Want to earn money online as a freelance writer?
Forget low-paying bid sites and content mills. And pitch magazines, websites, trade pubs, agencies, and businesses to move up and earn more.
To help you start the New Year strong, we’ve put together a monster list of publications that pay competitive rates for your original content.
Most publications featured here pay at least $50 per assignment. We’ve also included a few “move-up markets” that pay less but allow room for negotiation.
Comb through the list, and you’ll find writing jobs in variety of niches like business, finance, family, parenting, lifestyle, travel, technology, and others. We’ve even included a list of markets that publish content about the business and craft of freelance writing.
If you want to earn money online as a freelance writer, use this list to get started, land assignments to build your clips file, and earn more.
Want to make 2018 your year of freelance success? Check out this monster list of paying markets, and start pitching.
Business & finance
Is your freelance writing niche business and finance? Check out these markets to earn money online.
Alpha Beta Commerce (This site no longer exists)
Alpha Beta Commerce pays $50 for articles about e-commerce, payment processing, marketing, and logistics.
This site aimed at helping business owners, start ups, and entrepreneurs, pays $50-$150 for business-related articles.
Read the guidelines and pitch first. Brazen pays if you pre-arrange it with their editor. They’re looking for posts about higher ed administration, marketing, networking, and recruiting and HR.
DailyWorth pays $150 for articles about women and money.
Doctor of Credit pays $50 for articles about credit. Most of their freelance pieces are from regular readers, so study the site carefully.
This site publishes articles about saving time and money. Pays $0.10 a word for the print publication. The online publication offers either payment or a link to your site.
Entelligent pays $180 per article on topics related to energy, business, and the environment for its investor-focused audience.
FreshBooks (an invoicing site Carol recommends) pays $200 a post and up. Be prepared to negotiate. They aren’t actively seeking new writers, but they’re open to stories on relevant subjects they’re not already covering.
This site pays $50-$200 for articles about how to earn money online such as SEO, affiliate sales, and traffic generation.
Modern Farmer pays around $150 for articles about people, policy, plants, animals and technology of agriculture.
Founder and editor Saeed Darabi created this site to help people with earning and saving money. Pays up to $150 for posts of 1,000 to 2,000 words.
This frugal-living site shares money-saving ideas. You’ll need to negotiate payment and be willing to forego a link back to your site.
If you want to write about SEO, content marketing, and social media, pitch RankPay. Pays $50 per article.
Not all magazines and sites in the Christian market pay well. But here are a few to consider pitching to earn money online in this niche.
This Christian magazine covers marriage and family life. Pay rates vary but usually start at 25 cents/word. For more information, see writer’s guidelines.
Published since 1945, this is one of the oldest magazines in the Christian market. Pays $250 for faith-based personal-experience essays.
This magazine pays $100 to $300 for articles (up to 1,000 words) about physical health, mental clarity, and spiritual balance from a practical, Christian perspective. Send queries to editor Heather Quintana.
Most content mills and platforms pay bottom-feeder rates. But that’s slowly changing. The content platform sites on this list can be one place to check out to earn money online.
ClearVoice pays as high as $250-$400, but takes a 25 percent cut per assignment. You set the rates you’re willing to accept. ClearVoice contacts you when appropriate opportunities arise, and you indicate whether you’re interested. Gigs are presented to multiple writers, and the client chooses who they’ll work with.
Contently requires you to build a public portfolio on their site and wait for their talent team to contact you. Rates vary; a senior editor at Contently quotes an average of $1 per word. Contently also has two publications of its own that use freelance writers. Contently also pays about 35 cents a word for articles published in its freelancer-focused online magazine.
eByline works with many journalists and news agencies, as well as brands who need content. If a brand is familiar with your work, you can be offered a direct assignment through this platform. You can also pitch for gigs on the platform’s job board.
NewCred reportedly pays $350 and up for articles. They work with some high-profile clients, and freelancers tell us they take good care of their writers.
Skyword’s rates range from $150 to $800. Skyword has two ways of operating. They sometimes act as intermediary between the writer and client. Skyword also allows brands to search their writer pool and select writers.
