If you’re not a niche market writer, you may be cheating yourself out of writing jobs!
These reasons to specialize in freelance writing are from professional writer Frances Bula, who recently spoke at the Magazine Writers’ Craft Fair in Vancouver, BC.
“The media is a place where you can create yourself,” says Bula, who has written for several national magazines and newspapers. “It’s a great industry to work in, because your brand or niche is up to you.”
What kind of freelance writer do you want to be? What do you love writing about; what are you naturally interested in? Maybe that could be your niche market. And, the good news is that establishing yourself as a niche writer is surprisingly easy.
If you’re looking for niche markets, you might want to invest in the Writer’s Market - it lists a ton of different magazines, websites, periodicals, and even newspapers to write for.
And, here are several freelancing tips from Bula…
5 Reasons to Specialize in Freelance Writing
“I’m not a great pitcher of query letters, not a great writer, and I don’t have lots of experience as a freelance writer – but I have a specialized beat,” says Bula. It’s her niche market that helps her earn a living as a freelance writer.
Here are her reasons freelancers might want to find their niche market…
1. Sources trust niche writers, and will open up. Niche writers aren’t starting from scratch, so they get information that other writers might not. “People return your calls more quickly because they know who you are,” says Bula. “This saves time, because it’s more difficult to get people to call you back if they don’t know who you are.” And the quicker you can research and edit the article, the better – especially if you’re on a newspaper deadline.
2. Average people respond to specialized writers. If you specialize in one topic as a freelance writer, you become associated with your niche. This makes the “man on the street” more willing to talk to you. They learn to trust you because they’re familiar with you, your writing style, and the publications you write for.
3. Niche market writers develop in-depth knowledge. The more you write about one particular niche or beat, the easier it is to research and writer the article. For instance, I write health articles for BC Women’s Hospital. Every article I write teaches me more about medicine, medical terms, and health news, which makes me a better health writer. It’s an upward spiral!
4. Specialized freelance writers have real conversations with sources. The more you talk to your sources (and niche market writers access the same sources regularly), the better and more interesting your discussions will be. You’ll go beyond the information interview to having real conversations with your sources.
5. Niche writers are more credible. Bula calls this “institutional memory.” The longer you specialize as a freelancer, the more credibility you have. Niche market writers are able to remind people of what experts said years – or even decades – before. This makes them more trustworthy to readers and editors.
To learn how to make money as a freelancer, read For Niche Writers – 9 Ways to Make Money in Specialized Markets.
Don’t Have a Specialty as a Freelance Writer? Don’t Worry!
Developing a niche market doesn’t take long. “People starving for expertise in media world, so it doesn’t talk long to establish yourself as an expert,” says Bula. “In less than two years, I was called as an expert by radio and TV shows.”
Blogging can help you carve out your market niche. Blogging on a certain defined subject – a niche – helps you build your audience quickly. Bula suggests finding a niche in which people are starving for information. Your blog has to have something other than an opinion…it needs content. Information. Niche writers need to invest time in covering stuff that nobody else will write about.
Do you struggle with writer’s block, fear of rejection, or self-doubt? Give 73 Ways to Fire Up (or Just Fire!) the Muse a whirl.
To learn more about Frances Bula, visit State of Vancouver.