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Why Niche Writing Makes Good Sense

Why Niche Writing is recommended

Mediterranean Gardening & Outdoor Living

Niche writing is recommended for freelance writers because you are more likely to get clients who will hire you. This is why it makes good sense to discover your niche.

I speak from personal experience because I have found most of my paid work writing with the niches I am knowledgeable in. A client who is looking for a writer who knows what they are talking about is obviously going to favour hiring someone who can show a track record in delivering the goods. If you can show examples of your work already published within niche publications, it is far more likely that you will find further jobs writing within this field of interest.

Of course, the more popular and high profile the publications you are published in are, the better your chances will be of impressing potential employers to hire you to write for them.

On your website and on business cards and other publicity materials, you should make it clear what you specialise in.

Finding Your Niche

Finding your niche is important and easy enough. You just need to think about what subjects you have the most knowledge about and the greatest interest in. Perhaps you can write about your hobby? It just needs to be a something you can write easily about and show a passion for. In my case I have found it easy to write about nature and gardening. I have had articles published in magazines as varied as Permaculture, Welsh Coastal Life, and Bee Culture: The Magazine of American Beekeeping, but all my articles have been on the subject of plants and the natural world. I have also been a regular writer for Mediterranean Gardening and Outdoor Living magazine, and in the past had a column about gardening and wildlife in the Tenerife Weekly newspaper, and Living Tenerife magazine.

More than one niche

Kindred Spirit

Having more than one niche can be advantageous, and I have more than one because I have also found success in writing for New Age and Mind, Body and Spirit publications. I have had several articles in Kindred Spirit magazine, with another about Magical Summer Herbs accepted for the next issue. This magazine pays a decent rate and I am getting £200 for my next article. In this magazine I have written about Atlantis and also about herbs and herbalism.

Herbs of the Sun, Moon and Planets

As an author, I have been able to get some great publicity for my books about herbs, by writing articles for publications like Kindred Spirit. I had a feature published in Kindred Spirit about my latest book with Moon Books, entitled Herbs of the Sun, Moon and Planets. More recently, but about the same book and subject matter, I have been published with a two-page article in The Magical Times.

Don’t be a Generalist

Having a couple of niches you can write about is fine but having a lot and being a  generalist is not a good idea. You may think it is impressive being able to say that you can write about many different subjects but sadly it doesn’t impress clients and future potential employers. It looks as if you are a Jack-of-all-trades and a master of none. You may be very knowledgeable about many subjects but a potential client doesn’t know this and is not willing to take the risk, and why should they when there are so many freelance writers out there to choose from. This is why you need to stand out from the crowd and make a name for yourself as a niche writer.

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Being a Columnist has its Rewards

Being a columnist for a magazine or newspaper definitely has its rewards, and not just financially. For a start, it helps establish you as a writer that can be depended on to deliver the goods. Editors and readers both know they can rely on you to come up with an interesting article each week or month your column is published.

Bard-Caterpillar-Article

Having a column also establishes you as a writer with a niche you are knowledgeable about. For example, I have established myself as being able to write about gardening and nature. When I lived in Tenerife, I had a column in the Tenerife Sun in which the natural world was my specialist subject matter. A photo of me sporting a green goatee beard added to the column’s appeal and my public image. It worked to my advantage because members of the public would recognise me as the man with a green beard who writes about nature in the Tenerife Sun newspaper. Several times I got approached by people who had recognised me like this and who had stories for me to cover. I remember writing one about the preying mantis and a man who had a bush in his garden he wanted to prune but it had several mantises on it.

nightshade-familyMediterranean Gardening and Outdoor Living April 2016 Issue 24

If you get known as a writer on a particular subject it makes it easier to get more work in this line. I am currently writing about gardening and the natural world for Mediterranean Gardening and Outdoor Living magazine. When I had been living in Tenerife, another publication that gave me work was Living Tenerife magazine, in which I had had a monthly gardening column.

Again, it was Tenerife that provided regular work for me as columnist for the weekly Tenerife Weekly, in which I had a page in which I wrote about gardening and nature. I also supplied the photos for this and had no problem getting some great ones to illustrate my articles.

column martiangarden
But my first experience as a columnist was when I was a writer for Big Issue Cymru back in the late 1990s. In this magazine that is sold on the streets to raise funds for homeless people, I mainly wrote social interest stories. The Big Issue has a wide circulation and being a regular writer for it established me as a writer and helped me make a name for myself. Big Issue Cymru had reviewed my music before so I was already known to the publication as a singer-songwriter and local performer. At the time I was living in the Ely housing estate in Cardiff, and so when the Big Issue started calling me “Bard of Ely” it was a title that was apt. I have used it as a stage name ever since.

big_issue_story

As a writer I have found being a columnist helpful in other ways too. My experience as a columnist has taught me to be able to make deadlines and also to make sure I proofread my work before I submit it. Also, knowing I have future articles to write in a particular niche, means that I am always on the lookout for topics I could cover. In my daily life I often make notes about something I see that would make a good story. I don’t have any problem getting inspired as a writer. Having a column helps stop the dreaded “writer’s block” because it keeps you thinking about what you can write about in future and it is easy enough to find subjects to describe.

Being a columnist is part-time work too, which is another advantage because it leaves you free to be able to commit to other jobs and writing projects. I like it that way!

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