Can You Be A Successful Writer Without A Niche?
Lately, I have written a few stories about my experience on Medium in the last few months.
I talked about how I gained almost 1,000 new followers in one month and how in August I posted 31 articles. All of this I have done to help any new writer who may need that info. A year ago, when I was just getting started here, the Medium meta articles helped me a lot.
I saw it as a way to return the favor.
In general, the posts were well received. I received a couple of comments congratulating me and wishing me good wishes. Honestly, this is my favorite part of Medium, the community.
On top of that, I got a few messages about other writers expressing that they are surprised that I don’t write for a niche. Since very common advice about being an online writer is to choose a niche and stick with it.
Is it really necessary to dedicate yourself to a single topic to be successful on Medium? Did I crack the code?
Niche me that, Niche me this
First of all, I can’t tell you what to do with your blog since I’m not your mother. It wouldn’t kill you to clean your room a bit though.
I can’t tell you that the whole niche thing is a myth made up by corporations to sell more gift cards. In fact, it’s a great way to build a community on the Internet and a very effective strategy.
Why should you write for a niche? Well, for the same reason that musicians stick to a genre of music.
If a band played country, heavy metal, hip hop, and dubstep, it would hardly gain a large following. Writing for a niche is a marketing strategy more than anything. Since it allows you to know what your audience is and focus your content on that target.
Some writers focus on real crime, others on fictional stories, some prefer to stick to movies or series reviews, etc. Within each niche, there is an even smaller niche, and if you give them what they want, you’ll have a strong and loyal community.
So what if I want to be a free writer?
I totally understand you, since you are my tribe.
One problem many beginning writers face is that they aren’t comfortable limiting themselves to one genre. Sometimes your talent lies not in writing stories on a particular topic, but in writing in general.
I know very talented writers who are good at creating narratives, making poems, structuring opinions, etc. They are not good journalism writers or reviews writers, they are just good writers.
Although a niche can help you a lot when you start, many cases show that you can do it without one.
Why don’t I have a niche?
I used to have it, actually. If you have been paying attention, you will know that my blog was about psychology. For several months I began to write solely about mental illness and destigmatizing mental health. It is a subject that I love and I am passionate about.
In time, I couldn’t help but want to try new topics. Technology, music, freelancing, finance, etc. So against all advice, I started writing about whatever I wanted.
The result was very positive. I started getting my first viral stories. I did a review of some books I read, another article was about leadership, and recently my best story to date is about growing up on Medium.
I strongly believe that this happened because when you write about something that you want to talk about, your work will naturally be better. By feeling free to talk about different topics that you’re passionate about, you create something more pure and sincere, and writers perceive that.
You can make articles with clickbait titles looking to go viral, but if you’re not passionate about the topic, it will feel like a generic, pre-made article.
I don’t discount niches at all, I recommend trying to find one. However, it isn’t the only way to be a freelance writer.
You can try a period of writing for a niche, and then write about what you like and evaluate results. Some writers do both, they just have different blogs.
You can focus on writing for different publications on the topics you want to talk about. You can take advantage of different platforms to create different content on each one.
Whether you choose one niche or choose all niches, writing should be fun and rewarding. If it gets boring or distressing, you are not doing something right.
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