Friday, June 13, 2008

What's Your Writing Niche?

Do you have to establish a niche as a freelance writer? No, but you should.

I write about a lot of different subjects. My google page alone hasn't even been updated in months and has a very long list of subjects I've been paid to write about. I joke that I've become a Cliff Claven with many useless and little known facts. I surprise people sometimes when I begin spewing knowledge about an obscure subject. I think it's been great for my brain power in the last few years.

Despite my ability to write and research just about any topic, my defined niches are health writing, writing about writing, self-improvement, working at home and internet marketing writing and blogging. I've chosen these niches for several reasons. First, they interest me. Second, I enjoy researching them and third, they help me with my own success.

Reasons Behind Choosing A Writing Niche

By learning about health, I can be healthier. By writing about writing, I hone my skills and continue to learn how to be a better writer. With self-improvement...duh? (LOL)and being an internet marketing writer lets me learn skills that will help me improve my income levels and my goal of internet domination.

(I do aspire to build a monopoly and be known as an online tycoon. Don't think I can do it? Just watch me!

The point of today's post is to tell beginner writers that while it's great to have a wide breadth of subjects you can write about so you can get enough experience and enough earnings in the bank, it's a very good idea to build your niche as soon as possible.

Your niche will help you earn more and help you write quickly because you become a fountain of knowledge. Whether you're earning more because you're writing quickly, earning more because you've attained expert status and can command higher rates or a bit of both, it becomes very rewarding.

I once wrote twenty six articles about synthetic rubber in 3 days. It wasn't fun. It served a purpose because it got me a gig with a new company that brought me experience and money. I do still occasionally write about subjects I'm less than passionate about but after over 2 years of doing this, I'm doing that less because I'm making more money writing about subjects that excite me enough to get up and write before the coffee pot is finished brewing.

Every writing mentor and expert I come across tells people to carve out a niche for themselves. What are your niche(s) and why?


Sharon Hurley Hall said...

Great post, Dana. I've experienced being the fount of all trivia, too, and it's kind of fun. My niches are writing about writing, self promotion, blogging and consumer finance, though I have written about dozens of other topics. I write about writing because of 20 years of experience doing the job and five years' experience teaching journalism. Blogging and self promotion have come about because I do them so regularly. Consumer finance is a remnant from an old job for the Financial Times.

Dana Prince said...

Thanks for replying, Sharon. I, for one am glad one of your niches is writing about writing for so long because your mentoring advice helped me get MY start :)

I've recently taken a bit of an interest in writing about personal finance as well which is helping me streamline the finances in my family. It's great when your work can be symbiotic with your life for earning money AND self improvement.

papyrus said...

Well, I don't know if I can write about "writing' except working for a gig or writing my blog.

But I can write anything on business, finance and entrepreneurship even when I am sleeping. I mean, I can even crank out an entire ebook in less than 2 days on topics like these.

However, I am guessing I have been writing about anything and everything since the time I had started, like most of fellow writers.

I am with Dana on carving a niche for oneself. Great tip -- I think I know what my niche is already :-)