Home > Writing and Poetry > Finding The Writer’s Niche

Finding The Writer’s Niche

When I did my interview with Kevin de Avila, I hadn’t anticipated finding such a perfect writer’s niche in an emerging writer. It had never occurred to me that one’s homeland could be his niche in the writing world.

Kevin is a young man on a mission of sorts. He wants the world to know about his beloved homeland, The Azores. He’s proud of his Portuguese heritage and his island territory. That gives him a built-in niche.

For those who aren’t in the writing business, I’ll explain briefly what that all means. All writers have several things in common.

A desire to communicate something

An ability to string words and sentences together for greater understanding

A unique style of writing

A platform, whether organic or created deliberately for target audiences

A specific niche from which to write (not to be confused with writer’s platform)

Even if you only write letters to people one hundred miles away, you’ve accomplished several of these common traits. You’ve a desire to communicate something specific to a target audience, and you’re doing so from a platform (that of friend, acquaintance, business contact, etc.)

Congratulations! You’re just become a writer. You’re one kind of writer, at least.

In some ways you’ve also got a niche at that stage, which coincides with platform. Where the two specifications will differ is in intent. You’re a friend writing to someone whom you haven’t seen or heard from in a while. You want to re-establish contact–that’s your niche.

The platform would arrive if, as a friend, you also wanted the letter’s receiver to do or believe something specific. For instance, you write to me, chit-chat about the family and goings-on.

Near the bottom of the letter you say, “Oh, by the way, my son just began his new job with XXX. Boy, do they have a great list of goodies. You really need to check it out. They’ve just opened a new branch at 5th and Main in Anytown, USA. Why don’t you drop in and see what he can do for you?”

Your niche of friendship just got a partner called “Platform.” Whether that platform is temporary or not, it’s still there. It’s subtitled “Sales.” You’ve just gone from friend to salesman in one fell swoop.

Professional writer’s platforms are no different. There is always particular intent involved. You write to inform/persuade/influence or entertain is a specified direction. With niche the only trait necessary is passion for the subject and enjoyment of it.

Kevin de Avila is proud and passionate about his homeland. That’s why it’s his niche. He writes about it on a regular basis to express his feelings about it. It’s what he’s comfortable writing about, whether in fiction/non-fiction.

His platform aims to inform others of the news from that area. He also wants to persuade others from different cultures and nations to visit The Azores and discover for themselves the many attractions of the place and its people. It’s the persuasion and information that creates the platform.

Writers in today’s publishing world are told at the outset that they need to have a platform so that they can accurately target the appropriate audience. For many emerging writers, understanding what a platform is can be daunting in itself. I’ve seen so many definitions of platform that explanations soon failed to give me any comfort in knowing what I needed to do.

It wasn’t until it dawned on me that what everyone really meant was intent and comfort. The light bulb went on and confusion dissipated. If you want to entertain children, that’s your platform–your intent. Your comfort may be in only writing stories for older children or pre-schoolers. That’s up to you.

If you intend to persuade people that conservation of resources is absolutely necessary to the continuation of man, that’s your platform. Your comfort niche is all things eco-friendly.

And so on down the line. Somehow I can’t believe a vegetarian writing about meat-lovers recipes.

As for Kevin, he’ll begin his serious writing soon, I think. He’s driven. He’s capable. He has everything he needs. I think that now he also has his incentive to continue. He’s discovered that there are people interested in something he has to say. That makes all the difference in the world to a writer.

There you have it. Why something so simple as loving your country can create both niche and platform in equal measure. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this wrap-up of two subjects in one.

Tomorrow I’ll be ranting about technology–not the tech itself but the madness that goes with it and manual availability.

Until then, a bientot,




  1. December 1, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    The point still remains that you need to communicate with your reader or audience. How do you find your niche? That’s what I’m having a hard time on.

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