Do you know the most typical mistake that all beginner freelance writers make?
They position themselves as writers.
Consequently, they are often left on the sidelines with no orders, looking for another job.
No, they’re far from stupid. They are often smart and talented. They can do a variety of miscellaneous texts. They just believe narrowing down their niche will only drive the customers away.
Here’s a question for you.
If you’re managing a fashion website and you need another freelance writer, would you rather hire ‘a freelance writer who can write anything’ or ‘a long-form blog writer with 5 years of experience and interest in fashion’?
The second person looks pretty amazing for this job.
When you start out as a freelance writer, it’s particularly important to be specific about what you can and can’t do. While you are a beginner, it’s critical to focus on a single highest-paying writing niche, even though it may seem too narrow for your talent.
Don’t worry. You’ll later expand to a plethora of copywriting services. But right now what you need is to narrow it down.
You can niche down by:
- Type of Content
In this article, we’ll cover the most lucrative freelance writing types. By specializing in one of them not only you have a chance to double or even triple your current income, but you’ll also fast-forward your freelancing career no matter how fierce the competition is. Even if you have no experience as a freelancer.
And now to be serious, let’s answer the question that you have in your head right now.
How Much Does a Freelance Writer Make?
John and Jake started as freelancers a year back. Today John struggles to find a single customer and earn a few hundred dollars a month, while Jake is snowed under work with $5,000 revenue growing month over month.
Why is there such a dramatic difference? And how much does an average freelance writer make a month?
One would assume that it’s their skills that define their income level. Studies show, there’s little to no difference between freelancing skills and income. Remember how JK Rowling had to beg major agencies to publish her book and got rejected all the time? Then all of a sudden it turned out they have rejected the most popular book of the generation.
By the same token, freelance writing income can be unpredictable.
If you plan to freelance on platforms like Fiverr or Upwork, you’ll have to start lower than your regular rate (if you already have a ballpark in mind) due to fierce competition. Even if you have 20 years of experience behind your back, unless you set your rate to $5-$10 per 500 words, no one cares. At least in the beginning, you’ll have to underpromise and overdeliver.
When you get a good grip on writing, you’ll be able to expand and grow your income to $3,000-$9,000. Naturally, your income will largely depend on how much you work.
Yet here’s another important factor that many talented freelancers overlook. As a result, these people continue to earn next to nothing and, eventually, become desperate, although there’s only one tiny thing they need to do differently.
Pick a profitable niche.
It’s that simple.
Picking the right niche is the key to massive income and to the important things in life you’ve always wanted – freedom, traveling, and family time.
Let’s see what niches are right for you. While you’re scrolling through each one, I want you to think about an area where you excel. An area you either have plenty of experience or confidence in.
11 Ideas of Highest-Paying Writing Niches for Freelance Writers
1. B2B long reads/blog posts
Length: 2,000-2,500 words and more.
B2B long-form posts are, typically, one of the most highly-paid writing specializations. The benefits of content marketing include increased awareness and a loyal audience, that’s why many companies are willing to compensate well for your high-quality long-form content.
This section implies a very broad range of customers – from bloggers who need an extra hand with content to established businesses who want to outsource a bunch of their content tasks. If you’re an expert in a certain niche, it makes sense to go for it first as experts are paid higher than regular content writers who aren’t as knowledgeable.
The major advantage of long-form posts is that most customers are looking for consistent content so if they like you, they’ll definitely offer a long-term collaboration.
If you’re natively curious about things and like to investigate new topics, this is an ideal niche for you. However, you should always keep in mind why customers order your services in the first place. Is it driving traffic or driving leads?
To write excellent long blog posts, you’ll need the following skills:
- Knowledge of SEO and
- Ability to write catchy headlines
- You investigate a new topic easily
- You can break down complex topics and concepts
Another plus of this niche is you only do research once for a large portion of content. Personally, I spend at least a few hours researching the topic before I get down to writing even the smallest piece of content. If you’re anything like me, it turns out that you can write five 500-word articles for 5 different customers in a variety of industries or write just one piece of content for 2,500 words with only one research. That will help you to save time on research.
