How niche can you go?

13640389_mSometimes the corny part of my brain likes to indulge in hokey titles, and here is one.

Having said that, my focus in this post is inspired by this article I read in the Travel Writers Exchange entitled “Are You Niche Enough?”  As a freelancer, it’s crucial to have general reporting skills, especially if you want an editor’s confidence.  As a generalist, you take whatever topic or story comes your way and you run with it.

Specialization, on the other hand, can enrich your writing and better inform your reader.  By focusing your reporting and research in specific areas, you may create writing with depth and immediacy, if you stay focused on your objective.

This brand new endeavor of mine is “travel writing.”  Niche enough?  According to Janice Waugh, probably not.

There is a challenge inherent in the genre as there is with any nonfiction work.  It’s part personal essay and kind of like memoir and needs to include good, solid reporting. The trick is to choose the right point of view and voice to make the piece more than just a travel journal.

Recognizing all that and reviewing my vision for Ground, Not Sky I become aware that I can write for a super-micro-ultra-specific niche. Break down my personal interests and my characteristics, where I’m going, why and how – most important right now is who.  What are the niche-est (I’m sure that’s not a word) things about me?

  • Caucasian female convert to Islam
  • Born-and-raised-in-America Muslim
  • All the above with a headscarf on top, long-sleeved shirts and long skirts. Yes, in summer.

I’m like a nano-minority in the Muslim world and a micro-minority in America.  But to be a functional niche writer, I need to focus on more than demographics.  What does it mean to be a hijabi Muslim traveling alone on the interstates and train rails of America?

My task over the next couple of weeks will be to figure out how my who impacts my what while I’m where and how the where creates a what.  Ya know?

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Janice
    Jul 07, 2013 @ 20:47:15

    Hi GroundNotSky,

    Interesting post. Interesting blog!

    A niche is not always about demographics or a specific style of travel – especially online. A blog can be niche simply by offering a unique world view. And this, by the sounds of things, is what you will do. As you write more, your niche will become more clear. I suspect that you won’t fall into any standard category but I think that you will be niche enough. People will be able to say “it’s a travel blog about…”. If they can do that, you’ve found a niche.

    I’m signing up to follow your posts.

    Janice

    Reply

  2. groundnotsky
    Jul 07, 2013 @ 21:07:54

    Thanks for the guidance, Janice! I’m following you as well. Feel free to comment anytime!

    Reply

  3. Trisha
    Jul 08, 2013 @ 15:22:13

    Hello GroundNotSky,

    Thanks for the link – glad to know you found some inspiration at our site!

    Janice is correct – your perspective is unique, and will no doubt appeal to other muhajjibah who love to travel….and that makes your writing niche enough. Just be sure that whatever you write about, it’s clear what your perspective is.

    Good luck!

    Reply

  4. groundnotsky
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 09:58:56

    Thanks, Trisha!

    Reply

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