How to Find Your
Writer’s Niche with Ikigai

How to Find Your Writer’s Niche with Ikigai

You may not be familiar with the word Ikigai, but it can still have a powerful impact on your writing career.

What is Ikigai? It’s a Japanese word that translates to “life worth.” Many believe this means “life’s purpose” or “reason for living.”

While true, it’s not limited to your destiny or calling. And it’s not just one thing. Ikigai can be many things — big or small. Simply put, Ikigai is a spectrum of many different possibilities.

It’s your joy in life. What you value. What brings you satisfaction.

What It’s Not

Ikigai is often thought of as a Venn diagram of what you’re good at, what you love, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for.

But that’s inaccurate.

Ikigai isn’t limited to the intersection of these four factors.

You don’t have to be good at something or love it for it to be Ikigai. It’s not necessarily what the world needs. And you don’t even have to be paid for it either. For the Japanese, Ikigai has nothing to do with being paid or making money.

It’s all about the task, experience, or pursuit of perfection … as long as you have a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.

How Ikigai Can Help You

Knowing what Ikigai is can bring you closer to understanding what’s important in your life.

And it’s the first step to figuring out your writing niche(s).

Your next step is to answer four questions:

  • What do you value in life?
  • What resonates with you?
  • What brings you satisfaction?
  • What needs can you fill?

The first three questions are designed to help you determine your Ikigai. And the last question helps you choose where you want to start.

The reason your Ikigai comes first is to discover what’s meaningful to you in your own life. Then you’ll be in a better position to see your potential niches.

Be honest with yourself …

What Do You Value in Life?

This may be the hardest question to answer. Because as we grow and change, what’s important to us also changes. And what you value now is likely different than the pre-Covid years.

To figure out your current values, start by making a list of everything you view as important, useful, necessary, or enjoyable.

Whether they’re truly your values or those of others … is something you’ll have to decide for yourself.

For example, here’s what I value:

  • Music
  • Travel
  • Health & Fitness
  • Coffee
  • Gaming
  • Study of philosophy

Start your list by answering the question, and then it’s on to the next one …

What Resonates with You?

Now we need to identify your core values. Go back through the list you created and locate the items that speak to you on a personal, emotional, psychological, or spiritual level.

These items are expressions of who you are as a person.

Make a new list with only the things you value and resonate with.

To continue my example, what resonates with me:

  • Music
  • Travel
  • Health & Fitness
  • Coffee
  • Gaming
  • Study of philosophy

After you complete the answer for yourself, next up is …

What Brings You Satisfaction?

This question can be a little tricky. Because in this context, satisfaction is more than sensory pleasure or gratification. It’s a feeling of completeness and resolution.

In your list, determine what fills you with a sense of achievement, fulfillment, and joy.

Think about tasks you can lose yourself in. Or experiences that make everything else disappear.

These are things that allow you to be fully present … nothing else exists but you and what you’re doing, thinking, or feeling. It’s being “in the zone,” or achieving a “flow state.”

Here’s an example …

What satisfies me:

  • Music
  • Travel
  • Health & Fitness
  • Coffee
  • Gaming
  • Study of philosophy

Congratulations! You now have a solid list of potential writing niches.

Now, let’s focus on …

What Needs Can You Fill?

There’s always a need, even if none seems to exist.

If there isn’t a need, it doesn’t mean you can’t make money from it. It just might not be a niche industry … yet.

So, the need is to create a need. Think of it as a blank that needs to be filled.

For example …

Philosophy is a value I have. So I could write a blog or newsletter about travel locations important to philosophy. And like that, the niche of philosophy travel writing is born.

If the niche doesn’t exist, there’s a need to create it by using copy and content. If it does exist, then there’s a need for more content and copy.

Now, look at each item on your list and think about what needs currently exist. These should be your focus to start with.


Because if there’s content already available, you can research and analyze it to see what works and what doesn’t.

But you don’t have to take this route. You might enjoy the challenge of starting a niche and building it up through trial and error. And if so, kudos to you.

Now What?

Well … you’ve made a list of what’s important and meaningful in your life. Identified what you resonate with. Discovered what satisfies you deeply. And determined what needs you have to work with.

You now have a list of niches to explore for your writing career. All you need to do is decide where to start and then — start.

Where you decide to begin with your list depends on your experience, skill, knowledge, comfort level, and time. Some projects will be easier and shorter. Other projects can be longer and more difficult. Keep in mind that learning curves vary depending on the project. Which will also affect time.

For a list of common projects every business needs, check out 80 In-Demand Copywriting Projects to Fire Up Your Success.

Don’t wait for your dream to happen. Instead … build the life YOU want, writing for the industries YOU choose.

And for more valuable insights about copywriting niches and opportunities, visit AWAI’s Free Content Archive.

The AWAI Method™

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Published: April 5, 2024

1 Response to “How to Find Your Writer’s Niche with Ikigai”

  1. Congratulations William on your win. This is a great article, it's clearly written, captures the interest, is engaging and provides practical helpful information. I'd not heard of Ikigai before, but I can see many uses for it. Thanks for sharing your ideas.


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