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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Five Steps to Creating your Content Marketing Niche

Last week, I presented, moderated, and learned an incredible amount at ASJA's Content Connections conference in Chicago. My next series of posts (and Tweets) will share some of the valuable information I learned there. Make sure you tune in! 

Content marketing is, quite simply, where the money is. Corporations spent more than 40 billion dollars last year on content marketing and that number is likely to climb. Companies need writers who can create the content--whether in print pubs, online, in employee publications, white papers, you name it--that the companies than use to establish relationships with their customers. And if you freelance already, you probably already have the skills to get into the field--if you know what your niche should be. 

In a panel on selling yourself to potential clients, content marketing writer Jennifer Goforth Gregory gave this five-step method to determining your content marketing niche: 

1. Look at all of your recent clips. Make a list of the subjects you've covered. 

2. Review the list of subjects and create a new list of the topics you've covered at least three-five times. These topics are possible niches. 

3. Consider your background and experience. What other topics do you know about already? What expertise do you have? Add those subjects to your list of niches.

4. Now, the big question: who needs this information? Jennifer gave the example of writing about a zero-waste hotel. What kinds of readers might be interested in this kind of topic? Well, hotel owners, certainly. Restaurant owners, too, because the hotel that had become zero-waste had made many of those changes in its restaurant. Companies and businesses interested in going green, or using green technology to help them create less waste, cut costs, and attract environmentally-minded customers. Create a list of potential audiences who are interested in your topic(s). 

5. Now research the brands and companies that market to those audiences. Those companies are your potential content marketing clients. 

Is it really that easy? Sure thing, says Jennifer. The next step? Creating an LOI to introduce yourself to a potential content marketing client. That's coming next. 

**Want to know more about content marketing? Check out Jennifer's fantastic blog, which I highly recommend. And read more about it--and the other forms of ghostwriting work available today--in my latest book, Goodbye Byline, Hello Big Bucks: Make Money Ghostwriting Books, Articles, Blogs, and More, Second Edition.  [Don't have a Kindle? Download from Smashwords. You'll find advice on creating your own niche, marketing your ghostwriting services (with LOIs and other templates), contract tips, and how to work efficiently (and make more money) as a ghostwriter of both long- and short-form writing.]