5 Niche-Finding Tips From an
AWAI Wall of Famer

“If there’s one thing I can tell an aspiring copywriter, it’s this: find your niche as soon as you can,” says AWAI Wall of Famer Tonimarie Marrese.

For two years, Toni was a generalist. And like many copywriters, she wasn’t sure what the right niche for her was.

She’d considered writing for health, finance, even self-help. But none of it seemed a perfect fit.

It wasn’t until she signed up for the Web Copywriting Intensive last August that she found her niche. She was preparing for it by studying Copywriting 2.0: Your Complete Guide to Writing Web Copy that Converts. And that’s when it hit her on the head like a ton of bricks.

She absolutely loved writing web copy!

Today, as a web copy specialist, Tonimarie is immersing herself in everything related to web copy … search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising (PPC), home pages, landing pages, email marketing, etc.

And now that she found her niche, things are going at a blistering pace …

She’s writing SEO articles and press releases … writing a business package for a digital anti-theft device … writing an eBook … and setting up a website to sell numerous information products.

Finding your niche can mean the difference between floundering around for months on end and achieving copywriting success as fast as a speeding bullet. Plus, business owners want to hire copywriters they perceive to be as experts in their field. That’s why specialists will always earn more than generalists.

Here are five tips to help you find YOUR niche:

  1. Use your own experience. This is always a great starting point. For example, if you’ve been in the IT industry for over 10 years, it’s probably a good idea to specialize in writing B2B copy for IT companies. That’s because you already have “insider” knowledge. You understand how the business works and who the players are. And here’s the best part about starting with your own experience – you can always transition into other niches you might be interested in (but have no experience with) later on. And if you do decide to transition into another niche, you’ll already be an experienced, proven, successful copywriter with an impressive portfolio and collection of success stories.
  2. Subscribe to e-letters. If you’ve been able to narrow down your possible niches to two or three, subscribe to e-letters on the topic. This is a great way to receive both promotional and editorial material on a regular basis. Try re-writing some of the promos you get. This will give you a feel for the industry and help you gauge if it’s something you really want to do.
  3. Do everything for a while. Sometimes, you just can’t decide what niche would be best, despite your experience. In this case, decide to be a generalist … but with a time limit. For instance, write any kind of project that comes your way for the next year. At the end of the year, take note of what kinds of projects were enjoyable and easy for you to complete. This should give you a good idea of the niche you should be working in.
  4. Become a “super” student. If your problem is that you know what niche you want to go into, but have no experience in it, become a “super” student. This means total immersion. Learn everything you can about that niche. Read trade publications, do research on the internet, read books on the subject, talk to people in the industry, attend trade shows, etc.
  5. Get a coach. A coach can help guide you into the niche that’s right for you. This is because a coach has a wide variety of experience and has already suffered the slings and arrows of finding a niche. For example, Chris Marlow uses her extensive background as a direct-response copywriter to coach copywriters in finding their niches and successfully marketing themselves.

However you go about it, find your niche now. Not only will it help you earn more, it’ll save you a lot of time down the road.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: December 26, 2008

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