How 5 Thriving Copywriters Found Riches in Their Niches … and How You Can, Too

I just saw this quote on LinkedIn the other day: “The riches are really in the niches.”*

Is this a true statement, when it comes to copywriters?

If you focus your writing business on a specific niche market or industry, can it really make a big difference to your career?

A niche certainly can be powerful. When I founded PetCopywriter.com back in 2009, my business took off. Suddenly clients in the pet/vet industry were coming to me, asking for help with their websites and more. And, they were THRILLED to find someone in their industry, which meant they paid me very well.

But, don’t just take my word for it. I checked in with a number of copywriters I know who provide services to specific niche industries. And, it’s been a great decision for them, too.

Here, you’ll meet five copywriters who chose to focus on a niche industry. You’ll find out what that decision meant for their careers and how they’re doing now. Plus, each one has provided their best tips for you, as you think about your ideal niche.

Let’s begin with the copywriter who took over my website, PetCopywriter.com, in 2017.

Dr. Tammy Powell, PetCopywriter.com

Veterinarian & copywriter — content marketing, emails, case studies, and more for your pet business

Why did you choose your niche industry?

“My professional experience made the pet/veterinary industry a logical starting point, and gave me automatic clout when trying to market myself.”

What major advantages did this decision bring to your writing career?

“It was a lot easier to get a foot in the door. And, I felt more confident asking for the fees I wanted from clients — the way I saw it, they weren’t just paying for a writer, but also for an expert in their industry.”

What do clients say about finding you — a writer in their industry?

“Many clients have told me they feel lucky to have found me. Part of the reason is, because of my background, they don’t have to do a lot of ‘handholding’ or explaining exactly what they want to include or highlight in their copy. Instead, they rely on me to make judgments based on my experience and will often ask for my opinion.”

How busy are you right now?

“Completely booked, with some ongoing projects for the whole year and others scheduled out for the next couple of months.”

What's your #1 success tip for those hesitating to choose a niche?

“Don’t waste time stressing about which niche to pick — you can always change your mind later, and a niche doesn’t limit you. (Instead, it just makes it easier for you to get started.) The sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll see success!

If you’ve chosen a large niche (such as medical or nonprofit), consider narrowing your niche down even further and becoming a specialist. Most of my best clients have come to me for veterinary writing specifically within the pet industry, and it’s been a great fit for both of us!

For me, having a niche is an effective form of marketing, because there are clients out there specifically searching for a writer in my area of expertise. My declaring a niche helps them find me.”

Eddie Stephens, DentalCopywriter.com

Copywriting and marketing for dental industry marketers, dental manufacturers, dental suppliers, and dental service providers

Why did you choose your niche industry?
“Opportunity presented itself while I was working at a dental practice part-time. That, combined with AWAI’s How to Choose Your Writing Niche program (more on this at the end of the article) and related common-sense coaching.”

What major advantages did this decision bring to your writing career?
“It enabled me to establish my influence and authority specifically as a dental-industry copywriter and content strategist. I’ve had rewarding opportunities for long-term retainer relationships that have provided me a steady, consistent income, strategic partnerships around ongoing projects, and friendships.”

What do clients say about finding you — a writer in their industry?
“They’re occasionally surprised that I focus somewhat exclusively in the dental niche. As an added bonus, my USP is that I’ve actually worked in a dental practice (and, side-note … so does my wife). I’m around the industry daily, and this increases my credibility when they’re seeking a niche-focused writer.”

How busy are you right now?
“I have three ongoing retainer client contracts as we speak. One is approaching two years, for blogging, social media curation/content writing, and related content strategy. I maintain a somewhat steady stream of leads each month for various projects, too.”

What’s your #1 success tip for those hesitating to choose a niche?
“Inventory your life, career journey, and passions/interests/opportunities for the following niche-formula:

  • Practical Exposure (to an industry/product/service)
  • Routine Experience (within an industry or with a product or service)
  • Applied Expertise (the application of your skills/USP that maximizes your exposure and/or experience)”

Julia Borgini, SpacebarPress.com

Copywriter and content marketer for B2B technology companies

Why did you choose your niche industry?

“I chose B2B technology because I'm a geek. I love technology and love writing about it. I'd already spent 10+ years as a technical writer, so I was already familiar with the industry, concepts, jargon, etc. I knew it would be the easiest for me to jump into. The fact that I enjoy it is why I'm still writing about it nearly 10 years later.”

What major advantages did this decision bring to your writing career?

“It let me start my copywriting career faster, because I already knew the product types, jargon, trends, etc. There wasn't much homework for me to get caught up on by switching from the operations side (tech writing) to the marketing side of things.”

What do clients say about finding you — a writer in their industry?

“They love that they don't have to explain tech concepts to me and that I already know how to market their products to their customers. They can just tell me what the campaign is, what their target/end goal is, give me some resources, and I'm off and running. They're already so busy every day that I'm able to take some of that pressure off them. Plus, they love that I'm a geek who can write, which is pretty rare. (If you've ever looked at a technical manual or website, you know what I mean.)”

How busy are you right now?

“I tend to run at about 85% capacity all the time, as I don't want to get too busy and burn out. Since the pandemic started, I'm down to about 75% capacity for my freelance clients, but most of them have stuck with me. Most of them have only skipped a month or a few weeks’ worth of work with me, as they pivot their marketing campaigns, then we're back into the regular swing of things.

I actually started a full-time ghostwriting job with one of my clients at the beginning of March that's keeping me busy for the rest of my time. (So, in reality, I'm about 110% busy, but it's really spread out, so I can manage it all.)”

