Monday, February 15, 2010

Testing Out a New Specialty

I’m working on breaking into a new industry niche I’ve been researching for the past four months or so. A lot of experienced writers and other professionals say that specializing in a specific niche like legal, medical or financial content/copywriting makes it easier to earn a larger income. It makes it easier to become a big fish in a small pond.

Sometimes choosing a specialty is simple. Amy Derby once worked as a paralegal making her transition to a blogging expert for lawyers a natural one. Yolander Prinzel’s financial background seems to have paid off since establishing herself as a go-to financial writer. But there are times when you find a niche that interests you but you lack instant credibility and industry experience. So what then?

Breaking In

Some niches are much easier to break into than others. The real estate market is one example. Sure, you get instant credibility if you were an agent or broker, but if you've never worked in real estate yet understand the ins and outs of the industry (especially on a local level) and make the right connections, you can still make a name for yourself.

You can also specialize in certain “mediums.” Specialize in writing white papers like Michael Stelzner. You could do the same with ebooks, sales letters and squeeze pages.

Testing the Waters

One way to see if a specialty will work for you is to set up a blog aimed at your target audience and just go for it. If you’re targeting real estate agents, you could write about the latest web marketing strategies and how they can be used to reach more prospective home buyers.

If you’re specializing in writing ebooks, you could discuss the benefits of viral marketing with free ebooks, repurposing web content to create ebooks or how to develop a profitable how-to series. You can even ad a bi-weekly newsletter to help you create a list of leads.

You still need to do your research to find out if there’s a viable market for the specialty you plan to service. Setting up a blog with valuable information your audience can really use allows you to test drive the idea first.


Lori said...

My specialty came accidentally. I was hired into it on a full-time basis. I didn't think I could do it, didn't think I'd like it. Here I am ten years later, specializing in it.

I like your suggestion of putting up a blog, Kim. I've weeded out a few specialties by doing so. It showed me that my interest in those topics wasn't enough to make a career of it. I did find a few areas I wasn't aware I'd like, so it works both ways. :)

Kimberly Ben said...

Thanks, Lori, but I really can't take the credit for that idea. I was reading the transcripts from Brian Clark's Freelance X Factor last year and saw it suggested there. I'm glad to hear that it's worked well in helping you weed out specialties. That's what I was hoping.

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