How To Make Money On The Internet Essay

Communities can maintain themselves based on intimate acquaintance up to groups of about 150 people, often referred to as Dunbar’s number.1

However, once a group passes this number, social dynamics change. You can’t run a thousand-person business the same way you run a one hundred-person business. You can’t run a one hundred-person business the same way you run a ten-person business. And you can’t run a ten-person business the same way you you run a two-person business.

Nation-states, religions, and corporations all manage to function at even larger scales without intimate acquaintance. If you see someone you don’t know walking down the street, you don’t feel compelled to bash them over the head with a club for self defence.

Why not? The secret to how this cooperation at larger scales functions appears to be shared myths (used here as powerful, defining stories which create shared understanding – not as fictions). These are the necessary glue which bind any large-scale human cooperative endeavour together.

These shared myths need not be formalized into a syllabus.

In most areas of human coordination they rarely are. No one in high school formally decides and dictates what is “cool,” yet everyone somehow knows what (and who) is cool.

Myths, Shared stories and understanding, are understood by individuals inside the group, but members outside of a group often can’t make any sense of them. Many of us had embarrassing moments in high school when our parents did something distinctly “uncool,” oblivious to the shared myths of our school.

It made no objective sense to my parents that I would spend $300 to get a Flowmaster exhaust kit installed on my truck.

It made perfect sense to me. There was a myth that all the cool kids in the Memphis suburbs got flowmasters. I was trying (and failing) to signal that I was one of the cool kids.

While these shared myths may seem like just a silly aspect of high school, they exist in every functional community. It’s important to understand them, because signalling them effectively helps us access better opportunities within a community.

This seems stupid in the context of high school – trying to be cool in high school doesn’t do much for you after high school.

But understanding the shared myths of a community of customers you are selling to matters quite a lot. If you do understand them, your business grows, if you don’t your business dies.

We often express this understanding of shared myths by saying, “they just get it.”

If you have five designers do a mockup for your website redesign, for example, you can look at the mock-ups and say that one of them “gets it” better than others, without understanding much about design.

What you’re saying, in essence, is that they have understood, and expressed in their design, the myths you believe in.

Internet businesses and entrepreneurship, like high school, have their shared myths. If you understand the shared myths of a group, you gain an intuitive understanding of what you can and cannot do. You gain or lose access to opportunities accordingly.

Before understanding these shared myths, you are a bit like your parents were when you were in high school—you unknowingly commit faux pas.

After you understand these shared myths, you “get it.”

People often ask for reading recommendations, so I put together seven essays that capture the most important shared myths of internet business.

 

1. “1,000 True Fans” by Kevin Kelly

The 1,000 true fans myth is this: to be a successful creator in the internet era, you don’t need millions of fans. You need 1,000 true fans.

It is perhaps the foundational myth of internet business.

I worked with a company whose main product was a specialized piece of industrial equipment. About 400 people per month searched for that piece of equipment on Google. It cost about $400.

How much money can you make selling a product which only 400 people in the entire U.S. ( precisely 0.000125431% of the U.S. population and probably less people than you had in your high school) search for each month?

Millions of dollars.

The math behind 1,000 true fans shows how. A true fan is anyone who will spend at least $100 per year buying what you make. They buy the hardcover and audio versions of your book and the collector’s edition of your poster release each year.

Because the internet enables you to have a direct relationship with your fans, they buy directly from you, not a bookstore or Procter & Gamble, and you get to keep all one hundred of those dollars.

That’s $100,000 per year––a pretty good living for most people. 1,000 true fans is a lot more feasible to attain than a million fans. If you convince one person to become a true fan every day, it will take you three years to get there.

You can play with the math. 400 people per month buying a $400 piece of equipment is $1,920,000.

What Kevin Kelly’s essay shows is that in the internet era, most businesses are built not by aiming at the masses, but by aiming at the niches. Even the largest internet-era companies started with very small niches: Facebook was just for Harvard undergrads (about 6,700 people) and Paypal was just for Ebay powersellers (of which there were less than 20,000 at the time).

How many products are there which 1,000 people per year would spend $100 on?

A lot.

This hasn’t always been true, of course. The economics of 1,000 true fans don’t work if you are Procter & Gamble selling Tide detergent. You need millions or at least hundreds of thousands of customers to get shelf space in Walmart and Target.

How many people will pay $100/year for gluten-free, fairtrade, organic certified detergent? Not many, and that’s just fine.

