These days, people find most of their information online, for every topic imaginable. This has led to countless different sites and online magazines, many of whom are trying to make money themselves. This pattern creates strong demand for writers.
It also means that you actually can get a job writing for an online magazine. In fact, some people develop entire careers this way. That’s even true for magazines and sites that have no physical component. So, how do you make money in this way?
What Do You Want To Write About?
If you’re going to write for an online magazine, you need to decide what you’re going to write about. Specializing like this has many advantages.
For one thing, it makes it much easier to find places to write for. After all, there are many different online magazines out there, not to mention all of the blogging sites and independent companies. When you have a topic in mind, you can narrow these down and find the ones that have the most potential.
Specializing also lets you improve over time.
When you’re focusing on a single topic and field – you tend to learn more about it as you go along. As a result, the research you do for one piece of content will often help you build the next one. It’s also easier to keep up-to-date on the latest news and developments when you’re only looking at one topic.
In time, a specialization can make you into an expert in the field. For example, you could become the go-to author for articles on a specific area. If that topic is unusual enough, other sites might even seek you out.
So, what do you choose?
That’s up to you. Some people focus on narrow topics, such as a specific type of product or skill. Others focus on a much broader area, such as nutrition or even health and wellness. The list below details a range of ideas to get you started. These all link out to more detailed guides about writing in that industry.
- Technology. This might include topics like the latest gadgets, new ideas in technology, science, current research and where technology is going next. Some large players in the field are Wired, Popular Mechanics and Engineering & Technology.
- Gaming. In this field, you might end up writing gaming reviews, informational articles, guides or all of the above. You could also specialize in a particular platform (such as PS4 or PC gaming) or you might focus on a single genre (such as role playing games or first person shooters).
- Opinion articles. This article style works in many different fields and online magazines are often looking for opinion articles. In this case, you may not be looking for a single position but for multiple magazines that regularly pay for opinion pieces.
- Health and wellness. This is a large field right now, with countless sites publishing in this area. You could narrow this down further too, such as by focusing on food, supplements, weight loss or even a specific diet type.
- Finances. This field may be a little dry for most. But, if you’re financially savvy, there are online magazines that will pay for financial articles.
- Travel. These days, blogs are the most powerful way to make money writing about travel. Nevertheless, some sites will pay for articles as well.
- Sports. Passions tend to run high for sports making this an interesting area. Many online magazines provide content about various sports, including rundowns of the latest games and discussions about performance and news.
As you can see, there are many different directions to consider and this list only scratches the surface.
A good way to start is to think about the areas you are passionate about and topics where you want to learn more. Then, you can look to see what online magazines operate in this area. You can also focus on less formal sites, ones that simply look for blog articles.
How Do You Land A Job?
Once you’ve figured out what you want to write about, the next step is actually getting a job. This isn’t as tough as it sounds. Instead, there are multiple approaches you can take.
Traditional Writing Jobs
In some cases, you might be able to find a formal position. For example, some large online magazines advertise for positions like Junior Writer, Content Writer, Content Producer or Staff Writer.
Because these are traditional jobs, you would have to go through an application process. This could include submitting a resume and some form of remote interview.
Often, roles like this don’t just involve writing. For example, you might also be responsible for some content management or for social media marketing. Your creative control might be limited as well. This would mean you have to write what you get assigned. You may even need to write about viewpoints you don’t share.
The jobs will also come with many of the limitations and advantages of a conventional job. For example, you might have limited control over your working hours and you may end up with stressful assignments that you don’t want. But, a regular job does offer a more predictable source of income, so that’s a bonus.
Being A Freelancer
Formal jobs do exist, especially for large publications. But, online magazines often use freelancers for much of their content. Sometimes, this means you’ll get work on a case-by-case basis. In other situations, you may be provided with regular requests or assignments that you can submit.
One difference is that you’re not normally earning a full-time income this way. Instead, you might be getting anywhere from a few cents to more than $100 for an article – depending on what it is and where you are submitting. But, if you can get enough work, the process is still lucrative.
After all, freelancing means that you can work for multiple companies at the same time. This offers you much more flexibility and versatility.
A good place to get started is The Write Life. The site is dedicated to freelance writing and offers a list of places where you can find paid writing jobs. This includes blogs that pay for articles, as well as job boards, social media and online databases.
Freelancers can also turn to job board sites, like Upwork. These sites are a powerful way to find work. You can often find hundreds or thousands of jobs in a given field – with more being published regularly.
The sites are popular, which means that competition is high. As a result, it can take time to build your reputation and find success. You may need to take on some low-paying jobs initially until you are more well-known.
You can also advertise your skills on your own blog or through sites like Craigslist. This style has some advantages. But, unless you become very popular, few online magazines are going to seek you out.
Instead, you need to do the legwork.
Another way to freelance is by directly offering articles to companies. For example, Wired has a page on how you can submit opinion articles to them and suggests that they pay for some content.
With this style, you have much more control over your content. You’re the one pitching stories, so you can pick and choose what you want to write about.
Many sites will have details about submitting content and even about their payment policies. If they don’t, there will normally be contact information that you can use. You can then pitch your work to them, or your skills as a writer. This piece from The Guardian offers additional insight about doing so successfully.
As a general rule, the goal is to be courteous while offering concise and targeted information. You also need to make sure your pitch matches the magazine that you’re focusing on.
The entire process can feel frustrating. Many people you email won’t get back to you, while others simply won’t be interested. And, even if you do find success, sites often pay relatively little. When you add in the time for research, pitching and writing, the approach may not seem worth it.
But, that’s not entirely true.
Pitching articles also helps you to build connections and increases your visibility. So, success with one article may increase the odds of getting another accepted. If you end up with articles in some high-profile publications, the implications for success would be considerable.
You’re also building relationships with the company that you’re promoting to. Some of these could turn into long-term opportunities. After all, it’s easier for a company to keep going back to the same writer, rather than take a risk on a newbie.
Overall, the benefits of pitching individual articles go far beyond the initial payment you receive.
As a writer, you already have the skills you need. Finding success is mostly a matter of putting the time and energy into the process and being patient. There is certainly no shortage of places that will pay for content, in every field imaginable.
As a writer, you have an in-demand talent that can be used to earn you TONS of money online. You can earn money freelance writing, for sure, but it's still just trading dollars for hours. Personally, I recommend starting your own website! Information is the currency of the internet, so why not leverage your talents to build yourself a serious online income! Learn how to create your own blog-style website and make money through advertising.