Multiple writers from the Freelance Writers Den have written for SmartBug clients in a variety of niches. Rates reportedly range from $75 to around $800 per assignment. Knowledge of the industries you want to write for is a must. Check their website for freelance openings, or send an LOI with clips to founder Ryan Malone.
Well-paying markets for personal essays aren’t what they used to be. But you can still earn money online for writing about your personal experiences that teach, inspire, motivate, and encourage readers.
This site accepts first-person accounts on the positive influence of Orthodox Jewish beliefs on everyday life — and they reportedly pay $200. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This viral site pays “competitive rates” for essays (estimated $0.13 to $0.27 per word). Pitch editor Rachel Sanders.
This section of the Christian Science Monitor publishes upbeat personal essays. Pays an estimated $75 to $150 for 400 to 800-word essays.
This site pays $100 for essays about college. Essays must be written on spec. They’re also using this essay submission as a way to find writers for assignments.
This magazine pays $100 for essays about a personal experience.
The Establishment pays $125 and up for reported stories and essays.
This Australian-based site pays $200 for analysis or commentary on politics, religion, popular culture or current events.
Lighthouse pays $100 for essays and first-person stories. They prefer to work with blind or visually impaired writers but accept submissions from all writers.
Narratively pays $100+ for essays and reported stories.
The New York Times Modern Love column reportedly pays as much as $300 for essays on any topic that could be classified as modern love.
Created by Maria Gagliano and Celia Johnson, Slice magazine is looking for essays and nonfiction from “anyone with a fresh voice and a compelling story to share.” They also publish fiction and poetry. Their next open submission period is April 1-June 1, 2018. Pays $250 for essays up to 5,000 words.
Vox First Person reportedly pays in the $400 range for personal narrative essays that explain the most important topics of modern life. Pitch email@example.com.
Got a taste for food writing? Forget about getting paid well for restaurant reviews, and earn money online writing for these food-related sites and magazines.
Extra Crispy is all about what people eat for breakfast. Pitch editor Ryan Grim or the appropriate department editor with opinion pieces, essays, reported stories, and unique recipes. Pays an estimated $0.47/word for 800 to 1,000-word essays.
This site pays $50 and up for articles about wine-related posts on wine cellars, racks, cabinets and cooling equipment.
The Saveur pays writers $150 and up for “amazing stories about food and travel.”
Want to write for National Public Radio? NPR’s food blog, The Salt, reportedly pays $200+.
Family & parenting
Want to earn money online writing about family and parenting? Check out these niche-specific sites and magazines.
Managing editor Wayne Kalyn is looking for first-person articles by parents, employers, and teachers with experience working with ADHD kids. Pays an average of $100 to $200.
Adoptive Families wants articles that help parents through the adoption process and provide practical tips on parenting. Payment for essays is a one-year magazine subscription. Payment for articles varies. Pitch managing editor Eve Gilman.
This magazine publishes 1500-4500 word essays on the joys and challenges of parenting Pays $300.
This UK-based magazine covers green-living topics on raising children, alternative health, and environmental concerns. “We are particularly keen on features written in the first person about a real-life experience,” says editor Melissa Corkill. Pays $100 to $200.
Just Parents is a UK-based site that focuses on pregnancy and parenting. Pays $60.
Mothering focuses on natural and eco-conscious living for parents with kids. Send your pitch to editor Amy Tokic. Pays $200 to $500.
This site publishes non-snarky articles about parenting and family issues. Pay starts at $50.
This magazine wants practical, how-to-articles on homeschooling and personal experience stories. Pays $50.
The Stork Guide focuses on pregnancy and parenting of newborns and toddlers. They pay $50+ for posts of 700 words or more.
Working Mother focuses on helping readers enjoy life, balance career and family, and be role models for their kids. Check out the Contacts page to pitch the right person. Pays $100 to $300.
Regional – family & parenting
If you want to write for one of these regional family and parenting markets, you may need to live in the area. Or at least submit a solid pitch to convince the editor you know their audience and the region. Don’t see a market for your region? Do some digging, and you’ll probably find one.
Got a story idea about parenting and family matters in Atlanta? Pitch editor Tali Toland. Pays $100 and up.
