10 Online Gold Mines for Finding Paid Freelance Writing Jobs

10 Online Gold Mines for Finding Paid Freelance Writing Jobs

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.

paid writing gigs

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!

be patient, persevere, and you will find clients who value you

Filed Under: Freelancing
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  • Daryl says:

    Great list Kelly!

    For those who are a bit more familiar with AP and Chicago Style for writing for magazine styled publications, allfreelancewriting.com also has a great (and free!) writers market listing.

    I think writers, especially new ones, need to value their skills and pitch to clients who are willing to pay decent rates, instead of trying to get work from the penny pinching cheap clients!

    • Cordelia says:

      Great suggestion, Daryl. Thanks!

      You are SO write about valuing your work. I’m actually writing a post on that to appear here soon, so keep your eyes pealed. Undervaluing our work (especially when we’re just starting out) is a huge problem for freelance writers

      • Johannah says:

        Hi Kelly! i’m one of the many confident in my writing skills and I’m passionate about it. I am now hoping to start my first freelance writing job at uvocorp (my essay sample is still under evaluation). May I hear a word or two from you as your usual advice to beginners like me?

        • Norbert Yap says:

          Hi Johannah,

          About applying to UVOCORP, I must say, stay away from that company. I’ve been working as a Freelance writer ever since online outsourcing came to being. I encountered that company once when I am looking for other academic writing companies. But the experience is just horrible. They will have you started on a couple of assignments, and approve them right on the spot, but don’t get too excited. Once they see that you already has a few dollars on your earnings, the support sharks will flood you with multiple revisions with corresponding monetary penalties. The first and second revisions are ok, but after running your work on plagiarism checker hundreds of times and proof-reading for grammar mistakes thousands of time. They will still ask you to revise something and dissolve your earnings through penalties one after another. explaining things will not do you justice either, they wouldn’t even care what you say, they will just send your work for revision and ask for ridiculous changes that were not part of the original instructions.

          They will not stop until you say you give up, in the end you lost all your earnings from unreasonable revisions and even end up owing them money for negative balance on your earnings. its just horrible.. so stay away from that company, its an institutionalized hoodlum.

          • David Piesnikowski says:

            HAHA. That is sad. I feel sorry for you. At least you have a sense of humor.

          • Heidi says:

            Hi Norbert

            So, are you an academic writer? I have been looking for chemistry or biochem based writing work and have had trouble finding appropriate places to look. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks!

          • Nik says:

            Heidi, you could find chemistry specialist writers at Writerslabs.

          • Cristina Rogers says:

            Hey Heidi, You can try Text-Writers for your academic writing needs.

          • Vinee says:

            I worked as a freelance academic writer for about 5 years and Uvocorp was one of the 7-8 sites I worked with. I totally agree with Norbert. Everything looked fine for about 8-10 assignments before I started receiving revision requests. I had them review their comments and remove fines for the first two revision requests. However, I just gave up when I got the next seemingly senseless plagiarism remark. I was not sure if it was unintentional from their part, but I felt annoyed and disappointed by then.

          • Erin Tallman says:

            Oh! That sounds horrible and there are so many “promising” sites that should be trashed. I started out writing for a website, not quite as bad as that one, but making just a few dollars for rather long articles and no byline. The amount of time I spent researching and writing meant that I’d make a dollar or two an hour. Ha! I was young and desperate though – would never do it again ! I’m the managing editor for ArchiExpo e-Magazine now and spend part of my time researching freelance journalists. The website needs to be catchy and informative, with writing samples easy to access. I always advise my friends, who wish to get into freelance writing, to create a great website and put forward their experience.

          • Gina says:

            I’ve come across a myriad of flim-flam, so called ‘freelance writing job sites’…and I appreciate the info on uvocorp.
            So where are the legit sites? Are there any?

        • I began as a freelancer just this summer and found a lot of low-pay cruddy stuff. I wrote a blog on my experiences and it offers tips, tools and help. My fist post may be helpful to you as a beginner: http://www.amandapelletier.com/paid-freelance-writing-jobs-online/

          BEST of LUCK! Don’t give up!

          • Nunya says:

            “Fist”? Fail.

          • Az says:

            I’m looking for a article writing job. Just couldn’t get hold of any.

          • Cynthia says:

            Hello everyone,

            I’m new at this and thought it would be a good idea to investigate and maybe find jobs,. I am a writer and have a manuscript I am trying to get published. My manuscript has been accepted by two companies, but It cost a lot of money to do that, so I thought I would try to make money this way. Should I go further with this, and if so, can you help me along and teach me the ropes?

      • Amy Preiss says:

        Do you mean you are so RIGHT?

        • Catherine says:

          I certainly wouldn’t pay more than a cent per paragraph for that level of skill.

          • David Russell says:

            Hi everyone,
            I am glad this topic is ongoing and agree with Catherine’s assessment. Outsourcing and exporting work over-seas occurred in my former profession by the Medical Transcription Services, and it seems a fact of life in my 2-month stint as a content article writer. I work for a “content mill” at the moment which is entry level to me but work is often sporadic and glad to have a patient working spouse at the moment! The content mill has an author forum which is helpful for learning the ropes and venting! I did apply to The Writers Hub, and was surprised when they asked what my per page rate would be? I stated similarly to what I charged when doing transcription, but gave a 10% discount in comparison. I am hoping to network locally with a non-proffit in the coming weeks and eventually find a content article opportunity that pays decently, desires my talents, and provides a reasonable degree of work or referrals. Perhaps that is what the majority of us want here.
            I am very grateful for this site, thread, and posts!

        • Wit says:

          Are commenters here that dense that they can’t tell a pun from an error? She is responding to a post about writing, she is mentioning that she’s will soon be “writing” a post, and ends by showing some concern for “writers.”

          Her saying, “you are so write” and then going on to mention writing multiple times is clearly a pun. How so many missed that only to find a chance to criticize is troubling.

          • I thought it was just auto-correct showing its butt again. Even the best of us can be made to look silly if our words are spelled wrong, especially if we’re using a mobile device.

          • determinedreformer says:

            It should be that simple…and 30-40+ years ago it was. We’d see “right” spelled as “write” and “peeled” spelled as “pealed” and know instantly what was intended. Unfortunately, it’s been my experience that errors in every type of writing…ads, serious magazine and book writing, the news that crawls across the TV screen, etc….are so common that it’s as though everyone thinks they’re being paid to make errors.

            Why is this so? An inadequate and/or failing K-12 public education system since about 1966 results in seriously adverse consequences. We can’t poorly or inadequate educate millions of children without ending up with millions of HS graduates with gaps in their knowledge and cognitive development. One of those consequences is an inability to write well and correctly, along with either a failure to care or the inaccurate belief in their own ability thanks to reforms after 1966 that had teachers giving students awards and praise just for breathing and failing to correct their work for fear of hurting the student’s self-esteem.

            What baffles me is how adult educators failed to understand that self-esteem is a product of self-respect, which can only come from a “doing” — doing things well, doing things right, doing what one respects.

          • Zack says:

            I have, as of yesterday, begun exploring the opportunity of writing for income. However, as writers go, I’m extremely confident in my abilities and I believe that as a writer I still not only write on an intellectual level on par with the best, I also FEEL my writing. Therefore, with no qualifications save my own, self-perceived ones, I say this: do not lose the spirit of writing looking too intensely at the writing itself.

          • Writehand Nycki says:

            Yeah, only true writers got that pun!

          • Roy says:

            I’m not so sure about that being an attempt at humor, especially when the phrase; “keep your eyes pealed” has been incorrectly spelt.. Shouldn’t that be peeled? Hmmm?

          • Randy says:

            In response to Roy:

            Maybe it’s peeled, but what if he or she is actually writing to someone with very noisy eyes?

          • Erin Tallman says:

            I thought it was a fun twist… I don’t understand why people feel the need to attack…
            I actually want to reply to David Russell but can’t seem to. David, you should write to the editor of MedicalExpo e-Magazine and propose your journalism services. Take a look at the magazine first (emag.medicalexpo.com) to see what they’ve recently published, get an idea for the kind of info, and pitch a potential story. I know the editor and they pay well.
            I’m also the managing editor of ArchiExpo e-Magazine, as mentioned in another comment, and if you’re interested in trying your hand in architecture and design-focused writing, get in touch!

      • Lawrence says:

        My girl came across this site, after I told her about losing a comment posting gig. I appreciate the time you took putting this together. I’ve been a part of the oDesk site for about 2 and a half years now, and I know all too well the struggle it is to get good paying work. oDesk is cool, but the foolishness that involves taking tests just so that you seem a little more proficient than the next person has always bugged me. I’ve been using oDesk as a starting point, and then convince my clients to move away so that we work together privately. My international clients hate all the extra fees. I’m really looking forward to trying the sites you mentioned, and once again Thanks for your time.

      • edna greer says:

        You might want to consider keeping your eyes peeled for spelling errors if you want writing jobs…

        • Rachel says:

          Edna, you might want to consider the correct use of an ellipsis before criticising others.

        • Diane Knaus says:

          Yes, spelt is just wrong on so many levels.

          • Actually, “spelt” is perfectly acceptable in England.

          • D'LightFull1 says:

            “Spelt” isn’t that a grain? On the western side of the pond, we would look at some cross-eyed if they used that term seriously.

          • Becky Hunter says:

            Spelt is definitely the way it is spelled and pronounced in Britain. My daughter reads and watches many British books, shows, and movies, and she spells and pronounces it that way because she has become so accustomed to it. She had one English teacher criticize her until she showed said teacher that it is the British way to spell it. She also says (and spells) “learnt” instead of “learned.” Being an Anglophile myself, I have no problem with it. It is not incorrect. Americans changed English. If anything, we’re the ones who mispronounce words!

        • Suzanne says:

          It’s funny because I find myself editing books that I am reading, ALL of the time!!! I wonder how these people got their jobs as editors, when I, the measly reader, can pick them out so quickly, without even trying and it drives me CRAZY to feel like I have to proofread books that I am paying over $20 a book for! I have so many stories and poetry and even a couple of novels that I have written or started writing and I always joke that when I die, someone will find my writing and only then, will I get famous for my writing. I, as the writer, would never turn something in, to have it read by anyone, without proofreading it myself either. I also want to remind everyone that often times, when we are just writing a comment, we may often accidentally hit the wrong key and submit our comments, without proofreading what we have written… it doesn’t necessarily make anyone unintelligent… thank you for a lot of good info on here

      • PJ Kizer says:

        One of the posts reads: “You are SO write about valuing your work. I’m actually writing a post on that to appear here soon, so keep your eyes pealed. Undervaluing our work (especially when we’re just starting out) is a huge problem for freelance writers.” Hopefully the author has already been advised of the, shall we say “typos,” and not “senior moments”? I am referring to “write” and “pealed.” Maybe Rule Number One for a writer would be to proofread first?

      • Glenn says:

        I actually DID write a PULSE piece on LinkedIn, about how I dropped the idea of Outsource ( http://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/outsource-how-much-fun-working-cheap-dark-glenn/edit ) with exactly that idea. The race to the bottom with pay to plays and such, simply isn’t worth doing. It might be that *somebody* is making $$ on those sites, but example of person wanting *150 original* descriptions for some sort of fragrant oils on a budget of less than $500 is more often where those places go.

      • Shawn Mory McMillion says:

        If someone is speaking or writing accurately about a subject, they are “right.”

      • Muimmi says:

        The information on your site is helpful.

        Any sites you can recommend off the top of your head for someone starting out as a freelance academic essay writer? Should pay well too.

        Thanks in advance and keep up

      • Question: What are fair prices for our work?

      • Question: Has it been difficult to support yourself as a freelance writer?

    • Donna says:

      Thank you for the infomation. Its great to find a place that is really out to help not hurt.

      • David Russell says:

        Hi Donna and others,
        The online writing lab at Purdue University has resources on the Chicago Manual of Style and the APA manual, as well as many articles related to English grammar usage that are user-friendly! Just type owl purdue university in your fave search engine and it should appear as a result.
        -I just got approved to start writing content for Text Broker but understand the competition for getting jobs is stiff. I got a fairly good rating but not tops.
        Glad to have joined this particular thread and sooo thankful for the supportive content on here.
        Smiles to all,

    • Shreya says:

      I am hoping to network locally with a non-proffit in the coming weeks and eventually find a content article opportunity that pays decently, desires my talents, and provides a reasonable degree of work or referrals. Perhaps that is what the majority of us want here.
      I am very grateful for this site, thread, and posts!

      Shreya Gupta

    • Regis Beaken Sr. says:

      I’m looking for someone who is going to pay me to publish a 1,000 word new prospective book. And hopefully a movie. It is called Zombie Revelations and has the old with a real touch of reality.

