Learn From My False Starts and Wrong Turns

It doesn’t seem that long ago I began copywriting. But it’s almost 20 years. Time sure does go by quickly.

When I started copywriting, I had no idea of all the opportunities available to me. Because I’d apprenticed myself to a very well-known, very successful copywriter whose specialty was the financial market, I figured that was where I was headed.

My mentor did write copy for a couple of other niches I helped him with. But he’d never really explained the whole concept of niches to me, so I viewed the financial market as my destiny.

I did my darnedest to like it.

It wasn’t until I got to know AWAI that I realized I could be writing in areas I really enjoyed. I did not enjoy financial.

Today, I’d like to give you the benefit of wisdom I’ve gained throughout the years about choosing a niche—wisdom gained mostly from my false starts and wrong turns.

The most important thing to consider when choosing a niche …

When I started, financial copywriting was (and still is) one of the most lucrative niches. At least it is if you look at what you can be paid for each piece you write. And many beginning copywriters choose financial for this reason.

Big mistake.

I learned this the hard way. Your ability to earn money in any niche depends on one consideration over all others. You must have a passion for what you’re writing about. If you don’t, it will show in your writing.

You cannot write copy that touches your prospect’s core emotions if your own core doesn’t have a warm place for that niche. If you choose a niche only because it’ll earn you the most money, you’ll struggle. Your copy will seem contrived, stilted, and insincere. And your prospect will realize this.

This is no way to make a living as a copywriter.

So for me, the very first rule of choosing a niche is to choose one you love and feel a passion for.

If one niche is good, wouldn’t 10 be great?

When you start out, you might not really know which niches you’re suited for. Quite a few might attract you. So, it makes sense to test a variety of niches.

But I’ve run into copywriters—brand-new ones, as well as ones who’ve been writing a while—who are “generalists.” They figure the more niches they write in, the more opportunities to succeed they’ll have.


If you ask the most successful copywriters today, they’ll tell you this. You’ll be far more successful if you specialize in no more than two or three niches.

Take Clayton Makepeace. His primary specialty is financial copywriting. He also writes outstanding copy for the alternative-health market. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a self-help promo written by Clayton. He knows what he likes and limits his reach.

So, after testing the waters by writing in a number of different niches, find two or three you feel a passion for. Do that, and you increase your chances of success tremendously.

The “dabbler’s” delight …

I have a confession to make. I’m a bit of a dilettante. I know that’s a word you shouldn’t use in copywriting. But to me it sounds a lot better than saying I’m a “dabbler.” It’s just that I have a great many interests in addition to copywriting. I love to teach. I love science. I love math. I love reading. I love …

Well, you get the idea. Sometimes it’s hard for me to make a choice.

So, I can see how having to narrow down your choice of niches might be very difficult if you’re at all like me. (And, I have a feeling you are. We copywriters tend to be like this.)

That’s why one particular niche—a niche I prefer to call a “Super Niche”—is an ideal way to build a successful and very stimulating career.

This Super Niche is Business-to-Business … or B2B.

Most of the time when you think of copywriting, you think about selling something to a consumer. B2B is different. You write copy selling goods and services from one business to another business.

The copy is much easier and quicker to write. All the strategies and secrets you learn in AWAI’s Accelerated Program are still important. But you don’t have to spend anywhere near the time developing the copy as you would in consumer-oriented copywriting.

Your prospects—the businesses you’re selling to—are in need of very specific items or services. They know they’re looking for widgets. Your job as a B2B copywriter is convincing them your client offers the best widgets. Much simpler than convincing a prospect he needs a newsletter or anything else he wasn’t already looking for.

More opportunities, more work, more chances to shine …

Because it’s generally quicker and easier to write B2B copy, your turnaround time is faster. So you’re able to take on more projects. And that’s the basis of a very lucrative and very satisfying career.

There’s a specific reason I call B2B a Super Niche. And it’s why it should appeal to you as a person with many varied interests. Think about all the businesses around that need products: Medical supply companies. Data processing centers. Publishers. Restaurants. Shoe manufacturers. Butchers … bakers … and very seriously, candlestick makers.

The list runs in the thousands of different types of businesses that need what your B2B clients are selling.

That means tons of opportunity for you as a B2B copywriter. It also means that even while specializing in this niche, you can write copy for almost any business related to your many interests. This is a niche where you’ll never be bored.

So, if you’re looking for the ideal niche to specialize in—or you’re looking to switch niches—give a good, hard look at B2B.

It can be fun … financially rewarding … and there are hundreds of thousands of potential clients looking for a good B2B copywriter like you.

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Published: August 18, 2014

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