How To Get Paid To Write As A Side Hustle [Step-By-Step]

Do you want to know how to get paid to write online? We'll break down the best places to try, including why we like them and how they work.

Key Takeaways

  • Freelance writing is a competitive but accessible way to make money online.
  • Key platforms for writing gigs include Upwork, Fiverr, TextBroker, and ProBlogger.
  • Essential tools: strong English skills, a computer, internet, and payment method.
  • Earnings vary widely; experience, marketing, and client base significantly influence income.
  • Although freelance writing is one of the easiest ways to make money online, the low barrier to entry makes it a highly competitive field.

    This high competition leaves you wondering where to start and how to get paid to write.

    Luckily, it isn’t rocket science.

    Whether you want to make some extra money or want to start a writing career, this guide will explain everything you need to know about getting paid to write.

    Can You Get Paid to Get Paid to Write?

    Yes, you can. The internet is full of sites you can visit to find a decent-paying freelance writer position. Some of the available options include:

    • Online freelance marketplaces
    • Content writing job boards
    • Job networking sites like LinkedIn
    • Social networking sites like Twitter

    In addition, you can take one of the following actions to put yourself out there:

    • Create a profile on an online marketplace and sell your freelance writing services
    • Apply for an in-house content writer position on a job board and get hired by a company or content writing agency
    • Pitch guest post ideas to internet companies and get paid on a per-project basis

    New writing opportunities pop up every day, so you’re bound to find a paying gig if you look hard enough.

    How Much Can You Make by Writing

    The amount of money you can earn as a freelance writer depends on several factors, including your work ethic, experience level, ability to market yourself, and your client base.

    According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, US writers and authors have a median pay wage of $69,510 per year or $33.42 per hour (as of 2021).

    What You’ll Need to Get Paid to Write

    Anyone can earn money online as a freelance writer. However, if you’re thinking of becoming a freelance writer, you’ll need the following skills and technologies:

    • Excellent Command of English: You need to be able to write at the same level as a native English speaker to earn money writing on a freelance basis. Your writing should be free of grammatical and spelling errors and communicate clearly and concisely to the audience you’re writing for.
    • A Computer With a Word Processor: A computer with a word processor is necessary because it’s what you’re going to use to produce the content you write for your clients.
    • An Internet Connection: The internet is the glue that’ll hold your freelance writing operation together. You need it to pitch and apply for jobs. It’s necessary to sign up for an account on an online marketplace. Also, many tools you can use to improve your writing (like Grammarly) are web-based applications.
    • A Means of Receiving Payments: Your options include a local bank account or a fintech service like PayPal, Payoneer, or Wise.

    It’s worth mentioning that you need all of the above to succeed as a freelance writer. If even one is missing, you probably won’t be able to get paid to write.

    Where to Get Paid to Write

    The gig economy platforms and freelance marketplaces discussed below are among the best sites to look for freelance opportunities.

    Full List of Ways to Get Paid to Write

    We’ve included an overview of our top picks above. For a full list and detailed information on each pick, scroll down.

    1. Upwork (Freelance Marketplace)
    2. Fiverr (Freelance Marketplace)
    3. TextBroker (Writer Marketplace)
    4. PeoplePerHour (Gig Economy Staffing)
    5. CopyHackers (Writing Broker)
    6. Listverse (Listicle Website)
    7. WordAgents (Content Agency)
    8. ProBlogger (Content Broker)
    9. nDash (Content Broker)

    1. Upwork (Freelance Marketplace)

    A Screenshot of the upwork homepage


    Upwork is a well-known online freelance marketplace where small business owners go to search for an assortment of skills and services.

    You can find a variety of freelance writing gigs that cover a variety of subjects on Upwork, and the available jobs for writers accommodate all skill levels.

    How Much You Can Make

    Upwork gigs vary depending on factors like the project’s scope, the client’s budget, and your level of experience.

    Therefore, it’s challenging to specify an average rate. Some clients prefer to pay a lump sum per project and specify as much in the listing, whereas others may specify an hourly rate.

    What Makes This Option Great?

    Experienced writers will appreciate this platform because it does away with the need to search for work. If your Upwork profile has impressed prospective clients, they can contact you directly about their projects.

