How to pick a UX writing freelance niche

When it comes to picking a niche, imposter syndrome can feel all too real. Learn how to make the decision easy.
ux writing freelance niche
ux writing freelance niche
In: Freelance

Choosing a UX writing freelance niche is like adding a Mento to the Coke bottle of your freelance UX writing business. That's because:

  1. You'll more deeply and accurately target clients
  2. Your hit rate will be higher because of your obvious expertise
  3. Your marketing and positioning becomes cake, which makes your unique selling proposition crystal clear

A niche can be an industry you have previous experience in or an industry you're generally passionate about and know about from a hobby level.

But when it comes to picking one, imposter syndrome can feel all too real.

In this lesson, I’m going to help you pick a niche you feel confident in. And there are four steps to make that happen:

  1. Make a long list of niches
  2. Filter it down to 3 options
  3. Rank them
  4. Make an informed decision

Let’s dive in…

1. Make a long list of niches

Again, a niche can be an industry you have previous experience in or an industry you're generally passionate about and know about from a hobby level.

The very first thing we’re gonna do is list out options. Think of:

  • Your experience — are there any industries you have experience in that could be a niche for you? (ex: fintech, education)
  • Your interests — are there any topics you’re interested in that could be a niche for you? (ex: mental health, femtech)
  • Your hobbies — are there any hobbies you have that could be a niche for you? (ex: mobile gaming, health & fitness)

Make a big ‘ol list — we’re not gonna filter just yet.

If you need some thought-starters, here are some niches you might consider:

  • Fintech (ex: Chime)
  • Insurtech (ex: Vouch)
  • Edtech (ex: Udemy)
  • Femtech (ex: Flo)
  • Health & fitness (ex: Tempo)
  • Mental health (ex: Brightside)
  • Mobile gaming (ex: Candy Crush)
  • Work management + productivity (ex: Asana)
  • Marketing SaaS (aka software-as-a-service)(ex: ConvertKit)
  • B2B SaaS (ex: Zendesk)
  • Sales SaaS (ex: Outreach)
  • Real estate (ex: Opendoor)
  • Big data (ex: Crunchbase)
  • Consumer media (ex: Twitch)
  • eCommerce (ex: Etsy)
  • Social media (ex: Mastodon)
  • Relationships (ex: Tinder)

You don’t have to currently be an expert in a subject at the moment to pick it as a niche. I’ll dive into that more later, but for now, again, make a list without filtering.

Because we’re gonna filter next…

2. Filter it down to 3 niches

Take a look at your list, and answer one question: “Could I write about this topic day-in and day-out for a year?”

You want a niche that feels relevant and interesting to you, not something you’re going to dread even thinking about 3 months in.

Pick 3 niches that feel like something that won’t get old, and instead, are topics you’d actually like to learn more about in the coming year.

Then, we’re gonna narrow it down even more…

3. Rank them

So, you have a list of 3 niches that all sound relevant and interesting to you. How are you supposed to decide?

The easiest way to make the decision is to make it an objective one. And to make picking a niche an objective decision, we gotta get some numbers involved 🔢

The next step is to rank your niches on a scale of 1 – 5 for the following criteria:

  • Level of interest: On a scale of 1 (not a lot of interest) – 5 (a ton of interest,) how pumped are you about this niche?
  • Knowledge level: On a scale of 1 (no knowledge) – 5 (expert,) how much do you currently know about this niche?
  • Market potential: On a scale of 1 (no potential) – 5 (high potential,) how viable is this niche as a potential market?

When evaluating your knowledge level, don't get bogged down here.

Currently being an expert isn't necessary, but it does give you a better launchpad. That’s because you’ll have less of a learning curve. Ipso facto, it’ll be easier to get going sooner if you already have some knowledge on the topic.

When evaluating the market potential, you’re looking to understand 2 things:

  1. How many companies are in this niche — is there a reasonably-sized client pool?
  2. What does the future of this niche look like — is it a declining industry or a growing industry?

That’ll give you a sense of if this niche is worth investing in.

Your output is gonna look something like this:

ux writing freelance niche

You just tally up the results, and the niche with the highest score is, objectively, the right niche for you

I say objectively because numbers are directional, not the end all be all. That’s why, next, we’re gonna use this intel to make an informed decision…

4. Make an informed decision

Did you get a gut feeling after seeing the scores tallied up? Maybe you saw the winner, and you felt bummed — it wasn’t the one you subconsciously wanted to “win.” Or maybe you say the winner and had a little “heck yeah” 🙌

Again, the numbers are directional, and your niche needs to feel good to you. And, again, your niche should be something you can write about day-in and day-out for a year.

Use the rankings and your emotional reaction to the rankings to make an informed decision. There’s no wrong answer — just the answer that feels the most right to you.

What do I do if I’m not currently an expert?

If you’re low on knowledge in a particular niche but really want to pursue it, pursue it. The great thing about life today is knowledge is so accessible.

If you’re not an expert, there are two ways gain expertise:

  1. Invest in learning and development (i.e., take a course, read books, etc.)
  2. Learn on the job

Expertise is something that can be gained, and it’s something that shouldn’t hold you back. And you don’t have to wait to get started either — start learning about your niche today.

Pick a course or book. Have informal coffee chats with people in the industry. And then use those insights to strategically design your website (aka your sales machine,) write content, and nail sales calls.

Happy UX writing 🖖

Written by
Slater Katz
As founder of The UX Gal, my mission is to make learning UX writing fantastically-simple and landing a job easy. I've held UX writing jobs at companies like Netflix, Fitbit, Verizon, Afterpay, & more.
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