There is no better time to be a writer looking for work. You no longer need to wade your way through countless job interviews hoping to get picked up by a respected magazine or newspaper. The world of online content has been democratized and content generation is no longer reserved for elite media monoliths.
The best part is that you can make money writing from the comfort of your own home on your own schedule online. Writers are now service-providers (or “freelancers”) who can set their own prices and create their own schedules.
You can choose to make writing a full-time gig or use it as a side hustle to make some extra cash. You can write for others or even publish your own ebook. How do you get started? Our guide on how to make money writing online will walk you through the entire process.
How To Make Money Writing Online: The Basics
First things first, you should know how the gig works.
Online writers are usually paid per article. You shouldn’t expect to be paid a full-time salary unless you are fortunate enough to find a long-term client who is happy with your work.
While this may be a deterrent for some passionate writers, it can actually be viewed as a good thing. Being paid per article means two things:
- You can choose how frequently you work (i.e. no full-time commitments)
- You can diversify your client base
The first is great for anyone who appreciates a flexible schedule. Whether you want to work 10 hours per week or 80 hours, you will be compensated accordingly.
Diversifying your client base adds income security. If you have a single employer, you have less flexibility. What your boss says goes… Furthermore, if your company decides to let you go, you lose out on all of your income.
When you diversify your client base, you have increased job security. You are no longer relying on a paycheck from a single employer. Instead, you may be writing articles for dozens of companies. If one company decides they no longer need your services, your income will be fine.
Getting Paid To Write Online
Articles (or any form of content) are typically billed in one of two ways:
- Per-word (i.e. charge based on the length of the article)
- Per-article (i.e. flat rate for each article regardless of length)
As a writer, you have some say in how you’d like to bill but you should also take a client’s needs into consideration. For example, some clients may prefer a per-article compensation plan because it offers more predictable expenses.
There are pros and cons to each. At first glance, per-word compensation may feel like the most effective way to align efforts with payments, but that’s not always the case. For example, certain topics may take a lot of research but result in a low word-count. In this case, you’d be better off getting a per-article rate that may be higher than what you would be offered per-word.
Keep in mind that you’re not locked into a single pricing structure and many writers will utilize both compensation models (depending on the clients they work with).
If you are just getting started with making money writing online, I’d recommend starting with a per-article rate so you can keep things simple.
How Much Should You Charge For Writing Online?
Once you’ve chosen a compensation model, you need to choose a rate. This is where things can get tricky.
There is a LOT of variance in the rates charged by writers. Writers may get paid anywhere from $30-$300 per article, depending on a few criteria.
- Experience – Experienced writers get paid more. Even if you aced your writing classes in college, you still need to develop a track record in the freelancing world.
- Employer – Different employers will play different rates. For example, a site like Forbes is likely to pay more than a small business blog. That said, the former is far more competitive and the latter is more likely to provide a consistent income stream.
- Topic/Difficulty – Writers who specialize in advanced topics can often get paid more. For example, most writers could put together an article on “The Top Tourist Destinations” whereas only a select few could write about “Internal Stock Market Mechanics That Impact Your Portfolio.” The easier a topic is to write about, the higher the competition from other writers (i.e. lower payouts).
Don’t know where to start your pricing? Look at online jobs and see what the going rate is (we’ll discuss this later).
Remember, you are your own boss and you can always change pricing later.
Make Money Writing Online: Tips for Success
- Work for Free
- Read Instructions and Ask for Details
- Focus on the Long Game