These days, the number of possible niches for writers is never-ending…
If it’s an industry where money is exchanging hands between buyers and sellers, there’s a good chance you can make a great living writing for it.
But when I’m asked by freelance writers to help them pick a niche, my answer is almost always B2B (Business-to-Business).
In fact, if I were just starting out — or even if I decided to start all over again — B2B freelance writing is where I’d set my sights.
B2B expert Steve Slaunwhite calls it the surest route to six-figures as a writer for good reason…
First of all, it’s the most accessible niche to all writers, even if you’re completely brand new to the world of well-paid writing. That’s because you can leverage ANY professional experience you have when promoting your copywriting business… even if you have zero experience writing professionally.
Whether you’re a teacher, CPA, mechanic, solar panel installer, customer service rep, nurse, pilot, martial arts instructor, chiropractor, or anything in between… the companies in your industry value your industry knowledge.
Which means you can beat out a writer with 10 years of experience simply because the knowledge you have can’t be learned in a week — unlike most project types needed in B2B.
And that’s just the beginning of what makes B2B such a great niche for freelance writers…
There’s no hard selling, no pressure to beat a control, and virtually no competition from other copywriters.
Plus, there are TONS of clients!
Over 5 million in the U.S. alone.
And you don’t need a lot of clients to be successful… a handful can keep you busy enough to reach the six-figure mark within a couple of years (or sooner if you’re able to jump in with both feet out of the gate!).
By now you can see why more and more writers are starting out with the B2B industry. But here’s something you may not realize…
Just how easy it is to get up and running!
The “Behind the Curtain” Industry That Makes Commerce Possible
First, let’s get on the same page with this wildly lucrative yet often overlooked industry…
B2B refers to companies that sell products and services to other companies (hence the name, Business-to-Business). The flipside of that industry is B2C, or Business-to-Consumer, which is where most writers focus their services.
To understand B2B, think of the coffee you buy at the grocery store. Picture the bag of coffee beans waiting on the store shelf. Now, ask yourself,
“Who made the bag the coffee beans are in?” A B2B packaging company.
“How did the beans get to the store?” It was shipped by a B2B company.
“Where did the coffee come from?” A coffee farmer sold it to the stores — you see, a B2B relationship is one where a business sells to another business instead of directly to consumers like you and me.
“How did the farmer harvest the coffee beans?” With farm equipment marketed and sold by a B2B company.
Each of those companies — from the packaging company to the shipping company to the coffee farmer and farm equipment manufacturer — need someone to write the copy that sells their products and services.
Other examples of B2B companies are the businesses that sell…
- Tires, hoses, and batteries to automobile manufacturers
- Cash registers and card processing machines to restaurants
- Hardware parts to computer manufacturers
- Legal services to insurance companies
- Designs or printing for product packaging
Look around the room where you’re sitting right now…
Everything you see from the tables and chairs, decorations, building structure… food service if you’re in a restaurant… equipment if you’re at the gym or in a salon… it’s all part of the B2B industry.
Just the Facts Ma’am…
Now unlike in Business-to-Consumer (B2C), B2B buyers always WANT to buy what you’re writing about…
In fact, they are actively searching for your client’s products and services and just trying to determine the best buying decision for their company.
Your job as a B2B writer is to give them the information they need to make a good decision. It’s a very straightforward approach to copywriting, which is one of the reasons many writers enjoy this industry.
Plus, a ton of copy and content is needed… which again, means you’ll only need a few clients to make great money in B2B freelance writing.
You see, the purchasing of most business products requires a lot of steps…
The buyer doesn’t simply “click here to buy” a $50,000 machine for his production team. First, he researches options and finds your client’s website, thanks to the articles, blog posts, and catalog pages that have been written by you to attract the ideal buyer.
Once there, he then requests more information on the machine (also known as lead generation).
Then a sales rep follows up to set up a demonstration, and in the meantime sends over content about the machine to review (maybe a white paper and a sales letter).
The sales rep then walks through the slide deck you’ve put together… goes through case studies of happy customers… and follows up with a series of emails, additional case studies, videos, and letters…
All of this copy and content has one purpose: to attract leads and convert them into buyers. And all of it can be written by you!
It’s easy to see now why you’ll only need a few clients as a B2B freelance writer. And finding those few can be easy since the competition is scarce…
Defy the Gravity of Real-World Competition
As I mentioned earlier, there are millions of potential clients… literally!
And according to Statista, Business-to-Business companies spent well over $83 billion on B2B marketing in 2017 — and that number continues to grow.
What are they spending it on?
Everything from advertisements, direct mail, brochures, white papers, case studies, social media, product sheets, and even website and content copy.