This magazine publishes articles on family-activities and issues in the Carolinas. Send your pitch ideas to editor Beth Shugg. Pays $75 to $300.
This magazine pays $50 to $150 per assignment. Pitch to editor Michelle Huggins.
Chesapeake Family pays writers $75 to $200 per assignment. Contact editor Betsy Stein.
Your best way to break in: A 400 to 500-word first-person essay with your take on raising kids in the Windy City. Pitch editor Tamara O’Shaughnessy. Pays $25 to $100+.
This regional magazine pays $20 to $80 per assignment. Submit queries to editor and publisher Olya Fessard.
Query editor Gretchen Cook. Pays $25 and up.
While the magazine mainly works with local writers, editor Cassidy Brighton is open to writers outside the area. Pays $80 to $120.
Contact editor Susan Bryant. (Yes, it’s the same Susan Bryant who also heads up Cincinnati Parent!) Pay varies.
This magazine is targeted toward families who live in the Oklahoma City area. Pitch editor Hannah Schmidt. Pay varies.
Contact managing editor Chad Young. Pay varies.
This regional magazine targets readers in upper Northern California. Pitch editor Lisa Shara with stories that nurture the bonds of family and community and promote healthy, developmentally-appropriate environments for children. Pay varies.
Only accepts material from Arizona writers. Pitch editor Kara Morrison. Pays $50 to $250 and up.
Check out the editorial calendar that includes a list of hot topics, then send your queries to Managing Editor Lisa Gipson. Pay varies.
Simply Family targets readers in Billings and Yellowstone County, Mont. Pitch executive Editor Stephanie Toews. Pay varies.
Pitch editor Michelle Miller. Pays $40 to $150.
Health & fitness
Want to earn money online as a health and fitness writer? Check out these markets. Study the guidelines and start pitching.
The Anxiety Foundation pays $50 for mental health articles.
This agency produces articles and publications for healthcare organizations. Rates depend on assignment. Introduce yourself by sending an LOI to GetHired@coffeycomm.com.
This magazine is a marketing channel for the gym franchise Life Time Fitness. It covers exercise, nutrition, lifestyle, and wellness. Rate depends on assignment. Query Managing Editor Michael Dregni.
This online fitness site publishes articles on training, weight loss, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle habits for women. Rate depends on assignment. Pitch to online editor Callie Bundy.
The Health Journal pays an average of $0.15 per word for well-researched, compelling articles on health topics. Contact Managing Editor Chris Jones.
This HoloRest Nutrition blog is a marketing channel for the company’s supplement for diabetics. Pays $150 per article of 1500-2000 words. Introduce yourself to Dr. Ron Allen with an LOI and pitch a blog post idea after studying the site and guidelines.
This is is a trade magazine published by the IDEA Health and Fitness Association. The target audience is fitness and health professionals. Query Editor-in-Chief Sandy Todd Webster. Rate depends on assignment.
PsychCentral covers mental health for a general consumer audience. They do not normally pay for articles but exceptions are sometimes made. Payment must be discussed BEFORE submitting.
This is a sister publication of PsychCentral. The professional version publishes content for mental health professionals. They are open to talking with writers who want to write regularly for them as paid contributors or bloggers.
Yoga Basics pays $30 for articles and is looking for writers who can submit one or two articles per month.
The opportunity to earn money online as a freelancer in the LBGTQ niche is one that’s definitely growing fast. Check out these writing jobs.
This site pays up to $50 an article. Be prepared to negotiate. Pitch op-ed and personal identity pieces. Contact Neal Broverman, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bisexual.org pays $100 for pieces on bisexuality. Pitch critical thought pieces, personal identity essays, or news stories with a bisexual spin. Contact is Talia Squires, email@example.com.
This site reportedly pays $50 for personal identity pieces in It Really Happened. These pieces focus on real, embarrassing things that happened to you as a gay/bisexual man.
PRIDE is a sister site to The Advocate that serves LGBTQ millennials. Pays up to $50 an article. Pitch fun list articles about sex, dating, and queer life, and personal identity pieces. Contact editor-in-chief Levi Chambers, firstname.lastname@example.org, or deputy editor Tracy Gilchrist, email@example.com.
