As far as writing is concerned, especially for commercial purposes, there are generalists and there are specialists. The former refers to individuals who do not necessarily have a writing niche of their own. They can easily adapt to any project, fictional or otherwise, and they’ll turn in the work when required. Their main source for research material is usually the internet.
However, on the other side of the spectrum are specialists. These individuals, who we’ll be focusing on in today’s piece, have a more targeted writing niche. Rather than write everything, they focus on one industry and write about it so often that they effectively become experts as far as writing about that industry is concerned.
Now, being a generalist is relatively good. It opens you up to a ton of opportunities. However, specialisation has proven time and again to offer equally high paying opportunities.
But, if you do want to become a specialist, how do you go about choosing your writing niche? What are the steps to follow? We’ll be outlining them for you below:
1. Identify What You Like and What You’re Good At:
Many other people talking about finding a writing niche often treat what you like and what you’re good at as separate entities. However, in reality, they’re more closely related than you might think – two halves of a whole, if you will.
So, if you’ll be finding the perfect writing niche, you need to first figure out what you’re passionate about and what you’re good at. You could get the former through a process of introspection.
If you’d like to be a bit more in-depth, however, you could do some trial and error. That is, try out new styles of writing. If you’ve never considered writing an anthology, dabble into poetry and see if you’ll enjoy that. If you think you’ll be more inclined towards technical writing for software development, try to create content around topics in that industry. In the process, ensure that you’re actively observing your level of interest in the subject you’re writing on.
After trying out a few specialization areas, you should have enough data to conclude whether you like one or the other. At that point, try to do a quick background check of yourself and see if you have any prior experience doing anything similar to it. It doesn’t have to be directly related. For example, a background in advertising and marketing will help you write about digital marketing content. If you’re tech inclined, you should excel at software development technical writing. The list goes on, but it’s imperative that you find out what you’re already good at.
Once you’ve filled in the two variables, you now need to find an intersection between the two. That is, what do you like that you’re also good at? The reason this is important is that your passion might not translate to your area of expertise and it would be rather pointless getting into a niche where you’re only as skilled as a toddler with a chainsaw.
So, make a list of all the writing niches you’ve tried and then another of the ones you’re good at and figure out which satisfies both conditions conveniently.
If you’re here, while you might’ve figured out your strength and passion in the first point, the truth is that you’re still new to that niche. There’s still much you probably don’t know about the industry. As such, it is imperative that you begin practising according to industry standards.
To this end, you could do quick 500-word posts to gauge your abilities. You could either assign them to yourself or you could pick up ideas from existing literary pieces. Whatever it is, ensure that you’re writing about your newly discovered niche.
You should balance this with a lot of research into that niche. For example, if you’ll be an SEO content writer who specialises in writing Amazon affiliate content and product reviews, you should keep yourself constantly abreast of the best practices and important updates in your line of work. That way, you’ll be at the top of your game.
Finally, as you practice, ensure that you’re self-aware and honest with yourself, too. Are you doing well or are you cutting corners? If the latter is the case, the chances are that you might not like this niche as much as you think you do. In that case, return to step one and try to figure out, once again, what you’re really into.
Keep in mind that our tips here are to gear you up to earn from your writing. If you’re not very interested in going commercial, you could perhaps afford to think things a bit more easily.
3. Talk to a mentor or a counsellor
Another excellent way to figure out your writing niche is talking to someone who’s been there before you. Depending on your core personality traits, you might be inclined to believe that going in alone is the best way to go. But, trust us, it isn’t. Having someone to guide you offers more speed and direction than you could possibly imagine.
So, while trying to find your writing niche, speak to someone who has either gone through that trial and error process or is currently in the niche you’re experimenting with. Their wealth of knowledge would provide you with a significant boost to get started in your career.
Do not limit yourself. Once you’ve found out what you like doing, ensure that you do not necessarily keep yourself in a small cage forever, refusing to expand your horizons. Doing so has the potential to make your writing monotonous and dreadfully boring.