Getting paid to write was one of my biggest challenges as a newbie freelance writer. Sure, I knew how to set up my portfolio website and start my own blog, but where did I find those notorious high-paying clients?
It took some know-how, finessing, and a LOT of Googling, but I’ve discovered the 20+ best places to find paid writing gigs. It doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie freelance writer or you’ve been working for years, there’s something on this list for you.
In this guide, we’ll cover the following:
- What do you need to get started as a freelance writer?
- How much should you expect to get paid as a freelance writer?
- Where do you find freelance writing gigs online?
- How do you pitch your paid writing jobs?
Because I know you’re excited to get paid by writing, let’s jump right into it. Get your pitches ready, writers! You’ve totally got this 🎉
Note this post was updated in 2023 to reflect new opportunities. Are you hiring writers? Let me know! 💌
What Do You Need to Start Freelance Writing Online?
First thing’s first: what do you need to get started as a freelance writer? If you want to get paid writing, you need to have a few things. You can’t just start applying to gigs or pitching articles with your college essay from your freshman year. (Please don’t do this!)
However, the good news is you don’t need any experience to get paid to write. You don’t need a degree either, though I will defend my English major until the end of time.
Here’s what you really need to get paid for your writing:
- A freelancer website: A writer’s website is a great way to show off your experience, your writing portfolio, and even your own blog. I break down how to create your own portfolio in this post.
- Writing niche: It helps to know what topics you want to cover. This is known as a writing niche, and it should be something you have a lot of experience covering. For instance, I’m a technical and digital marketing writer.
- Writing samples: It should come as no surprise that you also need some samples to work with. Clients will want to see that you can walk the walk, not just talk the talk. Having 3-5 samples in your niche should be enough!
- Time: Last but not least, you’ll need some time to apply to these gigs, negotiate with clients, and actually get paid to write. These things likely won’t happen overnight, and that’s perfectly normal.
How Much Should You Charge as a Freelance Writer?
When you’re getting paid to write, you need to know what you want to charge! What you’ll charge as a freelance writer will depend on your experience level, the job type, and the niche.
In the writing world, it’s common for writers to get paid either by project or by word instead of hourly. For instance, if you’re writing a 1000 word article at $0.06 a word, you’ll earn 60$ for this. It’s up to you to determine how long this project will take and whether this is worth your time.
There are no hard and fast rules about what to charge when you’re getting paid to write. As long as you’re comfortable with the amount, it’s fair. Just make sure you’ve valued your work and that you know when to raise your rates!
Where to Find Paid Writing Jobs Online
Now, let’s get to that list you’re waiting for! This is in no way a complete list, and I’ll be updating it as things change and more opportunities pop up.
Freelancing Gig Websites
The first category of places that hire writers online is freelancing gig websites. These are designed to connect freelancers with clients, whether that client is a Fortune 500 company or a random individual in need of some contract work.
- Upwork: Upwork is an online platform for freelancers, and it’s a great place to get paid for writing. If you create a winning Upwork profile and proposal, this can be a lucrative place to make money online.
- Pro Bloggers Job Board: Another option is Pro Bloggers Job Board, a curated job board with a lot of opportunities in many different niches. They’re open to all experience levels, so this is a great place to search. I recommend setting alerts to your email.
- Wellfound: Previously known as Angel List, Wellfound is a platform specifically designed for finding jobs with startups. You’ll find startups of all sizes, mostly from the USA, and a lot of options for remote or contract work. Search “content writing” gigs to find paid writing jobs and set your search to “contract positions.”
Lifestyle Publishers and Magazines
Another option is to pitch yourself directly to well-known publishers and magazines. While you’ll need to work under an editor, these are an option if you have a story idea in mind. Here are some that fit into the general lifestyle niche:
- Readers Digest: RD is currently accepting 100-word story submissions. They want you to send them a story about yourself in 100 words or fewer. (Pay $100)
- DAME: If you have an essay on your experience with politics, culture, or societal issues, DAME wants to hear your story. DAME is open to essays that features a strong voice. Pay is dependent on topic, experience, and negotiation and begins at $350+ per post.
