As a freelance writer, I’ve been in transition from part-time to full-time writing work for the last few years. This means I’ve learned a lot, made some memorable mistakes along the way, and am slowly emerging with a good sense of where there’s cash to be made from writing online. Aside from writing for KCL (yup, did you know about the KCL Contributors Network?), I’m happy to share a few other sites where you can find steady or intermittent writing work on a "pay per submission" basis.
I’ve actually written for each one of these websites—recently, at that—and I hope you’ll also benefit from what I’ve learned about each!
A word about payment types
If you’re pondering the thought of bringing in some extra monthly cash by turning your interest in writing into a part-time gig, be aware you’ll encounter different types of payment options depending on which website you choose to write for. Here are the two most common examples:
- Flat fee per article: This is the best choice for beginning writers who need cash and don't have time right at the moment to learn the art of SEO (search engine optimization) writing, which is what some websites require in order to generate any payment for submissions. With a flat fee per article, payments can range from just a dollar or two to hundreds of dollars per accepted article. But at least you know exactly what you’ll earn for your hard work.
- Pay per view. This isn’t the same as what you get on television, where you pay to watch a program. Rather, on pay-per-view websites, you get paid every time a reader clicks on your article to read it. Payment per view is typically very small—for example, Associated Content (aka Yahoo! Voices) pays $1.50 per 1,000 views. So you’ll need to generate significant traffic to earn noticeable income.
About receiving payments
If you want to write for online sites and get paid, it’s nearly essential that you have a Paypal account. Most content fulfillment sites pay via Paypal. This makes everything easier on everyone at tax time and throughout the year. So before you get started searching for work, set up your Paypal account.
4 writer websites that pay per submission
eCopywriters was one of the very first sites I wrote for. The site was recently acquired by a new owner, so the website is altogether friendlier and easier to navigate than it was when I first started with them. Due to the acquisition and redesign of their website, they haven't had as much work of late, but that will no doubt change once things settle down again.
- Application process: It’s simple to create your account, and then you can just upload your photo, fill in a biography with your writing background and interests and select areas of writing expertise.
- Pay rate: You’ll be paid a flat fee for each assignment that you complete that’s approved by their editing team.
- Payment: Payment is via Paypal.
Textbroker is a very easy site to get started with as a new online writer. My brother and his wife actually discovered Textbroker when they needed extra cash and then passed their intel on to me. When I have a few free minutes and want to pick up a bit of extra money, I can log in nearly anytime and find plenty of work.
- Application process: The initial application process is a speedy one-pager. But once you log in, you’ll have more work to do to set up your public profile.
- Pay rate: You’ll be paid a flat fee for each assignment that you complete, once the client approves it. You may be asked to do revisions, but I've never had to do revisions more than once per piece, if at all.
- Payment: Payment is via Paypal. You can request a payout at any time.
I wasn't registered on oDesk for very long before I won my first longer term contract assignment. I was being paid peanuts, but the work was easy and it got me through a very rough financial moment in my early writing life. The challenge with oDesk is that it’s an international website, which means you may be competing with writers in countries where $0.01 per word looks like an absolute fortune. That being said, however, there’s good work to be had, and if you need extra cash in a hurry, you can find it on oDesk.
- Application process: You can get started with just your email and a password. But to win work, you need to set up a freelancer profile, which can be as extensive (or not) as you would like it to be. There are also "skills tests" which can boost your visibility and ranking to attract potential clients.
- Pay rate: Your pay is determined by bidding—basically, you apply for jobs and set your desired rate as part of your application. Clients will then review the applications and select a writer.
- Payment: You can choose between Paypal and your bank account. You pay a fee by using Paypal, and payment is free using your bank account via direct deposit. Once you have a balance accrued (no minimums here), you can request a payment at any time using either method.
I’ve written several articles for Zerys. They don’t have the easiest assignment desk to navigate, nor is their application as quick as some, but when I did accept and write articles, payment was in full and prompt. You’ll only be asked to write one post for no pay—this is for the initial evaluation piece that will give you your writer ranking. Your writer ranking determines how many assignments you’ll be eligible to accept.
- Application process: The site states to allot from 20-40 minutes to complete the application and the writing sample. You can then fine tune your profile once you’re assigned your writer ranking.
- Pay rate: Your pay will be in cents per word. Most jobs will range between $0.007 and $0.035 cents per word (equaling out to between $4 and $15 per post).
- Payment: Payment on Zerys is via Paypal on the 1st and 15th of the month. This is nice because, unlike with some other sites, you don't have to accrue a minimum balance before you can get paid.
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