I do a lot of spotting and capitalizing on trends. It helps that I’m a news junkie and prolific reader as well! Based on all of this, when I first wrote this report [in 2008], I came up with a list of “hot” industries in freelance writing — and explained why I thought they were hot.
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Hot Freelance Writing Niches in 2017
A few of the niches I predict will be hot stem directly from the presidential election we just had. I’ll point out why I think they’re good niches to target as I list them. So, here goes …
1. Ebooks/Short Report Writers
The popularity of content marketing has made this more popular than ever. One reason is, blog owners are seeking new ways to grow their subscriber lists. One popular way is to create special content – for each blog post – that readers have to subscribe to get.
Much of this is a special report of some kind – aka some kind of content upgrade. It’s hot in blogging right now – and means more writing needed by blog owners.
The best way to find these writing gigs? Find some popular posts on high-traffic blogs. Reach out to the blog owner and ask if they’d like you to create a special report (ie, a content upgrade) on a specific post.
2. Internet Marketing Copywriters
Piggybacking on the last post, many blog owners these days are internet marketers. And, they’re no longer small potatoes. Since I took this internet marketing course, I can’t tell you how many bloggers I’ve run into who are earning $3,000; $5,000 or $10,000 per month or more.
The creator of that course earns over $100,000 per month! Yeah, six figures in one month! FYI, learn how to create your own money-making e-course. They’re an awesome way to add an “auto-pilot” stream onf income to your freelance business. But, I digress …
What do courses like this need? Content, content, content. And obviously, successful blogggers can well afford to pay for it. What many need/want are tutorial-like, online marketing targeted posts, eg:
- How to start a WordPress blog;
- How to grow your email list;
- How to SEO your posts to get more traffic;
- How to make your site mobile;
- How to get more site traffic using Pinterest/Facebook/Instagram;
The best way to find these writing gigs? WarriorForum is the site for online marketers. They have a forum where copywriters can advertise their services. You can also reach out to individual blog owners.
3. Researchers/Fact Checkers
This isn’t exactly a writing job, but falls under the “editorial” umbrella, so I’m adding it here.
Yesterday morning, I was watching Reliable Sources, and the commentator was saying how many news agencies are beefing up their researching and fact-checking staffs because of the incoming administration (you are aware of the contentious relationship this president has with the media, right?). It’s even become the fodder of satirists. See?
According to the Poynter.org post, It’s time to fact-check all the news, fact-checking is “booming.” The post states specifically:
Around the world, fact-checking is booming. More than 100 outlets now check the statements of politicians, which is up more than 50 percent in the past year. Fact-checkers are posting their work faster than ever, often minutes after a politician makes a claim. …
For the past decade, most of this journalism has been the product of dedicated fact-checkers such as FactCheck.org, The Washington Post Fact-Checker and PolitiFact. But lately the most promising growth has been in routine news stories that now include a sentence or two indicating when a statement is inaccurate.
So you might see more and more of these types of jobs popping up on job boards.
The best way to find these types of freelance writing gigs? Search job boards and/or enter “Factchecker” into Google to start hunting down jobs with individual companies.
4. Political Writers/Bloggers
Piggybacking on the last job, I think more and more political blogs are going to pop up over the next few years. The climate is just too ripe for so many opportunities.
And when you add in the fact that it’s kinda easy to grow niche-specific traffic to these types of blogs, it’s straightforward to monetize them, eg, you can slap some Google ads on them and start charging for ads once your traffic reaches a certain level.
I even thought about starting one because I have A LOT to say politically. But then I reigned myself in, as I already have enough on my plate.
FYI, did you hear about the fake news site that earned the owner $22,000 within a few weeks? He even had offers to sell the site for upwards of $125,000.
The best way to find this kind of blogging job? Start your own blog – and promote the hell out of it!
5. Business/Personal Finance Writers
This is another niche that I think is going to be red hot because of this administration.
With Obamacare being repealed and replaced; trade deals being renegotiated; the minimum wage fight coming up; and goodness knows what else is on the table with this administration, there’s going to be lots of news that will affect the markets – and our wallets as individual citizens.
