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Writers Who Pick A Niche Get Better Results

There are various areas of your writing career that will require you to choose a niche.

Choosing A Niche

Photo Credit: thanunkorn / freedigitalphotos.net

What type of blog you would like to offer, what type of books you would like to write and even what types of freelance clients you would like to work with.

I’ve heard many people say that they want to start big. I myself have dabbled in various websites and writing areas that were far too large to handle.

“I want to start a blog and write an eBook on finance.” Ok, that’s all fine and dandy, but how do you plan on competing with the wide-array of huge finance blogs that currently exist.

If you want to be a freelance writer and don’t have a focus, it will be difficult to build a client base and will also be hard to juggle the different projects, making it more confusing as you go.

I for example focus on blog posts and website copy for restaurants and printing companies. Yes I occasionally stray away from my niche, and I have been able to expand to other markets, but sticking to a specific area helps me stay focused and dominate that one market.

When choosing a niche, there are three areas that require different thought processes:

  • Non-fiction writers
  • Fiction writers or poets
  • Freelance writers

Some people may fall into several of these categories, but the most important thing to remember is that you must choose a niche for each one. For example, all of these categories need a blog. However, don’t immediately think that you need to build a blog relating to the area of writing you would like to get into.

For example, I manage a blog that provides motivational and technical advice to writers, however most of the jobs I get for freelance writing come from clients who say they really liked my blog. My blog typically has nothing to do with the industry they would like me to write for, but it portrays that I can connect with an audience and help a company build an audience as well.

Choosing A Niche

Focusing on one area is essential to narrowing down your scope and dominating one area, instead of trying to take on the world and being overwhelmed with the amount of content that needs to be created. Not to mention there is more competition and less demand for what you have to offer if you don’t narrow down your writing.

Choosing A Niche: Non-fiction Writers

For non-fiction writers you can connect your blog to your other non-fiction writings. For example, if you write non-fiction articles or books about gardening, you can then make a gardening blog as well. However, with non-fiction narrowing down your niche by three levels can help you take hold of a single area.

So instead of creating a blog on gardening you would write a blog on gardening for females, choosing a distinct demographic. After that you can narrow your focus down even more by creating a blog on gardening for female professionals or gardening for females who live in a city.

There is a good chance few people are dominating this market. It is much easier to make yourself an expert in the area, and then once you do so, people will think of you whenever they have a question on that niche.

The cool thing about this thinking is that it narrows down your readership to a select group of people who are far more likely to stick around and become loyal followers.

Choosing A Niche: Fiction Writers and Poets

This is the trickiest of the three groups, because it is difficult to narrow down to a niche market that isn’t already saturated.

Fiction writers and poets fall into a group of writers where it is difficult to make a “value added” blog. There are so many blogs out there showcasing fictional works and poetry that it is nearly impossible to gain exposure. After all, as a reader, seeing a blog on some random guy or girl’s recent poetry posts isn’t something to write home about.

This is why building a platform and making connections is more important than anything for these types of writers. However establishing a niche to start off is the first step in building those connections.

First choose a niche. Sci-Fi, fantasy, children’s literature or whatever. Writing an erotic fiction story one day and a political thriller the next will not do you any favors in establishing a brand.

Stick to one thing, perfect it, and then you can expand.

Make something better

After that, don’t think about creating something completely new. It rarely works. The greatest stories and inventions are a result of someone taking something that already existed and putting a new spin on it or making it better. Chances are you can’t create something completely new, and if you do it probably isn’t marketable.

Your blog

This is by far the most difficult part of choosing a niche as a fiction writer or poet. Like I stated before, a series of fiction posts or poems is difficult to market. Why? Simply because it’s difficult to find an audience. You are just another person sharing their stories online.

Focus on something that provides immediate value. I say immediate value because it’s unfair to assume that everyone who writes fiction or poetry on their website doesn’t provide value. However, it typically doesn’t offer immediate value. There are plenty of amazing short stories, poems and ideas I have read on other blogs.

Unfortunately, I typically stumbled upon them accidentally or discovered them after the writer connected with me. In essence, a short story or poem doesn’t scream for the average person to click and read it. People are busy, and it’s easier to look towards well-known authors for the next good read.

The solution?

Like I said before, a platform and connections. However, you might be doomed from the start if you don’t create a niche blog that provides immediate value.

In order to provide immediate value, think of what people search for online. Creating a separate page for your own personal writings is great, but think about creating a blog that focuses on a niche that indirectly markets your writing.

If you write science fiction, create a blog that reviews science fiction books for college kids. If you write poetry, create a blog that offers motivational or structural tips for writing poetry.

With these indirect topics, you can then build a substantial following and push people to read your own work.

Choosing A Niche: Freelance Writers

Freelance writers have a little leeway when it comes to building a blog. There are so many things that a freelance writer can work on, that simply portraying the ability to build a following and connect with other people can find jobs. Like I stated before, I consider my blog my finest selling point when seeking freelance jobs (even if it doesn’t relate to the topic).

