When I first started my freelance writing career—and even when I first started this blog—my content was sort of all over the place. I’d write about everything from style and beauty to medicine and home improvement. I didn’t really have a focus.
Admittedly, I do still cover a variety of topics through my work and my blog. But, over time, my focus has become much narrower. Now, I tend to focus most of my time and energy into career advice and personal development topics.
At first, I was hesitant to identify a “niche”. I thought it was too limiting, and that it would only serve to cut me off from different opportunities.
But, since becoming a little more narrow, I’ve actually found it to be a positive thing. Not only does it help me to better identify opportunities that I want to pursue, but it also allows me to build up a solid portfolio in one specific area. After all, we’ve all heard the whole, “Jack of all trades, master of none” spiel.
So, today I’m going to share a few different questions you can ask yourself in order to find your own writing niche. Whether it’s for topics you’d like to cover on your own blog or a specific area you’d like to pursue in your freelance writing career, I hope it’s helpful to you!
This first one seems obvious, but it’s actually something I neglected to think about when I was just getting started—I’d just write whatever I could get my hands on. But, when you spend so much time writing, it helps to actually like what you’re blabbering on and on about.
Take some time to think about the type of content that really sets your heart on fire. Perhaps you have a huge passion for the tech scene. Or, maybe health and wellness makes you want to jump for joy.
Me? I discovered that I really enjoyed offering practical advice that helped people love their lives and careers even a little bit more. That realization prompted a shift in focus on this blog, as well as with the freelance clients I pursued.
Liking something is one thing—but, you should also have some decent knowledge to share in that area. Why should people read what you have to say about this?
This is something I’ve struggled with myself. Not so much on my blog, because I think it’s pretty simple to be a freelancer talking about freelancing. But, for my actual freelance work, I author a lot of career advice. With everything from interview tips to networking strategies, I teach people how to take their jobs and professional reputations to the next level.
This prompts a little bit of imposter syndrome. After all, why should people take career advice from me—some girl who’s sitting home alone in her sweatpants? But, after writing a few pieces, I found that I really did have some ideas and knowledge to share in this space. After all, I’ve had a more “traditional” career before—and even went through a pretty terrifying shift to the freelance life. That’s a personal experience that people find valuable.
The important part is to ensure you have some credibility or authority on the topic—even if it’s just a little bit.
If you’re pursuing this niche professionally, it’s time to familiarize yourself with what sorts of opportunities are out there in this category. Where could you write this type of content?
Get out your notepad and pen, and jot down all of the websites and publications that publish content under your desired niche. Then, get started on reaching out to them—being sure to share any relevant clips you have.
I was lucky to choose a niche in which there are tons of opportunities—people are always looking for career advice. But, even if you choose something more specific, don’t get discouraged! There’s so much out there, you’re bound to find plenty of opportunities.
As with anything, figuring out what you don’t like can be pretty revealing. So, remember to take note of the blog posts or articles that make you heave an exasperated sigh, and then do your best to avoid those down the road.
For example, despite what I believed early on, I really don’t enjoy writing fashion-related posts on my blog. I don’t know a lot about personal style—honestly, most of the time I’m at home in my pajamas. So, this type of content always felt forced and inauthentic to me. Needless to say, I stopped writing it!
Have you narrowed your focus in your writing? How did you arrive at that particular niche?
Until next time!