Find your 1,000 true fans and don’t worry about the millions.

Read 1,000 True Fans

 

2. “How To Make Wealth” by Paul Graham

One of the shared myths that underlies most people’s worldview is that wealth is zero sum. Why?

For the great majority of human history, this was true. The Catholic Church outlawed usury (the loaning of money at interest) because it mostly seemed to just redistribute wealth and not create more of it.

Graham’s essay points out that we conflate wealth with money. Money is not wealth––it’s just something we use to move wealth around.

He shows that wealth is simply what you want. Imagine you have a magic machine that could create anything you wanted on demand. Plane tickets to the Caribbean? Poof. A hot cup of coffee? Poof. A brand-new Tesla? Poof.

As long as you had this magic machine, would you care how much money you had?

What software makes clear is that individuals have more ability than ever to shape the future. Economic numbers only hint at the profundity of the societal impact of software and the internet.

As a simple example, a 14-year-old teenager today (too young to show up in labor statistics) can learn programming, contribute significantly to open-source projects, and become a talented professional-grade programmer before age 18.2

You can sit down in front of a computer and create wealth.

Read How to Make Wealth

 

3. “Do Things That Don’t Scale” by Paul Graham

A lot of would-be entrepreneurs believe that products either take off or they don’t.

You make something available and if it’s good, then people will beat a path to your door. If they don’t, it means that the market doesn’t exist.

This myth is unhelpful and does not seem to play out. The reality is that even if you make something amazing, you need to spend at least 50 per cent, if not 80 per cent of your energy in the first few years “doing things that don’t scale” in order to sell it.

Graham tells the story of Stripe, the online payments company which is now valued in the billions of dollars. Stripe was started by a few hundred instances of a “Collison installation.”

The founders, Patrick and John Collison, would ask friends in coffee shops or bars, “Will you try our beta version?” If they said yes, they didn’t do what most founders do and send them a link the next day. They immediately said, “Give me your laptop,” and set it up on the spot.

Most would-be entrepreneurs would think, “There is no way this scales” and give up. They don’t understand that most internet companies start very very small and “Collison install” their way to 1,000 true fans.

It seems most effective to think in terms of orders of ten. If you have zero customers, you only need to figure out how to get to 10. You can do that by asking friends in coffee shops. Once you have ten, you only need to figure out how to get to one hundred. You can probably do that with phone or emails or LinkedIn messages (or even a lot of coffee shops).

Read Do Things That Don’t Scale

 

4. “Principles” by Ray Dalio (Sections 1 and 2)

Ray Dalio is the founder of Bridgewater, the most successful hedge fund in history. That’s like being the greatest NFL player in the U.S. or the best football/soccer player in Europe. It’s probably the most competitive industry with the smartest people in the world over the past few decades, and his track record is the best.

His most fundamental principle?

“Truth––more precisely, an accurate understanding of reality––is the essential foundation for producing good outcomes.”

While this seems obvious, it’s only very recently become an accurate statement for startups and online business

If you were part of a hunter-gatherer tribe that deeply believed in the rain dance, you should do the rain dance. Even if you had good reason to believe that the rain dance wasn’t really working, it was probably best to keep believing in the rain dance anyway, or at least keep your mouth shut.

If you brought forward the truth, that the rain dance doesn’t work, you got a bad outcome: everyone thinks you’re a heretic, you get thrown out of the tribe, and die.

Going against the Roman Emperor, Medieval Pope, or English King when you felt they were wrong was about as good an idea as denying the rain dance worked.

In the early 20th century, John Maynard Keynes was not wrong in saying that, ““Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally.”

Even in today’s world, this is often true. There are lots of people working in companies and institutions who think the system is a complete mess, but they’re five years away from retirement or their big bonus, so they are better off just riding it out. They get a good outcome by confirming lies, not by seeking the truth.

For internet businesses or startups, this is never the case. 3

Like hedge fund managers, internet entrepreneurs subscribe to the maxim of “strong views, weakly held.” They act decisively on their current beliefs, but are quick to revise those beliefs when new information presents itself. 4

Read Principles by Ray Dalio (Or pre-order the book)

 

5. “Elementary Worldly Wisdom” by Charlie Munger

Charlie Munger is something of a business zen master. He speaks infrequently and softly, but when he does, you should listen. Charlie is Warren Buffett’s silent partner at Berkshire-Hathaway which makes him worth a cool $1.5 billion.

