Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What's your writing specialty?

All the biggest earners seem to have nailed down a specialty - tech writing, annual reports, direct mail, sales letters. Maybe they started off in a field that was related, and just kind of morphed into writing about that narrow area. It didn't take long before they became experts. They get the lingo, the expectations of their market.

But most writers start out as generalists. As in... generally, they'll write about anything!

For a long time I thought of myself as a generalist. And I wondered when my specialty niche would magically appear. I figured that eventually I'd stumble onto some strange little corner of writing that really lit my fire. In the meantime, I built a business on articles, press releases, website copy, sales letters, ebooks, and some direct mail. Doesn't sound too specialized, does it?

But it occurred to me that it's a lot more specialized than it seems.

For example, I don't do medical writing, technical stuff, manuals, translations, grants, annual reports, scripts, or a bunch of other stuff clients ask for. For those things, I refer out. I could probably learn how to do some of these things (and they might be profitable, too), but I stay too busy writing for my clients (and increasingly, for my own publications) that it doesn't seem like it would be worth working through the learning curve.

How about you? Are you developing any specialties in your writing business?

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