B2B and B2C Writing: How to Write for Small Businesses

If you’re a new freelance writer, I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “B2B writing” or “B2C writing.”

What is the B2B meaning? What is the B2C meaning?

In the world of freelance writing, there are many niches you can choose from, but not all of them will be profitable.

B2B and B2C Writing: How to Write for Small Businesses

I just happened to fall into the B2B marketing space naturally. I never gave it much thought and never really looked at how I transitioned into this niche.

Before I get into what steps I took to make a living writing for small business, let’s look at what B2B and B2C content really is.

What is the B2C Meaning for Writers?

The B2c meaning stands for, “business-to-consumer.” When you write for a B2C client you are writing content to help their customers.

Typically these clients have a product and they want you to integrate their product message in their blog posts or content marketing strategy.

For example, Lowe’s is a hardware store and their blog, Creative Ideas, helps their customers use their products in their home by providing ideas and DIY instructions – from other bloggers.

lowes

The Meal Prep is a food delivery service for busy people. I wrote for their blog last year and focused on content to help their would-be customers live a healthier life.

mealprep

Typically writing for the B2C marketing space is funner to write for since you typically get to write list posts that are often shorter in length with topics that often interest you (since we are all consumers).

Is B2C lucrative? Yes and no. Depending on the client, you may find that an average 500 word post can run anywhere from $25 up to $100 or more. I’ve had a few B2C clients – with one still active – and it’s a treat for me to write for these clients.

To make money in the B2C niche you need to align yourself with big brands. Recently I became a writer for Walmart in the B2C niche.

I’m fine with that since these posts are super easy to write, takes me an hour or less to whip up a 500 word post, and the client is a great client.

What is the B2B Meaning for Writers?

B2B stands for “business-to-business.” When you write for a B2B client you are writing content to help other entrepreneurs, marketers or small businesses.

You might be writing about:

  • The latest trends
  • Systems and processes
  • Tools of the trade
  • Tips to help others in their business

Typically, as a B2B writer, you write blog posts, white papers or case studies that will not only be read by other bloggers, but also marketers and small business owners.

For example, my post on OptinMonster, speaks to the solopreneur or marketer.

optinmonster

Some people think B2B marketing writing is highly technical, statistical and analytical. And, sure, some B2B content writing jobs are dry and more academic, but more and more online business know the power of engaging copy.

For example, GoDaddy is a web hosting company and they have a blog called the Garage.

But their posts aren’t strictly about web hosting or domain registration (boring!).

They know the power of engagement and are tailoring their content to attract a broad audience of business owners, bloggers and freelancers.

godaddy

Is B2B writing profitable? You bet!

This is my primary niche and I average around $600 a post or more depending on the requirements and length.

Breaking Into the Small Business Writing Niche

Are you interested in breaking into the small business writing niche? If you are, here are the steps to take.

1. Know Your Audience (And How to Write for Them)

I mentioned this before, but the primary audience for the B2B space is small business owners, entrepreneurs, marketers and freelancers.

These people are looking for actionable tips to help them improve their business. They don’t want to read industry jargon or convoluted ideas.

Around 50% of Americans read at an 8th grade level. I know, it’s shocking, but it’s generally true.

And the B2B content space is no different. Writing in a more casual and engaging tone is preferred and helps make the content easier to consume.

However, don’t mistake this conversational tone as using slang terms or incomplete sentences. It’s a good idea to avoid phrases like “totally awesome” or “I’m so sure..”

But that’s not to say a B2B clients wouldn’t like that type of language. Look at Melyssa Griffin’s posts. She’s an entrepreneur and her content speaks to other entrepreneurs, yet she injects her youthful personality in her content and that’s totally okay! 🙂

melyssa_griffin

But, she’s not a freelance writer and writing for other businesses. She’s building her own platform and can write however she likes.

And that’s where the distinction lies. You wouldn’t write “Guuuuuuurl” in a client post. But, you might write, “killer content” instead.

Of course, it all depends on the client and their brand.

Kapeesh?

2. Your Writing Must be Fact-Based

It goes without saying that most, if not all, of your clients want you to back up your claims. This is even more important in the B2B industry.

I write mostly in the digital marketing niche and I have to make sure my writing links to relevant and popular content. This helps the client with ranking and builds trust with the search engines.

Some tips for finding relevant links:

  • Use the same reference links in a popular post similar to your topic. For example, if your client piece is on how to find trustworthy employees and you find a post on Monster.com, see what links they have on their site and use those in your post.
  • Use recent sources from the last two years. Anything older and it’s probably outdated.
  • Link to sources that are popular and that you know. For example, for digital marketing content I often link to Hubspot, Kissmetrics and sometimes SEJ.

So, what does this look like?

