16 Best Freelance Writing Niches (and How to Choose Yours)

16 Best Freelance Writing Niches (and How to Choose Yours)

Freelance writing is a rewarding and often flexible career. It offers you the freedom to set your schedule and work at your own pace, with the possibility that it may become a highly lucrative business. Many companies and startups include written content as an essential part of their marketing efforts and need the talent freelancers offer.

While starting a freelance writing career is a relatively straightforward process, you still need to make important decisions before you begin looking for potential clients. One of the most important considerations you’ll have to nail down is your niche. In this article, we’ll go over what freelance writing niches are and how you can choose the right one to match your skills and interests.

What is a writing niche?

In simple terms, a freelance writing niche is an area of specialization in which a writer wishes to concentrate. This can be a specific industry, a cluster of closely related industries, or a content format type. Niche writers build portfolios that showcase their specialized writing skills and work strictly with writing clients who need content in that particular niche.

It’s also important to note that there are several types of writing that break down even a specific niche into further categories. See the four essential types of writing below:

  • Expository. This type of writing aims to educate the reader on a particular topic. Modern examples of expository content include long-form general articles and blog posts.
  • Descriptive. The main purpose of this type of writing is to form a clear picture in the reader’s mind by describing characters, events, or locations in great detail. Descriptive writing is used extensively in screenwriting, fantasy writing, and critique writing just to name a few genres.
  • Persuasive. This type of writing leverages logical, technical, or emotional techniques with the aim to convince readers of the writer’s opinion or influence them into performing an action. Persuasive writing is used in various contexts ranging from advertisements to editorial newspaper pieces.
  • Narrative. The goal of narrative writing is to convey a cohesive story. Narrative writing relies on dialogue, characters, and settings to engage or entertain the reader. Examples of when narrative writing is used include novels, essays, and short stories.

Why freelancers should have a niche

To a freelance writing newbie, working as a generalist could seem like the path of least resistance. After all, being a generalist would mean you’d have an almost endless list of potential clients to pitch services to, right?

Not always. Being a generalist in freelance writing doesn't necessarily prove successful in practice. Clients often seek out writers who are experts in their subject matter, have a proven track record of addressing industry-wide issues, and can show testimonials of satisfied clients in the same niche. A generalist’s portfolio is unlikely to impress high-paying clients who are looking for substantive content with more value and less fluff.

From a content writer’s perspective, working as a generalist has its drawbacks. The pressure to deliver compelling content across dozens of subject areas can be overwhelming. Having to deal with a learning curve for each new writing project can quickly lead to burnout. This brings us to why niches are important.

Here are some reasons why every writer needs to niche down:

  • You can leverage your personal experience and interests. It’s difficult to write high-quality content if you have little interest in the subject matter or have no experience covering it. Picking a niche that aligns with your interests will bring out the best in your work and make freelance writing feel less like a job and more like a passion project.
  • You’ll have a steady stream of clients. Once you establish yourself as an authority in a specific niche, you’re likely to have many prospective clients looking to retain your services. In a market dominated by subpar content writing services and generalists, an expert with a laser-focused portfolio will easily stand out.
  • You can command higher rates. Due to their relative scarcity, niche writers are always in high demand and are therefore in a good position to seek higher rates than their generalist counterparts. Your rate can increase substantially as you gain more experience and continue to beef up your portfolio.

16 top freelance writing niches to explore

Now that you know how important it is to pick a niche, let’s explore some of the best freelance writing niches you could choose from. Below are some topics and types of writing in high demand:

  1. Book writing (ghostwriting)
  2. Case studies
  3. Cryptocurrency
  4. Digital marketing
  5. E-commerce
  6. Email marketing
  7. Healthcare and medical writing
  8. In-depth guides or long-form blog posts
  9. Landing pages or sales pages
  10. Personal finance
  11. Press releases
  12. Real estate
  13. Software as a Service (SaaS)
  14. Technical writing
  15. Video scripts
  16. White papers

1. Book writing (ghostwriting)

Book writing can fall under different genres, subgenres, and styles of writing. As a ghostwriter, you’ll generally write long-form content that could be descriptive or narrative in nature when writing fiction or expository when writing nonfiction.

