Identify Your Niche:
One of the most important things to explore, when you decide you want to be a writer, is how to create high quality content that people actually want to read. This means figuring out what your ideal readers will be searching for and wanting to know more about. The great thing about identifying your particular niche, is that you already have quite a few options to choose from. Based on your personal and professional experiences, you have a unique set of skills, knowledge and supporting details to pull from.
In terms of your writing career, the earlier you can figure out your niche, the better. This is a huge reason why some writers succeed and others totally flop. When you target your niche, you give yourself the opportunity to become an expert in that particular subject matter. When you bounce around different topics, you are essentially slowing yourself down from building up your expertise.
Target The Niche Within Your Niche:
Now that you have your niche sorted out, we can focus on getting even more specific. The more specific you get, the more distinct you become in terms of your services offered, which means more potential business. Try this exercise if you feel lost. Write your selected niche down at the top of your page. Skip down a line and break up your niche into subcategories. Continue skipping down a line and breaking up your categories until you can’t think of anymore.
Notice where your mind took you and what categories seem to be the most loaded. We tend to think more creatively and generate more ideas with content that interests us. In looking at these categories, which one feels the most interesting to you, and which topic can potentially produce the best content? By selecting the richest category, you are setting yourself up to not only write high quality material, but also produce a lot of interesting pieces.
If that exercise doesn’t work for you, try this. Do some background research on several niche topics that intrigue you. Notice which ones spark your curiosity the most. These are the topics that will be easier for you to write about, because they already fascinate you. Whether or not you are an expert on the subject matter, you can work towards becoming one. Daunting tasks are much easier when we are already passionate about them.
Fine Tuning Your Niche Writing Skills:
With your niche within your niche selected, you can get to work organizing relevant research that will keep you in the know and lend credibility to your writing. An easy way to organize relevant information is to break up your niche into subcategories. If you engaged in the first exercise, you are already good to go. Using relevant and current research, fill up your folders with potentially helpful and quotable information that can be incorporated into your work if you choose to include facts in your pieces. Remember Wikipedia, and other similar sources are typically not reliable. If you find something that feels legit, double check the findings. If it seems suspect, discard the information and keep on researching. Although this can feel tedious, writing becomes much easier when you already have pertinent information pre-sorted out.
Interviews are another way to produce well-rounded and dynamic pieces. Knowing an expert with direct experience within your niche is obviously helpful, but if you don’t, there’s no need to panic. Using a non-expert’s point of view can also be an interesting way to explore your topic. You may ask the non-expert what aspects of your niche they find most confusing, or would like more information on. In this way, you are able to highlight yourself as the expert, and practice conveying sometimes tricky information in a way that anyone could understand.
Building Up Your Niche Writing Portfolio:
In terms of finding niche specific jobs, you are at an advantage because you know exactly what you are looking for. But, this means that your dream job may not open up as readily as more generic jobs. This is a good thing. This allows you to build up your niche specific writing portfolio, while continuing to search for jobs that fit your specific needs.
There are plenty of sites that support writers as guest posters, and some will even contract with you. A great way to get your foot in the door is to search for writing jobs that have something to do with your niche. For example, if my general niche is pets, but my specific niche is three-legged dogs with immune system issues, I’m going to search for more general jobs, but offer the editor several pitches that support my unique niche. In this way, I stand out as a writer who can offer something different and expand the site’s expertise. For your personal blogs or websites, writing about your niche with your niche not only builds up your audience, but also gives you specific writing samples to pull when applying for jobs. As you write more niche specific pieces, your name becomes associated with said niche. The more your name pops up when someone looks up this niche, the more likely you are to be contacted as the particular niche expert, as well as get selected for jobs that are looking to expand their expertise.
1) Identify your niche
2) Target the niche within your niche
3) Compound and organize relevant research and interviews
4) Use your personal blog and website to promote the niche within your niche expertise
5) Apply and search for niche specific jobs and pitch your distinct niche expertise