How To Find Your Writing Niche And First Client
Did you know that Good writers are in high demand in almost all sectors? How do you work out your writing niche is? There are a number of ways to do this.
Know the difference between copywriting and content writing
There is a difference between these two styles of writing. Some writers do both, but many specialize in one discipline or the other. In general, content writing is used to create materials that entertain or educate the target audience, but copywriting aims to persuade people to take an action. Content writers usually write things like blogs, and whitepapers and copywriters usually write ads, email sequences, or work for companies like Action Mailing & Printing Solutions to produce sales literature.
Choose your niche
You may already have a writing niche in mind. Perhaps you’ve worked in a particular sector for a while and know it very well. In that case, it makes sense to focus on getting clients in this sector first. You can then decide to hone your skills in this niche even further or branch out a little. Most writers will be able to write skillfully on a range of topics if given a proper brief but prefer to specialize.
Find your passion
What do you want to write about? Maybe all of your work experience has been in accountancy but you’re passionate about health? There’s no reason that you can’t follow this passion while still writing in the accountancy niche too. You can then start practicing your writing on health in order to gain more clients.
Getting your first clients
The writing industry has a huge problem with pricing. This has lead to many clients expecting unrealistically low prices. More often than not, there will be a lot of writers willing to accommodate them, making it difficult for talented writers to get what they are worth. Don’t be tempted to work for free or for a few pounds per hour. You’d be better served to create sample articles for your portfolio or guest blogging on a few websites.
Common ways to get clients include:
Networking on LinkedIn
It can be daunting to put yourself out there in from of old colleagues and bosses and proclaim to the world that you are writing. More often than not, your LinkedIn contacts will want to help you out by recommending you or hiring you themselves. Send out a message to your connections that you are now working for yourself and add links to any portfolio or social media you have.
As with most things, there is some debate over this one. Many writers believe that freelancing sites like Fiverr, People Per Hour, and Upwork perpetuate the low rates offered to writers. Yet many people can and do make a good living from them. They are a great place to pick up experience and perhaps long-term clients.
Stick to your guns when it comes to pricing, don’t be tempted to try and race to the bottom when it comes to pricing in order to pick up clients. It devalues the entire process for other writers and you’ll find it almost impossible to justify raising your prices.
Join some writing Facebook groups and stay active in them. There are usually job opportunities posted on a regular basis. In addition to these, look at groups that also exist for your target market. For example, if you write about tech, why now join groups aimed at this area. The idea isn’t to constantly post sales messages but to interact with the group to build credibility and then make the most of opportunities as they arise.
Don’t give your writing away
It’s tempting to offer free work in exchange for experience, but you need to be very careful about maintaining your position when it comes to charging for your work. Yes, you might want to draft some guest posts, or perhaps donate some of your time to writing for a charitable cause, but this is different from taking projects which should be paid and doing them for free.
Also, be cautious of clients who want you to write a ‘test article’. Chances are they’ll use your free labor and no paid work will come of it. They should be able to see what kind of writer you are by your work samples and portfolio.
Writing for a living can be a rewarding career, but it can take some time to get off the ground and build a solid client base. Consistency and knowing your value are key to this.