Reality Blog Challenge: Post-Bootcamp Update: All About the Niche

find a niche phrase note with light bulb

Reality Blog Challenge: Post-Bootcamp Update: All About the NicheMy oldest son (age 21), who is halfway around the world in the U.S. Navy, thinks it’s “cute” that Mom went to copywriting “Bootcamp.”

When he left for Navy Bootcamp three years ago, we teased him: “It’ll probably be just like Space Camp!”

But it wasn’t. We all knew that.

My all-techie, 21st century son became quite the letter-writer at his Bootcamp, actually putting pen to paper to write terrific letters — something he had never done before, being the all-computer-all-the-time Modern Kid.

One of his first letters home read simply:

“THIS IS DEFINITELY NOT LIKE SPACE CAMP!”

He survived his eight weeks, and graduated with Honors. I still get terrific letters, occasionally, but mostly we communicate now via Facebook Messenger.

When I “survived” my Bootcamp, which was a lot more like Space Camp than his experience, he wisecracked: “So what’s your name, rank, and serial number, Mom?”

Which got me thinking …

The #1 Question at AWAI’s Bootcamp and Job Fair

At Bootcamp, your fellow writers don’t ask for your name, rank, and serial number.

They want to know your name, where you’re from, and … “What’s your niche?”

At first, I didn’t have a very good answer — well, after the “Sherri Caldwell, Atlanta, Georgia” part, anyway. I’m pretty good with that.

But the niche — now that’s tricky:

Before Bootcamp

I tried to choose a niche. I really did. And AWAI certainly offers tremendous support and resources to help us find our “place all one’s own” in copywriting.

Part 4 of The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting is all about “Choosing Your Path” — fantastic information.

And you only have to search the term “niche” on Wealthy Web Writer to access 62 pages of articles about finding and choosing your specialty — great info and support for us online copywriters.

My challenge with a niche is kind of like smorgasbords — you know, those all-you-can-eat buffet restaurants:

#1 — So many choices!

#2 — Everything looks great!

#3 — I never know how to plan ahead, so, inevitably, my plate gets full before I make it halfway through the selections …

Settling on a niche has been a lot like that for me.

One of my informal mentors encouraged me to go to Bootcamp with an open mind — be open to everything, listen, and learn: “The more you learn about different niches, the more it will help you to settle on the ones you like!”

Good advice!

During Bootcamp

At Bootcamp, we learned a lot about a variety of niches. The Big Three are: 1) Finance, 2) B2B, and 3) Health. But we learned about many other possibilities, through the speakers, and in special morning sessions about finding your niche. We learned about pet copywriting, fundraising, medical devices, preppers and surviving the zombie apocalypse … (It was actually Survival/Emergency Preppers, which is a fascinating and trending niche — I added the zombies.)

There’s a lot to choose from and a lot to think about.

Post Bootcamp

So for now, I’m still deep into Bootcamp follow-up, and continuing to refine my niche.

We’ll see how it goes, here on The Reality Blog, as I work to fine-tune exactly what niche I’m going to pursue.

So, dear reader — What’s your niche? Area of specialty? Format?

  • Think about where you are now, and what you can use to get started (i.e., areas of interest, experience, and passion).
  • But also think about where you’d like to be — the sky is the limit! Given education, training, and support … what would you most want to do?

We’ll work together on building a bridge between the two — and we’ll get there.

Let me know, in the comments below — I look forward to hearing from you.

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Sherri Caldwell

Sherri Caldwell is a women's humor author and freelance writer in Atlanta, Georgia. She specializes in captivating editorial content and words that sell for lifestyle, education, and travel-related businesses.

5 Comments

  • Sherri:
    Great article! You really have a flair for this. I hope we get to hear more from you in the future. Have you found your niche yet?

    • Thomas, thank you so much– as do you, fellow challenger! I find I learn more with every article I read, and even more when I write. I am narrowing in on my niche… perhaps that will be a big reveal in the next article :-). Best wishes to you for continued success– Here’s to 2016!

  • Great post, Sherri! I too suffered from niche overload for a long time. It wasn’t until I discovered my absolute and unrelenting passion for scuba diving that I was finally able to select that industry as my niche. Now I am in the process of narrowing down my choices to one that I can begin with, which currently will more than likely be scuba diving travel and/or destinations.

    Good luck and best wishes for your own niche hunt!

    • Oh, I like “niche hunt” Stephen! (As in which niche, not the neesh 🙂 )

      Thank you for your comment. It is so interesting, and helpful, to hear about fellow copywriter journeys, and process. With that passion as your foundation, you will no doubt be very successful, and have a fantastic time ‘researching’ too! That is the very best part about freelance copywriting. Good luck with your scuba niche– I look forward to hearing more about your adventures!

  • Hello Sherri!
    I just wanted to say that I completely identify with your ‘buffet of niches’ quandary! I’m relatively new to the world of copywriting – I just found AWAI in October last year, so I’m only 3 or 4 months in. I absolutely love to write, and researching is just second nature for me because when I have any kind of question, I research until I have a good grasp on the answer. Naturally I was really excited to stumble into this field! Since then, I have been studying very hard, working on my website, and really working on getting my head into a self-promoting, professional space. All of that said, my only real stumbling block is choosing a niche – it makes it difficult to tailor my website or reach out to clients without knowing what field I’m going to appeal to! I am definitely attending the 2016 Bootcamp (I had barely scratched into AWAI when the 2015 one was happening…) but until then, I’m reading, researching ideas, and searching my copywriting soul ;-). Thank you for the article, it’s nice to know this is a fairly ‘natural’ phase of this great journey! And good luck on your own ‘niche hunt’! Happy writing!

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