Being able to get paid to write is the dream, right?
Find a new client, write, get paid, find a new client… rinse and repeat.
The good news is, you can get paid for writing! You just have to know where to look and who to ask.
How Can I Make Money Writing Online?
Writing is one of the best ways to get paid for working online. Whether you decide to start up a blog, launch a freelance writing career, or simply pitch story ideas to various online publications, you’ll find that writing gives you the skills and flexibility to earn money without having to pay huge startup fees.
Can you Make Money Writing as a Beginner?
Absolutely! That’s one of the best parts about being a freelance writer is that it doesn’t take a lot of professional experience or formal education to make money writing. In fact, if you have the writing chops, you can start making good money fast even if you’ve never had a client before.
But It’s Going to Take Work
When I say that it doesn’t take a lot of professional experience or formal education to begin making money writing, that’s technically true.
I signed up for UPWork back when it was still branded as ODesk, before they bought Elance. At that time, I had a high school diploma and my work experience was in radio and television news, bank teller, and server at a restaurant—nothing that necessarily prepared me for running a business as a freelance writer or editor. I just knew I liked writing.
I filled out my profile and started searching the listed projects that were available, and within 6 hours I had my first client.
So, yeah, you can start with little to no experience and get a paying client pretty quickly. But it was years before I started “making real money.” And part of that was getting off those sites and learning how to run a business without relying on sites like UPWork.
So, yes, you can make money right away, but it’s probably not going to be “good” money right away.
But if you’re looking to learn how to write articles and earn money, then read on because I am going to break down some of the basics and I’ve included a list of 20 sites that will pay at least $50, and some more than that, for each article they accept and publish.
Do those Freelancing Websites Work?
Sometimes, if you know how to play the game. I know a lot of freelance writers who are looking for content writing jobs online and are able to at least get their start at some of these sites. And that’s what this is all about—getting started.
The trick is to understand what these sites are there to do and who uses these sites to hire writers.:
- The sites are there to get businesses and people to pay them. They get their money when a buyer pays for a service, usually even if the service received was bad. So they aren’t necessarily trying to pull together the best writers, they just want the buyers.
- The people who use these sites to find writers are usually searching for cheap writers. I can’t even count how many times I have seen authors and coaches telling people that they can go and hire editors on UPWork for like $50, setting up an expectation of cheap. (This doesn’t mean that there aren’t any good-paying projects on UPWork, just that they are much harder to find because there are so many low-paying projects.
Once you understand these two things, you’ll have a better chance of using these sites to your advantage and get paid to write rather than being taken advantage of and paying to look for work.
How Much Money Can you Make Writing?
The best way to answer this is by asking a counter question: how much money do you want to earn from your writing, and how much writing do you want to do to earn that?
The truth is, the sky’s the limit when it comes to how much you can earn for writing. But it’s not going to be easy. It’s up to you to determine your worth and set your rates accordingly. There are going to be clients (or would-be clients) who think they can pay you next to nothing or take advantage of your talents. It’s up to you to see that they don’t.
The Benefits of Pursuing a Career in Writing
One of the most significant benefits of being a writer is flexibility. Once you know how to write for money, you can work from anywhere with an internet connection at any time that suits your schedule.
This allows writers to enjoy more freedom than traditional 9-5 jobs.
There’s nothing better than doing what you love while making money at the same time! Plus there’s no limit on how much income writers can earn because they have control over their output volume and price points.
There’s something rewarding about putting pen-to-paper (fingers to keyboard?) knowing the value your words will bring to your clients! Writers have immense power at their fingertips: they can inspire emotions within readers through captivating storytelling or persuade people through compelling copywriting—the possibilities are endless!
Why Should You Bother With Sites that Pay for Articles?
Writing articles takes a lot of time and effort and there is not always a guarantee that you’ll get paid for that work.
For many of the sites you’ll find on this page, that’s exactly what could happen. You could find yourself working very hard on an article, only to submit it to one of these sites and hope for a payday and find out that they don’t want to publish the article. And then what?
