Get Paid for Writing in 2019

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Is it finally time to get paid for writing?

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If you’re committed to getting paid for writing in 2019, it’s time to commit to pitching publications. You can also pitch companies, but it’s always a good idea to get some bylines in publications to get a bit of social proof.

Why social proof is important if you want to get paid for writing

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Building social proof is important—it shows potential clients and publications that you have the skills to get the job done well. If you’ve never gotten a piece published before, it may be a good idea to pitch a couple of high-profile, non-paying publications/blogs, just in the beginning.

Blogs and publications that don’t pay are often easier to get into if you don’t yet have samples. Pitching these sites will help you get that elusive first clip, so you can then pitch paying publications with social proof already behind your name.

Which of these publications you pitch will depend on the type of writing you’d like to do. As multi-niche writers, it’s always a good idea to get a few samples in different kinds of publications. Here are some ideas of places to pitch.

 

Good Men Project: 

Tattooed man writing in a notebook, Photo by A L L E F . V I N I C I U S Δ on Unsplash

 

This is the website where I got my first online piece published. If you can take any topic and make it relevant to men (whether the article is written for men or about men or even about raising boys), this is a good choice for you.

This site does not pay for writing, but it gets millions of visitors, and some articles get syndicated (one of mine was picked up by Yahoo & Ravishly), which gives you even more social proof (and the potential for more traffic to your websites, if that’s your jam).

Submit your story here, but make sure to read a few articles on the site and review the Writer’s Guidelines prior to pitching—a process you should repeat any time you pitch any publication.

Thrive Global:

Woman of Color writing in a notebook. Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash

 

If you enjoy writing about health and self-development, this site is a good choice. It also doesn’t pay for articles; however, it’s a high-ranking site that carries a lot of social proof. The pitching process is easy: you just create an account and submit a story. This site also doesn’t pay; however, having a byline here can do great things for your social proof, and again, for your traffic, depending on how you work your article.

Any blog on this list

Short-haired woman writing in front of laptop, Tattooed man writing in a notebook, Photo by A L L E F . V I N I C I U S Δ on Unsplash

 

If you enjoy writing about self-development, pitching one of the blogs listed on The Start of Happiness’ “Best Self-Development Blogs” list would be a good fit for you. Some of these are really hard to get into, which is all the more reason to pitch several, and to be sure to read the Writer’s Guidelines in each. The majority of the blogs on this list do not pay; however, the social proof you get writing for them is well worth it.

Entrepreneur, Inc, or Forbes:

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If your thing is writing about entrepreneurship and/or business, these websites will provide a tonne of social proof. The first two do not pay; Forbes recently started paying contributors. Getting a byline in any of these sites will open up a lot of doors for any freelance writer.

But… I thought you were going to teach me how to get paid for writing?

Hands drawing a money sign in a blank notebook

 

It might seem odd that I’m encouraging you to write for free on a post that teaches you how to make money from your writing. I agree that creative work should be compensated. But like any career, you need to get a little experience under your belt before hitting the big time.

Consider submitting free articles as your crash, “hands-on” course on freelance writing: a practicum, so to speak. And remember that there’s a time and a place to write for free, but you shouldn’t get stuck in the constant write-for-free loop.

Get in, get your samples, and get out. My general rule of thumb is to not write any more than 3 articles for a single source that doesn’t pay (unless I’m writing for a charity, or have specific business-related reasons for doing so). Once you have your samples, it’s time to go after paid writing gigs. There are many ways to find paid writing opportunities. Here are a few:

1. Search freelance writing job boards.

Magnifying glass on laptop keyboard. How to find freelance writing clients, www.marianamcdougall.com. Photo by Agence Olloweb on Unsplash

 

Follow some simple guidelines to find good paying writing gigs. These boards are good for finding places to pitch as well as to find companies looking for copywriting. Want a full list of freelance writing job boards? Click here.

2. Research publications and companies and send cold pitches.

 

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Read about each company or publication, learn their voice, and learn what kind of writing does well with each. If you’re cold pitching a publication, your next steps will be to read the Writer’s Guidelines and find an editor’s email address, if applicable. Pitch with a well-developed story idea, relate it to the publication, and show your social proof. Here’s a simple template you can use:

 

Hi [Editor Name],

I enjoyed [blog post/article], [explain why].

