Make Money as a Freelance Writer: 17 Niches You Should Consider

Updated on December 10, 2017
ChristinS profile image

Christin has been successfully self-employed for over 17 years. Her passion is helping others hone their skills and find good opportunities.

Source

How to Make Money Freelance Writing

Let's face it – writing is everywhere and powers everything, from the news tickers on the bottom of the TV screen, to the thousands of advertisements we are bombarded with daily, to the carefully worded menu at your favorite restaurant. If it's in print or on your screen someone was likely paid to write it.

It bothers me that so many writer's choose to devalue themselves and our profession(s). I can't tell you how many times I've seen listings on freelance writing websites seeking well-researched, completely unique articles for a whole whopping dollar per 100 words, if that. Really? What's even more sad, the number of writers who are actually willing to work for slave wages.

Why should it matter to me what other writers do? Simple. When people agree to work for pennies it devalues the field for all freelance writers, making legitimate jobs harder to come by.

It's a common misconception that writing jobs are scarce or that you have to be willing to work for next to nothing to get established. Nothing could be further from the truth and your income is only limited by your inability to think (or not) outside the box.

What follows is a list of some of the many freelance writing niches available. Perhaps there is something here you had not considered before that will inspire you to branch out, or at least see that there are more opportunities for writers than meets the eye.


Freelance Writing Niches

Blogging & Content Writing

Write what you like and focus on a niche you know and love. Over time, you'll develop residual income with advertisements, product placements, and even direct sales of your own products or services associated with your subject area.

You'll need to learn a bit about SEO (search engine optimization) so you have the best chance to rank. For example, health niche blogs are difficult to establish because you will be outranked by high authority pages.

Selling Content

Write what you like or what people are requesting and name your own price on websites like Constant Content or Daily Article. If you can craft exceptionally well written pieces you can earn quite a bit of money selling content this way. Avoid sites that want to pay you a pittance for developing content. Do you think those sites and the people who buy the articles aren't profiting wildly for a very long time from what you wrote for pennies? Think about it.

Ebooks

In this digital day and age eBooks are gaining popularity and many people are able to write and develop very strong “how to” or niche products based on their experience and expertise and sell them on their own website or even online on eBay and other large sites.

Tutorials/How-To's

This applies largely to those of us with web design and development experience, but there are several websites that pay good money (150 – 350+) for well written, error free tutorials. A great way to cash in on your knowledge/skill base if you happen to be a semi-decent writer to boot.

Copywriting

Copywriting is an art that takes time and dedication to develop, but the top copywriters earn top of the line salaries and are never short for opportunities. Copywriters have mastered the art of persuasion and motivation through their words. Have you ever read a great piece of advertising or a website where you really felt compelled to take action? That was the work of a master copywriter. With time, practice, and some training you can be one too.

Product Description Writing

From items in catalogs to those found on retail websites and even restaurant menus, those who can write effective, short, but powerful descriptions of products and services can find themselves in a very lucrative niche that has a lot of opportunities.

Ghostwriting

You know those autobiographies put out by all those celebrities and politicians etc? What do you think the chances are that they had enough time to sit down, develop excellent writing skills and then type up a whole book by themselves? Newsflash – they didn't.

Ghostwriting is one of the most lucrative forms of writing around. If you don't mind not seeing your name in lights, have a strong writing background, and the desire to earn on average $20 - $40 dollars per typed page – you may want to consider this market.

Creative Writing

Yes the trend these days tends to be more towards copywriting and non-fiction. It can be difficult for creative writers to find venues to sell and promote their work. Difficult, but not impossible. Consider joining writers circles, self-publishing and promoting and local stores, or take your knack for creating awesome characters and stories and use them to help companies establish a brand image.

Resume Writing

In a tough economy, people are looking for any edge they can get. This means opportunities for a lucrative salary for top-quality freelance professional resume writers. Here's the rub. Everyone and anyone it seems slaps this title on these days, but it's a difficult profession.

Genuine professional resume writers must stay on top of current trends, should have or be willing to train in skills related to human resources, and above all their motivation should be to help others land jobs and not merely line their own pockets. Genuine resume professionals can earn a hundred or more per resume.

Press Releases

Public relations writing is all about gaining publicity for your client or organization in a meaningful way. Press releases have to be crafted in a way that generates interest in the product/service being pushed and also offers something to the viewers/readers of the particular media source being targeted.

It's tricky, but if you have decent copywriting skills and a great personality that shines in your writing this can be a great way to earn some extra money. The more successful you are getting your press releases acted on means the more money you can command.

Academic Writing

Have a thirst for knowledge and the desire to research and compile information for texts and educational materials? This could be a great niche for you. No I am not talking about writing term papers and selling them. This encourages plagiarism and theft. Would you want your future doctor buying his dissertation? - yeah me either.