This dating app for gay men pays $150 per article. Also pays for blog posts. Contact Michaela with pitches at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bitch wants for commentaries on pop culture, which can include queer commentaries, as well as personal identity pieces about being queer. Pay varies.
Bustle features queer, personal identity pieces as well as queer lists. Contact features editor Rachel Krantz with submissions, Rachel@bustle.com.
Contact LGBTQ editor Tyler Trykowski, email@example.com. Pay varies.
These lifestyle and general interest markets cover a wide range of topics. But you’ll still need to do your homework to develop a pitch to land an assignment.
BBC Britain reportedly pays $350-$1,000 for various BBC sites. Pitch stories with a British slant for an international audience. Download their guidelines as a Word document.
This is a literary magazine for YA readers ages 14 and up. Their audience is interested in comics, the strange and unusual, and young adult literature. Pays up to $0.25 per word for essays, fiction, and comics. Cicada is part of the Cricket Media family of publications, which also includes several other high-quality magazines for young readers.
The Daily Beast reportedly pays $250 and up. Their submission guidelines have a black-hole editorial@ email address, so you’ll want to do a little digging to find the right person to pitch.
This online magazine pays $100-$200 for articles on parenting, politics, faith, health, and pop culture. Contact the appropriate editor with your idea.
Listverse pays $100 for long (1,500 word) lists on various topics.
This news-style site focuses on original, cutting-edge content. Rates vary.
This blog is a marketing channel for a tea merchandiser. Pays $30 for articles about entertaining, special occasions, tea time, tea parties, well-being, spirituality and mindset.
Refinery29 reportedly pays $75 and up for slideshows, articles, and essays on various topics. They also post their needs for specific columns on their guidelines page.
Salon pays $100-$200 for essays and reported features, even very long ones.
The Smart Set covers culture, arts, science, and world affairs. Pays an estimated $0.07/word for 1,000 to 3,000-word reported stories, essays, travel pieces, and memoirs.
The online version of the magazine reportedly pays established freelancers up to $600 for reported articles.
This site pays a “fair base rate” for 500-word posts that support their mission of creating a better world. They offer traffic and distribution bonuses. Be prepared to negotiate.
This site covers the way technology and science are changing the way we live. Pays “competitive rates.”
Your Tango pays $50 for posts on love, sex, travel, mental health, and just about anything else that affects your relationships.
Regional magazines and websites can be a great place for new freelancers to break in, gain experience, and build a portfolio of writing samples that will help you land higher-paying gigs.
The Bold Italic publishes articles, essays, and profiles with a San Francisco angle. Pays $50.
the Bugle pays $0.20/word for articles and essays about elk hunting, land-use issues, conservation, wildlife management and exploring the Rocky Mountains. The section where you’re most likely to land an assignment is the Women in the Outdoors column.
The Gothamist reportedly pays $50-$150 for reported pieces about New York.
Skirt! pays $200 for essays about women’s issues. They are now accepting essays only from writers in the Charleston, SC area.
Big Grey Horse pays $125-$200 for posts about Texas—photos must be included. Texas-based writers are preferred, because the site requires in-person visits.
Desert USA pays $50 for stories about the deserts of North America and the culture and lifestyle of the people who live there. They prefer writers to also submit photos.
One of the best ways to find magazines that pay top dollar is to search Writers Market for topics in your niche. Tap into Google, industry associations, and your network, and you may find other special interest an niche publications to pitch and earn money online from freelancing. Here’s few more to add to the list:
The Alpinist publishes reported stories, personal essays, and how-to articles about adventure climbing. Pays $0.25/word.
This magazine is a magazine for bird owners. Pays $100 to $200 for short articles and $300 to $400 for longer features.
Book Browse pays for book reviews. Writers accepted into their stable of reviewers will reportedly earn $50 for a 600-word review. Website says writers receive a “modest payment.”
This site pays $35-$75 for posts about Pokemon, anime, horror, Game of Thrones, World of Warcraft, and other geek chic topics.
getAbstract reportedly pays $300 for longer (2,000-4,000 word) book summaries.
