By Angela Booth
Want an easy way to build your freelance writing career? Here it is. Specialize. When you become known as an expert writer in a topic or an area, editors come to you and give you commissions. The areas you can specialize in are unlimited.
In this article we'll discuss areas you could specialize in, but here's the big tip: specialize in an area you're passionate about. Your own deep interest makes research easy, because you're "researching" anyway. It also means that your enthusiasm comes through in your tone, which makes your writing highly readable.
I started writing for computer magazines some 20 years ago, and I'm still writing for them today. Once you become known for specializing in an area, you'll get writing jobs, and will keep them for a long time. This cuts down on the biggest time waster of a freelance writer's career - job hunting.
So let's look at three ways you can find areas in which to specialize.
1. Write about your life-stage or lifestyle
Whatever life stage you're in, or lifestyle you have, you can write about it.
For example, if you're in college, write about it. On the other end of the time line, if you're a retiree, write about that. Every life stage has unique challenges and concerns which provide rich material for a writer who's experiencing them.
Writing about lifestyles will never go out of fashion either. Lifestyle writing includes not only "home" and real estate writing, but also milestone writing - weddings, and so on.
Lifestyle writing also includes health issues: dieting, and health challenges like arthritis and cancer.
If you're a new parent, or are home schooling children, those are prime areas for specialization - until your children grow older of course.
This is the thing about life stage and lifestyle writing: write about them when you can. You've got rich material all around you. Once this period of your life is over, you won't have the interest in writing about it.
2. Write about your job's industry
Your job is part of an industry. It may be the health or the financial services industry. Whatever industry it is, you can write about it. (Always remembering not to reveal proprietary information.)
Make the most of the contacts and the information your day job brings you, and write about your industry.
Keep a notebook to help you to find ideas for article topics.
3. Write and make fun profitable
You can make your fun activities profitable. You can write about travel, wine, antiques - anything fun-related, which other people are interested in too.
How to Specialize: Just Write About the Area
Specializing is easy. Just start writing about an area, and keep writing about it. You'll soon discover whether specializing in an area is for you, or not.
Many writers hit their specialist topic by accident. An editor asks them to write about a topic, and then asks for more material. Before you know it, you're a specialist.
The benefits of specialization are many: writing jobs come to you, you can charge more because of your expert status, you may find book publishers approaching you with ideas - everyone loves a specialist.
Start thinking about the areas in which you could specialize today - your writing income will improve, and so will your status as a writer.
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