There are however lucrative and non-dubious ways of doing educational writing, particularly if you have an advanced degree and experience in a field. Write for textbooks, online tutorials and even video courses.


Technical Writing

You know that manual that came with your latest gadget that you probably didn't read until you had to? That was written by a technical writer whose job it is to break down subjects step by step and tell you how a product works.

This is an area where you need to have practical experience. If all you know about the blender is how to plug it in and turn it on, you won't be able to write a manual telling other people how to do it. If you have experience building blenders, have worked with blenders all your life, or have a strange fascination with them, chances are you know them well enough to explore the product, research it and then write the manual that is probably not appreciated enough.

The plus side to this is that technical writers earn over $50,000 a year on average nationwide in the US – not too shabby for dry writing.

Grant Writing

This is for writers with the spirit of philanthropy in their hearts. The job of a grant writer is to try to secure funding for their organizations. If you work as a grant writer for a non-profit that deals with fighting cancer, your job would be to locate potential investors, draw up documentation and use your writing to help secure funding for that particular cause.

This is great for people who are able to get a job finding funding for an institution they deeply believe in and are passionate about. Many grand writers start off volunteering to get a bit of experience and then when they have proven abilities they can earn a very nice salary doing this kind of writing full time.

Business Plan Writing

Perhaps you have a good mind for business and want to help prospective business owners. Business plans are quite intensive and include everything from the companies goals, to projected profits and losses, plans for how to become profitable, and everything in between.

If you are a master at organization and compiling information in a manner that is persuasive to potential investors, business plan writing may be the freelance writing career for you. Business plan writers have an average salary of $50,000 per year according to SimplyHired.com.

Newspaper Columnist

Yes, many newspapers these days are struggling, however small local papers are often a great way for newbie writers to gain some experience and get a bit of name recognition. Contact your local paper and pitch an idea for a column.

They may not accept you, or if they do they may pay very little (or nothing) but the idea here is to gain publicity that will help you make contacts to further your career over time. Having your name out in your local community can be a great help to getting established and getting more clients.

Magazine Writing

Breaking into magazine writing takes time, diligence, experience and patience. The good news is once you've done it once or twice, you are more likely to have your queries accepted in the future.

Purchase a copy of the Writer's Market. It comes with a year subscription to their website and database where you can get writer's guidelines to hundreds of publications, from niche trade magazines to the top national consumer magazines. The rates of pay vary, but freelancing for magazines can be very lucrative.

Proofreading & Editing

Tired of writing yourself and want to help other writers? Put your sharp eye to the test and become a proofreader or editor. This requires a degree in English or Journalism or a great deal of writing or publishing experience. Editors make very good money and their skills are always in demand.

There are many ways to develop a career as a freelance writer. Put your skills and your imagination to the test. If you don't have a portfolio yet, make one. There are many sites where you can do this for free, however I highly suggest building your own or having one built for you. Remember you are a unique voice and a unique website/portfolio is the ideal way to capture that.

Writer's Market 2018: The Most Trusted Guide to Getting Published
Writer's Market 2018: The Most Trusted Guide to Getting Published

I can't recommend Writer's Market Guides enough for freelance writers. All the information you need on major publications, contacts, and even charts for current pay rates are included. The deluxe edition gives you website membership where you can have all the info you need, regularly updated and at your fingertips! One gig pays for the book. I have found a few paying jobs using this resource.

 

Share Your Experiences...

Have you heard of all of these different writing niche's and have you tried any yet?

See results

Questions & Answers

    © 2011 Christin Sander

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        14 months ago from Midwest

        You're welcome Florita, glad you enjoyed it and I wish you success in your writing.

      • profile image

        Florita Cailles-Velarde 

        14 months ago

        interesting and helpful for someone like me who's trying to break into the world of writing . . thanks !

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        16 months ago from Midwest

        Great WM thanks for reading and commenting I appreciate it.

      • profile image

        WM 

        16 months ago

        These at just great! I had all sorts of questions on becoming a freeelance writer. I love to write short stories also. Thank you so much for sharing this information! I'm excited again!

      • adevwriting profile image

        Arun Dev 

        3 years ago from United Countries of the World

        Thanks for sharing the information!

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        3 years ago from Midwest

        Thanks PinoyMom glad you enjoyed the hub and I wish you much success with your writing.

      • PinoyMom profile image

        Shiela Gerona 

        3 years ago from Philippines

        I'm still new in freelance writing. Your hub is a good guide for beginner's like me.

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        3 years ago from Midwest

        Thanks Monty :) glad you enjoyed the hub and best wishes to you on your freelance writing path.

