Niches destroy writers’ careers.
I see it all the time. A well-meaning writer goes down the niche rabbit hole and ends up choosing to write for pink-haired dog owners that live in a one-mile radius and watch Scooby Doo.
Then a few months later they have no readers and no money and can’t figure out what the problem is. The issue is they don’t understand how to choose a niche.
Let me solve the niche problem for you.
The most unlikely and profitable niche
The biggest misconception is that a niche is a topic. Wrong.
Writer Dan Koe taught me the niche is your worldview or perspective. People buy into how you see the world.
Dan says the best way to find a niche is to “build for yourself, write to yourself, solve your own problems, and sell to yourself.”
That’s how you become your own profitable niche of one that no one can copy. In a world of ChatGPT and AI this is key.
If you mess up the niche, your writing gets replaced by AI.
An easy way to create your niche is to document your life. Capture stories from your life, share your experiences, follow what interests you, share books/tips/resources. By doing this you slowly become a niche of one.
The niche is you.
Stop trying to decide your niche. Share your story and become one. — Kieran Drew
We are not one-topic human beings
There’s this weird idea that people are binary when it comes to niches.
Example: if you write about heart surgery then only doctors will be interested. But that’s not true. Author Mark Manson started out writing dating advice for dudes and his most loyal fans were women.
See what I mean?
Humans have lots of interests. We follow our curiosity. Anyone can technically become your reader. Placing readers into silos is how you overanalyze the challenge of niches and end up broke.
Joe Rogan talks about aliens, comedy, fighting, politics, bio-hacking.
The Rock has WWE, movies, football, fitness, tequila.
Alex Hormozi likes business, philosophy, fitness, comedy, & utilitarianism.
According to Alex Hormozi, you don’t pick a niche, you are your niche.
None of us have one interest in life. The issue isn’t what you’re interested in. No. It’s that you don’t know how to make your interests interesting to strangers on the internet.
And that takes time.
You must learn basic persuasion, copywriting, and storytelling skills. Then you’ll attract readers and make them interested in what interests you.
Wealthy versus bankrupt niches
Not all niches are equal.
For example, you could write about doom and make people feel like it’s the end of the world when it’s not. And guess what, you’ll get paid peanuts for your writing. Why?
Hands up who wants to wake up and feel like sh*t every day after reading the work of a writer?
Not me. That’s why no one pays money for this garbage.
Not only is it dishonest but it ruins people’s mental health. Yet some people pick a stupid niche like this, then wonder why they can’t make a career out of it. Dah! Stop being a doomsday prepper and rejoin humanity.
The timeless wealthy niches are:
What this means is your writing needs to feature benefits from at least one of these broad topics. If it does, then you’ll have a profitable niche because you will be, by default, helpful instead of an accidental troll.
The formula for the ideal niche
Once again, the niche isn’t a single thing. When I think about niches I apply this rough formula to everything I write:
- 30% — personal stories
- 25% — tools and resources I love
- 40% — 3–4 topics I’m obsessed with (money, writing, self-improvement, careers)
- 5% — lead magnets, selling, promoting my Substack
Once you have a niche formula it’s easy to sit down and write. You just make sure you regularly write things for each of these buckets.
The big problem with niches is many readers don’t know what they’ll be interested in, so making assumptions about who your writing is for is stupid.
I’m not interested in spirituality, yet reading Dan Koe’s work helped me like the topic because he fused it with business.
The niche gurus overcomplicate it and are glorified fortune-tellers.
- Be broad enough to attract many different types of people.
- Then narrow down the topic on the back end using an email list split into different segments for different interests.
The niche is a byproduct of this…
When I started writing my niche was startups.
I wrote press releases and got all h0rny over how much a startup had raised. I grew exhausted and bored real quick. What I’ve learned is the niche is a byproduct of the size of your content library.
The more you write the more solid the niche becomes.
Writer Philip Naudus nerded out and went through the data on this platform. He found that almost all writers’ first niche didn’t become their final niche. They pivoted once they had data from their readers.
I can’t think of a single successful writer who still writes about their first niche. Niches change as writers change.
The best niche is slightly controversial
The best topics need a new spin.
The smartest way to do it is to take a timeless topic then come up with some hot takes. Example: “Niching down is the new smoking.”
I’m not saying to become a headline desperato and use piss-poor attention-grabbing techniques to hypnotize and lie to readers. What I’m saying is you’ve got to have some spicy opinions.
That’s how you breathe new life into old topics.
Ryan Holiday did this with the ancient topic of stoicism. He made it relevant for a new age of readers and made millions in the process. One way he did it was by combining self-improvement with stoicism.
Then he shared slightly controversial takes like “go for a walk and walk off all your problems.” Again, he didn’t say to light America on fire or throw the president into shark-infested waters.
He just said an old thing in a new uncommon way.
We all have these spicy takes. To succeed with a niche we must become aware of what slightly controversial opinions we hold. Then you sprinkle those hot takes into everything you write.
The niche is your view of the world multiplied by your unique voice
Writer Darshak Rana reminded me that “Writing on the internet isn’t about niches. It’s about finding your writer’s voice.”
I never understood writer’s voice. But a compliment I get all the time is that I’ve nailed my writer’s voice and it stands out like lipstick on a pig. One reader, Tom, even came up with a name for it.
He calls it a “personality niche.”
Readers have clear ideas on how you’d view a topic, or voice your feelings. Then, your success comes from how convincing you’ve been, not about the topic, but about yourself.
WOW. What a cool way to put it.
The best way I hone my writer’s voice is just to be stupidly honest and write like I talk. That’s how I avoid speaking like a corporate robot who’s about to sell a widget and is “humbled and honored.”
Bringing it all together
Stop falling for the lie of niches.
Niches will confuse you and abuse you if you let them. Most writers make the mistake of going so narrow with their niche that their undies ride tightly up their ass.
Don’t do it, it’s a trap. None of us are one-topic-crazies.
The niche is you. The niche is your worldview. The niche is amplified by your writer’s voice. The niche is you documenting your life, sharing multiple interests, being helpful, and revealing what you learn.
You’re now free dear writer from the shackles of “niche down.”