niche freelance writer

Niche vs. Generalist: Which Freelance Strategy is Best?

A long-running debate in freelance writing circles revolves around whether it’s better to focus on one or a limited number of subject matter areas, or write about anything and everything a client might want you to cover?

Or in other words, should you be a niche freelance writer or a generalist? For me, the answer is easy: I believe that being a niche freelance writer is a much smarter strategy. Here are 4 reasons why:

  1. You can market yourself as a subject matter expert in your niche area(s). When you focus on one or a limited number of niches, you become an expert in these areas. Clients like to hire experts because they don’t have to bring the writer up to speed on their industry, its key issues and terminology, etc.
  2. Your services are more valued. Clients often place a higher premium on the value of a subject matter expert vs. a writer who knows little to nothing about their industry. Clients know they’ll have to do less handholding and likely will get higher-quality work.
  3. You can finish projects faster — usually much faster. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel and start from a knowledge base of zero (or close to it) when starting new projects. Therefore, you can get more work done in a typical day, week or month — which enables you to land more clients and make more money.
  4. You will have a better chance of your website ranking high in the search engines. The more narrow and focused your niche, the more opportunities you’ll have for maximizing your search engine optimization (SEO) results.

For example, good luck ranking high for “freelance writer” or even “Atlanta freelance writer.” But if you’re a “freelance medical writer” or “freelance financial writer,” you can optimize these keyword phrases on your website and possibly achieve first-page SEO rankings for them.

“But wait,” you might be saying. “Doesn’t limiting yourself to one or a couple of niches seriously reduce the size of your target market?”

Yes it does — and that’s a good thing! As a solo professional, you don’t need to try to appeal to every possible client in the whole wide world who needs to hire a writer. You just need to attract the clients who are looking for a writer with your specific knowledge and skill sets.

And trust me: If you choose a good niche, there will be more than enough good clients out there for you to work with who will keep you busy for a long, long time.

So how do you choose the right niche? We’ll discuss this in more detail in my next blog.

Authored by Don Sadler

Don Sadler hung out his shingle as a full-time freelance writer in 2009 after working for several custom publishing companies over the previous 24 years. Visit www.donsadlerwriter.com or contact him at don@donsadlerwriter.com.