Why do writers write? Is it for creative expression? To educate, inspire, influence or help others? Or is it something writers feel compelled to do? And that if it isn’t released, it will lead to a sad sullen life.
I’ve decided to become a writer because of the freedom to be in any topic I can come up with. Writers love learning new things, learning more about the same things and have endless amounts of curiosity about everything. But I feel that if I don’t choose one or two niches, my career wouldn’t develop any further. Why? Because each time I dive into a new niche, it’s like being a newbie writer all over again. Everything is new – new stories, new researches, new stats – you get the picture.
With being a specialized writer, your writing life becomes easier. You gradually become one with your niche.
So, what’s the best way to start out as a specialized writer? Here are some writers’ tips:
You can’t be picky
If you’re a new freelancer, don’t be picky. With so many other writers out there willing to be paid less but aren’t half as good a writer as you, you should take any job that’s offered to you. But of course, have some dignity. Don’t dumb-down your work just because it pays very little or the job wasn’t very interesting. Still do your best in your writing style.
As you get a variety of jobs, you will notice a trend in your preferences. Maybe articles about healthcare didn’t really appeal to you but legalese writing does and they pay better.
Be aware of the market
As new writers begin their journey, they oftentimes look for jobs that they are comfortable writing. The easiest ones in the market are usually about entertainment and the arts because they’re fun topics and it’s very easy to write about. But then there are so many writers who feel the same way. So competition is very stiff. Having more than 50 writers doing celebrity stuff, the price just went down, way down.
But think about the members of the Teamsters Union and how they can invest their money (and bonuses) wisely. They may just be looking for specialized writer to give them good quality content.
And don’t go searching for boring niches, too. Most in-depth topics give you more interesting work and will give you a reputation of being a seasoned specialized writer in that field.
Arm yourself with some proper training
After deciding on your specialization, get some training. We all could use some added information and new technology or innovations in research or style. This is especially true if we don’t have a lot of experience writing about a topic. There are plenty of resources out there ready for the picking. Join writers clubs and take part in conferences whenever they have them.
Know your network
Try to know people in your niche – old writers, community leaders, publishers. Start off by letting them know you, your interests and what articles you’ve just written. Build a network of potential clients, potential authorities and sources of information, blogs and news. A good source of authority information comes from thought leaders on social media. You can find them in LinkedIn and Twitter.
Two is better than one
Having two niches may sometimes be better and still manageable. When you diversify into a second (or even a 3rd) niche, you’re preparing yourself for the worst in case your first one suddenly loses its visibility, popularity or relevance.
The other reason is that it can get tiring and lead to burnout. Yes, there will be writers who are like some employees. They want a sense of order or routine because it gives them security and comfort. But for others, sometimes a little distraction is just what is needed.
The decision is yours
As the cliché goes, writing is a passion. So take these writers’ tips. If you write about something you are truly passionate about, I believe your writing career will flourish and last long. But if you’re in it for the money or just joining the latest writing bandwagon, you will not succeed and most likely you won’t be so satisfied.
Don’t zero in on a niche yet until you’ve exhausted a lot of (and I mean really many) topics out there. Once you’ve gotten just a little bit of writing reputation, try to redefine yourself as a specialized writer.
It can be liberating but writing is a long and rigorous journey that can’t be rushed. So take time to discover what you want to be as a writer. No one else can define you – not anyone, not any market, not any payment. Roald Dahl says it perfectly, “A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom.”