Finding & Refining Your Niche as a Writer
What is a Niche
You're probably reading this because you're a writer. Maybe you already write for a living, maybe you are considering it... whatever you do though, the most important thing is finding your 'niche'.
You see, there are a lot of writers out there... so trying to get somebody to part with good money for your services needs something unique.
A 'niche' is something you can bring to the table that goes beyond just being good with words.
It's an area of expertise, a specialist subject, your 'thing'...
If somebody has the choice of 2 writers to write a how-to manual on software development for example, who are they going to choose?
- The writer who knows how to write
- The writer who has years of experience in software development
Number 2 is the writer they are going to choose. Number two is the writer with a niche.
Finding Your Niche
The good thing about finding your niche, is it doesn't necessarily have to be a topic or a subject... it can be anything that divides you from the other 'writers' out there.
Maybe you've got the qualifications and experience to write news stories, and your niche is journalism?
On the other hand, maybe you've kept horses for 20 years and your niche is writing for horse-owners.
Whatever your specialist area though, the thing to remember is this:
The more specific your niche is, the more money you can ask for.
However, the more specific you get, the less work you'll find... right? Wrong.
When you don't have a niche, you are only going to be finding clients who are looking for general tat. When you discover your niche however, you open yourself up to a world of clients looking for something very specific, and reports show that writing in a certain 'niche' actually opens up more work (rather than closing it off).
So, if you're ambling aimlessly through literary forests, get out a pen and paper and do the following. It might help:
- Write down the last 3 jobs you had
- Write down the common skills these jobs required
- Write down other experience you had (like education, training)
- Write down the common skills these experiences taught you
- Write down a list of hobbies you've pursued
- Write down the common areas these led you to expand your interest in
- Look for the most commonly recurring themes in all of the above, and develop your niche!
Refining Your Niche
So, you're a niche writer and you already know what you're good at?
Get it refined!
Seriously, whatever your 'niche' is, chances are you can get it even more specific.
How about the musical writer who made a living writing for clients in the music industry... who discovered 5 years in that if he had been pushing his specific expertise in electronic keyboards, he'd have been asking double the amount?
Look at your clients, look at your work, and keep on getting more and more specific.
You'll soon refine your area and develop the highest price-point!