As a generalist writer, I'm often asked, "Does being a freelance generalist writer have disadvantages?"


My answer is, "Yes, it does!"


But before we go there, let's define what a 'generalist writer' is.

A 'generalist writer' is a writer who takes on, and is good at, a wide variety of writing projects across multiple industries, not just one.

And though a 'generalist writer' may be an excellent service provider, there are a few disadvantages to be dealt with, and here are some:


  • You may be perceived as having general information on a specific topic; this can play against you because you may not have insider knowledge that is required on that one topic. You're not looked upon as an expert in your topic.
  • You may have general information on the required topic you’re writing about, but you'll need to go beyond that knowledge base to turn in a well-written assignment for which you're getting paid. You'll need to do some extensive research to gather more information.
  • Potential clients may turn you down because you appear to lack the credentials of an expert in a specific area they may be looking for. For example, a publisher may be in search of a specific pet care type or a self help technique. You may appear to lack in-depth expert credentials on specified topics
  • Your portfolio may appear too general. and there's no substantial proof that you can specialize in a specific topic in depth and in detail.  For example with the topic of pet care, can you go beyond the surface of pet grooming and write about parasites?


Keep in mind though, that as with any type of writing there are advantages and disadvantage, I encourage you to check out all sides. Depending on your preferences as a freelance writer, you'll always have options to experiment until you find your niche.

Most importantly, remember that it's not all doom and gloom. Speaking from experience as a generalist writer myself, I love it!

So stay tuned for Advantages of Being a Generalist Writer.

An aside note: A specialist writer is a writer who focuses on and works on one project type such as, white papers, case studies, speeches, annual reports, etc. or one industry such as, health care, government, retail, etc.

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Disadvantages of Generalist Writing

Get more tips from Writing Tips for Student Projects and New Freelance Writers  bywritten by yours truly :)