Friday, November 8, 2013

Finding A Niche

Writing jobs – especially online – exist for everyone, but you are going to be taken more seriously and get better paying jobs if you find your niche. Focused writing is always the best and finding your focus=having a niche.

Whether you’ve never been published or you are just looking to get published more often (and make more money), finding a niche is not as hard as it sounds. The best writing is that which is done about topics you know. The more you know about something the easier it is to write about it.

What do you know a lot about? If you were a legal secretary, you might want to write about the law or even the latest in office software. If you are the ultimate trivia winner when it comes to sports, that may be where your interest lies. And, if you travel often, as I did, becoming a travel writer may be the way to go.

I was a full-time tennis writer and editor at one time. I ran a magazine and I wrote for every tennis magazine out there (there were a lot at one time). When I found that my full-time position as Editor-in-Chief was ending and more than half the magazines I was working for were folding (2008 was not a good year for journalists), it was time to refocus.

It wasn’t that I didn’t love writing about tennis. I always have and I always will. I needed to make a living, though, and it was clear that would no longer happen as a tennis writer. I started looking at other editorial and managerial jobs, but quickly realized there were many more getting laid off than there were getting hired in my field.

I made the decision that I wanted to not only stay a writer, but carve out a career as a full time one. I obtained my teaching degree and did a lot of substituting in special education while I started exploring what I knew to write about.

It was slow at first, starting with Demand Studios, Associated Content and a few other content sites. I pulled up tennis assignments whenever possible and also wrote a bit about health (I had worked in the marketing department of LabCorp). I also began seeing travel assignments and thought about the fact that I had traveled my whole life often on vacation and later to tennis tournaments. I decided to focus more on that.

At first my niche was just “travel,” but as I started receiving trip offers and going on trips, I became more interested on luxury travel, with a focus on wine, spirits and food. That has become my niche.

You may need to experiment with a number of subjects before decided what your niche is, but once you get it, you’ll be able to direct yourself to establishing yourself as a company. 

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