Should you write articles that will appeal to a broad audience or to a niche market?
Should you be a Generalist or become the Specialist or Expert in your field? Let’s compare the advantages of becoming the Specialist versus the Generalist…
Advantages of Specialisation:
1. Specialised knowledge
- You can quickly write expert articles that demonstrate your deep understanding of your subject.
- You can communicate in the jargon of your target market.
- You can recycle concepts and data so you don’t need to start from scratch every time you write an article.
2. Less competition
- You can dominate your niche at a lower cost. It can very expensive to bid for keywords in some competitive markets.
- You can position and brand yourself much easier with less competition.
- You can easily keep tabs on your few competitors.
3. Market research
- You can increase your efficiency and productivity because you only need to do one market research to produce a lot of articles.
- You can easily keep up-to-date with trends when you deal with only a small target market.
- You’ll save time by being familiar with the resources available in your field including relevant contacts.
4. Expert status
- Your reputation will command respect and draw people to you. People will want to be associated with you.
- You’ll be in-demand as you become the authority. People will approach you instead of you cold calling them.
- You can charge more when you are the Specialist in your field.
Advantages of being a Generalist compared to a Specialist:
- You’ll never get bored. There will always be something new to discover.
- You’ll never run out of ideas and become stale with the unlimited range of writing topics available.
- You have flexibility. You won’t be pigeon-holed so you can change writing direction and still command the same respect.
- You’ll have more security. Trends and competitors are of little threat to you as you’re not locked into a dead-end area of expertise.
- You can benefit from cross-pollination applying knowledge gained from one area to another.
- You will be perceived as open-minded and multi-skilled.
Should you choose to be a Generalist or a Specialist? It’s a matter of personal preference. Yes, Specialists can command higher fees but their livelihood can be short lived at the mercy of trends and a smaller group of followers.
Some writers have solved this dilemma by taking different pen names. They’ve built a solid reputation in different areas without looking like a jack-of-all-trades.