As a creator, should you niche down, or build an audience around all of your interests at once?
I don’t know about you, but I’m seeing this question everywhere lately. And everyone seems to have a strong opinion about it.
I'll come right out and tell you that I'm on Team Niche™. Hell, I might be the team captain. Few things have been as useful in my life as an indie creator as identifying and serving a well-defined sliver of the market.
Yet a handful of smart creators—Nat Eliason, David Perell, etc—have been coming out with "don't niche down" takes. Most of them are centered around the themes of authenticity, exploration, and eventually creating a niche that's uniquely yours.
How the hell does an aspiring creator make sense of it all?
Truth is, there are valid points on both sides of this question. And there’s no one-size-fits-all answer that’ll work for the entire creative community.
But there is one super simple question that can help you quickly decide whether you need a niche right now.
You ready for it?
Are you trying to build a business around your creativity in the near future?
If you're aiming to create things, and monetize those creations as quickly as possible, niching is unequivocally the way to go. Full stop.
It's the ultimate shortcut to earning attention, creating focused offers, partnering with other influential creators and companies, and so on.
Niching is a power tool for creative and media businesses, and you ignore it at your peril.
However, if you you’re not counting on your creativity to make a living right now, then it doesn’t really matter.
In that case, feel free to explore the boundaries of your interests—and combine them any way you please—niches be damned.
Have fun, go crazy, get weird, etc, and you may indeed end up creating your own niche.
So there you have it, a very simple heuristic for whether you should niche down or not.
Now go forth and make the decision that’s best for you. Good luck, and godspeed.