How to Choose a Profitable Copywriting Niche
Whether you’re just starting out as a copywriter or you’ve been working with freelance writing clients for a while, you likely already know that choosing a profitable niche has many advantages …
- It makes your marketing efforts easier.
- You become a more efficient and effective copywriter.
- Your clients perceive you as an expert … which means they are more likely to seek you out, and will expect to pay you higher fees.
Choosing a copywriting niche is an excellent way to either start or grow your copywriting business.
But … how do you choose the right copywriting niche for your business?
And how do you find out if it’s profitable?
You may have already looked at the possibility of writing for a specific niche.
Maybe you’ve considered writing for several niches, because they all sound interesting and fun …
Or you’ve chosen a niche but aren’t confident it’s the right one!
If any of this describes you, take heart. You’re not alone. Choosing a niche is definitely one of the biggest hurdles we help copywriters overcome.
In this article, we’ll break down a simple approach to choosing a profitable copywriting niche, and how you can use it to promote yourself and attract the right freelance writing clients.
Ready to get started?
What Is a Copywriting Niche?
A copywriting niche refers to a specific industry, market, or field that a copywriter specializes in writing for.
For example, you could be a copywriter who specializes in writing for the wine industry, accounting software companies, or hockey equipment manufacturers.
Writing for a specific industry like this is considered a niche.
This is different from having a copywriting specialty. As a copywriter, you can specialize in writing emails, blog posts, or sales packages. But a specific type of writing like this would be considered a specialty, as opposed to having a niche.
Having a specialty is optional, but we highly recommend choosing a niche for your copywriting business.
Your niche can be almost anything. It can be a field that relates to one of your personal interests or hobbies, a past or current profession, or something completely new that you want to explore.
And as we’ll discuss later in this article, there’s a writing market in nearly every niche you can imagine.
We’ll also discuss how to find out if a potential niche is profitable. So please don’t limit yourself when you’re considering what niche to pick.
Choosing a niche is a powerful step toward building a successful copywriting career.
Take the job posting below as an example. It’s a posting for a copywriter position with Under Armour, a company that manufactures sports clothing and accessories.
You can see that Under Armour doesn’t want just any copywriter. They specifically want a copywriter who is passionate about sports. Or, in other words, a writer who specializes in a sports niche.
And this makes sense. A copywriter who specializes in writing about sports will naturally be a better fit for the company.
That writer would already have knowledge of the sports industry they can bring to their writing, which makes them far more valuable than a “general” writer the company would need to train.
In this way, choosing a niche gives you an instant advantage over general copywriters. Your industry-specific knowledge will automatically make you stand out from the competition.
Specializing in a niche also helps streamline your day-to-day work. Instead of needing to learn and research every new writing project from scratch, specializing in a niche allows you to develop in-depth knowledge in one area, which makes the whole writing process much easier.
Research can be one of the most time-consuming parts of writing, so the more knowledge and resources you have at your fingertips, the faster you’re going to be able to complete your writing projects.
Focusing on a niche will also make it much easier to market your copywriting services.
Without a niche, trying to figure out who you should offer your services to can be confusing. And you don’t always know what kind of clients you’ll find. This can lead to an inconsistent supply of clients … and income.
But with a clear niche, you can tailor your marketing message much more effectively, and focus your efforts on finding high-quality clients within your niche.
There are many good reasons to choose a niche, but actually pinpointing which niche is best for you can be a struggle for many writers.
That’s why we want to share with you …
The #1 Easiest Way to Choose a Copywriting Niche
The faster you can choose the ideal niche for you, the faster you’ll start reaping the benefits of being a niched copywriter.
So, without further ado, our best tip for choosing a copywriting niche can be summed up like this:
Start with what you know the most — and enjoy well enough.
Like we mentioned in the last section, a niche can be nearly any industry, market, or field imaginable.
So where’s the best place to start? With what you already know!
Maybe you enjoy a hobby like camping, golf, or embroidery, and you would enjoy writing about it.
You might also be a mechanic, nurse, or computer programmer, or have other professional skills you can bring to your writing.
This is what we mean by “start with what you know most.” Many writers use their existing personal or professional knowledge as a base for their copywriting niche.
Starting with what you know has many advantages:
- You already have insider knowledge you can bring to your work.
- You likely have industry contacts you can lean on for advice or referrals.
- You know your prospects — the potential customers you’ll be writing to — because you may already be one.
- Your learning curve will be dramatically shorter, because you’re already familiar with the industry.
- You can start promoting yourself immediately.