You could submit the article to another publication and potentially get paid that way, but depending on the article you may also end up just having to publish it yourself on your own site or on a site like Medium, where you probably won’t be making money on it.
So why bother if there’s no guarantee of money on these sites? Wouldn’t it be better if you could find an opportunity where you can write and get paid as a guarantee?
Well, yes! It’s absolutely better to work with a client that is guaranteed to pay you for writing. Unfortunately, sometimes that can be hard to find without a portfolio. This is where a lot of new writers fall into the trap of giving free writing samples thinking it will help them land those first precious clients that they can then build their portfolio.
That is one way to go about it as a new writer, but it’s guaranteed no money paid for writing (plus, so many of those clients will then use whatever sample you send them, usually without permission and without paying you for them). At least with the sites below, there is a chance that you will be paid for the writing, and if not then they won’t be using the article. Plus, the writing itself is still going to be really great experience. And submitting to these sites does have a good chance that you will be able to make at least some money on your writing, which can really be an advantage when it comes to building out your portfolio. Even if your writing isn’t accepted at first, you’ll probably receive some really great feedback that you can apply to your writing later as well as get to know a little more about the industry as a whole.
Chances are, submitting articles to these sites will never amount to the full-time income you want. But they are a great starting point, especially if you’re hoping to get paid to write online by launching into content writing or freelance ghostwriting down the road. The practice is going to be invaluable, especially as you start setting up your social media profiles to help market your writing services. And if you already know how to write articles and earn money, then hopefully this list will give you some new sites you can try.
Tips on Finding Writing Gigs Online and Offline
The Internet has opened up countless opportunities for writers looking to make money from their craft. One of the first ways a lot of new writers use to find gigs online is through freelance job sites like Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer.com.
These platforms allow you to bid on projects posted by clients from around the world. You should know that a lot of freelance writers don’t like these sites, and so asking for advice on how to use these sites will almost always lead to words of caution to stay away from these sites. That’s because these sites are not set up for individuals to be able to set up a business, nor do they have the tools to help clients sort and sift through all the available freelancers to find the right person for the job.
However, a lot of people are finding jobs on these sites, so I can’t completely discount them, either. In the very least, these sites might help you get some much-needed experience so you can get paid to write online while you build out your portfolio and email.
Another great way to find writing gigs is by networking with other writers and editors in your local area.
Attend local writing conferences or events where you can meet people in the industry and make connections that may lead to paid work.
Last but not least. you could try cold-pitching potential clients directly.
This involves researching companies or publications you’d like to write for and sending an email with a pitch idea or simply introducing yourself as a writer who’s interested in working with them.
Overall, finding paid writing opportunities requires persistence and dedication, but it’s possible if you’re willing to put in the effort!
I’ve also put together a list of sites for you that I know are currently accepting submissions for articles. If your article is accepted, they will pay you. It’s not the same as getting hired for steady work with a long-term client, but they are great sites to start building your portfolio.
What Kind of Paid Writing Gigs Should I Look For?
This is going to be completely up to you.
Personally, as a ghostwriter, I love that I can get paid to write books. I end up working with my clients for long periods of time and we become really close over the process. Plus, I love being able to help plan out something like a book that is going to have such a huge impact on so many people.
But I also love that I can get paid to write articles. Helping brands build their authority online, finding new readers and clients, and learning about the impact that my articles have on their business. And a lot of times, you can get paid to write content like this and the client may also give you the byline credit (in the case of online magazines or news sites), which makes it that much easier for new potential clients to find you.
What are Some Sites where I Can Get Paid to Write?
1. Chicken Soup for the Soul ($200)
Have a short, inspiring story to tell? Then Chicken Soup for the Soul wants to read it! If they publish your story, they’ll pay you $200 one month later. Not bad for 1200 words, right?
2. Income Diary ($200 – $500)
Are you an expert in making money online, building amazing websites, social media, or creating content? If so, then you may be just the person Income Diary is looking for.
3. LiisBeth ($200 – $2000)
Have a feminist perspective about being an entrepreneur? Want to help other female entrepreneurs find their footing? LiisBeth pays good money for premium content aimed at the feminist entrepreneur.
