How do you pick a niche market when freelance writing?

dawndgolden

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#1
I’ve been freelance writing for nearly 7 years now. At first I started out trying to do –everything- and later learned that it’s better if I zone in on one or two niches. I currently do freelance blog articles and web content. I also write my own eBooks. Those are the two niches I stick to because I find the most enjoyment in them. How did you choose your freelance writing niche?
 

Cryptix

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#2
I think you just chose jobs that interest you. I want to do captioning and speech writing jobs, maybe writing about board games or parlor games (I hate Yankee spelling by the way!) but I'm easy really.
 

witchwriter

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#3
I avoid clients that try to niche me. I have written researched everything from pro sports to tropical birds to serial killers. The problem with writing gigs is that content managers try to play English teacher.
And what's up with all these ads people asking to know more about you . As long as I can write 6700 words using 6 keywords up to two dozen times, that's all they have to know.
 

chundley

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#4
I'm still figuring that out, although two of them are definitely those where either the writing content or the writing structure comes fairly effortlessly. I can write a variety of things quite well with a bit of research, but it takes me no time to write a press release or a killer speech if I've seen video of the speaker. It also takes me no time to write articles on web development, public relations, marketing, higher education, or politics. Right now, since I'm still working full-time, I'm exploring a couple of areas I'd like to write outside of my comfort zone - those areas I'd personally enjoy becoming expert in over time and that are in-demand.
 

witchwriter

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#5
I'm still figuring that out, although two of them are definitely those where either the writing content or the writing structure comes fairly effortlessly. I can write a variety of things quite well with a bit of research, but it takes me no time to write a press release or a killer speech if I've seen video of the speaker. It also takes me no time to write articles on web development, public relations, marketing, higher education, or politics. Right now, since I'm still working full-time, I'm exploring a couple of areas I'd like to write outside of my comfort zone - those areas I'd personally enjoy becoming expert in over time and that are in-demand.
Chundley you may find it worth your while to limit your projects to certain areas. You can research one topic and write a few different pieces but if you accept too much different stuff then your research time can multiply like crazy.
Regarding your speech writing, the people who need your help the most will probably be the last to admit it!
 

chundley

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#6
Chundley you may find it worth your while to limit your projects to certain areas. You can research one topic and write a few different pieces but if you accept too much different stuff then your research time can multiply like crazy.
Regarding your speech writing, the people who need your help the most will probably be the last to admit it!
I agree. I still haven't settled on the areas that are effortless to me that I'd like to specialize in. I'd like to narrow that down a bit to two or three, and then pick a couple areas that are stretches, but that I'd like to learn. I still have a full-time gig so I have time to transition.

I have definitely made the mistake more than once of taking on a job that was way too much from a research perspective. One gig - a 50-slide PowerPoint on some esoteric aspect of .NET comes to mind that paid really, really well, but I hadn't done more than take a course on the area years ago. After the payout, the resulting hourly rate and stress to make the deadline made that the last job I took on that subject. The work wound up great, but I really, really should not have taken that job.
 

witchwriter

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#7
chun
I agree. I still haven't settled on the areas that are effortless to me that I'd like to specialize in. I'd like to narrow that down a bit to two or three, and then pick a couple areas that are stretches, but that I'd like to learn. I still have a full-time gig so I have time to transition.

I have definitely made the mistake more than once of taking on a job that was way too much from a research perspective. One gig - a 50-slide PowerPoint on some esoteric aspect of .NET comes to mind that paid really, really well, but I hadn't done more than take a course on the area years ago. After the payout, the resulting hourly rate and stress to make the deadline made that the last job I took on that subject. The work wound up great, but I really, really should not have taken that job.
chundley I hear you on the slideshow gig. You can totally see how some 9 to 5 er would rather just buy the finished product and charge it to his credit card, rather than try to absorb refine and distill that big a result.
 

witchwriter

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#8
I think you just chose jobs that interest you. I want to do captioning and speech writing jobs, maybe writing about board games or parlor games (I hate Yankee spelling by the way!) but I'm easy really.
captioning is so hard to get into. I see the mistakes they make but every time I used to interview at the big captioning companies I got shot down. I live in Los Angeles so they are a stone's throw. But they pay dirt and really don't want to hire more than a slave.
Good luck.