The available pool of freelance writers is growing every day as more men and women find themselves in need of non-traditional employment in a job-scarce market. As a freelancer, specializing can be one of the best decisions you make for yourself professionally, as it significantly reduces the competition you need to fight off to reach potential clients. As long as it’s an industry that needs marketing, you’ll always be able to find contacts to solicit – if it’s an “odd” niche, all the better!
I came into freelancing on the heels of an unusual job writing item copy for an adult product store. Naturally, I was a little embarrassed when I first started there, but a few items in I realized that even “marital aids” were products when all was said and done; the same formula applied to writing about unmentionables as it did to, say, a flower vase. What does it look like, what does it do, why does a customer need it – the holy trinity of product description questions helped guide me past my initial shock and I became very quickly comfortable with the subject matter. Hundreds of descriptions later it became time to find a new job, but I went out with an unusual skill set to my credit.
Now, I’ve written for distributors, manufacturers and even performers in the adult industry, all without batting an eye. I noticed that other writers in my position erred towards brash and filth. This was a perfectly legitimate approach in some cases, but used too broadly it ran the very concerning risk of alienating shy buyers. I crafted a classy and sensual approach to the descriptive words and turns of phrase I used, and it opened – and continues to open – many doors for me.
Naturally, I had to weigh my options about being “out” and admitting I wrote these sorts of things, which in turn put me at a risk for alienating potential clients and companies because of the sort of work I was attached to. After I considered the pros and cons, I decided to be somewhat discreet but still include the work in my public profile. I don’t use my byline in work I do for clients, so the risk is minimal to them while the chance to get my skills advertised to the public puts me in a good position to gain more niche clients.
My advice to new writers is to pick a niche or specialty that they already know a great deal about, or one that interests them. Certainly there are popular topics right now, such as selling gold for cash online, but choosing that means you’d be competing against all the other writers who have discovered the same trend. Model trains, breastfeeding, even cooking on a budget can all be areas of expertise if developed and marketed properly.
So – what’s your niche?