However, freelance writers should choose a niche when deciding on what jobs they would like to work on. Creating an expertise in finance or sports or movies makes you more marketable and organized in that particular area. I started writing website verbiage for restaurants in my area and every time I pitch a new restaurant I am able to show them my portfolio of similar jobs.

Putting it all together

Most writers, including myself, want more. They want to create a blog, write various genres of books, become a freelance writer, write poems and cover a non-fiction topic. Starting small and dominating a certain area will provide the ease and credibility that is often impossible by trying to cover everything.

However, all of these components will work as building blocks to creating more exposure for yourself. Using a niche blog to share advice and experiences will help your freelance career, while making a more manageable approach for your fiction or poetry career.

I will leave you with one piece of advice: Pick an area and stick to it. Jumping around from niche to niche is inefficient. Choose an area, work your butt off and dominate that one area.

What experience do you have with choosing a niche? What advice do you have for other writers when choosing an area to focus on? Let me know in the comments!

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About Joe Warnimont

I am a writer, marketing expert and adventure seeker. I help people write, market their writing, live truthfully and embrace their lives through creativity. You can find me riding my bike around the streets of Chicago. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.

  • http://www.muffinsandmocha.com Jenny

    Thanks so much for this article. It has given me a lot to think about!! It makes a lot of sense that people would be attracted to a certain type of blog. I know my blog is such a variety of things…trying to think abotu what to do about this. Considering starting a second blog that has one niche and then like you said directing people over to my current blog (with my variety of writings) from there.

    • http://dorion9.wordpress.com Gary Dorion

      Great advice again Joe so much so that I’m considering changing some strategies. This one is definitely worth rereading a few times.

      • http://www.writewithwarnimont.com/ Joe Warnimont

        Thanks Gary, I appreciate it. By the way I’ll have your review to you within the next few days.

        • christopherjamespatton

          Hey, this is a great blog and the marketing insights are invaluable. Also, cheers for the visit to my blog! -Chris-

        • http://dorion9.wordpress.com Gary Dorion

          Thanks Joe, but no rush.

    • http://www.writewithwarnimont.com/ Joe Warnimont

      Hi Jenny,

      That’s a great idea. I understand many writers have blogs for showcasing a wide array of subjects or talents, but creating a separate blog with more focus can be helpful in finding a certain audience. Then this audience can hopefully promote your work on the other blog!

  • http://www.beckisbookblog.wordpresd.com/ Becki Ryan

    Another inspiring piece! Thank you :)
    Congratulations to Michelle Wellington on winning the Kindle Fire HD.

    • http://www.writewithwarnimont.com/ Joe Warnimont

      Thanks Becki! I’m glad you liked it.

  • http://ReadAloudReadAlong.com Susan Call Hutchison

    Joe, you are my mentor! I write and self-publish children’s poetry and stories, and I am blogging about Reading Aloud as a family, and incorporating creative family activities into that daily read-aloud time as a way to foster literacy. The most successful thing I have done is to make a list of the top 200 children’s educational blogs — and follow them, commenting on them with no intention to market or promote my own books, but to add insights and encouragement. (I’m a 59 year old, and many of these bloggers are young mothers, doing a marvelous job of raising their kids!) I chose the best of these blogs and review them on one page of my blog, and then link to family fun activities (nothing overwhelming, a maximum of three links per post) in each of my blog posts. Most of the comments I am getting are from the writers of these blogs. They are not my competition, they are my colleagues!
    Next, I am doing exactly as you have taught me, and I am building a following by using email marketing campaigns, directed to people who have subscribed to my blog. It’s not a rapid process, but it’s really fun to build relationships with people who are so creative in the field I want to be part of. I don’t know how realistic it is for me to “dominate” my field, but reading this post, I realize I need to provide that very SPECIFIC niche within the educational community, keep focused on that, and become the go-to-gal for anyone who has questions or needs help in that area. I think a blog has to provide a SERVICE to readers. That’s what I’m going to concentrate on.

    One last comment/question: It is HARD for me to focus. I am interested in so many things, and I’ve been toying with the idea of using a different name for my freelance writing, another version of my name for my editing service and even a pen name for inspirational writing. But the writing I have done in one area often leads to queries about the other areas. And my family history blog, promoted only to my friends and family on FB has gotten the biggest response of anything I’ve done, and has led to people asking me to help them create their own. So, do I have two brands? My Read-Aloud, Read-Along books and my name, Susan Call Hutchison? Do you think I should use the pen names? I’d enjoy feedback on this.

    • http://www.writewithwarnimont.com/ Joe Warnimont

      Hi Susan,

      You got me thinking, so I put together a post to reply to your questions instead of putting it all here. You can find it here: http://goo.gl/VPKU4. Let me know if you have anymore questions and I hope it was ok that I used your name. Thanks!

      • Susan Call Hutchison

        More than okay, Joe! I really enjoyed the article, and have come to a similar conclusion. My name is my brand. Since I wrote this, I got some freelance gigs that were a result of someone seeing my blogs and saying, “I know you can write, so would you be interested in….” If I continue to provide what my readers need and want, there should be no conflict amongst my many interests. Thanks again for the links in your article!

