If you feel like your freelance writing career is stuck in a rut, it might be time to consider expanding your writing expertise. While writing for mainly one niche can be lucrative, it’s important to continually expand your knowledge and be flexible enough to tackle a variety of writing projects.
As well as improving your reputation as a writer, finding new areas to write about can boost your sales. With this in mind, here are some tips to broaden the scope of your expertise and help you grow as a writer.
Become a Life-Long Learner
Developing your writing expertise involves learning about new topics, not just expanding your knowledge in subjects you’re familiar with. This is why reading informative books and articles are key to growing as a freelance writer.
Follow blogs and social media accounts from industry experts. Listen to podcasts and online talks to get different perspectives on a particular topic. This will also introduce you to new vocabulary that you can add to your writing arsenal.
Related Reading: The 17 Best Blogs for Content Writers
Expand on Your Niche
What topics within your niche do you want or need to learn more about? Search for resources to help you learn more about these topics. In time, you can become an expert in your niche which will raise your writing profile.
This is also a good time to explore different styles of writing that you admire. Perhaps you’ll find a new passion for writing instructional blog posts or in-depth how-to guides.
Develop Your Writing Skills
Every writer has a great capacity to improve their performance with practice and continuous assessment. Try these techniques:
- Read your own writing and find your writing weaknesses. Which areas need improvement?
- Read other writers and study how they use language and different styles to convey their messages.
- Practice writing daily by using writing prompts.
- Get out of your comfort zone. Try tackling a subject that you know nothing about.
Related Reading: 15-Minute Writing Exercises That Will Make You a Better Writer
Refine Your Research
Every writer has a different research process, but the best writers know where to look for the best information. To expand your writing arsenal, build a solid list of resources to add credibility to your writing. Try the following:
- Government websites.
- National organizations and trade associations.
- Trade publications.
- Research organizations such as Forrester and Pew Research Center.
Create Your Own Research Files
Whatever you write about, you can improve your productivity by being more organized. Create a digital file with a list of good sources of information and data. You can then refer to this file whenever you’re looking for specific information. Whenever you find a new resource, update your file. Add a separate section, listing the industries you write for. Then, under each industry, add content ideas whenever you get them.
Keep an Eye on Trending Topics
Content buyers are always on the look out for fresh and relevant content. To build your knowledge and reputation, it’s a good idea to regularly create content on trending topics. Here are the best places to find hot topics:
- Social media. Search trending topics related to specific industries.
- The “Writing Ideas” tab on your Constant Content dashboard.
- Google Trends and Google News.
- News aggregator websites such as Feedly and Pocket.
- Content promotion websites such as Medium and LinkedIn Pulse.
Your knowledge should increase with the more articles you write, so get into the routine of submitting articles regularly. Clients will also see that you can be relied on to consistently produce content across a range of topics. It’s a virtuous circle: the more you write, the more your name will be seen by potential clients, resulting in more writing jobs. And the more jobs you get, the more you’ll learn about new topics.
Access the Right Tools
Even the best writers need tools to enhance their writing and maximize productivity. From researching and editing tools, to brainstorming and productivity tools, there are plenty of free online tools to help every freelance writer realize their potential.
Related Reading: 34 Content Writing Tools Every Serious Online Writer Needs
Take Your Writing to the Next Level
The most successful freelancers aren’t afraid to step outside their comfort zone and write about new things. Perhaps it’s time to take a fresh look at your writing skills and find ways to expand your writing arsenal.
Use these tips and you might be surprised at how much you can learn and grow as a writer. By strengthening your areas of writing expertise, you can improve your reputation and open yourself up to more writing opportunities.
Do you lack confidence as a writer? You’re not alone. Even the most successful writers suffer from self-doubt. For help, read our article: 10 Ways to Build Your Writing Self-Confidence.