In 1994, he gave a speech to USC’s business school on Elementary Worldly Wisdom.

What is Charlie’s elementary worldly wisdom? The first rule is that you don’t really know anything if you only know isolated facts and can repeat them back. You have to have a latticework of models in your head to hang those facts on, and those models come from reading and working in a wide range of disciplines.

Without those models, you are like a man with a hammer who assumes that every problem is a nail.

Munger’s promise is that there are only “80 or 90 important models [that] will carry about 90% of the freight in making you a worldly-wise person.”

You can learn to use these models, he argues, the same way a golfer can learn to swing a club or a tennis player a racket.

The first time you play tennis or gold and “swing naturally,” you won’t get good results.

You have to learn to hold the club with a certain grip, and swing in a way that at first feels unnatural, to realize your full potential as a tennis player or golfer.

The first time you encounter a difficult problem and “think naturally,” you won’t get good results either.

If you don’t build these elementary, but unnatural, models, you are doomed to go through life like a “one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.”

The ability to build that latticework is greater today than at any point in history. Thanks to the internet, there are more brilliant autodidacts alive today than ever before.

Read Elementary Worldly Wisdom

6. Helsinki Bus Station Theory by Arno Rafael Minkkinen

There is a bus station in Helsinki, Finland. Some two dozen platforms are laid out in a square at the heart of the city and each platform has a sign with the numbers of the buses that leave from that platform. Let’s say you’re at a platform with three buses leaving: the 21, 71, and 58.

You get on the 21. All three buses stop at the same three first stops. Metaphorically speaking, let’s say that each stop represents a year in your career.

You get to the third stop and look around to realize that everyone else is at the same stop––your work and their work look exactly alike. Shocked, you realize that what you’ve been working on for three years has already been done.

So you hop off the bus, grab a cab back to the bus station and look for another bus. You repeat the same process. Maybe at first you were in UI design and you move to marketing. Three years into your marketing career, you realize your stuff is the same as everyone else’s.

So you hop off and go back to the bus station. This goes on forever.

What should you do? Stay on the bus.

Why? Because if you do, you will start to see a difference. The buses that move out of Helsinki stay on the same line, but only for three stops or so. Then they begin to separate and each heads on its own unique path. The 21 goes north and the 71 goes southwest.

Suddenly, your work is unique and starts to get noticed.

Ira Glass, the host of the now-iconic podcast and radio show This American Life, echoed the lessons in an interview:

“All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work.”

Read The Helsinki Bus Station Theory

 

7. “Aggregation Theory” by Ben Thompson

The value chain for any market is divided into three parts: suppliers, distributors, and consumers/users.

In the pre-Internet era, the best way to make money was to control suppliers and distribution. This was true across every industry.

Newspapers integrated suppliers (reporters writing content) with distribution (trucks delivering newspapers).

Taxi companies integrated suppliers (taxi drivers with medallions) with distribution (dispatchers answering calls telling the drivers where to go to make money).

Consumers were mostly an afterthought. If you didn’t like your local newspaper or taxi company, tough luck.

The internet has flipped this on its head. The most successful internet businesses integrate distribution with consumers and leave suppliers as an afterthought.

Facebook controls the platform for reaching users and so suppliers (newspapers and other publishers, as well as advertisers) have to live with their rules.

Uber and Lyft modularized supply by working with independent drivers and integrating dispatch with customer management.

The most important factor for success on the internet is user experience.

The best distributors providing the best experience earn the most consumers/users, which attracts more suppliers, which enhances the user experience in a virtuous cycle.

Read Aggregation Theory

 

The Internet Business Entrepreneur’s Imperative

In aggregate, the internet entrepreneur’s imperative is something like:

You can create wealth by making something a very few people want very badly. You do this by focusing obsessively on your customer’s experience.

At first, you must tell them about this thing in a very manual, unscalable way.

In order to survive as the business grows, you must ruthlessly seek out truth by building a latticework of models from many different fields and always asking “Am I right? Is this true?”

Getting rich will take longer than you can imagine, but shorter than you can bear. Don’t get off the bus.