    • Jhafi says:

      Where can I find job writing for 200 words only?

    • T Harris-Dowdell says:

      Thanks for the insight!

  • Susan says:

    Great collection of resources, Kelly!

  • Alexis Grant says:

    Love this post — So many great ideas here!

    • Cordelia says:

      Thanks, Lexi. I hope it can save some writers from going through the penny-a-word phase too many of us went through at one point!

      P.S. LOVE the image you guys chose for this post. Too freakin’ cute.

  • Kelly, I 100% agree with you about staying away from content mills. I would add staying away from Yahoo! voices too for the low pay along with some of the shady posts on Craigslist (although I do sometimes find gigs worth going for). I’ve also had some luck with Ebyline, and a string of luck lately approaching businesses directly about blogging for them resulting in multiple and ongoing work for at least $50 per post.

    • Cordelia says:

      I’ve never heard about Ebyline but will have to check them out. You’re right; the majority of what you’ll find on Craigslist is dreck, so those job posts should always be evaluated cautiously.

      Good for you for approaching businesses directly! That’s a great approach but one many freelancers are afraid to take. I’m glad it’s been working so well for you!

    • John says:

      I use totaljobs and arivatoday.com to find writing gigs from companies and popular websites.

  • Suzi says:

    Thanks so much Kelly for taking the time to research and put together this list. It will get some good use here! It’ so discouraging to ‘beat the pavement’ only to find gigs offering $10 for a 500 word article. Sheesh! People don’t get that we writers like to eat too! :o)

    • Cordelia says:

      I so hear you. Never accept those $10/500 word articles, no matter how hungry you are.

      OK, if you’re really, REALLY hungry and need to make ends meet that month, and that’s all you’ve got currently, I’ll allow it. But otherwise? Your skills and time are worth far more, and there ARE clients out there who will recognize and honor that. Hold out for the good ones. (See: my upcoming article on how we writers need to learn to value (and insist on the value of) our own talents higher than we often do.) 🙂

      • Alicia says:

        I am so glad to run across fellow writers who value what they do and will stand up and say so. Far too often we get treated like the “red headed step children” of the creative industries and many of us allow it. I tried ODesk and was not only appalled by the pay rates, but by the attitude of many clients. One of them even said outright that we should be grateful to make five dollars an article (for well researched, 1,000 word pieces) and how their last writer was far too “uppity” for his tastes. Well now, I posted a response that I cannot quote in polite company. LOL. So, thank you, your voice is much appreciated.

        • Denita says:

          oDesk has put me under supervision based on negative feedback from clients even though my rating is 4.77. One client said that he already had 700 words. When I looked at what he wrote, it was on a sixth-grade level. No research, statistics, compelling copy, SEO keywords, etc. So I had to start from scratch. I ended up acting like a tutor. Another client loved my work but kept disappearing. I asked for her website address, information about her company, etc. She let another week go by then disappeared again. I could go on and on. I think that clients who use the content mills do believe that they can get stellar writing for peanuts. I believe these incidents are blessings in disguise. I’ve had my wake-up call. I follow top-notch bloggers and copywriters and hone my skills continually. It is up to the freelancer to determine his standards and ultimately his worth.

          • David Russell says:

            Hello Denita and others,
            I am thankful for this site, thread and continued posts including yours. At present I am an IC with Textbroker International, and try to look at most the jobs as blessings in disguise. Generally, I am a better conversationalist since starting this in late September, agree with you about developing writing skills, and have kind of found my subject niche as it were. The big picture tells me I have it pretty good, given local opportunities and employment services for those of us who have a handicapability are inadequate in my place of residence. In a former profession I was under “supervision” before leaving and it was somewhat demeaning more than helpful. I hope your experience is dynamically different, but you sound quite capable and willing to improve where need be which says a lot favorably concerning what you bring to the proverbial table. All the best to you Denita, enjoyed the chance to talk shop!

      • Henry Goin says:

        ‘Never accept those $10/500 word articles, no matter how hungry you are’ hahahahaha

    • Dusma says:

      Avoid sites like Researchwritingcenter.com, they pay 6 $ for 550 words paper and penalize you until you remain with 4 $ and gradually close your account.

      • Vincent Mbugua says:

        Dusman am a victim of reserachwritingcenter’s indecency. This company is a fraud, they penalize your papers beyond 100%. ” PLEASE PROOF READ YOUR WORK” They keep saying and they are the lowest payers on the planet.

  • lorraine Fleet says:

    I love this list it is helpful in not hitting dead ends when looking for work

  • Brooke says:

    Hi Kelly (and others),

    This is my second day becoming nose deep in freelance writing, and I don’t feel like I’ve reached the point of knowing everything before submerging within.

    Can you please lead me to the right direction?

    Where do I begin? What do I need to start with?

    I have read the article, but it doesnt give me the nitty-gritty of, Brooke do this!!!

    What kind of articles should I be interested in? Copyright, Blogger, etc.

    *Goal* Would be traveling and writing about new and exhilerating places. (I know it sounds much more glorious then it is, but that’s why it is a goal, right?)

    • Cordelia says:

      I think the better question is, what kind of writing do YOU want to do? What topics interest you? What style are you most comfortable writing in?

      Freelance writing is a huge industry, and you could be everything from a lifestyle blogger to a marketing copy writer. You need to determine what niche fits your skills and interests best; that will make it much easier for you to locate specific, nitty-gritty advice.

      • Manjula says:

        Hello Everyone,

        I am based out of India. I would like to write short stories. Could anyone guide me as how I should go about it. Please recommend sites where I should register myself. I have registered myself in Freelancer.

        Thank you

    • Hi, Brooke.

      Your post is a few weeks old , but if you’re still looking for nitty-gritty, where do I start… a friend, Rebecca Flansburg and I have put together some resources that deal with those basics. You can find them here:

      Might be something helpful for you.

  • Andrew says:

    This article was quite helpful and the comments were too. I am
    just about to finish my English MA and I am broke as joke, living
    at my parents, and finding writing work online is my priority for
    the time being. This shall be quite the adventure I am beginning
    to see so I’m trying to find a nice community online to help me
    on my way. Best of luck to everyone trying to survive out there!

  • saad says:

    This is my second day becoming nose deep in freelance writing, and I don’t feel like I’ve reached the point of knowing everything before submerging within…

  • Brittany says:

    Thank you for this post. I just recently got into freelance writing and I feel so stupid already. I found a blog that suggested odesk so I signed up with them and since I didn’t have a portfolio yet I applied for a job paying $20 for 10 articles due in one week. I’m halfway done but after reading this I don’t even want to complete the rest. I feel so cheated. I thought it would be a good way to get some experience under my belt but I have put so much time and energy in the articles I have done so far and it doesn’t even seem worth it. Should I even complete the job?

    • Cordelia says:

      Ugh. I’m so sorry to hear that. You’re not the only freelancer to have gotten lured into one of those sites. My rule of thumb, even as a newbie, was never to accept less than $10 for every 100 words, unless it was a fantastic gig that would get me good exposure. Even if you don’t have a portfolio, you should only take on projects you’ll be proud to show to other people when they ask what you’ve done. It sounds like you are creating good work right now, but unfortunately, it’s for a client who totally doesn’t deserve it.

      It’s a judgment call on whether to complete the project or not. There’s something to be said for keeping your word, but at the same time? This is clearly a client who doesn’t value a writer’s worth, so in my book, you don’t owe him much. He’s paying for work that’s worth $2 an article. In my book, $2 buys you a paragraph, maybe.

      Personally, I’d cut and run. If he winds up writing a bad review of you on odesk, it’s not a huge loss — you’re better off getting the heck out of odesk anyway.

  • Pamela says:

    Hello Kelly,

    Love your words of encouragement to stay true to writing and get properly paid for your talent. I love writing and have been caught up in content mills since I decided to write online about a month ago. I must admit the pennies I have received for my time, talent and dedication has been great to encourage me to seek something better.

    Are there any books or articles you recommend for beginners looking to earn a living writing online?

    • Cordelia says:

      Glad to hear you’re getting out! Content mills are the worst trap — there’s no chance of advancement, no value of what you’re really worth, and the “portfolio” you wind up building through cheap jobs isn’t usually the kind of portfolio that will help your career.

      The Write Life has actually put together a great list of resources to check out. You can find it here: http://thewritelife.com/resources/

  • Akash says:

    Hey, kelly. This article was an actual eye opener.I’m from India and being a novice writer, I didn’t have any expectations which made me vulnerable to such clients. I’ve worked for clients who have been paying rather poorly but require an ‘outstanding’ quality of work from us. I’m amused and at the same time rather disappointed when I realize that I had been working for 0.16 cents per word !! Once again a big thank you for now I know what to expect and whom to deny. Take Care.

    • Kelly says:

      You’re very welcome. You’re not the first to be lured into low-paying jobs. I’m glad we’ve helped you realize you deserve much, much more!

  • Karen de Guzman says:

    Thank you for the tips. I am handicapped and a fairly new mom at 41 to our 9 month old first and only son. I have been wanting to start a blog so I can have more time for my son since I have heard that with patience you could earn okay from blogging but, I for now, I can’t let go of my day job that pays $4.50 an hour because it still pays the bills. However, after the recent typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan hit the Philippines, I know I have to pursue blogging or find a better paying writing job that doesn’t require me to sit in front of the computer for 8-9 hours a day anymore. Can anyone give me additional tips on the best way I could start a blog aside from wordpress or blogger please? Thank you.

    • Kelly says:

      First of all, congrats on your new baby! Second of all, my thoughts are with you and all your friends and loved ones — are you located in the Philippines yourself? I hope you’re all safe and well.

      Third, The Write Life has put together a great list of resources you can check out. You can find it here: http://thewritelife.com/resources/. The very first section is on blogging, but there’s also lots of other material to help you with all sorts of writing careers. If there’s ever anything else I or The Write Life can help you with, don’t hesitate to reach out!

    • Dexter Camba says:

      First off, congrats on your 1st son! Sounds like you come central Visayas too ( like me, am from Bohol) Phils. If you are , here’s hoping for a better writing year for both of us. Yolanda (Haiyan) and the quake that hit our country – and the economic woes they brought are really challenges we need to hurdle.

      Haven’t much advice to give you on blogging – except join as many writers’ forums at LInked In, if you haven’t done yet. You see, I am more comfortable in writing articles than blogs. I have heard (from joining a lot of LI writing forums) – of a lot of successful/well-paid bloggers there who might be able to help you – to name a few – Francesca Nicasio, a US-based Filipina blogger, Carol Tice (US), Bamidele Omnibalusi (Africa), and more.

      Also, writing websites that work like a vendo machines (like Xoobiz, in 2011, but now seems closed) where writers can draw writing jobs from a queue – will also help, as we need not waste time in pitching for jobs.

      (please see my post somewhere in this forum re this – you like me want writing jobs you can do anytime on your free time)

      If you bump into business article writing gigs and Xoobiz-type sites, I’d appreciate it too if you could let me know.

  • gogetit says:

    Thank you for the great tips. I also get money writing for Bubblews and I
    I also write for sendmeglobal where they only give award to a writer each month. I was able to win it once. You have opened my eyes to other relevant targets. Thanks.

  • Carly says:

    I’ve recently started blogging just for the love of it and am curious about paid gigs. There is soooo much info out there and this article has saved me from contentmills, not to mention wasted hours-thanks very, very much!!

  • Talal says:

    That was a good read!

    I guess you your words of wisdom are meant for US-based writers, knowing how much it costs to live there, this makes sense … well, kinda.

    If you were writing for a while before delving into the freelance world, i.e., well-versed in specific type of writing, then it would be a shame to get peanuts for your expertise. However, taking those low-paying gigs is what you really need if you got no clue what your niche is, and want to get experience.

    I started working on oDesk a little over a month ago, it’s an amazing website. Although It’s infested with low-paying gigs, I managed to land a couple of good jobs on there.

    Since I write for my own amusement and because Jennifer (Oh dear Jennifer who gave me my first writing gig!) told me I write well, I continue to “work” on oDesk. It’s funny that I consistently manage to get $5-$10 per 500 words, not so bad compared to the pittance most jobs pay.

    I’ll have to disagree with you on staying away from “outsourcing platforms”, because unless you’re a seasoned writer, you shouldn’t be starting anywhere else. At least for the sake of getting good at your craft before pitching to high-paying clients.

    Speaking of High-paying clients, I stumbled upon your post as I was looking for them, but all I could find is advice, and advice only. Next thing will be a blogger telling me to be “one with nature” and those high-paying clients will come to me on their own.