Here’s a sample from a post I did on Blogging Wizard on using Pinterest to drive traffic to your site.

pinterest_facts

There are 6 links in that bullet list!

Clients like when you use relevant statistics and back it up.

3. Learn to Take Screenshots (And Optimize them Correctly)

One important skill to have as a freelance writer in general is how to take screenshots. This helps show your points better in your post and helps break up the post making it more engaging and easier to read.

I find that I use screenshots to visually show what I’m writing about. It could be a product, a tool, a landing page or lead magnet.

For example, in my Sendlane post on sales funnels, I took a screen shot of Haute Chocolate’s lead magnet.

sendlane

Another thing to do is to optimize your screenshot images. This shrinks the image size, but doesn’t affect the quality of the image.

I have one entire lesson and two enhanced video training videos in my course, Write Your Way to Your First $1k, that gives a break down on how to take screenshots, annotate them and optimize them appropriately.

Having this skill in your back pocket will help you land better clients because it shows you know how to use online tools and understand how to write an awesome blog post.

4. Stay Up to Date on Industry News

To make sure you are providing the best tips and resources for your client pieces, it’s always a good idea to read up on the latest industry news.

This might mean following certain blogs or entrepreneurs. For me, I follow a lot of blogs and people, but have recently started following Melyssa Griffin and Mariah Coz.

These lady bosses not only help me in my own product business but also with providing content marketing strategies to help me with my client posts.

Once you’ve written a few B2B pieces, you will see which sites or entrepreneurs you gravitate towards. Before I started following those ladies, I was hooked on Derek Halpern of Social Triggers.

Can Anyone Write for Small Business as a B2B Writer?

B2B writing isn’t for everyone, but B2C writing can be.

For business-to-business writing you need the knowledge and desire to write in this space. Certainly if you asked me almost two years ago to write a 1,000 word post on inbound marketing, I would probably pass.

For more help, check out what a content writer does and some content writing jobs to get started.

Learn in my video the difference between content writing and blog writing

But now? Bring it on!

I love writing so much in this niche that my freelance writing course is positioned to help other writers learn how to write for small businesses too.

Now it’s your turn – have you thought about writing for B2B clients? If not, what’s holding you back?

Hi I'm Elna and I'm a freelance writer and mom blogger. I help people just like you become a profitable freelance writer. Within 6 months of starting my freelance writing business from scratch I was able to earn a full-time living as a part-time freelance writer while taking care of my twin toddlers. Check out my free email course Get Paid to Write Online and learn the steps you need to take to be a freelance writer.

