Finding Your Niche as a Freelance Writer
I suppose that somewhere out there is the mythical perfect writer who can write well on anything. Give them a subject, and they can write it. But, then again, I also believe that babies are delivered by storks too.
Let’s be real; nobody can write everything well. To write something well requires knowing something about the subject you’re writing on—even better, having a passion for that subject. You see, there’s a great difference between just writing something, and writing something excellent. If you are doing anything less than excellent, you’re really not giving the customer the job they need.
I’ve only been a writer for 15 years. Before that, I was a manufacturing engineer. I’ve also owned a small construction company. I didn’t start out to be a writer, it just happened. Maybe I’m different than you, but I didn’t learn to write in school, I learned to write as an engineer, writing proposals for the factory I worked in. Through that, I had to learn how to write clearly and concisely, answering the reader’s questions before they could be asked. Not fluff, “just the facts, ma’am” as Dragnet‘s Sergeant Friday used to say.
Now that I’m freelancing, I’ve found that my engineering and construction background are serving me very well. There aren’t too many writers who can write about electronics circuitry, sheet metal manufacturing processes, or how to design and build trusses for your house. That’s my niche; that’s what I write about. Why? I write about that because that’s what I know.
When I write about the things in my niche I write much better than when I write about just any old thing. I can make the reader see what I see, feel what I feel and experience what I’ve experienced. I can communicate the ideas in such a way that an 8-year-old can understand me, while giving enough meat to the article to satisfy a professional in that field. I become known for writing about my niche, and people come to me when engineering and construction articles need to be written or want to be read.
Finding your niche can be financially rewarding as well. When I’m writing about whatever, I might earn $15.00 an hour; but when I’m writing in my niche, I’ve earned as much as $50.00 in that same hour. You might wonder how that can be; it’s simple, when I’m writing in my niche, I write faster and better. That makes me more money.
So, let me ask you; what’s your niche?