Weekend Reading: Freelance Specialization

on March 14, 2014 in Freelance Writing

It's no secret that I'm a supporter of choosing a specialty as a freelance writer. Whether you choose your specialty based on niche expertise or you choose to specialize in a type of writing you excel at, you immediately gain a marketing advantage.

Specialists are seen as more authoritative, and clients will often pay them more for that very reason. They want your credibility and authority to represent them. They pay more for expert knowledge in a niche or a solid history of results in a certain type of writing (like conversion stats for sales copywriters).

Do you have a freelance writing specialty yet? If so, you're well ahead in the game. But if you don't, why not consider it this weekend and see if it's time for a change? After all, we're nearing the end of the first quarter. It's the perfect time to start reevaluating our businesses.

If nothing else, consider reading these resources during your downtime. Perhaps they'll spark some new ideas.

Now it's your turn. Why did you choose your specialty as a freelance writer? And if you haven't chosen one (or more than one) yet, why not?

Thanks for sharing!
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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. Through her company, 3 Beat Media, she operates All Indie Writers, NakedPR.com, BizAmmo.com, and numerous other blogs.

Jenn has over 15 years experience writing for others, over 11 years experience in blogging, and 9 years experience in indie e-book publishing. She is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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  1. Katherine James March 15, 2014 Reply

    “Why did you choose your specialty as a freelance writer? And if you haven’t chosen one (or more than one) yet, why not?”

    I haven’t chosen a specific niche for myself, because I want to keep my writing options open, when it comes to pitching ideas.

    Having that flexibility is important to me because it helps to keep
    things interesting – and stops me from growing bored with my subject.

    • Author
      Jennifer Mattern March 15, 2014 Reply

      Out of curiosity, have you tried specializing yet? If so, what did you try?

      A lack of diversity is one of the biggest misconceptions about specializing as a freelance writer. When you really get to know a specific target market, you’d be surprised at how many hidden (and often high paying) opportunities there actually are. And keep in mind, being a specialist doesn’t mean you’re limited to one very narrow type of work. You decide how narrow that specialty area is (although the narrower, the more you can generally earn per gig as there is far less competition). And you can always specialize in more than one area. The key is keeping the target markets similar enough that your marketing reaches all of them rather than you having to double your market efforts to reach completely different groups.

      Have you considered specializing in one or a few types of writing rather than specializing in niches or industries? That allows you to earn more through expertise in a certain writing style rather than limiting the types of clients you work with too much.

  2. Alicia Rades March 15, 2014 Reply

    I specialize in blogging, but I don’t really have a specialty as far as a niche is concerned. (I mean for client work. For my own blogs I blog about writing, blogging, and content marketing.) I like it that way because in most cases, I don’t have to be an “expert” to blog about a topic since I can do research, which leaves the door open to take on more work and learn tons of new things.

    However, specializing in freelance blogging as a specific service gives me the opportunity to narrow my clients. Blogging is my favorite form–and personal best form–of writing. I think it’s best for both me and my clients if I write in a format I’m comfortable and confident writing in (as opposed to writing landing pages, whitepapers, etc.).

    • Author
      Jennifer Mattern March 15, 2014 Reply

      You have to write what works for you. Otherwise you’ll end up hating your work before long. There’s certainly nothing wrong with specializing in blogging. I’d take it a step further and say (from what I’ve seen at least) that you specialize in a certain type of blogging — longer, in-depth posts creating engaging and share-able content. And that’s exactly what clients — the decent-paying ones at least — want to see right now. You seem to be in the right specialty at the right time, and you’re off to a heck of a start. 🙂

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