But don’t be discouraged if this doesn’t apply to you. Perhaps you don’t have a hobby, or you’re tired of your profession and want a complete change.
In this case, you can dive into any new topic that interests you, like learning about alternative health products or investing in cryptocurrency.
You don’t have to have pre-existing knowledge of an industry to become a successful copywriter in that niche. As long as you “enjoy it enough,” you’ll have fun researching and learning about your chosen market as you progress in your career.
Whether you choose a niche you already have a background in or you’re starting with fresh knowledge, you’ll find that taking this approach has the following benefits:
1. Clients Instantly Value You
Training new staff is an ongoing challenge for any business. And taking on a new copywriter is no different, even if a company is hiring you as a freelancer for one project.
That’s why companies value a copywriter who’s already knowledgeable about their industry. They know you won’t have to be trained or brought up to speed when they first hire you. Instead, you can jump straight into a job or project and save the company time.
You also understand the language, buyers, and nuances of the market. In this way, a client will see you as an ally who can help them move their business forward, which is a great relief to any business owner.
2. It Works in ANY Industry
A knowledgeable, niched writer adds value to any company, regardless of the industry.
The needs of individual companies will vary, but within every industry there will be companies that need a wide range of marketing materials, from web-based content to printed materials.
And they need people to write these materials. This is true for companies of all sizes and types, whether they sell business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C).
Also, many successful companies today set aside a marketing budget to pay for all the marketing materials they need, including professional copywriting services.
For proof that you can build a thriving copywriting career in almost any niche, check out how some of AWAI’s members have done it in their case studies here.
3. It Makes You Stand Out from the Competition
Some writers hesitate to choose a niche because they feel it might limit their options for finding clients.
In fact, the reality is the exact opposite.
By announcing that you serve a specific niche, you’re immediately setting yourself apart from the crowd. It’s true your message will reach fewer people than if you marketed yourself more widely, but the people you reach will see your value as a niched copywriter much more readily.
They’ll also be more inclined to hire you and pay you higher fees.
For example, take a look at Steve Maurer’s website below:
You can see that Steve has made it clear he specializes in writing for the industrial manufacturing niche.
Now, if you were the marketing manager of an industrial manufacturing company, would you choose Steve to write for you, or a more general copywriter?
The choice is clear. You’d likely be drawn in by Steve’s website and delighted that you’d found a copywriter who knows your industry and speaks your language.
When you’re a niched copywriter, it becomes much easier to find clients who are a good match for your skills.
Get Started by Doing a Personal Inventory
A great place to start when choosing a profitable niche is to do a personal inventory of your current skills and life experience.
This will give you a good idea of the types of subjects you might want to write about.
As a quick exercise, get out a pen and paper right now, or a handy electronic device, and write down your personal background in the following areas:
1. Career Background
Consider the following questions relating to your current or past work experience:
- What types of work have you done in your life? Which one has been your favorite?
- Do you have any certifications, designations, or other professional training?
- Are you a member of any professional organizations?
- Who do you know in a certain industry? Do you have any professional contacts?
You’ve likely gained a tremendous amount of knowledge and skills throughout your working life that you could leverage as a copywriter.
For example, if you’ve worked at a car manufacturing plant, you likely have a good idea of how the automotive industry works and the logistics involved in building vehicles.
Or if you’ve worked at a vitamin and supplement store, you probably know a lot about different supplements and how they’re used.
Insider knowledge like this is gold to potential copywriting clients.
For now, briefly write down all the work you’ve done in your life, and any other professional details you feel might relate to a niche.
2. Hobbies and Interests
Consider the following questions about your hobbies and interests:
- What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
- Do you currently have any hobbies or passion projects?
- Have you received any certifications or training outside of work?
- Are you part of any associations or membership groups related to a personal interest?
Your hobbies and interests are just as important as your professional background. They can also be a great source of learning and skill building.
And, like a professional background, knowledge of a certain hobby is valued by industries related to that hobby.
Consider hobbies like playing guitar, making craft beer, or painting. Hobbies like these require buying very specific gear and supplies, sometimes on an ongoing basis.
You can also typically buy courses and books about them, as well as attend online and in-person conferences and trade shows devoted to these topics.
Can you see how this creates a sizable industry behind almost any hobby? That industry includes a host of companies that produce all the products and services that are used by individual hobbyists.
And what that means is that a potential market exists for your copywriting services in almost any hobby-related niche.
3. Your Current Lifestyle
Consider the following questions that relate to your current, day-to-day lifestyle:
- What is your family situation? Do you have young children? Are you single or with a partner? Do you help care for aging parents?
