Go to any decent market list and begin pulling out submission guidelines for magazines and journals. No writer can miss at least a glittering handful in the first half hour of perusal. Each day new avenues open for novice and pro alike.
The health and wellness subject niches, for instance, go on for pages, as do those for popular sports. If you’re into art or the sciences, sit down and prepare to study the pages for a while. If you haven’t chosen a possible niche, study a non-fiction market list to find areas you feel comfortable in or which fascinate you. That study is your beginning.
Here’s an example of how one topic can grow a series of articles or eBooks, expert or not—the tiny house movement.
Here’s where non-fiction and its close cousin, creative-non-fiction come together.
The modern tiny house movement began well over a decade ago with Jay Shafer. Oh, there were others as well, but Jay took the movement mainstream. The subject is fascinating standing on its own. It can go into various avenues.
Try interviews with those who’ve chosen the tiny house life, or who’ve planned for minimalistic living, or convinced friends and family that they’ve not lost their minds when they choose to downsize to less than 200 sq. ft. of living space. All directions are available for the wily writer, and have created niches for lots of people.
Let’s assume that you’re a writer who discovered this niche early on.
- You wrote about the tiny houses on trailers, their needs, their satisfactions, etc.
- You moved on to the types of appliances that could work in such tiny kitchens and how to live without tons of storage in the bathroom.
- You’ve written about downsizing your clothing needs, even as you speculate on an owner’s needs concerning employment requirements.
- The possibilities of moving a tiny house around the country to follow the seasons and explore the opportunities that arrive with such movement.
- You realize that many people who can’t live in less than 200 sq. ft. are opting to buy or build small bungalows from larger pre-fab shed and garage kits.
- This turned you on to a different vein of the subject and you moved into other niches.
You see now why I say that the niches create themselves each day. Consider this an exercise in creative permutations. Extrapolation is a non-fiction writer’s mainstay at times. It can not only “save your bacon,” it can put that bacon on your table, too.
In today’s marketing world, one piece of advice seems to swim successfully in the sea of online and print markets.
MAKE YOUR OWN NICHE
Whether you stick to only one or spread yourself out into several arenas, look for the seemingly insignificant trail or clue, and follow it. Then report it to the world.
With tiny houses as our example, the writer has dozens of avenues.
- Housing plans
- Zoning regulations for your town/city/county
- Appliances used in tiny houses
- Clothing and how much is really necessary
- Heating/cooling requirements for a tiny house
- Citizen status for owners of tiny house on wheels who don’t have permanent addresses (this is a trickier subject than one would expect—ask full-time RVers.)
- Banking practices
- Work practices for owners
- On and On
So you don’t want to write about tiny houses or what they contain. What if you’re into environmental issues? Tiny house movement lends itself well to that subject, too. Or what about social demographics? Education?
Every subject carries ties to dozens of others. The non-fiction writer doesn’t have to work very hard to find something to write about. Marketing is the issue.
But if you’ve spent time—say a couple of days—looking through the desired topics on market lists and what they’ve published in the past few years, you have already done most of your homework. At this stage you have only to pull together your facts, figures, and a few expert opinions.
The article will write itself, backed by the enthusiasm you carry inside your mind’s bucket of curiosity. If you haven’t tried your hand at non-fiction, or haven’t ventured there recently, go back. Look into it again. Between online and print markets, plus eBook possibilities pleading for content, a good writer who can produce worthy non-fiction can add more to their coffers than credentials.