Essay Writing Jobs Online

Tired of writing for pennies (or peanuts or whichever cliche for crappy pay you prefer) and ready to earn money online for real?

We’re tired of it, too. That’s why Carol started paying for posts a few years back — and why she upped her rates to $75+ last fall. And it’s why we update our list of sites that pay on a regular basis.

Below is the new-and-improved, early 2016 edition of Make a Living Writing’s list of websites that pay at least $50 per post.

What’s included — and not

Rather than linking to the list we published last fall, we’re posting a comprehensive and updated new list. We’ve added new markets we learned of in the past 6 months and removed sites that have categories of posts that are below $50. That’s our minimum.

In some cases, these sites keep it on the Q.T. exactly what they pay. We’re including markets where freelance writers in our network report they pay more than $50, in order to bring you the widest variety of paying markets possible.

We also removed sites that are not currently accepting pitches, which knocked a good portion of the writing-focused sites off. Sites where you only have a shot at earning $50 writing on spec, or based on traffic or ad clicks, are NOT included. This is a list of markets offering guaranteed pay only!

The list runs the gamut of topics, from parenting and knitting to business and writing, so there should be something here for everyone.

As always, we appreciate any corrections or additions — please post them in the comments. Here’s the list:

Business, Career, and Finance

  1. B. Michelle Pippin pays $50-$150 for business-related articles.
  2. Note: This site is no longer functioning.
  3. Brazen (formerly Brazen Careerist) will pay if you pre-arrange it with their editor. They’re looking for posts about higher ed administration, marketing, networking, and recruiting and HR.
  4. CEO Hangout will pay $50 if you pre-arrange it with the editor — send a pitch and negotiate payment before writing the article. They run posts about the CEO lifestyle, success stories, interviews, and other reported features of interest to business leaders.
  5. DailyWorth pays $150 for articles about women and money. They list a blackhole editorial@ email address, but I recently tweeted them about how to submit a pitch, and they suggested hitting up the managing editor, Koa Beck.
  6. Doctor of Credit pays $50 for personal finance articles that focus specifically on credit.
  7. eCommerce Insiders pays $60-$150 for articles about online retailing.
  8. FreelanceMom pays $75-$100 for posts about running a business as a busy parent.
  9. FreshBooks (yup, that same invoicing site Carol recommends) pays $200 a post and up. Be prepared to negotiate to get a better rate.
  10. Acorns has a new online pub called Grow Magazine that pays $50+ for finance writing geared toward millennials. They don’t have guidelines posted, but they told me to submit to grow@acorns.com with the word STORY in your subject line. We don’t normally recommend those generic emails, but because the pub is still new, it might not be a huge black hole yet.
  11. IncomeDiary pays $50-$200 for articles about making money online, including SEO, affiliate sales, and traffic generation.
  12. Mirasee pays $200 for 1,000-2,000-word posts on marketing, business productivity, and growth topics. [NOTE: Mirasee is currently paying only for posts they commission. Unsolicited posts are unpaid.]
  13. Modern Farmer reportedly pays around $150 for articles.
  14. Penny Hoarder shares money-saving ideas. You’ll need to negotiate pay with the editors during the pitching process — and be willing to forego a link back to your site.
  15. Priceonomics The catch? Articles must be submitted on spec. They occasionally post requests for articles on specific topics, which might get you closer to that big paycheck. [NOTE: This pub’s writer’s guidelines now say they pay $50/article. Be prepared to verify/negotiate payment.]
  16. RankPay about SEO, content marketing, and social media. [NOTE: This pub’s writer’s guidelines now say they pay $50/article. Be prepared to verify/negotiate payment.]
  17. The Work Online blog pays $50 per post.

Essays

  1. Aish accepts first-person accounts on the positive influence of Orthodox Jewish beliefs on everyday life — and they pay $200 on publication. Know the frum life to succeed here, and email ebraverman@aish.edu.
  2. Cosmopolitan.com pays $100 for essays about college. They’re also using this essay submission as a way to find writers for assignments.
  3. Dame reportedly pays $200 for essays. They do accept reported features and other article types, and pay rates may vary for those.
  4. Essig Magazine offers $100 for essays about a personal experience.
  5. The Establishment pays $125 and up for reported stories and essays.
  6. Eureka Street is an Australian site that pays $200 for analysis or commentary on politics, religion, popular culture or current events in Australia and the world. They also pay $50 for poetry, which seems to be a rarity these days. [NOTE: This publication is closed to submissions from December 13, 2016 to January 10, 2017. Anything submitted during this time will not be read – please verify they’re back open before you submit.]
  7. Guideposts pays $250 for Christian faith-based essays.
  8. LightHouse pays $100 for uplifting essays by blind or visually impaired writers.
  9. Narratively pays $200-300 for 2000 – 2500-word essays on specific topics. Check their guidelines for a list of current needs.
  10. The New York Times Modern Love column reportedly pays as much as $300 for essays on any topic that could be classified as modern love.
  11. Skirt pays $200 for essays about women’s issues.
  12. [NOTE: The Toast is closing July 1, 2017, and is no longer accepting submissions.]
  13. Vox First Person reportedly pays in the $400 range for personal essays of about 1,500 words. Pitch firstperson@vox.com.
  14. xoJane was purchased by Time, Inc., and shuttered on Dec. 31, 2016. Certain content will fold into InStyle.

