When you first start feeling excited about your writing progress, you might catch yourself fantasizing about topping bestseller lists, attending book signings, hosting conferences, and a sea of fans eagerly clamoring for more of your work. While the thought of a vast following excites many writers, it’s vital that you appreciate the value of a niche audience when you begin your journey as a writer.

Your platform, your work, and the content you regularly provide to your audience needs to echo you not only as a writer but also as a person. Your hopes, fears, goals, and experiences should all shine through the platform you’re building. That message is going to resonate with like-minded readers, and it’s much easier to build that connection with a dedicated niche audience.

When you cater to a niche audience, you need to meet a specific demand or fulfill an exact need. When you do this and do this well, you become an influential figure in your niche. Growing your platform also becomes less of a struggle and a much more enjoyable experience. You may not have that enormous sea of fans at the outset but once you grow a large following in your niche, you’re going to have a much more dedicated audience than you ever would have expected at the beginning of your writing career.

A niche audience knows what they want and a have good idea of where they need to go in order to find it. They’re also savvy enough to sniff out anyone posturing as an expert without the chops to back up their claims. If you know your material and the message you want to send, your authenticity is not only going to win over your niche audience and convince them to buy your books—it’ll have them spreading the word about how perfect you are for their needs and buzzing about your expertise. Some people might decry putting all your eggs in one basket but modern audiences want instant gratification, and that can only happen with laser-focused products. Once you build a following, your niche is going to be far more likely to buy your future work and keep generating excitement around your brand.

If you have a firm grasp of your mission and the value of your work, then you know the need it fills and probably have some kind of idea as to who has those needs. However, also think about your own pain points in your field. What frustrations did you face? What hurdles stood in your way? What did you learn from them?

You might surprise yourself with how much you learn from stepping back and thinking about why you are where you are. Not only will doing so help you cultivate a firm grasp of your niche but it will also help you maintain your vision of why you wanted to write in the first place.

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