The Niche is the Thing: Copywriting and Games

343 Studios create niche contentWith many copywriters clamoring to become specialists, you might want to consider moving into a niche market. Specialization has led to higher payouts and better returns on content, allowing creators to make greater rewards for working in smaller and smaller fields. In addition, there’s an argument that specializing in one topic seems more genuine to a potential client than someone who claims universal abilities.

 Specialization Makes Sense

But what should you specialize in? Well, that’s really up to you. There are dozens of potential fields worth looking into, from dieting, to engineering, to web design. The field of small, specialized options out there is, funnily enough, an extremely wide one.

For inspiration, take the world of video games. Video games operate in a wide range of genres – essentially niches for different types of players. There are shooting games, which are self-explanatory. Role-playing games let players go deeper into their characters. Puzzle games encourage thinking over shooting, giving players a set of challenges to solve to reach a goal. These are just three of the many examples of game types out there and new niches are being carved into the gaming world every day.

Specialization Sometimes Means Duplication

For every popular game, a dozen close-enough duplicates are developed to fill that initial success’s apparent niche. For every Halo, there’s a Mass Effect or BioShock. While not entirely similar games, the first-person aspect of a lead battling in a complex and fully-developed world outside of the norm (be it space in the far future or underwater in an alternate past) that grants a player the power to enhance themselves as they move on is not only key to those three franchises, but to a lot of big-budget gaming. This isn’t really a niche, but a big, blockbuster component. But out of those blockbusters, niches are formed.

Consider 343 Studios, a game developer spun out of Bungie, whose sole purpose is to create new games in the pre-existing world of the Halo series after Bungie ended their initial main trilogy of games. 343 represents a sort of extreme niche, but serves as a solid example of niche content creation in the video game sphere.

Fair Counterpoints

There are those that argue that niche copywriting is a bad idea. That working in simple niches can make your work stale, uninteresting, and repetitive. But I would argue that such a dim view neglects the range and latitude niches can present, as well as challenges unique to the part of content creation that you’re working with. Familiarizing yourself with a particular niche doesn’t mean that you become stale, it can simply mean that you become the best in your field, excelling in a certain sector where other, less-focused content creators might fall flat.

Don’t Be Negative About Niches

Even if you do work inside of a niche, you can still step out and diversify every so often as well. Let outside topics influence the niche work you’re creating to spice it up. This won’t just help you – it will also help the content itself from becoming the same old thing every week.

Just because 343 makes Halo games doesn’t mean that it makes the same Halo game over and over again. First-person shooters, role-playing games, even top-down strategy games. All of these different genres are open to 343 within their purview of creating new Halo content. Working with one world and one set of rules doesn’t limit their work. In fact, knowing the content you are making when you walk into the room allows you to push new elements into the parts surrounding that center, opening new doors.

So, don’t rule out the niche content market just yet. Explore and see what niche within the niche you can carve for yourself.

What luck have you had with niche copywriting? Do you have suggestions for copywriters looking to specialize?


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Michael is a graduate of New York University’s Film and Television program. He specialized in writing, channeling a passion for storytelling, no matter the medium. In addition to his work at CEM, Michael primarily works in web content production, including projects like Geek Crash Course, a geek-educational series, the Ansible, a comics-based interview show, live performance series The Next Lab Sessions, and many more. In addition, he’s written and edited for the digitally distributed Champion! Magazine.

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