Finding a writing niche is an important step for every freelance writer, because having at least one specialty will help you build a more streamlined portfolio, find clients with whom you can work on an ongoing basis, and research and write more efficiently.
But how do you go about finding and developing your niche? You can start by asking yourself the following questions to narrow down your options.
What is your background and experience like?
This is usually the best place to start, as having firsthand experience with something will make it easier for you to write knowledgeably about it.
Do you currently have a day job you could draw on for inspiration? Have you travelled extensively for work? Perhaps you once worked in finance or have a lot of experience in customer service. Maybe you recently started teaching yoga or have always loved and owned dogs, or maybe there’s a hobby you’re especially passionate about.
The point is that regardless of your background or age, you have experience that makes you an expert on something, whether it’s health and fitness, psychology, pet-ownership or finance.
Who you want to write for?Figuring out who you’d most like to write for is another good way to find and develop your niche. Think back on some of the things you’ve written in the past; who did you imagine would read and enjoy it? Young adults? Working mums? Entrepreneurs? Fitness enthusiasts?
Once you know who you want to write for, you can tailor everything you write for that audience even if the topics vary for different publications or clients.
For example, if you know you want to write for working mums, you can focus on that audience and pitch yourself as an expert on the subject while still covering a wide range of topics from parenting to nutrition to work-life balance.
What do you enjoy reading about?
If after asking yourself the above questions you still can’t narrow it down to one or two specialties, it might help to think about what you enjoy reading, because the things you enjoy reading about are often the things you’ll enjoy writing about too.
What sort of blogs do you follow online? Are there any topics you love reading about? What kind of writers do you follow on Twitter? Have you set up any news alerts for specific keywords?Keep in mind that having a niche or specialty doesn’t mean you’ll never cover other topics in other industries; it just means that it will become easier for you to pitch your ideas to editors and clients in that niche or industry.