Are you serious about making a good living as a freelance writer? Then you should specialize in one or more freelance writing niches. My self-guided course will quickly show you how to identify the best specialties for you based on your interests, expertise, and more…
Find Your Freelance Writing Niches: Make More Money for Less Work
Over the span of my 25-year writing career, I’ve spoken with dozens of freelance writers and read comments and stories from hundreds more on websites and forums.
The most common complaint? Income too low.
Are you satisfied with your income from freelance writing? If not, you need to find the areas of specialization where you can thrive and make a good income.
What’s Covered in the Course?
Part One: Why You Should Specialize
- My journey from struggling part-time college instructor to a comfortable living as a higher education writer
- 12 reasons why specialists make more money than generalists
- The pros and cons of being generalist (Yes, there are some advantages, but they are outweighed by the advantages of being a specialist.)
- How being a specialist can give you the freedom to write your novel, or your essays, or your poetry, or your memoir
Part Two: How to Choose Your Freelance Writing Niches
- 7 aspects of your life that can lead to lucrative niches (work experience and education are the first two)
- Exercise 2-1: Creating My List of Potential Niches
- Exercise 2-2: Determining My Primary and Secondary Niches
Part Three: What to Do Now
- How to research a potential niche for viability
- 9 ways to increase your expertise
- Why you must create an action plan
- Important advice on pursuing multiple niches
- Using your specialized knowledge to branch out into teaching, consulting, and coaching
- Exercise 3-1: Action Plan for My Primary Niche
- Exercise 3-2: Action Plan for My Secondary Niche
- Exercise 3-3: Developing Expertise in My Primary Niche
- Exercise 3-4: Developing Expertise in My Secondary Niche
“What I love about this course is John’s approach. He walks the writer through a series of sensible, easy exercises designed to find not just one niche, but a few more areas of interest on which the writer can capitalize. Because niches come from sometimes odd areas, I was thrilled to see John include exercises that drew from many different facets of one’s life and environment. If you’re considering specializing, this course is a must.”
— Lori Widmer, owner of Words on the Page blog
So Who Is John Soares?
I’ve made a comfortable living in my main specialty of freelancing for college textbook publishers ($50-$100 per hour) and in my secondary specialty in the outdoor field since 1992.
The most I’ve grossed in one year: $97,000.
Click the “About Me” tab at the top of the page for all the particulars.
How Much Can You Make in a Freelance Writing Niche?
Many pay at least $50 an hour, and some pay much more. Top writers in some fields can make $150-$200 per hour.
How Many Freelance Writing Niches Are There?
Thousands. They include just about any type of business area you can imagine, and they also include specific types of writing like creating ad copy, white papers, brochures, video scripts, and also magazine writing and technical writing.
“Your freelance writing niches course has put me on the right track with my freelance career. Before I was floundering about and not really sure of what industries to target with my marketing efforts. Now I have a clear focus on my niches and a list of targeted prospects. Thank you, John!”
— Tiffany Howard, freelance writer
“Many writers find that working within a niche or two not only makes life easier, but can mean extra income as well. The trick, of course, is picking the right ones. John keeps it simple and direct. He distills his experience in a way that makes it easy for you to follow and, following his instructions, make a decision or two that will stand you in good stead. If you want information on how to pick a writing niche, I highly recommend John’s course.”
— Anne Wayman, freelance writer, ghostwriter, blogger
It’s All About the Return On Investment of Your Time
When you build a successful freelancing business around one or more niches, you get far more money for each hour you spend on your business.
And time is a very precious resource. Don’t you wish you had more time?
What if you could meet your income goals while only working 20-30 hours a week? What would you do with that extra time? Spend it with your family and friends? Get more exercise? Travel? Or, if you want, work more and sock the money into savings or pay down your credit cards or squirrel it away for your kids’ college education.
“John’s course Find Your Freelance Writing Niches provides every freelance writer with a great blueprint to find their perfect writing niche(s). Having previously purchased his Writing College Textbook Supplements guide, I knew that his new course would provide quality information that could help me earn thousands of dollars in income. Don’t hesitate to dive in and apply the concepts he discusses in the course. It offers tremendous value and really lays out a step-by-step method that will lead to success. I highly recommend it to every freelance writer.”
— Michael Taulier, freelance writer
Use the Course Risk-Free for 30 Days
If, after examining Find Your Freelance Writing Niches: Make More Money for Less Work, you are unhappy with it for any reason, just send me an e-mail (johnsoares88 -at- gmail.com) and I’ll refund your 20 bucks. And you can keep the course with my compliments.
You Get All Future Editions for Free
No guarantee I’ll do it, but if I release new editions of the course, you get ’em gratis. I receive your e-mail address when you order, so I can easily contact you.
“John’s course is the GPS for discovering your freelance writing niche. If you would like help identifying your writing niche or exploring new specialty areas, John’s course is simple, organized, and practical.”
— Cathy Miller, freelance writer specializing in insurance and health care
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This isn’t a limited-time offer
Find Your Freelance Writing Niches: Make More Money for Less Work will be here when you’re ready. I won’t be “taking it off the market,” and I don’t have plans to increase the price beyond 20 bucks.
But if you’re serious about succeeding as a freelancer, you need to start now to find the best ways for you to make the most money.
Freelance Writing Niches: Your Questions Answered
Just prior to the launch of this course, I published a blog post asking readers for any and all questions related to specializing as a freelance writer and the course in particular. Here are the most important questions, along with my answers.
How Much Expertise Do I Need for a Specific Freelance Writing Niche?
