Movie reviews are an important service, giving people an idea about whether a movie is any good and what viewers can expect. Writing these reviews is also great fun for any movie buff.
It gives you the chance to talk about your passion and to show off your expertise. At the same time, you can actually get paid to write movie reviews, if you go about it correctly. And, why not? If you already love movies, writing about them is the next natural step.
How You Can Earn Money
Movie reviews is a field with high supply and high demand. So, there are many people actively writing reviews, along with a large audience that wants to read them. This means the potential for income does exist but you have to be smart about it.
One key aspect is choosing where you write for. This section will discuss some of your key options, along with their advantages and disadvantages.
Another consideration is the piece that you’re writing. Regardless of who you’re writing for, the goal is to get people reading your content. To do that, you need something unique to offer.
In some cases, this may be a focus on reviewing unusual movies – rather than what has just hit the box office. Some examples might include movies from a recent film festival, ones from independent producers or classic movies that were produced many years ago. With this style, there are fewer reviews to compete against.
Alternatively, you may look for your own voice – something that is uniquely you. After all, there are hundreds of reviews out there for any given movie.
For example, someone who is passionate about superheroes and the associated lore might review the film Deadpool differently than someone who had never heard of the character before. Likewise, some reviewers will pay close attention to the mechanics of a movie, while others are only interested in the plot.
There isn’t really a right or a wrong approach to take. But, if you can find a way to be different, then you increase your chances of making money. Choosing unusual movies is one way to do that, finding a unique voice is another. You could even do both, if you wanted to.
Now that we’ve covered that area, let’s take a look at the different ways that you can get paid.
Find Sites To Write For
One of the best outcomes in this field is to get paid per individual review. This means you don’t have to rely on traffic and you don’t have to outcompete other reviewers.
A powerful way to do this is writing on other sites. After all, there are hundreds of sites that host movie reviews, many of which are popular. With so many movies out there, those sites mightn’t have the resources to write all their reviews themselves. So, they’ll outsource. That’s where you come in.
If you can find work, then you could earn anywhere from a few dollars to $20+ per review. In most cases, you wouldn’t be the only reviewer on the site, so you wouldn’t just get to review anything. Instead, you might get assigned specific movies. Alternatively, you may have to choose movies from a list or you might even need to pitch each review to the company. Some of those movies may even be ones you hate (hopefully not all of them).
To get started, you have to find the sites, which is where things start to get challenging.
One example is the site Animation Arena, which wants reviews that are at least 550 words long and has a focus on animated movies. They pay $15 per review and you can write up to 10 reviews per month for them. However, it’s unclear whether they are still accepting writers, as the linked page hasn’t been updated for a while.
But, there aren’t that many sites that explicitly advertise for reviewers – and the availability of positions also changes over time. This means that the best answer is to simply go and search for yourself.
You could start off by looking for sites that regularly host movie reviews, preferably ones where you like their style. For each site, you could then look for any information about acting as a writer. Even if they don’t have that information, you should be able to find details about who you can contact.
The goal is to reach out professionally and respectfully. You might start off by asking if they are looking for content writers and, if so, who you would talk to. Alternatively, you might write about what you have to offer and how you could help them out. Some people even open with a sample of their work, which is often created in the style of the site.
In most cases, starting simple makes sense. You don’t want to be creating a review for every site that you pitch to, especially as most won’t be interested. But, writing a sample for powerful sites may make sense.
This process can take time and it might be frustrating. But, if you can make a few good connections, you could easily get consistent review assignments.
Work As A Freelancer
You can also find freelance work as a movie reviewer on sites like UpWork and Freelancer. These sites host a large range of job listings in a wide variety of fields. This includes just about any type of writing you can imagine. Often, the people offering work are trying to outsource content creation for their own sites.
The pay rates vary considerably, as do the actual requirements. The competition is also fierce, as this is where many freelance writers start off their careers. Nevertheless, if you can some good clients, being a freelance movie review writer could make sense.
Using Revenue Sharing Sites
Revenue sharing sites are one of the most common ways to make money writing. Here, you’re not getting paid per piece of content. Instead, you typically earn money as a result of the views your content gets.
The style gives you much more flexibility and many of the sites will let you write about almost any topic out there. A single site may even have multiple reviews for the same movie. In many cases, you can simply write your reviews and publish them, without anyone needing to approve them.
The biggest player in the field is HubPages and there are also smaller alternatives, such as InfoBarrel and Writedge. Many of the sites will also let you place self-serving links in your content. These can be links to your own website or they can be affiliate links.
Earning some money from the site itself and extra from affiliate marketing sounds great. But, there are limitations.
For one thing, the sites host a large number of articles, including many other movie reviews. This makes it difficult to get noticed and lowers your potential for income. You might have an edge on smaller websites, where less content is created. But, those tend to get less traffic as well.
You also don’t have much control. This means there isn’t much you can do to increase your traffic. Because of these factors, the income potential is typically low, even if you’re writing amazing content.
A slightly different option is the site Cultured Vultures. This one focuses on culture-related content, which includes movie reviews. In this case, you must get articles approved and the site only publishes one review per day. The site is also less well-known. That aspect means that traffic is relatively low, which decreases how much you can earn.
Unlike the other options, Cultured Vultures is about supporting writers. As such, they can give you tips about other places to promote your work, along with ways to improve. But, they still have the same general limitations, so your chance to make money isn’t all that high.
There are other variations too, such as ePinions, which entirely focuses on reviews. The patterns are the same here too. In fact, any revenue sharing site will offer minimal income. After all, you’re only getting a fraction of what the site itself earns.
On Your Own Site
One final alternative is to review movies on your own site. In this case, having your own unique approach is particularly relevant. That could be as simple as focusing on a specific genre of movies or movies that fit into certain criteria.
I’ve also seen sites that have a specific goal in mind. One example is a site that focuses on which movies are appropriate for kids and highlights any themes that parents may be concerned about. I’ve also seen sites that look at movies for Christian audiences and other similar approaches. Alternatively, you might have a site that links movies and dating together.
Like with a revenue sharing site, you don’t earn money per review when you have your own site. But, you have so much more control over your revenue and what you write about. In fact, this is the best approach if you want the ability to pick and choose what you review, without having to answer to anyone else.
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.