    • Great point that you have to start somewhere, Talal — you’re right that new freelance writers have to gain that somewhere, and that there can be good jobs hiding among the less-than-stellar ones. It just takes time to sort through and separate the wheat from the chaff!

    • Alicia says:

      I vehemently disagree with you here. Content mills horribly abuse writers and make it difficult for people who have spent years in this field to get a fair wage due to the expectation that companies can pay less to get more. Also, writers who start out here often get stuck in a rut and can’t evolve past the oDesk stage. All around bad news and not recommended for anyone who wants an actual career in writing.

      • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Alicia. To each their own opinion — some people, like Talal said, enjoy using sites like oDesk because it works for their needs and goals. Some don’t enjoy these sites, or move on after building up a portfolio or a client roster. It’s a choice each writer makes for her own career.

        TWL Assistant Editor

  • zeddy17 says:

    you can make money writing articles at http://www.iwriter.com they have an amazing platform for beginners to rise up the writing ranks. The pay is sustainable and you are able to begin your career well.

  • Matteo says:

    Hello and thank you for proving such an interesting article!

    Even though I’m not an English native speaker, I have managed to get some American and English clients so far, and they have been satisfied with my works.

    Being a young, I started on Elance some weeks ago while at the same time trying oDesk. All of my clients come from the former, as for the latter I didn’t bother to go back.

    What is your advice for me? I think Elance is good for building some portfolio and acquiring experience, but naturally I want to move on to something bigger and better. So where to start, or better to say what’s the next step I should follow?

    • Hi Matteo, thanks for your comment! We actually have a post coming up on what to look out for when using outsourcing sites like Elance and oDesk. Keep an eye out for that in the next few weeks!

  • Francis says:

    I love everything you posted on freelancing for a better pay.

  • Grace Sia says:

    Great informative post! I’ve got a desk job and am seriously thinking of a career change towards this direction. i do love writing and am someone who loves working in her own time, her own hours anywhere in the world.

    It’s a great list and gives people motivation to get started. Usually to make a change in life its quite scary but your post is so straight forward and well written that it makes anyone feel ready to take on the world! Thanks for this post and some of the other ones as well about freelance writing.

    Your blog is awesome 😀


  • Amanda says:

    I’m so glad I found this article. I will be graduating with a Professional Writing degree in May. I’m trying to see what types of writing jobs are out there, because I’m nervous about the job market. I just signed up to write articles on Hire writers.com, but the pay is so cheap and I work really hard on the articles. I got paid more writing for my school’s newspaper than I did writing for Hire writers.com.

    • Hi Amanda,
      I’m curious as to where you got your Professional Writing degree. I was a technical writer before becoming a s-a-h mom. It’s a really good gig and pays good.

      Now I’m doing freelance writing while my child is in school. It took me a long time to get my tech writing job (b/c I initially was in elementary ed), and I’m thinking it may take a long time to work may way up as a freelance writer.

      Whatever you do, when first out of college, it can take a long time to build up your experience. It can be a long, frustrating climb, but do have patience and try not to get frustrated when you keep hearing that you need experience to get the job. It really, truly is character-building and most of us (whose dad doesn’t own the company!) have to go through it. Best of luck!

  • Erik Matlock says:

    Thank you for putting this together. I finally crossed the line to paid writer, and now I need to lock in more steady work. Due to a knee injury, I am being pushed to go full time. Not a bad thing, I really enjoy this.
    I wanted to add another idea. If you are obnoxious or cocky enough, you can try what I did.
    I just emailed links and a short letter to every magazine I could find, that focused on my specialties. I retired from 20 years in pro audio, and one of my blogs is about that world.
    Two of the magazines picked me up. One is feeding me steady work. Both pay way better than the mills.
    I will be going through your list today. Hope to get a few more regular gigs.
    Thanks again.

    • That’s awesome, Erik! I don’t think that was necessarily an obnoxious strategy; having as much experience as you did in a particular niche means that you have more to offer a specialty magazine than someone with no industry training. I think what you did was smart — targeting magazines within your small, specialized niche. Well done!

  • Jason says:

    The idea of freelance writing is one that has intrigued for a long time now. Is the idea of making a go at freelance writing a legitimate venture for someone with out any experience in the field. I have no schooling in the field, and I have never written anything other than for my own enjoyment. Thank you and the other posters for the information you have compiled here.

    • Thanks for your comment, Jason. I’d say it totally depends on what you want it to be. Are you hoping to leap into a full-time, six-figure career? Then I’d say it’s unrealistic. But if you’re exploring your options and are willing to put a fair amount of effort, you could build a solid career.

      Take a look around the site, especially the Freelancing archives, for posts by contributors who have built their freelance writing businesses from the ground up. If you have specific questions, feel free to get in touch!

      • Mikey says:

        This is for Jason… I hear you Bro, I’ve no formal training either. I have been writing since I could pick up a Crayon, just for the love the art and craft. Being out of a job I held for many years, writing for pay seamed like a good Idea. I’m still learning the ins and outs of freelancing, but I have found my niche’ (actually there are a few) and my portfolio is growing. It is hard work for freelance newbies without a mortarboard, but the rewards are, or will be worth the effort. Keep it up!

  • david says:

    i hope i could find a suitable writing job 4 my self am a young student from africa nigeria precisely pls kelly are there jobs for nigerian writers…………………. thanks.

    • Russell Lee says:

      I’m just a visitor here today but I am a little familiar with problems relating to Nigeria. You should know, first of all, that Nigeria has a terrible reputation worldwide for fraud. This is one of your biggest obstacles. My advice: work hard to establish yourself as an honest, reliable and worthy writer, play down Nigeria as your country of origin (use “Africa” instead), and join a solid support group or community of like-minded writers (you will be judged more by the company you keep rather than the country that you’re from). Once you are “labeled” (good or bad), it will spread quickly on the networks.

      Your second obstacle is a scarcity of payment processors. Most people commonly use PayPal worldwide to pay or get paid. The last I knew, PayPal refuses to do business in Nigeria. However, AlertPay was established in Nigeria but they have also since morphed into something else. I don’t know what else to tell you about this as I don’t have the inside track on this.

      Do some research on useful payment processors, open an account with one and guard it fanatically. Hackers and key-loggers abound profusely in Nigeria and all your hard work could be undone in a single incident. Personally, I don’t trust public computers as found in cafes where all your personal information will be stolen.

      I think that writing assignments are available to anyone anywhere, regardless of where they live. However, the burden will be on you to establish yourself as stated above and to secure your work from destruction.

      Good Luck!

      • Sam Adeyinka says:

        Hey Russell, it’s good to see you here. 🙂

        Trust me you really know a lot about my country and it’s true that Nigeria is literally synonymous to fraud and what have you, which really saddens my heart as a savvy Nigerian populace that I am.

        However, I really do not agree totally on your suggestions of David playing down his country. I believe carving a good reputation for himself his the major ingredient.

        How would he do that? Simple! By networking with like-minded people on and off the blogosphere and being genuine in all of your doings and every other things in-between.

        Virtually everyone knows where I’m from and currently I’ll be kick-starting a project with some of my Indian and American friends. So it’s not really about the country is about the individual many times.

        Speaking about payment processing, I believe paypal is unwise, reason been that Nigeria is one of the biggest opportunities centrals. And excluding Nigeria is of course a foolish act.

        Well, there are several other methods of online transactions though and some of them are payoneer, wepay, 2checkout, Google Wallet, Skrill, Intuit, Propay, Dwolla, Braintree and the likes.

        So dude, you had better be wise and like the saying goes thus, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Be wise man!

        Thanks so much, Russell for taking the time out to know about Nigeria and for trying to help David. It shows how big your heart is! 😀 😀

        Do have a magical year!


        • Russell Lee says:

          While we do agree in principle regarding advice for David, it must be kept in mind that David has no professional reputation at this time. If he did, it would speak for him. I can also understand your loyalty to your country, but loyalty does not pay money. I live here in the USA and I network often with a number of people. I can tell you from first-hand experience, that if a novice from Nigeria tried to land a paying job, he would be quickly passed over by a vast majority of people because they fear and don’t trust unestablished Nigerians. American TV and banking bulletins warn customers daily of Nigeria scams.

          Therefore: Until David establishes himself professionally, he really does need to play down his country as I stated earlier because he’s going to have a tough time winning assignments when the employers are negatively biased against Nigerians. He will need to soften that fear by not using the “Nigeria” word.

          This is just my advice, having seen the problem first-hand. He can, of course, ignore my advice and proceed with his own strategy. It matters not to me.

          • david says:

            thank you very much russell and sam your advise have multivated me but as a novice in online writing where do you think is the best optiono or platform for me to start up……………thanks

  • Anna says:

    Thanks for all these sites! I’ve already had some success on Problogger.

    I’ve spent the better part of the past year writing articles at a rate of $12 for every 600 words. It was presented as such a great opportunity, but I see now that the pay really wasn’t good at all compared to the effort I was putting in, and it wasn’t worth it because it didn’t get my name out there as a writer at all. The client turned out to be very unprofessional and unethical as well – the project ended in November, and they have yet to pay me for the last couple of weeks, which totals almost $2,000.

    I thought that this $12 per article was so great, because previously I had done work for 25% of THAT rate on Elance – $1 for every 200 words. I regret spending so much time with that client, who was very demanding and sometimes expected me to be “on call”, respond to emails and write articles within 30 minutes – for about $2.50 for every 500 words too! The only reason I spent so much time working with this unethical client was that he had sent angry messages for getting articles done less than 15 minutes late a couple of times, and I didn’t want a bad review on Elance. The reason the articles were even late was that he was giving me 6000 words to complete a DAY, and there just wasn’t enough time to do that in 24 hours, especially with other assignments. I was staying up nights, working my butt off, and making about $25 a day. Finally, I said enough is enough and told him I was done – of course he required 2 weeks notice and I was stuck with him for another 2 weeks.

    One business to AVOID – No Doubt Marketing, owner Justin Stewart.

  • Anna says:

    Hi Kelly,
    Thankyou so much for this information. Writing is my passion but it’s just been me and my diary till now. I’ve been thinking of trying to earn something with my writing but I’m new to this world of online writing jobs and am a bit lost. I’ve been researching it for some time now and I’m so happy and relieved I found this page. I really was considering taking up one of those low paying jobs since I’m a novice and to be honest I’m actually quite critical about myself and I wasn’t sure about whether I’d be able to deliver. And after hours and hours of browsing and the irritating head aches resulting from staring continuously at the computer screen, I was beginning to lose hope. But after reading your post I’ve found courage to keep trying!
    Thankyou so much once again!
    Wish me luck!


  • Jim Howard says:

    One of my best, most interesting clients posted the job on Guru.com, so it’s possible to find good work with good people there. Every so often, someone is actually willing to pay fairly, and of course the proposals immediately pour. Competition is fierce for the good jobs. But that’s true anywhere. I also got an ongoing gig through Guru that doesn’t pay very well, but that I really enjoy. I wouldn’t write the site off.

    One thing I like about Guru is the ability to create templates easily, so it gets less time-consuming to apply for jobs as you go. I know other sites do this, too, but Guru’s work very well.

    It’s true that many Guru and oDesk listings are in the “write my life story for 50 cents” vein, so you’ll find yourself snorting in disbelief a lot. But to me, it’s no different than looking for jobs anywhere. Most jobs are crap. Those are easy to spot. Good ones are hard to find, but when you land one, it’s worth it.

    • Great point, Jim — you often need to sort through lots of less-than-stellar jobs in order to find the quality ones.

    • I experienced the same as you, Jim, as far as guru.com. I found a few excellent decent to well paying prodents in paSt which worked out well. But you truly have to weed out all the bad ones.

      I may cancel my membership in near future because I see more very low paying small projects anymore.

      Good article and posts here.

      • David Russell says:

        Hello Easy Learning and Others,
        I suppose the best way to get ahead in this business financially, is define your goal, e.g., type of writing you will offer and make a map to get there.
        That being said, if one works for a content mill in the meantime, and have a vision disability requiring adaptive software, why is the playing field for advancement by a given entity not considerate of all contractors?
        Examples: Elance and Textbroker are noted to have highly graphical interfaces. In the case of Textbroker, its TB University material appears to not be readily accessible by those using adaptive computer ware.
        I hope a TWL insider, will have input to provide on this, as my aim is not to “squeak or bitch” pardon my language. Income improvement desired by yours truly, as it is for the majority also who are here!
        David Russell

  • Dexter Camba says:

    I am posting a similar comment I did in a LinkedIn writers’ forum.

    First, let me introduce myself – I’m an ESL writer from the Philippines, but proud to be able to write just as good as most native English writers (well, at least my over 25 x 5-star reviews in almost as many research-writing jobs, albeit in a bidding site, say so). I am more comfortable though in writing fact-based, in-depth-researched business and health articles – and not so keen with blogs.

