One of the hallmark pieces of advice for professional content writers is to find a niche and stick to it in order to reduce research and writing time and maximize your profits. But how can you develop beyond your chosen niche to keep yourself engaged and flexible in an ever changing content market?
Those Who Can, Do…And Then Write About It!
In my own freelance writing career, I’ve been able to parlay my experience as a classroom teacher and camp counselor into a number of articles and blog posts about education. The initial shift from teaching to writing about teaching felt strange at first, but I realized that my experience gave me valuable insight on what current and hopeful teachers need to know.
Once I began to feel comfortable writing articles about education, I started exploring other areas of this growing industry. Though I am not a parent myself, I’ve worked with hundreds of parents over the years and I’ve begun to expand my education writing into material aimed at parents as well. In addition, I’ve reflected on the hours I spent writing lesson plans and classroom activities and have now begun seeking out opportunities to write curriculum, effectively marrying my teaching background with my writing skills.
By starting to write in an area I felt most comfortable and gradually expanding my reach, I now feel better able to tackle a full range of education related projects and engage with a wide range of potential clients and readers.
From Personal to Professional
As you work to develop your own niche to prevent the dreaded boredom and burnout that every busy freelancer faces at some point, think broadly about the fields in which you could be considered an “expert.” For those freelance technology writers who excel at software reviews, consider your other interests or hobbies which fall under the broad definition of tech writing. Are you a skilled MMORPG player in your off time? Do you love surfing the web and finding arcane sites before your friends? Consider branching out into more entertainment based writing and widen the scope of your work.
Write What You Want to Read
Finally, if you’re starting to feel burned out on your current niche, maybe it’s time to give it a rest and stretch a new set of writing muscles. Think about what type of content you like to read, and consider how you can use your freelance skills to produce this type of material. Recipe junkie? Online shopper? Start looking for opportunities to write the material you like reading and find a brand new niche in the process.
Caitlin C is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.