Pitching Your Niche
When they’re just starting out building a content writer service, novice freelance writers tend to grab every piece of work they can find, regardless of the subject matter. It’s only logical: it’s so difficult for new writers to find clients willing to give them a chance, and no one wants to pass up work if they don’t know when more will be coming. Eventually, though, most writers reach the point where they have more than enough to do every day.
Getting the Right Client
Once you reach this point in your writing career, your next step might be to take a look at how much money you’re making, and wonder how to increase it. If you’re booked solid most days of the week, getting more work isn’t the answer. You can’t add more hours in the day, and you have to rest sometime. The solution to your problem isn’t more clients, it’s better ones.
Better clients are those with more interesting work, more consistent work and, best of all, work that pays more per word or per piece. The only way to make more money without driving yourself crazy writing all hours of the day is to find clients who pay you more for doing the exact same thing. Of course, the clients will want more in return: more careful editing, more formatting and especially more specialized knowledge in your subject matter. And the best way to provide this is by finding and specializing in a niche.
Why a Niche?
For the uninitiated, a niche is a specialty. Yes, most good writers can research and write about almost any topic (although nuclear engineering and cloning probably don’t fall under that umbrella) but no one can be an expert at everything. On the other hand, anyone can be an expert at something. Whether it’s container gardening, soccer or building custom skateboards, there are writers out there who write almost nothing except their chosen topics and related subjects, and make a decent living doing it.
Clients prefer to hire writers with specialized knowledge for a number of reasons.
- They trust the writer will put correct information into their article
- They know the writer won’t need to spend a lot of time researching
- They know the article will have insider details, adding color and interest
- They can work with the writer in developing additional, related pieces
Fortunately for the writers, most clients are willing to pay extra for all this specialized knowledge. The clients realize they have to pay for expertise, and know the extra expense will pay for itself in the long run with quality work on their projects.
Take Advantage of Your Niche
The best way to take advantage of this increase in pay is to develop your own niche and begin to exploit it. Don’t be tempted to work in a niche just because other people are making a lot of money doing it. First of all, they may have been working the niche for years and just now are starting to see progress. Secondly, if you work in a niche you don’t absolutely love, you’ll be bored every day and end up hating what you do. Start with a niche topic you like and build it from that point.
Read everything you can about your niche topic to learn and stay up-to-date on developing aspects. Join forums in your topic genre and make intelligent posts. Search for writing opportunities in your niche topic and offer to write about them. Ask if you can guest post on niche blogs. Once you’re established as a knowledgeable writer in your industry or niche, you can justify charging clients more for your work.
Victoria B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.