How much do I need to know about a niche to be qualified to specialize in it?

When specializing in a niche, you should be pretty familiar with the topics before branding yourself as an expert. After all, your clients are going to be paying you top-dollar for your expertise and specialty.

Research the industry thoroughly, familiarize yourself with all the major players, and maybe even practice writing a few pieces on spec.

But don’t worry about not having all the answers before you dive in.

If an issue comes up with a client that you’re not sure how to handle, you can always consult your network of AWAIers, or refer to one of the AWAI programs that explains how to deal with your particular issue.

If you haven’t nailed down a niche yet, Pam Foster explains how to choose a niche and how to make sure there’s enough demand for it to keep you busy in her program How to Choose Your Writing Niche. It’s a detailed step-by-step guide to selecting and marketing yourself in a niche.

Once you’ve chosen your niche, you’ll need to establish yourself as an expert … here are some tips to do that!

  • Name your business to reflect your specialized area
  • Prepare your website
  • Create your portfolio
  • Optimize your content
  • And then, of course, market yourself!

Get involved with local communities related to your niche. Is there a trade association you can participate in? Are there any live events you can attend?

Getting involved with these groups will make you feel more comfortable when approaching new clients!

For more great free advice on finding a niche market that’s just right for you, check out these excellent articles by Pam Foster and Steve Slaunwhite. You can also search the free AWAI Article Archive and type the keyword “niche” in the search box.

Finally, keep in mind you’ll be most successful in a niche that interests you and that you are passionate about. Your writing won’t feel like work!

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