This is a list of 12 beginner-friendly freelance writing niches that pay well.
To curate this list, we used:
- Verifiable data. We gathered data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and other trustworthy sources to see what demand there is for each niche.
- Our experience. As a team of writers, we used our industry knowledge of the niches we’ve found successful in the past.
Our goal is to help you find a niche that:
- Pays well.
- Is growing in demand.
- Interests you to write about.
What Is a Freelance Writing Niche?
For the sake of this article, we’re defining freelance writing niches as types of writing (such as landing pages) rather than topics (such as travel blogging).
You’ll make more money as a freelancer if you niche down. And while certain topics do pay more than others — for example, you’ll earn more writing about personal finance than recipes — the specializations listed below can be applied to almost any topic.
Master one or more of them and you’ll command better freelance writing rates regardless of what you choose to write about.
#1. Landing Pages and Sales Funnels
Landing pages and sales funnels are designed to drive readers to a conversion. Some examples might be signing up for an online course, downloading an app or purchasing a physical product. This type of writing is also broadly referred to as sales copy.
Sales copy is a prime writing niche because it’s what brings in customers, builds their trust and convinces them to take the next step on the sales journey. Online businesses know that the dollars they spend on quality sales copy have a direct impact on revenue, so the rates tend to be some of the best in the field — as much as $60 per hour, in some cases.
Learn more: How to Become a Copywriter (Even With No Experience).
#2. SEO-Optimized Blog Posts
SEO stands for search engine optimization. About 71% of people only look at the first organic search engine result, so as a website owner it’s vital to be on the top of that list. Otherwise, your target audience will never know you exist.
Few freelance writers have much SEO knowledge, let alone any experience or training in optimizing their posts to perform well in search. If you study up on the best practices in SEO and have expertise or credentials in a particular topic area, you can make a lot of money.
That last point is especially true when you’re writing about topics like finance and health. Google prefers to show articles written by experts in those fields, so pairing your topic-area expertise with SEO know-how can result in great content that performs well on Google and drives traffic to your client’s site.
And if you can deliver that, you can regularly command as much as .25 cents per word.
Related: You don’t need to take a course to get started as a freelancer, but once you have a few clients under your belt, a course can help you buff up your skills and raise your rates. Here are some of the best online freelance writing courses.
#3. Genre Fiction
Not only is this a realistic opportunity, it’s one where there’s strong demand for capable authors.
Genre fiction is the loose term for romance, western, fantasy, horror and suspense novels — and there’s a huge market for these books. Prolific authors sometimes pump out multiple books per year, often using ghostwriters to keep up that level of production.
You can easily find these types of writing jobs on Upwork — both for indie writers who are self-publishing via Amazon and for those who work for pulp publishers (like Harlequin).
Pay varies widely depending on the project, the client and your expertise. Beginners will start out in the two cents per word range, which is considerably less than you can make as a beginning content or sales copywriter.
But experienced ghostwriters who write for established authors under traditional publishers can make as much as $1 per word. Plus, the experience can help you hone your fiction skills so that you can eventually publish your own work.
#4. Email Marketing
All kinds of websites use email marketing to sell products and services, and the emails don’t write themselves.
Like sales copy, email marketing is customer-facing and action-oriented. Most online businesses have email sequences that are automatically sent to customers or leads at different phases of the journey to purchase — for example, an email that triggers two days after signing up for a discount code, then another that triggers two days later trying to get the customer to come back to the website.
Writing for these businesses requires a good understanding of both finessing the messages (with a good call-to-action that’s not too salesy) and leveraging the software that sends them.
That means experience with email software like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Klaviyo or Salesforce is extremely helpful in this niche.
#5. Press Releases
While the effectiveness of press releases is debatable in today’s email-saturated world, the demand for them is not. Businesses and other organizations are anxious for the ear of journalists (both traditional and online) to give them the attention and publicity they need.
Upwork is full of gigs in press release writing as well as other public relations content. A degree or experience in journalism is helpful here, as is the ability to write a snazzy, engaging press release that will stand out amid the dozens that journalists receive each day.
At the same time, no education or experience is necessary. Press releases tend to follow a common format, and once you master that you’re good to go.
#6. Video Scripts
With the explosion of YouTube and social media TV channels, content creators are putting out more videos than ever before. Keeping up with the constant demand for videos is a team effort, and that team includes scriptwriters.
This niche has dozens of sub-niches, from social media content to tutorials to business ads. Many clients will ask for add-on skills like voiceover, video editing and production, so adding these skills to your toolbox will enable you to serve more clients and command a higher premium as a one-stop-shop.
You can also offer those services as one-off projects on Fiverr.
#7. Podcast Show Notes
Podcasts are a booming industry, and each episode requires show notes — a write-up that contains stats, citations, affiliate links and other relevant info that was discussed on the show so that listeners can access the materials easily.
Many established podcasters outsource the creation of show notes to freelance writers.
Freelancers in this space will excel at condensing and editing content for clarity and conciseness. Some podcasts also include full transcriptions of each episode, so experience with transcription and/or a transcription pedal will come in handy.
Also, may podcasters turn their show notes into blog posts — meaning that the SEO skills we discussed in #2 can come in handy here as well.