Family and Parenting

  1. Babble pays $100-$150 for posts on parenting, entertainment, pregnancy, beauty, style, food, and travel. (NOTE: Babble’s writer’s guidelines are no longer easily found. You may have to do some sleuthing to find contact info for an editor.)
  2. Just Parents is a UK-based site that focuses on pregnancy and parenting. They pay $60 per post.
  3. Parent.co posts non-snarky articles about parenting and family issues. Pay starts at $50.
  4. [NOTE: No longer pays for unsolicited submissions.]
  5. Stork Guide focuses on pregnancy and parenting of newborns and toddlers. They pay $50+ per post.
  6. Well Family (the New York Times’ parenting blog) pays $100. Pitch the editor.

Health

  1. The Anxiety Foundation pays $50 for mental health articles.
  2. The Atlantic’s online health section reportedly pays $200.
  3. PsychCentral covers mental health. They don’t list a pay rate on their site, and they didn’t respond to my query about pay, but a reader on last year’s list reported they are a paying market. [UPDATE 12/2016: The website says they don’t pay, but exceptions are made if you discuss payment BEFORE submitting.]

Lifestyle and General Interest

  1. BBC Britain doesn’t publish their pay rate, but I’ve seen reports of $350-$1,000 for various BBC sites. Pitch stories with a British slant for an international audience. Download their guidelines as a Word document.
  2. Bitch Magazine’s website pays for pop culture features. Pay is variable, so negotiate to get your desired rate.
  3. BookBrowse pays for book reviews! Writers accepted into their stable of reviewers will earn $50 for a 600-word review.
  4. [NOTE: BuzzFeed is no longer accepting submissions.]
  5. The Daily Beast reportedly pays $250 and up. Their submission guidelines have a black-hole editorial@ email address, so you’ll want to do a little digging to find the right person to pitch.
  6. Note: Gawker.com shut down in August 2016.
  7. getAbstract reportedly pays $300 for longer (2,000-4,000 word) book summaries.
  8. Gothamist pays $50-$150 for reported pieces about New York.
  9. HowlRound pays $50 for blog posts about the theater — management and marketing, play production and writing, and so on. Note: This market asked to be removed because they were receiving pitches that were not well targeted. Target your pitches so we can keep providing these lists.
  10. The International Wine Accessories blog pays $50 and up for articles.
  11. [NOTE: The Kernel paused weekly publication as of July 2016.]
  12. Knitty raised their rates to $120-$200 for articles about knitting and knitting patterns. They also have a sister site —Knittyspin — for knitters who like to use handspun yarn.
  13. Lifezette pays $100-$200 for articles on parenting, politics, faith, health, and pop culture. Contact the appropriate editor with your idea.
  14. Listverse pays $100 for long (1,500 word) lists on various topics.
  15. [NOTE: The Mix is no longer accepting submissions.]
  16. New York Observer pays $100 on posts about politics and culture for “sophisticated readership of metropolitan professionals.”
  17. OZY does pay freelancers, but rates vary.
  18. Paste pays $50+ for submissions in many different areas.
  19. Playboy.com pays up to $350, depending on the topic.
  20. Pretty Designs covers fashion and beauty. You’ll need to negotiate per-post pay.
  21. Refinery29 reportedly pays $75 and up for slideshows, articles, and essays on various topics. They also post their needs for specific columns on their guidelines page.
  22. Salon pays $100-$200 for essays and reported features, even very long ones.
  23. Smithsonian Magazine Online reportedly pays established freelancers up to $600 for reported articles.
  24. The Tablet pays for articles on Jewish news, ideas, and culture. Pay varies, so be prepared to negotiate. I saw a report of $1,000 for a heavily reported 2,000+ word feature.
  25. TwoPlusTwo Magazine pays $200 for original posts about poker. They post articles for six months, after which time the rights revert to the writer, so you can sell reprint rights or post it on your own blog.
  26. Upworthy pays $150-$200 for 500-word posts.
  27. Vice‘s pay rate varies, so you will need to negotiate if you’d like to write about food, technology, music, fashion, and other lifestyle topics.
  28. YourTango pays $50 for posts on love, sex, travel, mental health, and just about anything else that affects your relationships.

