If you can string words together coherently and are willing to learn a little about keywords and SEO, you can earn money writing articles and blog posts online. What you don’t need is a journalism or English degree. You don’t even necessarily need professional experience in writing. All you need is the ability to write clearly and concisely.
Because content is king, websites and blogs need well-written informative or entertaining articles to help them attract traffic. Many of these articles are short, 400 to 800 words, so they’re quick to write.
The fun part of writing online is that the range of topics are endless. I see writing gigs that cover weddings, fashion, automotive, gardening, gaming, health, fitness, business, legal, pets, parenting and more. The downside is that the pay isn’t that great compared to freelance writing for print. Further, the market is competitive, which means it’s a little harder to break in.
Here are some tips to getting started writing online:
1) Make a list of topics you’re knowledgeable about.
Online markets need content on just about everything, so don’t leave any idea out.
2) Create a sample article that you can use as a submission.
If you’ve already written articles online, make a list of the URLs your writing appears that you can use for clips. If you don’t have clips, this sample article can be used to show your writing skill. Many writing jobs ask for a sample, as well.
3) Search for writing opportunities.
Below, I’ve included a list of places that frequently look for writers or where you can find more writing work. You can get writing jobs and markets delivered to your email each week by signing up for Digital Writer Success’ email list.
4) Apply frequently and often.
Like other forms of home-based work, it can take a long time to hear back about a writing job you applied to. The best way around this is to keep applying until you do hear back.
5) Strive to only write for places that pay at least $15 per 400 words.
It’s still low for the value of writing, but it’s a place to start to build a portfolio that can lead to higher paying gigs. Don’t write for less than that because it’s not doable to make a living writing for peanuts. If you’re just starting out, your goal is to quickly build to get higher paying writing jobs.
If you want to know more about making a living writing online, check out Digital Writer Success: How to Make a Living Blogging, Freelance Writing and Publishing Online, available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble in print and ebook formats.
Writing Job Sources
DotDash (formerlly About.com) – Hires writer “experts” in a variety of areas including soap operas, parenting and more. Not only do guides write, but they blog and manage the topic area. Some knowledge of WordPress (for blogging) and HTML is helpful. The process is long, but the pay is one of the best for online writing. Along with a standard rate, you can earn bonuses for increasing traffic to your site. Pay is once a month by direct deposit or check.
Internet Brands – Provides content to a variety of websites in several topic areas. The pay depends on the site and topic. For example, the health site paid $40 to $45 for articles in a short-term project, while a parenting site pays $25 in an ongoing project. Sometimes you’ll be given topics and other times you can suggest them. The pay is once a month either by check or direct deposit.
OnlineCollegeEssay.com: You can make money by writing papers online for college.
Places to Find Writing Jobs
Digital Writer Success emails writing jobs and markets once a week.
FlexJobs has many writing (and other) work-at-home jobs. (Use AFFILPROMO to save on any membership)
Writers Weekly posts jobs every Wednesday
Freelance Writing Gigs posts jobs daily
Problogger has a job board for blog content. You can find some really interesting topics such as pets and celebrity gossip.
Media Bistro requires registration, but the basic services are free. It posts a variety of writing and media-related jobs.
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Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
Note: Work-At-Home Success contains advertising as well as screened work-at-home jobs and resources. Some posts may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive compensation if you register or buy using the link. Occasionally, WAHS publishes "Supporting Contributor" posts or paid reviews for which compensation is paid. These posts are marked as such. All opinions are my own.
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