Over all these years of blogging, I’ve mentioned niches 126 times, but written specifically about them 7 times. I’ve talked about niches as it applies to blogging, writing, images and blog commenting. Now it’s time to take it into a different direction.
It’s time to talk about business and niches, and I don’t mean affiliate marketing. Well, I might, but only in passing. It might not even be talking about niches, but careers; let’s get into it.
For those of you who are new around here, let me talk about myself for a quick moment. I could just send you to my About page, but most of you wouldn’t go there, and I need to set this up properly. For those of you who might want to know a bit more than what I’m going to mention here, check that out.
I’m a sole proprietor in the health care field. Officially I’m a health care revenue cycle consultant, and I almost exclusively work with hospitals across the country. It’s the area I’ve made the majority of my income in over almost 19 years; ouch!
I’m also a leadership, diversity, customer service and all around business trainer and speaker. I’ve written two books on leadership, both of which you can see on the left sidebar, and I’ve traveled to 7 or 9 states speaking on these topics.
I’ve also written tons of articles, for myself and others. I’ve also been blogging for 15 years in a week or two; that’s a pretty good record. There’s probably 3 or 4 more things I’ve made money on over the years; it never hurts to be diversified when it comes to making money, because in almost all fields there’s always periods of downtime.
If I were asked what my business niche was, I’d seriously have to give it a lot of thought. I’ve made most of my money in health care, but I’ve done the most work in writing and social media. I like working with others, but only when I’m in the mood to do so… or unless it’s paying me very well.
The thing is you can have a career and a niche be separate things, but you need to be cautious with it for a number of reasons. I’m going to share and explain those reasons, with a caveat; many of these won’t actually apply to me.
1. Your employer might not want you writing about what you do.
There are a number of business fields where the rules are tight in those industries. If you work in insurance or investing, you might have an employer that holds you to a stringent standard of what you can talk or write about.
2. Your employer might not want you making money in other ways.
One of my online friends ran into this issue. Even though she didn’t tell anyone where she worked that she was blogging and writing on a different topic, someone spilled the beans to management. They gave her a hard time about it and she had to shut it down for a while in order to keep her job. Unlike New York, not all states are what’s known as “right to work”, which means she didn’t have a lot of options if she wanted to stay employed.
3. It might make marketing difficult.
I’ve mentioned some of the things I do and have done to make money over the years. I market all of them, though in slightly different ways. Without a consistent marketing plan for one specific niche, you could find yourself beating against a wall or two because sometimes those who might hire you might wonder where your loyalties lie.
4. You need to have proficiency in your niche if it’s different than your career.
This is the biggest issue of them all; I can say that since I don’t have an employer. Too many blogs you visit will tell you that you need a niche to make money blogging. I’m not going to totally dissuade you from the belief because, in its own way, it’s true. Yet, I see way too many people writing about things they really don’t have an idea about.
I bet you’ve visited a lot of blogs (or article sites) offering advice on how to make money blogging. Would it surprise you to know that probably 99% of those telling you how to do it aren’t really making any money? What they’re doing it marketing a product, hoping you’ll buy it so they can brag about the money they made from it.
I’ll also bet you’ve visited a lot of websites offering medical advice of some kind. Have you noticed how a lot of them not only talk about the same thing, but use the same wording most of the time? Those are actually the easiest articles to write and the easiest to find a product to make money with.
How do I know? Because I used to write a lot of those articles for other people; research is easy. 🙂 Luckily, one of my niches is writing, and I’m good at research, which means I altered the language so it didn’t sound like everyone else.
The purpose of any niche is to use it to do one of two things; promote yourself as an authority in it or make money from it. Whether it’s blogging or business, you can have many niches if you’re dedicated to them and actually know something about them. All of us can be an authority on a multitude of things; all it takes is knowledge, confidence, and the ability to communicate your authority on the topic.
As it applies to me, I consider myself a multiple niche business person. I also consider myself as someone who doesn’t go outside of my knowledge base unless it’s a researchable topic. I think it’s the way to go for most people; I also believe it’s something most people never think about doing.
My question to you is whether your niche is your career, and if it’s not do you consider yourself proficient at it? I doubt many people will answer honestly (I’m an eternal skeptic), but it’ll be interesting to find out. Maybe you’ll come to an epiphany; maybe I will too. Let’s find out together!