Tech

  1. A List Apart covers web design. They pay $200 per article.
  2. Compose pays $200 and $200 in Compose database credits for articles about databases.
  3. The Graphic Design School blog pays $100-$200 for articles and tutorials about Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and open source design tools.
  4. Indeni pays $50-$200 for posts that cover Check Point firewalls, F5 load balancers or Palo Alto Networks firewalls.
  5. Linode pays $250 for articles about Linux, Socket.io, NoSQL databases, game servers, Open Change, and Web RTC.
  6. Devilish about web development? SitePoint pays $100-$150 for articles on HTML, CSS, Ruby, PHP, and more.
  7. SlickWP pays $100 for posts about WordPress and the Genesis Theme framework.
  8. Tuts+ pays $100 and up for tutorials on various technologies, including Web design and Flash. Tuts once ran a network of 16 different blogs, including Freelance Switch, but it’s all together on a single site now that encompasses design, gaming, photography, writing, and more.
  9. WordCandy pays 6-10 cents a word for ghostwritten pieces about WordPress — these will appear on some of the larger WordPress blogs, such as wpmudev.
  10. WPHub pays $100-$200 for posts on web design trends, coding best practices, and other WordPress-related topics.

Travel and Food

  1. Big Grey Horse page $125-$200 for posts about Texas — photos must be included. Texas-based writers are preferred, because the site requires in-person visits.
  2. Cultures and Cuisines pays $200 per article.
  3. Desert Times pays $50-$100 for stories about the deserts of North America and the culture and lifestyle of the people who live there. They prefer writers to also submit photos.
  4. Expatics serves U.S. expatriates. This is another site where you’ll need to negotiate pay before you write your article.
  5. Fund Your Life Overseas pays $75 for articles about business ideas that provide enough income for U.S. ex-pats.
  6. The International Wine Accessories blog pays $50 and up for articles.
  7. Saveur starts at $150 for “amazing stories about food and travel.”
  8. The Salt (NPR’s food blog) reportedly pays $200+.

Writing

  1. ClearVoice is a platform to connect bloggers with brands in various niches, as well as commissioning posts for its own blog. Pay is variable but ranges as high as $250-$400 (from what we’ve seen so far). When you apply, you set the rates you’re willing to accept; then, the platform emails you when appropriate opportunities arise. It’s not a bid site — fees are preset. But gigs are presented to multiple writers, and then the client chooses who they’ll work with. Luckily, there’s no elaborate application process, once your profile is set — you simply reply that you’re interested, and they let you know if you win the gig.
  2. Contently pays about 35 cents a word for their freelancer-focused online magazine. Download their pitching guidelines here.
  3. Freedom with Writing pays $50+ for lists of paying publishers. They also pay for short ebooks, so there is an option for longer-form content, too.
  4. Make a Living Writing. That’s right, this-here blog pays $75-$100 for guest posts, depending on complexity and research needed. Be sure to read our guidelines thorougly, especially our list of the topics we’re actively looking for guest posts on right now. Pitching one of those will seriously improve your odds!
  5. WOW! Women on Writing pays $50-$150.
  6. The Write Life pays for some posts — you’ll need to negotiate your rate.

Tips for successful pitching

Before you pitch any of these sites, read the guidelines carefully and study the posts they’ve already run. Make sure you either have a fresh topic or a new way of exploring an issue they’ve covered before.

Paying markets are more competitive than posting on free sites. And the more bad pitches a site receives, the likelier they will reconsider whether they even accept guest posts, let alone pay for them. (Believe me, this happens, and it is the reason some sites we’ve listed before are no longer accepting pitches.)

Need help learning how to pitch a paying guest post? See this post, and this one.

Have you written for any of these markets? Found others that pay well? Tell us in the comments below.

Jennifer Roland is a freelance education, financial institution, and technology writer — and the guest-blog editor here at Make a Living Writing. Her latest book, 10 Takes: Pacific Northwest Writers, was published by Gladeye Press.

Tagged with: how to make good money writing online, websites that pay

If you’re a freelance writer, the task of finding quality, well-paying gigs can be a daunting one. Where do you even start? How you can guarantee the jobs you’re looking at are legit instead of scams?

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: the Internet is chock full of people who are willing to pay pennies on the dollar for hours of your highly skilled time. (Keep reading for some words of warning about these people.)

The good news is that we’re here to help you weed out the dreck and find the sites that are actually worth your time and effort. (Click to tweet this list.) Whether you’re a copywriter, editor, creative writer or anything in between, these sites offer the well-paying, reputable freelance writing jobs you really want.

Better yet? While some sites charge a monthly fee to access their job listings, all of the resources below are free.

So where can you find freelance gigs?

