Diana Kelly Levey

Should Freelancers Specialize in a Certain Niche?

Stacks of various magazines

November 12, 2022

There’s a reason freelance writing niches are a hot topic frequently contested amongst freelancers and freelance writers! There are several pros and cons when it comes to writing for a niche. If you’re considering niche freelancing and search online for freelance writing niches, you’ll read a ton of opinions from freelance writers who believe that writing for a specialized area will help you make more money and improve your career.

You’ll also read that you should diversify the topics you write about and not get stuck in a freelance writing niche or you’ll be there forever and potentially lose out on money and well-paying clients. 

One way to diversify your portfolio is to start writing for these most profitable freelance writing niches.

(Ready to kick-start your freelance career and find freelance writing jobs for beginners? Check out my e-book, 100+ Tips for Beginner Freelance Writers.)

While I’m often known for writing weight loss, health, wellness, nutrition, and fitness content, I have enjoyed expanding the topics I cover to learn new things—career topics, travel, emergency services, meditation, personal finance—and opening myself up to new clients and different types of work. (Look to these article pitch examples to find out how I sell my services for these topics.)

Here, I’ll explore my opinions on the pros of writing for a niche market. (Wait, how much do magazine writers make, anyway?)

How Freelance Writing Niches Can Boost Your Freelance Career

Freelance writing niches can help you get more work when editors and clients come to you for your expertise and specialized skills. Learn more about the benefits of freelance writing niches.

1. It’ll get easier to write in a specialized area.

Once you’ve been writing about a topic for months, years, and over a decade, you’ll have a strong knowledge of the topic which can help shape your questions for articles. You’ll also know where to locate the best research, you’ll know if something a source says doesn’t sound like it’s true, and you’ll become a faster writer once you have this existing knowledge of freelance writing niches under your belt. Right now, if I had to write an article about “How to Lose 10 Pounds,” I would be able to recall studies I’ve read, sources that might be a fit, and some tips that would work for this article. Weight loss and diet topics are one of the freelance writing niches clients come to me for–which is awesome! If I was assigned an article on a topic I don’t know much about, like “The Top 10 Best Tires of 2022,” it would take me much longer to do the research and find the best sources to speak to for that piece. (This guide breaks down how much time you should be doing research for your freelance writing niches’ assignments.)

2. Editors might find you because of your niche.

I’m fortunate that I have a wide, fantastic network of writers and editors who contact me when they have a weight loss or health article to assign. I also get contacted about projects, content marketing assignments, and even editorial jobs via LinkedIn when people search for weight loss, fitness, and health terms that lead them to me. An editor often feels more comfortable assigning out a story to a writer whose work they’ve read in a particular genre, or who came recommended, than picking a random freelance writer out and assigning them a topic that’s beyond their comfort zone. No one is contacting me about gardening, cars, or home repair topics, and that’s okay by me for now. (Here’s how to find any editors’ name and contact information.)

3. You’ll have contacts established by working in a freelance writing niche.

Once an editor gives you an assignment (here are some freelance article pitches that worked), you’ll have an idea of sources to reach out to who might be available for an interview within one of those freelance writing niches. Whether I’m writing about nutrition, sleep, or fitness, I have a large network of experts I’ve used over the years that I stay in touch with. I trust their expertise and they often respond in a timely manner. I also hold onto emails I receive from publicists about their clients and new books and upcoming research that’s being published. Then, when I get a freelance assignment from a client, I search in my Google inbox for keywords, like “nutritionist” or “sleep doctor.” Every professional freelance writer should learn how to find sources for different topics they’re working on. (I explain how to do this in my Freelance Writing Online Course.)

4. You can branch off to different outlets and brands.

If your specialty freelance writing niche is one that can have many subsets, like health, there are a ton of ways you can write different articles for magazines, websites, and brands. When you’re trying to identify freelance writing niches that will be lucrative for you, I suggest you start with your interests and/or your background knowledge. That could be banking and accounting if that’s your full-time job, it could be child care, DIY projects, cooking, a sport you participate in, or a hobby you pursue in your free time. Once you have some published clips in a niche, you can pitch different companies ideas based on your expertise. Recently, I wrote a white paper for a fitness client, I worked on sleep articles for a sleep app company, and I’m working on a magazine editing project in the diet sphere. Take the knowledge you’re gaining by writing about similar topics and spin that into fresh ideas and different ways to generate income from freelance writing niches.

I think it’s a wise move to have some freelance writing niches that you can get the bulk of your work from. But, I would encourage every writer to stretch themselves to try to write for new areas that they’re interested in, especially as life changes come along (like getting married, buying a house, buying a car, getting a pet, having a baby) and challenge yourself to come up with fresh article ideas.

Wondering what the downsides of specializing in a freelance niche are? I discuss the cons of staying too niche with your writing in this blog.

What freelance writing niches, if any, do you specialize in?

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Diana can help with:

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Email Diana about opportunities: Diana(at)DianaKelly.com.