How to Find an Online Copywriting Niche that's Right for You
I was thinking maybe I should give this issue a different title: 3½ Ways to niche your freelance writing business.
You’ll see why when we get to the “half.”
As I mentioned on day one of our week together, it makes sense to find a niche for your freelance business because it enables you to become an expert in a single field and then present yourself to your prospective clients as a true authority.
If you stick with being a generalist, taking on any work from any company in any industry, you will never get that authority status and the higher fees that come with it.
So how can you choose a niche for your business?
Well, there are three and a half ways.
1. Niche by industry
That’s the way I have gone with my new freelance venture, focusing just on the coffee industry. Actually, I have chosen a sub-niche within that industry — marketing to coffee enthusiasts at home.
I chose coffee because it’s an industry I’m familiar with and enjoy.
How about you? Look into your own background and think of the industries you might have been involved with in the past. An industry you already know about. An industry that feels right … that you would feel good about being involved in.
A caveat here. Just because you have been buying health foods for the last 10 years doesn’t mean you know that industry from a business perspective. It just means you like healthy food.
Try to think of an industry about which you have some inside knowledge. (Like I do with coffee.)
2. Niche by writing specialty
Maybe you feel you are an absolute natural for writing online sales pages, or e-newsletters, or blog posts. And so on.
If that’s the case, you can become a specialist in — for example — writing online sales pages and landing pages … across different industries.
That’s what I did back when I launched my first online freelance business in 1998. I wrote across numerous industries. That said, I focused more on B2C than B2B, because I think I am better when writing to the end-consumer. You can make those choices too.
3. Niche both ways
For example, you could become an e-newsletter specialist for the consumer electronics industry.
Now you’re not only niching by industry, but also by writing specialty. (I use this example because my most profitable gig of all time was writing e-newsletters and emails for a major player in consumer electronics. Two emails and two e-newsletters a week … every week, every month, for years. Happy days!)
3½. Just get started
I know some freelancers get analysis paralysis when trying to figure out the best niche to go for. They struggle and struggle and then realize they have spent three months or more thinking hard, but doing nothing.
If this happens to you, I would just grab any client that comes your way and start working. Just put up a really simple website saying you offer online copywriting services and get started.
Look through your old “Rolodex,” talk to old work friends, attend local Chamber of Commerce meetings, and do the first project you can get your hands on.
I know … it sounds like I’m arguing against myself here. First I tell you the importance of choosing a niche, and then I give you this “half” option to be the ultimate generalist and just do anything that comes your way.
There isn’t a contradiction there really. If you can choose a niche on day one or two, that’s perfect. But if you can’t, no good comes from sitting on your chair and scratching your head for six months. You’re much better off working.
The more you work, the more you learn. And before you know it, you’ll start getting more work from one particular industry, or for one particular type of writing, and realize you have found your groove. At that point, update your website and enjoy your new niche!
That’s it for today. Tomorrow we’ll look at the best way for you to jump in and get started.
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