This same technique can help you find a coaching niche or a new side hustle
We’re often asked why a how-to article that seemingly fills all of our requirements isn’t accepted for Better Humans. Often, it’s because the topic of the article is far too general and, consequently, too bland for it to engender much excitement.
Here’s how to find better things to write about:
- Grab your favorite note-taking tool, and make a list of self-improvement topics that you’re interested in writing about.
- Throw the list away and resolve to never write about those things. Trust us: it has all been written before.
- Now imagine yourself at some kind of gathering. You’re hanging out with someone, and they introduce you to another person at this gathering. How they describe you is a little surprising. Write that down. Imagine this in a few different ways, with different groups and different people introducing you.
- One of those ideas is what your killer Better Humans article is going to be about.
Though I’m suggesting this for a Better Humans draft, the same is true for any kind of writing you might do about your own life. Whatever you write will be more interesting to an editor if you look at what other people find interesting about you.
“This is M. He keeps amazing notebooks, you should see them!”
“This is the friend I told you about, who started a social media consultancy while they were backpacking through Europe.”
“… she just got an amazing job that lets her travel all over the world!”
“She has been meditating for years and said it helps her with that, I’ll bet she could point you in the right direction.”
(By the way: this line of thinking is also a great way to find a coaching niche, new career, or side hustle.)
When you imagine someone introducing you to their friends, don’t get too precious about it. Writer Sarah Milstein has many interesting qualities, and one of the more mundane might be “this is my friend who uses a treadmill desk.” She turned that into a fabulous article for us:
One of our writers who’s become a master of finding the interesting skills and experiences she can share is Michelle Loucadoux, MBA, and she delves into the process of finding these niches in her article on creating an effective side hustle:
“Then, after I brainstormed the topics in which I feel knowledgeable, I took the advice of Tim Ferriss and decided to combine two of them to stand out from the crowd. After a little trial and error, I came up with three combinations — dance and writing, writing and fitness, and dance and mental health.”
Combining two or more areas that you’re pretty good at is an excellent way to reveal an area of expertise where you might realistically be a world expert. For example, I’m the world’s foremost expert at identifying birds of prey while milking goats. (I didn’t say every niche was a good subject for an article!)
For a more useful example, see how Shamay Agaron did this by combining an interest in music with his penchant for productivity:
Taggart Bonham discovered the practice of “ultralearning” and applied it to his desire to improve his chess game, resulting in an engaging article that combines the two:
What’s your niche? How do friends introduce you at parties? What intersection of a Venn diagram do you uniquely occupy?
It might take you a while to hit upon it, but what you come up with will be great.
Write about that.