This is a review of Find Your Freelance Writing Niches, a course from John Soares of ProductiveWriters.com. As I do in any review, I'll share an overview with you followed by highlights, suggestions, and my overall verdict. For full disclosure, while this is not an affiliate review, John did provide me with access to the course materials for review.
Let's start by taking a look at how the course is set up, and then I'll share some of my favorite highlights.
Find Your Freelance Writing Niches is a digital course made up of a combination of PDF lessons for you to read alongside Word document worksheets to help you put what you've learned into action.
The course is designed to help you find your specialty as a freelance writer which will enable you to charge more and focus more on areas you're knowledgeable or passionate about.
What You'll Learn
Find Your Freelance Writing Niches is broken down into three sections:
- Why You Should Specialize
- How to Choose Your Niches
- What to Do Now
If you're currently a generalist and have been uncomfortable with the idea of specializing, the course will help you understand why specialization is a smart move, and it will help you understand what that means. For example, contrary to popular belief, having a niche does not mean you have to limit yourself to a single topic or industry.
Once you're ready to choose a niche (or more than one) of your own, John helps you brainstorm initial ideas you may not have considered. You'll then use the course worksheets to help you narrow down your ideas and find a primary and secondary niche or two to pursue.
John doesn't just help you identify the right niche(s) for you. His course also gives you some direction on what comes next.
A key element of this is creating an action plan around each niche you want to pursue (which we'll look at more in a moment).
The course will even give you ideas on how to branch your niche into new income streams that both help fill in during slower freelance times but also help you further establish your authority in your niche.
Course Highlights & Suggestions
This course shines in that it doesn't simply repeat a lot of common misconceptions about niches.
For example, I often have new freelance writers tell me they don't want to specialize because it will limit the gigs available to them and they won't earn as much. Reality is specialists not only earn more, but it's easier to build demand and fill your schedule when you're valued for your expertise as opposed to general writing ability.
John goes into a wide variety of benefits of choosing a niche that you might not have considered before. And just as important, he'll give you more insight into what niches actually are (not as limited as many newer writers assume) and share his own example of how you can make multiple specialties work.
What stood out the most, however, were the action plan worksheets.
One of the biggest problems I've seen in the freelance writing community over the last decade or so is this idea (largely taught by more generic internet marketers) that you need to build the image of authority or expertise as opposed to building the real thing and learning how to promote it.
This had led to far too many inexperienced "specialists" fraudulently presenting themselves as experts to anyone they think they can get to pay them (for freelance projects, e-books, courses, etc.). Not only is this approach inherently dishonest, but I've watched it crash one fresh freelance career after another (and damage other writers' reputations among their colleagues).
Find Your Freelance Writing Niches doesn't take that all-too-common approach though. Instead, it will both help you better appreciate the expertise you already have and give you a road map for continuing your own professional growth within your niche.
That's something I not only recommend, but applaud.
If I were to make any suggestion for the course if future updates were to be released, I'd suggest combining the PDF files into a single e-textbook format. While it makes sense to keep the printables separate, being able to read the main course material in a single file instead of saving and finding several would be handy, especially as more people are reading on mobile devices now than when the course was originally released.
Other than that, this course is a great overview of specialization from why you should consider it to expanding upon your expertise as you build your professional reputation and demand for your freelance writing services.
Who Would Benefit From Find Your Freelance Writing Niches?
There are two primary groups of freelance writers who would likely benefit from this course:
- New writers considering their first niche specialty
- More experienced freelance writers who aren't happy in their current niche but need help coming up with new ideas and making that transition
If you're already a generalist, this e-book gives you some new things to think about when deciding how you want to move forward in your career, and with a fairly balanced perspective. If you're brand new, it might help you create a more focused marketing plan from the beginning. And if you've been thinking about a change, John's worksheets and brainstorming ideas are bound to help you see new specialties that won't necessarily require you to start over.
If you learn best by reading and working through guided action steps, Find Your Freelance Writing Niches could be a great fit for you. While it was originally released in 2013, the course material holds up well. And at a $20 price point, it would most likely pay for itself with your very first gig in your new freelance writing niche.