Differences and Similarities
Though the process of writing for publications (print and online magazines and newspapers) and writing for business or non-profit organizations is similar, there are some differences.
Writing for Publications
Stories I write for print and online newspapers and magazines have my byline. Thus, they also have my imprint. When I write a feature story on parenting such as “Why Good Parents Let Their Kids Fail”, I may include personal anecdotal history on the topic, in addition to incorporating research and quotes from interviews with parents and experts on the topic. Writing feature stories are the result of me pitching to the editor, or the editor assigning stories to me.
Essays are even more personal and a direct reflection of my experience and writing style. They are also a lot of fun to write.
Rates for both tend to be established by the publication.
Writing for business or non-profit organizations
My job as a writer for businesses or non-profits is to present a product or service to its target audience in a direct, clear way. Not a lot of room here for personalization on the part of the writer, as the writing needs to be the voice of the organization. A competent but accessible tone is appropriate for most stories. An employee profile may incorporate the process of feature story writing by me interviewing the subject of the profile, but the writing, again, is clear and direct.
Rates tend to be established by the agreed upon quote between the client and the writer before the project starts.
All this to say that the process of writing is similar regardless of the output, but the output will differ depending on the type of story and for whom the story is written. So don’t be surprised when a feature and essay writer writes business and marketing material and vice-versa. The writer’s skill can be applied to different mediums.