So I think writers who understand business and can break down how what’s happening in Washington and around the world impacts the every day citizen will be in great demand.
The best way to find these kind of freelance writing gigs? Niche specific job boards like JournalismJobs.com are a good place to start.
Also, pitch newspapers and business sites online with unique story ideas based on what’s going on in the news. Of course, for this gig, you’re going to have to stay plugged into what’s going on in the world.
6. Healthcare/Insurance Writers
Obamacare is currently in the process of being replaced/repealed, so this is another niche that I think is going to be red hot because of what’s going on in Washington.
There will be heaps of info to be explained to consumers, hence the need for brochures, case studies, etc. Also, medical practitioners and insurance companies will need lots of content for their sites as the changes unfold. Newspapers will need content. Medical blogs and health-related sites will need content.
The best way to find this type of freelance writing job? Target niche-specific sites and industries, eg, medical sites, insurance blogs, healthcare providers, etc.
7. Influence Writers
If you have blogging rights at major sites like The Huffington Post, Business Insider and Forbes, you are an in-demand freelance writer. Why? Because, as discussed in this post:
… during my search for writing jobs, I kept running across ads … seeking “premium bloggers” or “bloggers for high-authority sites. … content marketing agencies and potential clients looking to get some high-profile coverage will pay you more if you have this type of credibility.
Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute takes it a step further, stating that “Influencer marketing … was hot in 2016. Look for influencer marketing to shift a bit from partnering with content creators and distributors to flat-out purchasing them [in 2017].”
The best way to find these types of freelance writinggigs? Popular job boards like ProBlogger often have gigs posted where posters will actually say in the listing that they’re looking for writers/bloggers who have accounts with these types of sites. So this are a good place to start.
Also, when you contact potential clients, let them know you have this type of reach. This gives you a competitive edge.
8. Health/Fitness/Diet Writers
This is an evergreen niche that is broad. From vegan living, to how to drop baby weight, to exercises for seniors (a growing population, by the way), you can’t go wrong specializing in this niche.
The best way to find freelance writing jobs in this niche? Depending on which niche you target, you can seek out individual businesses/sites that need content and/or are searching for writers. For example, if you decide to specialize in vegan living, you can reach out to magazines, blogs, websites, healthcare professionals, etc., to ask about their content needs.
9. WordPress Writers
Recently, I wrote a WordPress tutorial for this site. During my research for it, I couldn’t believe how many sites I ran across that requested content on/about/for WordPress – everything from the best WordPress plugins to increase traffic, to how to stop your WordPress site from being hacked.
WordPress Writing Job Lead: Here’s an example of a site looking for WordPress writers.
WordPress is the most popular blogging and website content management system around today. And, accessories and add-ons like plugins are always being created for it. It’s also constantly being updated/upgraded. All of this has to be explained to end users. Who does this explaining? Mostly freelance writers.
So if you’re a WordPress expert, or even just someone who understands it really well, you can really make some good money as a writer.
The best way to find this kind of tech writing job? Target tech sites/blogs. You can also make some pretty good money by setting up a site of your own and becoming the “go to” person to ask about WordPress.
Monetize the site with related services like web hosting, domain name registration, WP themes, and Google AdSense, and you could easily be earning a few thousand bucks per month if you keep it updated.
FYI, if you do start a site like this, I advise targeting newbies. Why? Because many of the advanced sites get too technical. Newbies need information that is simple, straightforward and easy to understand. If you can make “geek speak” easy to understand, you’re golden – many tech-heads don’t have this gift.
10. Digital Marketing Writers
Content marketing rules these days and it is a vast medium, encompassing everything from video to infographics to e-newsletters. John Simmons, the managing editor of the Content Standard, explained just how all-encompassing content marketing is by putting it this way:
As a content marketer who frequently hangs out with non-content marketers (most people outside my work life), I’m often asked, “What is content marketing?” It’s a good question, and one that’s simply explained without jargon. But in 2016, a more appropriate question may be: what isn’t content marketing?
