When it comes to making extra cash, the internet has a lot to offer its users. Online auction sites provide members with a place to peddle goods and services and social media networks like Twitter and Facebook make it possible to self-promote with ease. Those individuals with a knack for the written word can find legitimate, paid work-at-home opportunities online. In fact, those writers wanting to gain exposure and line their pockets with cold hard cash may find the following five websites useful:
- Demand Studios. Write instructional articles on a variety of topics including: Animals, Arts and Entertainment, Computers, Health and Fitness, Home and Gardening, Sports and Recreation, and Travel. Paychecks are disbursed twice weekly to your PayPal account and top paying articles are worth $15 a piece. You can also select revenue share articles which earn significantly more over the course of a year and pay out once monthly.
- Textbroker. Anyone can write for Textbroker. Search through their database of available topics and choose the one that best fits your interests and knowledge level. Write the article, submit it, and elect a payout once your account has reached $10. Payments occur bi-weekly and are sent to the PayPal account address registered on the site.
- Quality Gal. Article topics are specific and require knowledge of hypertex, or linking back to educational and governmental websites. Due to the amount of work involved, Quality Gal pays up to $12 for each article that is approved. Once weekly, writers submit an invoice and QG submits payment via PayPal.
- Content Current. Topics usually involve knowledge of Search Engine Optimization and require a specific word count. Significantly lower in payment than other websites, Content Current offers writers routine work and the chance to participate in Forum Boosting. Payments are received weekly through the writer’s PayPal account.
- EDUBook. Unlike other websites, article topics are pre-assigned. Each member receives four to five articles at a time. Once that batch is completed, he or she can request additional assignments. Pay is $5 an article or $25 a batch and compensation is received electronically through PayPal once a week.
Aspiring writers needn’t go broke pursuing their literary dreams. While companies like Demand Studios and Textbroker exist, they do not offer the big payout that feature writers are accustomed to. They can, however, pay for groceries or generate enough extra money for a rainy day. Whether you are looking for an additional source of income or researching opportunities to leave the rat race altogether, becoming an independent contractor and working for the aforementioned companies is a wise move in any economy.
Keep in mind that as you become a more established freelance writer you may find many writing opportunities by marketing your services directly on many of the blogging job boards or sites like Elance. But in order market your services you really need to have a solid portfolio of work to show prospective clients, so using the sites listed above are a great way to begin building your online writing portfolio.
Charissa Arsaoui is a freelance writer for ChickSpeak, Buzzine, DisFUNKshion Magazine, Student Stuff, and a guest contributor for Wisebread. She loves thrift related topics and can spot a bargain a mile away.
Charissa is into frugal living and saving money.
Greetings & Salutations,
Excellent supply of information for writers looking for additional writing revenue during these tough times. I don't agree with most of the posts, because some writers are just not in the position to afford the luxury of passing up a steady influx of work. Sorry, but you can't EAT your reputation. I remember once upon a time "real" actors wouldn't even consider doing a commercial. Now, even some of the top money makers will still do a commercial. Everything is a matter of preference and POV.
Great article ! thanks for the heads up. It's always nice to earn a little extra money on the side...
My media studies background gets the better of me sometimes ;) Not sure if you've ever read Walter Benjamin's "The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction", but I think the internet is taking this trend to the next stage. When we can quickly and widely reproduce items, they have less value. Blame it on the printing press ;)
Thanks for helping me see another side to the story.
You make a valid point. This is a growing problem and it's effecting everyone in a negative way. Unfortunately, there isn't much I can do about it, despite my skills. The economy really isn't helping this issue. I used to make a lot more money. You're right, it is scary but these companies have powerful monopolies and unless a freelance writer has private clients that pay well on a regular basis, they are forced into the content mills until they can find a decent private company. That can take...months or even years. Especially with the way things are these days.
@ Deborah -- I don't think it's ego, it's more a matter of protecting one's reputation and building a personal brand. The internet has made it possible for anyone to publish, so I think that writers who want to be known for quality (and earn a fair wage) do have to be careful with their image and byline.
I think it's also a supply and demand issue. When there's a whole wealth of writers willing to work for just $10-$20, why should companies pay more than that? (Especially during tough economic times?) I know some web publishing companies that don't hire freelancers or staff writers anymore and just buy cheap content online. It's scary.
Demand Studios now forces it's writers to use their real names and pictures.
I freelance for a number of private clients that I earn significantly more income from but that income does not always come in when I need it.
Also, we are entering one of the slowest times of the year. Unless you can also make products, chances are you'll be hurting during this time of year without a large savings or a steady gig. Even some of the most top-notch freelance writers I know are scrambling around trying to find last minute gigs.
Steady gigs of any sort are difficult to come by. Currently, I am writing for Demand Studios and Quality Gal. I won't accept less than $10 per article and that I think, is even pushing it.
I don't use a pseudonym because I don't think that writing for either DS or QG will harm my career. In fact, writing for them has only helped me. I think some writers are just concerned about their ego. My ego aside, I still need to make money. Thank God I at least have those two gigs.
I agree that if you are using these sites then its best to use them to earn some pocket money by writing under a pen name and leaving these pieces out of your portfolio.
I'm a freelance writer, and I don't think working for sites like these is a good way to break into the field. Writing tedious articles for low pay isn't anybody's idea of a dream job.
If you're just getting started, odds are you're not relying on your writing income to pay your bills. It's a great time to explore the field, figure out what you love to write about and do some writing you're proud of.
A better portfolio building project would be to put your best stuff out there as guest posts on major blogs. You might not get paid, but you'll gain exposure and respect. That's likely to be more fun and lead to better income-earning opportunities down the road.
I've looked into some of these sites and found that being forced to use PayPal is a problem for those of us who don't live in the U.S. The fees significantly eat into that $12 or $15 dollars.
I'm tempted to give these sites a try, but only for articles that I could write in less than an hour. If I want to work for minimum wage, I'll get a job at MacDonalds instead.
I work in media, and our organization doesn't really think these kinds of websites are all that credible. If you really want to impress us, your portfolio has to be stronger and you've got to prove your writing is worth more than $15 a pop.
I'm not saying to avoid these sites, but personally I'd use a pen name and not include these pieces in my portfolio.