Every so often, the phrase, “find your niche” comes up. I’ve searched for a definition several times, and each time found a different answer. It boils down to this:
Does niche mean finding the type of copywriting to excel in?
Does it mean the subject areas that I specialize in?
I think the answer is, “yes.”
Let’s say I create web content for chiropractors, so I could say that was my niche: Web content for chiropractors. I become an expert in the field of chiropractic, and use my knowledge to produce technically-correct content.
How well do I know the chiropractic practice I’m writing for? How do they approach patient knowledge? Do they specialize in a particular area, such as sports? Is the practice new and up-and-coming, or well-established?
Regardless of my knowledge in a subject area, I still need to get to know my client and their personality. So, I do all I can to learn as much about the individual practice as possible.
But I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’d be bored writing about one topic in only one format. Which is why I like to diversify. Besides, no one has ever asked, “Do you specialize in chiropractors?” Instead I’m asked, “Have you ever written a newsletter, website, script, white paper, etc.”
Therefore, not only do I research the client, but the subject area as well. If provided with a creative brief—great! But I like to go a step further to find out as much as I can about the topic, as well as the company and their competitors. (After all, aren’t writer supposed to be curious and inquisitive?)
My latest three clients have completely different businesses, and each has wanted something different. And in all three cases, I’ve learned their business—and their niche—so that I could deliver a great web-based training site, article, and white paper.
P.S. Is there a correct way to pronounce niche?There are several ways to pronounce niche, and what you use seems to depend on which dictionary you consult and its pronunciation recommendations.Some dictionaries, such as Dictionary.com, list only one pronunciation: “nitch,” with no variants.
On the other hand, Pronunciation Hub has a YouTube video where the only pronunciation they share is “neesh.”
The American Heritage Dictionary (4th Edition) lists two pronunciations: “nitch” and “neesh.”
Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary lists several pronunciations for niche: “nitch,” “neesh,” and "nish.”
In the case of Merriam-Webster’s entry, the first pronunciation — “nitch”— seems to be the most widely accepted form and the variants follow. But personally, I’m a “neesh” girl.