The 30 Day Marketing Boot Camp for Freelance Writers

10 Signs You're in a Bad Niche

on August 25, 2010 in Freelance Writing

You know, not all writing niches are created equal. Since moving to the humor niche, I have found that I have gotten rock star treatment wherever I go. I get paid easily double or triple what I normally had asked for, I don't feel like I even work that hard (just look at my half-assed posts here!), and I do a third thing to round out this sentence. But I know for a fact that not all of you out there are getting what you want/need. But do you know that? Some of you are out there in a bad niche, where the market is flooded and the pay rate is through the floor and clients frequently abuse their freelancers. It's an evil world out there.

Check out my tips on how to find out whether you're in a bad niche or not.

  1. When you find a job, you're asked if you'd be willing to work for peanuts. No, like literal peanuts. They ship you a bag of peanuts to your front door and ask you to eat them in lieu of payment.
  2. Your expected turnaround time is measured in milliseconds.
  3. Your client sent you a note about revisions tied to a brick that he threw through your window. On the plus side, this is still desirable behavior in a client.
  4. You have to write on subjects like Sex and Sexuality in your Seventies, How to Survive a Turkish Prison, and Dealing with Dead Kittens: A Personal Point of View.
  5. To apply for a job in your niche, you frequently have to furnish a hank of your hair as part of the process.
  6. Your client is having difficulty paying you on account of not giving a damn.
  7. You've been asked to type a 400-page document while maintaining the rhythm of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee".
  8. For the interview process, you have to compete in a battle royale with five other contestants, survivor takes all.
  9. At a recent face-to-face client meeting, you were given a gun "in case things get nasty," which felt odd at a Chuck E. Cheese.
  10. You're a grant writer. Sorry, it's just true.

Are you in a bad niche? Let me know in the comments below. Or not. I'm not picky.

Thanks for sharing!
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Clint Osterholz is a freelance writer who thinks he's awfully funny, and is surprisingly not a disappointment to his parents. You're always free to check out his portfolio if you'd like someone to be funny, or maybe write something a little more serious. Subscribe to my posts (only posts from this author).

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  1. Carol Tice August 25, 2010 Reply

    I must be in good niches, because none of those things are happening to me!

    The way I always put it is if it’s a niche lots of people could easily write about, that’s a bad niche. These days, writing about pets, parenting, consumer products all seem really flooded.

    I stick to writing about business, finance, legal, tax, insurance, and other complicated and/or dorky stuff that most folks know nothing of…so far, it’s working out great.

  2. Rebecca Garland August 25, 2010 Reply

    I totally agree parenting is a saturated market – it’s just a shame there are so few “parenting” writers who do any real research on the topic. It can actually be dangerous to an extent. Actually though, that can be said of any niche market. :/

    • Lucy Smith August 25, 2010 Reply

      Same with pets. I have a qualification in dog behaviour and training and it’s amazing the shit that people suggest, some of it dangerous and downright cruel. *cough*bark collars*cough* But that’s a rant for another day.

  3. Jennifer Mattern August 25, 2010 Reply

    OK. I didn’t think I’d hear 2 Chuck E. Cheese references in one week. 😛

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