Do You Need a Freelance Writing Niche?

By Sean Ogle •  Updated: 05/06/23 •  9 min read

One of the most common questions I get from new LRA members is, do I need a freelance writing niche?

Community members and plenty of new freelancers get worried when they’re stuck on finding a niche. In fact, I’ve seen so many people get completely overwhelmed by the thought of niching they can’t move forward.

That’s the last thing we want to happen.

So let’s ease a few minds.

And if video is more your thing, click to watch below.

What is a Niche?

When we talk about niches, we mean finding a specific topic or area to focus on in your writing.

Breaking Eighty is a site that has a specific niche: golf travel.

Slightly Pretentious also has a specific niche: craft cocktails.

Many writers have niches in specific industries: personal finance, car insurance, and healthcare. And then within each of those niches, you can niche even further (how many times can we use niche in one sentence): personal finance for women, car insurance for travel companies, B2B healthcare for doctor’s offices.

You can also niche within a type of work too. A copywriter might niche down to only writing email marketing campaigns. A B2B SaaS writer might only write case studies for their clients. Or a writer might only create video sales scripts for clients.

Having a freelance writing niche makes it somewhat easier to get started and build expertise. It can also make your work a little bit easier.

If you are focused on life insurance, for example, then after writing a bunch of articles, you’re going to know a ton about life insurance off the top of your head. You’ll know where to look for stats and what sources to cite — your research process becomes that much easier.

Plus, the more you get into a niche, the more you can claim yourself as an expert for that industry or type of work. You can toss aside any client that doesn’t fit your niche and get super targeted in who you work with.

That makes it easier to have clients come to you because you’re known for that niche. You’re a go-to person in the industry.

Got it?

Now, let’s answer the main question.

Do I Need to Choose a Niche for My Freelance Writing Business?

The short answer is no. You don’t need to have a niche, especially when you are starting out as a writer.

There are tons of freelancers out there who are generalists.

That means they are happy to leave what they write about pretty open. They can cover all sorts of topics and even write different types of content, from blog posts to emails to landing pages.

A lot of people start out as generalists. If you aren’t sure about a niche or feel totally stuck, then it can’t hurt trying a bunch of different jobs and topics to write about and start whittling down the list of what you do and don’t like.

And yes, people can make entire careers out of being generalists. The thing they really like about it is they don’t need to focus on any type of industry. They can write about modern cat furniture one week (yea that’s a thing) and retirement the next.

Most generalists also have one killer skill set: they are awesome at research. So if you’re someone who loves learning tons of new information quickly, being a generalist might fit in with your interests.

But just be aware that some clients prefer to work with people who are experts in their industry.

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Does Having a Niche Help Land Jobs?

Here, the answer tends to be yes.

The reason why a lot of freelance writers like niches is that it helps them focus, develop skills, and start building expertise.

You will see people who are very specific about the niches they write in, and then it becomes easier to become the ‘go-to’ writer for that niche among editors and brands. And it makes finding freelance writing jobs easier because you already have the area of expertise.

That’s more difficult if you don’t have any niche at all.

That said, if you’re just starting out as a freelance writer and you don’t have a niche, don’t panic.

When you begin sending out your pitches, LOIs, applying for jobs, and everything else in your marketing plan, you’ll need to cast a wide net. So it’s ok to apply for everything and not be super picky about the jobs or niches you’re looking at. Then, once you land a few gigs, you can start thinking about niches.

But keep in mind, it might not be as hard to pick a niche as you might think it is.

People tend to really overthink this part and worry because they aren’t the foremost expert at something they shouldn’t be in that niche.

The reality is a little bit different. We talk about the idea of being a relative expert; knowing something about a niche is often enough to get your foot in the door.

Look at your hobbies, work experience, or life skills to help. If you’ve been working for 15 years in healthcare, then take all that experience and think about picking medical writing as your niche. If your favorite thing to do is spend time out in the woods, consider being an outdoors or gear writer.

You probably have a lot more skills and experience than you think. So try this exercise:

Chances are, you’ll find at least one or two.

And if you’re having trouble with the exercise, ask friends and family to give you some ideas.

If you’re still getting stuck, you can focus on a type of writing. Long-form blog posts, case studies, emails, and guides are all places to niche too.

Freelance Writing Niches to Consider in 2023

Ok curious about which niches are still good in 2023? I don’t blame you. With fears over the economy and the new revolution of AI writing tools, you may be a little worried about embarking on this whole freelance writing thing.

But, ideally, a good niche is one that has the budget to pay for marketing and has some writers already. In this case, competition is proof of concept. It shows there are paying businesses out there.

So here are a few niches to explore, especially if you aren’t sure where to start.

Types of content niches:

Alright, now let’s dive into some niches:

Hopefully, these lists have give you some ideas about niches and sparked a few ideas about niches you haven’t considered before now.

Just Get Started

At the end of the day, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ approach.

There are plenty of writers out there in thousands of freelance writing niches who make a good living. There are just as many out there making great livings as generalists.

But here’s the one thing you don’t want to do:

Don’t let the fact you don’t have a niche keep you from taking action.

If you’ve got a niche in mind, jump in and go for it.

If you don’t, it’s ok. Start out as a generalist. Get your freelance website up, send out a ton of letters of introduction, and go for it.

You can do it, with a niche or not.

Want help building your freelance writing business? Grab our free 6 day course and our Freelance Writing Guide we created specifically to give you a jump start on your new business.

This post was updated for accuracy as of May 2023.

Sean Ogle

Sean Ogle is the Founder of Location Rebel where he has spent the last 12+ years teaching people how to build online businesses that give them the freedom to do more of the things they like to do in life. When he's not in the coffee shops of Portland, or the beaches of Bali, he's probably sneaking into some other high-class establishment where he most certainly doesn't belong.
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