    As a wannabe writer, I started at 64 in 2011. My long years (over 25) in offline sales/business development helped with starting up a freelance writing biz, albeit mostly with a low-paying bidding website. I didn’t mind however, for as long as income was progressive.

    You see my biggest challenge was I had to learn Computer and Writing 101 skills simultaneously in my sunset years. Still, with hard work and perseverance, I was poised to a great take off. It was short-lived however, when after an “on track and continuous climb” in 2011, my first year as a freelancer, my writing income suddenly “plateaud” then nosedived in 2012, even up to now. Google’s algorithm – Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird – changes are perhaps the cause?

    Based on my long years in sales, I believe that freelance writing, like any small business should take no more than 20% of a writer’s time, after an aggressive and sustained biz development no more than 6 mos. to 1 year. Personally, pitching is no longer my cup of tea – ironic perhaps as I have to admit burnout – after over 25 years of those – including cold calling.

    That I was able to do, as mentioned earlier on my first year, but am a loss in explaining how hard it is to find decent writing jobs now – despite my much-improved writing and computer skills – going into my fourth year. In fact, the light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel seems elusive, and wish I had the luxury of time.

    Now, am in search of a writing website that works like a vendo machine, where a writer once qualified and registered – can draw a writing job from a queue. Pay per word would depend on writer’s skills – quality, originality and timely-delivery.

    Actually, in 2011 my first year as a wannabe writer was partly with Xoobiz.com, which worked that way. Recently, however the site seems to have closed shop.

    If anybody knows of similar websites (open of course, to ESL writers), I’d be glad to know. In fact, thinking aloud, wouldn’t it be a great idea if an enterprising writer would be willing to invest? I am willing to pitch in my two cents.

    Thanks for reading my comment.

  • Jason says:


    I appreciate your article. I have always loved writing, and have been disappointed with the sites you have said to steer clear of. After ten years of working in the medical field in an allied health modality, I have recently found myself injured, and no longer able to perform my duties.
    I have decided to do what I love to do from now on. Scary? Yes, I am new to the blogging/freelance world. But I am determined. And I have the knowledge as well as the skill.
    So, here we go! New Year, New life, New start!
    I do have a question, where does a new blogger start? I am being realistic in my goals. I know I won’t break six-figures, but I am hoping to earn enough to support my family, or at least supplement the income.
    I guess it is an exciting time, although uncertain as well. Does any of this make sense? At 3am, I am unable to sleep from the anxiety of an uncertain future. I have no degree, and I am afraid this is a roadblock.
    Anyway, I plan on checking each site, and hopefully grow a network of fellow writers. It is far past time to follow what I know I love to do.
    Thanks again. This was a godsend, and really gave insight during a dark time. Perhaps, sometime in the future, you may read something of mine. You are free to contact me for any reason as I am always delighted to make friends. And as I have said, this has been a godsend. Thank you so very much.



    • Thanks for your comment, Jason! Great question — getting started can be the hardest part. Our Blogging section has some great posts, and I’d recommend checking out the sites we listed on our 100 Best Websites of 2014 for more great advice. Tom Ewer of Leaving Work Behind, Sophie Lizard of Be a Freelance Blogger and Kelly Gurnett of Cordelia Calls It Quits offer fantastic tips and best practices on their blogs.

      Best of luck in your new endeavor!

  • david says:

    thank you very much russell and sam your advise have multivated me but as a novice in online writing where do you think is the best optiono or platform for me to start up……………thanks

  • BookMaster says:

    Way too many new writers fall into that trap walking into the cage and the steel door slams behind them. This is trying to get started in a writing career but with little or no experience, they fall to the predators that prey on them.
    These predators are making huge amounts of money off of the talents of these brand new writers who are desperate to gain experience. Beware!
    Even building a backlog of experience working for low pay shows up in your past writing life work experience. Not only are you undermining yourself but for everyone else that writes for a living, it only makes it harder for them to negotiate through those many low-paying sites and article mills.
    There should be a nationwide crackdown on this sort of thing. People writing for less than the national minimum wage is absolutely ridiculous.

  • William says:

    I just have to say that the three websites you excluded demonstrates your ignorance. I’ve been a full-time freelancer writer for the past seven years (I’m 27 now) and my bread and butter has been two sites – Elance and Guru. Odesk, although, is terrible. Elance is the primary bread winner.

    Via Elance I make about $200 a day. This comes from an average job price of around $90. Those jobs take me about two to three total hours to complete.

    The resources that you mentioned are complete crap. I’ve never gotten a job out of any of those resources even through consistent attempts.

    • Thanks for sharing your perspective, William; everyone has different experiences, and to each their own opinion.

      I think Kelly’s point is that it takes time to sort through the tons of less-than-stellar gigs to find the good jobs, and that time could be better spent. However, if you’re able to put in that time (or build ongoing relationships with the clients you find on those sites), then these sites could be a great addition to your business. Everyone is going to rely on different tools and resources, and our goal is to help writers learn about their options.

      We have a post coming up on what to look out for when using outsourcing sites and common mistakes new freelancers make, but if you’d be interested in sharing your experience with Elance or Guru in a post, check out our guidelines at thewritelife.com/write-for-us/.

      • William McCanless says:

        Elance has the highest quality freelance jobs you’re going to find anywhere on the Internet and they’re there every day. I bid on jobs there each afternoon at 3PM (the sweet spot for California time and East coast time) and always have at least two or three new jobs by the end of the day. These jobs typically consist of web copywriting, branding, sales page writing, promotional script writing (those little one to two minute explainer scripts), and ghostwriting. Those other resources are certifiably useless.

        The author also doesn’t mention the fact that those resources don’t offer protection to the freelancer, which is immensely important. Elance and Guru for example have an escrow system and an arbitration service in case anything goes wrong. A few months ago I did $700 worth of work for a client. They just dropped off the radar. I requested that the money be released from Escrow into my account. Even though they never responded, Elance automatically released the money after 14 days of inaction by the client. It’s these types of protections that make it a safer place to work for freelancers.

        In the case of Guru, I landed a great month-to-month ghostwriting job off there. I don’t get jobs as consistently on Guru as I do Elance and the jobs are also not as high quality as Elance, but when I do they are typically for large, long-term, big-budget jobs because there is a sore lack of talented people on Guru (unlike Elance, which has more competition).

        It doesn’t take a lot of time to make good money as a writer. I spend no more than one hour a day looking for jobs and I haven’t done anything other than freelance writing for seven years. I have no boss and make a comfortable living.

        I just think the reason there are so many broke writers out there is because of posts like these that don’t actually help. Literally the only two websites on the web where freelancers of every type ACTUALLY make money, are the ones the author decided to completely discount. That’s crazy to me. If you’re reading this — don’t pay attention to what was written.

        Look, here is a link to my Elance public profile, you can see how I’m rated, the huge portfolio I’ve been able to build up, the average monthly income I make. https://www.elance.com/s/w_mac/

        Again — if you’re a writer stay off the other sites that were mentioned and get on Elance or Guru (Odesk sucks — stay away from that one). They are the only two sites on the Internet that protect freelancers and have high-quality clients with great budgets from all throughout the world looking for freelancers every day. Hell, I even hire freelancers off of there when I need graphic design done or I’m too bogged down with projects and need to share the load.

        This post should definitely be changed. It’s not good to mislead people who are trying to make a career out of writing.

        • Check your profile resume content. You have typos in your copy when you’re talking about what you will do for your clients. Just wanted to let you know to spell and grammar check your profile page.

        • Lora says:

          I’d like to get started writing and would be willing to help you with your work. I like the fact that you write coherently with proper English, even though I see a couple of mistakes in your post. Thank you for letting your intelligence shine through!

      • William McCanless says:

        I also want to make one more quick point — quality clients DON’T pick the lowest bidder. Freelancers are the ones who think that’s true. They see low bids and think they have to be the lowest one or they won’t get the job. I always bid the highest or a little over the average bid amount. If someone has a budget of less than $500 and the lowest bid is $30 | average is $150 | high is $300, depending on the job I will either go to $200 or $400 (always above the average or the highest bid).

        Although I often get jobs that are $200 to $700 (I even get jobs wroth $5,000 or more for large ghostwriting projects, last year a client I met off Elance even flew me out to San Francisco, California so I could ghostwrite his book — paid the hotel room, plain ticket, everything) I typically find myself with jobs that are a comfy $90 to $120. These are usually tiny things like writing three pages of web content or writing a 60 to 90 second script. Things that take me about an hour to complete.

        It’s SO easy to just get maybe two or three $90 jobs a day. Knock your work out in three hours in the morning, and do whatever you want the rest of the day.

        None of those other job sites let you bid a price, protect you from crappy clients and let you get consistent daily work.

        And if you can’t get jobs off Elance, you’re not going to get jobs anywhere else because you’re probably just plain bad at selling yourself.

    • Scott says:

      Are you getting outside work from clients you connected with on Elance? I took your advice and checked out your profile. You’re getting rave reviews, obviously very good at what you do. I notice your “lifetime” stats don’t suggest you’ve been with the program for much over a year though, and while $13,000 in 12 months isn’t terrible, especially for freelance writers, it hardly reflects your claims of $200 daily, with consistent day-in day-out work. Especially if you take that cushy $5000 job out of the equation.

      I’m not writing to be snarky, but be honest and reasonable, and know when you may be the exception to the rule. The bottom line is that every nice job you get on Elance is another someone else won’t, and if you really are just fantastic at marketing yourself, I get the feeling you have plenty to market. This post is for those looking to break into freelance writing. Sites like Elance that work on bids are sort of like “Ebids”, where someone COULD save a ton of money by timing everything just right and outperforming some of the competition, but the vast majority of users won’t get what they’re looking for.

      Again, exception vs. rule. If you can actually land $200 worth of work daily for 4 hours worth of effort, than get to work saving for retirement or something! Surely your skills will be served much better elsewhere, instead of trolling a post that clearly wasn’t written for someone with your level of experience.

  • Anna R says:

    Thanks so much for compiling this list! I have a blog and have contributed as a freelance writer to a couple websites for years, but I haven’t gotten serious about it until now. I have actually found some good gigs on Elance – granted they are far and few between but I’ve gotten 4 or 5 well paying freelance jobs through them that were all actually kind of fun. They were more writing for marketing though. I guess I have a knack for weeding out the scammers! I’m also required to hire graphic designers for my work sometimes and I’ve found some good ones on Elance.

  • Great list, it can be difficult to find a good resource for “Real” Writing jobs, one of the things that I look for in finding good sites is any website that wants to charge the writer just to access “So called jobs” is a bad sign and should be avoided, any real resource will never charge you a fee to participate.

  • Brad says:

    I thoroughly dispute the claim that Elance is not a place to go for beginners. I made $200 in my first week on the site off of 3 jobs. It’s all in your ability to sell yourself as a provider of quality content. If you’ve got the right portfolio and ability to market yourself, Elance is a Goldmine.

    I quickly learned the lesson not to undersell yourself. There’s plenty of people on there that will pay $3-$5 per 500 word article (which is silly), so you’ve got to wade through the jobs. I had one client who I was willing to give a high amount of words (around 2,000) for low pay, but had to revise my proposal to 3x what I was planning to get paid because I didn’t fully grasp freelancing. So long as you deliver quality work (which I did), you’ll get rave reviews and lots of repeat business.

    • Thanks for your comment, Brad. As I explained above, everyone has their own experience and opinion — this issue seems to be a hot-button one. Some writers have found value in Elance and oDesk, and we actually just ran a post from one of them on how to best use these sites (http://thewritelife.com/odesk-elance-6-common-mistakes/).

      Thanks for sharing your advice, and I think it holds true for writers no matter where they’re finding jobs: it’s up to writers not to undersell themselves and to deliver quality work.

  • Jose FD Bautista says:

    Hi, Kelly. This is the nth time I am trying to find a really good advice and a reliable site for my writing. And I am going to really check those sites you’ve listed. But even before I proceed checking them out, I really appreciate the points you’ve raised in your article.
    Good a good shot of HOPE, thanks.

  • I think writers, especially new ones, need to value their skills and pitch to clients who are willing to pay decent rates, instead of trying to get work from the penny pinching cheap clients!

  • Monique says:

    Hi Kelly, I really appreciate your input.
    I’m am very passionate about writing and I plan on making a career out of it, so this information has given me alot of insight.

  • Aiden Stone says:

    Hey Kelly!

