Why to Focus on Developing Writing Skills in One Industry
Writing work is available in every industry from technical manuals to food blogging and developing marketing materials. Not many writers can do all of that, and those who try are generally not as good as someone who specializes in that industry. As a writer, there are many advantages to focusing your time and effort on developing writing skills in one particular industry.
Build a Brand for Yourself
It is much easier to market yourself as a writer in a particular field than as a writer in general. When you select one industry to focus on, you can craft a website that lists your skills and qualifications in that industry and displays several key writing samples to demonstrate what clients can expect from you. For example, freelance business writers can explain their experience in business in the real world and link to business tools they have written. It also makes the job of finding clients more defined because you know what industry to look in.
Get More Relevant Referrals
One of the best ways to build your writing business is to get referrals from satisfied clients who recommend your services to others they know. In most cases, these others will be in the same industry as your client. Therefore, you can often build up your business faster by focusing on that one industry and encouraging those you work with to pass along your contact information to others if they are happy with the work you do.
Reach Expert Status
In his book, “Outliers,” Malcom Gladwell proposes that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in a particular field. Even if you are working 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year, this is five full years of work. Therefore, if you want to truly be an expert writer in a field and get the jobs reserved for experts, you can’t divide your time. You need to focus your skills on one particular industry so you can put in the hours you need to excel in that field and earn the top freelance writer rates.
Produce More Current Writing
One of the challenges of being a writer is keeping up with the most recent trends and news in your industry. The more industries you work in, the more difficult it is to stay on top of all of the news and developments. For example, as a finance writer, I need to keep up with changes in laws, interest rate trends, and how the economy is affecting the way people manage their money. As you focus your skills, you will be able to consistently produce pieces that are relevant to your clients in this day and age.
If you are just starting out as a writer, you do not necessarily have to select just one industry right away. You could get your feet wet in several industries, see what kind of jobs are available, and use that data to help you narrow your choice down. However, after a while, you will find that having a more clearly defined niche is a helpful tool to focus your work.
What were the factors that led you to select your niche industry? Would you recommend this industry to new writers?
Kristen M is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments. WriterAccess is powered by ideaLaunch.