Q: I would love to write articles online as a supplemental income while I’m in school. I would appreciate any info on how to get started. Thank you very much!
Writing for Online Markets to Earn Extra Money
A: The most important thing to remember is that writing online and earning money isn’t easy. You don’t necessarily need strong writing skills, but you need to be able to write well. And, perhaps more importantly, you need to have an entrepreneurial mindset and a nose for interesting stories that editors will pay for.
Online writers need to constantly send out pitches to online editors, approach bloggers, and research websites that pay for content. It’s not hard work, but it requires consistency, self-discipline, and creativity. It’s not easy work – you don’t just show up and get paid. You have to seek out work, always act professionally, and nurture your relationships with editors and fellow writers.
In How to Find Online Writing Markets and Write for the Web, I offer five tips on finding markets (eg, ezines, blogs, huge websites) to write for. That’s most of the battle! Also, I just received an email from Susannah Bradley, the producer of MSN Healthy Living. She said she’s accepting pitches for that site, in a slide show format. That is an incredible site to writ for; they pay $1 per word (that’s what they paid me, anyway), and they’re great to work with.
One of the best ways to find markets is to go to the big websites, such as MSN Healthy Living, and find their editorial contact info. That’s how I broke into Woman’s Day, Reader’s Digest online, MSN Health (which is now MSN Healthy Living), and other smaller online markets.
Another tip on getting started as an online writer is to think about Suite101. In Thinking of Becoming a Suite101 Writer? 10 Benefits of Online Writing, I describe why I think writing for a site like Suite can be extremely beneficial. It won’t pay a lot of money at the beginning, but it’s valuable training ground for new online writers and bloggers. I started writing for Suite in 2006, slowed down in 2010, and finally stopped in 2011. I still earn $300 to $500 a month from my old Suite articles; they pay me every month through PayPal. It’s not a lot of money, but I’m very happy with it! It’s a perfect example of passive income: earning money without actively working for it.
Another important tip for earning income as a writer is to know what kind of articles you can pitch and submit! Read 11 Types of Magazine Articles to Write for ideas.