One of the primary distinctions of this type of freelancing is that the name of the ghostwriter is usually not attached to the work. The terms and conditions may vary depending on the agreement, but most ghostwriters sign non-disclosure agreements and are not entitled to royalties from any subsequent sales of the work. The copyright is also retained by the client, and unless the agreement states otherwise, the ghostwriter cannot use the material in their portfolio.

Ghostwriters may specialize in fiction genres such as fantasy, romance, and sci-fi or nonfiction areas such as memoir and technical content. Ghostwriters may also work across the board when offering their book-writing services.

Potential earnings:  Ghostwriters can earn anywhere from $4​ to ​$40​ per page. Long non-fiction writing projects typically command a higher rate than fiction.

How to start: Write some of your own books or short stories and read books from different genres to learn about varied tones and styles to prepare for your ghostwriting career. Once you’ve built up a portfolio, head to Upwork's Talent MarketplaceTM to explore current ghostwriting job offers.

2. Case studies

Case studies are another profitable type of writing that’s in high demand. Case studies are in-depth examinations of a particular subject or situation. They’re often used by large and small businesses alike to highlight the effectiveness of their products and services and to outline the positive impact products may have on their customers.

A case study serves a purpose similar to a white paper, where the main intent is to present the details of a problem and describe an approach to solving it. However, there are some key differences between the two. Case studies tend to be shorter, more descriptive, and less technical than white papers.

Potential earnings: Case study freelancers average around $2000 per case study.

How to start: Draw inspiration from the plethora of case studies online and start incorporating more research, analysis, and storytelling into your writing. Brainstorm case study ideas and pitch them to business owners and heads of marketing through Linkedin.

3. Cryptocurrency

As you surely know, cryptocurrency is a buzzing subject for many business owners. New startups are joining the space on a daily basis, and crypto’s widespread adoption as a medium of exchange has led to increased demand for content in this niche.

Depending on their level of experience,  freelancers can write basic introductory guides for beginners or advanced guidance for seasoned investors. The crypto niche consists of many subtopics that include the following:

  • Blockchain technology and its applications
  • Bitcoin trading
  • Investment tips
  • Technical analysis
  • Market trends

Potential earnings: Crypto writers can earn between $20-$50 per 500-word article  on average.

How to start: If you’re not familiar with the crypto space, take time to learn the basics of the industry and its underlying technologies. Immerse yourself in cryptocurrency literature and explore job offers to get a good idea of clients’ needs in the crypto niche.

4. Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is a highly popular niche that many freelance writers have dabbled in at one point or another. This umbrella term refers to a wide range of marketing strategies that aim to leverage multiple online channels to reach a network of customers and drive sales. If you decide to specialize in this area, you can choose to narrow your focus down to specific types of content. The main options are as follows:

  • Newsletters
  • SEO writing
  • Video scripts
  • Tutorials
  • How-to guides
  • Listicles and review articles
  • Blog posts
  • Social media writing

Potential earnings: Digital marketing freelancers usually charge $15-$45 per hour.

How to start: When writing for marketing purposes, it’s essential to know how to connect and engage with an audience. Shore up your persuasive writing skills and take some online digital marketing courses to familiarize yourself with the industry.

5. E-commerce

E-commerce is another evergreen niche that consistently attracts freelance writers. While the content itself tends to be short and concise, writing for e-commerce businesses requires a good grasp of customer psychology and an understanding of how buyers behave, think, and decide. E-commerce writers need to be data-driven and capable of appealing to the customer’s imagination without straying from factual product descriptions.

Potential earnings: E-commerce freelancers usually charge from $0.25 to $0.35 per word.

How to start: Go over some of the top listings on Amazon to get an idea of how effective product descriptions are written. To get your first e-commerce writing gig, compile a list of Shopify stores and offer them your services or check out job offers on Upwork.

6. Email marketing

Emails often play an important role in a customer’s journey. They can serve to offer a personal touch to a business’s communication style, and they can address potential pain points and show customers how to solve problems. Below are some of the forms email marketing may take:

  • Newsletters
  • Dedicated emails
  • Sponsorship emails
  • Reengagement emails
  • Transactional emails
  • Brand story emails

Potential earnings: Email marketing writers usually charge anywhere from $15 to $40 per hour.

