This is What Happened When Lindy Alexander Chose 3 Money-Making Industries
When Lindy Alexander began gearing up to freelance full time in 2016, she needed to build a business that could support her family. And she knew she couldn’t do this only with the feature writing she had been doing as a part-time freelancer.
For six years, Lindy wrote articles about parenting, food trends, health and wellness, education, productivity, and sustainable living for well-known Australian magazines and newspapers. But she didn’t get paid until an article was published, which could take up to 18 months. And since editors change jobs a lot, she constantly had to build relationships with new editors.
Finding Steady, High-Paying Work by Choosing 3 Industries
“I needed to diversify,” says the Australian freelance writer, researcher, and content creator. “Feature writing is a huge passion for me, but I knew there were more stable, consistent and high-paying opportunities in the corporate world.”
Lindy decided to focus on 3 industries: Health, business and food writing. She added new types of projects: writing content for health organizations, businesses, and charities. Her projects now include white papers, discussion papers, literature reviews, blogs, and more, along with feature stories.
In less than a year, Lindy’s freelance business was thriving. You can read more about her experiences and the experiences of other freelancers on her blog, The Freelancer’s Year.
Choosing Money-Making Industries
Specializing lets you build expertise and show clients that you’re the expert they need. “Clients want to know that you understand their common issues, know who their readers are/audience is, and that you know the subject area,” says Lindy. “They want to know you can deliver what they need.”
Choosing money-making industries was the most common type of specialty in Gandia’s survey. And healthcare/medical/pharma was the most common industry. This industry (which is my specialty) and business are great specialties because:
- Clients can pay freelancers well
- There are lots of opportunities for freelancers.
With a PhD in social work, health was a natural specialty for Lindy, and something she had been writing about in feature stories. She fell into business writing and food writing. Lindy started doing business writing after she saw an opportunity on LinkedIn to write for a big job site in Australia. She recognized that business writing could help her build a thriving business and decided to make it one of her specialties.
Many freelancers, including Lindy and me, fall into their industries and specialty(ies). As long as the specialty(ies) is(are) viable, with high-paying clients and lots of opportunities for freelancers, this is fine.
Since health and business are definitely viable industries, Lindy can afford to spend some of her time doing food writing, which isn’t as strong a specialty. She fell into food writing when she pitched an article about ‘conversations’ to a well-known Australian food publication. A friend who’s a pastry chef was baking the ‘conversations,’ a French tart that was popular in the 1770s. The editor bought the article.
Breaking Into New Industries
The transition to writing content and working with health organizations, businesses, and charities has been easy, says Lindy. “While I never planned it this way, lots of my clients have been impressed by the well-known Australian publications I’ve written for, so that helps with building my reputation as a reliable and knowledgeable freelancer.” Lindy also uses each completed project to show other clients that she can do the same type of work for them.
In the beginning, Lindy got freelance projects through agencies. Now, she markets directly to clients. She finds some of her highest-paying clients through LinkedIn.
Want to Know More About How Lindy Uses LinkedIn to Get Clients?
Download her free report: 3 steps to finding high-paying clients on LinkedIn
Balancing Passion and Practicality in Freelance Work
Feature writing is less stable and less lucrative than content writing, but more interesting to Lindy.
“With features you have the flexibility to come up an idea and angle, pitch it, and then deliver a story close to your heart. Often with corporate content you are writing to a very specific brief with less opportunity to embed your own passion into the subject matter,” she says.
By doing both types of work, Lindy’s found a way to balance what she loves best with the need to support her family through a thriving freelance business that’s based on 3 industry specialties.
Learn More About Industries and Other Types of Specialties
How A Niche Evolves (hint: slowly), by Ilise Benun
The Freelance Niche Report, by Ed Gandia
Learn More about Lindy
Lindy’s LinkedIn profile
The Freelancer’s Year, Lindy’s blog
Free report: 3 steps to finding high-paying clients on LinkedIn