4. WPHub ($100 – $200)
Fancy yourself a WordPress expert? WPHub will pay you to share that expertise with their audience. But don’t think you can get in by merely pitching a review of a theme or plugin…you’ll need to really bring your know-how A-game.
5. Transitions Abroad ($75 – $150)
If you have extensive knowledge about working abroad, then Transitions Abroad is looking for you. Transitions Abroad is more than just a travel publication – they provide guides on culturally immersive working environments.
6. Motorhome ($100 – $900)
Are you an RV enthusiast, or do you know someone who is? Motorhome is a newsstand magazine that will pay you top dollar for an article about any motorized RV.
7. iWorkwell ($200)
iWorkwell focuses on human resources-related content, such as benefits, leadership, talent management and more. They assign articles on a case by case basis based on expertise and availability, and pay $200 for a well-written article.
8. Listverse ($100)
Are you good at putting together lists? Then Listverse might be just the site for you. For every list they publish, they’ll pay you $100. Just make sure your list is original and has at least 10 items on it.
9. B. Michelle Pippin ($50 – $150)
If you are an expert in time management, marketing, or other business related topics that will help other entrepreneurs increase their income and influence, then B. Michelle wants to hear from you! Just note, she’s looking for experts who want to write, not generalist writers.
10. Fantasy & Science Fiction (Up to $3,000)
Have a science fiction story you’d like to share? Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine pays between $0.08 and $0.12 per word for your story of 25,000 words or less! Just make sure your story is publish-worthy and fully edited before you send it in.
11. Writer’s Digest (Up to $1,200)
The “Number 1 Magazine for Writers,” Writer’s Digest pays $0.30 to $0.50 per word for the first world-wide printing of your article, and 25% should they reprint or repurpose your article later.
12. FreelanceMom ($75 – $100 PLUS Possible bonus)
Share your freelancing story along with actionable advice to the readers of FreelanceMom. If you’re a working mother, they want to hear from you.
13. Slick WP ($100)
Another WordPress-centered website looking for high-quality articles about WordPress, Slick WP is specifically looking for WordPress and Genesis-related tutorials and reviews.
14. SitePoint ($150 – $200)
Are you an expert in CSS, HTML, and SASS? If you know webdesign and design services – and can share your expertise with others – then SitePoint is looking for you.
15. YourOnline.Biz ($100)
If you have a unique perspective about owning and operating a business, growing a business, and doing it all online, then YourOnline.Biz wants to hear from you. They are accepting pitches for anything related to online and freelance work.
16. Reader’s Digest ($100)
Everyone has a story to tell. And if the people at Reader’s Digest like yours, they’ll pay you $100 for it.
17. A Fine Parent ($75)
Although they only open up for submissions a couple times per year, if you’ve got expert advice on parenting that can help others, A Fine Parent wants to hear from you.
18. Cicada (Up to $2250)
Cicada is a YA Lit / Comics magazine geared toward younger readers. They accept stories and poems, and will pay $0.25 per word for a story and $3.00 per line for a poem.
19. The American Scholar ($250 – $500)
Patience is a virtue at The American Scholar. As a quarterly magazine, it can sometimes take months before you learn whether or not your submission has been accepted. But the payoff is good and they accept stories, essays, and articles on a variety of topics.
20. Early American Life ($500 and Up)
Another publication where your patience and planning is going to pay off. Early American Life works their content out a year in advance. If you have knowledge and a passion about history or architecture in America, they accept submissions from new and seasoned writers.
Getting Started as a Writer for Hire
The Importance of Building a Portfolio
If you’re serious about getting paid to write, building a portfolio is essential. Your portfolio will showcase your writing style and help potential clients understand the kind of work you produce.
Think of your portfolio as a collection of your best work that can be used to impress editors, website owners, and even advertising agencies. As you build your portfolio, remember to focus on quality over quantity.
A few well-crafted pieces that demonstrate your writing skills are much more effective than dozens of mediocre articles. Think carefully about the type of content you want to create and aim for variety in tone and style.