When it comes to freelancing, identifying and owning your niche determines whether you succeed or not! This is one of the reason why some people don't pursue work online. They have skills that are not something they can offer virtually.
As a nurse, it was hard for me to find a niche that suited my skill set - administering medications and documenting care are not really services you can deliver online. I only had to work with my ability to write and speak English well.
I didn't really have too many options, so I decided I'd give writing a go. I didn't have any experience writing professionally, but it was the niche that I felt I could build myself up on at that time. Specifically, I started out as an academic writer (nursing research was useful after all), article writer, and blog writer.
Since then, I was able to explore other areas of work like data entry, market research, transcription, customer support and administrative support.
I particularly love doing administrative jobs, especially with start-up companies, because it allows me to get a sneak peak of business operations. Also, these positions tend to be long-term compared to others niches.
Here are some ways to help you find your freelancing niche:
1. Your talents and skills
Identifying your talents and skills is a great way to find your niche. In fact, it's probably all you need to know to pick your industry. For you to profit from your talents and skills though, you will need to find clients who are willing to pay for your services.
It's a good idea to search the market for demand. Check if there are job postings requiring your talents and skills. If demand is low, then try something else. Virtually anything is possible with online jobs, and if you're diligent (and patient) enough, you may be able to earn money doing what you love.
2. Your educational background
What you studied in college can give you a good idea as to what niche to pursue. Some degrees are are instant freelancing services, while others are not. For example, a degree in marketing, finance or business administration can easily be offered as a digital service, but not degrees in nursing or biology.
3. Your work experience
I see a lot of corporate workers like call center agents, office secretaries and accountants transitioning to freelancing. This is a great thing to build up on because you have the experience.
However, if you're transitioning to freelancing because you actually hate your day job, then it might be best to pursue something else.
4. Narrow down a general niche to a specific one
Start with something general, and narrow down to a more specific niche. The more specific, the better, as it allows you to build credibility and authority.
Any client would prefer a contractor who specializes in web design over a web designer who also offers customer support, game development, and financial planning services.
5. Search for industry-related keywords
If you find that your skill set is unique and doesn't fall on any of the categories above, try searching for industry-specific keywords on gig sites like Upwork, or on freelancing marketplaces like LinkedIn.
Searching for the keywords "nurse" or "medical" has helped find my niche as a health writer.
6. Experiment with various niches
While it's great to focus on just one niche and stick with it for the entirety of your freelancing career, feel free to explore new ground and shift things around. However, avoid juggling several niches at a time.