What Are Today’s Top-Paying Gigs in B2B Writing?
When I started my writing business in the 1990s, I focused on direct mail and annual reports. Why? Because those were the top-paying projects at the time and, truthfully, I wanted to make money! And I did.
But over the years, especially when the Internet emerged, things changed dramatically. So where’s the dough these days?
Before I answer that, keep in mind that I focus on writing for Business-to-Business or “B2B” companies. The B2B industry generally breaks down to three types of companies …
The first type sells products … including software, industrial components, computer hardware, office furniture, forklift trucks, packaging supplies … and more.
Then, millions of B2B companies provide services to other businesses: law firms, consulting firms, trainers, seminar companies, office cleaners, accountants, business advisers, just to name a few.
Finally, some B2B companies cater to both consumers and businesses. Hotels, for example, sell accommodations to vacationers as well as meeting rooms and conference facilities to businesses. Real estate companies, insurance firms, and even golf resorts fall into this category.
It’s a vast market. And today, what I’m seeing in the B2B world is companies willing to pay top dollar for good copywriters who can do a great job on the following types of projects:
1. Email Campaigns
Business-to-Business companies in the U.S. send over a million distinct email marketing messages every week. They rely on email campaigns to generate leads, make offers, follow-up with prospects, close sales, and stay in touch with their target audiences.
Of course, the more effectively those emails are written, the better the results. That’s why companies love B2B copywriters who know how to create winning emails.
It’s not uncommon to be able to command $500-$750 for a solo email and $3,500+ to write a series of emails within a campaign.
2. White Papers
White papers are popular with B2B companies. (In fact, I’m writing one for a client right now.) B2B companies use white papers primarily in lead-generation campaigns as free offers. I’m sure you’ve come across many “Download our free white paper” ads online.
The going rate for a professionally written white paper is $3,000 or more. If you have an impressive portfolio of white papers, you can charge even more — upwards of $6,500. Nice work considering these documents are typically six to nine pages long. That’s $500+ a page!
Blog posts are among the lowest paying gigs in B2B writing. I don’t agree it should be that way — but it is. However, ghostwritten articles pay very well. I know a copywriter who ghostwrites three articles a month for a logistics company. Each is about 800 words and she charges $600 each. That fee may seem modest by some standards, but she’s able to crank those articles out in a day — a long day, she admits — with few, if any, revisions requested by the client. That’s a profitable day of writing in my book!
You might be wondering, what’s the difference between a blog post and an article? Answer: Not much. B2B companies actually use ghostwritten articles in their blogs, but also get the articles published in trade and professional magazines. Because these articles tend to be more meaty and polished, and because the byline is often the CEO, companies are willing to pay more.
4. Facebook Ads
Facebook ads are the latest rage in B2B marketing. Companies are discovering that well-written ads on Facebook can generate good quality leads. You’ll often see companies promoting their white papers on Facebook. (Tip: When quoting a white paper project, also ask to quote writing the Facebook ad and other promotional copy. You’ll boost your project income.)
Like any good ad, success is driven by the concept and copy. You can come up with an idea for a Facebook ad, and write two or three versions for testing, in half a day. Your fee? $500-$1,000.
5. Case Studies
Case studies are customer success stories. These “before-and-after” stories are usually written in the style of a feature story, similar to what you’d read in Forbes or Logistics & Supply Chain News. Think of a case study as a long customer testimonial, only better!
B2B companies are hungry — really, really hungry — for case studies. Why? Because, before making a buying decision, their customers want to know what other customers are saying about the product.
For B2B writers, case studies are a lot of fun. You get to interview your client’s customer, discover their story, and write about it.
These projects also pay handsomely. The average is $750-$2,000.
Website writing is booming right now, especially for B2B writers. Two things are driving this. One, thousands of B2B start-ups, especially in the SaaS industry, are launching every year. And they all need websites. Two, established B2B companies are constantly updating or completely revamping their websites in an effort to get better results.
Writing a B2B company website can be a challenge. It’s a high-profile project and there are often a lot of people — the CEO, the marketing VP, the design firm, the marketing VP’s second cousin, etc. — who want to put their two cents in. But at least it pays well. Depending on the scope of the project, you can get $1,500-$5,000 and more to craft the content for a website.
So, those are the top-paying B2B copywriting projects today, in my opinion. Next year, this list might be different. In fact, I wouldn’t have included Facebook ads if I wrote this article just a year ago!
The lesson? If you want to tap the burgeoning demand for good B2B writers, learn how to handle these projects. You’ll be well-positioned for success if you do.
Which of the projects interest you most? What questions do you have about getting started? Post them in the comments below so we can get you the answers you need.
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