    • Typical Fees/Commission: Before you earn $500 with the platform, Upwork will charge you a 20% commission on all your gigs. The commission rate reduces to 10% when you earn up to $10,000 and 5% when you earn more than $10k.
    • Typical Payment Methods: You can get paid directly into a US bank account, a non-US bank account, via wire transfer, and through Instant Pay. In addition, you can receive payments via your PayPal, Payoneer, or Mpesa (Kenya only) account.

    2. Fiverr (Freelance Marketplace)

    A screenshot of the fiverr homepage screenshot


    Fiverr is a platform where gigs start as low as $5. However, don’t count it out as a viable source of income, as you can use this platform to jumpstart a freelance writing career.

    Unlike other online marketplaces where clients post gigs, Fiverr sellers can create listings that begin with the words “I will” to sell their services (e.g., “I will create original content for your blog”).

    How Much You Can Make

    Although Fiverr is reputed for its $5 gigs, you won’t be stuck earning that amount forever. You can apply to become a Fiverr Pro freelancer and charge higher fees if your application is successful.

    Some Fiverr Pro writers earn as high as $378,000 per year.

    What Makes This Option Great?

    Fiverr’s model is excellent for writers who find it difficult to make cold pitches to clients.

    You can create a listing, sit back, and the clients that need your particular services can commission work.

    • Typical Fees/Commission: Fiverr takes a 20% commission on all your gigs.
    • Typical Payment Methods: Fiverr pays writers (and other freelancers) via bank transfer, direct deposit, PayPal, Payoneer, and the Fiverr Revenue Card.

    3. TextBroker (Writer Marketplace)

    A screenshot of the text broker homepage


    Textbroker is an online marketplace with a particular focus on offering writing services.

    The platform is an excellent place to find freelance writing jobs, and it even provides resources that can help you improve your writing skills.

    How Much You Can Make

    The platform uses a five-star rating system that determines how much writers can make (the clients do the rating).

    For example, a four-star writer can earn $0.014 per word, while a two-star writer earns $0.007 per word.

    What Makes This Option Great?

    Content volume is where Textbroker shines. Even though this platform has a reputation for being a content mill, it does have plenty of freelance writing opportunities you can tap into.

    • Typical Fees/Commission: Textbroker doesn’t charge any fees in commissions. However, the platform charges a $1 fee if you request two payouts in the same week.
    • Typical Payment Methods: Textbroker only pays writer earnings via PayPal.

    4. PeoplePerHour (Gig Economy Staffing)

    A screenshot of the people per hour homepage


    PeoplePerHour is an online marketplace where companies go for their gig-worker staffing needs. Some examples of services offered on the platform include graphic design, programming, and writing.

    Typical writing gigs you can offer on this platform include copywriting, proofreading, content writing, and translation.

    How Much You Can Make

    Your earning potential on PeoplePerHour depends on how much you list your gig. Typical writing gigs can start at $25 for 500 words.

    What Makes This Option Great?

    Like Fiverr, PeoplePerHour lets you price your gig listings. Therefore, if you sell yourself well, you can decide how much your services are worth and get compensated fairly.

    • Typical Fees/Commission: PeoplePerHour charges a fee based on each individual client’s lifetime transactions with a freelancer. For example, if you earn less than or up to $304 with a client, PeoplePerHour will charge a 20% service fee. Earnings between $304 and $6083 attract a 7.5% service fee. And earnings over $6083 attract a 3.5% service fee.
    • Typical Payment Methods: PeoplePerHour supports withdrawals of earnings to a bank account (local or international) or a PayPal or Payoneer account.

    5. CopyHackers (Writing Broker)

    A screenshot of the copy hacker homepage


    As is suggestive of its name, CopyHackers is an agency with a focus on copy. If you’re skilled at writing informative articles about marketing, email marketing, UX design, and the like, this is the place for you.

    You can send in a writing pitch after reading CopyHacker’s submission guidelines.

    How Much You Can Make

    As of February 2020, CopyHackers pays between $300 and $1000 per guest post. The amount you’re paid is at the editor’s discretion.

    What Makes This Option Great?

    CopyHackers offers some of the highest pay rates for writers who can craft original articles on topics related to internet marketing, SaaS, and similar.