  1. Dunbar’s original research places thresholds at 5, 15, 50, 150, 500, and 1500. That is, everytime group size roughly triples, the organizational structure has to change. Good further reading at The New Yorker and Ribbonfarm
  2. Breaking Smart Season 1 builds on this premise in more detail.
  3. I suspect this is why so many entrepreneurs read and follow finance. There is something about interacting with markets, both public and private, which is a wonderful bullshit filter. You can BS your way up many fields using politics, but not in the markets.
  4. To toss in another Paul Graham piece, the best ideas are often what you can’t say

Filed Under: Marketing, Read More Books

Tired of writing for pennies (or peanuts or whichever cliche for crappy pay you prefer) and ready to earn money online for real?

We’re tired of it, too. That’s why Carol started paying for posts a few years back — and why she upped her rates to $75+ last fall. And it’s why we update our list of sites that pay on a regular basis.

Below is the new-and-improved, early 2016 edition of Make a Living Writing’s list of websites that pay at least $50 per post.

What’s included — and not

Rather than linking to the list we published last fall, we’re posting a comprehensive and updated new list. We’ve added new markets we learned of in the past 6 months and removed sites that have categories of posts that are below $50. That’s our minimum.

In some cases, these sites keep it on the Q.T. exactly what they pay. We’re including markets where freelance writers in our network report they pay more than $50, in order to bring you the widest variety of paying markets possible.

We also removed sites that are not currently accepting pitches, which knocked a good portion of the writing-focused sites off. Sites where you only have a shot at earning $50 writing on spec, or based on traffic or ad clicks, are NOT included. This is a list of markets offering guaranteed pay only!

The list runs the gamut of topics, from parenting and knitting to business and writing, so there should be something here for everyone.

As always, we appreciate any corrections or additions — please post them in the comments. Here’s the list:

Business, Career, and Finance

  1. B. Michelle Pippin pays $50-$150 for business-related articles.
  2. Note: This site is no longer functioning.
  3. Brazen (formerly Brazen Careerist) will pay if you pre-arrange it with their editor. They’re looking for posts about higher ed administration, marketing, networking, and recruiting and HR.
  4. CEO Hangout will pay $50 if you pre-arrange it with the editor — send a pitch and negotiate payment before writing the article. They run posts about the CEO lifestyle, success stories, interviews, and other reported features of interest to business leaders.
  5. DailyWorth pays $150 for articles about women and money. They list a blackhole editorial@ email address, but I recently tweeted them about how to submit a pitch, and they suggested hitting up the managing editor, Koa Beck.
  6. Doctor of Credit pays $50 for personal finance articles that focus specifically on credit.
  7. eCommerce Insiders pays $60-$150 for articles about online retailing.
  8. FreelanceMom pays $75-$100 for posts about running a business as a busy parent.
  9. FreshBooks (yup, that same invoicing site Carol recommends) pays $200 a post and up. Be prepared to negotiate to get a better rate.
  10. Acorns has a new online pub called Grow Magazine that pays $50+ for finance writing geared toward millennials. They don’t have guidelines posted, but they told me to submit to grow@acorns.com with the word STORY in your subject line. We don’t normally recommend those generic emails, but because the pub is still new, it might not be a huge black hole yet.
  11. IncomeDiary pays $50-$200 for articles about making money online, including SEO, affiliate sales, and traffic generation.
  12. Mirasee pays $200 for 1,000-2,000-word posts on marketing, business productivity, and growth topics. [NOTE: Mirasee is currently paying only for posts they commission. Unsolicited posts are unpaid.]
  13. Modern Farmer reportedly pays around $150 for articles.
  14. Penny Hoarder shares money-saving ideas. You’ll need to negotiate pay with the editors during the pitching process — and be willing to forego a link back to your site.
  15. Priceonomics The catch? Articles must be submitted on spec. They occasionally post requests for articles on specific topics, which might get you closer to that big paycheck. [NOTE: This pub’s writer’s guidelines now say they pay $50/article. Be prepared to verify/negotiate payment.]
  16. RankPay about SEO, content marketing, and social media. [NOTE: This pub’s writer’s guidelines now say they pay $50/article. Be prepared to verify/negotiate payment.]
  17. The Work Online blog pays $50 per post.

Essays

  1. Aish accepts first-person accounts on the positive influence of Orthodox Jewish beliefs on everyday life — and they pay $200 on publication. Know the frum life to succeed here, and email ebraverman@aish.edu.
  2. Cosmopolitan.com pays $100 for essays about college. They’re also using this essay submission as a way to find writers for assignments.
  3. Dame reportedly pays $200 for essays. They do accept reported features and other article types, and pay rates may vary for those.
  4. Essig Magazine offers $100 for essays about a personal experience.
  5. The Establishment pays $125 and up for reported stories and essays.
  6. Eureka Street is an Australian site that pays $200 for analysis or commentary on politics, religion, popular culture or current events in Australia and the world. They also pay $50 for poetry, which seems to be a rarity these days. [NOTE: This publication is closed to submissions from December 13, 2016 to January 10, 2017. Anything submitted during this time will not be read – please verify they’re back open before you submit.]
  7. Guideposts pays $250 for Christian faith-based essays.
  8. LightHouse pays $100 for uplifting essays by blind or visually impaired writers.
  9. Narratively pays $200-300 for 2000 – 2500-word essays on specific topics. Check their guidelines for a list of current needs.
  10. 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.
  11. Skirt pays $200 for essays about women’s issues.
  12. [NOTE: The Toast is closing July 1, 2017, and is no longer accepting submissions.]
  13. Vox First Person reportedly pays in the $400 range for personal essays of about 1,500 words. Pitch firstperson@vox.com.
  14. xoJane was purchased by Time, Inc., and shuttered on Dec. 31, 2016. Certain content will fold into InStyle.

Family and Parenting

  1. Babble pays $100-$150 for posts on parenting, entertainment, pregnancy, beauty, style, food, and travel. (NOTE: Babble’s writer’s guidelines are no longer easily found. You may have to do some sleuthing to find contact info for an editor.)
  2. Just Parents is a UK-based site that focuses on pregnancy and parenting. They pay $60 per post.
  3. Parent.co posts non-snarky articles about parenting and family issues. Pay starts at $50.
  4. [NOTE: No longer pays for unsolicited submissions.]
  5. Stork Guide focuses on pregnancy and parenting of newborns and toddlers. They pay $50+ per post.
  6. Well Family (the New York Times’ parenting blog) pays $100. Pitch the editor.

Health

  1. The Anxiety Foundation pays $50 for mental health articles.
  2. The Atlantic’s online health section reportedly pays $200.
  3. PsychCentral covers mental health. They don’t list a pay rate on their site, and they didn’t respond to my query about pay, but a reader on last year’s list reported they are a paying market. [UPDATE 12/2016: The website says they don’t pay, but exceptions are made if you discuss payment BEFORE submitting.]

Lifestyle and General Interest

  1. BBC Britain doesn’t publish their pay rate, but I’ve seen reports of $350-$1,000 for various BBC sites. Pitch stories with a British slant for an international audience. Download their guidelines as a Word document.
  2. Bitch Magazine’s website pays for pop culture features. Pay is variable, so negotiate to get your desired rate.
  3. BookBrowse pays for book reviews! Writers accepted into their stable of reviewers will earn $50 for a 600-word review.
  4. [NOTE: BuzzFeed is no longer accepting submissions.]
  5. 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.
  6. Note: Gawker.com shut down in August 2016.
  7. getAbstract reportedly pays $300 for longer (2,000-4,000 word) book summaries.
  8. Gothamist pays $50-$150 for reported pieces about New York.
  9. HowlRound pays $50 for blog posts about the theater — management and marketing, play production and writing, and so on. Note: This market asked to be removed because they were receiving pitches that were not well targeted. Target your pitches so we can keep providing these lists.
  10. The International Wine Accessories blog pays $50 and up for articles.
  11. [NOTE: The Kernel paused weekly publication as of July 2016.]
  12. Knitty raised their rates to $120-$200 for articles about knitting and knitting patterns. They also have a sister site —Knittyspin — for knitters who like to use handspun yarn.
  13. Lifezette pays $100-$200 for articles on parenting, politics, faith, health, and pop culture. Contact the appropriate editor with your idea.
  14. Listverse pays $100 for long (1,500 word) lists on various topics.
  15. [NOTE: The Mix is no longer accepting submissions.]
  16. New York Observer pays $100 on posts about politics and culture for “sophisticated readership of metropolitan professionals.”
  17. OZY does pay freelancers, but rates vary.
  18. Paste pays $50+ for submissions in many different areas.
  19. Playboy.com pays up to $350, depending on the topic.
  20. Pretty Designs covers fashion and beauty. You’ll need to negotiate per-post pay.
  21. 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.
  22. Salon pays $100-$200 for essays and reported features, even very long ones.
  23. Smithsonian Magazine Online reportedly pays established freelancers up to $600 for reported articles.
  24. The Tablet pays for articles on Jewish news, ideas, and culture. Pay varies, so be prepared to negotiate. I saw a report of $1,000 for a heavily reported 2,000+ word feature.
  25. TwoPlusTwo 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.
  26. Upworthy pays $150-$200 for 500-word posts.
  27. Vice‘s pay rate varies, so you will need to negotiate if you’d like to write about food, technology, music, fashion, and other lifestyle topics.
  28. YourTango pays $50 for posts on love, sex, travel, mental health, and just about anything else that affects your relationships.

