Book Marketing - To Niche or Not to Niche

By Karen Cioffi

I was recently asked about having a marketing niche. The writer wanted to know what a niche was and if it was important. Since there might be other authors/writers out there who aren't sure I'll share my answer here.

A marketing niche is simply a specific topic you’re focusing on. One writer may write for children, another may write business content. Then there are also more specific niches: writing children’s picture books or writing specifically on business incentives in the business arena.

And, there are niches within niches. In the writing arena, you can be a children’s author, a romance author, a nonfiction writer, a biographer, a ghostwriter, or copywriter, among a number of other niches. So, to say you’re a writer, while it may be true, it’s not specific enough. It doesn’t give the listener, reader, or viewer enough information about you and what you have to offer.

Having a specific niche is important so you can create the element of expertise in it. This doesn’t mean you can’t have more than one niche, but you do need to keep them separate and promote each separately.

For an example, I’m a children’s writer of picture books through middle grade books. I’m also a nonfiction health, business, and marketing writer.

If I had one website for all these niches, I wouldn’t be focused. And when marketing, who would I market to? I wouldn’t want to bring people looking for health information to a children’s book site or vice versa.

You can’t market to everyone; you need to decide exactly who you will focus your marketing efforts on. And, that audience needs to be brought to a site that focuses on that niche.

The adage, ‘jack of all trades, master of none,’ comes into play. You don’t want to be known as someone who knows a little on a lot of things. You want to be known as a master, or expert, in one or two specific fields or niches.

Karen Cioffi is an award-winning author, ghostwriter, and author/writer online marketing instructor. Check out her e-class through WOW! Women on Writing at:
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Mary Jo Guglielmo said...

Great post Karen. It also takes more work to maintain multiple websites. I tend to focus on one niche for a while and then come back to the others. Probably not the best marketing tool.

Karen Cioffi said...

Mary Jo, you're so right. It does take work to maintain multiple sites, that's why you need to be focused on what's important and profitable to you.

You're also right that not being consistent in a marketing area is not the best thing to do. Why not choose two niches that your really want to excel in, be an authority in, and market steadily on those. You can test it out to see how that works.

Magdalena Ball said...

Good point Karen. I do sometimes find myself spread thin between all my different interests and work areas and maybe focusing in a bit more on my 'niche' or separating them out, would help.

Karen Cioffi said...

Maggie, that's what I've been trying to do and it is making a difference. The only thing I recommend is if you have multiple sites, you should post to the 'less' primary ones at least once a month. This is if you want the search engines to consider it active.

T. Forehand said...

I think focusing is one of the most difficult things a writer does because there are tons of ideas constantly circulating and many times in different niches, often hard to buckle down and follow through with one or two at a time. Great post,

Karen Cioffi said...

Terri, that's so true. There are so many options for writers that it can be very difficult to choose which to focus on . . . and then stick to one or two.

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