How to Evaluate a Potential Copywriting Niche
You’ve made a list of possible copywriting niche or target markets you’d like to focus on. You’re in the process of evaluating those niche markets, but you’re not sure which one is best and most likely to need B2B copywriters.
There are some niche markets out there that aren’t worth pursuing. They just aren’t viable because they don’t have a big enough demand for B2B copywriting services.
However, there are many other copywriting niche markets where you can thrive and the demand for copywriting services is consistently very high.
Before we jump into a discussion about how to evaluate a niche, let me begin by first defining what a copywriting niche is because it’s different from a specialty. You could be a white paper specialist. That’s not a niche, that’s a specialty.
A niche has to do with industry. You could target an entire industry, or a sub-niche of that industry. For example, you might be considering creative firms that have B2B clients. That’s an industry. Or solar energy technology — that’s a sub-industry.
So how do you determine if the copywriting niche you want to pursue will be profitable or not?
There are four criteria I use to evaluate a possible niche and determine if there is sufficient opportunity for a B2B freelance copywriter.
#1. Is there a demand?
The first step is to determine if there’s a demand for copywriting services in the niche market you’re evaluating.
There’s a very simple process I use.
Start by making list of at least 20 companies in that niche market. You can do a quick Internet search to find the companies you’re looking for.
Next, visit the websites of those companies and see what’s on their site. Do they have a newsletter you can sign up to receive? Do they maintain a blog? Are they on social media? You should be able to tell if they do much marketing or not.
For example, a cement mixing company probably doesn’t do a lot of marketing. But a medical device manufacturer likely does.
Another way to determine how much marketing they do is to go to PRWeb.com and look for press releases. If you’re looking for specific projects, you can do a specific search by typing in the company name, the “+” or word “and,” and the project type. For example, you could type in “Cisco and white papers” to see if they have published any white papers. (They have, of course.)
Sometimes, I’ll type in the company name, the word “and,” and “webinar.” If they offer free webinars, they probably need email campaigns, ad campaigns, landing pages, and more.
#2. How many companies are in the niche?
Another thing you want to do is to find out how many companies are in the niche.
If you had trouble finding 20 companies in the niche you’re considering because the niche is so small, then that’s a red flag. I’ve found that you need at least 200 fair-sized companies in a niche market to be viable. If you can land three to five companies in that niche, you have the foundation of a solid freelance copywriting business.
I consider a niche of 200 companies to be the minimum; I actually prefer more so you have a plenty of opportunities to land clients.
I was working with a new copywriter a few years ago who wanted to focus on time-keeping software for professional sporting organizations. His research showed that there were about 40 fair-sized companies in the niche.
So, I encouraged him to broaden his approach a little bit and he eventually settled on all types of software for professional sporting organizations which expanded his niche to a few hundred companies. That’s specific enough so he can be a specialist in the niche, but large enough so he has a fair chance of landing enough clients to have a successful copywriting business.
Do your research and make sure there are enough companies in your copywriting niche market to make it profitable — at least 200 fair-sized companies.
#3. Is there an industry marketing association?
Another criteria is to find out if the niche has an industry marketing association.
If there’s a marketing association for your niche market, that’s a big green light. That means there are a lot of marketing professionals in that niche market. Those marketing professionals produce marketing materials that need to be written by copywriters and content writers.
And by the way, don’t be discouraged if there isn’t a marketing association associated with your niche market. Sometimes, an industry can be a profitable market for a copywriter, but they don’t have a marketing association connected with them.
For example, transportation companies are a large, viable niche market for copywriters. But as far as I know, there’s no transportation marketing association. I may be wrong, but I couldn’t find one.
You can also look for trade associations or professional associations in the niche. Often, they’ll have a marketing special interest group or a marketing subgroup within the association, which is a big indicator that it could be a very viable niche for you.
#4. Are there other copywriters in the niche?
The final thing you should do is do a search and find out if there are other copywriters who are writing for companies in your niche market.
For example, if you want to target insurance companies and you do a search for “insurance and copywriter,” you’ll find several writers who write for insurance companies. That’s a great indication the market is a feasible niche market simply because there are other writers that are presumably making a go of it in that copywriting niche.
Now, I know you might be thinking, “If there are two or three other copywriters who are in that niche, will there be room for me?”
The answer is a definite yes! The fact that there are copywriters doing well in the niche is a strong indication that there’s lots of demand in that niche market and there’s probably more than enough room for another great copywriter to jump in and start establishing yourself as one of the specialists in that niche market.
You can also do a search for creative firms in the niche, such as ad agencies and design firms. If you find marketing firms targeting the niche, that’s a strong indication that those companies do a lot of marketing because there are marketing firms and agencies that are targeting that niche. So you’ll know there’s a demand for copywriting services too.
So, those are the four criteria I use to evaluate a copywriting niche and determine if it is a viable market and worth pursuing. There are hundreds of potential copywriting niches with good opportunities for copywriters and I’m confident you can find a profitable niche for your B2B copywriting business.
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