- Do you have any dietary considerations, such as dealing with an allergy, or following a diet such as paleo or vegan?
- What does your living situation look like? Do you live in a house, an RV, or somewhere else? Do you take other things into account, like feng shui or interior decorating?
- Do you have personal experience that has made you knowledgeable about a certain subject, such as a health issue, social activism, or building a business?
We all have a great deal of life experience that can be very valuable as a niched copywriter.
Perhaps you’ve been preparing your financial plans for retirement. This would be a valuable skill to bring to the financial planning industry.
Or maybe you try your best to reduce your impact on the planet and live minimally. Any industries that focus on sustainability would appreciate your background here.
If you consider some of the challenges you’ve faced in the past, and how you overcame them, you’ll likely start to see some areas where you’ve naturally acquired a personal body of knowledge.
And these are the areas worth looking into as potential niches.
4. Putting It All Together
At this point, ideally you’ve been able to write down a few possible subjects that you have some knowledge in and would enjoy writing about.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to be an expert in a subject to make it your niche. You simply need to know a bit more than the average person to get started. That will already set you apart from the crowd and make you more attractive to potential clients.
Take a look at whatever you wrote down from the exercises above. What’s sticking out to you?
Now, let’s narrow that down into a more tangible focus statement about your niche. This is a good template to start with:
“I write ___________ copy/content for companies in the ___________ industry, based on my background in ___________.”
Fill this focus statement in with your top choice, or choices, from the brainstorming exercises above.
At this point, remember that nothing is final. This is just an exercise to start generating ideas about a possible niche. Try out a few different options in the template, and see which ones feel most appropriate for you.
A few examples might be …
- “I write lead-generation copy for companies in the alternative health industry, based on my background in health care.”
- “I write B2B copy for companies in the automotive industry, based on my background in auto sales.”
- “I write web content for companies in the pet industry, based on my background in raising Siberian Huskies.”
How to Find Out if a Niche Is Profitable
Once you have some ideas for a potential niche, the next logical step is to determine whether you can make money writing for that niche.
That’s what we’re going to deal with in this section.
How can you tell if there are potential clients in a niche?
And how do you know if they have enough money to hire copywriters?
You can find answers to these questions with some basic research. If you do an internet search in the areas listed below, it shouldn’t take you any more than an hour to see if a potential niche is profitable.
1. Trade Associations
Try searching for trade associations related to your potential niche. For example, look for trade associations in the dental, agricultural, or artificial intelligence industries.
An important note to mention here — do not assume your niche is too small to have potential.
Let’s take a hobby like archery as an example. Many of us might assume archery is a very small field. But did you know there’s an Archery Trade Association in the United States? This is their website:
You can see that the Archery Trade Association is dedicated to helping members grow their businesses in the archery industry.
They have a news section, where you can learn about what’s going on in the industry. They also provide educational content for their members, which you can access if you join.
And lastly, they put on an annual trade show that features more than 600 exhibitors and typically draws more than 9,000 attendees. This shows that archery has a significant market behind it.
It also means there are at least 600 potential clients you could market your copywriting services to if you were an archery copywriter. And archery is still a relatively small industry compared with many others.
Also, keep in mind that one copywriter can handle the workload of only about four to six writing clients at one time. So, if you could find ongoing work with even four good clients in the archery industry, you’d already be well on your way to having a thriving copywriting business.
Are you starting to see how a gold mine of opportunity exists in nearly any niche you might be interested in?
A great way to search for trade associations is to type this search term into your favorite search engine:
“Wikipedia trade associations in [your country]”
The top search result should be Wikipedia’s page that lists your local trade associations.
For example, this is the Wikipedia page result for the search term “Wikipedia trade associations in the US”:
The page lists a host of different trade associations across a wide range of industries in the United States. The results are similar in most major countries.
And as a freelancer, you can approach potential clients in nearly any country. So, even if a potential market may seem small in your home country, there’s nothing stopping you from looking for clients internationally if you find a good market in other countries.
Regardless of your location, researching trade associations will give you an idea of how big an industry is and, therefore, how profitable it might be.
2. Industry Conferences
Searching for industry conferences is another great way to find out an industry’s potential.
For example, EventsEye has an extensive listing of different industry conferences throughout the world:
On their site, you can search for conferences by geographic region, country, or specific industry.
Sites like this will give you a good overview of how big a potential niche might be, based on the number of conferences held in that industry.
