Editor’s Note: The following content is provided to Writer’s Digest by a writing community partner. This content is sponsored by American Writers & Artists Inc. www.awaionline.com.
Sure, there are lots of ways to make a living as a writer …
But, not every path is the same. And, each year, there are new market trends that make some paths easier … and faster … than others.
Today I’d like to share a few insights about writing for money in 2015 … including where you’ll find the best clients, where you’ll find the biggest growth opportunities, and what the competition will look like this year.
Insight #1: Writing to consumers is not on top this year.
For all the talk about how we live in a “consumer-driven economy,” 2015 will not be the year of the consumer for writers. Instead, it will be all about the world of B2B.
If you’re not familiar, B2B stands for Business-to-Business … the world where companies sell things to each other.
In B2B, instead of a single company trying to sell you one bottle of fancy shampoo, you have various companies trying to sell millions of bottles of fancy shampoo to hotel chains or cruise lines. Instead of selling one outfit, these companies are selling 10,000 uniforms. Or perhaps a whole fleet of delivery trucks, or a brand-new software system for an entire restaurant franchise.
To close these mega-deals, B2B firms need a ton of written material, all aimed at giving the “decision makers” the information they need to make the purchase. And no matter how many pieces of sales material they have written, they always need more.
In fact, for 2015, Ko Marketing reports that 80% of B2B marketers plan to maintain or increase their budgets, making B2B companies some of the best clients in the world.
Insight #2: 13 is a lucky number for writers this year.
In their 2015 B2B Content Marketing: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report, the Content Marketing Institute reported that the average B2B company is using 13 different marketing tactics.
In this case, a “tactic” is a type of writing project …
Newsletters, emails, blog posts, white papers, case studies, social media … they’re all considered a different tactic. So along with many opportunities to get your foot in the door, each client you land will have loads of work for you.
Which means you only need a few B2B clients to make a very good living as a writer in 2015.
Insight #3: Fresher is better.
Once upon a time, companies could get away with only talking to their customers a few times a year. But not now …
B2B companies have found they get the best results from their marketing when they always have something new to share. They show up better in the search results, they get more engagement from customers, and they close more sales. So they’ve shifted from using the same old pieces over and over to constantly wanting something fresh.
In fact, 42% of B2B marketers say they publish new content “multiple times per week or daily” to serve their customers. And year over year, 70% of B2B marketers are creating more content than the year before!
Insight #4: You’ll get to multiply every project times 4.
Another big reason why B2B firms are creating so much more content has to do with “audience segmentation.”
With audience segmentation, you take one product and market it in different ways to different people. For example, a company selling a line of organic cleaning products might be looking at schools, hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants, and factories as potential audiences. To get the best results, they need a targeted campaign for each audience, even though the actual product doesn’t change.
The typical B2B firm plans to target four different audience segments in 2015, says the Content Marketing Institute. Four audiences means four versions of each piece you write. And four versions means higher fees for every project you accept.
Insight #5: Businesses say it’s gotten 3 times harder to find good writers in the past year.
Have you ever feared you may have to compete with tons of writers to win business?
B2B companies would argue otherwise … they’ve got so much work to do it feels like there are no trained B2B writers available.
In fact, in their 2015 survey of B2B marketers, the Content Marketing Institute found that 32% were being “challenged” to find trained professional writers. In 2014, only 10% reported difficulty.
What changed in just this past year? As I mentioned before, demand for B2B writing has gone through the roof, and when you consider audience segmentation, that booming demand gets multiplied to even more astronomical levels. But the supply of writers isn’t growing nearly as fast …
In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that from one year to the next, the total supply of writers is only increasing by about 3%. With 129,100 writers of any type on record, that means just 3,873 new writers a year.
In contrast, there are 5 million B2B firms in North America. Do some quick math and it works out to 39 B2B firms competing for the time of every single writer out there …
Imagine it — you could start tomorrow, and if you just claimed your “fair share” of the market, you’d be taking on 39 clients.
And many B2B writers earn a good full-time income working with just four or five clients at a time …
Could you join them? In all likelihood, the answer is yes.
It just depends on what kind of writer you are …
AWAI has a quick quiz you can take here.
You’ll also learn about a program that can help get you started if you decide the answer is “Yes!”
Next week I’ll show you how to make a very good living as a writer, just by writing B2B content. The market is that hungry for new writers!