As a freelance writer, you can do business in many different niches, and it is inevitable that some of them are going to be much less comfortable than others. So, is the monetary reward worth the effort…and the risk?
Now, just to make things clear. Whatever you’re doing as a freelancer is your own business. I’m not here to judge or give “the right” guidance. I just want to provide some actionable advice you can use when dealing with some specific projects.
The niches I see as uncomfortable include things like:
Essentially, anything that makes you think “I don’t know if I should take this” is along the lines of uncomfortable niches.
First of all, as a freelancer, you can and should pick your clients with caution. You don’t have to work with people for the sole reason that they want to throw some money at you. The project has to be right for you before you can agree to take it.
So, what about the gray area niches, should you take any projects in these niches? To find that out, let’s start by answering some questions:
What is the Project About?
There are different forms of writing and different ways of delivering content. As a writer, you can participate in projects where you have to deliver:
- standard articles
- opinion posts
- press releases
- list posts
And the exact type of writing your client expects you to deliver is often the main deciding factor when it comes to uncomfortable niches.
For instance, writing an article about…
… is a lot different than writing a product review like…
What I’m trying to say is that certain types of writing can turn a seemingly uncomfortable project into a standard project just because they focus on delivering facts more than delivering your personal opinion.
From my point of view, these types of writing are: press releases, tutorials, and some forms of reviews.
Maybe it’s just me (and feel free to disagree), but I think that a freelance writer shouldn’t be afraid to write inside any niche if doing it in a factual manner (press releases and tutorials are essentially 100% facts).
What is the Angle About?
Another deciding factor is the angle you’re expected to take on the project. For example, I’m on the payroll (so to speak) with one of the most popular resource websites for online gambling affiliate marketers. But I don’t write about gambling, I’m the WordPress guy (I write about using WordPress as a business tool).
Long story short, there are always multiple angles in every niche. And many of them are pretty down-to-earth basic. Before you take any project, make sure that you’re aware of the angle you’re paid to follow.
At this point, if the type of writing is comfortable and the angle is comfortable, 98% of the time, the whole project will end up being comfortable too.
However, there are still some things to look into.
Isn’t it strange that I’m mentioning “expertise” on the latter part of this article? Might be, but considering the fact that I’ve spent most of my time here trying to list the scenarios in which you don’t actually need to be an expert in the uncomfortable topic then it should make it a little less strange.
Looking at my own example, I’m no expert in gambling, but I know my way around WordPress. And with some research, I can write a decent article on how gambling affiliates can use WordPress as part of their businesses.
You can easily do the same if you just find the right type of writing and the right angle.
However, if you’re expected to focus your writing on the core of the niche then you will indeed need expertise or at least some serious dedication to learn things. This might be one more reason why taking on certain uncomfortable projects turns out to be a “no.”
Type of Delivery
Depending on the project, your client can ask you to deliver your work in a variety of methods. You can either send your work directly to your client, submit it to a press release agency, send it somewhere else, or even get it published as a guest post on a third party site.
If it’s the last scenario you’re dealing with then making the project even doable can become really difficult. The thing is, many website owners won’t allow guest posts that link to these gray niche sites. And it really doesn’t matter if you are posting a quality article, it will be an automatic “no” anyway.
However, if your client wants you to send your work directly to them then there won’t be any problems of such nature.
(These are actually the only kinds of projects I advise you to take. Anything other than that will be much more difficult to carry out.)
Lastly, I want to guide your attention towards one more thing. Be careful to notice the difference between an uncomfortable niche and a standard project that’s simply challenging, which makes it feel like it’s uncomfortable.
For instance, if your client has a project that would require a good weight loss article on a major site then it doesn’t necessarily make it an uncomfortable one. It’s just a big challenge you can take or not.
In a word, don’t search for excuses to abandon a project and don’t use “comfort” as your excuse.
What About “The Right Thing to Do”?
As you’ve probably noticed, I didn’t talk about things like your morals and doing “what’s right” here. Just like I said at the beginning, taking (or not taking) such projects is up to you and no one should feel the need to judge you.
The info here is just a resource talking about some important elements of your work that can help you decide if you’re going to be able to craft a decent piece of writing in a given niche or not. Nothing else.
So, just to recap:
- Start by determining what type of writing your client actually needs.
- Look into the angle.
- Decide if you have enough expertise.
- Make sure you’re aware of how you should deliver your work.
- Don’t abandon a project simply because it seems like a big challenge.
Finally, what’s your take on this? What’s your policy when it comes to these uncomfortable niches?
About the author:
Karol K. is a freelance blogger and writer. Currently, he takes active part in the Writers in Charge project – teaching other writers how to take charge of their writing careers. You can join the movement too by looking into this list of websites (click here) that will pay for your writing.