The Copywriter’s Paycheck: Develop a Copywriting Niche

Elizabeth ShortBy Elizabeth Short

Having fun writing copy for a variety of industries? Or does switching from massage therapy to diesel mechanics to dairy farming make you dizzy? Either way, read on to learn why specializing is a good idea.

Getting Started Tip #9: Develop a copywriting niche
Doctors do it. Lawyers do it. Chefs do it. So do scientists, college professors and fashion designers. In fact, it’s hard to think of a profession that doesn’t, to some degree, involve cultivating a niche. Professionals often create a niche for themselves out of a particular love or affinity for some aspect of their work.

Greater marketability is one bonus that comes with the territory. Just as parents turn to a pediatrician when seeking medical care for their children, chiropractors will find a natural fit with copywriters who specialize in writing about chiropractic care. Another bonus? Higher income. By becoming a whiz at writing for a particular industry, you complete jobs more quickly—allowing you to make more per hour as well as take on additional projects.

Cultivating a copywriting niche often happens organically. You find an industry you enjoy writing about, land a few jobs and develop a widening network of referrals. If this hasn’t happened for you yet, market your services directly with a targeted letter, brochure or Web site. Maybe, like me, you enjoy writing about a variety of topics. Happily, there is no reason to stop. You can always develop a niche as your bread and butter, then round out the menu with other interesting assignments that come your way.

Copywriting Tip #9: Seal your copy with a KISS
Here in the northern climes of Washington State, you want the most unadulterated and scrumptious-tasting water available for your home or business. Extraordinary water isn’t just good for maintaining a clean bill of health, it also helps keep your tresses shinier, your skin free from unsightly blemishes and your clothes bright as the noon-day sun.

Okay, so maybe this example of overblown writing is a little…overblown, but you get the picture. As a copywriter, your job is to choose words and craft a tone that will appeal to your intended audience. At the same time, you should always remember to KISS (Keep It Simple, Silly) your copy. Simplicity not only fosters a clear message, it also allows you to get that message across in the minimum amount of time. How’s this for simplicity: Here in Northwest Washington, you want the purest and best-tasting water for your home or business. Better water isn’t just good for your health, it also helps keep hair shinier, skin cleaner and clothes brighter.

Elizabeth Short is a freelance copywriter and graphic designer with a passion for helping small businesses clarify and broadcast unique marketing messages. With a focus on websites and print materials, she brings together content + design in one easy, affordable package ( Check out her e-book, 7 Steps to Effective Web Content ( to learn the secrets of writing copy for the web.

1 Response to “The Copywriter’s Paycheck: Develop a Copywriting Niche”

  1. 1 copywriting May 30, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    Good suggestions, Elizabeth. Some people seem to know intuitively which niche they should specialize in. You might have experience in a certain area. As long as it’s something you love, go for it!

    Others have a harder time, and as you say, it happens organically – overtime. If you do a great job in a certain market, it may be because you like the topic. Chances are you’ll get referrals and your niche is born.

    I’m like you – I enjoy the variety. One month it’s a computer programing traing program. The next, it’s a natural, ayervedic perfume. It’s challenging, but it’s never boring!!

    C. Nikkel

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