- Book Browse: If you love reading books and sharing your opinion, Book Browse is always accepting book reviews. Reviews need to be at least 300 words. (Pay $60)
- Insider: I’ve personally written a few stories for Insider, and this is a great publication that covers all aspects of trending news and lifestyle. They have clear pitch guidelines, and the pay is typically over $200+ per accepted article.
- The Daily Beast: The Daily Beast is an independent, award-winning publication which reports on pop-culture, politics, and news of the day. With over 1 million readers a day, this is a big platform. (Pay reportedly $250+)
- Listverse: This blog is encouraging new and experienced writers to submit to Listverse, a list-focused publication. Each article must have a minimum of 10 items per list. (Pay $100)
- Your Tango: Your Tango is a women’s focused relationship and dating website. Articles are between 500 – 1200 words. Your article can be about anything from fashion, travel, current events, and so on as long as it explains how it affects your relationship with your significant other. (Pay $50)
- Bitch Media: Bitch is looking for both first-person essays and articles about pop-culture, feminist culture, and reviews. Pay is negotiable.
- Buzzfeed: Few online publishers are as well-known as Buzzfeed. The good news is they’re always open to working with freelance writers of all niches!
Business and Marketing Publications
If you’re a business owner or you’re looking to build your freelancing expertise, getting your name out there in a business or marketing publication can have a big payoff.
- Fast Company: If you want to get your name in front of Fast Company readers, they have a full guide with the best way to pitch.
- Fortune: Another big name in this space is Fortune. Luckily, they’re always working with freelance writers to expand their team of storytellers. Before you submit, consider any trending ideas and what they’re currently looking for.
- Income Diary: Income Diary is a blog all about making money online, driving social media traffic, and building websites. If you’re an expert in any of these things (specifically SEO), they want to hear from you. (Pay $150 – $300)
- HubSpot: One of the most well-known marketing blogs, you can easily submit to HubSpot using their online form.
If you’re a tech-savvy freelance writer, get your foot in the door with one of these well-known tech blog publications.
- Word Candy: Word Candy is a WordPress article and how-to blog. They’re currently seeking freelance bloggers with self-hosted WordPress experience. (Pay starts at $15 per hour)
- Envato Tuts+: If you’re good at technology and software, you can create an informative tutorial for Tuts+, a tutorial blog. Pitch your experience or a particular tutorial idea. (Pay $100+)
- Twilio: If you’re a qualified developer, you can write about code to the tune of $650 per accepted tutorial.
- Draft: Another option for skilled software developers is Draft.Dev. You can apply easily online using their form. They reportedly pay up to $400 per article.
Parenting and Lifestyle Publications
If you’re a writer looking to delve into the parenting space, you’re in luck. This is a huge online community, and you have a lot of options for getting your business out there.
- Clubhouse: With a circulation of over 90,000 readers, this magazine focuses on imparting Christian values on children. between the ages of 8-12. Many of their submissions are fiction-focused, and the pay starts at $0.15/word.
- Healthy Mummy: A top UK blog all about balancing health and wellness while parenting, Healthy Mummy accepts approved stories about motherhood in exchange for $100.
- Pregnant Chicken: If you have a story that fits under one of Pregnant Chicken’s trending article idea umbrellas, they pay $100 per accepted submission.
- Pregnancy and Newborn: Though they don’t have clear submission guidelines, Pregnancy and Newborn is always looking for great content around parenting and pregnancy. You can submit a pitch directly to their editors via their contact page.
- Motherly: Motherly accepts first-person, 700-900 word stories reflecting on motherhood as an experience as well as any unique wisdom you’ve earned along the way. Pay is around $50 per story.
The travel niche is a difficult one to make your own, and it can feel really crowded. Luckily, these travel websites and blogs are looking for skilled freelancer writers of all backgrounds to share travel expertise.
