A freelancer needs a niche to survive

Of course they do.

Because just like news organizations, the niche pays and the general does not.

I’m not writing this from experience, of course, because as a young freelance journalist, it’s nothing I’ve developed. But, in more than a half year, I have at least learned that any freelance writer, journalist, Web developer, grant writer or anyone else who gets their own work independently must develop an area of focus and attention.

I don’t know Jen A. Miller much at all, but the still young though experienced freelance journalist is developing herself as a byline quite synonymous with the Jersey Shore.

She earned herself the niche with her book, the 2008 published The Jersey Shore, Atlantic City to Cape May: Great Destinations: A Complete Guide, and has smartly continued dominating the space with her. She also has herself an editor gig in the South Jersey bureau of beautiful glossy N.J. Monthly. She stays on her hustle elsewhere, too. It’s nothing new for her, but in just the past two weeks, she had big Jersey Shore-based features in the New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer, both big, historic newspapers.

Miller’s told me that she often has to remind editors that she enjoys writing outside of her niche on occasion. Now that, friends, is owning a niche. If you’re an editor and you want a story written about the Jersey Shore, if you don’t hire Miller, you sure better know about her.

It’s a lesson she’s given me, if certainly indirectly.

Below find some required reading in understanding the development of a niche: