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Copywriters, consider writing B2B content

Are you a copywriter who is having trouble finding enough high-paying work?

You may be looking in the wrong place.

In some markets, competition is so fierce you can feel like you’re fighting with sharks for scraps.

A pack of hungry writers circle and pounce on every project, bidding low and promising the impossible.

photo of red ocean with sunset

Get out of the red ocean

In these waters, you can find yourself working 16-hour days just to get by. When you finally look up from your computer, you realize your dream of a relaxed, work-at-home lifestyle has been eaten alive.

You may be swimming in a “red ocean” where there are too many fish and not enough food. And, there’s blood in the water from too much competition.

Many copywriters focus on business-to-consumer (B2C) projects. Understandable. It’s the market we see every day — the products we see in stores, the ads we see on TV, and most of the websites we visit online.

But there’s another market with more opportunity and hardly anyone else around to churn up the water. That’s the “blue ocean” of business-to-business (B2B) content writing.

Move to a deep blue ocean of opportunity

Many big-name companies plus millions of exciting smaller firms don’t sell only to individuals.

They also do business with other businesses. And, when they make a sale, it’s often for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

For a company to win such a major deal, it must build a strong foundation of trust with prospective buyers.

B2B companies must provide useful, engaging information to help prospective buyers find them on the web, and trust them enough to do business.

This is called content marketing. It’s the #1 trend in marketing today, used by 9 out of 10 B2B companies.

The most common element these firms outsource is writing. In-house marketing teams just don’t have the time or the skills to do it themselves.

There’s not enough B2B content writers

In North America alone, there are more than 5 million B2B companies. The 2014 annual survey from the Content Marketing Institute shows that 93% are using content marketing now, and 58% plan to increase their content budgets over the next year.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports there are only 129,100 writers in the whole country. And that includes everyone from Stephen King to your local coffeeshop poet. Most of these people have never heard of B2B content, and they couldn’t write it, even if they wanted to.

This tiny pool of talent means not every B2B company can even find a writer. There just aren’t enough to go around.

It’s a huge opportunity. Especially when a single B2B company can easily keep two or three writers working full-time generating a constant flow of content.

B2B content is not sales copy

We’re not talking about writing infomercials or sales letters or anything with a BUY NOW button on it. And B2B content is not tweets or Facebook updates.

B2B content is fun to write — very much like newspaper features, op-ed pieces, profiles, and news updates.

Rather than hype-filled sales material, it’s more like service journalism, where you provide helpful tips and useful advice. Millions of companies desperately need this type of content and there just aren’t enough seasoned writers to do it.

Some popular forms of B2B content

Here are some popular forms of B2B content that any copywriter can create:

  • Blog posts—short, online opinion pieces
  • Case studies—profiles of customers giving real-world testimonials for B2B products or services
  • E-newsletters—e-mails for a list of subscribers
  • Press releases—online and in trade journals
  • White papers—persuasive essays that explain a better solution to a business problem

And every company needs informative, factual webpages about the company, its products, and management team.

None of this content is overtly “salesy.” Your audience of hard-headed business people won’t tolerate any puffery.

Instead, these pieces “sell without selling” by telling stories and presenting facts.

The pay is good

Most of these popular formats pay well. Take a look:

  • Blog posts—$250 to $500+ for 600 words
  • Case studies—$1,000 to $1,500 for 800 words
  • Newsletters—$500+ per issue, on an annual contract
  • Press releases—$250 to $500 for a format journalists can write in their sleep
  • White papers—$3,000 to $7,000 for 3,500 words, the same effort as a magazine feature

You can earn a comfortable income writing B2B content.

Dive into the blue ocean, today

Remember that red ocean?

B2B content marketing is the exact opposite: a blue ocean. There’s better pay, less competition, and far less stress than in traditional B2C copywriting.

If you’re not happy with the rates you are getting for your work, catch this wave and get swept into a blue ocean of freedom and opportunity.

To find out more, check out the Crash Course in B2B Content by Gordon Graham.

This is a quickstart to writing the 12 most popular forms of B2B content, from blog posts to white papers. Gordon describes each format, shows examples including a detailed video walkthrough, tells the going rates you can charge, and gives lots of tips to help you start writing that format right away.

By the way, before he started That White Paper Guy, Gordon was an all-around copywriter. He wrote ads, brochures, data sheets, scripts for webinars, online sales letters. You name it, he wrote it.

About 15 years ago, he swam into the blue ocean of B2B content writing where he’s much happier. He hasn’t looked back since.

 

About Angie Gallop, Managing Editor at That White Paper Guy

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