You can investigate specific conferences and see who’s speaking and what topics are being presented. This will help you learn some of the key players in the industry, and what issues and subjects are important to the field.
Another benefit of researching industry conferences is the fact that many of the individual conference sites have a list of the exhibitors. This fact alone will save you a ton of time researching potential clients after you choose your niche!
If you’re looking for clients, all you need to do is pull up a list of exhibitors from an industry conference and start researching each one. Check out their website and anything else they publish to see if they might be a good match for your copywriting services.
And if they are, find out their contact information and reach out to them by email or phone to ask if they use freelance copywriters. Many copywriters have found high-quality work by using this simple method.
But even if you’re not ready to look for clients yet, the scope of industry conferences and the number of exhibitors they have can be excellent indicators of how profitable a niche might be.
For example, this is an exhibitor listing from Bowl Expo, a trade show for the bowling industry:
Bowl Expo lists the names and websites of all their exhibitors, so it’s easy to check out any of these companies individually as potential clients.
The list also shows you there are around 170 exhibitors at a bowling industry conference. And there’s a good chance some of those companies could use the services of a copywriter who specializes in the bowling niche.
In fact, just going to a trade show requires marketing materials that a copywriter can help with. Most companies will print a variety of pamphlets and handouts to distribute at the conference. And afterward, they’ll need emails and other materials to follow up with potential customers they’ve met at the conference.
You can also go to industry conferences, either in person or online, to start learning more about the industry and building your professional network.
But even if you don’t attend industry conferences, taking a closer look at the conferences themselves, and the exhibitor lists, can give you some good insights into the potential of a given niche.
3. Local Businesses
It’s useful to look at the bigger picture of trade associations and industry conventions, but local businesses can also provide excellent opportunities for a niche.
Say you wanted to choose a beauty and fashion niche. Local businesses that relate to beauty and fashion could include
- clothing stores,
- hair salons,
- shoe stores,
- nail and aesthetics salons,
- beauty and cosmetology schools, and
- related suppliers and manufacturers.
Local businesses always need to get the word out about their services, and your copywriting skills can help them do that.
You may also want to consider any industries that are particularly strong in your local area. Do you live in a town that has a lot of furniture manufacturing, local wineries, or software development companies?
There may be a regional industry like this that you can tap into as a copywriter.
4. Putting It All Together
Get out the niche focus statement, or statements, you wrote for practice earlier in this article.
What do you think of your focus statements after doing some more research into different niches?
Is there anything you want to change?
Once you’ve made any adjustments you feel are needed, it’s time to choose one final niche focus statement.
But remember, nothing is ever written in stone when it comes to choosing a niche. Many copywriters have changed their niche more than once throughout their career, with no ill effects.
So consider choosing a niche as a first step. It’s an important first step that will help you build a focused and successful copywriting career. But you can always change your niche later as your career grows and changes.
Try this as a template for your final niche focus statement:
“I write ___________ copy for ___________ companies in the ___________ industry.”
These are a few examples:
- “I write lead-generating B2B copy for midsized companies in the medical device industry.”
- “I write web copy for small companies in the landscaping industry.”
- “I write sales copy for large companies in the entertainment and games software industry.”
5 Ways to Bring Your Niche to Life NOW
You’ve decided on your niche, you know it’s profitable, and you have your niche focus statement ready — congratulations!
Now it’s time to start finding clients in your niche.
If you don’t have your writer’s website set up yet, that’s one of the first things you’ll want to do before you start looking for clients.
We’d recommend watching our free webinar on how to use your freelance website to land writing clients as a starting point. It includes a five-step plan to get your website up and running.
You can also check out our Build Your Freelance Website in Four Days program that takes you through everything you’ll need to do to launch your writer’s website in less than a week.
But if you’re still working on your website, don’t let that hold you back from starting your client search.
The following are ways you can start making your niche work for you today, whether you have a website or not.
1. Present a Niched LinkedIn Profile
Having a niched LinkedIn profile is an excellent tool for connecting with potential clients in your chosen industry.
In your LinkedIn profile, make sure you clearly convey your niche focus statement. Make sure you include
- the industry you serve, such as the real estate industry;
- the types of businesses you serve, such as real estate agents; and
- your copywriting specialty if you have one, such as writing emails or case studies.
A great example of a niched LinkedIn profile is from Dr. Eric Buensuceso, a certified optometrist and professional copywriter. In his brief LinkedIn profile byline, he successfully included all the points mentioned above:
Right away, he made it very clear who he serves and what he does. This is what you should aim for in your own LinkedIn profile.
