Anyone new to freelance writing and/or blogging will find it is difficult to get paid work, especially under you own name. While there are several content brokerage services on the Internet that connect publishers with writers, the field of candidates is often large. So large that you must either bid on the job or simply sell the content you write to be published under someone else’s name–known as ghostwriting or ghost blogging.
To “make it” as a freelance writer or blogger, you’ll likely have to stick with your day job for awhile. For those trying to earn extra money, it’s possible to be a freelancer, but you’ll find clients typically want content straight-away. The trick to making yourself marketable is to settle on a niche.
What’s a Niche?
In the world of journalism, it could be lifestyle, sports, crime, consumer, entertainment, weather, business and personal finance. Take a look at your local broadsheet (newspaper) or television news cast. In other words, a niche simply means focusing on a particular subject. The world of freelance writing is a bit different. A new freelancer starts out accepting assignments about anything and everything. Over the course of time, strengths will appear. Conversely, a freelancer’s Achilles heel will also be discovered.
Money is a really broad topic. Personal finance is more defined. Frugal living even more specific. Coupon cutting is a niche. Sports are too a broad topic. American outdoor sports narrows down the field. Football makes the topic broad again. College football narrows it once more. But Big East is a niche.
How do I Sell My Niche Writing?
The answer largely depends on your writing. More accurately, it depends on good writing. Being familiar with the AP Style guide will improve your marketability. Knowing basic HTML and CSS will also be a huge plus. Start with submitting guest posts. Look for writing gigs on Craigslist, Freelance Writing.com, Freelance Writing Gigs and Online Writing Jobs. The more you become published, the larger your portfolio will become. That translates into more paying jobs.
What’s the Competition Like?
Unfortunately, the competition is stiff. There are literally thousands of writers in the marketplace. Some are talented. Others are mediocre. And some aren’t very good. The bad news is some publishers will accept nearly anyone, so long as the pay is representative of the quality. The good news is once a writer becomes established, gigs are less arduous to land. Sending pitches to possible publishers, submitting work on time and keeping up a personal blog is paramount to success.