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 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!
What Do You Need to Start Freelance Writing?
First thing’s first: what do you need to get started as a freelance writer? If you want to get paid by 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. At least, I hope you don’t do that.
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 of 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 a writing niche, and it should be something you have a lot of experience in. 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.
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.
General Pitch Websites
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.
Angel List – Angel List 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.
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.
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)
Business and Marketing
B Michelle Pippin Business Blog – If you’re a business owner or an expert in something business-related, this might be the opportunity for you. B. Michelle Pippin is looking for experts to share their expertise. (Pay $50 – $150)
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 $200 – $500)
The Penny Hoarder – Another money-making and finance blog is the Penny Hoarder, a blog looking for pitches about earning or saving money. The Penny Hoarder is seeking evergreen articles of at least 700 words. Pay is negotiated with the editor upon the acceptance of your pitch, or you can alternatively have a backlink in your bio.
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+)
Parenting and Lifestyle
Babble – Babbel is a parenting blog that is always looking for new ideas, inspiration, and stories from real-life parents and family experts. To pitch, contact an editor.
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.
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+)
Health & 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.
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.
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.