.:The Internet Home Business Magazine for Moms & Dads:.

Define Your Niche: Nine Ideas for Writers


I wouldn’t say that I’m obsessive about checking our blogs stats through MyBlogLog, but I do like to peek in there a couple of times a day and see where people are coming from and where they’re heading.  I’ve also been keeping a very non-scientific eye on what posts people seem to find the most useful . . . whether it’s because the posts have a lot of page views or because of the keywords used to find Freelance Parent.  One thing I’ve discovered is that a lot of folks want to know about how to choose a niche for their freelance work. 

While we hope that Freelance Parent appeals to freelancers from a variety of fields, the fact of the matter is that we are writers.  For that reason, we do a lot of reading about writing.  As is my habit when visiting the local library, I found myself in front of the shelf that Dewey designates with the numbers 808.0202.  I’m always eager to see what other people have to say about writing and freelancing.  You never know; you might just find that one bit of information that makes everything else click, right? 

This time I came home with Robert W. Bly’s book Careers for Writers & Others Who Have a Way with Words.  I thought I’d take a look and see what types of writing other people were finding satisfying.  What I discovered was that he more-or-less offers a ton of suggestions for niches that writers might find really, really exciting.  Bly came up with nine main categories for writers and then broke each down into sub-categories (there are some great niche topics here) and even gives advice on the kind of education that would be most beneficial and how to get started and be successful. 

Book Publishing:  There are opportunities for both writers and editors in this field, and it’s not just a matter of typing up or proofing a manuscript.  He also talks about the need for publicists, copywriters, and marketers.   

Magazine Writing:  It’s really helpful to realize that there are a variety of magazines, and that doesn’t just include what you see in the check-out line at the grocery store.  Consider trade journals, too.  Magazine writing is a possibility not only for freelancers, but also for those who want to join a company and become staff writers. 

Newspapers Writing:  A degree in Journalism is certainly helpful for the writer who wants to sell stories to newspapers, but it’s not mandatory.  Knowing the basic anatomy of a newspaper article can be a big help.  Again, this type of work can appeal to both freelancers and those who are looking for a regular gig writing a recurring column or working in a specific department. 

Advertising:  Copywriting can be short and sweet, but it does take a certain level of creativity to get to the heart of the matter.  Basically, this involves writing words that sell other items.  He suggests that if you don’t have any actual ads to put in your portfolio, to go ahead and create some that you can use as examples of your skill. 

Public Relations:  PR is about getting people’s attention in less direct ways than pure advertising.  This might include something as blatant as writing a press release to introduce a new project, or as subtle as legitimately mentioning a company in an article.  There is a lot of room for creativity and problem-solving for the writer interested in Public Relations. 

Corporate Writing:  This type of writing often includes a lot of the design and print aspects of production, as well.  Some of the more writing-heavy opportunities might include creating proposals, annual reports, technical documents, employee newsletters, or executive speeches. 

Technical Writing:  If you have a specific interest in technology, the sciences, or industry and are a good writer, then technical writing might be the perfect fit for you.  The basic idea is that your clear, concise writing will convey a lot of technical information to those who aren’t necessarily ready to absorb the jargon that would be used among professionals in the field.  While we often think of manuals and instruction books, technical writing can also include speech writing, report writing, article writing, and editing for technical professionals. 

Non-Traditional Media Writing:  Television, movies, and the internet all provide outlets for writers who want to share their words.  The internet alone offers dozens of opportunities that cover the gamut of the list above: corporate websites, ad copy, technical documents, and online magazines are all great possibilities.  Bly even mentions comic books and humor writing in this section. 

Freelance Writing:  Freelancers can specialize or be generalists.  Our thought is that if you choose to freelance rather than work within a company, you will most likely be more successful if you choose an area of expertise. 

Finding a niche isn’t the easiest thing for most writers.  We’re creative, and we want to shine in every area.  When you’re building a freelance writing business, though, focusing in on a particular niche is going to help you define yourself for clients.  It also has the added benefit of helping you determine where to focus your marketing efforts.  These nine ideas are just to offer a starting point; I think most of us agree that a “niche” would be a more narrowly defined portion of one of these topics. 

So, here’s the big question:  What do you consider to be your niche?  We’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.

Popularity: 9% [?]

Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Netvouz
  • DZone
  • ThisNext
  • MisterWong
  • Wists
add to sk*rt

If you liked this article, please...

Subscribe Via Email Subscribe Via RSS Add to Technorati

Or read these related articles...

  • Freelance Inspiration
  • Do You Need a Niche?
  • When Competition is Fierce but Camaraderie is Fiercer
  • Freelance Inspiration

  • Discussion

    What do you think? Leave a comment. Alternatively, write a post on your own weblog; this blog accepts trackbacks [trackback url].
    Comment Policy


    On November 20th, 2007 at 11:30 am, Wendy Piersall said:

    *REALLY* excellent article!!!

    On November 20th, 2007 at 1:49 pm, countrymom7 said:

    I started started reading your blog. I do practical things like newsletters to bring in the money, but my passion is for the mental health field and the special needs child, especially homeschooling them.

    I am writing books in this area. I will be speaking and blogging in this area. Like I said, it is my passion. My niche.

    Thanks for your advice.


    On November 20th, 2007 at 5:09 pm, Lorna Doone Brewer said:

    Wendy - Thanks!

    maryruth - Welcome to the blog. I love how you really have a strong sense of what it is that you enjoy writing. Best of luck!

    Leave a Reply

    If you liked this article, take more To Go...


    Subscribe to Daily Posts Via Email
    Sign Up for the Weekly Email Newsletter
    We'll never sell or rent your info. Period.
    Subscribe Via an RSS Reader