Published by Yuwanda Black, Site Editor
Written by Yuwanda Black
I’ve said this before tons of times, but one of the easiest ways to be successful as a freelance writer is to choose a niche, especially a high-paying one. My experience when I first started out as an SEO writer proves this, as I talked about in this post.
Many newbies in particular get nervous about going this route because they feel that they have to take on any and every job that comes their way. If they don’t, they feel like they’re losing out. But in fact, by specializing you earn more. How/why? As Jen Mattern from All Indie Writers (a great blog for freelance writers by the way) explained in the comments section of this post on Productive Writers:
One of the biggest arguments I receive from generalists is that they’ll limit themselves by specializing. They say there aren’t as many gigs out there for a specialist as opposed to someone who will write about anything. On the surface that’s true. What they often fail is realizing that, because of some of the things you’ve mentioned here, they don’t NEED as many gigs. They’ll get paid more for taking on fewer gigs.
Another reason you can start making money almost immediately when you specialize is that you’ll have an easier time finding prospects to market to. In a few days, you can build a database of few hundred or a couple of thousand (depending on how many hours per day you put in). Then, all you have to do is craft your message and start contacting them (email, cold-calling, social media, etc.).
I. Create Complementary and/or Different Niches: Create complementary niches. For example, if you decide to specialize in travel writing, you could also add food writing, as a sub-specialty. After all, when you travel, you experience different cuisines, so it’s not a stretch to add this as one of your specialties.
You could also have two completely different, unrelated niches. For example, I have a background in real estate, so that could be one of specialties. But I’ve also been a runner for over three decades (sounds so much better than saying, “for over 30 years” – yikes!). I’ve completed 10 marathons, so I could ostensibly add sports writing/women and sport/diet and exercise/health as a niche(s) if I wanted to.
By adding sub-niches and/or creating two totally different niches, you ostensibly cut down on your dry spells.
II. Have a Website Devoted to It: Build separate websites for your niches. You don’t have to do it for complementary / sub niches, but if you have two completely different niches, you should have separate websites for them.
FYI, here’s why I recommend HostGator for web hosting.
III. Demonstrate Your Writing Ability: Writing samples, writing samples, writing samples are the name of the game, especially when you decide to niche it. Show clients that you are up to the task – nothing does this better than writing samples.
Once you have your website up, one of the first things you should do is upload your writing samples there. Here’s a post that lists what else to include on your freelance writing website.
IV. Take Time to Find Prospect Pain Points: Pain points are what cause clients to part with their dollars. If you can nail this, you can start landing jobs like you wouldn’t believe.
I have to say, this is one of the biggest reasons a lot of freelance writers fail. They go after “writing gigs.” No, that’s not what you’re doing when you market. What you’re doing when you’re marketing for writing jobs is offering potential clients solutions to burning needs they have – because only when a “problem” becomes a “pain” will they willing pay someone to fix it for them.
Think about it, when do you have a mild headache (a problem), you may forego reaching for the aspirin. But when your headache escalates to migraine status, you’ll not only grab the first aspirin you can find, you’d probably pay for Vicodin or any other drug you could get your hands on to get some relief, right? And this is why you want to identify your market’s “pain points,” not just their “problems.”
V. Charge Appropriately: Make sure you rates are within the industry norms for your niche, otherwise you could lose gigs. And that means charging too much, as well as too little, which I discuss in this post (see #1).
A guest poster did a fabulous series on this on this site’s sister blog. Learn how to get ideas for, and choose, a writing niche.
Hope you’re enjoying this summer. It’s hot as the dickens here in Jamaica – the last few days have been practically unbearable. I don’t have air conditioning in my apartment, but will be getting it within the next couple of weeks.
I’ll be updating another update to the “Living in Jamaica” series soon. I’ve been so busy with my romance writing, that I barely have time to breathe between that and keeping up with my marathon training schedule.
Posted on June 28, 2015
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