How much does a freelance writer make per article? That again depends on your customer. A good rate would be around $150-$200. If you’re only starting and you’re not an expert in the topic you’re writing for, be prepared for less at least for the time being.
2. Email funnels
An email funnel is a sequence of emails that will lead your client to a sale. It’s a highly efficient tool used in email marketing.
Almost any type of business can benefit from email marketing. No matter whether they want to grow the number of leads or just nurture the existing customer base, they’ll need someone who can talk to their audience from the heart.
The email funnel is a very concrete and confined set of emails – thus the big paycheck. The rate of freelance writing hugely relies on the amount of work, however, you can definitely be sure that it’s one of the highest-paying writing niches,
Here’s what you need to know in order to create profit-generating email funnels:
- Understand email sequences and their rules
- Leverage marketing and sales techniques
- How to write catchy headlines that appeal to the target audience
Your customer might also ask you to create a successful sales strategy, which will increase your check.
3. Case studies
With case studies, businesses present a story of customer transformation made possible with their products. Customer transformations serve as powerful social proof. Thus, if you can tell the story right, the demand for your services will be overwhelming.
Most case studies follow pretty much the same structure as an average video ad:
John was a lonely and desperate guy who had a challenge. He tried many solutions and none of them worked out. Then he discovered product A. Now John’s life is amazing, he’s smiling and now he’s happy.
Here’s a list of what you will need
What you’ll need:
- Take interest in your customers’ business
- Conduct interviews with both companies mentioned in a case study
- Approve quotes from both sides
- Probably design a document (you can hire another person to do that) to get a nice deliverable
4. UX Writing / Technical documentation
Working for an IT company can imply you’ll be the one who proofreads the user interface and/or makes decisions on how to name specific features.
Almost every job in IT is well-paid and technical writing is not an exclusion.
Though this type of copywriting doesn’t drive sales, you are managing texts that are seen by millions of SaaS/IT product users across the globe so it pays well.
Here’s what you need to learn before you proceed to writing technical documentation.
- Take screenshots of the product
- Describe the product’s functionality
5. Video scripts
A video script is the major part of the work for any video, be it a sales page video or a product how-to tutorial
In today’s fragmented world, any business can benefit from a few videos for their website or YouTube channel. Businesses are particularly interested in content that will drive more sales. As a result, you have a huge opportunity to capitalize on your talent.
As writing video scripts is as broad as writing a blog post, if you make writing scripts your specialization, you’ll have to decide where you’re good at.
A good idea to get started in this niche would be to write a script for your sales video for your own website and see how it picks up.
Again, most businesses have a recurring need for videos so if you excel at what you do, chances are you’ll get hired again and again. In other words, your commitment and dedication to making it in this niche will pay off.
6. Job Search Writing
Most highly-paid freelance writing niches are pretty much concentrated around businesses, which is only logical. Still, there’s one incredibly popular type of gig that is often overlooked: job search writing.
Here are several services that you may offer.
Bring to light the best qualities of a person looking for a job. That might be a good idea if you don’t have a knack for writing in its common sense. Generally, working on a CV involves researching the desired position and the candidate’s strongest skills.
You can earn as much as $60-$120 per a 2-page resume on Fiverr even as a starter.
Be aware that this type of work also involves a lot of communication with a customer, as you will need to get an idea of where and why their strongest skills lie.
If you’re interested in any of these gigs, check out this article. There’s a good example of writing a gig description, particularly for resume writing.
Cover Letter Writing
A cover letter is an accompanying document to a CV. It involves a little bit more writing at first but overall it’s a pretty typical document. You’ll need to explain to a company your customer is applying to why he/she is the best candidate for this position.
People looking for a job order cover letters with a CV so it would be a good idea to combine those two services in one.
LinkedIn Profile Optimization
Optimizing a LinkedIn profile helps your customer to land a job just as much (or probably even bigger) as a resume. And if they can land the job of their dream, how valuable does it make your input?
