4 Money-Making Trends in B2B Copywriting

Man writing in a notebook in front of a laptop sitting on desk

If you want to know what's coming next in the B2B copywriting world, it's important to understand the difference between predictions and trends.

Predictions are about making guesses at what's going to happen in the future. Imagine if you tried to do that in early 2020 before the pandemic hit. Chances are, you'd have been about as accurate as a carnival fortune teller.

Trends are different. They have momentum. You can see a trend heading somewhere. That enables you to anticipate the months and years ahead with more certainty.

And if you're a B2B copywriter — or want to get started in this fun and lucrative freelance biz — the more certainty you have, the better.

So with that in mind, let's take a look at the current trends in Business-to-Business (B2B) copywriting and the opportunities they represent for you.

Trend #1: The B2B Blogging Renaissance

Do you like writing short, informative articles? Most writers do. The problem is, if you're writing for a Business-to-Consumer (B2C) company, the pay tends to be low. Often very low. I spoke with a writer recently who admitted to getting paid $25 to write a 500-word article.

Ouch!

Writing for B2B companies is different. They value well-written blog articles — and not just for the SEO benefits. B2B companies know that a great article helps them build authority and thought-leadership in their industry, as well as generate sales leads.

That's why B2B marketers pay handsomely for a good blog article. Anywhere from $200-$500. A typical engagement is to write one a week for a client. When you get into the swing of it, you should be able to craft one in less than two hours.

And here's more good news …

The trend I see is more B2B companies wanting more articles. They're using them as blog posts, as e-newsletter content, on LinkedIn, and in many other ways. So, the call from B2B marketers is, "More articles, copywriter! Keep 'em coming!"

Trend #2: Riches in Long-Form Content

Business-to-Business companies produce a lot of long-form content to help sell their products and services. White papers, special reports, guides, e-books, you name it. They use these documents as free offers in lead-generation campaigns. I'm sure you've seen online ads with a "Download our Free White Paper" offer.

The problem for a B2B company is, writing these documents is time-consuming. The last thing they want is to assign the project to someone on their marketing team. That would end up being a side-project for that person, taking weeks or even months to complete.

That's why B2B companies outsource long-form content to freelance B2B copywriters.

And that's good news because these projects are lucrative. For example, you can get $5,000 to write an 8-10 page white paper or e-book. That's more than $500 a page!

What's the trend for this year?

B2B companies are investing more in long-form content. They want more white papers, e-books, special reports, and guides. The demand is high. In fact, it's possible to land one of these gigs each month. Or even two.

Combine that with other copywriting projects and you're well over $10K/month. (Pop the champagne!)

Trend #3: Big Money Writing for "Scary" Industries

Many B2B companies sell a product or service you may not immediately understand. Like environmental consulting, team collaboration apps, or turbine values. As a result, a lot of writers feel intimidated and don't approach these companies for freelance work.

That's unfortunate for those writers — but great news for you.

Why?

Because these companies struggle to find good copywriters. So they're eager to hear from you and willing to pay top rates. I spoke to the marketing VP of a sales training firm recently who said she's been trying to find a copywriter for six months. "If a decent B2B copywriter called me today," she said, "I'd offer them a $2,000 per month retainer."

Here's the opportunity …

Approach B2B companies that offer products and services most writers don't understand. You'll face far less competition and be greeted by prospective clients who want to talk to you.

And trust me. You'll quickly learn your new client's products or services. Your "writer's curiosity" will see to that. Remember that you won't be writing technical documentation. Your job, as a copywriter, is to describe what the product does, its features, and the benefits to the customer.

Trend #4: Steady Income with Retainer Agreements

By far, the biggest trend I see is retainer agreements. More B2B companies are putting freelance copywriters on retainer than ever before.

A retainer agreement is where a company agrees to pay you a certain amount, say $2,500 per month, on an ongoing basis in exchange for a specific amount of work. If you land one or two retainer agreements, you've got it made. It's steady, predictable income.

Why are B2B companies offering copywriters these lucrative deals? The benefit for them is they get a copywriter they can count on to write their emails, blog posts, articles, white papers, social media updates, and other marketing materials.

The benefit for you is no longer having to hustle to land one gig at a time. You get steady work from a regular client, which can continue for years. (I've been on retainer with one of my clients for 14 years!)

There are so many retainer agreements up for grabs these days; it's possible for even a new B2B copywriter to land one in his or her first year. That's a fast-track to a six-figure freelance career.

Okay. So those are the big trends in B2B copywriting, as I see them. If you're interested in writing for this fun and lucrative market, any one of these trends — especially the last one — is going to help you build a thriving freelance business. My advice? Go for it!

What questions do you have about getting started as a B2B copywriter? Post them in the comments so we can get you the answers you need.

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Published: April 8, 2021

3 Responses to “4 Money-Making Trends in B2B Copywriting”

  1. What type of writing assignments would a $2,500 retainer consist of? Perhaps a bi-weekly blog and a few articles or would it be more like the whole list you showed in this article?

    Guest (Michele Elliott)

  2. Thanks, this was valuable post!

    Guest (Thomas L)

  3. I'm already an AWAI member. I always love your advice. I still haven't really started my B2B business, though I'm getting taxed for having said I have one! lol There are always things I don't know or don't have tool-wise (invoice form, etc). But your B2B advice confirms I'm at least in the right niche. Thanks, Steve.

    Guest (Margaret Staadt)


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