Tech

  1. A List Apart covers web design. They pay $200 per article.
  2. Compose pays $200 and $200 in Compose database credits for articles about databases.
  3. The Graphic Design School blog pays $100-$200 for articles and tutorials about Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and open source design tools.
  4. Indeni pays $50-$200 for posts that cover Check Point firewalls, F5 load balancers or Palo Alto Networks firewalls.
  5. Linode pays $250 for articles about Linux, Socket.io, NoSQL databases, game servers, Open Change, and Web RTC.
  6. Devilish about web development? SitePoint pays $100-$150 for articles on HTML, CSS, Ruby, PHP, and more.
  7. SlickWP pays $100 for posts about WordPress and the Genesis Theme framework.
  8. Tuts+ pays $100 and up for tutorials on various technologies, including Web design and Flash. Tuts once ran a network of 16 different blogs, including Freelance Switch, but it’s all together on a single site now that encompasses design, gaming, photography, writing, and more.
  9. WordCandy pays 6-10 cents a word for ghostwritten pieces about WordPress — these will appear on some of the larger WordPress blogs, such as wpmudev.
  10. WPHub pays $100-$200 for posts on web design trends, coding best practices, and other WordPress-related topics.

Travel and Food

  1. Big Grey Horse page $125-$200 for posts about Texas — photos must be included. Texas-based writers are preferred, because the site requires in-person visits.
  2. Cultures and Cuisines pays $200 per article.
  3. Desert Times pays $50-$100 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.
  4. Expatics serves U.S. expatriates. This is another site where you’ll need to negotiate pay before you write your article.
  5. Fund Your Life Overseas pays $75 for articles about business ideas that provide enough income for U.S. ex-pats.
  6. The International Wine Accessories blog pays $50 and up for articles.
  7. Saveur starts at $150 for “amazing stories about food and travel.”
  8. The Salt (NPR’s food blog) reportedly pays $200+.

Writing

  1. ClearVoice is a platform to connect bloggers with brands in various niches, as well as commissioning posts for its own blog. Pay is variable but ranges as high as $250-$400 (from what we’ve seen so far). When you apply, you set the rates you’re willing to accept; then, the platform emails you when appropriate opportunities arise. It’s not a bid site — fees are preset. But gigs are presented to multiple writers, and then the client chooses who they’ll work with. Luckily, there’s no elaborate application process, once your profile is set — you simply reply that you’re interested, and they let you know if you win the gig.
  2. Contently pays about 35 cents a word for their freelancer-focused online magazine. Download their pitching guidelines here.
  3. Freedom with Writing pays $50+ for lists of paying publishers. They also pay for short ebooks, so there is an option for longer-form content, too.
  4. Make a Living Writing. That’s right, this-here blog pays $75-$100 for guest posts, depending on complexity and research needed. Be sure to read our guidelines thorougly, 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!
  5. WOW! Women on Writing pays $50-$150.
  6. The Write Life pays for some posts — you’ll need to negotiate your rate.

Tips for successful pitching

Before you pitch any of these sites, read the guidelines carefully and study the posts they’ve already run. Make sure you either have a fresh topic or a new way of exploring an issue they’ve covered before.

Paying markets are more competitive than posting on free sites. And the more bad pitches a site receives, the likelier they will reconsider whether they even accept guest posts, let alone pay for them. (Believe me, this happens, and it is the reason some sites we’ve listed before are no longer accepting pitches.)

Need help learning how to pitch a paying guest post? See this post, and this one.

Have you written for any of these markets? Found others that pay well? Tell us in the comments below.

Jennifer Roland is a freelance education, financial institution, and technology writer — and the guest-blog editor here at Make a Living Writing. Her latest book, 10 Takes: Pacific Northwest Writers, was published by Gladeye Press.

Tagged with: how to make good money writing online, websites that pay

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