    • Typical Fees/Commission: CopyHackers doesn’t charge fees or commissions.
    • Typical Payment Methods: CopyHackers doesn’t disclose how it pays writers. However, it’s safe to presume that the agency pays via bank transfer (direct deposit).

    6. Listverse (Listicle Website)

    A screenshot of the list verse homepage


    Listverse specializes in top 10 lists that cover different types of content.

    The platform encourages writers to use a humorous writing style and doesn’t require much besides an excellent command of English.

    How Much You Can Make

    If Listverse accepts your article, the company will pay you $100 for it.

    What Makes This Option Great?

    The arrangement is incredibly straightforward: you come up with a top 10 list, Listverse reviews your article, and either accepts it and pays you or declines and asks you to try again.

    • Typical Fees/Commission: Listverse doesn’t charge its writers any fees or commissions.
    • Typical Payment Methods: Listverse only pays writers via PayPal.

    7. WordAgents (Content Agency)

    A screenshot of the word agents homepage


    WordAgents is an agency that specializes in search-engine-optimized content. The company provides services that span SEO-friendly blog posts and articles and website copy.

    It counts agencies, ecommerce companies, publishers, and local SMEs among its client base and is constantly hiring writers to service their requests.

    How Much You Can Make

    At the time of writing, WordAgents pays its writers $0.3 per word, which equates to $300 for 1000 words.

    The company expects its writers to deliver at least 5,000 per week, meaning you can make $1500 per week or $6000 per month.

    What Makes This Option Great?

    WordAgents is one of the few websites on this list where you can make a full-time income with your blog writing skills.

    • Typical Fees/Commission: WordAgents doesn’t charge any fees or commissions.
    • Typical Payment Methods: WordAgents pays its writers once a week via PayPal.

    8. ProBlogger (Content Broker)

    A screenshot of the pro blogger homepage


    First and foremost, ProBlogger is an internet company that teaches people how to establish and grow blogs.

    The reason it makes this list is for its job board. Companies from around the world list open freelance writing positions on the ProBlogger job board, making it an excellent place to search for writing gigs.

    How Much You Can Make

    Typical ProBlogger listings offer rates that start at $0.03 per word and go as high as $500 per article.

    What Makes This Option Great?

    ProBlogger is an excellent option because you can find amazing remote job opportunities there.

    Better yet, many of the companies that use the job board offer attractive compensation.

    • Typical Fees/Commission: ProBlogger doesn’t charge any fees or commissions for jobs gotten through its job board.
    • Typical Payment Methods: The payment methods available to you will depend on the company that hires you.

    9. nDash (Content Broker)

    A screenshot of the ndash homepage


    nDash is a content broker that provides a platform for pitching writing gigs. Thousands of businesses and brands use this platform to find and hire writers.

    You can craft everything from a blog post to a white paper on the platform.

    How Much You Can Make

    According to nDash, writing assignments on the platform typically range between $175 to $450. In addition, you can earn a lifetime commission for every company you successfully refer to the platform.

    What Makes This Option Great?

    If what nDash claims about its writing assignments is to be believed, this platform is the best place for a professional writer to look for high-paying writing gigs.

    • Typical Fees/Commission: Thankfully, nDash doesn’t charge writers a commission on every gig they successfully complete.
    • Instead, the platform passes that cost along to the clients by adding their cut on top of the writer’s final price per article.
    • Typical Payment Methods: You need an approved “non-preview” Stripe account to receive your writer earnings from nDash.

    Why You Should Consider Writing as a Side Hustle

    Why should you consider writing as a side hustle? Some of the numerous reasons why this hustle pays off include:

    • Choose Your Hours: Most freelance writing opportunities you’ll find online let you work remotely. As long as you meet the clients’ deadlines, you can decide when you want to work.
    • Choose Your Workload: Working as a freelance writer means you’re not limited to one client or employer. As such, you can choose to take on as much work as you can handle.
    • No Cap on Your Earnings: Expanding on the above point, choosing your workload means your income isn’t limited by a salary cap. You can scale your monthly take-home by getting as many jobs as you can handle.
    • It Improves Your Writing Skills: When you work on multiple articles, your writing and editing skills will improve.

