I’ve experimented with different freelance ideas over the years and through that experience, I found some “hidden” profitable freelance writing niches.
Looking back, they are not a secret and they are not really hidden either but rather there is a little tweak that I found made all the difference between whether I was writing for less than $10/h or $500 per article. In this article, I’ll share my hard-earned lessons so you can earn good money freelancing much faster than I have.
One of my favorite niches has been comprehensive long-form guides on how to advertise online on platforms like Facebook.
In this article, I’d like to do things a little differently. Rather than show you only an endless list of writing niches, we’ll also look at why some are good and why others are not.
Profitable freelance writing niches that
Here are some examples of profitable writing niches:
- B2B tech startups
- Long-form posts/ultimate guides
- Email sequences
- Sales pages
- Digital marketing
- Real estate
There are no doubt many more but rather than looking at a list with hundreds of items hoping it will spur something we haven’t thought about, you’ll often benefit from focusing on tweaking something you already know or have thought about.
Allow me to explain why.
My favorites have been the following niches:
- Facebook ads
- Long-form ultimate guides
- SEO articles for business
But that is only because I’ve found that I had the experience to write about the topics without having to do too much research, which is often what we need.
I did all the hard work and gained all the knowledge in my day job, and so e.g. writing about the same topic based on my knowledge on the side was an easy extra but it wouldn’t have been if it wasn’t because I already spent all that time at my job.
That way, instead of being a writer first I could for example be an advertiser turned writer.
Having that leverage was why the writing projects were profitable for me. Other topics weren’t because I had to learn them which takes a long time.
Find a niche by spying on others
You can spy on other niches via platforms like Upwork and see what other people are earning great money with before you consider them for yourself.
One approach is to look at the projects available:
In this example alone, I quickly spotted three different niches; ads, ecommerce and technology.
Another approach is to look at the writers out there and what they are earning money with. In this example, I selected freelance writers, no agencies, and a total earnings of more than $10K.
As you can see in the screenshot below, I quickly noticed another three potential niches: medical writing, resume and cover letter writing, and blog writing and editing.
You don’t need an account on Upwork in order to search there. Instead, go to google and type “site:upwork.com writer” except the quotation marks.
When you enter the site, you sometimes have to flick the carrot next to the spyglass to access the menu that allows you to switch between searching for projects and freelancers.
The two main types: evergreen vs trendy niches
As an overarching rule, there are two types of profitable freelance writing niches: evergreen and trendy.
Evergreen niches are classic ones that have existed forever and will not change in a foreseeable future such as finance, tech and business.
Trendy niches change with times and might more focused around a specific event like holidays, Valentine’s day, or even a sports event like the football world cup.
To earn well, trendy niches usually have to be timed well with when they peak and as a creator, we need to be able to replace it with another trendy niche when it dies out.
There can be sort of an ebb or flow to it as you’ll see in the screenshot below with Christmas-related topics from Google Trends (it tops once a year).
Why some writing niches are more profitable than others
Some freelance niches are more profitable than others and on the surface, it can be difficult to see why there is a difference and how much it really is.
Some of these have been hard-won learnings/experiences and I want to share them with you so that you can avoid them in the future.
Usually, some niches are more profitable because the businesses in them can pay more.
Many businesses know that for example, blog content can help drive more traffic, which leads to more revenue. At that point, they can map out how much they can pay for content based on their expectations of profits.
There are expectations but often the higher margin and the more expensive the product they sell, the better they can pay for writing because it requires fewer sales.
That could for example be businesses selling waterpipes or cooling equipment to other businesses. These are sometimes referred to as boring niches because the topics aren’t that sexy, which also means that fewer writers bother hence more money for you if you are interested.
A perhaps more relatable example is travel compared to finance. Some insurance companies know that they will earn a lot over the course of a lifetime from each customer, so they are also willing to spend a lot to get one.
Compare that to the travel industry and for example an airline or a four-star hotel (excepts may be the high-end luxury).
They are pressed on margins and cost is often a big factor along with constant competition, so they can’t pay as much per customer because customers usually aren’t that loyal compared to insurance providers, and so travel businesses just can’t pay that much to get them either.
We can slice and dice niches in different ways. For example, based on industry or use-cases like video scriptwriting, email newsletters, SEO articles, and sales pages, etc.
Tips to find your own writing niche
I had a great experience writing about a topic that I already worked with and knew about but the reality is that for a lot of projects, it requires lots of research in preparation and that can make all the difference between your article being profitable or taking forever to complete.
If you work in a specific industry that also has freelance projects, that is a good place to start. Some niches like medical writing require a particular background and that is a huge benefit if you have it since the barriers to join are higher and so fewer people bother to join.
But as some people say, there is always room for the best, so if you are more interested in a field that is competitive you can make it work as well.
In fact, one of the best things I learned about business is that competition is a good thing because it shows that there is a market.. And what’s worse than the competition? Something the customers don’t care about.
As you choose your niche, established businesses rather than new businesses is a great thing to go after because they tend to have more money and better understand the value of their customers and how much they can earn by getting more.
If you are unsure which niches are profitable compared to others, I suggest reaching out to people you know in the niches you are interested in to see if they can help you with more details.
They might not even be freelance writers but they could be marketing managers hiring writers or someone else that might know how the businesses gather more customers or use writing in general.