What’s your #1 success tip for those hesitating to choose a niche?

“Don't worry if you see a lot of other freelancers in the same niche. That just means there are lots of clients available to pay you, so get in there!”

Steve Maurer, Maurer-copywriting.com

Freelance writing as a B2B industrial/manufacturing copywriter

Why did you choose your niche industry?

“I chose industrial manufacturing for several reasons. First, I know the industry and its ideal customers, because I've been that ideal customer for over 30 years. And, I know the language of its ‘tribe.’ I write better copy, because I know the needs.

Also, this industry uses a ton of copy of various formats. From blog posts to web copy to emails, case studies and more, this B2B industry uses it all. And, they have deep pockets. Most are willing to pay premium prices for good copywriting. The ones that don't … find someone else.”

What major advantages did this decision bring to your writing career?

“The first advantage — and probably the most important for me personally — is that I didn't have to learn a new industry on top of learning this whole copywriting thing. I'm able to concentrate on learning how to write better copy and content marketing, with an eye on how it fits in with my niche or target market.

It also helps with SOS — shiny object syndrome. If a program doesn’t directly relate to my industry, I can skip it, no matter how great it sounds. I concentrate on programs that teach me how to best serve my target market.

Another thing that helps me is that it allows me to target my marketing with laser beam precision. Everything I do in self-promotion attracts their attention, including SEO (search engine optimization) for both my website and LinkedIn profile. Having a defined niche makes marketing easier and more effective.”

What do clients say about finding you — a writer in their industry?

“First, they notice how easy it was to find me. If you do a Google search for ‘copywriter,” you get about 50 million results. And, those on the first results page are what and how sites, not actual copywriters. But, Google ‘industrial copywriter’ … the results come in at about three million. And they'll find actual copywriters, with yours truly included.

Second, they love working with a copywriter who's familiar with their industry. We speak the same language, know the same ‘secret code.’ And since I know them and what they do, I can hit the ground running with a minimum of hand-holding.

Third, they've told me I'm more like a member of the team, not an outside contractor. This means they get a partner, not an order taker. They love that.”

How busy are you right now?

“Today is Tuesday, and I've already had three discovery calls this week. One is a definite gig I'll be writing. Another gave me information to send a quote for a pretty hefty project.

So currently, I have one proposal to send out by next Monday, and already have at least three content projects to get written this week. I don't know if busy is the right word for it! LOL”

What’s your #1 success tip for those hesitating to choose a niche?

“Honestly, this is a tough one for me. Not because I don't have a tip, but because I don't want to sound crass or mercenary. But, put passion aside for a while, if necessary. You don't need to love your market to write effectively for it and make good money.

We all know you can change your niche or target market. (I highly doubt I will, though.) So for now, choose a niche you know about — one that uses the copy you write and is willing to pay for it — so you can concentrate on learning your craft.

My niche mantra has always been and will continue to be: If you write what you know, you’ll know what to write. And, you’ll know who to write it for and who to write it to.

I know my ideal client and what they need. And, I also know their ideal customer and what they need. Those two distinctions allow me to write more effectively, charge higher fees, and consequently, make more for less effort.

I have my personal dream of a writer's life. It doesn't include writing 24/7. Not even for the niche I've chosen. But, the money I make writing for my target market is the fuel that drives that dream.”

Liz Farr, FarrCommunications.com

Content marketing for accountants and those who serve accountants … written by a CPA

Why did you choose your niche industry?

“It’s not so much that I chose my niche, but that it chose me. I spent 15 years working as a CPA, and I needed a new career I could step into without a big dip in income. For the past two years, I’ve been writing exclusively for accountants and those who serve accountants.

I discovered there’s a huge need for writers who understand technical accounting standards and laws, and who can write persuasively about those things. I’ve been able to shift from complete burnout as a CPA and never wanting to do anything accounting-related ever again to falling back in love with the profession.”

What major advantages did this decision bring to your writing career?

“Being a CPA who’s also a freelance writer makes me rare and valuable. By leveraging my professional experience, I’ve been able to skip the beginner’s stage to ask for higher fees and more exciting projects. In my first year of full-time freelancing, I made more as a writer than I had as a CPA.”

What do clients say about finding you — a writer in their industry?

“They’re excited to work with someone who speaks the same language they do, and who really gets what it is they’re trying to do. They like having someone who keeps up with the latest industry trends that they can bounce ideas off of, and who can craft meaningful and persuasive messages from the ideas in their brains.”

How busy are you right now?

“For the past year, I’ve been too busy to take on more than a few new clients. I refer most of the leads I get to other accountants I know who write. I’m pretty well booked up solid for months at a time with projects for my steady base of clients. When I do get a lull, all I have to do is send out one or two emails to fill in that gap immediately.”

What’s your #1 success tip for those hesitating to choose a niche?

“You don’t have to choose a niche to be successful. But, if you do choose a niche, pick something you’ll enjoy being immersed in, something that stimulates your curiosity and makes you excited. It’s also helpful if there’s not much competition, and if you can find a niche where people are willing to pay for your expertise.”

You may have noticed that a few of these members said you don’t HAVE to choose a niche … or even stick with your first choice. That’s the beauty of freelance writing. You get to choose.

But, the upshot here is this … to start landing clients and bring in good money as soon as possible, choosing a niche you know about is a GREAT way to go. You can always make a shift later, if you wish.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


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Published: June 24, 2020

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