I’d like to write an article entitled [proposed title] that your readers might enjoy. I’d like to cover [simple explanation of main points].

I can have it ready for [date and time]. Would this work for you?

Please see below for some samples of my writing.

[Link 1]

[Link 2]

[Link 3]

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you.

[Your Name]

If you’re pitching a company, you’ll need to find their pain point and insert yourself as the person who can provide the solution to it. You’ll still need to send a cold pitch that talks about your social proof, whether that’s places you’ve been published, or companies you’ve worked with in the past.

3. You can also do my favourite: send a warm pitch.

Woman typing on laptop and holding cup of tea, Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

 

This involves contacting publications or companies with whom you’ve had previous contact: either you’re a reader who’s commented on their posts several times, or you’re a client who has sent a letter of thanks for how well the company is run (you’re sending thank you notes, right?).

 

No matter which way you decide to pitch, or which companies or publications you choose, you must be persistent. Pitch often, pitch repeatedly, and keep going.

The only successful writers are the ones who didn’t give up—so keep at it to get paid for writing.

Woman's hands typing on a typewriter. Desk contains a pair of scissors to the left and a golden metal pineapple to the right. Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

 

Getting paid as a writer is simple, but it’s not easy.

It takes a simple list of steps, but it also takes hard work, dedication, a thick skin, and a willingness to keep pursuing your goals in the face of adversity.

It takes ignoring all the naysayers and sticking to your dream, turning it into a goal, and working towards that goal every single day. It also takes developing your skills as a writer, being willing to be edited, and learning how to research your topics well and adapt your voice to the different clients and publications for whom you write.

You also need to take the time to plan out who you’ll pitch, what stories or services you’ll pitch, and to learn why these things will be relevant to the potential client or publication.

If you want to get paid for your writing in 2019, one of the best things you can do is create a game plan (and then stick to it). Creating a list of clients and/or publications you’ll pitch in the new year will help you get started.

Want a whole list of places that pay for writing, plus a 4-week email course on how to get paid for writing? Sign up for the mailing list!

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Mariana Abeid-McDougall is a writer, a wife, and a homeschooling mom in an out-of-the-box, adventurous family. She's on a mission to show the world that writers don't need to niche to be successful. She hopes you'll join the conversation on the MultiTalented Writers blog.

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6 comments

  • Hi, Mariana:

    Just wanted to say that it is so refreshing to get the advice that choosing a niche for your writing isn’t always the best game plan. I’ve been freelancing on and off for a number of years and honestly, I find it frustrating to try to pick a niche. I consider myself a student of the world and part of what I love about writing is learning! With niches there seems to come a point where you’re just rehashing the same ideas over and over.

    Anyway, I’ve re-committed to going full-time freelance this year and your post provides some much-needed inspiration. Thank you!

    Paula Morical

    • Thank you for commenting; Paula, and I’m glad you find the information useful. I couldn’t agree more—many writers who stick to one niche often get stale and repeat themselves too often. I say, keep creative work creative, and don’t try to put it into a neat little box. Best of luck with your journey this year!

  • Thanks for the links to good non-paying blogs to write for.
    I have no experience writing for blogs (apart from my own) so I am finding it EXTREMELY difficult to find work. I’m hoping that a few freebies to show potential paying clients will be enough to kick start my freelancing career!
    My goal for 2019 is to make enough money from freelance to be able to quit my day job. Wish me luck!

    • Hi Laura,

      Thanks for your comment. That’s how I got started. Just don’t get into the trap of writing for free over and over. Get a few samples, and then start pitching. Best of luck with your goal this year!

  • Justina

    I’m currently at a career crossroads. I recently quit a full time job as a building certifier (bad working conditions) and am currently examining work options. I used to be a journalist and it has been a while since I was last published. Your article has given me some much needed confidence to look into freelance writing.

    • Thanks for commenting, Justina, and I’m glad to hear my article was encouraging to you! I wish you the best of luck in your future as a freelance writer. It’s hard work, but it’s a lot of fun.

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