How to start: When writing emails, you need to be able to get straight to the point and provide the most value in a precise manner. Work on your  persuasive writing skills and familiarize yourself with email etiquette. To find email copywriting work, explore offers on job boards or offer your services to decision-makers on Linkedin.

7. Healthcare and medical writing

The healthcare and medical sector is one of the highest-paying niches in freelance writing. Content in this niche requires similar skill sets to technical writing—as well as extensive knowledge of the healthcare industry. Most healthcare and medical writers have a background in the field and can draw from their professional experience to break down complex topics and convey them in a way a wider audience will understand.

The types of content medical writers are typically expected to write include the following:

  • Journal articles
  • Patient education
  • Clinical study reports
  • Sales training
  • Regulatory documents

Potential earnings: Healthcare and medical freelance writers charge between $40 and $60 for less complex projects. However, prices can reach over $100 for more complex projects that involve a certain level of expertise.

How to start: Having a background in the field is highly preferable, as medical writing topics require specialized knowledge in medicine and the healthcare sector. You can find work on freelance platforms like Upwork.

8. In-depth guides or long-form blog posts

Long-form blog posts are a cornerstone of content marketing. This type of  expository writing aims to build brand awareness and boost engagement by providing detailed guides that cover specific topics in-depth and provide actionable solutions. These pieces are usually over 2,000 words in length and are part of an overall marketing strategy that intends to establish domain authority and improve a website’s SEO rankings.

Potential earnings: Long-form blog freelance writers usually charge between $125 and $250 for each article.

How to start: The first step you need to take is to learn the basics of search engine optimization. Since In-depth guides and long-form blog posts are used across different niches and industries, there’s plenty of work available for freelancers. Freelance marketplaces and job boards feature new job offers daily.

9. Landing pages or sales pages

Specializing in landing pages or sales pages can be quite lucrative. The two niches are similar in that they both leverage persuasive writing techniques and are designed to convert traffic. These pages are generally not part of a website’s main navigation page. The main difference between the two is that landing pages are focused on generating leads, whereas sales pages aim at converting customers quickly and driving sales.

Potential earnings:  Depending on the level of experience, landing page and sales page writers can charge between $450 to $1000 per page.  

How to start: Practice writing catchy headlines and get accustomed to writing short-form content that succinctly addresses the audience’s pain points and offers actionable value. To find work, you can contact a marketing agency, reach out directly to businesses, or look for job opportunities on freelance platforms.

10. Personal Finance

Personal finance is another evergreen niche for freelance writers. The subject is wide and contains several subtopics that include the following:

  • Day-to-day money management
  • Investment advice
  • Money management tools
  • Credit monitoring

Potential earnings: Personal finance writers usually charge $30 to $38 per hour.

How to start: Having a background in finance is a big plus. You should also consider achieving CFP (certified financial planner) status and featuring that credential in your profile. To find personal finance writing opportunities, explore Upwork’s freelance job section.

11. Press releases

A press release is a written announcement sent to journalists and media outlets in an effort to deliver a strategic message to a large audience. They’re typically short, to the point, and contain only information that is pertinent to a product launch, a business update, or any information regarding the business. Press releases are issued by companies, government institutions, and press bureaus.

Potential earnings: Press release freelance writers may charge between $30 to $80 per hour.

How to start: A good way to find press release writing work is to reach out to PR agencies. Local businesses can also be a viable source of prospects and freelance platforms often have offers for press release writing services.

12. Real estate

An increasing number of businesses and professionals in the real estate industry are turning to content marketing to reach new audiences and boost sales. Real estate agents, property managers, informational websites, and mortgage lenders have used various types of content to great effect to promote their services and drive new business. Depending on the client they work with, real estate writers can create blogs, emails, long-form guide content, landing pages, home listings, or rental agreements.

Potential earnings: Real estate writers usually charge $75 per hour.  

How to start: The first thing you need to determine is which sector of the real estate industry you’ll be working in. If you choose to work with Realtors, learn the basics of SEO writing and conversion optimization. If you want to work for a listing company, focus on trimming the fat from your writing and practice crafting short, accurate, and value-driven descriptions.

