The Reality Blog: 3 Reasons You’re Afraid To Choose A Niche

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Dear Web Writer,

Question: What problem do 95% of all new web writers share?

Answer: They’re afraid to choose a niche.

You might argue, “No, I’m not afraid … I’m just not sure which niche to choose.”

To which I’d reply, “If you can’t decide, it’s because you’re afraid of making the wrong decision.”

You see, when I was in your shoes, I had a heck of a time picking a niche. I narrowed my possibilities down to my main interests, and then I got stuck.

In the end, I didn’t really pick a niche till I was three years in. If you read Christina Gillick’s article on niche-choosing that came out today, it’s clear I should have sped up the process. I probably would have made a lot more money.

It’s just that it seemed like such a monumental decision at the time!

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Why It’s So Hard To Pick A Niche

If you really dig deep, your uncertainty when it comes to picking a niche probably stems from one of three things:

1) You don’t want to limit your income. When you’re just starting out, it feels like choosing a niche cuts your potential client pool from thousands of possibilities down to just a few.

2) You’re afraid you’ll get bored. I know I was hesitant to declare a niche and get nice and settled in it for fear I’d grow tired of it.

3) You don’t feel like an expert in the niche you’re considering. Maybe you have a field you’d like to write for, but you have a hard time thinking of yourself as a specialist in that area — let alone, an expert!

Why You Can Easily Brush Those Fears Aside

As far as limiting your pool of clients, look at it this way: You can reach out to potential clients throughout the country — heck, throughout the world! That’s the beauty of working via the Internet. This means you can write for a specialized field and still connect with hundreds of clients.

Plus, you can’t really write for too many clients at one time. Just a handful — maybe three to five — could keep you busy for months. Many will be return-customers. Fact is, you’ll probably be busier than you ever dreamed, even with a client pool of less than ten.

And the concern you’ll grow bored? Don’t worry about it! For one thing, picking a niche doesn’t sentence you to one field, till death-do-you-part. You can always change. Heck, you can even legitimately specialize in two niches (I’m pretty sure Joshua Boswell does this, or at least he advises it).

Don’t worry so much about feeling pigeon-holed. Carline Anglade-Cole, a great six-figure health copywriter, once told me she’ll pick up a fundraising piece or two when she’s tired of writing sales letters on health breakthroughs. She says it recharges her and that she likes to change things up now and then.

Just because you announce a specialty in web writing doesn’t mean you can’t write for a boatload of other topics. It’s just that the majority of your projects will be in one field.

So maybe you won’t feel like an expert for a while … that’s okay! Most of us never will, to be honest. But, the more you research and immerse yourself in a single topic, the more your knowledge base will grow. Even if you’re not at the “PhD level” for that subject, you’ll still know more about it than the majority of web writers.

If you’re worried you don’t know enough about your preferred niche, embrace Michael Masterson’s “Ready, Fire, Aim” technique: Say you can do it, and then figure out how.

Anything I Missed?

Do you have any other concerns about specializing in a niche? Share below. Maybe it’s something I can ease your mind about (or at the very least, I’ll find someone who can!).

To a fantastic week of web writing,

Mindy

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NOTE: See The Complete Reality Blog Here

Mindy Tyson McHorse

Mindy Tyson McHorse

Executive Editor for The Barefoot Writer, Mindy McHorse writes for clients in the biz-opp, alternative medicine, and self-help world.

3 Comments

  • Mindy,

    Really love this!!! You are soooooooooo spot-on!! You’re absolutely right. When we niche ourselves, we do limit the number of people in our target. But it also means our resources will go further (time, marketing effort and $$ investment) with a far greater chance of success. As you pointed out, we truly only need 3-5 clients at any given point in time to keep us busy and making a good living. And as long as we provide terrific service and they get great results, they’ll be repeat customers for life.

    As a marketer, I call this “positioning.” And it’s so hard to do primarily for your reason #1. Most everyone (including me) is afraid to leave what they think is income on the table. But we must stand out in the customer’s mind or we’re lost in the noise.

    For example, I finally chose to niche in the high tech industry. What makes me different? I’m focused on helping clients move their B2B decision makers through the sales funnel with rich media. Took me awhile to clearly define that. But now that I have, it’s amazing how much business I’m now getting, relatively effortlessly.

    Thanks for the post!

    • Hi Mary,

      Wow, congratulations! I’m so happy to hear that choosing a niche has served you well — especially the “effortless” part! That’s the kind of thing that virtually all web writers need to hear because so few believe it until it either happens to them or to someone they know.

      I’d love it if you keep me posted on your success. It’s so great to see a fellow web writer succeeding!

      Best,
      Mindy

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