  • http://undercovermole.wordpress.com Evangeline Tankful

    Very good Joe. I’m writing this on my phone but will take a longer look at what you have to say when I’m using a bigger screen. Thanks for following my blog today.
    Evangeline Tankful DCBE (ho ho)

  • http://www.Ladydewriter.com Diane G. Robertson

    This is great information and very, very useful! Thanks!

  • http://www.expandingwisdom.com Jennifer

    Thank you for this blog entry. It has helped me to begin to think about some things I really need to clarify about my niche as a writer. My field is Classical Education, more specifically Christian Classical Education. After reading this entry I am contemplating my focus even more so that it will “niche in” to the third level.

  • http://thefeelingofpicasso.wordpress.com Jim Alcobilla

    hi, I’m an avid reader of your blog and I’m a novelist for years now… yet still, I wasn’t getting the chance to publish my works. I’m doing a suspense/sci-fi/thriller/romance novel right now and I just want to know if how can I publish it internationally? I’m a struggling journalism student from’a university here in norther part of the Philippines. Thanks and God bless :)

  • http://tanaramccauley.org Tanara McCauley

    Very insightful and helpful information!

  • http://benfwrites.wordpress.com/ Ben F

    Nice, this gave me something to think about!
    For me, I guess I’m still at that stage where I’m trying to find a niche. I haven’t been writing for very long, and I can be a bit indecisive. Right now, I’m experimenting with various forms of writing to see what I like and don’t like.
    Also, thanks for following my wordpress blog, even though I hardly have anything up yet :P

  • http://www.411junkie.com Jei-Nhy

    What an insightful post! Thank you so much for sharing your advice. I’ve been struggling with this since I decided to start a blog. I’m having a hard time honing in on my specialty. You know, my talent and what I can contribute. Hopefully I discover it soon.

  • http://septuagenarianjourney.wordpress.com Jay Squires

    A brilliant post, Joe, well researched and crammed with valuable information. I just want you to know how important a resource you are for writers.

  • http://www.pleasantlyflexible.com Marion

    Thanks Joe,
    That is exactly my struggle with my personal blog–I don’t know what my niche is! Any idea how I find that out?

    I write freelance for a traffic lawyer in Las Vegas (on his blog) and, since I read and write about traffic so much anyway, I’m thinking of expanding to other attorneys, in other areas. How though, should I approach/find these attorneys? I really don’t want my pesonal blog to be about traffic because, well, it’s fairly boring for one thing. But it is the topic I know best, I suppose. Decisions . . . .
    Following you now, I’ll continue to read your insights and advice. Thanks again!

  • http://www.KayleenR.com Kayleen

    Thanks for following my blog. I hope it blesses you. I’ve signed up for yours as well as I think you have much to teach about writing. Take care,

  • http://organizedjrnl.wordpress.com Tomiko

    Hi Joe, I just wanted to let you know that I love your posts they are very informative and inspiring, thanks to them I have been making changes to my own blog and the way I organize my posts. Also, I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award (http://organizedjrnl.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/very-inspiring-blogger-award/) you really are a big inspiration for all the bloggers. 

  • http://redclayandroses1.wordpress.com/ S. K. Nicholls

    Thanks for the fantastic info on your blog and the follow on mine. Blogging is brand new to me and I am glad that you stumbled upon me and wandered through my blog when you did. You have much insightful and useful information here. I have virtually no traffic and had no idea how valuable finding a niche would be to me as a fiction author. I wrote a book and people told me, “Start a blog”. So I did…without a clue how to proceed. I feel a little bit more centered after reading some of your posts. I have been using this blog for leisure writing and random posts on topics of interest, and it never occurred to me to develop a blog that is connected to writing southern historical fiction. I don’t yet know what direction I will go in…maybe keep this blog and develop another one that is topic specific. Any ideas?

  • Billie A Zahir

    I want to thank you for your blog and the information it contains and also doing me the honor of following my blog. What I appreciated the most about this post of yours is how you stress the importance of making connections. I believe that those connections should be the motivational force for everything a person offers. Your blog as part of my recent rethinking direction of my blog and revamping accordingly. I know I will keep on learning and changing as time progresses…and want to thank you, in advance, for being one of my instructors. Best wishes!

  • http://phdavies.co.uk P.H.Davies

    Really loved this blog post – helped clarify a lot of things in my mind as I hope I am doing some of this already. It takes a lot of work but it feels great when people engage with your blog. Thanks for the follow btw!

  • http://www.poetatete.net Cheryl Crockett

    OK! It looks like I may be headed in the right direction.
    I have done the on-line poetry tutorials on my blog and am writing poems for my favorite football team. Since most football fans don’t think of poetry in conjunction with these weekly autumn contests, it is not something everyone is doing. And, last week, when people discovered that someone is doing it (namely me), there was a lot of excitement.

    Although I may have found my niche, my challenge right now is in second-guessing: “Should I be doing something else? … something more?”