- Expatica: This expat travel blog focuses on stories and assistance for people who moved abroad. If you have a personal connection, pitch your idea. You’ll need to negotiate your own rate.
- Saveur: Saveur is a luxury travel blog open to amazing stories about food and travel. Include links to past work and provide information about how you plan to execute any reporting for your piece. (Pay reportedly $150+)
- International Living: This is a website all about finding the right place to live overseas. You can share your experience living overseas or first-hand travel tips.
- Horizon Guides: Known for its expert guides and trips, you can become a member of the Horizon Writer’s guide contributor team to get pitch info right in your inbox.
- Matador Creators: The Matador Network is a well-known travel website that’s used by millions, and it’s created by fellow travelers. Join the Metador Creator network to access travel content opportunities and writing gigs. Pay per gig is usually around $40.
Health & Wellness Publications
Last but not least, writing about health and wellness has a lot of potential. Here are some publications always looking for skilled experts on all things health and wellness.
- Anxiety Foundation: The Anxiety Foundation accepts articles of at least 550 words about experience or tips surrounding mental health. (Pay $50)
- The Mighty: The Mighty is another mental health blog that features stories of personal experience as well as expert insights. While they don’t currently offer compensation for general submissions, they do have paid opportunities for contributors.
- Better Humans: If you’re familiar with Medium, then you’ve likely already come across a trending article from Better Humans. Though pay is often based on performance, this is still an easy publication to submit to as a freelance writer.
- Bustle: One of the biggest sections of Bustle is focused around health and wellness. If you have a unique story around health from a lifestyle perspective, Bustle can match your standard rate.
- NutriInspector: This blog is all about health and nutrition. If you have any special insight on their topic suggestions, you’re encouraged to send a submission. Pay is up to $150 depending on experience.
How Do You Pitch Writing Jobs Online?
Finally, let’s talk about how to actually pitch those writing jobs above. You need to know how to make an impression on your prospective clients so they trust you. Sometimes you’ll be talking to HR managers, marketing managers, editors, or even business owners directly. You need to know how to sell yourself!
When in doubt, keep it short. These editors/managers get a lot of pitches, most likely, and they don’t have time to read through your life story.
My basic formula is usually greeting + short bio + my experience in relation to the gig/topic + pitch idea + sample links. Here’s a sample that I’ve used in the past:
Hi [Editor’s Name],
I’m a full-time digital marketing writer from Orlando, FL. I’m excited about your call for submissions on email marketing since this is something I have 3+ years of experience in. As the Lead Content Specialist at an Orlando-based marketing agency, I was fully in charge of 10+ email campaigns at any given time.
Because of this experience, I would like to pitch the following ideas: X, Y, and Z for your blog. Because I know quality content speaks for itself, I’ll link my most recent work to this email.
I look forward to learning more about your publication needs!Signature
It can really be that simple! Here are a few helpful pointers to help you get your paid writing pitch noticed every time:
- Read the contributor guidelines carefully! Make sure you include everything they asked for.
- Link any published work when possible, even if it’s only to your personal blog.
- Include your writer’s website, portfolio, or LinkedIn in your signature
- Find an editor’s name to include in your greeting. It shows you’ve gone the extra mile and done your research!
- Read the blog/publication before pitching to get a feel for what they’re looking for.
How to Get Paid to Write Online Without Experience
The best part about getting paid to write is that you don’t need experience, a fancy degree, or anything else to get started. As someone who’s been making a full-time living blogging and writing online for the past 3 years, I know how exciting it is to get started.
💻 Are you not sure freelance writing is right for you? Here are some other freelancing ideas:
- How to Become a Freelance Graphic Designer
- How to Become a Freelance Virtual Assistant
- Types of Freelancing You Can Do Online
Don’t let the process of getting paid online intimidate you. Finding online gigs just got a lot easier thanks to this list! What are you waiting for? Those paid gigs are just a few clicks away.
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