Zen and the Art of Picking a Freelance Niche

A no-stress guide to finding the best niche for your business

Jason McBride
7 min readAug 29, 2020


Image by Jason McBride — a collage created from licensed Canva images

One of the most common pieces of advice for new freelancers is to pick a niche.

There’s even a catchy slogan for this idea, “riches are in the niches.” However, many freelancers struggle for months or years to find a niche — or worse, they pick a niche and still struggle to gain any momentum.

After having made my living online for eight years, I have learned a lot about niches — and I know that almost everything you read about the wisdom of picking a niche is incomplete.

A niche isn’t a golden ticket. Picking a specialty doesn’t guarantee you will suddenly have more clients than you can handle. One dark secret many gurus are reluctant to share is that generalists can also have flourishing careers.

So many freelancers struggle with picking a niche because most don’t fully understand what a niche is or why you might want one.

A Niche Isn’t What You Think

A freelancing niche is often thought of as a type of work you specialize in. You might have a subject matter niche like hospitality or insurance. You could also have a project niche. Perhaps you design landing pages or write autoresponders.

You might even combine a subject matter niche with a project type niche. You might write emails for SaaS companies.

While there’s nothing wrong with thinking of a niche as an area of specialty, that’s not the best way to think of it.

A niche is a marketing slogan. It’s a part of your unique selling proposition. Having a niche is a shorthand way to communicate to a potential client that you understand their industry and know how to deliver the results they want.

Once you realize that your niche isn’t a calling, but it is a way to position your services in your marketing, it takes the stress out of picking one.

I started my career as a generalist. Even after eight years, I still write in several different industries and write a variety of different types of marketing collateral. I still consider myself a generalist.



Jason McBride

Freelance Writer & Illustrator | Poet & Visual Essayist | Amateur Human | he/him https://weirdopoetry.substack.com/