    I just happened by and caught your post… awesome advice! All to often people are willing to settle for less when they’re new and somewhat discouraged. I’ve been freelancing for a LOT of years, I have a couple of books on Amazon, and despite my experience I still have difficulties in finding gigs. You gotta have self confidence, stand your ground, and never settle for less than your worth! There are always people and agencies out there who take credit for the hard works of others and offer pennies instead of dollars. Check out who you’re pitching to, make sure they’re legit.

    Anyway… keep the faith!


  • Jeff Tateyama says:

    I usually agree with your comments about content mills. They have been frustrating at times. However, I wanted to mention one that I’ve had good success with. Freelanced.com has a pretty cool portfolio which I’ve used to build up a portfolio, then used their widget to display all my art elsewhere. Also, I’ve been able to land a few of the jobs I’ve applied for (which is better than I can say for some of the other job board sites).

  • Kelly Ann says:

    Hey Kelly!

    I am very happy to have run across this post! Excellent advice and resources. I started by writing my blogs and working through elance this year. I am new to freelance writing but luckily am not new to life and as such I always demand appropriate pay for my work! I find that those sites are indeed a ‘free-for-all’ with clients who have exceptionally high demands but are not willing to pay what the content and your time is worth. As such I began searching for alternative routes to finding freelance work and ran across your post. It has given me new hope in this game.

    Thanks so much! 🙂

  • Lorna says:

    Kelly, thanks for this post and to all who’ve contributed comments. I’m just dipping my toes into freelancing and registered at oDesk last week… the rates are horrifying, like a 21st century version of a Dickens novel! So, your recommendations are very much appreciated as is all of the encouragement about holding on to standards and value… I feel like I’ve escaped from a sweat shop!

  • Pat B. says:

    Don’t discount Elance entirely. While it is true that there are an awful lot of third world types out there writing for even less than a penny a word and plenty clients looking to hire them, there are also some very good clients looking for quality. I. as a newbie, locked onto a couple of them right off the bat and have had an awesome experience.

  • Khurram Shahzad says:

    I don’t agree with your views about elance or oDesk. They are equally good sites for fresh freelancers and there are never “hundreds of desparate freelancers” applying for the same job. Similarly, the employees don’t “rush for the lowest bid” as do value quality. So, if you are a good writer, you can easily land a good job on these websites as well.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Khurram. I’m glad you’ve had a good experience on Elance and oDesk! Our post is one writer’s perspective, but as other comments demonstrate, experiences and opinions differ.

      TWL Assistant Editor

  • Matthew says:

    Hi everyone, http://www.greatcontent.com is a freelance copywriting site (the work can vary from short product descriptions to one thousand word technical guides) which has been operating in Europe for several years now and is expanding to the US.

    We have developed a pretty good reputation for treating our writers fairly, and we are currently looking to recruit new writers on a fairly large scale. Please take a look at our site and if you’re interested apply!

  • Anna Leigh says:

    Kelly – thank you for this!! I’m a coypwriter with about two years experience and briefly lived the turbulent agency life. After a few letdowns, I decided I wanted to go out on my own. I started with elance – I had some beginners luck and landed some a few good clients, but its most dried up and I was starting to freak out and wonder what my next steps were.

    Thank you for sharing this information – Ill be following your career and wishing you the best!

  • Shawn says:

    On Freelance sites like freelancer, elance and odesk yes there are many clients that pay very low pay rates; however, there are clients who pay well

    • That’s true, Shawn — as we’ve discussed earlier in the comment thread, it’s possible to find good clients on these sites, though it’s not an easy search. I’m glad you’ve had a good experience!

      TWL Assistant Editor

  • Jazz says:

    Most of the sites are funny. You work, they return the paper to you for revision, then continue with several revisions and penalties until you remain with a debt. Finally, you work for them, they earn while you work as a donkey. Modern slavery

  • Haya says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Kelly!

    Buy what about translation and Resume writing? I’m now seeking to work as freelance Translator and also Resume/CV Writer. Can you guide me as to where I should go? Much appreciated!


  • Andrew says:

    Per an earlier comment about writing for greatcontent.com, which apparently has US and UK options for native English speakers, can anyone comment on his/her experience at that site? Someone mentioned in another forum that much of the work is for writers using British English. Thank you.

  • Debra Ponte says:

    Thanks for the information.

  • Kelsey says:

    This was a great article Kelly! I never knew a lot of these sites existed. I also really enjoyed everyone’s comments and conversations, learned a lot.

    I came here for a different reason though. My company is looking for freelance writers and we’re having some trouble finding real great quality for a reasonable price and not $25,000 (yes someone did offer that to us.) If you have any tips for companies for if any of you would like to email me about writing for us, I would be very interested in having that conversation!

  • George K. says:

    Thanks for the useful information, guys! . I also want to share with you another place where you can find great Writing Gigs Online. It’s called TaskGigs. I’m using it for a while and am very satisfied. Found lots of buyers!

  • M.Borgarbúi says:

    Hi Kelly,

    Thank you for sharing this. You mentioned some links that I haven’t heard before. Lets see if find right gigs for me 🙂

  • Hello and thank you for this post, site, and topic!
    A few months ago I was terminated from my job as a medical transcriptionist after 15 years in that field. I am vision-impaired and considering freelance writing as a part-time profession, and am an older American 5 years from “retirement”. Would you recommend a short-term course through somewhere like Writer’s Digest University for someone endeavoring to gain entry into this profession?
    I would be happy writing the filler article on a movie, book review, local restaurant, or gain experience with some income via a non-profit. Thank you for your forthcoming response!

    • Thanks for your comment, David. I’m not familiar with Writer’s Digest University courses, but what training or course will be most helpful for you depends on what aspect of writing you want to focus on — blogging, web copy and grants, for example, are quite different. Check out our Resources page for some of the options we recommend. Best of luck!

      TWL Assistant Editor

  • Kevin Casey says:

    Hi –

    Thanks for this great post! One writing site that hasn’t got a mention here is Constant Content. I made @ $1000 per month for my very first two months there, only writing about 16 hours a week. I won’t make a career out of it (because I’ve mostly moved on to sourcing my own private clients now through LinkedIn, Chamber of Commerce networking meetings, etc.) – and that is keeping me busy enough. There is no bidding on Constant Content. Anyone interesting in making some money with them should check out the eBook “The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Making Money on Constant-Content.com” which has some great advice about maximising your earnings on there. For those who find bidding for writing work a bit demeaning (like I do), it’s worth a look.

    I think I read that Odesk and Elance have merged into one company now, by the way….

  • Hello everyone,
    Kevin, thanks for your post about Constant Content, will look into that option.
    Contently, sounds like you are discontented with Craig’s list, can’t blame you!
    -I did register with both elance.com and IWriter.com which may border what has been more less termed the site mills. I did have an offer from an independent freelancer in Ireland who discovered my blog, but cannot readily use Google Docs based on my current setup; jobs are selected via google spread-sheets.
    -If anyone has thoughts or feelings about elance or IWriter, please share them if that is permissible..
    David Russell

  • mosherii says:

    Hi, thank you for your list it is has made me view things from a different angle. As much as to some point I agree with you about sites like Odesk, there are people who have made it through those sites, so do not be quick to brush them away.

  • Sandie lee says:

    This is a great list and I have already applied for a couple of jobs within your list. However, I have to disagree with you on Elance. I have worked on Elance for a couple of years and although, yes you do compete for lower paying jobs, I have met many great clients that have treated me well. I think it’s a great place to gain some experience in all types of writing, while waiting for that higher paying job to come around 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, Sandie, and I’m glad you’ve had a good experience with Elance!

      TWL Assistant Editor

      • Hello Heather, Sandy and others,
        Not trying to steal the thunder but posts raise some questions as I approach freelance writing either as article content, guest blogger, or academics.
        I discovered that for vision-impaired screen reader users, elance does not work well with Internet Explorer or Firefox. Odesk is a bit more user friendly for this population.
        Secondly, The freelance company mentioned earlier in several posts by one member, require testing,g and that the applicant to be familiar with APA Style, MLA Style and the Chicago Manual of Style. Hence, Sandy’s point better pay comes with experience.
        The companies requiring testing though would be interested in placing applicants where they may excel. Is it safe then to conclude fewer the outstanding skills, the greater one’s competition?
        Given that and the need for steady income, where would one be best advised to start?
        Or, how soon could one start to work if going from no income to some income is a more immediate reality, if using sites that require bidding or others that may not but pay lower until sufficient experience is gained?

        • I’m not sure about different sites’ compatibility with screen readers, but it’s great to hear that Odesk works well.

          Your point about “the fewer outstanding skills, the greater one’s competition” makes sense — a writer new to the game will need to prove his skills before he can stand out from the crowd and command higher rates. There’s no one path to success, unfortunately; it’s hard to predict how soon you’ll earn an income. I’d recommend starting small and building your skills and experience. Complete a few projects on your platform of choice (Odesk or others listed in this post) and build a list of satisfied customers and a portfolio of work. Then you can level up from there, as suggested in this post.

          Best of luck!

  • Brook Ganesan says:

    Some really great advice here! I have to say, I grew very tired of writing for content mills. I came across very many clients who had extremely high expectations but were willing to pay very little for the amount of effort I put into my writing.

    That being said, I wasn’t aware of the lucrative writing opportunities that existed outside of these content mills until I took a writing course offered by http://elearncareers.com (free writing e-course, by the way!) Raymond Bellevue, the course instructor, opened my eyes to the endless money making opportunities out there for freelance writers. Immediately after completing the freelance writing ecourse, I parted ways with content mills and started promoting my writing services to higher paying clients (SEO firms, online marketing agencies, website designers, etc.)

    For those of you looking to make more money as a writer, don’t simply limit yourself to writing for content mills. There are literally thousands of companies out there who are dying to find good writers – and pay very handsomely! Get out there and market your skills to these companies. It’s worth the time and effort, trust me!

    • David Russell says:

      Hello Brook and others,
      For the moment, The Right Life is my networking community into the world of freelance writing, and about to start work with a “content mill” but hope to see it as a entry level experience, not a be all end all experience. I am somewhat baffled by the frequently heard claim about writers being exploited, even if the order description has a word length parameter to supposedly minimize exploitation. Evidently some have found ways around that, just speculating.
      Thank you for the link to the writing career course, will check it out.
      -For the grammar-minded, I mentioned the Purdue Online Writing Lab previously, but also augment that with dailygrammar.com. The lesson archives are user friendly.
      Best to you and others,

    • Jitendra Rathod says:

      Hi Brook,
      On your suggestion, I did contact eLearn Careers and enrolled in the course. Every day, for 7 days, I got an assignment and I submitted all of them on the same day. But more than a month has passed and I haven’t heard from the elusive Mr. Bellevue. Is he for real? Are YOU for real, Ms. Ganesan?

  • Hi. Great site. What would you recommend for a seasoned writer (Emmy and Writers Guild nominee, articles, books — relationships, syndicated advice, humor, Jewish culture.

    • I’m glad you’re enjoying the site, Marnie. Where to look depends what kind of writing work you’re looking for — freelance content writing, blogging, copywriting, ghostwriting… the sky’s the limit! Kelly outlined some great options, and readers have suggested many more in the comments. Best of luck!

      TWL Assistant Editor

  • Ryan says:

    Hey, some great advice on here. It is indeed hard to find a good gig if you’re starting out. I have found that unless it is a technical subject like finance, for example, there is too much competition.

    And absolutely – avoid the freelancing websites like the plague. THEY ARE BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH! You will end up bidding on a huge number of gigs to land one job which will pay you an amount which you won’t want to spend because you’ll feel so bad about cheating yourself into working for less than minimum wage. DON’T DO IT!

    All the best to everyone on here – keep looking and soon you shall find clients who value what you do and are willing to pay you good $ for it! Keep going, keep moving!

  • Ryan J says:

    Thank you for posting this article, I find it very helpful. What advice do you have for someone such as myself who has a strong passion for writing but does not have a specific box that I fit into as far as content? I mainly write poetry/spoken word, but I also write on various subjects and issues that many people deal with.

    • Thanks for commenting, Ryan. It depends — are you hoping to write for clients, or do you write more for yourself or another poet to perform, or to help others facing similar issues to ones you’ve experienced? What’s the end goal of your writing — to solve a problem for a client, to entertain, to inform?

      TWL Assistant Editor

      • Ryan J says:

        The majority of my writing falls within the lines of life experiences, and speaking on issues that others may be facing. With that being said it’s safe to say that I generally like to inform readers of information that will influence them in a positive way. I am also trying to become more flexible when it comes to writing, such as entertaining readers as well. Thank you for responding, and sorry for the confusion, I know I am all over the place.

