The least expected place to find higher rates
A few months ago, I went to a networking event and ran into a person who was leaving her role at a small trade publication. Around this time, I began looking into business-to-business publications, because a former colleague of mine informed me that some of her former trade publication clients had paid as much as $0.75 per word.
Over the course of my (short) career, I’ve picked up industry knowledge in various beats ranging from insurance, banking and FinTech. Yes, to some these industries are boring on the face of it, but it’s the boring fields that are a gold mine.
I recently discovered this while chatting up an editor of a B2B publication. While explaining my prior experience, the editor asked me about how I pitched The New York Times. As I told the story, I mentioned the word rate The New York Times paid me for both articles. $1 per word may sound like a pittance to writers who wrote in the pre- and early-internet era. But to me, it was among the highest rates I’ve ever received.
I later regretted mentioning the rate in the initial conversation. But it was a nonchalant way to start the negotiations. My new editor countered with a per word rate just under $1. All things considered, the fee was pretty good for a single article.
A similar situation occurred a few months ago. I was paid less than $500 for an article another article for a different trade publication, though I tried—and failed—to renegotiate for more once the article grew in length. Still, the flat rate felt reasonable for the amount of work required.
These instances, plus the content marketing I’ve dabbled in, have shown me that the B2B space can be lucrative if you find something nerdy to write about.
I can’t think of a single industry that doesn’t have a trade publication to cover it. Investing? Pensions & Investments. Healthcare? Advertising? Adweek or Advertising Age. Banking? American Banker or Independent Banker.
So how can you find these publications if you’re not in the know? One place to start is the Writer’s Market, an annual book outlining strategies for succeeding in the publishing industry which has key contacts at trade and consumer outlets. You can also tap into your network. Once you decide on the industries you want to pursue, ask around and see who knows an editor there and what the publication pays.
A similar approach goes for content marketing. If you ask around, you’ll find client leads for companies looking for help with blog posts, emails, videos, photographs, etc. You’ll not only gain leads, but you’ll get insight into who pays well and how they treat their freelancers. Also, keep an eye out on social media for leads on LinkedIn, Twitter and even Instagram.
So as it turns out, doubling down on something you’re really interesting can lead to lucrative gigs. If you have an expertise in something that an industry cares about, now’s the time to turn that knowledge into cash.
How have you nabbed lucrative B2B leads? Let me know in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.