13. Software as a Service (SaaS)

A study by business2community found that 98% of the top SaaS companies have blogs. Organic marketing is the most cost-effective way to generate leads and drive sales, which is why major companies like Hubspot, Asana, MailChimp, Shopify, Slack, and Adobe have made content an integral part of their marketing efforts. From a freelance writer’s perspective, SaaS offers a vast base of potential clients.

Potential earnings: SaaS writers usually charge between $24 and $33 per hour.

How to start: SaaS writing has one primary focus—and that’s conversions. Content in this niche needs to be highly strategic and purposeful. The top SaaS companies are constantly looking to add talented freelancers to their marketing teams, so consider applying for a position through their website or Linkedin.

14. Technical writing

As the name implies, technical writing involves communicating complex, technical information to a specific audience. The purpose of technical content is to transform complex and terminology-rich information into digestible explanations or easy-to-follow tasks. The main types of technical writing are as follows:

  • End-user documentation. This type of content provides instructions on how to use a product. One example of end-user documentation is user manuals.
  • Traditional technical writing. This type of content is aimed at a specialized and well-informed audience, such as readers of a scientific study published in a scientific journal.
  • Technical marketing. This is marketing material that explains certain technical aspects of a product to increase interest in it. Examples include a blog article that breaks down how a product helps a particular company achieve its goals.

Technical writing is used in multiple fields such as chemistry, software, hardware, manufacturing, engineering, biotech, academia, and construction.

Potential earnings: Technical writers can earn anywhere from $29 to $40 per hour.  

How to start: Due to the specialized nature of their content, technical writers need to have a strong technical aptitude as well as extensive experience in the fields they’re writing about. Browse the job offers in Upwork’s technical writing section to find projects that match your skills and interests.

15. Video scripts

Over the past few years, video has become a pivotal component of content marketing. Companies are increasingly leveraging video content to reach new customers and establish authority on Youtube and other platforms. This development has created a demand for talented video scriptwriters who can create compelling content that resonates with audiences.

Video writing has certain peculiarities that distinguish it from other forms of long-form writing. For instance, video scriptwriters need to write in a conversational tone and avoid long, drawn-out sentences. Moreover, they need to prioritize the first few sentences of the script since viewers decide whether to keep watching a video within its first few seconds. As a video script freelancer, you’re also more likely to work as part of a larger team that includes animators and editors.

Potential earnings: Video script freelancers usually charge between $21 and $49 per hour.

How to start: Reach out to growing Youtubers and businesses that create video content on a regular basis and pitch your services to them. Alternatively, you can browse Upwork’s freelance scriptwriting jobs to see if there are any offers that interest you.

16. White papers

White papers are documents that present a challenge affecting a particular industry, a business, or an organization and then provide solutions. White papers are generally used for business-to-business marketing purposes. For instance, a project management software company may publish a white paper to educate its customers about a new product or feature it recently introduced, with research and statistics to support any claims.

Potential earnings: White paper freelancers usually charge between $2,000 and $10,000 per white paper.

How to start: Compile a list of companies that have published white papers in the past and analyze how each one is structured. Reach out to them and pitch a white paper topic they haven’t covered before using a similar outline. You can also browse freelance offers for white paper writing jobs on Upwork to find interesting opportunities.

How do I choose my writing niche?

Given the sheer amount of options there are to choose from, picking just one niche can seem like a daunting task. However, we have a few tips to offer that may help you determine which niche is best for you.

  • Make an honest and thorough assessment of your own skills
  • Do some research to see how your personal interests align with a viable niche
  • Talk with a mentor
  • Work as a generalist for a few months to see where you excel

Find freelance writing jobs with Upwork

There are many upsides to working as a freelance writer, but in order to find sustained success in this field, you need to fully commit yourself and treat freelancing like a business. The first step to beginning your freelance career is figuring out your niche and slowly building a specialized portfolio.

Upwork can help you get started by giving you access to thousands of prospective clients who are looking for motivated writers just like you. Head to Upwork’s freelance writing jobs section and start exploring the job offers in your niche today.

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16 Best Freelance Writing Niches (and How to Choose Yours)
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