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