  • Zahara Jade says:

    Awesome list, this is just what I have been searching for. I’ve been writing professionally for nearly two years now mostly by default and I’m well into my own book at this point. I enjoy doing freelance work and would like to move more into the market but I am not one to sell myself short on compensation. Thank you for sharing this list. I will pass it on!

  • Therese says:

    This is a decent list for people who are starting out as freelance writers. I’m an experienced copywriter and wrote for some of the content mills when I first start. Demand Studios is horrific. Your recommendation to steer clear of DS was great advice. Their editors are worthless. I have a degree in journalism and I know more about editing and writing than their editors. Their screening process for editors at DS must be lax because they are terrible. Most of the content mills are just out to make a quick buck on desperate writers so stay far away from the mills!

  • Tamika says:

    I just have to say that I feel like I hit a gold mine on this post. I am a newbie freelancer and made nothing yet. I just posted several articles on WordPress, hubpages (which is only ad content) and Guru, which seems like dead ends. I am learning patience but I have seen what Guru pays their writers and it’s ludicrous to think as writers this is what we are worth to the clients. I know this and I haven’t even made money yet! Shame on them. It is the writers that breathe life into clients’ businesses and drive potential consumers to their businesses. Without us writers it will be like selling ice to the devil. I know my worth as a writer and I am patient enough to search for a viable freelancing site that will respect me as a writer, but better yet, as a person. Thank you so much for this post.

  • Rene says:

    Some gold advice on here Kelly. Many thanks!
    Best 🙂

  • Leona Reber says:

    I am a retired journalist with MANY years of experience in print (magazine and newspaper). I am looking for a few writing jobs to make some extra funds. Have never tried blogging, but am sure I could learn…it just isn’t true that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks guys! Any suggestions for getting my feet wet? Thanks in advance!

  • Chantelle says:

    Thanks, wow, I really needed this today.

  • Cyndi S. says:

    Proxy Ponder User Submitted News is looking for freelance writers! Write about anything, we have many categories to choose! Advertise your videos, blog, website, anything!

  • Stacey says:

    This is a great list! Thank you so much for sharing!

    Sadly, I got sucked in by the content mills and it sucked for a long time. It took a tweet from someone I’d never spoken to before for me to find other job boards. It’s been good ever since. 🙂

  • Thanks so much for this helpful post! I’m pinning it so that I can refer back to it later.

  • Omar Saady says:

    There are quite a few ways to make money on the Internet, but most of the time, when you start thinking about the process, you only consider affiliate marketing, product creation, and auction routes. What about finding honest, steady work that will help pay your bills, supplement your income, or even help you get out of that office job and into your own, work-at-home opportunity?

    Thanks for sharing the interesting and valuable post

    To our online Success!
    Omar Saady

  • HIRING COMEDY WRITERS!! For- tech product reviews, Comedy Tech news, prices, videos.

  • JC Axe says:

    Interesting article. I am currently exploring the freelance market myself, hoping to find something a bit more long term. I think the main thing any freelancer needs is to be proactive, seek out opportunities, and learn to market themselves effectively.

    JC Axe

  • Christian says:

    Thank you for posting this list. I would like to also add that anyone just starting out and thinking about writing on iWriter, don’t! They can ban your account for NOTHING!!!! Oh i’m still steaming from it. If the article you write does not get reviewed by the client with in three days you still get paid for it. Sounds good don’t it? WRONG!!!! By the client not reviewing your article it affects your overall rating and your rating can only go so low before your kicked off. In the FAQs they say that you have after so many reviews to get to a specified rating but apparently that rule means nothing to them. I only completed 6 articles and half of them never got reviewed then kicked off. I am peeved peeved peeved! Did I mention I’m peeved?

  • Stefan says:

    Some very interesting points. It is true that a lot of people are searching on the net to source a legitimate income or job. However, most , so called, “make money online” websites are proven to be mostly scams. I have found several jobs online at http://www.craiglist.com, http://www.jobquotes.com or elance.com in different sections, but as Kris said, its still hard to get pick out of this huge amount of folks applying for the same job.

  • Amel says:

    I just came across this article and wanted to thank you for mentioning my e-book (50 Markets That Pay Freelance Writers 10 Cents Per Word). I first compiled that book in 2013 and have since published two updated versions. The newest (2015) version contains 155+ markets that pay freelance writers 10 to 15 cents per word and can be found here:


    On my website for writers, I also list paying freelance markets here:


    In order for me to post a market, it must pay a minimum of 10 cents per word, but many pay significantly more.

  • Hi Heather
    I’ll be looking into signing up with some of freelance copy writing sites later on. I’m not sure how strong my skills at present. I’ve been blogging for 4 months on my travel blog, Alexa rank is under 500,000, so I’ll give a go and see what happens.

  • Brian says:

    Great source for writers.

  • The awesome post. I want to share it with my network on my fb profile. These points are really helpful for me. I am much thankful to the author of this post.

  • Raymond says:

    I’m enthralled by the pool of resource on this site. Kudos everyone! I”m in Ghana and a complete novice in this enterprise. I’ve passion for writing though, but completely ignorant about how and where to begin from. Its difficult to survive as young unemployed graduate in my country and under the circumstance, a guide in this direction and other leads as t how to make ends meet would save my ‘soul’. I will appreciate any volunteer to serve as my couch/mentor. I can be reached on ‘raycogroup@yahoo.com’ . Keep it up!

  • David says:

    In my humble opinion one of the best way of making money online is through writing jobs online. So many good writers have been frustrated not being able to get the right offer. Start making some cool dolla as you quickly go through this link>>http://tinyurl.com/obpvlka

  • Hey, thanks for the great list. However, I think your dismissal of sites like Elance / Odesk is a tad unfair. Yes, starting out there is difficult. However, if you can write a personalized proposal (unlike 90% of freelancers) and have a solid writing niche, you can get jobs paying between $0.10-0.50 per word. It’s not easy, but if you set yourself above the rest in this manner, you’ll be getting well-paid jobs far more regularly. It’s also a very safe, efficient way to conduct your projects, as payments are held by Elance, and released upon request.

    • Thanks for sharing your perspective, Tobias. It’s great to hear stories from writers who’ve found success on Elance and oDesk. We actually have an upcoming post from a writer who’s done well there!

      TWL Assistant Editor

  • Dan says:

    Hello Kelly. My name is Dan and I am a founder of Self Employment Ideas website. Thanks for this interesting post – it’s a great inspiration and a perfect example for other people looking for self employment ideas and myself. The best way to succeed in business is to be in business.
    You are welcome to check out my website for more ideas >> http://www.selfemploymentideas365.com Self Employment Ideas – From Opportunities & Challengers to Prosperity. Warm regards. Cheers and have a great day!

    • Hello TWL and others,
      I want to thank you for this ongoing evolving discussion and will try to be brief. I liked Dan’s post and will get over to check out his site very soon.
      Currently, I am endeavoring to move from working for a content mill to paid blogging opportunities. One application is pending with a company that offers blogging opportunities, and pay is based on one’s post being selected. The pay in my estimation is reasonable.
      I have also subscribed to a couple recommended newsletters, here, and use some other resource letters to keep the writing alive.
      Now, effort is to improve income to something respectable.
      I have only been at this for about a year, and doing job searches virtually is still a bit scary and nerve rattling.
      -Thanks for the continued collective nudges forward!
      Warmest Regards and happy writing,

  • Thanks for sharing. it will help out in making good money for freelancers.

  • Mario says:

    Thank you Kelly for such an useful article. I agree that the less crowded platforms are the best way when start out.

  • fari says:

    hello everyone… I am a BBA(H) graduate and currently looking for a writing job be it at academic or articles related to business, health, medicinal industry and others.. I have worked for several people related to research, case studies and assignments.. Plz let me know if any body has an opportunity for paid writing work.
    For further information and queries contact on saltishcancerian@hotmail.com..looking forward to hear from u all

  • Emma says:

    I think in this list there is no very nice new platform I use from time to time – http://2polyglot.com. This service is pretty good because there are jobs only for translators, tutors, copywriters, guides.

  • Jerry Walch says:

    By all means, avoid writing for Demand Studios and I say that after writing for them for more then five or six years. With over forty years in the electrical trades, I wrote mostly to their electrical titles, picking up an easy extra $50 to $75 a day pocket money, easy because I could knock those articles out in two hours or less. I was on the fast track with them, I even had one of their senior editors consulting with me on electrical questions. The problem with DS is that they have line editors that think they more about a trade then the experts writing the articles. Supposedly they are experts in the trade that they are editing articles on but, on more than one occasion, I found that not to be the case and I called them on it, which, in the end, got me banned from the site. Another negative aspect to writing for DS is that they change their editorial guidelines as often as I change my socks and underwear.

  • Mary says:

    Noo, I mean really? I earn $50 per hour on Elance. You left me wondering when you mentioned above that guys should ignore Elance. Well, I haven’t used other sites you are advising against such as Demand Studio, Guru and the likes but as for Elance, I beg to disagree. Or is it just me? Elance secures freelancers against manipulation. This is what I have always subscribed to–the amount of compensation you receive working online is directly proportional to your experience, quality of work and speed divided by the amount of time you are willing to spend working on that cookbook project. That said, if any of you guys is struggling to create winning bids then you might want to check this post that transformed my freelancing careers and helped me win over clients. http://www.mjomba.com/how-to-create-a-winning-bid-on-elance-com/

  • Walker Rowe says:

    You’re wrong about eLance. My niche is writing about technology, focusing on very detailed articles on computing programming, hacking, cloud computer, that sort of thing. It took me about 6 months to build up my reputation there. Yes I had to start at $4 per article. Now I get $50 or $150. You just have to stick with it and find a niche.

    Yes there are a lot of bottom feeders there and much fraud. I wish they would kick the lowest-paying operators off of there. You quickly learn what kind of people to avoid by looking for red flags and what foreign countries have the worse fraud. I just refuse to write for people in certain countries.

  • Erika Viktor says:

    Correct Emily,

    I have also seen blog becomes forum. :-). Read all comments and see that writers discuss on things rather than finding jobs. :-).

    Erika Viktor

  • Rachael says:

    Hi TheWriteLife Editors!

    Will you please, please give your links a target = new window code so that they will pop up in a new window rather than cannibalizing this one? Especially when you have a list! It makes it so much easier to go down the whole list … I want to be able to look at each site without leaving yours.

    Thank you!

    • Lisa Rowan says:

      I’m sorry you’re having trouble with this, Rachael. I just checked the post and it looks like links are set to open in new tabs. Hope you’re back to happy shopping soon!

      TWL Team

  • >charles says:

    If writers made no mistakes, proofreaders would not exist.

  • doreinway says:

    Thanks for this job.

    Dorein Way

  • Kayla says:

    I’ve never liked traditional job boards, but some of these other sources have lead to success for me in the past.

  • Joseph says:

    Can someone kindly direct me to the writing site that offer writing in the field of statistics? Microsoft excel and other statistics.

  • Joseph says:

    Can someone kindly direct me to the writing site that offer writing in the field of statistics? Microsoft excel and other statistics.

  • Nitin says:

    Hello Kelly,

    You have shared a great list. Really these websites are the most trusted sites to find paid freelancing writing jobs. One should try these sites as the most experienced freelancers are working on these sites from very long time.

  • Paul Wimsett says:

    Elance is probably a crapshoot when it comes to simple content, but if you are producing humorous writing or script writing the competition is less. If you are truly a writer you need to consider all sorts of writing.

  • This is an in-dept post especially for beginners. Thanks to your efforts. I believe sites like elance, odesk and freelancer are great for newbies. Even if the payouts are low, they give starters an experience to swim in the world of freelance writing and hone their skills to write for the big boys.

    Thanks once again

  • Audrey says:

    I wish I read this article earlier! I`ve already wasted so much time on Elance, and it is so unfair! I was in the same situation like Akash and many other writers here writing for nothing, but few months ago I came across writology.com which was a klondike for me! Hope it will help all the writers, especially new ones, because we should be paid decent rates, instead of trying to get work for a penny!

  • Great post! i Did try some and its working good….it helps me to grow more!

  • calvince says:

    I have the skills required of a writer however, I find it difficult to get an account to operate so as to earn some cash. Please help.

  • Who’s got experience? Freelance writing is something that seems exciting to me as a prospect, but the tangible aspects of it always seem too far away. I have no experience really, and I don’t want to lie about that. Do I think I could write alluring content? Yes. Do I want to achieve that goal by taking petty blows to all others around me, like a notoriously hated center forward in a B division? NO. I don’t want to get too involved in my own personal story on a public comment section, but I’m saving up to go back to college and would really love to be able to have a job that challenges me mentally and allows me to express myself. So if you actually read this: Should I pursue this type of work, and considering my specific situation would it be viable? Thanks again for this article Kelly, regardless of what I do tomorrow if anyone else gets half as inspired as I did reading this, you have moved mountains.

