Inside Business Writer Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"Writing Is Lucrative...
Most people are surprised to find out, contrary to the "starving writer" stereotype, that writers can fairly easily find work in many fields, especially in business. Though most people know how to write a little, people who know how to write professionally are in high demand nearly all the time, which is often something people do not realize." (Professional Writer; 2014)

Career: 7 years of experience, currently based in Arizona, female
School: Studied Writing at Grand Valley State University in Michigan; completed Bachelor degree in 2007

"As A Writer, I Was Surprise That I Would Have To Sell Constantly...
What has surprised me most about my career is the level of Business, Sales and Promotional skills required to succeed in my industry. I am as much a salesperson as I am a writer. I feel that this was not addressed in school on the level it could have been." (Public Relations/Sales; 2014)

Career: 9 years of experience, female
School: Studied Art + Arts Administration at Columbia College Chicago in Illinois; completed Bachelor degree

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Writer/Editor: "I love my job. The best parts include working from home and the pay (good but no benefits). But getting paid to do something I enjoy anyway is fantastic! And they give me lots of wiggle room to be as creative as I want to be. The worst part is that, as a contractor, I don't get any benefits. And sometimes working at home feels isolating." (2010)

Career Background

Business Writer

  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Tips

"Diverse Online Experience...
If you want to be a successful professional writer, you should focus your efforts on developing a diverse online portfolio of your work, and try to gain experience in many fields of professional writing. This allows you to tailor your description of your experience to the employer you are applying to. Don't be afraid to work exclusively online or at home, either, as you may find it's easier to get hired as a writer this way." (Professional Writer; 2014)

"Business Skills As Important As Talent...
If you want to make a good living in Public Relations or as a Business or Technically writer, be sure to develop your sales and marketing skills in addition to your talents. Writing is a business and, as is true in other professions, your success will depend on your ability to market those talents." (Public Relations/Sales; 2014)

"Differentiate Yourself...
Think about ways you can set yourself apart from other writers and editors. Try to take creative writing courses to help give your writing an edge. Even though I work for an IT company, I work in the marketing department, which seldom requires a lot of technical writing or understanding. Therefore, it helps to think of creative ways to share a message and create a strong call to action. Also, before you choose a work-from-home job, truly consider if that's what you want. Can you stand to only contact your team over instant messaging or e-mail, or the occasional phone call? Will you feel isolated? Can you be disciplined enough to actually work when you should be, rather than being distracted by things in your home?" (Writer/Editor; 2010)