Freelance writing can be quite lucrative if you know where to look for work. Luckily, when it comes to that freelance writing, there are many websites that have plenty of work to offer. And I’m not talking about content mills either; aka, sites that feature low quality, oftentimes spun content that fetches a few bucks per 500-word article.
No, these websites know the value of original and imaginative writing, and they don’t cinch on payment. Typically, most of these websites pay a minimum of $50 per post; however, many websites pay a lot more.
Why do websites pay for content?
Many websites are owned by individuals who operate businesses or have full-time jobs and thus cannot be blogging or otherwise publishing content full-time. As a consequence, they simply cannot keep up with the rigorous writing and publishing schedule that an active blog or website demands. Likewise, bloggers and website publishers may occasionally run out of content ideas, or want to take a vacation, or simply be burned out.
Serious bloggers and/or website owners are not going to ask you to write “for the exposure” because they understand that you are not going to write quality content for free. Also, Facebook “Likes” and Twitter followers don’t pay the bills.
To get started on this route, however, you’ll first need to generate a query (or three).
It’s all in the query
Quality websites expect that you will be familiar with their content and flush with several ideas for new and exciting stuff. Thus, you should first peruse the website you intend to query. Then, sit down and propose 2-3 good ideas for future content. Develop each article or blog post idea as a single concise paragraph. Finally, provide a way for the website owner to contact you, whether by phone or email.
You should send a few queries each day. This will not only train you on how to create a good query letter quickly, but it will also get you used to the idea of rejection. In a typical round of 10 queries, most will be either ignored or openly rejected. You’ll need to grow a thick skin. You’ll also increase the likelihood of hearing a ‘yes’ by sending out several daily queries instead of one.
Click here if you want to learn more about writing query letters that get accepted by blogs and magazines.
Show me the list(s)!
Over the years, professional freelance writers who got fed up with low paying content mills decided to start publishing extensive lists of websites that pay a decent sum for quality writing. These listed websites demand a bit more time and effort than your standard content mill. In return, they’ll pay you real money that you use to pay your rent and household bills, and not just splurge on an occasional lunch.
Bamidele Onibalusi, Writers in Charge
One such freelance writer is Bamidele Onibalusi, who hails from Nigeria and has achieved significant recognition for his informative and helpful posts about the business of freelance writing. Bamidele has also compiled several extensive lists of websites that pay anywhere from $40-$1,000+ for published content.
Here is Bamidele’s list of 45+ websites that pay for articles.
Here’s Bamidele’s larger list of 110 websites that pay for content.
Kyle Taylor, Daily Finance
Kyle is better known as the founder of The Penny Hoarder, a site that details strange and unusual ways to make money from home and elsewhere. In this post on Daily Finance, however, Kyle provides a tidy list of 25 websites that pay for content.
Carol Tice, Make A Living Writing
Carol is well-known in the freelance writing community and offers plenty of great advice through her website Make A Living Writing. She also operates The Freelance Writers’ Den, an online forum for aspiring and established freelance writers that also houses training courses, job listings, and an extensive Q&A area.
In her quest to enable freelance writers to actually earn a living by writing, Carol compiled the following list of websites that compensate writers with $50 or more for their published content.
Here’s Carol’s post on 140 websites that pay for content.
Sophie Lizard, Be A Freelance Blogger
Sophie is a freelance writer who operates the website Be A Freelance Blogger. In 2013, she compiled a list of 75 websites that pay $50-$2,000 per post. You will need to leave your email address to access this list. Here is Sophie’s list of better-paying blogs.
Halina Zakowicz, I’ve Tried That
Several years back, I compiled a list of websites that paid $50 or more for guest posts. Click below to access my list.
All Indie Writers
If you’d like to try writing for magazines, All Indie Writers has compiled a huge list of online magazines that pay a tidy sum for submitted articles and short stories. Payment is either per article or per word, with some publications offering up to $1 per word.
Click here to access All Indie Writers’ mega list of paying magazines.
Mahesh Mohan, Minterest
Minterest is a “digital marketing & technology journal featuring Blogging, Internet Marketing, Social Media, Tech, and Web 2.0,” according to its owner and operator Mahesh. More importantly for you, Mahesh published a list of 37 blogs that pay freelance writers as much as $300 for their content.
How to transition from an occasional to full-time writer?
Once you’ve successfully pitched and published in your favorite blog or website, how do you ease into becoming one of its regular writers? The best way to find out is to ask the publication itself. In some cases, that blog or website will not have a budget to support consistent freelance writing. However, in some cases, your inquiry will be most welcome.
To this end, consider your guest blog post as your interview and do well on it. Deliver your content on time, and don’t slack off on the research or sources. Interview experts, if need be. In short, impress your blog/website owners. Even if they don’t currently have a budget in place for a full-time writer, they will keep you in mind for future work.