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35 Comments

Thank you for this Elna! I’ve really been wanting to move into B2B writing for some time, but have been unsure how to get started (I haven’t quite finished your course, so I’ll look!)/Reply to Caitlin
Hey Caitlin, Thanks for stopping by! Just to let you know that Freelance Blogging in a Weekend dives more into B2B and B2C content but this post is a great overview! Have fun finishing the course!Reply to Elna
Can you please give an example of what sub-topics are and look like in content writing?Reply to Denise
Hi Denise, When writing a blog post you have a sub topics to break down the idea of the post. For example, if it’s a list post then each item is a sub topic of that entire post! I hope you understand!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, This is helpful for sure. But I’m wondering: if you started out in education (same here), how did you break into b2b? I think I can do it, but I don’t have the experience…Reply to Kelie
Hi Kelie, What I did was read on how to market my freelance writing business and I had fun applying those tactics. Over time I wanted to write about them. So I wrote about them to help freelance writers and eventually landed gigs to write about these topics to entrepreneurs and marketers.Reply to Elna
I’ve just started Writing content for B2B in 2019 and just picked up a second B2B client last month. Most of my experience was in religion journalism and I felt I written all i could in that area. The change was refreshing and much needed.Reply to Cami
Hi Cami, That’s awesome! I hope you enjoy writing in the B2B niche!Reply to Elna
I just wanna share that I started this freelance writing adventure because I first took a test on social triggers too!—and got “writer” as a result. Then I found Elna´s site, and the rest is history.Reply to Inés
Hello Elna, You nailed it again. I’m a big fan of B2B writing because it positions me as an authority in my niche thereby giving me the power to attract more clients who need a business coach to move their business forward. It also earn me respect among other bloggers and internet marketers. I used to take screenshot so much before but recently stopped. Looking through your post and how screenshots helped to buttress your points, I think I will need to start again. Thanks for sharing. EmenikeReply to Emenike
Hi Emenike! That’s great to hear. I also like B2B writing and it’s helped me get the knowledge for promoting my blogs and courses too!! Learning on the job is awesome!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna! Great post. Thanks for making it clear what the difference is between B2B and B2C. I was always a little confused on how the writing would be different, but now it makes sense! 🙂 How did you break into B2B? It sounds like something I would be interested in. Cheers, AlexisReply to Alexis
Hi Alexis! Thanks so much. Yes I started writing about digital marketing pretty early when I started freelance writing. Twtrland (now under a new brand name) was my second client and my first digital marketing client!Reply to Elna
I’ve been writing B2B for the past few months now, but these are some great tips to optimize what I’m already doing. Thanks, Elna!Reply to Melody
Hey Melody! That’s great to hear. Writing for B2B clients takes skill but it’s a great niche to be in.Reply to Elna
I’ve always wanted to write for a living, but never really knew how to do it. I’m totally checking out your site course now. I’d love to just write for my blog and write for clients. That would be great.Reply to Brianna
Hey Brianna! Thanks. That’s great that you want to make a living with writing. The first step is taking action so way to go!Reply to Elna
Great points on writing for B2C. Content is so important and has to have the proper flow to keep the readers’ interest. Keep up the great work and live unstoppable!Reply to Rhonda
Hi Elna, Earning full time income working from home sounds so good to be true. I am a mother and it breaks my heart I get to see my toddler 2 hours a day only! I have been searching for ways to make similar income working from home but nothing worked so far! Since i am not active on any of the social media! Thank you for sharing this, I will be reading more of your posts.Reply to Sarah
Hi Sarah! So sorry to hear that! 🙁 I know that if there is a will there is a way! You WILL find something that works for you. Freelance writing does rely on social media, but it’s a small portion. If you have a portfolio (on Contently for example) then you can start pitching. Over time you can have a writer website and get on social media!Reply to Elna
Thanks Rhonda! Yeah, B2B writing is a different niche compared to other niches. Thanks so much!Reply to Elna
According to the survey, seventy-six percent of marketers report they will produce more content this year than the year before, Fifty percent say they’ll increase their budget for content in the next 12 months, and sixty percent say that producing the content is there number-one challenge so being a writer can really be a profession.Reply to Deynn
Hi Deynn, That’s great to hear! Content will continue to be an important part for many online businesses, which is a good thing for us!Reply to Elna
Thanks so much for providing your insight on this, Elna. You’ve definitely given me something to ponder as I’ve been trying to narrow in a little more on my niche. So far I have been gravitating to B2C type companies, specifically those in student loans. I’m excited to put some of this information into practice!Reply to Latoya
Hi Latoya! That’s great. I enjoy writing for my B2C client. It’s fun and a nice break from having to source soo many facts and statistics for my B2B clients. I think that’s a great niche to have and with your background, something that you can corner for sure. Good luck!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna! Great post! How much time does it take you to research and write each B2B post?Reply to Tracy
Hi Tracy, It depends on the topic. For topics I’m familiar with, the writing and research takes 1-2 hours. Then there’s the screenshots and optimization and editing and that can be another hour or two depending on how many images I use. I try to work at the $100/hour range but it’s always different for each client.Reply to Elna
Super useful knowledge Elna! Reading your blog has made me realize how much I enjoy writing about digital marketing topics too. I think it stems from the fact that I get to learn while I write for someone else and everything I’m learning I can apply back to my own business.Reply to Chad
Hi Chad! That’s a great perk of writing for digital marketing clients 🙂 I have learned a lot about email marketing lately and that’s because I’m writing for an email service provider! Happy to hear that you found your niche with digital marketing. Have fun!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna! Thank you for this post! I’ve been wondering about writing for B2B clients but kept my distance because I thought it was too analytical and statistical. The first thing I thought was “ugh, more college papers.” I enjoy writing fact-based articles and linking to resources, (I just don’t want to write stuffy, boring articles). But now you make it clear that it’s not always that way. You’ve changed my mind. I’ll start looking for these kinds of B2B jobs. Oh, and thank you for that lesson in Write To 1K about optimizing screenshots and images, it really helped me out in time for a client project!Reply to Christine
Hey Christine! Thanks so much. Yeah, B2B is a broad category. A lot of B2B content writing is writing for other business owners, HR personnel, executives etc. so it can be a little dry and boring, but it is lucrative! The other B2B content is what I like because it’s online focused. These businesses are purely online and need to thrive online. This means they rely on social media, content marketing, email marketing and generating traffic. If I can provide a B2B blog post that generates hundreds of shares and hoards of comments, then I’m helping the client expand their brand awareness. So glad my lesson helped you out with a client! I’m actually going to write a post on Blogging Wizard about how to properly optimize images since many bloggers and freelancers don’t know how 🙂 It’s a hot topic for sure. Thanks for stopping by.Reply to Elna
Very good. Very well written. I look forward to trying thisReply to Erika
Hi Erika! Thanks so much. Small business writing is my niche and I absolutely love it. It’s highly sustainable and you really grow as a freelancer and entrepreneur.Reply to Elna