Hence, writers who understand this medium are more in-demand than ever. So if you grasp concepts like how to explain the ROI of social media, how to split-test landing pages, what makes for an effective e-newsletter, why infographics are important, what are the metrics (demographics/sociographics) of the top social media platforms, etc. you’re golden.
The best way to find this kind of digital writing job? Reach out to content marketing agencies. Many of them are so busy creating content for clients that they let their own blogs slide. Some of my best, most steady writing gigs have come from clients like this.
11. SEO Writers
If you understand search engine optimization, there are all kind of writing jobs you can apply for because if you know SEO, you have a fundamental understanding of lot of things you probably take for granted that companies will pay for, eg:
- How social media fits into the SEO landscape;
- The importance of content marketing;
- The difference between organic search and paid search (PPC);
- How to do keyword research;
- The significance of writing great headlines;
- The latest Google algorithm updates and how they affect how content should be written;
When you learn SEO, you learn all of this – and more.
You can specialize as a SEO writer, or just stay broad. Although I do have a few niches I target (real estate, personal finance/credit), I’ve written on hundreds of topics as a SEO writer. Most times, all clients seeking this type of writing really want to know is that you understand how to write SEO content, and how much you charge.
The best way to find SEO writing jobs? When I first started out, I cold-emailed companies. I got so busy within a couple of months that I had to hire other freelancers to help me out. This was in 2007. I haven’t looked back since.
I’ve said it plenty of times here, but it bears repeating – learning how to write SEO content changed the trajectory of my career because it taught me how to market online. This opened the door to me knowing how to successfully promote my own products on the web (eg, ebooks, e-classes). I will be forever grateful that I stumbled up on this form of writing because it truly did change my life.
It can do the same for you!
BONUS “Hot Writing Job” Tip
As I was doing some reading for this post, I ran across one ht niche that popped out at me that I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention …
In the post, Five Content Marketing Trends to Watch in 2017, the previously mentioned Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, states:
First, more brands will launch targeted and relevant e-newsletters, which will become the key method to grow their audiences. Second, more brands will take a hard look at the e-newsletters they have and move them from “email as marketing collateral” to “truly amazing and relevant customer experiences.”
Do you know what goes into the writing of a great newsletter? Some of the fundamentals include:
- Writing a great headline;
- Writing an actionable CTA (call-to-action statement); and
- Keeping a balance between promoting and informing.
You can even specialize, eg, medical newsletter writing, legal newsletter writing, B2B newsletter writing, etc. See the possibilities?
The best way to find newsletter writing jobs? The first thing I’d do is write up a short, downloadable report highlighting how effective newsletter marketing is, and what goes into a creating a great one. Then, I’d email it to a targeted niche. Why would I do this?
Because many businesses don’t realize just how effective newsletter marketing is, especially because newer, fancier marketing like social media is so talked about. But an argument could be made that newsletters are the workhorses of the online marketing genre. Proof?
- You are 6x more likely to get a click-through from an email campaign than you are from a tweet.~Campaign Monitor
- When it comes to purchases made as a result of receiving a marketing message, email has the highest conversion rate (66%), when compared to social, direct mail and more.~DMA
- Email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel, including search and social.~Monetate
- Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter.~McKinsey
- Email marketing is the king of the marketing kingdom with a 3800% ROI and $38 for every $1 spent.
With facts like this staring them in the face, prospects who are serious about their business will find it hard to ignore newsletter marketing. It’s one of the easiest ways to increase customer engagement … and sales.
What do you think of this list? Are any of them niches you specialize in/are thinking about specializing in? Have you noticed any niches that weren’t mentioned here? Please share in the comments section below. And, if you like this post, please share it on your social media outlets.
Soon-to-Come Post: Freelance Writers: The Very First Thing You Need to Do to Start Making Money as an Affiliate Marketer. FYI, we’re always looking for great guest posts around here, so feel free to send one in.
P.S.: The #1 Thing You Need to Start/Grow a Successful Freelance Writing Business? Hands down — a blog. Learn why & how to start one here.