"Master Dayton" might be humorous, (I mean if Ph.Ds are called "Doctors," shouldn't MFAs be called "Masters?") but in all seriousness I have made a living freelance writing and after several years I have tons of information I want to share to help out my fellow writers, regardless of age, experience, goals, situation, or background. This blog isn't pretty-but it will help if real freelance writing information is what you want.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Freelance Writing: 10 Places to Sell Your Freelance Writing Online

10 Places to Sell Your Freelance Writing Online
There are many different places to sell your writing online. Some of these sites are excellent markets for the beginning freelance writer, and places that even give the opportunity to make a full time living if you are good enough. The hardest part for many beginning freelance writers is working up the courage to get writing and selling.

This is true whether you are a person looking to make money writing for the first time, a part timer looking for a work at home opportunity, or a college student looking to make some extra money. By knowing where you can send your writing to make money, that makes it much easier to get started. You don't have to start from scratch to look for freelance writing markets online, because you already did your research and know where they are.

#1 Constant Content. This is one of my favorite freelance writing websites to submit articles to. You can join for free and write on anything you want, then set your own prices. There is a requests section you can answer, which gives you a better chance of writing articles that will get bought right away, or you can just write about whatever you want. Don't undersell your articles: people will pay for value.

What's the main downside of Constant Content for new freelance writers? You don't know when someone is going to buy your work, so there's no guarantee of a paycheck. But the more you write the better off you are. This site is also free for sign up.

#2 Guru. Guru is an auction based site that you must buy a monthly, quarterly, or yearly subscription to. While you need to get into the top 50 to make a full time living off of Guru, this is possible. It takes some time to build up your reputation, but not as much as you'd think. Without any help or guidance I was making over $1,000 a month within three months, and I was making twice that in five months. This was when I started at Guru three years ago, and there are a lot more jobs on there, and more high paying ones, as well.

Basically as a freelance writer on Guru you bid on jobs and then get to work on the ones awarded to you. This site is growing about 50% a year, making it possible for more and more individuals to make a full time living even writing for Guru alone. If you're serious about making really good money writing online, this is a must work site.

#3 Elance. Elance is the other big auction site for writers and also requires you to pay for a membership. Like Guru there's more value in buying a one year subscription up front. It takes some time to build a reputation, and for early jobs you may have to write for less than you'd like to begin building your reputation. But the minimum pay at Elance is higher than at Guru, and the ceiling is higher income wise for writers online than maybe any other website. Some long time writers ranked at the top have even been said to make six digits just writing for Elance. If you want to write and you don't know a lot about Internet Marketing, this and Guru are your best shots at a gold mine.

#4 Hubpages. At Hubpages you don't get paid directly for your writing, but you can demonstrate your writing skills by making web pages in which you can make money from affiliate sales from eBay and Amazon, as well as Google Adsense. Signing up for all three is easy, and diversifies how you can make money online, which is always a good idea.

You can get a lot of publicity for your writing, ideas, interests, and/or business here, which can often be valuable in snagging new jobs. You get to easily design web pages (even without any technical skills at all) that can give great backlinks if you build your own blog network. This area has a great community and fun "change of pace" place. If you're interested in learning more about Internet marketing, this is also a great place to go for that.

#5 Associated Content. AC pays up front for a lot of their work, and you also get passive income based on page views that continues to add up over time. AC isn't great for money straight out, as most pay falls in the $3-10 range (as a side note: there's a lot of demand for short how to videos, so if you have a video camera this can be a great way to make some good income here) but it will get you some steady income both directly and passively.

This is also a site where you could receive enough attention to get more and better work elsewhere (this has happened to me before). You earn passive incomes for views, so your freelance writing continues to earn money well after when you wrote it. My first article was from nearly two years ago, and it doesn't make much, but it gets enough traffic for about an extra $2 a month. This means I get paid $24 a year for an article that I haven't even glanced at in two years, and which still occasionally sells for usage rights off of CC, as well. That's a good deal.

One major caveat: Associated Content, even though they pay through PayPal, does not pay up front for articles from writers based outside of the U.S. This really sucks, even though they still pay the bonus for page views. So if you're in the United Kingdom or Australia, go ahead and knock this down to the bottom of the list (though even if in Australia I'd prefer this over Helium from my experience).

#6 Squidoo. Squidoo allows users to design one page websites on whatever interests them and get paid on a tiered system. Affiliate sales are also an option, as you can sell related products and get a cut, which you split half and half with Squidoo. Squidoo doesn't pay a lot, although some of the top earners do make over a thousand a month here. This is a good way, though, to learn about Internet Marketing, something all online writers should learn to improve their value and if you want the really big bucks, you need to understand this kind of stuff. It also has a great community and is a good change of pace place to write and get more exposure.

#7 eHow. I've only recently joined here, so I haven't been able to fully take advantage of everything eHow has to offer yet (so there's a good chance that it can move up this list and pass some of my other favorites), but I like the potential and other writers I trust have made good income here, especially passive income.

eHow is designed to write a tips based article that tells how to do something step by step. The format makes it easy to write a well organized and good article in a relatively short time. Pay is a combination of page views, score, and "usefulness." The writers get paid monthly, so an article that you write today can still be making you money over a year from now. This is a great place for new writers to get started, with a very friendly community.

