This website is one of the more ‘unique’ websites that I’ve looked into while on the hunt for freelancing opportunities online. But can you really make money writing for Wide Open Country? This was the main question that I was asking once I found it, and it is the question that I am going to answer in this review.
I’ve been doing quite a bit of research about websites that will pay you to write content for them, and it was this exact search that turned me on to WideOpenCountry.com. This website is kind of unique. It is like a country music, country-living website that publishes content on all things ‘country’ related.
In fact, here is a screen shot from the ‘About Us’ page, which pretty much states exactly what the site is all about.
They are based in Austin, Texas, and they publish content on a wide range of subjects that are all at least partly related to ‘country’ life, including: fashion, food, drink, domestic travel, culture, music, etc.
The website was founded in 2015, and is the sister site to WideOpenSpaces.com, which is a similar site dedicated to hunting, shooting sports, fishing, and other outdoor-type activities.
But can you really make freelance cash writing for Wide Open Country?
I decided to begin my research by taking a closer look at the site.
Taking A Closer Look At WideOpenCountry.com
So the first thing that I noticed about this site was that it sometimes has popup ads. In fact, I had a pretty big popup ad ‘pop up’ on me when I first opened up the page, but it was easy to get rid of and really didn’t hurt my experience too badly. I know that websites like this have to pay the bills somehow, so I guess I think of it as a ‘necessary evil,’ and I have pretty much gotten used to it (as I am sure most modern internet users have.)
The next thing that I noticed was the general look and feel of the site. The design was very ‘news-blog-esque.’ It was laid out nicely, and was pretty clean cut. I liked how the banners were spread across the page, and when you scroll down, you find all kinds of different types of stories, features, and articles to look through.
The articles were up-to-date as well, with some of them being mere hours old as I visited and looked-through the site.
But I had yet to read through one of their blog posts, so that was what I planned on doing next. I wanted to see what kind of quality they looked for in their content. I was also interested in exactly what style of articles they were into publishing.
So that’s what I did next.
Checking Out The Content On WideOpenCountry.com
The couple of articles that I checked out on the site were brief, well sourced, well written, and to the point. They were almost more like ‘news blurbs’ than full-fledged, fleshed-out articles, but this did not take away from the experience of reading them for me.
I also felt like the writers had a pretty serious grasp on their topic, which means that this site is probably looking for a knowledgable voice when they look at freelance pitches.
Speaking of freelance pitches, I was now wondering exactly what the writing guidelines were on WideOpenCountry.com, so I decided to do some research into that next.
This was easy enough to find, as there was a link to the ‘Write For Us’ page located on the footer.
Here is what I discovered when I clicked on it.
Writing For The Wide Open Country Website
As it turns out, there was not much to see here. Here is a screenshot of all of the content that I found on this page. There were only two small blurbs, and these were not even that informative.
So here is a brief synopsis of what I learned here.
- They are looking for people who are passionate about the country lifestyle, and who love to write.
- They do pay for content, but they do not say how much.
- They said that they are looking for music and lifestyle writers who are passionate and knowledgeable about country music to join their team.
- To apply, you must email them with an application.
- The application must include two writing samples, some information about yourself, a brief description of your experience, and your reasons for why you think you would be a good fit for the website.
And that was it. I decided to go back to the footer and see if there was a link to a FAQ page, as that might tell me a bit more. But alas… I found no such thing on this page. So as of right now, I had very little to work with.
But… I did feel like I had enough information to draw a few conclusions about the site, so that is what I decided to talk about next.
A Synopsis Of What I Learned About Wide Open Country, Based On My Research
Alright. As far as I could tell, these were the most important details that I had learned thus-far about Wide Open Country during the course of my research.
- The website had a reputation as a site that pays freelance writers
- This was confirmed by my own research
- The site publishes quality content in a pretty specific niche. If you are not a good writer, and/or do not have the ability to write quality content in this niche, your odds of writing for this site are probably not very good.
- I do not know how much this site pays its writers. But, based on the quality of the content, they must be paying pretty well. I have seen content (on other sites) written by writers who weren’t paid well, and I have seen really good content written by writers who were paid well for their work. And I can tell you right now, hands down, that I believe that this website pays its writers well. The good content was also consistent throughout the site, as far as I could tell, and not just a fluke. So that is a pretty important detail.
- You have to apply to the site before you can really hope to get any writing assignments. From the sound of it, they will contact you in regards to your application if they are interested in working with you. That makes them different from a lot of sites that I’ve reviewed, but that is not necessarily a bad thing either.
My Personal Feelings About WideOpenCountry.com
Personally, I feel like this this site would be an interesting site to pitch to—as long as you have a working knowledge of their demographic. They are really into country living, country music, country food, and country culture on this site—so if you don’t feel like you could write knowledgeably about these things, this is probably not the site for you.
I actually grew up on a 40 acre farm in the Midwest United States, and I have lived in a rural area for the majority of my life. I am not a huge fan of country music, but I am a huge music fan, and there is definitely some country music within the realm of my interests—so I actually feel like I could stand a chance of getting published on this site.
But even if you are not an experienced ‘country’ person, you may still be able to tap into the culture by doing some research and immersing yourself into it. These are not topics that cannot be learned, so that should give you hope if you would like to write for a website like this, but do not have experience with it.
In the end, though, it is important to understand that freelancing is never a ‘100%’ get-rich-quick opportunity, and that is where the risk comes in. You are never guaranteed that a piece you submit will be accepted, even if the piece is well written and seems to be a perfect match. In fact, every writer faces his/her share of rejections, and that is sometimes enough to make even very professional freelancers quit to try something else.
I would probably not count on being able to publish a lot of content on this site either, mostly because they probably have a lot of people submitting content to them. These types of sites can tend to be competitive… but then again, that isn’t to say that you couldn’t gain a more ‘regular’ place within their ranks of on-call freelancers, either.
I honestly don’t know how this site handles things like that… but I do feel like it may be worth it to give it a try if you think you may be interested in writing for them.
Our Final Opinion About Writing For WideOpenCountry.com
Should you try to write for them to make extra money as a freelancer?
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.
Starting your own affiliate website really is the holy grail of "making money while you sleep" and earning income from anywhere in the world. Your website is online 24/7/365 and can be accessed from any computer or smartphone.
Running a successful affiliate site isn't easy, but it's a little easier with the help and step by step lessons from this program.