This site pays $50 for articles about horse health, equestrian hobbies and more related to horses, plus a bonus if your article is shared 1,000 times on social media.
This site publishes how-to articles, guides on homesteading topics, and list posts to help new and seasoned homesteaders. Pays $50 per assignment. You may need to forego a link to your website in order to get paid.
Knitty pays $150-$200 for knitting patterns and articles about knitting.
Pretty Designs covers fashion and beauty. You’ll need to negotiate pay.
The Tablet pays for articles on Jewish news, ideas, and culture. Pay varies, so be prepared to negotiate. One freelancer reported receiving $1,000 for a heavily reported 2,000+ word feature.
TwoPlus Two Magazine pays $200 for original posts about poker. They post articles for six months, after which time the rights revert to the writer, so you can sell reprint rights or post it on your own blog.
Published by United Disability Services, Kaleidoscope publishes articles, features, and book reviews about disability-related topics. Pays $10 to $100 per assignment.
If your writing niche is technology, you’ll find opportunities to earn money online from one of these markets that want articles, blog posts, and tutorials about software, web design, programming, and other tech topics.
A List Apart covers web design. Pays $200.
The Gaming Mouse wants posts about the technology industry, with a preference for the latest news. Be prepared to negotiate rates.
The Graphic Design School blog pays $100-$200 for articles and tutorials about Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and open source design tools.
This site pays $50-$200 for posts that cover Check Point firewalls, F5 load balancers or Palo Alto Networks firewalls.
iPhone Life is a print and digital magazine that pays $50 for iPhone and iPad-related articles. For your best chance of getting accepted, pitch an idea about iOS apps or Apple gear.
Labmice wants submissions about IT topics like Windows administration, computer security, and technical projects. Pays $60 -$100 per article for 1,000 to 1,500 words.
This site pays up to $150 for posts about Word Press design-related topics and tutorials.
The Linode $250 for articles about Linux, Socket.io, NoSQL databases, game servers, Open Change, and Web RTC.
This site publishes articles, tips and tutorials about using Adobe PhotoShop. Pitch with an outline for a tutorial topic or article idea. Be prepared to provide screen shots and step-by-step instructions. Pays $150 – $300 for full tutorials.
Router Freak pays $30 and up for articles about computer networking and topics of interest to network engineers. Personal experience preferred, and new writers are welcome to pitch ideas.
This site features articles on SEO, content marketing, social media strategy, and news and trends in digital marketing. Pays $50 per article.
Real Python pays $50 and up for articles or tutorials about coding using Python.
Semaphore pays $100 to $300 for articles about software development.
This PhotoShop tutorial site pays up to $50 for how-to articles on advanced PhotoShop techniques, digital imaging and editing.
SitePoint pays $100-$150 for articles on HTML, CSS, Ruby, PHP, and other Web development topics.
SlickWP pays $100 for posts and tutorials about WordPress and the Genesis Theme framework. SlickWP also pays for reviews about WordPress themes and plugins.
This German-based magazine publishes articles from all over the world about web development and design. Pays negotiable rates.
This is a quarterly magazine for technology educators. Each issue has a specific theme. See submission guidelines for 2018 editorial calendar and pitch ideas to editor Susan Meyer. Pays $125 for articles between 500 and 1,500 words.
This site, based in India, publishes tech-related tutorials. Send an LOI with writing samples before pitching. Pays $250 – $500.
Tuts+ pays $100 and up for tutorials on various technologies, including web design, photography and video, design and illustration, and more.
Windows IT Pro, and its sister publication SQL Server Pro, publish how-to articles for IT professionals (up to 2,500 words); strategic articles on industry trends, policies, and development (up to 2,000 words), and reader-to-reader tips (up to 1,000 words). Reportedly pays $200 to $500 for how-to and strategic articles.
WordCandy pays $0.06 to $0.10 a word for ghostwritten pieces about WordPress development.
WPHub pays $100-$200 for posts on web design trends, coding best practices, and other WordPress-related topics.
The Write Stuff is a marketing channel for IBM’s Compose database platform. They publish articles about database development and management. Pitch with an article idea and brief outline. Pays $200 in cash, and $200 in Compose database credits.
