So last week, I talked about niche and why having one is so important. But I also talked about why it’s important to not get stuck choosing just ONE niche – what if we get bored? What if the work dries up?
Today I want to share my story with you; a story about how I changed niche about six months into my career and why it was the best thing I ever did.
I’m not just going to make it all me-me-me, though. I’m going to show you how you can leverage each point in your own business to sky-rocket your earnings and put yourself on the fast-track to success (because who doesn’t want that?!)
The Early Days
Back at the start of my career, I solely wrote travel pieces. I was writing destination blog posts for hostels, tour operators, and publications. I was writing copy for hotel brands, flight sites, and everything in between.
If it was associated with travel, I wanted in.
The reason I chose travel? Back in the day, Wanderful World was a travel blog. I wrote about travels I’d been on, trips I was going on, tips for travellers, and a bit of philosophy behind why we travel. It’s since evolved into a whole new beast, but back then I was on a one-track road to travel blogger-dom.
So it made sense for me to offer my services to travel companies. I had a whole site full of clippings, and I’d been to a fair few places to warrant myself an “expert” on certain destinations.
But after a few months? I was feeling burnt out. There were only so many times I could write about Barcelona in a different way, and I was sick and tired of describing hotels.
It turned out travel writing wasn’t the dream I had been hoping for.
But that wasn’t the only problem.
Before we dive in, don’t forget to grab your copy of 11 high-paying niches with specific job list examples.
Why I Decided to Switch Niches
Apart from the burnout, I was also starting to realise that writing in the travel niche wasn’t as profitable as I would have liked.
People were willing to write about their travels for free (because who doesn’t want to go to a party and say they’re a travel writer?!), so companies were reluctant to pay a decent price for pieces.
Sure, there were some publications and companies that offered great pay – and I’m still working with some of them today – but for the most part, it was pennies.
I’d be getting emails from travel companies daily asking me if I would write on their website for free.
In all honesty? I was getting pretty hacked off with the industry in general – the travel industry, that is.
It was at this point that I realised 2 things.
- I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing anymore. Writing became a blur – I was writing the same kinds of things for different companies, and I wasn’t really having to put my thinking cap on at any point. Basically, my mind was turning to mush because I wasn’t using it.
- I was stuck in a rut. I’d been earning the same amount for about six months in a row and, as hard as I was hustling, I couldn’t seem to top up my monthly income. I was getting $75 a piece here and there, but that doesn’t add up to much in the great scheme of things.
Changing niche was the only thing left to do.
Now, I know a lot of people might gasp in horror that, firstly, I wanted to step away from the travel world (don’t worry, I still LOVE travelling, I just don’t enjoy writing about it so much!), and, secondly, that I would even consider changing niche when I’d started to build up a great portfolio and a name for myself.
I was basically starting from scratch.
I had no clippings in the niche I wanted to go into, bar a few articles I’d written for a company I’d worked for 2 years previous. It was something, but I knew it would be hard work elbowing my way into a niche where there were already so many great writers.
Changing Niche From B2C to B2B
This was the biggest step, really. All of my previous clients had been in the B2C niche (that’s business to customer). As in, they were selling their products or services to the general public rather than other businesses.
My new niche, digital marketing, was aimed at businesses (B2B – businesses to businesses).
The language I used needed to be different, I needed to cater to an internet-savvy audience, and I needed to offer actionable content rather than inspiring content.
Now, I wasn’t jumping into the digital marketing niche blind. I’d worked in marketing for three years before I went freelance, so I knew the ins and outs of the digital world.
I’d also grown a considerable readership for my own blog, for which I had to be in the know about all things blogging, social media, and marketing.
I thought I’d struggle with the slim clippings I had, but I hoped my experience and blossoming blog would put me in good stead.
Honestly? It took a couple of months for brands to start biting, but once they did? Things just took off from there.
So Why Did Changing Niche Sky-Rocket My Business?
While I do mean this in an “it boosted my income a ton” kinda way, I also mean this in the way that my business has become more professional, more in demand, and just generally a tighter ship sailing the freelancing seas.
1. The Competition Isn’t as Stiff
It’s common knowledge that B2C topics are more popular than B2B topics. B2Cs include entertainment news, travel, fashion, fitness, and all sorts of other trendy things.
B2Bs are, for those who aren’t familiar with them, seen as dry and boring. I admit, when I first started freelancing, the thought of writing dull, corporate business content was about as appealing as an ice lolly on a winter’s day.
But that’s where the beauty of B2B writing lies.
Not all B2Bs are corporate, suit-wearing shenanigans blasting out promotional content left right and centre. Think of the Buffer’s of the world – these are fun and upcoming brands that produce AMAZING content. No stuffiness or fluffiness in sight.
But because so many people think B2B stuff is so stuffy, they remove themselves from the competition. Ergo, there are less people to contend with on every pitch.
2. I’m Learning on the Job
This is one of my favourite points in this post. Where with travel I was churning out the same content every day, not really learning much apart from the capital cities of certain places (which is never a bad skill to have if you love Trivial Pursuit as much as I do), I’m now learning new skills, trends, and techniques with every new piece I write.
I’m constantly having to stay on top of marketing trends, research the latest statistics, and delve into reports to dig out the juicy details.
Even better? I have to pare this information back so it’s readable for people at all marketing levels. This takes some skill, trust me.
But by learning new things every day, I’m adding to my skillset and arming myself with more knowledge I can share with potential clients. Sure, I didn’t know much about Facebook ads back when I started, but I know A LOT about them now, so I can pitch a wider variety of client.
3. I’m Getting Known for a Certain Thing
Travel is such a HUGE niche. There’s family travel, backpacking, luxury hotels, destination guides, tour operators, flight companies – it literally spans every person and every place.
Even though I was sticking to one particular niche, I wasn’t sticking to one particular area of that niche, so I wasn’t becoming known for anything in particular. I wasn’t niching down on my niche.
Now? I’m getting my byline out on numerous different websites as an expert in digital marketing for start-ups and small businesses. So, if a small business happens across my post on a client’s site and sees my all-singing, all-dancing byline, they might just reach out and ask me to write for them, too.
So, you’re probably wondering:
Do You Need to Write for B2Bs to Sky-Rocket YOUR Business?
What you do need to do is niche down your niche. So if you think you’re all well and good saying you’re a fashion writer, think again.
- Who do you write for?
- What specific skills can you bring to the table?
- What exactly do you write about fashion?
Answering these questions will bring you closer to becoming known as an expert and getting your name out there for a specific thing.
And if there’s not really an area you’re particularly knowledgeable on – learn!
Is there a niche you want to write about but are maybe too scared because you don’t think you know enough? Get out there and start to know enough, then!
- Start by choosing that area (really think about why this interests you in particular).
- Research the top blogs and websites in that niche. Add them to your blog reader, sign up for their newsletters, scour their latest blog posts. You can use a tool like BuzzSumo to find out what the top blogs are in the niche you’d like to write for. You can also tap into the wealth of books on Amazon here, too, for a deeper learning curve.
- You might also want to reach out to influencers in your niche. Again you can find them on BuzzSumo or by doing a quick Google search (“influencers in X niche”). When you reach out, ask them one or two questions about the niche that you want or need to know.
- Practice makes perfect. Write sample pieces in your niche using your new found knowledge – and remember, learning never stops! Keep reading those blogs, put what they’re saying into practice, and be critical of everything you read.
Have you seen an upward turn in your business? What caused the spike? If not, what do you need to sky-rocket your business?