If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile yet, check out our free webinar How to Write a Professional LinkedIn Profile with self-marketing expert Ilise Benun.
2. Write a Bodacious Bio: “About You”
You can put your bio in your LinkedIn profile, on your website, or in any other promotional materials.
Things you want to highlight in your bio include
- all the elements of your niche focus statement, i.e., who you serve and what you do;
- key reasons to hire you, such as your experience, track record, and knowledge;
- how you can benefit a potential client; and
- lots of proof showing you’re qualified and capable of delivering on your promises.
One thing you should not include in your bio are too many personal details. Your potential clients don’t need to know where you grew up, your political views, or your life story.
There’s nothing wrong with including brief, funny anecdotes or mentioning your personal interests to keep your bio more human. But avoid anything that could be controversial or misinterpreted in any way.
Copywriter Julia Borgini has an excellent bio on her website below:
You can see that her headline is essentially her niche focus statement. She perfectly expresses what she does and who she serves.
Her bio then starts by focusing on how she can help a potential client, and why she’s qualified for the job. If you go to her site, you’ll see the rest of her bio, where she explains her background in more detail while keeping it all relevant to her prospective client.
It also helps to have a high-quality photo of yourself that you can use, whether you get a friend to take it or pay to have it done by a professional photographer.
3. Create Your Unique Brand
Creating a brand for your copywriting business is another powerful way to stand out as a niched copywriter.
You can get a professional logo made as part of your branding, but this isn’t required when you’re first starting. What’s most important for a brand is to clearly express what you do.
Take some of the copywriters below as examples. They’ve all created a brand for their copywriting businesses, rather than marketing themselves under their individual names:
Each of these copywriters has chosen a brand name that makes their niche and the types of clients they serve very clear.
You can market yourself under your own name if you’d prefer, but make sure you still include a very clear statement as a byline that identifies your niche.
Include your brand messaging on your LinkedIn profile, your website, or other promotional materials. It will give a potential client instant clarification about what you do and whether you’re a good match for their business.
4. Reach Out to Your Contacts
Now that you’re a niched copywriter, it’s time to tell people about it!
Talk about your freelance business with friends and family, and ask if they know anyone who could use your services.
Email any current or past co-workers you feel comfortable approaching to let them know, and to see if they could refer you to anyone who needs a copywriter.
And once you’ve gotten the word out among your closest connections, start expanding your network by joining groups related to your niche, either in person or online. Get to know others in your new industry and start building new professional relationships.
LinkedIn is a great tool for building your professional network and contact list. For some helpful tips on how to do this, have a look at our free webinar LinkedIn Now: Best Practices for Getting Great Writing Clients.
5. Optimize Your Website
If you already have your writer’s website up and going, make sure you’ve included all the elements we’ve discussed in this section.
Post your niched bio on your “About Me” page. Make your brand statement prominent on the site. And throughout your site, make it clear how your specific knowledge and background can benefit a potential client.
You might also want to start a blog, where you regularly post articles about topics important to your niche. This will help your site rank on search engines and make it easier for potential clients to find you.
In addition, writing a blog is a great way to build expert status in your niche. If you can share useful and in-depth knowledge about your niche through your blog posts, potential clients can clearly see the value you offer as a copywriter.
Choosing a profitable copywriting niche is an excellent way to jump-start your copywriting career.
Writing for a niche makes you more valuable to potential writing clients because you know their business. In turn, this makes it easier to find high-quality clients and charge higher fees.
No matter what your background, you likely already have some unique experience and knowledge that you can bring to your writing.
And even if you want to write about something entirely new, some basic research can bring you up to speed on an industry fairly quickly.
If you haven’t already, please go back and do the personal inventory we outlined earlier in this article and write a few possible niche focus statements.
Then, go through the section on how to find out if a niche is profitable. Once you’ve done your research and feel confident about the niche you want to choose, write your final niche focus statement.
Next, start telling people about your new niche!
Let your network know about what you do, and make sure your niche is clear on your website, LinkedIn profile, and anywhere else you might promote yourself.
By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a thriving career as a niched copywriter.
If you’re interested in a more detailed breakdown of the steps you’ll need to take to choose a profitable niche and build your copywriting business, check out Pam Foster’s How to Choose Your Writing Niche program.
Or if you already have a certain niche in mind, you might like exploring AWAI’s niche-specific programs that give you a deep dive into a variety of profitable niches.
And for more valuable, free information on freelance writing success, access the Inside AWAI archives here.