Can you get paid to write about travel or living abroad? Absolutely. It’s a popular niche with lots of opportunities to earn money online. Some markets to consider include:
This site publishes content for U.S. expatriates about how to work and play around the world. Pitch first, then negotiate pay.
Fund Your Life Overseas pays $75 for articles about business ideas that provide enough income for U.S. ex-pats. Its sister publication Incomes Abroad pays up to $400 per article.
This site pays up to $150 for articles (800 to 2,000 words) on working, living, volunteering, traveling, and studying abroad.
Travelista Club pays $40 Australian Dollars (as of January 2018 this is about $31 USD) for travel articles about places you’ve lived or visited.
Your best way to break in is pitching on a city, region, or country you know a lot about. Pays $50 for articles 1,000 words and longer by knowledgeable travelers.
This site pays $100 to $150 for interviews and personal stories about people who are making a living as travel writers, photographers, or tour operators. How-to articles about getting paid to travel pay up to $200.
Wanderful pays $50 for posts about women and travel. They’re looking for pieces on travel tips, global issues, traveling as a trans or queer woman, travel issues impacting women of color, and other ideas that may interest their audience of women who love venturing around the globe.
If you’re looking for markets that primarily serve a female audience, check out these opportunities to write about motherhood, women’s health, pop culture, and others.
Bitch pays for essays and features that reflect a feminist response to pop culture. Pay is variable, so negotiate to get your desired rate.
This site targets millennial women and reportedly pays $50-75 for reported features and essays. Its sister publications include Romper (for mothers of young children) and Elite Daily (for women on the older end of the millennial generation).
This is a popular monthly magazine in Canada that appeals to active women ages 25 to 54. Query Managing Editor Laura Brown. Pays $1/word.
Your best way to break in? Pitch a story idea for a reported feature, interview, article, or essay. Pays $200 and up per assignment.
The Introspectionist pays $100 to $200 for persuasive essays, creative nonfiction, and informational pieces of interest to intelligent women. Check the editorial calendar for upcoming themes for submitting a query.
This site publishes content about issues that impact women over 40. Pays $50 per post.
Last but not least on this monster list are opportunities to earn money online writing about the business and craft of being a freelance writer, including this blog, Make a Living Writing.
This site is dedicated to helping writers get better at the craft, develop their own voice and style, and build a freelance business. Pays $50 and higher.
Freedom with Writing pays $50+ for lists of paying publishers. They also pay for short ebooks.
This site pays $50 for articles about making money from writing.
We pay $75-$100 for guest posts, depending on complexity and research needed. Read our guidelines thoroughly, especially our list of the topics we’re actively looking for guest posts on right now. Pitching one of those will seriously improve your odds.
Your best way to break in at Women on Writing? Pitch an idea for a how-to article on a writing or publishing topic. Bonus if you can reach out and interview experts like authors, literary agents, and publishers. Pays $50-$150.
Writers Weekly pays $60 for 600-word posts on making money from writing, publishing, and avoiding scams, and $40 for freelance success stories.
Earn money online: Tips for freelance success
If you want to earn money online as a freelance writer, you can. This monster list of markets can help you get started. Keep these tips in mind when you pitch an idea for these markets, and any other magazines, blogs, or businesses you want to write for:
- Study each market carefully before pitching. Follow the guidelines exactly and pitch the content they need most. In the past, a few publications asked to be removed from our lists because they received off-target pitches. Do your homework so we can keep providing these posts.
- Pitch the right person. If a listing includes a contact person, double-check that the editor is still there before pitching. Editors change jobs frequently. If there’s no contact person, do some research on social media or on the publication’s website to find a name. Use black-hole addresses like firstname.lastname@example.org only as a last resort.
- Don’t be afraid to negotiate for higher pay or for more reprint rights. Editors are used to negotiating with writers, and there’s a good chance they’ll say yes.
- Get help. If you’re new to pitching or you’re not getting results, check out this post and this one for info on how to do it right. Or check out the resources for successful pitching in the Freelance Writers Den.
Maria Veres began freelancing before the Internet was a thing. She’s a regular contributor to Make a Living Writing.