Again, there’s a good chance that if your customers are looking for a new job, they’ll be interested in a package that includes CV, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile optimization.
Alternatively, businesses may also outsource a part of the HR department’s tasks including writing/posting job descriptions. It’s like working with the same type of deliverable inside out. This type of task is rarely seen on freelance websites, which may mean there’s an opportunity for you to tap in.
7. Sales Pages / Ad Copy
Writing a copy that sells is one of the most complicated (yet interesting) types of copywriting and of course one of the highest-paying freelance writing niches too.
If you have a good understanding of what triggers our desire to consume goods and services and can leverage a text that sells, here’s what you need to know.
It’s pretty amazing and not everyone can do that.
Moreover, businesses are also challenged to find a person who has a sense of the right tone of voice.
Sales pages are a great niche that is directly tied to helping your customer make money. Ads drive traffic to these sales pages.
Think about it. Your text, the way you put it, determines how many sales your customer will get. It can be $100, $1,000 or $100,000 with just one product. That’s why your text is extremely valuable.
What you need to have:
- A good understanding of the psychology behind people’s decisions
- Knowledge of the product that you’ll be selling
- If you keep a collection of good examples in sales writing, it’ll help a lot
8. White papers
The term ‘white papers’ originated in England as government-issued documents. Today a whitepaper is an in-depth report on a certain topic. It’s practically an eBook, only more technical and well-researched. B2B businesses often use it as a lead generator to present research findings related to their industry as well as their take on a topic.
As it’s a long-form piece of content, a white paper can bring you over $1,000 USD, however, you’ll need to invest some time and effort into it. Think about it as a comprehensive research paper. How long will it take you to research a new topic? Probably, at least a few weeks so make sure you’re ok with your hourly rate.
Here are some indicators that you’ll excel in writing white papers:
- You like to write long-form content
- You enjoy researching details
- If you’re writing an article, you always strive to provide as much information as you can (guilty!)
9. eLearning Content Development
Working with an expert to create and promote their digital product includes a wide variety of tasks, from creating video scripts to crafting after-the-course tests and exercises and/or explanatory comments along the course.
In a way, writing eLearning content is close to writing video scripts, only with wider responsibilities. Here, you are more than just a writer, you often become one of the course creators.
The benefits of this type of content are quite straightforward. A course takes typically at least several hours of content, even more with assignments and bonus materials. Once you find a customer, you’ll be snowed under work for a certain period of time.
10. Creative Writing
Creative writing, as its title suggests, involves a wide array of tasks – from crafting business names and slogans to ad copies. This type of work is usually paid not per word but per deliverable and it can be anything.
Creative writing involves a lot of trust between you and your customer so it won’t probably become your first order.
What you’ll need:
- Understanding how to combine creativeness and sales
11. Proofreading & Editing
Are your friends not happy when you’re correcting their spelling and grammar mistakes? Well, many people across the globe are actually ready to pay for your passion.
Speaking honestly, this may be the not most-paying type of work. However, if you’re well-read and observant, it’ll be the easiest thing you can do with no experience. As you’re getting keen on proofreading, you’ll also develop an understanding of what good writing is.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Attention to details
- Good command of language
- Grammar rules
Obviously, you can earn top dollar in any of the content writing niches if you have the key secret to massive income as a copywriter. The secret ingredient that all the above types of content have in common.
Help your customer to drive more revenue.
The closer you are to sales, the more impact on the revenue you can make. And the more is the impact, the more the customer will pay for your work because the content you create will pay for itself.
As a result, it definitely makes sense to focus on copywriting that helps your customers sell their products and services.
I have to warn you. You won’t see immediate results.
One thing that works though is if you focus and put some effort into your work, be it on Fiverr, Upwork, LinkedIn, or any other platform, you’ll eventually reap fruits. Even if it takes you a few years to gain significant traction, having a free life in any part of the world doing something you truly enjoy is worth it.
While you’re enjoying your journey as a freelance copywriter, let me know: what type of content do you enjoy writing most?