You’ve got to have a niche. Blah Blah Blah.
I’ve sick of hearing this trite advice as a writer. It’s so dumb and misleads or even stops many new writers.
Heck, I’m writing about writing right now.
What’s my niche? Nothing. Nudda. Not having a niche didn’t ruin me or anyone in my inner circle.
We’re all getting by just fine. So who says you need a niche, huh? Not me.
Let’s break down this niche nonsense so we can finally move on and get back to the writing — the thing that’ll change your life.
You’re not a sheep
Do you just do one thing for your entire life, like eat grass? Or are you a multi-faceted human with a life and loads of interests and experiences?
You’re in the second category unless you really are a sheep. (And if that’s the case, bend over and let me shave your ass so I can make myself a jacket for this cold-ass Melbourne weather.)
Jokes aside, all of us are different. We come from diverse backgrounds. We have a lot to say. We have varied interests. Look at your TikTok app if you have it. Do you only watch one type of TikTok video? No.
Some days cooking. Other days cat videos. And on a gorgeous day like today you’re reading about writing. Nice.
Stop listening to the sheep. Niches aren’t required.
Niches create boundaries that force you to give up
I run an online academy that’s trained thousands of writers. I don’t say that to impress you, so calm your farm.
In all my years doing it, I’ve seen some writers fail. They end up going insane. They try to follow the niche advice and have a mental breakdown.
It goes like this…
- Pick one niche.
- Write about it for a month.
- Run out of ideas.
- Get tired.
- Think about trying another niche, feel dirty (the way you do when your parents talk about doing it up the butt), go back to the same niche.
- Get bored.
- Get frustrated.
- Give up.
Niches have killed more writing dreams than I can count. When there are too many restrictions on your creativity it starts to feel like a prison. Writing prison sucks out all the joy from creating content.
When the joy is gone, the love is lost. That’s when people sadly quit. There are so many writers who the niche plague has murdered.
Don’t let it be you.
Every niche is connected to every niche
This is what frustrates me.
Let’s take the niche of productivity. It’s connected to self-improvement. Productivity is also connected to the topic of careers. Careers are connected to the topic of business. And productivity also connects to the topic of money, because you need to be productive to make cashola.
So what’s the niche?
Who knows. They’re all part of the same niche called human existence. There’s no clear boundary.
The #1 mistake online writers make
This one causes me to go into cardiac arrest.
Most niches are too small.
That’s the damn problem. People niche down too far. They say they will write an ultra-specific headline because a guru that runs an online course tells them to.
They’re told to write headlines like this:
How to make exactly $10,000 selling pets as a 25 year old entrepreneur who’s graduated college and lives in California (without being lucky)
The problem is the niche is tiny so it excludes the majority. And the article isn’t really just for 25 year olds anyway, despite the clickbaity headline.
Yet beautiful humans are taught this technique every day in online writing schools all over the world.
Ultra-specific is too limiting.
Writers want more than a handful of people to read their work to feel like their profession is validated — that’s understandable. When you write for horny 25 year old pet shop owner wannabes, there isn’t much of an audience.
So you lose hope.
It feels as if no one’s listening, when really, the problem is the bad advice that says niche down with your pants down.
Targeting is too hard with social media
There is a situation when niches can work well: ads.
If you’re a trust fund baby and can buy Facebook-Meta ads that generate Zucks lots of bucks, then a niche works great. The ads software allows you to target the exact age, location, job title, or goal of your ideal reader.
But most of us don’t buy ads to find readers for our writing.
Because we don’t have Bentley-driving daddies who wear gold chains and give us their Amex Black credit card to buy readers.
So we have to send our writing out into the world without being able to target exactly who will read it. Such is life. Such is nature.
Here’s the dead-easy way to know what to write about (without a niche)
Don’t sit down to write and get flustered by a niche. Make these things front of mind instead:
- Share lessons — we love lessons because they allow us to avoid the same mistakes you made.
- Be helpful — what can you help us with? Write that.
- Experiences — share your experiences so we can enter a world we may never know. What cultures have you lived in? Where have you traveled to? What odd jobs have you done?
- Ideas you find interesting — good writing is about sharing ideas. It’s about helping us join the dots so we have aha moments. There are certain ideas that become like an obsession. Mine is Web3/crypto. What’s yours? Show us.
What this all means for you
Let’s boil it down and simplify it to 5th grader level so you can use writing to upgrade your life.
The niche is you. Be your sexy self all damn day.
The weirdness of who you are is what attracts readers, not some half-assed niche that limits you. Let your personality shine through and share the stuff that makes you fearful.
If you do, there’s a good chance you’ll become a 6-figure writer because you’ll stand out from the niche crowd full of broken writing dreams.