Saturday, April 18, 2009
Expanding Within Your Niche
Expanding Within Your Niche
By Patricia Fry
Do you have a pet subject that you would like to write about? Or maybe you are already doing some writing on your favorite topic. Are your efforts paying your way? Or do you feel that maybe you’re just spinning your wheels without monetary results? Maybe that’s because you are trying to write with a focus that is just too narrow. Are you aware that you can expand your horizons even if you want to stay focused on one basic topic?
So what is your topic? Pets and animals (a very popular one), aviation, the environment, horses (this is the subject I wrote about when I started my writing career over 30 years ago), quilting, cooking, relationships, parenting… Do you feel as though you have exhausted all of the article/story possibilities related to this topic? If so, I have two things to say in response: I seriously doubt that you have written on your topic from all angles and perspectives. And if you absolutely have, you’ve probably been writing on this subject for a thousand years, so just start all over again—recycle those early articles. I’m going on the assumption that you have not tapped all of the ideas and resources available on your subject and I will throw out some suggestions for you to consider when formulating your next 100 articles on your favorite topic:
• Write about what you know related to your topic—your experiences with it as a participant and as an observer.
• Write about what you want to know with regard to your topic. In other words, do some research to discover aspects of it that you have wondered about.
• Interview experts as well as novices who have had experiences different than your own. Form articles around these interviews.
• Use what you discovered in the interviews to come up with new article ideas.
• Explore the many facets of your subject. If it is pets and animals, just look at the number of different types of animals you can study and write about. Multiply that by the number of issues around each of these types of animals. If your subject is quilting, just imagine how many different types of quilts there are—each with a story behind it. Likewise, how many quilters are there? Can you see how these two topics could keep a writer busy for several lifetimes?
• Consider all of the angles related to your topic: the history, the personalities, the businesses established around it, the hobbies, the organizations, the events. What about celebrities involved in this topic, the laws pertaining to it from country to country and so forth.
• Widen your horizon when it comes to placing your articles and stories. Of course, you are aware of the traditional, well-known magazines of the trade. But are you also submitting to appropriate newsletters and websites? And what about publications not related to the topic? Consider submitting your piece featuring an older celebrity and his pet llamas to AARP The Magazine, for example. A general interest magazine might be interested in your piece on flying as the new high for young pilots, your article on unique ways with legumes as a way to save money in these difficult economic times or one featuring quilting as a stress-reliever.
If these few suggestions didn’t give you new ideas for presenting your niche topic, you are either already practicing excellent skill as a freelance writer or you have closed your mind to the huge array of possibilities. Do yourself a favor. If you want to get more work writing in your field, open your mind and allow your success in.
Patricia Fry is a full-time freelance writer and the author of 29 books. Her articles have appeared in Writer’s Digest, Entrepreneur Magazine, Cat Fancy, Your Health, The Toastmaster and many others. View her collection of books at http://www.matilijapress.com. And visit her informative publishing blog often: http://www.matilijapress.com/publishingblog.