The most successful writers are typically those who fall into one of the many categories of freelance writing specialties. If you know a lot about a particular topic - especially if it's a topic that the general public does not know the ins and outs of - you may be able to find freelance writing jobs easier than if you didn't have this knowledge.
Finding Freelance Writing Specialties
Freelance writing specialties fall into two different categories: genres and topics.
Choose a Genre
The genre of freelance writing you choose should be one that you are not only good at, but which you enjoy. You don't want to stick to one genre over another just because it's more profitable if it will quickly become a tedious task to write in this style.
Here are examples of genres of freelance writing specialties:
- Technical writing
- Informative or "How-To" writing
- Journalistic writing
- Grant writing
There are plenty of other genres within the world of freelance writing. The genre you choose should be enjoyable to write while also allowing you to earn a living.
Some genres are more competitive than others. For example, fiction writers are in abundance while writers who can effectively write a grant request for a non-profit organization are not as readily available. On the other hand, if fiction is your passion, then by all means write fiction.
Choose a Topic
Beyond the genre you want to specialize in, you will also want to choose one or two topics that you can write about with confidence and authority. If you can find a topic that is not common knowledge while also being in high demand you can break into freelance writing quite easily. Just be sure to not claim authority in a subject that you actually don't know very much about.Here are examples of topics that commonly appear on job boards for freelance writers:
- Personal finance
- Medical topics
- Celebrities and gossip
This is merely a brief list, as the need for different topics varies greatly on a regular basis. One topic may be in great demand one week, yet not in demand at all the next week. The trick is to build a name for yourself within a certain topic so you can get freelance writing jobs with little effort.
Varying your Field
You aren't limited to one genre and one topic. However, if you want to make freelance writing a career, you should have one genre and topic that you specialize in. Many writers find that it's a good idea to earn a name within one of the particular freelance writing specialties and then branch out to other specialties, complete with an impressive résumé from the other specialty you have already created a name for yourself in.
None of these tactics are carved in stone, however. Some successful freelance writers are so talented that they can write on a wide variety of topics without ever having to declare one specialty. There are other successful freelance writers who never branch beyond one topic and still have an abundance of work and never grow bored of the assignments they receive.
In other words, choose a specialty because it's what you want to write about and not because you think it's going to earn you a bunch of cash. Even though you may love to write, you will soon grow tired of continuously composing pieces about a topic that doesn't appeal to you personally.
By the same token, don't say within a genre that you find limiting and tedious. If your plan has always been to compose great pieces of fiction, for example, you probably don't want to accept too many grant writing jobs.
Write and Be Happy
Take a look at the various job boards online for freelance writers and see which genres and topics are in demand, and then try to find something that appeals to you personally. Don't be afraid to hop to another genre or topic in an attempt to find the specialty that will make you professionally - and personally - happy with your freelance writing career.