The Freelancer’s Dilemma: To Niche or Not to Niche?

Brad Bartlett
5 min readMar 5, 2024

And is it possible to do both? (Hint: I think it is.)

As a freelancer, one of the most important decisions you’ll face is whether to be a specialist or a generalist. It’s a question that has plagued the minds of freelancers since the dawn of the gig economy.

Okay, maybe not that long, but it’s definitely a hot topic in the freelance world. (just look up “niche” on your freelance social media of choice.)

I know as a freelance writer, I undulate somewhere between “Hey, I’ll take the gig — it’s all about the adventure for me!” and “If I have to write about ‘how to keep your sewer lines clear’ one more time…

Yeah, it can be a bit maddening at times. But isn’t that why we got into the freelance gig?

Generality — The Spice of Life?

It’s a constant push and pull between the thrill of tackling new subjects and the desire to establish myself as an expert in a particular niche.

On one hand, being a generalist allows me to explore a wide range of topics and industries. It’s like being a kid in a candy store, except instead of candy, I’m sampling different writing styles and subject matters.

One day I might be writing about the latest trends in sustainable fashion, and the next I’m diving deep into blockchain technology. It keeps things fresh and exciting, and I never know what kind of fascinating rabbit hole I might stumble down next.

But let’s be real — being a generalist can also be exhausting. Constantly switching gears and trying to become an instant expert on every topic under the sun can be mentally draining.

And let’s not forget the occasional oddball request that leaves you scratching your head. I once had a client ask me to write an article about the history of Nike’s waffle shoes.

Yes, you read that right — a deep dive into how a waffle iron led to a shoe revival. It was a journey I never saw coming. 🧇

Here’s a short snippet of my “topics” list for some of February’s content writing. Everything from sewers to Zoom poker to building “barndominiums”.

Being All About That ONE Thing

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Brad Bartlett

Professional Freelance Copywriter. (www.bradleebartlett.co) Musings on #freelancing, #productivity, #self-development, and more!