The FIVE Most Popular—and Lucrative—Niches for Copywriters
As a copywriting coach, I’ve been helping copywriters find the niche that’s right for them since 2003. Because of my two decades of experience working in niches open to copywriters, I’ve always felt confident in my advice.
But after working intensely with copywriters for the past five years, I find I’ve developed insights and perspectives I didn’t have before, which have deepened my understanding of the niches and given me a clearer view of their respective personalities and opportunities.
What follows is my own take on the top five niches for copywriters based on personal experience, the experience of many of my coaching students and colleagues, historical industry “norms,” statistics from my two Fee & Compensation Survey reports for copywriters, more than a touch of online research, five years’ of matching copywriters to their perfect niches, and a little deductive reasoning.
So then … what are the top five niches for copywriters?
I think most of us would agree on a few of them. Health is very big. And so is BizOp (business opportunities). Another very large niche is the financial market. And in my opinion, there are two more “really big” niches for copywriters. Can you guess what they are?
One is sex, dating and relationships. One of my past coaching students is doing very well in the dating and relationships niche, and while I don’t know anyone writing for the “sex” market, we all know it’s a vast underpinning of the Internet.
Some years ago I spent $300 on a Dunn & Bradstreet report on the dating niche and was shocked to discover just how wealthy some of these dating services are, and how many there are that are not well-known!
So health, wealth, relationships and working for yourself (which overlaps with wealth), accounts for four of the top niches for copywriters.
And so far, have you noticed? All of the “really big” niches have something in common: Each also happens to service the really big needs of us humans …
- Sex and relationships, so we can procreate and keep the species going, and fulfill the human need for love, companionship, and community …
- Money, so we can trade for the things we need in order to live, like food and shelter … plus some of the little extras we don’t need but still deeply desire …
- Business opportunities, so we can realize our full potential, enjoy our work lives, feel relevant and needed, enjoy freedom, and shape our own destinies …
- And health. Have you ever had a health challenge? Has your wife, your husband, your child or your parent? If so, then you know that regaining your health comes before all else.
So what’s the fifth big niche market for copywriters?
I think it might surprise you. The fifth big niche market for copywriters is …
According to Volume I of my Freelance Copywriter Fee & Compensation Survey (published in 2005), where nearly 300 copywriters shared their most intimate economic information, technology was revealed to be the most “popular” business category to work in.
In 2007, when I came out with Volume II of the Freelance Copywriter Fee & Compensation Survey (which is not an update but a companion to Volume I), 234 copywriters revealed technology as the most “lucrative” business category to work in (36.8 percent). So technology is both “popular” and “lucrative.”
For a long time I wondered why technology was such a popular niche, since it seems out of sorts with the other top niches, all of which address subjects essential to human survival.
So I decided to do some research. And the first place I went was to Wikipedia for a description of the term “technology.”
As Wikipedia defines it, technology is a broad concept that defines our use of tools that we can use to control and adapt to our environment.
According to Wikipedia, our ability to control fire and the invention of the wheel are examples of our early use of “technology.”
Offered in this context—that technology is an outcropping of our need to control our environment—well, I can accept that! After all, we all know how pervasive the term “control freak” is!
As to a more relevant reason why technology is a popular niche for copywriters, I would think that it’s the deep pockets and abundance of work. Advertising and direct-marketing agencies love the technology niche.
In fact, if you want to discover some of the most lucrative niches for copywriters, simply look at the industries served by the top agencies!
But getting back to the top five niches for copywriters, we have four niches that are strong business-to-consumer niches—health, wealth, business opportunities, and relationships—where the possibility of earning royalties and bonuses exists.
And then wild card technology, which is mostly business-to-business, and where the pay is good and the level of professionalism high (making for enjoyable work), with pay of the flat rate variety.
Traditionally, you’ll see bonuses and royalties in niches where a marketer can reach a massive audience. But in B2B, audiences are typically small, so the bandwidth for bonuses and royalties is narrow to almost nonexistent.
I say “almost” because you can negotiate any kind of pay arrangement you want as long as the other party is willing. In B2B, however, and especially in technology, process is highly valued, and stepping outside of process typically causes lots of pain for the people who will pay you. And so generally, it isn’t done.
For my coaching students who want to earn great wealth as a copywriter writing for others, I point them in the direction of the health, wealth (or financial) markets.
I’ve spent five years digging deeply into the niche markets for copywriters, and today my process for helping copywriters and ghostwriters find their niche markets is highly developed and very successful.
This system is proprietary to my coaching program, the MARLOW Marketing Method™ for Copywriters, and has never been shared outside of my program … until now!
I’ll be at AWAI’s FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp in November to share my full system for honing in on the niche that’s right for you. So if you’ve been struggling to find your place in the copywriting world … if not knowing your niche is keeping you from moving forward … if you’re tired of not having any direction … well, this is the place to start.
You’ll enjoy a tremendous sense of relief once you know where you belong—based on your goals, your work history, your passions, and other important factors.
Sign up for the AWAI’s FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp today!
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Very informative and extremely helpful. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend. However, this is the best description of freelance copywriting I,ve had the pleasure to read. Good job Will.
I have been writing for a while now. I'm a paid and published writer. I still have no idea what to choose as my niche. I'm not making a lot of money as well.
I seem to wind up writing travel related articles, which I absolutely love. The problem is I am unable to travel due to financial reasons. Most of my content is strictly from research.
Is it possible to be a travel writer without traveling until I am able to start traveling?
Mary C –
This may be under the umbrella of "free" advice, but I tried searching and ended up with courses for copywriting. What I want to know is "Is direct response copywriting for the field of education (elementary) a profitable niche?" Anyone???
Donna Chubb –
Hi Mary, The answer is yes, you can write about travel without leaving the house. You don't have to climb Mt. Everest to write about the experiences of others. Also if you write ad copy, they never send you there. They just give you the right materials to work with. However, when you're able to travel, you can create the kind of life you want. I used to hire a CW who traveled the world writing copy for hotels and other hospitality in exchange for room and board. You can do anything you want!
Guest (chris marlow) –
The answer is no, the field of elementary teaching is NOT a good niche for copywriters. I hope I got to you before you spent time there!
Guest (chris marlow) –
Difficult course! Kinda know my niche but I'm taking the "Accelerated"
(haha) training. Now all my late mornings & evenings & some afternoons are consumed by HAND COPYING SALES LETTERS 3X.This is 1 of my short breaks.Leaves me little time 4 further study. <3 my dog & husband. But. Such perfect genius! I actually ordered 34-year-old son a subscription 2 Fly Fisherman magazine-- convinced in a moment when I was copying Trout Spoken Here. Learning 2 express everything in 500 or fewer characters. J
Jill in Oregon –