years of their life training and perfecting their cooking talent or someone who likes to cook and had a catering business once along with a list of other interesting business accomplishments, like owning a nail salon, a pet parlor, and daycare?

Both individuals can probably serve you a good meal, but the meal of the first will be unmatched in quality.

Once I started focusing only on digital marketing writing, I grew faster as an expert digital marketing writer and started making as much as $1,500 for a 3,000 word guide.

That assignment still blows my mind!

This year, the majority of my new clients have found me via referral business or networking. I don’t think they would have pursued me if my writing portfolio was more diverse.

Of course, I have written several things in the past as a freelance writer, including pieces about dentistry, automotive and the VFX industry.

I was thankful for these jobs because they helped pay the bills back in the day, but I don’t advertise this experience. Instead, I focus on digital writing accomplishments.

How to Become an Expert in Your Writing Niche

One of my favorite authors/speakers is Brian Tracy.

True, some of his advice is old-timey, since he has been an expert in his industry for many decades, but he knows his stuff. He says,

“You have to pay any price, go any distance, and spend any amount of time necessary to ‘be the best.”

He recommends reading to become the top of your field, saying,

“If you read only one book per month, that will put you into the top 1 percent of income earners in our society.”

In his books, he said that to become an expert you need to read 40-50 books in your topic and to know over 100 words for every one word you want to write.

How does this boil down to you as a freelance writer? Simply put, read more and experience more.

Talk to experts in your desired field. Consume Youtube videos, documentaries, and daily news in your desired niche.

Apply your findings to your own life – i.e. I started creating courses as a digital marketer and used the tactics I wrote about for clients for marketing my own products.

This helped me later on in writing about these digital marketing tactics for clients.

I think it is also important to be interested in your niche.

Now you might not be interested in every facet of your niche, but you have to find the research and reading interesting. When it comes to the digital marketing niche, I have no interest in Facebook ads or paid advertisement.

In turn, I don’t write about these things at all.

However, I do love to learn more about social media marketing, keeping up to date on what are the best online conversion methods, interviewing people who have successfully relied on content marketing to grow their leads, etc.

This interest has driven me to become better in my field not because I had to for a paycheck but because I wanted to.

Your Drive Will Make You an Expert in Your Writing Niche

Anyone can become an expert at anything if they stick to it long enough.

However, make sure you are growing in areas that drive you. This doesn’t mean that I am excited to write every marketing piece I am assigned.

Many times, I want to claw my eyes out because marekting writing can be boring at times (when you write about the same thing over and over again).

As a whole, though, I get excited when I finish a marketing article or when I discover a unique way to pitch/write on a popular lead generation topic.

If you can find that spot where your interest drives you to research more and write more, then you will be well on your way to earning a decent freelance writing income.

It doesn’t happen overnight.

If you struggle with writing about any topic a client throws at you, or you want to improve your long-form and SEO writing, make sure to check out Freelance Blogging in a Weekend where I share all my writing secrets with you!

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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6 Comments

Thank you so much for this post, Elna! I’m part of your Write to 1K students and am surfing the web to find things that interest me. I’m unsure of what niche I’ll eventually end up in, but you give me courage to continue on to find that something to write about, so thank you again!Reply to Michelle
Hi Michelle, So happy to hear that! Your writing niche isn’t the be all end all thing! You can pivot and change. It’s fluid 🙂 So don’t hesitate to pick a few niches and go fro there. Change and adapt along your journey! And, I’m here for you if you need it 🙂Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, Thanks so much for this article. I am finding it really difficult to choose my niche as my experience and interests are all kinda connected… but the niches would be very different. AGH, the confusion. I am hoping that over time my niche is going to shout out to me!Reply to Lexie
Hi Lexie, It’s okay to have varied niches in the beginning. I think I’ve mentioned I picked different niches and the gigs I picked up weren’t even all on the niches I promoted! I had a dentistry gig, VFX gig, automotive gig and a health gig in the beginning!Reply to Elna
Thank you for this post, Elna! I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching about my niche, but I don’t think I’ve quite pegged it down yet.Reply to Lavender
Hi Lavender, Discovering your writing niche can take time for sure! Don’t be afraid to try new writing niches and see how that fits with your writing style and your knowledge base!Reply to Elna