  • Blasting News is the place for content creator. You write about what you want, when you want to.
    Anyone can join and publish original articles, getting paid for the amount of readers reached, up to 150€ per article, so writing SEO articles and spreading them on social networks are key.

    Find all the details at http://www.blastingnews.com.

  • Miark says:

    This isn’t a real list….this is a veiled attempt to sell her book. Some of her points are valid, most of them aren’t. For instance, I work through oDesk (now called UpWork) all the time. It took me less than three days to land a GOOD job on there, and I’ve made between 8,000 and 13,000 a year ever since. It’s true you’re competing with hundreds of other Freelancers, but this helps weed out the good writers from the bad. If you’re a bad writer, then yes, get a job somewhere churning out useless articles day after day. If you’re a good writer, UpWork is exactly what you need.

    • Lora says:

      Thank you for the error free post! It’s so irritating to see people advertising themselves as writers who can’t even write a decent comment without grammatical and punctuation errors! They complain about having to rewrite when it’s clear they need an editor of their own! Sorry for the vent, but my mind keeps correcting errors as I read this page. It does say “Speak your mind”

      • Brandi says:

        Then you won’t mind me speaking mine. Understandably your a writer but this isnt a paid gig, don’t sell yourself short by being rude.

        • diane says:

          Yes, just because you do things perfectly, does’t mean anyone can at any time. Because we are all human beings, don’t get caught up in perfection. None of us are perfect, not me, not you or anyone else I know of. So don’t let it go to your head. Be personal with everyone because you do not know our bacgrounds, nor what our days really are like.

  • Hello Kelly, I want to hire some freelancers to do the blog writing for our website http://www.pandapaperroll.com. Could you introduce some places that I can find these freelancers at affordable price?


  • James says:

    I am just starting out, as a novelist. Where do I start? What are the best resources for me? Anything information would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  • Deel says:

    I am so stunned that you guys actually find articles for $10 per 500 words. I have been writing 500 word articles for $2. Wow! Either way thanks a million Kelly for making this post…it will probably save me from those $2 articles haha. Great work thanks again

  • Would love for our freelancing site, http://www.golance.com, to be included on this list. While we do not specifically specialize in freelance writing, we do have a number of freelance writing jobs that are routinely posted on our site. Prices and expertise vary as does the subject matter of the writing. However, our site is free for freelancers to sign up and also to apply. Freelancers can apply to as many jobs as they like for free.

  • Nausheen Tabassum says:

    thank you so much… this is just what i was looking for! 🙂

  • Candice Wikoff says:

    This is a great interest of mine. Please send me nore information in regards to the freelance writing. Thank you!

  • Mark Morris says:

    I feel like you should make a correction to your comments on Demand Studio, now Studio D. It is not like Odesk or Elance. There is no bidding, in fact, they have one of the best assignment claim processes anywhere online. Their pay is between 5-10 cents a word and while you won’t get rich writing for them, if you get into an active category with enough work, it is possible to make decent money there. I agree it is not the best way to make the best money, but it got lumped in with some bad actors. Their editing desk can help beginners learn the craft as well. I have not worked there in some time, but I keep my account open because getting $25 a pop for simple how-tos beats an empty week when and if things slow down.

  • Comment alert! Expect typos! Pun intended!

    Someone please give me a full list of top paying content mills,I need them despite what they pay. In Kenya dollar goes for about 102 Kenyan shillings ,so telling me to ignore a 410/500 work does not make sense to me.

    I need them.Let them come

  • N.O.Thompson says:

    I am a retired person with background in public affairs (media & community relations) and journalism (business, education, African affairs and religion) who is looking for opportunities in these areas. I worked with radio, newspapers and in public relations. I now need to make some extra money to support myself.
    I have bachelors and masters degrees, and I am currently working on my doctorate.
    Please, can you recommend some websites that can utilize my knowledge and writing experience?


    • Louise says:

      Hey Kelly and everyone!

      I’m writing from Blasting News, a new social journalism platform that pays up to $150 dollars per article. It’s totally free to sign up so if anyone is interested, check out our information page: http://blastingnews.space/?scr=b

      You can write whatever you like and you get paid depending on how well the article performs in terms of views. Would be cool to work with some of you!



  • alexis says:

    I write poetry and have been for over 13yrs. Does anyone have a suggestion for poetry or creative writing job sites?

  • Upworker says:

    There’s a chance to get a better-paying writing jobs, or any jobs for that matter, on Upwork (formerly oDesk).

  • Roland says:

    There is a small budget for a few writers at http://www.rawinfopages.com/write-for-us.html – it’s not for writing pros commanding $200 an article, but if you’re new, it could be a useful place to get started.

  • hamlab says:

    Am very happy 2 see my self in this site also lv dis page dat why I hv been in dis place so I will like 2 see many client 2 chat with here dat will be ok 4 me nd I will be very happy

  • Chisel says:

    Writing does pay. For instance, most of the essay writing service companies do pay well and good working terms, however, others are pretty crude. So be careful where you apply if you’re a a freelance academic writer.

    • Essay Writer says:

      Yes! I’ve managed to find an incredible essay writing job and I’m very lucky. I will recommend it to all writers – customessay.com

  • Abbey says:

    A love this

  • Jack says:

    I like what is shared here. So much is true guys. Just be wise when searching for gigs

  • Monika says:

    Hey, there is another great place for talented writers! – Blasting News – the leading social journalism platform in the world. You can write and publish what you want – you create great content, we monetize it for you.
    Are you passionate about the media and want to change the world of journalism? Blasting News is looking for freelance writers to revolutionize the way news is reported. Learn more http://blastingnews.space/?scr=joT

  • Thank you Kelly for sharing the resources from where I can find better content writing jobs…Well, I would be more happy if you further share the salary structure of these jobs…

  • Kris Willis says:

    This is still a great resource several years later – I’ve just shared it to all my social media. Thank you.

    I have my own complaints about Upwork, and I’m going to transition away as I learn more. But in the meantime, I have found some good jobs there. It takes time and strategy. I understand why you suggest avoiding it, but it’s not always a nightmare.

  • Errrikka says:

    YOU ARE SO RIGHT about elance. I was on there for a while and couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t “winning” any bids, even though I even experimented a bit and placed the lowest bid. Then I placed bids NEAR the lowest. Then middle. Then towards the highest. Then the highest. Nothing worked. I included samples of my work, made sure my proposals were free of errors and contained all the info that the client requested, such as typing in some special word they required to ensure you read their entire post. Etc., etc. Just couldn’t do it. Meanwhile others on that site have job tallies in the hundreds. One man had over a thousand. This is not a lifetime tally; it’s a 12 month rollover. How can one person have that many jobs? You’d have to be glued to your keyboard 14 hours a day, seven days a week, being that it’s so very time consuming just to read through the jobs and submit proposals. Something is very fishy about elance. Avoid it at all costs.

  • Michael Pomper says:

    Just a word of advice. I’ve read many comments and I thought I would throw out simple, but as some may find out down the road if it’s a commonality, to please take as much care writing comments as you do with your writing.

    Your name is on it and one way to become a reputable writer is to promote yourself as much as you promote your writing. Even more so until you are well known in at least your regular circles.

    Auto correct does miss or even mis-spell words based on your dictionary so watch for simple words. Also putting an “A” rather than “AN” or vise-verse can ruin a sentence altogether.

    Just some advice based on some examples I’ve seen in some of the comments. I hope this helps in some way.

    • Lora says:

      I take it you meant “throw out a simple suggestion” in your first paragraph and I agree with you totally. You did, however, phrase it more kindly than I did as I see in retrospect.
      Thanks for the comment. It is important to recognize that you are promoting yourself and your skills as a writer and communicator so your posts and inquiry letters should reflect perfection!
      I’m really not trying to be critical but helpful.

  • Michael Pomper says:

    I actually did not do the above comment in the incorrect content as a test. My computer actually has a flaw that moves the cursor without my knowledge, and if I don’t stop and check often, My writing is all over the place.

    Now I hit send before I took the time to re-read my own writing from the beginning, and only read the last two paragraphs and I end up looking like a fool with a comment about advice to not do what I just did.

    I personally should have known better in two areas. My known computer flaw and my own advise.

    However, it may have come at a good time to show just how easy it is to make mistakes that you cannot take back.

    Have a great day everyone.

  • Mohan Bhagat says:

    Great list of websites to find freelancing jobs. I like to work online and finding jobs online is a great way to make a freelance career. I am an aspiring freelance and need and all I can say that than you.

  • Victoria says:

    Looking for a freelance job with the best conditions?
    We are hiring!
    The best place for professional writers!

  • Hi, I am just getting my feet wet in the freelance world. What is your opinion of blogmutt.com? I am writing for them, I get paid if sold $8, for 250 words. Any input or thoughts?

  • Thomas says:

    I agree that using these options will definitely further your business as a freelance writer, but you will run into quite a few of problems. The biggest problem that many freelance writers face is that you will not find enough work. With my experience, linkedin is very good at establishing and keeping connections with your clients. They help bridge you to new and future clients, but I still feel like the work load is still very low. I joined a new program for freelance writers that has been offering me steady work with good pay. If you feel like this program would be something you would be interested in, visit: http://www.deservingwriter.com

  • Jennifer Gaillard says:

    I have a standard 9-5 and I make a pretty decent income. However, writing is my passion. So I am ready to give up my customer service career, and venture into new writing opportunities. I would love to network with experienced writers. Any recommendations?

  • joy says:

    if you enjoy writting then you should take up this chance to write for $180 Click Here!

  • Parag Bhise says:

    I have my own blog of technical writing. Could you please tell me if I can use this technical notes on any of these blogs to help someone?


  • this was a very informative and helpful read. I enjoy writing it seems to be relaxing for me especially if I am writing from passion. I have used blogger and WP before however I am not proficient at it. What advise can you offer me if I do not have any examples to show and this would be my very first freelance writing job?

  • Naqueeb Alam says:

    Hi Kelly

    After a long time of search I have made to this site. It is really helpful to me.

    I am a retired Management/ HR professional and looking forward to enter the online writing so that I can work from home using my rich corporate exposure and learning.
    I look forward to some tips on potencial client base and opportunities suitable for me.


    I don’t know-how and where to try—-only know a lots of my views are there-I want to share with others.

  • Steve Bones says:

    Been on sites like Ebyline and hate it. They only seem to pick up writers who have many projects posted. It just so happens that I get most of my work outside Ebyline so that’s their loss.

    One other thing, I find it hard to take advice from someone with a panda costume one.

  • John ORourke says:

    A must watch video for all you gangstalkers leaving comments here (yes Apparently gang stalking someone online is a new way to make money for some citizens of this country these days), there is an agency (financed by US military that pays people to do that) that hires people to harass activists, bloggers or anyone sharing information that the military doesnt want people to see or talk about online (like sharing information about illegal, non consensual electromagnetic experiments on innocent, non-suspecting citizens) for more information about this please look up “targeted individuals” , “military organized gang stalking” ” remote neural monitoring” , bigbrotherwatchingus.com – stopeg.com – stopthecrime.net/mind.html Thank-you

  • Emily says:

    I’ve just started writing as a freelancer with Upwork.com.au.
    They screen the job-posters and if the poster has more than three black marks against their name (I think it’s three), the job won’t post. The same with freelancers. Job-posters get black marks for being too difficult to work with, completely unreasonable with deadlines and workloads, or not paying for work given. Freelancers get black marks for being too difficult to work with, completely irresponsible or non-communicative with deadlines etc, plagiarising or not giving work at all.

    The pay goes through Upwork (who takes between 10% or 5% fee, depending on how large the payment is) and then they send it off to your Paypal or other designated secure payment site. Completely trustworthy, you can log hours worked online as you work, send files to each other over messages, send proposals for jobs, receive invitations for jobs.

    Free to join.

  • David says:

    I’m a big fan of HireWriters. While it’s not the best paying writing site online, it has a ton of jobs available at all times. Every time I have a few spare minutes, I accept a job and make a few dollars. I’ve been doing it for years and it’s an excellent side income.

  • Vijay says:

    very nice information

  • Omar Saady says:

    Thanks for sharing the great list of freelance writing jobs
    I ask why did not you mention Elance.com.

    The site provides the largest collection of freelancer and independent contractors from around the world in various categories including freelance writing jobs.


  • Great list Kelly. Thanks for sharing so helpful information with us. Keep writing! 🙂

  • Krish says:

    Extremely useful information.

  • filando says:

    I know this comment might be late. But if anyone still looking for online writing jobs. This is where I got started http://homewriter.gr8.com/ .Wish you guys luck, there are so many online writing jobs or freelancing writing projects, but they all pay cheap. Not much value for your time, if you share the same view, then check out the website, they have so much to offer.

