When you’re starting out as a content writer or copywriter, you’ll probably see loads of stuff about how important it is to have a niche. Is it that big a deal really?
If you’re trawling your Linkedin feed or checking out Reddit or Warrior Forums or what-not, you’ll see all sorts of comments about niches.
“…If you’re looking to get ahead in writing, find your niche”
“The most profitable niches in marketing and writing”
“…it’s highly recommended you focus on your niche and really own it”
Just a small sample of some of the comments from Reddit and Linkedin. And when I was starting to take my content writing career seriously I was wondering what my niche was. In fact if you’re reading this article at the time of publishing (April 2019) and you browse my site you’ll see that it:
- a. Looks a bit shit, and
- b. Says that I have a variety of niches
I was a bit clueless you see. Struggling to find my way in a highly competitive market I switched the content on my site every other week. I’m a travel writer, I’m a health and lifestyle writer, I write with authority about click funnels or whatever the fuck.
For a long time it was just a case of writing whatever came my way. I’d flitted from one travel client, to a women’s lifestyle client, to a guy who basically loaded me up with random business marketing articles for a variety of low paying businesses. Hey, it was all good experience and it taught me a lot about a whole range of industries.
But the crucial part was, by being a general writer who wrote about anything, I did finally discover my niche!
OK, I’m gonna keep you in suspense for a minute (unless you skip this bit and go straight to the end, like you always want to with books innit).
Falling into the side hustle
Back in 2016 I was working for a transport company in London as a customer service agent. It was OK, it paid the bills and it had some perks. The job wasn’t awful, I just knew I was destined for, well, something else.
Since around 2012/2013 I’d been writing adhoc articles for a variety of clients. Starting out on content for pennies sites like HireWriters and iWriter, I was banging out 150-500 word articles for around $5-10. But at the time it wasn’t a big deal, I had another job which paid me, so earning an extra $30-50 a week was just PayPal money. I could buy crap on eBay and it was almost like free stuff.
By doing this I found a client who gave me regular work for their travel magazine. I racked up a pretty decent travel based portfolio and then the client introduced me to a friend. Wicked. Two clients from a shitty low pay site like HireWriters. Not bad.
At this point I wasn’t too bothered about being a full time writer, but the work was starting to pile up a bit. Evenings would be spent writing an article for a lifestyle blog, or travel article, so it became my full time side hustle.
Main hustle tings…
About now I decide to fuck the day job off, so here we go. But it’s then that my two reliable clients decide to drop off the radar. Marvellous.
I start researching how to find clients, cold emailing, signing up for every freelancer site and trying my best to claw back a living. It wasn’t much fun. But I do eventually find another reliable client (once again from HireWriters actually).
But amongst this, I keep seeing “find your niche”, “write for the niche you want…”, “look for clients in your target niche”.
Right… But… I don’t know what my niche is. Am I a travel writer? Am I a lifestyle writer? Well, yes I am. Both of those things. But I’m also writing about houseboats, mould removal, clickfunnels, how to make films and basically everything that people will pay me for.
Fast forward to now
Long story short… Actually, its not that short, you had to read almost an entire history of my freelancing. But I hope it shows you the journey I took to find my niche.
But now I can confidently say that my niche is: I’m a high quality content writer who specialises in delivering jargon free, engaging and plain English copy on almost any subject. And fast.
That’s my niche. My niche is, I’m very good at what I do.
What about my niche subject? Well… I don’t have one. I run a pair of travel magazines just for fun, I work in marketing for a property focused SaaS company, I did write content for a recruitment agency for about 9 months, and I totally found the voice for a forex brand.
What about you?
If you’ve found this article because you’re looking for your niche and you’re thinking, “OK great Oli, good for you… What about my niche?” – well, I hear ya.
Here’s my advice. Don’t turn a job down because you’re not familiar with the industry. Turn a job down because you’re too busy, or you’re genuinely not confident writing on that subject. Or because you find it too boring (I won’t write about crypto or blockchain for that very reason).
Until a company offers you regular pay to write for them, I would consider everything as a possible.
I look at it like this; If I can talk about it at a party, I can write about it. Or, if it sounds like a subject that I could happily learn something more about, I’ll write about it.
The short answer to the question, “Do I need a niche?” is. It helps. But your niche doesn’t have to be a particular subject or industry, it can be an approach or a technique. Keep on writing, you’ll find your niche eventually…
If you found this article helpful, please feel free to share. And if you have any questions then drop em down below in the comments box, or hit me up on Linkedin.
Oh and if you’re looking for a high quality content writer whose speciality is writing engaging, jargon free copy on almost any subject, well… You know what to do.