The amount of expertise varies depending on the particular freelance writing niche. I’ve focused for much of career on creating curriculum components for college textbooks (see my ebook for all the details), and that does require substantial expertise for many college subjects, although I’ve seen writers without a college degree get hired to work on supplements in certain subjects that are easy to understand, like sociology.
It’s important to remember that you can learn quickly about a niche. I devote a large section to developing expertise in Part Three of the course: What to Do Now.
How Do I Find Freelance Writing Specialties Based on My Interests and Background?
I’ve identified seven different sources. Part Two of the course guides you through the process in detail and includes two exercises:
- Creating My List of Potential Niches
- Choosing My Primary and Secondary Niches
What Do I Do After I’ve Chosen a Freelance Writing Niche?
I address this in Part Three: What to Do Now, and I include exercises on creating “action plans” to help you succeed.
That said, the course focuses on picking your freelance writing niches, not on all the things you need to do to be successful as a freelancer. The latter is a large subject that is beyond the scope of the course. I recommend books and other helpful materials for that on the Success Resources part of the blog.
How Do I Rebrand Myself If I’ve Chosen the Wrong Field?
One point I make in Part Three: What to Do Now, is the need to keep exploring new areas of specialization until you find one or more that suit you and pay well.
If you’re in the “wrong” one, keep mining your experience and knowledge until you find more suitable ones. You’ll need to change your website and other marketing materials to reflect your new focus.
Will Specializing in One Area of Freelance Writing Limit My Income?
Jenn Mattern is a long-time professional freelancer. Here’s her comment in its entirety from last week’s post:
Not a question of my own, but one I get frequently: Isn’t choosing a specialty too limiting and going to decrease the amount of work I get?
I’m not sure what your take on it is, but I usually focus on the fact that fewer gigs available in general doesn’t mean you’ll land fewer of them (fewer writers vying for them), and because specialists often get paid more they don’t need as many gigs to make the same amount of money. And I usually note that it’s fine to choose multiple specialties (which can be a type of writing too, not just niche-centered), but it’s a good idea to keep them tied to similar markets so they don’t have to market to completely different groups, which takes far more time, but isn’t impossible.
I agree completely with Jenn.
How Easy Is It to Break into a Given Freelance Writing Niche?
Some are easier to enter than others, but it all depends on your skills and how well you market yourself.
Luck can also be a factor. Some people happen to be in the right place at the right time and get hired by a company for a specific project. That can lead to more work for the company, plus the experience to do similar work for similar companies.
What Is the Typical Compensation for Specialists?
Pay rates range from $50 per hour on up to $200 per hour for people that are at the top of a field that pays really well. I know specialists who make over $100,000 per year, but that definitely isn’t typical.
The most I made in one year was $97,000 gross, adjusted for inflation to today’s dollars.
How Much Work Is Available?
This varies by the specialty. Many see tens of billions of dollars in revenue annually, so those obviously have a lot of work for freelancers like you.
I discuss how to determine if a given freelance writing niche is lucrative in Part Three: What to Do Now.
Which Specialties Aren’t Over-Saturated?
Most areas have ample room for quality writers willing to put in the time to learn specific and who market themselves well and follow through on projects.
There are some fields that are definitely more crowded, for both business writing and consumer and trade magazines. Two crowded fields: travel and outdoor.
Should I Pick a Freelance Writing Niche or Stumble Into One?
Veteran writer Anne Wayman wrote:
John, here’s a question I might have asked back in the day if I’d known enough to ask it: Is it better to stumble into a niche or to pick and plan one?
Anne, in the course I talk about generalists versus specialists. One good thing about being a generalist is getting to write in many different areas. This can allow us to “stumble” into a specialty we love and that pays well. However, I think it’s best to pick a niche that you really want to be in rather than to get picked by one you don’t like so much.
How Do You Define the Parameters of a Freelance Writing Niche?
It’s important to distinguish between a broad sector, like health care, and more narrow sectors, like hospital/medical supplies. You will usually be better off with a narrower focus than a broad focus, as long as the sector is big enough that it needs substantial amounts of writing.
What If a Lucrative Specialty Isn’t Interesting?
…what do you do when the niche that has supplied the most income (business copywriting for tech companies) is no longer interesting, but what you find interesting (freelancing for magazines and other publications) can’t pay the bills? I can’t fully say that I really have a specialty, since I edit novels and business books too and write marketing collateral, but the question above gets to the heart of it: love or money.
Tom, there’s no set answer for every situation. Some people are fortunate to find a field that they absolutely love and that pays very well. I create supplements for college textbooks in a variety of subjects and overall I really like the challenge of creating great lecture outlines, study guides, and test questions, and I always love getting to learn more. However, there are times when some of the work is tedious.
- Work on improving your attitude about the work that pays well but isn’t all that fun. Think about how that money helps you live your life and meet your obligations. This isn’t easy, but the mental shift can help.
- Work harder at breaking into the top-paying magazines. I know you are likely already doing this, and I know it isn’t easy. (I spent time writing for magazines in the 1990s.)
- Move into one or two other niches that do jazz you.
I also address this issue in Part One: Why You Should Specialize.
How Do I Know If a Niche Pays Well?
A good one will pay $50/hour minimum, if it contains businesses that generate a lot of revenue or if it requires skills that most writers don’t have.
There are thousands of business sectors that need writers: just have a look at your local Yellow Pages to get an idea. High tech, health care, and transportation are examples.
In addition, specific types of writing can be very lucrative. These include writing business brochures, sales copy, white papers, case studies, and more. Some of these pay $100/hour and up.
You can find typical pay rates in publications like Writer’s Market and on specific websites and online forums.
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Some of the testimonials above are from people who received a complimentary copy of the course.