#8 oDesk. This website is similar to Guru and Elance, but is free instead of asking for a monthly or yearly subscription fee. There are many jobs on here you can bid on, and some of them pay all right. One downside is that the pay does tend to be lower, and the variety of decent paying jobs here isn't nearly as high as on Guru or Elance, but it is free to sign up and skim through listings and if you have a good command of the English language and your ability to write, then you can trump the competition pretty easily.

#9 Triond. Triond and Helium aren't anywhere as close to being as good as the other sites on this list, but some writers have done well here. Triond puts ads on your article, and you get a share of the revenue whenever someone clicks on an ad. Some writers have done very well here, while others have had a harder time of it. It's not a bad place to "recycle" articles that you have sold and re-sold at other places before.

#10 Helium. Helium's best value comes from the Marketplace and contest section if you can make much progress in either. Some writers love this site, others hate it. The pay can be very low, and the payment method is kept secretive and unclear.

While some writers have done well, and you'll hear a lot of people market this site, my general thought is that it doesn't pay nearly enough and if you're good enough to make serious money here, then you should be making a full time living writing for someone else. There have been several reports of writers not getting paid or getting booted off for complaining about plagiarism. I can't verify any of these stories, but where there's smoke, there's usually fire. I don't recommend this site for new writers, or experienced ones for that matter, but caveat emptor. It's still your choice.

I hope this list helps you get started in the rewarding work at home career of freelance writing.


  1. Great list, and very helpful to those looking at their freelance writing options.

    I have been pleasantly surprised by eHow. I started writing on eHow and HubPages at about the same time, and very quickly saw that eHow was more lucrative.

    I do believe you've forgotten one new content site that looks very promising. I blogged about it on my WAHM blog if you want to take a peek.

  2. Hi Maria,

    Thanks for the comment. I'll come by again and see which one you're talking about. Feel free to leave a link to it if you want for other readers and beginning freelance writers.

    And for any of you reading this who haven't checked out Maria's ebook on ehow, it's worth the $25 and then some!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Hy,i am an art editor on Universe des Artistes-Uda, and i love creative writing as i can express myself in my style, not being restricted by theme,key word-Seo is based on this type of writing for web content if you are looking to create for some income.
    But also, i will begin writing articles in demand,as requested by clients, as it seems an interesting challenge.
    Even that i am not new in writing,I never tried till now Constant Content-but your review convince me to give it a try.
    What is your opinion about Demand Studios,Get afreelancer.com ,freelanceruk?
    Beeing in Uk, i find it not easy to grasp Asociated Content policy, admitting only US rezidents in upfront payment.
    As a certified translator, i also joined myself in some of translator data base worldwide.
    ECI is one of them.
    Thank you for a wonderfull article and a good way of souccing up this sites for any new or experienced writer out there.

  4. Hi Elena,

    Thank you for posting to my freelance writing blog. Admittedly, I don't have any experience with Getafreelancer.com or freelanceruk, so unfortunately I can't give a clear review of those sites for you. I will say that if you can meet Demand Studios standards, I think they are an excellent resource for beginning online freelance writers, and maybe even one of the best online writing sites that pays beginning Internet writers. I've been meaning to do a review of them recently, as that has been the site that has helped me add a LOT of supplemental income without breaking me on work loads. Other places to consider would be AdSense writing sites, so getting an account with HubPages,then taking a look at Xomba and InfoBarrel. Other than that, good luck and I hope everything works out great!

  5. You could add an affiliate link to oDesk. I really like the look feel and systems of oDesk.

  6. Hi JadeDragon,

    I'll take a look at that. My biggest thing is I would need some time to test oDesk out more to make sure it was something I felt really comfortable recommending on that level before I'd be willing to put the affiliate program out, but I'm hearing a lot of positive things about them so checking the site out more thoroughly is probably something I should put on the list of freelance writing things to do. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Thanks if you have more to add please do!

  8. Thank you so much for this post! I just left my horribly degrading job in insurance to pursue my writing full time and attend college 6 months ago, and fellow writers who post blogs like yours have saved my life! Another site that I personally recommend is Demand Studios, they pay writers for articles that get posted on Ehow and LiveStrong.com. LiveStrong pays $25 per 500 word article, which isn't bad for just starting out. You need to either be a health professional or possess very strong writing skills to be allowed to write for LiveStrong, but I was accepted by applying with very sound grammar...so just don't get too cute with your writing when you first apply and pay attention to prose and even a new writer should be able to get accepted. I just began writing for Constant Content, and they are quickly becoming my favorite. I agree with you in your CC review, I like Ed's direct approach to editing and appreciate such clear direction. Anyway, many, many thanks for your useful information!!

  9. Hi Sheena,

    Glad you found it helpful! I actually have a review on Demand Studios and advice for writers on working for DS in more recent posts. I haven't been approved writing for LiveStrong, but even at DS you should be able to do $30 and hour worth or more once you understand the format and can concentrate. Good stuff for sure, and thank you for the kind words about my freelance writing blog and reviews.


    Master Dayton

  10. Demand Media Studios is buying as much virtual real estate as they possibly can find. Lots of my writing is on eHow, but it got there when I wrote the articles for DS. They have also expanded to print media such as USA. There are many more places and I cannot think of them off the top of my head!


  11. Thank you for the list of websites to earn from. It's very important to know these sites, as they give out a steady flow of writing jobs to take on. Signing up for these may mean the difference between being a weekend writer and a full time one.

    I wonder what's going to happen with demand studios, now that they're shifting to use facebook as the main and only way to login...


  12. Just wanted to add my website which I just started, nichebooks.org. You can post your writing services there :)