Write About What You Know

Writing About What You Know Photo: DepositPhoto

Stick to one niche is the advice you often hear repeated over and over in writing courses, workshops and books. But who is one dimensional? Certainly not me, and I suspect, neither are you. So why should your writing be? I am referring specifically to non-fiction writing. You don’t have to limit yourself to one subject area or niche.

Focus on who you are writing for and why

It depends on why you are writing about a subject and who you are writing for. If you are in a niche business and trying to establish yourself as a credible resource person or expert in a particular field, then by all means concentrate on writing in that niche.

For instance, I am one of the owners of a travel planning and tour operator business with a focus on designing custom designed travel experiences in African countries. When I am wearing that hat, I write articles and social media posts in the area of travel to Africa. I even published a book. 

I have specialized knowledge that can educate, entertain and most importantly, help my readers to achieve their goals. My ultimate aim is to help, and by writing in this area, I am establishing myself as a credible source of information when it comes to travel and sharing my expertise, based on knowledge and experience. It’s a win-win situation. I am helping others and at the same time I am helping myself and my business. For instance, Reasons to Add Ghana to Your Bucket List of Countries to Visit is an article I wrote when I was writing from the travel angle.

But, I’m more than a travel specialist. I’m also very knowledgeable when it comes to children’s literature. I’ve reviewed numerous children’s and young adult books for a national book review publication and worked in the youth services department of a public library for eighteen years. For fifteen years, I ran a popular writing club for young writers, and I am a published author of children’s books. 

When I write to help writers and parents, I write from this perspective, based once again, on my knowledge, experience and expertise. I know what I am talking about when it comes to children’s literature and how to encourage children to read and to write. I am certain that I can help others by sharing what I know about this topic. Writing for Children is Hard Work is an article I wrote about the challenges of writing for children.

Here is one last thing

I am an avid reader. I will read anything, as long as it captures my interest. It’s the same thing for many other readers. In non-fiction, it is the title that grabs the attention first, not the author’s name. 

When I am searching for information, I don’t start by looking for a specific author in a particular niche. For readers like me, it is topic first, author second. And honestly, with so many writers “out there,” who can possibly know the names of all the brilliant writers writing in a particular niche at a particular time?

The topic lures your reader, and then it is up to you to prove yourself through your writing, expertise, experience and the way you connect with your reader.

So I say to you, don’t limit yourself. Go on ahead and write about what you know. Don’t hold back. Believe me, there are readers who need to hear what you have to say, or who have questions that you have the answers to. Be generous. Share yourself. Share your knowledge and share your experience with them.

With passion, knowledge and experience, you can write about anything!


Mary Oluonye.

I am a writer and entrepreneur and my goal is to inspire self-value, promote Africa, and help people achieve their goals. 

I am deeply committed to inspiring my people to better respect and value who we are as Africans & People of African Descent.

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