    Also, this side hustle will teach you a lot, as writing about a diverse range of topics tends to do.

    Problems With Writing

    As with all side hustles, there’s a con for every pro. The problems unique to freelance writing include:

    • It Can Be Time-Consuming: Good quality writing takes time to churn out. For example, you can spend a minimum of three hours perfecting a 1,500-word article. While AI writing software tools can help you reduce the time you spend, many clients and employers prefer you give them original content 100% written by you.
    • Some Gigs Don’t Pay Well: Freelance writing isn’t a get-rich-quick opportunity. When you first start out, clients may offer depressingly low pay for your service.
    • Your Income Can Fluctuate: If you don’t get a full-time writing position, don’t expect income stability.
    • It Can Be Lonely: To be fair, this con isn’t to freelance writing but remote working as a whole.

    Freelance writing isn’t a cakewalk. Therefore, expect to put in time and effort if you want to succeed at this side hustle.

    How to Get Paid to Write: Step-By-Step Instructions

    vector graphic showing an illustration of how to get paid to write

    Here’s how to get paid to write in three easy steps.

    1. Choose Your Platform

    The platform you use will depend on your goals. If you’re looking for a full-time gig, use a job board to find work.

    In contrast, if you’re looking for freelance gigs, an online marketplace like Upwork will suffice.

    2. Prepare Writing Samples

    It’s a good idea to have some writing samples on hand before applying to freelance job postings.

    Similarly, potential clients may want to see samples of your work before commissioning one of your gigs.

    Find Work

    Once you’ve chosen your platform and have your samples ready, there’s nothing else left to do but apply for jobs.

    The process described above may be slow-going at first. However, keep at it, and it won’t be long before you land your first gig.

    Things to Consider When Writing

    Freelance writing has such a low barrier to entry that you can embark on your career in a matter of hours.

    However, there are a few factors you need to consider when starting out. They include:

    • Copyright Ownership: Unless otherwise agreed with the client, you don’t own the copyright to work you’ve written in exchange for payment. This point is especially true when you work for a company as an independent contractor.
    • Author Credit: Not all freelance writing gigs provide the opportunity to get author credit. Therefore, you’ll have to be selective about the gigs you take if you want to get your name out there.
    • Subcontracting Agreements: If you land a gig that requires you to sign a contract, you might need to draw up a subcontractor agreement. This agreement protects you from liability in the event that you need to hire outside help to complete a task. If the subcontractor doesn’t fulfill their obligation, you’re legally covered.
    • Use of Artificial Intelligence: As mentioned above, many clients prefer human-written content to AI-generated content. If your client or employer expressly forbids the use of AI writing assistants, abide by their policy.
    • Plagiarism: Stealing other people’s content and passing it off as yours is a huge no-no in the content writing world. Tools like Copyscape can expose your stolen content and search engines like Google will penalize your client for your indiscretion. So don’t do it. It can cost you a lucrative contract and damage your reputation.
    • Taxes: Freelance income over $400 is subject to taxes, so keep that in mind when freelancing. You’ll need to file tax returns once you hit the above financial milestone.

    When you keep the above considerations in mind, your freelance writing side hustle can operate without any avoidable hiccups.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the Best Paid to Write Website?

    ProBlogger is probably the best website on the above list to search for high-paying freelance writing gigs.

    What Type of Writing Pays the Most?

    Technical writing gigs are among the highest-paying writing projects a freelance writer can get. Research writing also pays well.

    Similar Ways to Get Paid

    If content writing isn’t your speed, we discuss similar ways to get paid below.

    • Get Paid to Take Surveys: If you’re looking for a less labor-intensive means of earning extra money, you can try taking paid surveys.
    • Get Paid to Type: This side hustle is similar to content writing, except you’ll be doing things like data entry and transcribing videos.
    • Get Paid to Text: Rather than write full-length articles, you can get paid to have text conversations in a customer service role.

    Wrapping Up

    Due to how competitive the freelance side hustle can be, guides like this are important to clarify the process.

    When you know what to expect and where to look for work, you can make your writing side hustle soar with a little luck and a lot of determination.

    Did you like this article? If so, feel free to share it with others. And let us know what you think in the comments!

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