How to Chisel Out Your Niche in Freelance Writing

Michael Stover
7 min readMar 10, 2019

In the freelance writing market, to niche, or not to niche; that is the prevailing question. Perform a Google search on the topic and you will not only find an even split on opinions among the popular writing gurus of today. You will also find more resources on how to find your writing niche than you could read in a week.

To niche, or not to niche; that is the prevailing question.

I’ve read arguments on both sides from notable writers who found success. Of course, those who advocate specializing in a niche present plenty of reasonable arguments for their cause. They are passionate, for the most part, about their reasoning. After all, specializing in one narrow industry or type of writing has been the foundation of their success.

On the other side of the coin, I’ve read from successful generalists who simply write on whatever subject a client needs. And they, too, are passionate about their road to success that is unlimited by scope or industry. And like their narrow counterparts, they present several sound arguments for adopting their approach to freelance writing.

Beginning My Own Freelance Writing Journey

My journey into the world of freelance writing is unique. Unlike most, I began writing in a very narrow field of expertise, and broadened into more of a generalist in my current career. My beginning was writing bible study material for a major conservative commercial publisher. Very narrow, indeed. Commentary and teaching/learner guides were my forte.

This gig was enjoyable, but not very profitable or predictable. As I enjoyed writing, I began searching for other avenues of opportunity. I quickly discovered that writing religious books, or ghostwriting them for others, was not my particular bent. But through this stage in my career, I found that I rather enjoyed correcting other writers’ work.

And so, I sort of backed into editing as a major focus. In fact, fast forward to today for just a second, and editing comprises about 50% of my current regular clientele. Being sort of a grammar Nazi for most of my life surely helped. But as I enjoyed editing, and found numerous good to well-paying opportunities to do so, I…