Are you a beginning writer? You’re lucky. You can get paid to write Web content, serving your writing apprenticeship as you earn. As you become more proficient, you’ll increase your rates, and your income.
That’s never been possible before. When I started writing, writers expected to spend years collecting rejection slips. No one paid beginning writers.
There’s a huge demand for content on the Web, because all sites need content to gain visibility. If you’re unfamiliar with the term “content” it means online media, which includes text.
So, if you’re a new writer today, you can write and get paid today, thanks to the Web.
Unfortunately, this means that there’s a lot of crappy writing online, and many old-school writers object to this. The mainstream media loves to make fun of bloggers, for this reason. It’s snobbery. People calling themselves writers who haven’t been trained to write? Shock, horror and contempt. I’m not old-school: I know what it’s like to struggle as a writer, so I’m thrilled at the opportunities new writers have today.
Create Web content, and earn while you learn
If you’re a new writer, you can get started writing a wide variety of content: articles, news, reviews, blogs, ezines, autoresponders, ebooks, and much more.
Because so much content is needed online, expectations are very low. Most of the people with whom you work have never worked with a writer before, and some sites are completely automated: you submit your articles or whatever, and are paid. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
Payments for new writers vary. At the lower end of the market, expect to be paid anywhere from $10 to $50 for each 400 to 800 word article. Some sites pay much more of course, with prices comparable to print at $1 and $2 per word. However, you wouldn’t approach these top-level markets without writing credits, and that after all is the point of writing for these low-tier markets – to build up credits so that eventually you’re being paid top-dollar for your words.
How to get started: people need to know you can write, and you’ll write for them
Let’s look at how you get started writing Web content.
Firstly, decide what you’d like to write – do you enjoy fiction, or nonfiction? Yes, it’s possible to make money writing fiction today. The easiest way is to write for the Kindle. Primarily, Web content means writing nonfiction: writing for websites, publications, and blogs.
Next, decide for whom you’d like to write. Let’s say you’ve chosen a website; you know that they pay writers. Or you think they might – if you’re not sure, send an email and ask.
Be a little wary too. It’s not necessary to write for free, and even the most respected websites can be outright sneaky, viz:
Maybe by the end of the week? 1,200 words? We unfortunately can’t pay you for it, but we do reach 13 million readers a month. I understand if that’s not a workable arrangement for you, I just wanted to see if you were interested.
Feel free to snicker at the above; I did. Expect to get these kinds of responses occasionally. Share the info about deadbeat markets with your writer friends, but realize that there are LOTS of paying markets.
Tip: paying markets sell something. You’ll make more money from a company website which sells something or other, than you will from websites like The Atlantic. These kinds of websites don’t sell anything, other than news and opinions.
You’ve chosen a couple of markets for which you’d like to write. Start building your relationship with a prospect by introducing yourself.
You almost certainly won’t get a response. However, you have opened a dialogue. Sooner or later, someone will respond, because you’ll be sending them queries regularly.
Write, and communicate: sooner or later someone will bite
Here’s a secret. All you need to make great money as a freelance writer is around six to ten clients. You need a couple of clients for whom you write every month, but the rest of the crowd can be casual. Get retainer clients if you can.
One client leads to the next. When you get a client, ask them whether they can think of anyone they know who’d hire you. ASK.
So there you have it: you can get paid for writing Web content, even as a beginning writer. There’s a huge demand. You’e being paid to earn while you learn, and that’s amazing. Have fun. 🙂