News flash. Selling your writing (and your ideas for writing) is hard.
One of the ways we give ourselves an edge is to develop a niche. From a young age, we’re taught to “write what we know” so we find topics we like, and position ourselves as experts. While this is great in concept, it too often falls short of the goal, which is getting your words into print, and getting paid for them.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you like to write about baking. Great. You already know that’s not exactly a niche. But, your real wheelhouse is baking with apples. Now we’re talking!
But is it enough? Think of all the variables you could include. There are a lot of apple desserts out there. There are also a lot of varieties of apples.
Bring your focus in. You don’t’ just love apples, you love McIntosh apples with their soft texture and sweet flavor. Why not propose “Delicious Fall Desserts with McIntosh Apples?” Don’t just be the apple dessert writer, be the Mac Daddy (or Mommy). Not only have you made your topic more digestible (sorry), you can now target your pitches to areas where McIntosh apples are prevalent, and time it out for the season.
Don’t worry about being too specific. In today’s Internet age, we’re amazingly segmented into our most minute interests. If you like the topic, others will, too.
As I was preparing to pitch ideas to Topresume.com, a client I had worked with several times, I knew I wanted to write something about the NFL. It was almost football season and I have a strong background in sports writing. But, I also knew that “Jobs in the NFL” was way too vague. Even “Odd Jobs in the NFL” was a bit mundane.
Then, I noticed that an NFL team had just hired a woman to be an assistant coach, making her the first female to hold a coaching position in a professional football league. Now, that’s worth noting and celebrating. What I ended up pitching (and writing) was “5 Women Who Rock the NFL,” a profile of 5 influential women working in the league.
Heck, even when pitching Writersweekly.com a couple of years back, I had to find my niche within my niche.
I write children’s books. So what? I mostly write nonfiction children’s books on a work-for-hire basis. Okay, that’s a bit more interesting. I also have written books on topics as varied as building motorcycles, Bigfoot and mythical creatures, how to play baseball, cooking with campfires, first ladies, and even a biography of Taylor Swift.
My niche within my niche is not just kids book writing or nonfiction kids book writing, it’s knowing how to take any topic the publisher wants to throw at me, and do the research. Then, I make it fun, appropriate, and interesting for the age group. So, that’s what I pitched to Writersweekly.com and the result was “From Baseball To Barnyards: Land A Contract Writing Children’s Non-Fiction Books!”
Why is it so important to zoom in so much when pitching your ideas?
- Avoid the “We’ve already done that” pile
- When you write about one really specific topic, you can bring your very best writing instead of trying to cover too many things in one article.
- Specifics are more interesting.
- My favorite part is this: You get to write about something you are really passionate about. You don’t just love apples, you love McIntosh apples!
I said it above and I’ll say it again. You can’t really be too specific for today’s audience. Publishers want pieces that provide new and interesting information so the best thing you can do is show off what others may call your quirky passion. I call it your niche within your niche.
HAVE YOU FOUND A NICHE WITHIN YOUR NICHE? PLEASE SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE USING THE COMMENTS BOX BELOW!
A SUB-NICHE! How to Create Unique Online Content in a Flooded Market – by Laura Peill
How Venturing Out of My Niche Changed My Entire Writing Career! by Michael Leonard
How To Turn Life-Changing Events Into A Niche By Teresa Bitler
Lucrative Niches in Children’s Writing By Susan Sundwall
Writing Advertorials Can Be a Lucrative Freelance Writing Niche By John K. Borchardt
Science Writing: A Lucrative Niche (with Paying Markets) By John K. Borchardt
Be The “Go To” Gal! The Importance of Branding Yourself in a Niche Market By Julie Donner Andersen
Tyler Omoth is a freelance writer and the author of over 60 books for kids on a wide-variety of topics as well as articles, reviews, marketing campaigns, and even a few snarky greeting cards. He and his wife, Mary, and their twin babies live in the sunshine of Florida. You can follow him on Twitter at @Tyomoth.
>>>Read More WritersWeekly Feature Articles<<<
I admire any writer who wants to tackle a blind character. But so many writers take up this challenge and FAIL. They research blindness by reading other fiction books, by observing their blind colleagues and acquaintances, and by tying on a blindfold and pretending to be blind themselves.
I understand the challenges your characters face, their triumphs, their hopes and their fears, because I've lived them. I work with people who have varying degrees of blindness every day, so I've seen every challenge, every situation you could imagine.
Let me share my knowledge to improve your writing. You can create blind characters that readers will fall in love with.
BOOK PROPOSALS THAT WORKED! Real Book Proposals That Landed $10K - $100K Publishing Contracts - by Angela Hoy
Peek over the shoulders of highly successful, published authors to see how they landed publishing contracts worth $10,000 to $100,000! An enticing yet professional book proposal is the key!
BONUS! Successful ghostwriter, Anton Marco, shares his secret for landing ghostwriting clients. Don’t miss Anton’s real ghostwriting contract at the end of this book! It provides an example of what he charges and the payment terms he requires from each client.
90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy
Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.
We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts
and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!
Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor,
which makes it fun for creative folks like you!
Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!