#8. Technical Writing
Technical writers create things like user manuals, software documentation, operating procedure documents and more, and BLS reports a 7% increase (faster than average) in demand for technical writers between 2019 and 2029.
Because it’s so relevant to business, technical writing is one of the most lucrative freelance writing niches out there. Upwork gigs in this space often pay $40 to $50 per hour or more.
Technical writing often (though not always) requires some background knowledge in the product or company you’re writing about. Great writers in this space will have extreme attention to detail and be able to edit their own work well.
They also know how to write clear, concise copy.
#9. Product Reviews
Consumers are constantly scouring for honest, in-depth reviews before they buy a product, download an app or sign up for a service.
Seeing the massive success of sites like the New York Times‘ Wirecutter blog, large publishers are creating product review sites of their own, and independent blogs and YouTube channels use product reviews and comparisons to fill out their content calendars and drive affiliate sales.
The pay range for this content is wide — anywhere from $15 for a quick Amazon-style review to a few hundred dollars for an in-depth, fully-tested review.
Writing a solid review can be difficult. You have to know how to test and evaluate the product in an effective manner. You also have to know what the reader will find helpful, as well as what you should omit.
Clients on freelance marketplaces like Upwork are always looking for reviewers, but this is also one of the best options if you’re interested in starting your own money-making blog.
#10. Product Descriptions
In 2020, e-commerce accounted for $537 billion in revenue in the United States alone. Each of those products that garnered that revenue had a product description to entice buyers. And many of those descriptions were written by freelance writers.
Retailers from Amazon to small Shopify boutiques can’t just copy and paste these descriptions; they need original copy, in large part for SEO purposes. This represents a huge opportunity for freelance writers.
Clients may pay by the description or by the hour for these gigs. If you can, opt for the former. You’ll be able to make more per hour as your familiarity with the products, mastery of the brand voice, and ability to pump out product descriptions increase.
Everyone needs a job, which makes the need for good resumes ubiquitous and constant. But many people don’t have the inclination or skill to write their own resume, and even more can benefit from the practiced skill of a resume writer who can tailor the resume to the requirements of a particular job — not to mention the algorithms that are increasingly used to sift through job applications before a human even looks at them.
If you have any experience in management or HR, this is a great writing niche to get into. Resume writers can make $56,000 per year full time, and more if you have extensive experience or a high-level clientele.
#12. Grants and Proposals
Grant writing for nonprofit organizations is nichy, but it can be very profitable if you’re skilled. Many nonprofit organizations get a large portion of their funding from government and private grants, so they’re willing to pay good money for writers who are skilled enough to write winning grant applications.
And believe it or not, there’s significant demand for freelancers in this space.
That’s true mainly for two reasons:
- Some organizations hire freelancers so they can cast a wider net and target more grants.
- Very small organizations, like mom and pop non-profits, often lack the experience and knowledge necessary to navigate the technical (and sometimes arcane) proposal process; they may not know where to look for grants, or have any idea about how to put together a winning proposal.
If you have nonprofit or government administrative experience, this may be a good niche to pursue. Even if you don’t, proposal writing is a skill you can teach yourself.
Pro tip: If you want to write grants, structure your pay by the word or by the hour, not on commission. Whether or not a grant is awarded hinges on many factors, some of which are outside your control. Reputable organizations won’t leave their writers’ pay up to the whims of committees.
The Most Profitable Freelance Writing Topics
Within each writing type, there are topics that stand out as the most profitable. Many of these are what Google calls “Your Money, Your Life” topics — those with the potential to have heavy bearing on your physical, mental or financial well-being. Pay is particularly good for these subjects, as they require more expertise than things like fashion blogging or sports reporting.
- Cryptocurrency and blockchain: This is an exploding industry, the worth of which was $653 billion as of May 2021. Because these concepts are so new, the crypto field lacks writers who have the knowledge to accurately write in this space. Writers who have the experience and credentials to do so stand to make good money for their work.
- Health and wellness: The market for health and wellness is a whopping $4.4 trillion worldwide and climbing. It’s also a YMYL topic, so if you’re able to get great SEO rankings for what you write, you can command a premium in this space.
- Personal finance: Everybody has to manage their money, and most of us could use advice on how to do it better. Also, there’s substantial crossover with technology and entrepreneurship, making this a very lucrative space.
- Real estate: Real estate agents rely heavily on web traffic these days, as 90% of home buyers search for a house online. Each home sale results in several thousand dollars of commission, so blog posts, featured property articles and SEO-tailored descriptions are in high demand from real estate agencies.
More Freelance Writing Resources
Starting out in the freelance writing world can feel scary and daunting. To get you ready to come out of the gate swinging on your new gig as a freelance writer, we’ve compiled a bunch of our best resources and tips for beginners.
- How to Start Freelancing
- How to Become a Freelance Writer
- How to Create a Freelance Portfolio
- How to Write Freelance Proposals
- How to Get Clients as a Freelancer
- How to Apply for Writing Jobs on Upwork
- How to Get Your First Job on Upwork
- Seven Upwork Tips and Nine Common Mistakes
- The Best Freelance Writing Job Sites
As the great Pat Flynn once said, there are riches in the niches:
Honing in on what niche/topic combo is best for you may take some time, trial and error. But writing in a format that provides extreme value to your client on a subject you can credibly write about over and over is the magical recipe for a stellar, profitable freelance writing career.