Guest post by Harriet Hodgson
I did not choose my current niche -- grief resources -- my niche chose me. Four of my loved ones, including my elder daughter and the mother of my twin grandchildren, died in 2007. After these loved ones died in succession I did extensive research on multiple losses and grief. So writing about multiple losses, grief reconciliation, coping, and recovery is my niche. It is a tough one. Books, booklets, videos, CDs and other products in this niche well only when consumers need them. Grief counselors and psychologists also buy these resources. Some publishers in my niche have gone out of business. Others are just trying to move existing inventory. Could niche marketing boost sales?
Eric K. Clemons, Paul f. Nunes and Matt Reilly explain the new niche marketing in their May 24, 2010 "Wall Street Journal" article, "Six Strategies for Successful Niche Marketing." They think niche marketing is more than avoiding crowded and cluttered mass markets. Today, it is looking for "unique market sweet spots, those areas that resonate so strongly with target consumers that they are willing to pay a premium price.
The authors use jeans, nutrition bars, and premium ice cream as examples. Though the "sweet spot" approach may be applied to book marketing, it needs to be used a bit differently. Consumers are still buying books, but they are looking for bargains. Though you can still write in your niche, you may have to write shorter books or even booklets.
If you do not have a niche you may wish to establish one and it begins with answering these questions:
* What kind of writing do you enjoy most?
* What kind of writing do you do most?
* Is your style selling?
* Are you qualified to write on this topic?
* Do thousands of listings pop up when you search the Internet for your name?
* Have you developed talks to promote sales?
* Are you relaxed on radio, blog radio, and television?
Sherice Jacob, author of "Get Niche Quick!" thinks niche marketing comes down to what drives you to write. "What do you feel you could truly make a difference with, just by words alone,?" she asks. Once you have come up with your niche you need to determine if it is saturated. Other others may have written about this topic, yet you may have something new to bring to it.
"By putting a fresh new perspective to it can attract a whole new audience," Jacob observes.
Reviewing your niche every so often is a good idea. Because my niche is challenging and rewarding, I have decided to stay in my established niche. You may decide to stay in your niche or move on to another. Do not feel guilty about either decision. A new niche is an exciting place and an old niche is a comfortable one. Your niche, whatever it may be, should allow you to explore, stretch, and grow. After all, that is what writing is all about.
Copyright 2010 by Harriet Hodgson
Harriet Hodgson has been an independent journalist for decades. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Association of Health Care Journalists, and Association for Death Education and Counseling. Her 24th book, "Smiling Through Your Tears: Anticipating Grief," written with Lois Krahn, MD is available from Amazon.
Centering Corporation has published her 26th book, "Writing to Recover: The Journey from Loss and Grief to a New Life" and a companion journal with 100 writing jump-starts. Hodgson is a monthly columnist for the new "Caregiving in America" magazine, which resumes publication in August. She is also a contributing writer for the Open to Hope Foundation website. Please visit her website and learn more about this busy author and grandmother.