I found this website while researching websites that pay freelancers for articles… though to be honest, I was not quite expecting what I ended up finding! The website looked kind of old, and it was actually a bit low-def. But the real question is this… can you really make money writing for LWN.net?
This is the rumor that I had heard online, and I was very interested in researching it. As it turns out, it was true… but we will get to that in a minute. First, I wanted to find out what kind of a site this was. As a writer, it is important to pitch to websites that you know and understand. It is also important to pitch to websites that publish content on topics that you feel pretty confident about.
Getting Started: Some Information About Freelancing
Being able to research is a necessity for almost any writing job. But the real truth of the matter is that you also need to be able to start out from a pretty authoritative place with your topic if you want it to be able to sound natural and professional.
There are a lot of freelancing opportunities out there, and there continue to be more of them as the need for quality web content increases. Every good website these days usually publishes a blog, and every successful website out there nowadays knows that you need to publish real, relevant, quality content on your blog to make it worth the time.
This is what attracts readers, viewers, and visitors. When you publish content that will actually provide quality and value to your audience, you will quickly find that your blog will grow. And the more regular this content becomes (in other words, the more often you publish content), the better.
And this is a good thing for writers. It is often not a viable possibility to supply all of a site’s blog content in-house. So this creates a demand for writers that continues to grow.
But, as the market grows, so does the competitiveness of it—and you will quickly learn that, even with the high demand, it is important for writers to bring their A-game if they hope to compete. There is certainly no room for being unprofessional in this industry!
But what about LWN.net? Does this site pay enough to make them worth the time to freelancers?
Let’s talk about that.
First Of All, What Is LWN.net?
LWN actually provides a brief explanation of what their site is on the landing page.
“LWN.net is a reader-supported news site dedicated to producing the best coverage from within the Linux and free software development communities.”
They also publish a FAQ, which they link to right on the landing page. I visited this link, and learned quite a bit.
First of all, I learned that this site aims to be ‘the premier news and information source for the free software community.’ They provide coverage of issues pertaining to development, legality, commercial business, security, etc. They got their start back in 1997, and have since grown to become ‘one of the definitive Linux news sites.’
When asked where they get most of their information, they said that they spend an unbelievable amount of time wandering the net looking for stories to cover for their readership. They also say that they are heavily dependent upon their readers for tip-offs to good news stories.
I also learned that the website is mostly supported through subscription fees, though they also bring in a small amount of money in through advertising.
I also learned what LWN actually meant… which was awesome, because I was really starting to wonder. Apparently, it started out meaning ‘Linux Weekly News,’ though over time, this name has been deemphasized because they have moved on from just being a weekly coverage website. With that being said, they have yet to come up with a better meaning for the name LWN, so they keep it anyway!
As for how much their subscriptions cost, they say that they offer individual subscriptions at $7 per month, though they give discounts on subscriptions for ten months or more when they are all prepaid. They also offer a premium level subscription with extra features for $14.00 per month, and a ‘starving hacker’ subscription with reduced features for $3.50 per month.
They also offer a ‘maniacal supporter’ package at $50 per month, said to be for those whose support for the website ‘knows no bounds.’
Now, at this point, I decided that it was probably time to examine some of the content on LWN… so that is what I did next. As I mentioned before, it is a good idea to take a close look at the content a site has already published when you are thinking of pitching to them… so that is what I did here.
Here is what I discovered.
Checking Out The Quality Of Content On LWN.net
So, most of the content on this site can only be viewed by members. You can view some of their archived articles, but the Weekly Edition blog and most of the other new, relevant content, including the articles shown on the landing page when you first visit, are locked and you can only unlock them with a subscription.
You can, however, read the beginnings of some of the articles on the landing page, which is nice. This, coupled with reading through some archived content, gave me some pretty good information about what the content on this site usually looks like.
And I am not going to sugar-coat it—it looks very technical.
If you are not a Linux person, this site not only probably won’t make sense to you, but it will probably confuse you. The content seems very well done to me, but honestly, I know so little about these topics that I may as well be trying to read in French.
I know for certain that I will not be able to write for this site. I know nothing about Linux, or anything else that they cover here… and likely would not ever be able to learn enough about it through research unless I put some actual, real, very serious effort into actually getting into these things on a personal level.
But… the good news is that most people do not know what this stuff means… so writers who do know what this is all about have a definite advantage. They also have access to the potential for an awesome side-hustle. Here is why.
Writing For LWN.net
The ‘Write For Us’ page is super easy to find on this website, as it is located on the left menu sidebar at the bottom of the other links.
Here is what the page looked like.
As you can see, LWN is looking for writers who…
- Have expert knowledge of some aspect of the free software community
- Have an urge to write high-quality articles for extremely picky editors and demanding readers
- Are fine with tight deadlines and minimal pay
They are definitely looking for freelancers, and most of their needs apparently fall into two basic categories. Either they are…
- Lead-in editorials for the Weekly Edition pages, or
- Longer, feature-length articles that are not quite so tightly tied to the weekly news
As of the time that this review was written, they wanted articles to be around 1,500 words in length, though articles that were a bit shorter were said to be alright as well.
They pay between $200 to $250 for new articles, and seem to prefer writers who are going to stick around as opposed to one-time writers. They also have a set of guidelines that you will need to follow if you wish to pitch an article to them, so it would be a good idea to visit their website to read through all of their guidelines before pitching anything.
They also sometimes pay more for articles that are more complex, which is pretty awesome.
My Personal Feelings About Writing For LWN.com
Personally, I really liked the look of this website. I am absolutely not qualified or experienced enough in any of these topics to even try to write for them… but any writer who is knowledgeable about the topics that this site deals with should absolutely take a shot at it.
You will not get rich writing for this site, but they do pay out way above average. For a web content freelancing gig, making $200-250 or even more on a 1500 word article is pretty awesome. If I had the knowledge to try to write for this site, I definitely would!
As I said, you won’t get rich writing content like this. But it is certainly worth a try if you love to write about Linux and other related topics.
Our Final Opinions About Writing For LWN.net
Should you try to freelance for them and earn some extra money?
There are a lot of ways to make money online. Some are good, some not, but ALL of them are still just trading hours for dollars.
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