Starting a Freelance Writing Business? The First 3 Questions You’ll Need to Answer to Find a Profitable Niche

Written by Karen Cioffi

Starting a freelance writing business can be a great idea. But, as with any business, you need to think it through first – you need a plan. The very first step to creating a successful business in the freelance writing arena is to answer three questions:

1. What are you good at – what do you excel in?

2. Is that something a thing you love to do?

3. Is what you’re good at and love to do something people will be willing to pay you for?

Finding Your Freelance Writing Niche

Having trouble answering those three questions?

Maybe you feel you don’t have anything to write about or offer as a service or product. You may feel it’s ALL been said and done already. Well, it’s just not so. You’d be amazed at the small and unique niches there are out there. And, you need to realize that you’re unique.

Your ‘take on life,’ your perspective, your experiences, and your capabilities/talents make you different from everyone else. This uniqueness gives you a freelance writing platform.

How to Find Ideas to Hone in On Your Freelance Writing Niche

Still can’t think of any ideas? I’ll help you get some going . . .

Are you crafty?

Do you have a hobby?Freelance Writers: How to Find a Profitable Freelance Writing Niche

Do you play an instrument?

Are you a history buff?

Do you create your own recipes?

Are you a great homemaker?

Do you like home decorating?

Are you a parent? Are you a teacher?

Do you love animals?

Are you a sports fan?

Are you into healthy living?

Are you into fashion?

Do you have a profession?

Are you in the medical/health field?

Are you into alternative medicine?

I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea.

For example, I’m a former assistant controller for a manufacturing company, so writing business articles and content comes rather easy for me.

I also deal with a number of health issues that I research, so writing health content is another niche I enjoy and excel in. And, both these niches are popular, therefore, ‘doable.’

Don’t assume you have nothing to offer. Keep in mind that just about anything you can think of likely has a business and market for it. That business needs ongoing content to keep it visible, bring traffic, and convert visitors into customers. That’s where you can come in.

Is Your Freelance Writing Niche Doable? Can It be Profitable?

Once you decide on a niche, you’ll need to research it to make sure it’s worth your time and effort.

One good way to see if a niche is ‘doable’ is to ‘do a search’ on Amazon. If you type in the keyword for your niche, see what comes up. Amazon and search engines, such as Google, will automatically give you (in a dropdown menu) the most popular keywords based on what your search query is.

I tested this out with two keywords: (1) watching television, and (2) health tips.

Watching television didn’t bring up many results, but the results for health tips went on and on and on. If you were deciding between those two niches, your decision would be an easy one. People are writing books on health tips and other people are buying those books. This equals a profitable niche.

Keep Your Freelance Writing Niche Focused and Narrow

One other item worthy of mention is that the more focused and narrow your niche is the more in demand you’ll be.

Let’s use the health niche as an example. This niche covers a lot of ground, so honing in on a specific niche within health, such as allergies or multiple sclerosis, gives you an edge. It gives you more authority within that area. And, another benefit is you become proficient at writing in that area. This makes writing content easier.

At one point in my freelance writing career, I wrote hundreds of articles for an allergy site. I knew the keywords and jargon inside out. I also knew where to find valid information on the topic. This made me an authority on writing allergy content, which made me valuable to marketers of allergy related websites.

Find Your Target Market’s Questions and Needs

With your research done and your niche in hand, it’s time to find out who’s talking about that niche. Find out what forums deal with it and who’s talking about it on social networks.

Joining forums and being active on social networks specific to your niche will give you inside information as to the questions people need answered and to the solutions they’re looking for. This information will be helpful when you’re marketing your services to businesses.

Moving Forward with Confidence

Once you answer those first three questions, you’ll feel more confident about moving forward. Knowing what you’re good at, what you love to do, and if that niche is one you can make money at gives you a head start and a good foundation for a successful freelance writing business.

How about You?

What niches do you write in, or would like to write in? Do you have a freelance writing business up and running? Have you thought about starting one? Please share in the comments section below.

About the Author: Karen Cioffi is a freelance writer and online platform marketing instructor with WOW Women on Writing! Need help establishing and optimizing your freelance writing or author online platform? Take Ms. Cioffi’s six week in-depth ecourse, Create and Build Your Author/Writer Online Platform.

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    1. I find niches difficult. I have one niche from necessity: encouragement for those doing battle with cancer. (http://www.riseandsoar.com) Otherwise, I write articles and stories of inspiration and encouragement. How can you put those in one niche? Or is that a niche in itself?
      Shirley Corder recently posted…Making Twitter FriendsMy Profile

      • Shirley,

        Inspiration and encouragement is a niche in itself, and it’s a great one. People are attracted to inspirational content. We all need it!
        Karen Cioffi recently posted…Writing for SuccessMy Profile

      • Shirley that’s a niche in and of itself — a much needed one in my opinion (my mom died from breast cancer at just 45 yrs old).

        If you wanted to niche it down further, it could be those who suffer from a PARTICULAR KIND of cancer (eg, breast, prostate, lung, etc.). This way, you can talk about treatments, etc., specific to that kind of cancer in your articles and stories of encouragement. For example, for breast cancer survivors an article might be, “How to still feel feminine if you’ve lost your breasts to breast cancer.”

        See what I mean?

        Good luck with it all. 🙂

        • Thanks Yuwanda. I actually am fairly focussed to breast cancer, although I try and leave my site open to other cancers as well as most of the emotional and mental issues are the same for all cancers. Thanks for your input though.
          Shirley Corder recently posted…NaNoWriMo 2013My Profile

          • You’re very welcome Shirley.

            And you’re right about the emotional issues being the same for almost all cancer patients (such a dreadful, nasty disease in all forms!).

            Just a reminder — you topic can be broad as you want, but remember to plan/speak to/write/interact with/market to/etc. to/for your “core” audience. These are your loyalists; the ones who will visit your site over and over again, buy from you, recommend you, etc. Just keep that in mind, ok?

            Again, good luck!

          • Shirley, I understand about wanting to keep a door open to address a broader audience in need. I kind of do the same with my health site, but Yuwanda is right. Once you start diluting your message, it becomes just that, diluted. You do need to address your core market.

            This is true in all marketing, it’s the focus that attracts the search engines and enables them to categorize your content. And, it’s that focus that draws the core audience.

            I’ve been neglecting my health site, but once I have the time 🙂 I’ll be on it, getting it more focused. I’m much more scattered on that site than you are on yours.
            Karen Cioffi recently posted…Need Publicity for Your Self-Published Book? Radio Is the Way to GoMy Profile

    2. Hey, Yuwanda, great to be back again! Sorry, I’m a bit late to the post.
      Karen Cioffi recently posted…Want to Guest Post on a High Ranking Website? Get Out Your WalletMy Profile


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