While searching for work, I have read a million sites, a million job applications, and a million gurus talking about getting work. I also thought that there must be some underserved niches that I could get into that might help me create side jobs along the way.
I found out that most of the underserved niches involved technical writing, and that type of writing spun off into a million splinters. I must be on the “millions” kick since I am measuring everything in the millions these days.
Technical copywriting is writing instructions as clearly and concisely as you can for people who need help understanding how to do something.
It would seem that the underserved “type of writing” is technical writing, but the underserved categories are what I was looking for.
For those who haven’t done technical writing, it is the writing behind your user manuals and other “how to” type writings, including tutorials.
In my previous life, I was a beta tester for a piece of graphic design software for many years and many versions. Along the way, I wrote tutorials to accompany the software for other users to share, so I have a solid grasp on writing tutorials, but in my real writing life of today, I only write some “how to” articles for car owners. I don’t even supply photos for the articles, so if I go back to technical writing, I want to write about a subject that I like.
Copywriting Markets that Need Writers
I think, and I use the term “think” loosely, that I have found that there is or will be a large market for copywriters and technical writers in the following industries:
Software – this may not be an underserved market, but it is always changing as new software is created and programs are updated. SaaS is a big industry as fewer people own their software and more people sign up for cloud-based software. People have to know how to use it.
Healthcare – baby boomers like me are getting ready to retire, and we need to have everything written down for us. Consider what it takes to get an MRI and write down the patient’s instructions. These are the types of things that are needed for all types of equipment, doctors, specialties, dentists, and more. Like software, technology makes huge changes in healthcare daily.
Environmental – I write about EV cars, but not on the technical side of it. There is a market for those interested in sustainable and renewable energies, as well as many “how to” articles such as gardening, composting, and anything related to getting “earthy”.
B2B – anything that a business needs to market to another business is a good place to look for work. Start with a small business in your community and work your way up from there.
Translation – if you are bilingual, there is a place for you in the technical writing industry. With businesses working globally, your skills can help them present their products to more people.
Who needs Technical Writers?
Anyone in the above-mentioned industries needs technical writers, as well as the following:
- Technology companies
- Manufacturing companies
- Government agencies
- Colleges and schools
- Service industries
Some of the products any of these businesses may need include manuals, troubleshooting guides, employee instructions, course materials, online tutorials, maintenance manuals, safety information, product specifications, and installation manuals.
There are things to write everywhere you look. Remember reading the cereal box when you were a kid because you “had to read”? Someone wrote that. You have to find the right person to talk to when it comes time to pitch your ideas.
How do you get a Job in Technical Writing?
If you already have a background in a sector, then use that to start looking for work in other areas of the country. I come from an automotive background and write all over the world for many clients. Some I had to hunt for, some found me, but mostly, I kept writing and writing and building a portfolio.
Here are some steps you can take to get your foot in the door as a freelancer:
- Use your education or experience to search for work in an industry you want to work in;
- Build your portfolio on LinkedIn or your website and showcase your favorites;
- Network in your chosen field, not with other writers, but with people who share the same interests;
- Always look for jobs on job boards, websites, LinkedIn, and other places;
- Be ready with a CV and a resume for an interview that may be online via Zoom or Google;
- Freelancing is my thing because I hate offices and downtime, so start with one project and build from there. You’ll be surprised at what you can learn by jumping in. I made so many mistakes.
What is Healthcare Technical Writing?
While healthcare technical writing is going to be bigger and bigger every year, it’s something that you have to be well-versed in. It is the writing of content, marketing materials, and instructions for patient education, devices and drugs, and explaining medical procedures.
If you’ve come from a nursing background, this may be the place you want to start since you probably already have a strong understanding of the terminology, anatomy, and regulations used in the healthcare industry.
Even though I already mentioned this industry, I wanted to bring it up again because this is not just for anyone, but writers are needed.
Other Copywriting Markets
The following are some markets that may not be for everyone, but if you are even remotely interested in them, you can educate yourself. Particularly in the cannabis industry since it is growing exponentially with the states starting to open up cannabis for recreational use.
- Guns and Alcohol
- Real Estate
Many of these five are underserved simply because they are markets that require someone to go the extra mile to learn more about the industry and immerse themselves into it to become a trusted voice.
I know that I am moving towards working in the cannabis and real estate industries in addition to my automotive and insurance industries. New industries and learning are always a great way to sharpen your skills and explore new opportunities.
I hope you find your underserved industry. Check out the Barefoot Writer where you will find a lot more information on underserved niches, as well as other writing ideas. If you sign up, I will receive a small thank you from the Barefoot Writer, which helps me keep writing more!