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Must A Good Writer Be Niche'?

Ms. Carroll is a freelance writer who enjoys writing poetry, flash fiction and non-fiction on a myriad of topics.

First, Are You a Writer or a Blogger?

I've often contended I was a writer and not a blogger. I've dabbled in blogging but prefer writing. And there IS a difference between bloggers and writers in my mind. You can think of a blogger as a contributor or a content creator. A blogger might 'contribute' an opinion or a recipe, and though their content may be highly appealing and original, the content is more conversational in tone than formal. BUT a writer - well, that's a horse of a different color. Writers are essayists, journalists, authors. It is not required that one be published to be a writer. What is required is that one be skilled enough to convincingly write about something they know absolutely nothing about. To me, that's what sets bloggers and writers apart.

While some contend there is no difference between the two (after all, they both write), I contend that if you can effectively convey your passion about a topic which you know nothing about, then you've transcended from blogging to writing. You see, writing requires research. Just a few life experiences and you're off to the blogging races, but writing requires much more. It requires attention to detail, unstifled discipline, coherence and clarity, a very strong vocabulary, even stronger research skills, and above all else — PASSION! It's the PASSION that drives the energy to turn up every stone and takes one to the darkest corners of the Web searching for answers. It's passion that creates the most iconic fictional characters known to mankind. It's passion that diabolically arranges fragments into words and sentences over and over again until once finalized, they forever sting the heart and mind of a reader.

But there is two hard things- that is, to bring the moonlight into a chamber; for, you know, Pyramus and Thisby meet by moonlight Source: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM

But there is two hard things- that is, to bring the moonlight into a chamber; for, you know, Pyramus and Thisby meet by moonlight Source: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM

What is a Niche', Anyway?

This conversation began when I was told by a fellow Hubber that I needed to have a niche' to be successful on Hubpages. Wow! That was thought provoking. What is my niche'? I write about many things I have no life experiences to support. To me that takes talent and imagination, not a niche'. But IF I do draw on my life experiences to find my niche', well, things get complicated. I am a 40 year career paralegal in all facets of that business (criminal, civil, corporate, defense work, plaintiff's work, and even firm administration); I am a single parent of two amazing and successful children; I am a ten-year wilderness first responder; a certified aromatherapist; a self-taught student of naturopathic medicine and a survivor of auto-immune disease for nearly two decades; I am a property owner/manager who has successfully managed several properties for over a decade; I am a grandmother, an environmentalist, a cook but not a chef, a lover of all God's creatures, and last but not least, I am a PhD with the highest honors from the School of Ultimate Hard Knocks. Did I mention I can operate a chain saw, a table saw, a skill saw, and a build a mailbox post? I don't know how to confine that to a 47 word bio, much less a niche'. I think my niche' is called LIFE and for the LIFE of ME, I do not know how to drill that down to one, two or even three topics. In fact, I would assert that's why Hubpages allows it's writers or bloggers to have multiple bios to begin with, lest any of us look like we don't have a niche' when our niche's are actually so broad we can't call them niche's.

Do Good Writers Need a Niche'?

I'm making full circle here. Do good writer's even need a niche' to be a good writer or consequently, to be successful on Hubpages? I want to hear what you have to say but don't let my blogger's bias taint your opinion when I say niche's are overrated. After all, by its very definition, a niche' is some place comfortable or suitable to someone. I may sound like a Shakespearean echo here, but alas, "To be [niche'] or not to be, that is the question."

I truly don't mean to sound contrary, but niche's are a bloggers greatest soliloquy. Writer's, I purport, require an audience and that's what drives them. They don't write for themselves but for others. They write whether their topic is as right as the rain or as controversial as gun control; not well known but well-researched instead; fiction or non-fiction; or painfully formal and academic versus delightfully informal and creative. Monday I may write to environmentalists, Tuesdays I may write to essential oil lovers, Wednesday to property owners or lawyers; and so on. By Sunday, I may need a day of rest and simply crank out a blog. Does anyone see my point here?

The Problem with Writing is Money

My fellow hubber contended that in order to make money on Hubpages I needed to find my niche'. That statement ties niche's to income rather than talent. EVERY article I have written for Hubpages is featured. Perhaps I have talent despite not having a niche' and that is precisely what precludes me from making money on Hubpages despite hours and hours of time devoted to writing for Hubpages — I cannot say for certain.

But this I can say for certain. I would rather make pennies for my Hubs than make a fortune selling something I'm comfortable with and Hubpages gives me this OUT by claiming the majority of us will never make money on Hubpages. Ouch! How painful is the cruel blow of reality. I have talent but can't make money with it.

I want to live, to experience, to grow, to learn, and to change with every breath I take. I don't want to find a comfortable or suitable rock to blog under. I want to push the envelope, to challenge myself and my audiences. I want to inhale deeply and exhale with brazen disregard for the establishment. I could NEVER be so niche'.

So I guess I will humbly keep making pennies on Hubpages despite all those featured articles and affiliate referrals. It's a sad day when a writer concedes they can't sustain themselves as a writer financially (especially when others ARE financially benefiting who don't even write), but it's never sad day when a writer refuses to sell themselves out.

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"To be or not to be." It's not just the question. It is the answer.


Vicki Carroll (author) from Birmingham, AL on October 08, 2020:

It's sad*

Vicki Carroll (author) from Birmingham, AL on October 08, 2020:

Thanks for your comments. I feel good knowing someone else understands where I'm coming from. I'm said that online freelance writing is so skewed toward niche's. REAL writing takes TREMENDOUS effort. Hats off to you!

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on October 07, 2020:

My last comment was submitted before I finished writing it for some reason. I want to add that I am a freelance writer so I am always writing things for a diverse list of clients that I would never consider writing for myself. Therefore, I use HubPages to write whatever I want and as a form of literary expression, not to earn money. What little I do make here is just a bonus. I write for both myself and my regular audience

I loved you explanation of the difference between a writer and a blogger by the way.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on October 07, 2020:

What an excellent article, Vicki. I have been writing here at HubPages for eleven years, and been told multiple times "to be successful here you need a niche." I write on a variety of subjects and although a good portion of my writing is poetry, it is on a wide range of subjects and is in different styles. I also write short fiction and essays etc.

Another thing you are told constantly in forums id, "Poetry and fiction is not suited one searches for those on the Internet."

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