Business or trade writers write about developments in a particular industry, trade, or sector.
Each section of the business world has its own inner workings, controversies, new faces, and special events. Writing about these happenings is a great way to keep a professional community up to date on their business area, and pieces can serve as an archive for future readers trying to make sense of a particular time in the field. Business writers are often industry veterans, insiders, or experts who have decided to put their energy towards reporting the latest developments in the field.
Business publications contain all sorts of content that is rarely seen or understood by those outside of a given industry group, from rumours of a company going public to interviews with big players in a given sector to write-ups of products in development that could change the game completely. Case studies, market predictions, and opinion pieces on the state of the trade all have their place in business writing - it's just a matter of finding the right place for them and having the specialized knowledge to back it up.
Business or trade writing work may include...
- Compiling market research into digestible findings
- Reporting economic shifts and their effects
- Researching industry trends, patterns, and problems
- Writing about hot, niche topics in business
- Fact-checking claims and statements
Writers who focus on professional topics tend to work for business journals, trade associations, and corporations. Those who work in corporate environments may be entrusted with crafting proposals and statements on behalf of a company. Job opportunities range from freelance article writing to full-time blog maintenance or internal communications roles. Some trade and industry publications accept submissions on a rolling or regular basis, which can enable career writers to submit pieces as soon as they are complete and move on to the next one. Generally speaking, each article or write-up that gets accepted for publication contributes to it's author's portfolio and adds to their credibility, making it more likely that their next work will be read. Relationships are valuable in the business world, and forming the right ones can make for steady work.
It can be difficult for a layperson to make heads or tails of the business world, which is why many industry writers have backgrounds in tech, finance, economics, or engineering. Most possess a Bachelor's degree in either one of these fields or journalism, either of which can be very useful when it comes to researching obscure industry topics. More important than a degree is one's familiarity with the trade they write about. Having worked for a big name company or industry leader can win a writer insider points and ensure that others in the business take their opinions seriously.
If you have a head for business but would rather use it to write, a career in trade writing could offer the perfect balance for your sensibilities.
The International Association of Business Communicators is a global network of communications professionals committed to improving organizational effectiveness through strategic communication.
The American Society of Business Publication Editors serves the interests of full-time and freelance editors, writers, and graphic designers employed in the business, trade, and specialty press.
The Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing is an independent nonprofit organization that encourages comprehensive reporting of economic events without fear or favoritism.