Lauren Orsini of Otaku Journalist knows a thing or two about niche blogging and journalism. Not only does she run a successful blog of her own, but her work has been featured on sites such as CNN, Kotaku, and she’s published two books with tips on how to get into niche journalism. Now, her latest publication, 15 Worksheets to Plan, Build, and Bolster Your Niche Journalism Career in 15 Minutes or Less, offers concrete templates for beefing up your resume and taking your own brand of niche journalism to the next level.
As you are likely well aware, everything I do on Chic Pixel falls into the “niche journalism” category, though I’ve always been a little hesitant to call myself a journalist. If you find yourself in the same position, never fear! Lauren’s workbook is perfect for aspiring or established bloggers as well as bonafide journalists with nerdy inclinations.
“I believe that if you’re the one geeking out about something, you should be the one to tell its story.” – Lauren Orsini, 15 Worksheets to Plan, Build, and Bolster Your Niche Journalism Career in 15 Minutes or Less
What a brilliant mantra! Lauren starts off the workbook with an introduction on how it can assist you with your interest in niche writing, and the assertion that each worksheet will take 15 minutes or less to complete. As an established writer and blogger, I personally found that I could complete most of them in about 5 minutes, but it’s worth noting that I have already considered at length many of the topics covered in the worksheets. I definitely recommend the workbook if you’re just starting out in the niche blogging/journalism sphere, or have a writing venue but don’t feel like you have narrowed down your niche.
For those just getting started in the realm of niche nerdy writing, the worksheets on crafting a compelling self introduction, personal mission statement, and what “beat” or beats you cover will likely be where you’ll be spending the most time. After that, Lauren offers a wide range of helpful templates relating to pitching articles to outlets, scoring interviews, and contacting press. If you’ve ever agonized over a single email for hours like me, these templates will be a real lifesaver!
There were also plenty of tidbits contained in the workbook’s 18 pages that I plan to take to my own craft, despite having been doing this gig for over four years now (yikes, has it been that long?!). In particular, I never considered following specific hashtags relating to my writing niches, or getting friendly with forums in the same vein. These seem like two alternative venues to finding interesting things to cover, and you’ll have the benefit of finding out what’s hot before the news sites do!
In addition, the story ideas worksheet and questions to ask yourself before writing a piece are great for when that inevitable writers block sneaks up on you. I’ll definitely be using these in a pinch to get my synapses firing!
I also highly recommend checking out Build Your Anime Blog: How to Get Started, Stand Out, and Make Money Writing About What You Love, where Lauren has even more tips for aspiring niche writers (you don’t have to be into anime). I get a lot of folks asking me how to go about starting a blog, and honestly, Lauren has some great tools for anyone interested in the field. If you’re not quite ready to invest money into the endeavor, definitely check out her site, Otaku Journalist, and her free crash course on reviewing. Happy writing!
Note: A product sample was provided for the purpose of this review.