  • Diya Dinesh says:

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful blog. Now a day 1000s of freelance websites are available and which are creating confusion to find out for the best and apt one. This article helps to understand about the freelance finding sites in an easier way

  • Lindsey says:

    Hello all,

    Like many of you, I have recently been trying to become more self-sustaining through freelancing.

    I have been writing for oDesk (now Upwork) for almost a year now and, as many of you say, the money just isn’t worth it. I do have a high appreciation and confidence in my writing, am not afraid to say no to a client, or jump into a project headfirst, so the reasoning behind writing for Upwork for so long now was to simply earn experience and credibility, while amassing a small portfolio.

    Now that I feel I have that and am ready to turn freelancing into more of a career instead of a hobby, my problem is finding those high-paying clients out there who will appreciate good work – and more importantly pay well for it.

    I know the successful freelancers out there go on and on about just how many such clients there are, but I so far have been unsuccessful in finding them. If I had just one good website or lead on how to find high-paying clients out there, I would have no problem with pushing and shoving my way into the spotlight.

    The list of sites above is helpful, but I was wondering if anyone on here had any others to add….

    Any help you can give would be much appreciated!


  • Lana says:

    Tuning in late, but I wanted to put in a good word for Upwork. They have made significant changes recently that seem like unfair structures, but actually work to attract serious and high paying clients and discourage those who want the most work for the least money, and to discourage freelancers who will work for peanuts. I am finding highly professional clients with who understand that you get what you pay for and are willing to pay top dollar. As another poster mentioned, yes, it takes a certain counter-intuitive strategy and reasonable effort, but it is possible to make very good money on Upwork.

    Best wishes.

  • Samuel says:

    I am looking for a freelance job. I am Indian. I can type 60words/ min. Can you please some body tell me, how I can get a freelance job

  • Eva North says:

    Good evening, I’m a new writer, I love to write, haven’t found my exact niche yet, and outside of my blog, which I’m trying to keep up, that’s the only writing experience I’ve got. Anybody tell me the best way or best places to go for beginning writing gigs? I’m willing to do just about anything to gain experience, haven’t found anything on my own yet that helps. Any ideas, suggestions, would be greatly appreciated. I’m also looking for any thing that doesn’t cost me any money, I’m very very poor broke.

  • ashley meekins says:

    Hi kelly,

    My name is Ashley and I am intrigued by your freelancing blog for us beginners. I am in deep need and have an intense drive to get started with freelance writing. I need to know what my first step is. What is my very first step? Do I have to have a blog? Or can I just find places to pitch and just start writing and submitting? How do I keep track of all my articles? I appreciate you taking the time to read and get back to me in regards to all this. You have no idea how much it means.


  • thank you for sharing list

  • Rhonda Wells says:

    Thanks for the ideas. I am a freelancer. I do use Upwork, but I agree it’s challenging. I must admit, I’ve had five decent long term clients. two whom I currently maintain.

    I currently blog and I am definitely looking for opportunity. Craigslist, I’m not sure, but I suppose it would be better than Upwork.

    • David Russell says:

      Hello Rhonda and others,
      My writing career is currently taking shape in that I am working on two anthologies, supporting myself via playing piano for Sunday brunch at a local restaurant and occasional special gigs, church service twice a month, using those wages in part to publish my anthologies, working sporadically for a content mill known as Text Broker, am sightless and could not establish myself on UpWork or BlogMutt as their sites were somewhat incompatible with my software. Few, are interested in making the freelance playing field low graphics for all.
      I am in the senior years of my life and still desire to be somewhat productive because it feeds my worth as a person! Find ways to feed your worth and you will be surprised with the results over time. They may be vastly different from what you may be imagining as you read this reply, but, if you have ambition, go for it!
      David Russell USA
      PS: If interested, my blog is titled Grafted In And On The Journey blogspot.com
      Thank you for allowing me and many to post!

  • Nice information to read and learn some things new about it, which will be quite a good things.

  • Erin Sturm says:

    Thanks for the great list, Kelly! I found a few new resources to check out.

  • Hi Kelly,

    This is an awesome post. Though it’s been long this post was published but the content is still making huge sense even after 4 years. Little wonder most of your posts are on the trending list…. I truly appreciate your effort on this. Keep it up.

    But there’s something I noticed about using job boards as a freelance writer; writers with English as a second language always find it difficult to land writing gigs from there and secondly, most of them pay ridiculous amount. As a result of this, I decided to reach out to organizations myself. Though it’s more difficulty but the handsome reward is my happiness.

    Thank you so much. My guest post article for TheWriteLife.com is ready and for sure, I will link to this post.

    Emenike Emmanuel

  • Thanks for an informative article, with many links to be investigated.
    I’m one of the lucky ones who has had (almost) all good experiences with oDesk (now UpWork), and have earned consistently for two years from this content mill.

    But reading the comments above, it seems there are better-paying jobs out there, and the time is aproaching for me to set my sights higher than $0.01 per word.

    I was initially content with this figure, but after two years of hard work building my skills, experience, confidence and portfolio, I’m determined to move my writing from part-time to full time, and earn what I’m really worth.

    Whatever happens from this point, I will never regret my time with UpWork (with the exception of their recent doubling of commission rates) because it was there when I needed it.

    Here’s to a brighter future!

  • Donna says:

    Hello, lots of useful tips in this article and I’m looking forward to taking them on board! Does anyone have much experience with freelancer.com? As a newbie I’m still getting to know which sites are decent and which to avoid.

  • Trisha says:

    Thank you for the useful list and the great tips! I’m trying to land my first jobs as a freelancer. I have worked a lot on my own projects so far, but I find it hard to success without any SEO knowledge. This looks like the only sure way to make some money online.

  • Essay Writer says:

    I write for an ‘essay mill’ and I can honestly say that I’m the happiest I’ve been in terms of freelance work. I make very good pay, have excellent communication with management, and even when I’ve screwed up they’ve been there to support me. I take on projects when I want to (and often I take too many). If I cannot make a deadline I can communicate this to the owner and he will try to accommodate by contacting the student.

    I completely understand that essay work is the ‘sewer’ of freelancing, but I hadn’t even been in a regular freelance job nor considered this field of work until now. I wouldn’t even look to write for anything other than an essay mill at this point, just because I feel that the amount of work they actually provide is staggering. I don’t at all have to ‘try’ or hustle. I get work handed to me on a daily basis, and that’s just via being part of one company among potential hundreds.

    • Joseph Wales says:

      Which “essay mill” is this? Kindly share.

    • Dan says:

      Essay mills will screw you hard at some point. Their payment is nothing compared to getting your direct clients.
      When yo start your own company, you own your business as opposed to working for somebody however flexible they may be.

  • Narayans says:

    Great Article Collection ! thank for sharing

  • Digitalpoint is also a great place to write and sell articles 😉

  • M says:

    If you’re still taking comments and suggestions…..I’d recommend checking out makealivingwriting.com for honest, straightforward advice. I found out about it through Writer’s Digest magazine.

  • Thank you so much for this comprehensive list! Wow. This is a truly valuable resource.

  • Good list Murray. Many people wants to earn by writing articles and your list will surely help them.

  • Words can give you money. I always write and write and money keeps flowing in.
    I am always available to save your ass in case you have a lot of writing to do.
    Otherwise, this is a cool list.

  • I started freelancing in 2008. I worked on Elance until they merged with Upwork. I could not move my profile over so I quit writing altogether.

    I mostly write academics, tech, some medical, legal and do research. I’ve written reviews of online events, top 10 lists, and news rewrites.

    My voice is narrative/matter-of-fact though I can do pursuasive/marketing.

    I generally charge $100 per 500 words/page or $30/hr.

  • Kim Carrington says:

    Thanks so much for these resources. I’m just getting started, so I need the help! I found that ProBlogger Job Board has a link to excellent resources and tools, and that Morning Coffee Newsletter does as well.

  • I must say your suggestions will help a great deal to writers who are always on the look for freelancing. I will get back again to read more from you. Hasta Lavista!!

  • Clara daniel says:

    Didn’t think about these points before. It was really informative

  • Naomi says:

    Hi! I just want to share to all my fellow Filipino writers that I’ve recently gotten a job through HireFilipinoWriters.com!

    The employer I got is so amazing and easy to communicate with.

    Have you heard of this site before? I think it’s pretty new yet very impressive. 🙂

  • I come across with an awesome site called ‘amgigs.com’ newly launched but nice UI and good use of Data analytic with ‘Know your estimation feature’ to provide free estimation based on AI and machine learning.

  • isabel546 says:

    Has anyone worked for http://writerslabs.com?
    Thanks! 🙂

  • David King says:

    I’m a former freelance journalist from Australia. I was appalled to read of the rates mentioned by various freelancers in this post. $10 for 500 words sounds like absolute slavery to me.

    When I wrote for a well-known Australian daily newspaper in the late 80’s, I was getting around AUD$450 for a 750 word article. In the early 90’s, this dropped to around $250 – $200, but I was then writing for a weekly state newspaper and was doing between 250 and 300 words per article – nearly every week.

    I also wrote for a monthly newspaper for which I filed an average of 500 words per article for $200. This was one of the lowest paying gigs I had, especially since I also had to supply photos with my articles. But it was still very decent compared to rates mentioned n this post.

    All of the above was print media. There was no online media in Australia (that I knew of) at this time. I started writing for an online agency in the early 00’s and made $300 per 300 – 500 word article averaging one a week.

    I dropped out of freelance journalism due to my long-term hearing loss becoming so severe I was unable to interview people. I was forced to rely increasingly on my partner transcribing interviews from tape recordings and at an average of only $200 an article, there was money to pay her.

    I’ve been on a pension since 2004 and decided to take a look at the scene today to see if it was possible to earn a bit of money on the side to help out with the odd bill or two.

    Horrific is the only way I can describe the sort of rates many of you people are describing. When I last wrote for a magazine in the UK and another in New Zealand around 2006, I was still getting over $250 for 350 – 500 words. And I considered that slave wages.

    I normally insisted on Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (Australian Journalists Association) Grade 5 Day rates or part thereof. But pay rates were definitely going down…

    At the moment, I think I’d earn more money delivering newspapers to letterboxes than writing for them.

    For those people who ‘love writing’, it may be okay…but when you HAVE to write for a living, when it’s your only job, you want to be paid properly.

  • Vivian says:

    What about Writer Bay? Any thoughts about it? Should I try it?

  • Writerbay is shit. They pay at most $5 – $9 per page of well researched content.
    It is basically a low paying content mill.
    The best thing to do is to create your own writer’s website and move on. You can click on my name to see my page and how I earn.

  • qualitymatters says:

    I recently received an email from Kelly with “9 Gold Mines. . .” article title on the subject line but couldn’t find a way to leave a comment. I actually received three variations of the same email on the same subject. One of them displayed the following email from someone named
    Alexis Grant:

    Hi Kelly
    After a long time of search I have made to this site. It is really helpful to me. I am a retired Management/ HR professional and looking forward to enter the online writing so that I can work from home using my rich corporate exposure and learning.

    I look forward to some tips on potencial client base and opportunities suitable for me.
    signed: Me

    I’ve very disturbed by the quality of the writing online, to be sure, but what can be more baffling than a website dedicated to writers and their writing actually sending out something with such poor quality writing.

    Normally the errors I see are punctuation and phraseology, but poor Alexis doesn’t even know basic grammar. I’m confused. How does this site explain this?

    And, further, does this mean I’m less likely to be hired because my writing is too proficient and correctly punctuated? I sound facetious, but this is a serious question. If employers are familiar with only bad or mediocre writing, mine will sound too…something…too smooth? Too formal?

    What do ya think? Also, how interested are today’s writers in improving their writing? Will they pay for mini courses? Course, I’d do it for free, too, as I’m on a mission to eliminate all these online errors.

  • qualitymatters says:


    I now see that the move-quoted email, though it appeared very clearly to be from someone named Alexis Grant, I see from the post above that it’s actually from the alleged employer. Well, he’s from China and doesn’t know the language, so, of course, his grammar would be off.

    This doesn’t take away from all the errors on the Internet, though. Those are still there and more are appearing every day, so question still stands. And why wasn’t that email clearer.

  • Martha L. says:

    I wonder how much auto-correct is now contributing to the errors online. Clearly, the words in the above comment are supposed to be “the above-quoted email,” but I know from experience that auto-correct changed the word to “move.” Isn’t that special!

    Software designers are trying too hard to be helpful, so their efforts are making a mess of things. The more one tries to attain perfection the more problems there will be as a result.

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