Our Freelance Writing Needs Defined
We must make freelance niche types fit our needs, wants,
values and lifestyles, and we also must make ourselves fit
freelance niche types. Of our waking hours, we work more
than we do anything else. I keep this in mind when college
students come to me concerned about what to do for a living,
and I tell them (because I want them happy) to do what they
love. I also tell them (because I believe in the truth) to
do what they are good at.
The same goes for freelance writers. If we are talented, we
have a chance. If we have a severe work ethic we have a
better chance. And if we are devoted enough and relentless
enough (and¡ªahem–masochistic enough) about writing for a
living, we will be able to put on our vitaes that we are
indeed professional writers. But in order to do and be so,
we best find the freelance writing niche types or type we
will be spectacular at, staking out a corner in the niche
market, one which we¡¯ll bring passion to every morning as
that damned alarm (later a wonderful thing) sounds.
From the Italian-derived French for nicchia, “a shell-like
recess in a wall,” a niche is an inset, concave enclosure.
It is this little enclosure we freelance writers need to
find, study, practice, and own. It is the small area of
specialty we make ours and offer to those in need. So the
smaller (and therefore the less competitive) the better.
We in the freelance writing business and those of us working
to get into it have plenty of industries to work with:
B2B (Business to Business)
B2C (Business to Customer/Client)
Niche Types Defined
And for every industry there are tens of freelance writing niche types:
Creative Writing- I¡¯ll say again from my lofty loft of
opinions that I believe all writing is creative, as it is
generative. My point is affirmed when we look at all of the
kinds of writing projects a creative freelancer can do or
get into, from magazine articles about bushwackers and
George Bush to books about needlepoint and pine cone needles
and needling family members to¡
Ghost Writing- Ghost writing is a popular preferred
choice of many clients, even those who have hung out a
writer shingle (or banner) and outsource the assignments,
collect them, pay us (hopefully well), and put their own
names on the work, be it a booklet or a book, a piece of web
copy or a piece of ad copy.
Proposal and Business Plan Writing- For profit or not,
businesses need writers to create proposals that show need
and get that need satisfied¡ªmonetarily. As there is with
all freelance writing niche types, with proposal and plan
writing a freelancer has the skill sets and experience to
prepare documents that will be convincing enough that if the
client needs hot soup sold in hell the writer will be able
to deliver. I have written two successful proposals and a
number of grant proposal reports (that ensured continuation
of the grant). They are somewhat interesting, but only to
those writers with a particular finesse for a cross between
technical and creative/dynamic writing.
PR (Public Relations) Writing- PR writers do concept copy
or concept to completion work in a number of media, writing
ad copy, doing the layout, and designing such items as
brochures, newsletters, press releases, media kits, and
more, to achieve the ultimate goal for the client: name
Technical Writing- Involving everything technical, from
professional, consumer, and user manuals to white papers,
technical writing depends upon a writer¡¯s ability to
organize, synchronize, structure, and develop the details of
Web Content Writing- To meet the client¡¯s goals of web
presence and online branding using highly trafficked,
sticky websites/pages, the web content developer or
producer writes what are known as KRPs, keyword-rich pages.
This particular wave of freelance niche types was discovered
(years ago) to be most beneficial as SEO, search-engine
optimizing/optimized/ optimization, text (or content).
While I also specialize in mental health/disability writing
and creative and memoir writing, web content development is
one of my favorite freelance niche types. To get the
keywordphrase keywordphrase keywordphrase construction
clear, engaging, and entertaining while keeping it from
doing a hideous grammatical/ rhetorical pileup is a
challenge I look forward to every morning.
Hey, it beats the alarm clock jangling, signaling the dread
of having to punch a card at a factory or see the boss off
to work so I can clean her toilets and scrub her floors. Of
course, there’s no shame in those jobs. I did them for
years to get through grad school. But that’s more to do
with the other definition of niche: “the status of an
organism within its environment/community, affecting its
survival as a species.”
And besides, I love writing so much, much more. It’s a
much better fit, one I wish for all of you who adore the
writing process as much as I adore it.*
*If this is the case, you definitely need to check out the
pages on my site with web content and writing niche samples,
articles that exemplify good, tight, even humorous writing
and that are about writing at the same time.
Bly, Robert W.. Secrets of a Freelance Writer: How to Make
$85,000 a Year. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1988.
Hyperdictionary. WEBNOX CORP., 2000-2003
Konradt, Brian. “Creating a Specialty.” Write from Home. http://www.writefromhome.com/writingtradearticles/145.
htm> 7 Dec. 2004.
Source by Roxanne McDonald