1. BloggingPro Job Board

Also listing a healthy dose of copywriting jobs (you can search postings by category), this board is, as the name suggests, right up a blogger’s alley. Whether you’re into health and fitness, pets, writing code or whatever else, you’ll find a steady stream of employers looking for blog writers versed in these and many other subjects.

2. Journalism Jobs

While most of the postings are (you guessed it again!) for those whose focus is journalism, you don’t necessarily have to have Lois Lane dreams to find a gig here. There are also editing positions, ad copywriting and other jobs thrown into the mix. Some are location-based, some can be done remotely.

3. MediaBistro

Check out the freelance section of the site for a wide range of jobs from industries like TV, PR/marketing, magazine and book publishing and social media — a little something for everyone.

4. FlexJobs

One of the top job boards for telecommuting, FlexJobs enables you to create a custom job search profile to meet your specific needs. Select your categories (there are several under “Writing”), your preferred work schedule, your experience level and more to hone your search results down to those that best fit what you’re looking for. You can also set alerts so you’re notified when new jobs matching your search criteria are posted.

5. Morning Coffee Newsletter

This weekly e-newsletter provides a nice compendium of freelance writing and editing jobs of all shapes and sizes from around the Web with competitive pay rates. Save yourself the time of scouring numerous sites and let this newsletter bring the decent jobs right to your inbox.

6. ProBlogger Job Board

Created by Darren Rowse of ProBlogger, an authority site on blogging, you know jobs listed here will be from serious employers who have an idea what good writing is really worth. Plus, given ProBlogger’s high profile in the blogosphere, you can often find jobs posted by some big-time blogs here.

7. Freelance Writing

With exclusive job opportunities as well as posts pulled from sites like Indeed and Craigslist, this board consolidates a variety of gigs for everyone from newbie to seasoned freelancers. If you don’t want to see jobs from a certain source (Craigslist, for instance, can sometimes be sketchy), you’re free to narrow your displayed results to exclude them.

8. Be a Freelance Blogger Job Board

Freelance blogger Sophie Lizard’s community forum features this board where writers and clients can share scoops on job opportunities. Each opportunity must pay at least $50 post or 10 cents a word.

9. The Ultimate List of Better-Paid Blogging Gigs

Lizard has also compiled a free ebook listing 45 blogs that pay $50 or more per post, broken down into sections like Writing Blogs, Food Blogs, etc. She also includes some good tips on how to approach these blogs, how to promote yourself once you’ve landed a post, and more.

10. LinkedIn Jobs

If you’ve already got a LinkedIn profile (and you really should), don’t let it just sit there. Networking goes a long way in the freelance world, and LinkedIn is a great resource to do some networking through common connections.

While you’re doing that networking, check out the Jobs section and sign up for email alerts when jobs are posted that match your interests. Many will be location-based, but who’s to say you can’t approach these employers with a proposal for freelance writing services? Maybe they need someone to fill the gap in the hiring interim, or maybe the job could just as easily be done remotely but they hadn’t considered that.

Pro tip: You know that “people who’ve recently viewed your profile” notification you see when you sign into LinkedIn? If you don’t recognize some of the names, why not reach out to them and say “I see you’ve looked at my profile. I’d love to explore if there are any ways we can help each other.” Can’t hurt to try, right?

Sites to avoid

Especially if you’re just starting out, it’s tempting to be lured into content mills like Demand Studios or free-for-alls like Guru, oDesk and Elance, where it looks like you might stand a better chance to land something even if you don’t have the biggest portfolio yet.

Don’t be.

While it may seem like these sites are your best best when you’re a newcomer, they’re largely a crapshoot when it comes to winning a project. These sites are a rush for the lowest bid, and you’re competing against hundreds if not thousands of other desperate freelancers prepared to sell their firstborn for the chance to write someone’s 250-page ebook. (Some writers have been able to make a decent buck on sites like Upwork, but they are often the exception rather than the rule and have usually invested huge amounts of time to make it happen.)

Even if you’re brand-spanking new to the game, no one deserves a gig that pays one cent per word. And chances are if someone is looking for the sort of writer willing to write a word a cent, they’re not going to be the best client to work for. Don’t sell yourself short just because you’re new. Have a little patience, keep persevering, and you will find those clients who truly value you.

Looking to get even more serious about your freelance writing. The Write Life published two e-books to help you find more paid writing gigs. Check out our shop to buy 71 Ways to Make Money as a Freelance Writer and Get Better Clients and Earn More Money.

This post originally ran in September 2013. We updated it in February 2017.

Kelly Gurnett is a freelance blogger, writer and editor; you can follow her on Twitter @CordeliaCallsIt.

Looking for freelance writing jobs? Check out The Write Life’s Job Board. Good luck!

Filed Under: Freelancing

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