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Finding A Good Niche For Your Freelance Web Developer Career

Derek WolffDerek Wolff
Derek Wolff
Derek Wolff

Establishing the exact path you want in life can be exhausting, particularly if you feel like it’s trouble enough sometimes just to stand on your own two feet. It takes many web developers years to figure out exactly what niche and client base they’re going to serve. But if you’ve decided that you’re the kind of freelance web developer who wants to specialize and find a truly unique niche and fit your passions and talents, you’ve already taken the first step toward success.

If you work in freelance web design, you know that it’s a competitive--yet growing--industry, one with an unlimited earning potential for those who can nail down exactly what they’re so great at doing. Developing and honing your niche can therefore be instrumental for web designers towards meeting the challenges of many different clients quickly as you become an expert on their needs.

So What Exactly is a Niche? 

For a freelance web designer, a niche represents a small, specialized subset of the applicant pool when competing for various jobs in the industry. While web development is exceptionally broad, it’s easy to break the market of web developers down into many specialized variants, like those who excel at building applications, specialize in Swift or exclusively spend their time building top notch WordPress websites. 

Whatever you choose your niche in the industry, it’s important that you understand that it will affect everything that you’re going to do as a freelance web developer or freelance web designer. How your market services will be determined by how you define yourself, and potential clients will flock towards those who have positioned themselves well with a clearly-defined niche.

Why Freelance Web Developers Benefit From Niches 

Simply put, identifying your specific niche will make your life immeasurably easier because you’re going to make more money while freelancing as a web designer or web developer. Specialization has proven to be a profitable enterprise when attracting potential clients, since it’s human nature to seek out exactly what we want when we’re looking to spend our hard-earned cash. 

Specialists are oftentimes both more credible and believable and are thus valued more than generalists, enabling them to make more money while freelancing. Potential clients want to work with specialists because they know that you have a detailed knowledge of exactly what they’re looking for when they hire you, which can potentially lead to less work on their part. Often they’ll experience fewer revisions due to incorrect information, allowing for a streamlined process, enjoyable experience and them coming back to you for future projects. 

Criteria For Finding Your Perfect Niche 

So more money, more opportunities to work with clients who want to hire you on a consistent basis, better and more specialized work that can permeate the pages of your portfolio and social media sites--this all sounds great. The struggle can be in finding and establishing your specific niche in the first place; the rewards are what follows. 

Using data to ensure that the niche you use can be profitable is an excellent place to start when determining what ultimately will become your specific niche. Using websites to your advantage by leveraging existing demand yields an excellent starting place. Use Fiverr as an example; the freelancing giant specifically breaks down categories into more categories, so programming and tech becomes a number of different fields for web designs to work within. From there, each field is broken down further, so selecting WordPress for example will allow for even greater customization within a niche, as web designers specializing in WordPress can further press their niche claims on the market by specializing in things like WordPress security, Avada Theme, or creating a WordPress business website.

Checking the viability of a chosen niche once you’ve looked into the data is the next needed step for nailing down your specific niche and expanding your freelance business parameters. Just like Fiverr, Upwork can be used as an excellent research tool, even if you have no intentions of freelancing on either site’s platform. Using Upwork you can scroll through the thousands of jobs posted each day and continue to collect data on whether or not your specific niche is both viable and profitable. You’ll see how many jobs each day are being created for specifically what you may be interested in, and you can gauge the types of rates that might be available to you from these market services when it's time to advertise your own expertise to potential clients.

Most importantly, once you’ve looked at the data and viability of specific niches you’re interested in, it’s paramount that you pick something and own your decision. No matter what you choose, whether it’s something you’re really passionate about, just plain good at, or (ideally) both, it’s important to choose something and move on. Again, web developers often take years of honing in on their specific niche, but the rewards of finding it are usually worth the search. And if you’re still struggling finding a niche after all of this, check out this list of 10 niche ideas for web developers to try out. 

Consider setting a niche as a goal and click here to learn about setting priorities and goals

Derek Wolff
Derek Wolff has been freelancing part-time since March 2020. He's enjoyed working with a bevy of clients across four distinct fields to expand his knowledge base and skill-set. A passion for copyediting and storytelling has left Derek with engaging work throughout the year, while his data-driven side is pacified with sports projects. Derek currently lives in Seattle, Washington, after spending most of his days post-grad living in Chicago.

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