      • Monty Wheeler profile image

        Monty Wheeler 

        3 years ago from Arkansas

        having but recently made the decision to take the creative writer into the wild and wacky world of freelance I thoroughly enjoyed this article. and I do recall one site as you described that some years ago scared me away from freelance work. now I come to the door with a fresh haircut and new attitude. thanks for an info packed article and you've gained a new follower along the way :)

        Monty

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        3 years ago from Midwest

        Thanks Deanne, glad you enjoyed it.

      • Deanne Victor profile image

        Deanne 

        3 years ago from Bronx, New York

        There are a thousand million blogs about freelance writing on here, but this is one of the better ones. Thanks for all the useful info!

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        4 years ago from Midwest

        Thanks Platinum will surely give it a try - I think my eggs are too fresh - normally a good thing lol :) not so much with the hard boiled variety. Thanks for reading my hubs - glad you enjoyed them.

      • platinumOwl4 profile image

        platinumOwl4 

        4 years ago

        This is the second article of yours that I have read. Actually, I discovered you attempting to help you solve the egg problem. While we are on that subject try peeling the egg under running water, you had part of the problem solved. Salt water,peeling it or them under water. Great article.

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        4 years ago from Midwest

        Thanks Ruby and good luck to you on your writing path :)

      • Ruby H Rose profile image

        Maree Michael Martin 

        4 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

        This is a huge goal of mine, to be able to narrow down my writing world to reliable niches. So useful to come here to learn and begin. It is hard to choose out there, I love coming to hub pages for support.

      • creativegenius profile image

        Brian Scott 

        5 years ago from United States

        The niche for writing tutorials is very popular. A knowledgeable writer can find decent-paying gigs to work for individuals and companies who require a writer to assist with developing video tutorials, slideshows, picture tutorials, and simple "List form" instructions.

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        5 years ago from Midwest

        Thanks for reading and commenting Maralexa - much appreciated :)

      • Maralexa profile image

        Marilyn Alexander 

        5 years ago from Vancouver, Canada and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

        Thanks so much ChristinS. You mention a number of areas of writing where I have done well in the past but have "forgotten" as possible niches for me. I am on to your next article on "gaining name recognition." Up and shared. You have a new fan!

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        5 years ago from Midwest

        thank you very much tammyswallow I appreciate the lovely comment and I am glad you found this hub useful.

      • tammyswallow profile image

        Tammy 

        5 years ago from North Carolina

        Excellent ideas that are very well organized. I think you covered everything. Impressive and very helpful!

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        5 years ago from Midwest

        thanks for reading and commenting ignugent17 I'm glad you found it useful. Cheers.

      • profile image

        ignugent17 

        5 years ago

        Useful hub and I am thankful for the ideas you laid out for writers.

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        5 years ago from Midwest

        Thanks for reading and commenting Audrey. I agree writer's are often masters at devaluing themselves.

      • AudreyHowitt profile image

        Audrey Howitt 

        5 years ago from California

        Nicely detailed! There are so many sites out there where writers undercut themselves all the time for the opportunity to make a couple of dollars--it is scary!

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        6 years ago from Midwest

        Thanks for reading and commenting LauraGT - I wish you much success with your eBooks :)

      • LauraGT profile image

        LauraGT 

        6 years ago from MA

        Nice summary of the the different types of freelance writing opportunities out there. Ebooks are definitely an interesting idea I have thought of a little, but haven't researched. You've inspired me to learn more...

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        6 years ago from Midwest

        thanks for your comment good luck with your ebook

      • That Grrl profile image

        Laura Brown 

        6 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

        I've known about all of these but haven't tried them all yet. I'm starting into ebooks now.

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        6 years ago from Midwest

        much appreciated Julie - I'll look for it :) thanks

      • Julie DeNeen profile image

        Blurter of Indiscretions 

        6 years ago from Clinton CT

        I just posted another hub and linked yours because I liked it so much!

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        6 years ago from Midwest

        Thanks Suzette I really appreciate the vote and thank you for the compliment.

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        6 years ago from Midwest

        Thank you Crystal I appreciate it.

      • suzettenaples profile image

        Suzette Walker 

        6 years ago from Taos, NM

        Great Hub and information you provide here. Every Hubber should read this piece. I checked out the web site and it is a good one. Thanks for sharing! Voted up!

      • Crystal Tatum profile image

        Crystal Tatum 

        6 years ago from Georgia

        Fantastic and useful tips as always. Voted up.

      • Angela Brummer profile image

        Angela Brummer 

        6 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

        Thank you I will check into some of these!

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        6 years ago from Midwest

        Julie, thanks for voting up and sharing I appreciate it. Glad you enjoyed the hub :)

      • Julie DeNeen profile image

        Blurter of Indiscretions 

        6 years ago from Clinton CT

        Thanks so much for this hub. I'm trying to break out into the writing world, and Im overwhelmed with all the choices. Voting up and shared! :)

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        6 years ago from Midwest

        Thank you Jackcoburn glad you enjoyed it. I appreciate the comment :)

      • jackcoburn profile image

        jackcoburn 

        6 years ago from Brisbane, Australia

        This is a brilliant hub!