So, as you can see, the industry is huge, spending money, and set to grow… but the competition from other copywriters is practically non-existent. This industry is that big. Even if every Barefoot Writer went this route, we wouldn’t come close to making a dent in the demand.
And once you land a client, plan to have them stick around…
The Most Committed Writer-Client Relationships in the World
When it comes to B2B, loyal, long-term, repeat clients are practically guaranteed. That’s just the nature of the industry. Rather than go through the long process of finding and hiring another writer, if you do a good job, it’s easier for them to keep hiring you over and over.
Take it from Ed Gandia — an AWAI member and successful, six-figure B2B copywriter…
“One of the many reasons why I love to write B2B copy is the opportunity to work for long-term clients — clients who stick with you for one year or longer,” Ed says.
He’s right — long-term clients are great to have for many reasons. As you work with them, your income will go up because you’ll spend less time researching, proposing, and planning — and more time writing!
With just a few clients, you can be fully booked and bringing in six-figures a year. Remember, B2B companies need multiple projects completed all the time.
And the fees? Well… they’re pretty awesome even when you’re starting out….
B2B Clients will REFUSE to Pay Cheap Fees!
By now you’re probably ready to give B2B a try: no hype, huge industry, short projects…
But there are still more benefits (if you can believe it)…
B2B clients expect to pay professional fees. So even when starting out, you’ll never have to charge less or “work your way up” to bigger fees.
In fact, pricing projects too low is one of the best ways to lose a client in the B2B industry…
Consider a marketing manager of a mid-sized consulting company. They’re launching a service and need new marketing materials.
A copywriter who charges too little is a red flag. They prefer to hire someone who charges professional rates. Here’s a partial list of copy that B2B companies need on a regular basis and what they expect to pay:
- Case studies or product success stories in article format ($1,500–$2,000 for 800–1,000 words)
- White papers or special reports ($2,500–$5,000 for 5–10 pages or $3,500–$7,500+ for 10–15 pages)
- The home page of a website ($450–$4,500 depending on length and complexity)
- In-depth product or service descriptions ($750–$1,000 each)
- Executive bios ($250–$500 each)
- Emails, such as a short stand-alone promotion or other announcements ($250–$750 each). Long emails pay even more (between $750–$1,500 each)
- A newsletter article that’s 500–750 words ($500–$1,000)
- Ghostwriting blog posts ($250–$500 per post)
- Product descriptions ($250–$500 per description)
- A long sales page or “landing” page to generate leads ($750–$2,500+)
- A promotional email to promote a white paper or other special offer ($250–$500 each)
3 Easy Steps to Make All Your Writing Dreams Come True
Ready to get started?
Once you commit to writing for the B2B industry, you can get up and running in no time by following these three simple steps:
1. Learn how to write B2B copy.
Start by developing a decent understanding of how to write B2B copy. As a Barefoot Writer, you likely know the fundamentals of good copywriting (or you’re learning). All you have to do now is apply what you’re learning to the B2B market.
2. Choose a niche within B2B.
The B2B niche is a great fit for nearly any writer. With millions of potential clients across every industry, you can narrow your focus within B2B so your writing projects are fun, exciting, and a perfect fit for you.
Meaning you won’t be writing about forklifts (unless you want to).
You can write about anything that interests you — from computer software to pet supplies. The options are limitless.
Think about your favorite product — whether it’s your phone, computer, car, or something else. Several companies were involved in making that product and a B2B writer wrote all the copy used to market it.
Also, no matter what your professional background or interests are, there’s a perfect niche for you. See the sidebar about leveraging your past experience for more information.
3. Launch your professional website.
Because B2B clients often hire new writers based on their website alone, take some time to make sure your website represents you professionally to the companies you want to work with.
Once your website is launched, reach out to potential clients. You can market to them using any marketing method — such as email, phone, self-promotion letters, or anything else you can come up with. Then, once you find a way that works for you, repeat it.
Once you have a few clients, you can expect steady, ongoing work as a B2B freelance writer (as long as you continue to do a good job, hit your deadlines, and reach out to potential clients on a regular basis).
I’m sure you can see now why I call B2B freelance writing a “dream” niche…
No hard selling, no pressure to beat a control, tons of clients, short assignments that pay really well, getting to write about your interests, and more!
Editor’s Note: If you’re looking for a fast way to get up to speed on writing for the B2B market, check out AWAI’s program, Secrets of Writing High-Performance B2B Copy, by Steve Slaunwhite.
It’s so comprehensive that after taking this single program, you’ll have all the skills you need to start working with clients — immediately. Even if you’re a complete beginner now, you could realistically get through the entire program and start building a six-figure writing business in as little as a month.