According to Marketing Insider Group, content saturation is pushing companies to write specific content to rank above competitors. This focused content helps draw in new buyers and cements relationships with current ones—for this reason, the demand for niche content creators is growing by the day.
But what if you’re writing niche posts for readers who know more than you about a subject? How do you create authoritative-sounding content when you’re not even sure where to begin?
You’re not alone if you feel this way. Many content creators begin as generalists, and that’s okay. But if you’ve got the writing chops, the marketing skills, and the SEO savvy, you can certainly write about niche industries.
Here’s how to get started with niche article writing.
1. Understand what niche writing is.
Previously, niche writing meant you wrote for a certain small market, like 3D manufacturing, or for a specialty business like a goat rental service (yes, you can rent goats).
While the term still encompasses the original meaning, now it also covers laser-focused content for any market. Don’t just write about the newest pet watering systems available. Instead, write about the technology that made those watering systems possible.
By narrowing your focus, you begin to answer questions and solve problems your buyer hasn’t yet thought of. This kind of subtle difference helps your content stand out.
Next time you brainstorm content topics, create your list as you normally do. Then take a second look at every topic and figure out how you can distill each down by one more level. This technique often leads to surprising and delightful ideas your readers have never seen before.
2. Know your audience.
If you don’t know who you’re writing for, it’s unlikely you’ll ever create valuable content for your customer.
You should always understand who your audience is and be able to target subject and intent to those specific buyer personas. You may be writing to a single audience all the time or you may have to design content to appeal to different personas through different posts. But you should always have a complete understanding of:
- what your reader knows,
- how they’ll use your content, and
- the reaction they may have to it.
It’s also important you use metrics to understand what’s driving audience growth to your site. Why did one post get shared hundreds of times while the other sat with only a few reads? Heatmaps, on-site metrics, or tools like HootSuite can help keep track of on- and off-page audience participation.
As you track how readers are interacting and sharing your content, you’ll be able to better understand how to tailor later posts.
3. Tell a story.
Writing boils down to telling a story. That holds true whether you’re writing a novel or writing a blog post about how drones can be used to minimize COVID-19. If you’ve told your story well, your customer should leave your content feeling like they’ve engaged with a real, tangible person, not words on a page.
They should feel happy, cared for, interested, energetic—anything but apathetic.
Maker’s Row is a great example of a company that does a great job of this. The company acts as a clearinghouse that matches fashion designers with small-batch American manufacturers.
Content has to appeal to both groups, so posts run the gamut from the advantages of batch manufacturing to the traits of successful mompreneurs. But regardless of topic, it’s always engaging.
The trick to presenting a story on a blog is understanding how your content relates to the lives of those who read it. Consider these questions to guide your writing process:
- What problem are you solving for your reader?
- How will they feel when they read your words?
- Why would they want to share your story?
4. Watch videos, and listen to podcasts and audiobooks.
Whatever your preferred way of taking in information, you should invest in books, podcasts, and audiobooks about any new topics you’ll be writing about.
Most niche subjects, no matter how small, have a wealth of audio and visual content about them. What’s more, most are freely available.
Don’t get stuck on YouTube. Use sites like:
- The Internet Archive – This web-based library is full of music, movies, software, and books. It’s also the first place to look if you’re searching for historical content or old news reports.
- TED Talks – Some of the most influential people on the planet talk about everything from global warming to Peruvian shamans to the art of Georgia O’Keeffe.
Listening to a podcast is also a great way to spark an idea for a blog post. Podcasts are widely available on apps like Stitcher and Spotify. In addition, don’t forget to check industry sites for an embedded podcast.
Lastly, try using OverDrive to borrow audiobooks if you need to do a deeper dive into a subject. If you’re a member of your local library, you can easily get audiobooks delivered straight to your computer or phone.
5. Keep learning as much as you can from everywhere.
Maybe you’ve seen that old ‘80s movie Working Girl, where a secretary upends and steals her boss’s billion dollar deal by doing better research, using everything from Forbes to The Post to the society page.
It’s hokey and dated now, but despite the big hair and bigger shoulder pads, the movie does a great job at showing how hard work and unique research pays off in spades.
Compelling content pulls from everywhere. Successful content writers read and follow content from all over the web. You’ve been told a thousand times to follow competitors’ blogs, and you definitely should. But don’t forget to read blogs outside your industry, too. Any well-written blog can spark a great idea.
As you’re browsing and reading, make sure to track sites that allow guest blogging, even those currently above your skill set. When you’re ready to reach out later, you’ll have a great list to work from.
6. Ask questions.
Google is great, but people are better. Don’t be afraid to use the contacts you already have to learn more about a niche subject. Ask your coworkers about their hobbies and hidden skills. Find your in-house subject matter experts and set up a time to talk to them, too. And don’t forget your own network.
When you begin by dialoguing with the people closest to you, a surprising thing happens: the conversation takes weird and unexpected turns you never would have thought of on your own. These conversations will often naturally lead you to a question to develop niche content from.
Remember: your primary skill is writing. But any content creator will tell you learning something new is half the thrill of the job. And the thrill never stops. You will always have something more to learn—and this applies to your writing as well, especially when it comes to SEO and keyword research.
Niche writing will depend on all of these skills, but the effort is worth it. Write focused content for your customers and you’ll start seeing impressive results, whether as a freelancer or writer for an agency.
About the Author
Technology writer Marla Keene works for AX Control Inc, an industrial automation supplier located in North Carolina. Her articles have been featured on Medium, JaxEnter.com, and Allbusiness.com. Before working for AX Control, Marla spent 12 years running her own small business.