        Respect! :)

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        6 years ago from Midwest

        thanks for the comment larakern glad you found the hub useful and I hope it helps you.

      • larakern profile image

        larakern 

        6 years ago from Georgia

        Thank you so much for this hub! It has so much great information on how to get started and actually noticed.

      • profile image

        Team Leader 

        6 years ago

        Hello Christine, Thank you for answering my question 'What is the best hub to learn about becoming a full time writer?' with this link. I found it very useful.

        Your 'Team Leader'

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        6 years ago from Midwest

        Thanks Brinafr3sh for the comment and vote have a great day

      • Brinafr3sh profile image

        Brinafr3sh 

        6 years ago from West Coast, United States

        Hi Cristins, Having a niche is very important as a writer, thanks for the tips. Voted up.

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        6 years ago from Midwest

        Thanks Danette, I agree

        I'd rather write a hub or blogpost and let it generate income for me for life than sell a full rights article to someone cheaply. I think may writers are duped into believing they have to do that to "get established" and that, of course, is simply untrue. Thanks for commenting :)

      • Danette Watt profile image

        Danette Watt 

        6 years ago from Illinois

        I absolutely agree that those who write for a pittance bring down the pay for the rest of us. This is debated and discussed frequently in a couple groups I belong to on LinkedIn. I won't spend the hours researching and writing content that I would get paid $20 for just so someone else can profit off of it.

        Lots of good ideas here. Thanks for mentioning them.

      • nutuba profile image

        nutuba 

        6 years ago from North Carolina

        I enjoyed your article! It was great having such a wide list of freelance opportunities all mentioned in one place. Nicely done.

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        6 years ago from Midwest

        Thank you nightflower - glad you enjoyed the hub and got something meaningful from it.

      • NightFlower profile image

        NightFlower 

        6 years ago

        Well thank you Christin...this is certainly helpful. I've been writing for along time and it has been very difficult finding some one to pay more gratuitously for writing skills.

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        6 years ago from Midwest

        thank you for reading and commenting bruzz - I am glad you found this hub useful and I hope it helps you find more writing opportunities. :) thanks!

      • bruzzbuzz profile image

        bruzzbuzz 

        6 years ago from Texas , USA

        This is one of the most detailed sites I have seen that discusses ways to make money writing. I am bookmarking it and keeping it as a resource to use in the future weeks. Thanks and voted up.

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        6 years ago from Midwest

        Thank you very much James I appreciate that you shared the hub with a tweet :) Glad you found it useful also. Have a great weekend.

      • JamesPoppell profile image

        JamesPoppell 

        6 years ago

        I like the way your hub lays out a foundation for the many paths one can take in their writing. I also appreciate the links you provided. Definitely a vote up and a tweet out.

      • profile image

        violetpetals 

        6 years ago

        Thank you for your sharing Christin. This is a most informative review.

      • carcro profile image

        Paul Cronin 

        6 years ago from Winnipeg

        Thanks for the info Christin, will bookmark this site and follow up. Voted UP and Useful!

      • ChristinS profile imageAUTHOR

        Christin Sander 

        6 years ago from Midwest

        Thanks everyone for the comments. I'm glad to see that everyone enjoyed the hub. Freelance writing is a great career and I believe many of us just don't consider the different areas of focus there can be :)

      • randomcreative profile image

        Rose Clearfield 

        6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

        So many great ideas here! Thanks for this wonderful resource for freelance writers.

      • LisaKoski profile image

        Lisa 

        6 years ago from WA

        This is definitely something I've wanted to look into but didn't know where to start. I'm going to have to take a look at some of your links. Very useful and informative.

      • icciev profile image

        icciev 

        6 years ago from Kuwait

        indeed there is no limitation of topics or ways you can write although you were successful to include most of them. thanks for sharing this great and informative hub Christin, voted up.

      • lobobrandon profile image

        Brandon Lobo 

        6 years ago

        Nicely explained. I'm a freelance writer myself. Just to make a few points clear.

        Why we bid low - when I first began on elance I used to write 500 words for just $2. I wrote about 121 articles for a single client at that rate. Why? - to get some rating and feedback. It's really hard for an Indian to get a first job and the same applies to all non-native English countries.

        But now just two months from when I began I get the normal rate of an average US writer. Don't want to mention the amount - I'm sure you guessed. So that one low led me to above average rates within two months as I've proved myself. Now I get so much work that I even have to refuse (as I'm just a part time writer since I'm studying at present)

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, toughnickel.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://toughnickel.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)