We review ebooks, courses and tools for writers, so you can make good decisions about how to invest in your writing career.
About the creator: John Soares has been a full-time freelance writer since 1994. He is most known for ProductiveWriters.com, his main website for freelance writers, and his main niche is writing for higher education companies.
Who It’s For: New and seasoned freelance writers alike.
What It Will Help You Do: The course explains why you should specialize, then guides you through the process of choosing niches that offer you the best chance of success.
What’s Included: A three-part ebook and six exercises to help you implement what you learn.
Part One (10 pages): Why You Should Specialize. This section examines all the advantages of being a specialist, looks at why most generalists don’t get paid as well as specialists do.
Part Two (6 pages): How to Choose Your Niches. You get detailed guidance on how to mine your own experience and interests to find the niches likely to make you the most money.
Part Three (9 pages): What to Do Now. This section helps you to develop a game plan to move forward once you’ve determined your niches.
The Best Part: Doing the exercises forced me to go deeper and brainstorm some niche areas that I hadn’t considered before, like writing about parenting. I’ve got two toddlers and I’m not sure whom I consider an expert in parenting (therapists, pediatricians, etc.?), but I felt like I had to be one in order to write about it.
I think it’s easy for writers to feel that way about subjects we’re interested in, but it doesn’t have to hold us back. I’ve started by writing (for free) for Liberating Working Moms and have some paid projects coming up talking about pregnancy, birth, infancy, etc. I think I limit myself more than anything!
What Would Make It Even Better: There were a few instances where John said to “Google something” or go somewhere else for more information, but didn’t provide a link. A link as a starting point would be helpful, but I don’t like when I’m reading a book about how to do something and the author tells me to do more research; that’s why I’m here!
He also refers to his “success resources page” quite a bit and tells the reader to go there for more information. Again, that’s why I bought this book.
How It Changed My Life: As I alluded to above, I think the biggest growth I’ve had is in reevaluating my niches and the self-imposed limitations I’ve put on my writing subjects. Some of my niches were givens — for instance, my background is in personal finance, so it’s a natural fit.
I also solidified several other niche options I hadn’t previously considered. Going forward, I plan to focus on finance, health and fitness, parenting and freelancing. Even though these are my “primary niches,” I’m not going to limit myself to only seeking out jobs in these areas. It is important to specialize, but it’s also important to stay open to learning new things and using different writing muscles.
Our Recommendation: Overall, the course was a good read, priced right and would be great for a writer who feels lost when it comes to the niches he should focus on or which potential niches he should consider trying.
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