Here’s a million-dollar freelance question: What’s your niche and how are you making money with it?
For freelancers, especially content creators, it’s important to be able to write about anything and everything that the client wants. But that’s not going to help you land gigs, get published and establish your credentials. To get money as a freelance writer it’s vital to have several topics you could write about in your sleep. Things you love, your passions, the “stuff” you know without having to Google for hours on end.
You probably have a few niches and you may not even realize it. It’s the stuff you can’t stop thinking about, writing about and loving. It’s more than a hobby. It’s something you continue to learn about. You keep up to date with the big wigs, industry trends, and more.
So, what are your interests?
I challenge you to write down 20 article ideas you could type up right now.
If that seems daunting, start by writing down What You Know. Don’t think about it too much. These are the one-word subjects, topics, places, people and things that you know a lot about.
Here’s What I know
- Critical Analysis of Literature
- Theatre, Musicals, and Opera
Next, Write Down What You Could cover proficiently. An article worth 500-1,000 words
Here’s what I could cover.
- Feminist takes on Pop Culture
- Movie Critiques
- Coffee trends and Industry techniques
- Restaurant and coffee shop reviews
- Travel with a local bent
- Highlighting Local Tourist Spots
- Reviews of literature that look a little deeper
- Genre explorations
Next, comes the hardest step. What people want to read, or what people are paying to read. This is where you have to do a little research to find where your niche fits, and how you can retool it for several markets.
I call this, what I like to write about vs. what you want to read. And it’s perhaps one of the most frustrating elements of blogging, freelance writing, and submitting queries. Because you might be a huge fan of YA literature. You know the best sellers, you’ve read every book in the genre, you could talk about YA all day. But… can you write about it in a way that peaks people’s interest? Do people really want to read another article about YA literature?
What makes you the biggest fan, the harshest critique, the best expert?
This shouldn’t deter you. You know what they say, “it’s all been said before but not by you.”
For me, I love movies and TV shows. But, believe me, it’s an overly saturated market. I can, however, find a unique perspective, look at a particular film or show from an angle that hasn’t been touched on a lot and submit that to the not so big review websites. I write reviews all the time, but I rarely submit them to paying magazines and websites because I know the competition is hefty.
Instead, I focus on those topics I know that I could write about, submit and retool.
For example: If you know travel, and you could talk about budget travel options proficiently, then find the places where budget travel is a hot commodity and pitch something they haven’t published yet.
It’s like a Venn Diagram and you’re finding that magic combination. Once you find your niche and more than that, ways to retool it and make it marketable, there’s a lot of magazines, websites, and newspapers waiting for you to submit.