How to Effectively — and Profitably — Switch Niches as a Freelance Writer in 3 Easy Steps

Last month, I received the following email from a freelance writer. She wants to switch writing niches, or more aptly put, hone in on one she’s targeted. She wrote:

Hey Yuwanda,

It’s been awhile since I last wrote you. I hope all is well on your end. Well, in the past year or so I haven’t been marketing that much, so I’ll just been getting by with the clients I have. I want to start marketing again, but this time I would like to enter the sustainability/green niche.

I was thinking to revamp my website to reflect this, but I thought I would ask you if you have any advice about how to go about switching writing niches. So far I have been a generalist, and not marketing myself in any particular niche. Thanks a lot.

Following is my answer.

Changing Freelance Writing Niches? Here’s How to Do It In 3 Easy Steps

Following is what I would do if I were in her shoes. Actually, when I first started out as an SEO writer in 2007, I kinda had this in mind from the get go. What I mean is, I created separate niches for clients I wanted to target.

You see, I have a background in real estate/mortgages, and I knew I wanted to target those prospects. But, I also have a background in small business, and experience as a recruiter, so I wanted to target those prospects as well.

Right there, that’s three different niches, ie, real estate/mortgages; small business; and recruiting. So how did I make it all work? Following is how.

1. Create Writing Samples: Why? This proves your expertise in your niche. In fact, it’s all most prospects want to see – evidence that you CAN write in your chose niche, not experience.

I’ve told this story before here on this blog, but it bears repeating. When I first started out as Advice on How to Effectively Switch Niches as a Freelance Writeran SEO writer in 2007, the very first job I landed was because of an article I wrote on mortgages.

Now, the sample I sent in wasn’t “SEO’d,” (which the client had me do to prove I knew what SEO writing was), but once I did that, he was like, “You’re hired!”

I went on to work for this company for something like two years – writing hundreds of articles and earning thousands of dollars from them. That’s how I got my start in SEO – never had experience with this type of writing beforehand, but my writing sample proved that I knew the subject matter. That got me hired.

2. Build Separate Websites: You can do all kinds of writing, but if you’re trying to appeal to a specific audience, your website should reflect that niche.

This way, clients don’t think of you as a jack-of-all-trades writer. And, you can exponentially increase your income as a freelance writer when you speciliaze. Why/how? As freelancer John Soares outlines in the linked-to article here, mainly because …

Since you have a high level of background information in your niche, you won’t need to spend as much time doing research. Plus staying current with trends and changing information is much easier when you focus on one niche. [This means] … You’ll be able to do projects faster because you’ve done the same thing many times before.

FYI, here’s what to include on your niche writing website.

3. Write Specific Pitch Letters/Queries: When reaching out to potential clients, be sure to use the lingo of the trade. For example, if you’re a freelance medical writer, you want to relay the fact that you know the AMA style of writing.

More Info on Switching Niches

a. Experience: As in, be sure to list any experience you have in your chosen niche. Using the above example of medical writing, if you have experience in the healthcare industry, eg, studied nursing, worked in a lab, took a course to learn AMA, etc, be sure to list this.

b. Setting Rates: Be sure to charge according to the norms of that particular niche. This requires research, of course. But, setting your prices too high or too low can be equally detrimental. So do your homework before setting your rates to be sure they reflect that particular writing niche.

“But What About Experience?” Don’t You Need This before You Make the Switch?

Switching niches as a freelance writer as not as daunting as you may think, as the info here outlines. And 9 times out of 10, you’ll never be asked about experience – if you’ve taken the steps here.

And if you are asked about experience, be up front and say something to the effect of, “No, I don’t have actual experience, but as my writing samples prove, I can handle the assignment.” And, let it go at that. Some clients will insist on experience; most won’t.

One way to get around the experience factor is to offer to do the job for a discount to prove yourself. I don’t advocate writing for free, but if you want to go this route, put your skills to good use by donating them to a charity in your area. Offer to redesign their brochure, update their website with fresh content, do a white paper, etc. This way, you kill two birds with one stone – you get experience, and they get free, expertly written material.

I hope the info dispensed here eases your mind about switching niches as a freelance writer, and good luck if you decide to do so.

Freelance SEO Content Writing PackageP.S.: Learn how I landed 14 online writing jobs in just one week!

Get the exact knowledge that pushed my freelance writing career to the next level – allowing me to travel and live abroad, get out of debt and really “live the freelance life.” One freelancer wrote:

Hey Yuwanda,

I hope all is well! I just wanted to let you know that this month marked the first month that my writing income surpassed that of my day job.

Thanks to your help and inspiration, I have more work than I know what to do with and have successfully landed a number of clients that give me recurring work. Thanks again for your advice!

Love to hear life-changing stuff like this! Are you next?

P.P.S.: One week to change your life — train for a career as a highly paid online / SEO writer where you can earn $50,000 to $75,000 per year.

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    1. Nice article.. Thanks for posting.. Keep posting…

    2. Thanks for sharing such a useful article