People who contact HomeWorkingClub ask me about online writing jobs more than anything else.
One thing I’ve noticed lately is that alongside a constant stream of enquiries from aspiring new freelancers, I also get plenty of emails from more experienced writers asking where to look for work. So, that’s the focus of this article.
That doesn’t mean that this guide isn’t worth reading if you’re at more of a “fledgeling” stage. Yes, the opportunities I list here are more suited to people with solid professional writing experience and established portfolios. However, even if that’s not you, it’s good to learn about the sites I discuss here – if only to whet your appetite for the kind of online writing jobs you’ll one day be able to aim for. Reading this will also help you to understand what the requirements are for these platforms.
If you are starting right at the beginning, I’d recommend reading my guide to freelance writing for beginners before heading back here.
ARE you experienced?
Writing experience is not all equal.
Something I notice a lot when I chat to readers is that some underestimate how experienced they are. Others…do the opposite. This is something I discussed in detail in a recent article.
The thing is, it’s often not about how much experience you have, but how relevant and marketable that experience is.
For example, you may have been writing professionally for years, but for a single company, working on internal documents, annual reports and brochures. This, unfortunately, isn’t going to help very much when clients and job boards want to see your portfolio.
Conversely, you may have been in the freelance writing game for a relatively short time, but in that time built up a fairly impressive selection of “clips,” all centred around a focussed industry or niche, and all easily accessible online.
The reality is that most clients offering online writing jobs rely on a portfolio or – at the very least – online writing samples, to decide who to hire. Some of the sites below are heavily portfolio-based. This means that – unfortunately for some – certain forms of experience are less helpful than others.
At this level, prestige can come into play too. Some of the sites I list here are really selective about who they accept, and want to see work examples from publications they will have heard of. It might not seem fair that a single byline from Forbes is often worth so much more than years working hard for one company…but them’s the breaks.
So well paid online writing jobs DO exist?
I’m pleased to say they do!
The sites here consistently offer decent pay. That’s not to say that low-paying clients don’t find their way onto these platforms occasionally – on some sites more than others.
However, the reality is that you can’t just choose to use these sites instead of places like Upwork if you don’t have relevant experience. In some cases, you won’t even get “through the door” unless you can demonstrate your credentials.
If that’s the case, and you apply for these sites and don’t make the grade, try not to let it dishearten you. It could merely be a sign that you’ve still got some dues to pay. I’ve personally found well-paid work on most of these platforms, and had good feedback from people I’ve recommended them to.
Let’s get started.
ClearVoice describes itself as a “playground for content people,” and focusses on connecting brands with “vetted” freelancers to create anything from articles to eBooks. ClearVoice clients include big names like Intuit and Esurance.
As is to be expected with a platform that works with “proper” businesses and offers well-paid work, ClearVoice doesn’t just hand work to anyone who applies. There are over 2000 writers on the “talent network,” but that pales into insignificance when you think of the 12 million registered freelancers on Upwork!
The first step to get set up on ClearVoice is to create an online CV, which is – more than anything – a place to showcase your existing writing work. You then wait to see whether or not you qualify for the “ClearVoice Marketplace.”
ClearVoice make their requirements very clear here. You need at least six writing samples, and – most crucially – they say that the “the majority of articles must be published on professional-looking, high-quality websites or blogs,” although they do make an exception if you’re published on a big-name site like Forbes!
I’ve personally done a couple of jobs via ClearVoice and had good reports from a couple of readers too. Rates have been decent – over $100 for pretty simple blog posts, and payments are processed directly via PayPal. I haven’t had a constant stream of work, but I’ve been fully committed to other things and not kept my profile up to date.
Particularly good for: Established writers with work examples related to a specific business niche, such as insurance or finance.
Downside: The content management system used to manage work in progress is rather confusing and clunky.
Find the site here.
Skyword is quite similar to ClearVoice in that you apply, complete a portfolio, and hope to get hired! The client list is even more impressive, including such brands as IBM, Staples and Mastercard.
One thing that’s different with Skyword is that there’s more of a human element happening behind the scenes. Skyword staff actively work to match clients with writers, so you don’t have clients listing their own jobs or inviting pitches.
As such, this can mean you can have an account sitting there for literally months before hearing anything from Skyword. However, the first contact could end up being in regard to doing reasonably well-paid articles for a household name. Online reports refer to article rates of around $75-150.
Particularly good for: People with laser-focused experience on a particular topic who are likely to stick out to Skyword’s talent scouts.
Downside: Requires you to put lots of effort into creating a profile with no certainty you will get matched to any work at all.
Find the site here.
3. ProBlogger Jobs
The ProBlogger Jobs board is a very different place to the previous suggestions here. It’s more of a standard job board that anyone can access, and there’s no guarantee you won’t find a few scams and plenty of low-paid gigs among the better opportunities.
One thing that keeps away most of the scammers and “bottom feeders” is the fact that clients have to pay $70 to post an ad on the board. However, you’re more likely to find small but professional blogs and startups than Fortune 500 companies.
The reason I’m including ProBlogger Jobs on this list is that I’ve personally found plenty of work there. If I’m in the need of something extra to do, it’s where I tend to look first. Yes, you need to be discerning in what you apply to, but it’s always worth an occasional scan. I’ve picked up writing gigs via ProBlogger that have paid just as well as jobs on ClearVoice.
Obviously, it’s important to remember that this is only a job board and not a writing platform. You’re dealing directly with clients, so doing deals and arranging payments is entirely on you.
Particularly good for: “Emerging” writers looking for new opportunities; Often strong for gigs in tech, gaming and lifestyle topics.
Downside: You need to root out scammers, low-payers and agencies.
I’m a real fan of nDash as it does things a little differently. It’s another site I’ve worked on personally, and I picked up several well-paid gigs. $150 for a blog article isn’t at all unusual on the platform.
Once again, the usual routine is to set up a portfolio and profile. You then need to get it verified by the nDash staff. While this isn’t absolutely essential, you’re locked out of most features if you don’t. The nDash team is particularly helpful when it comes to showing you what work you need to do to get your profile verified.
Once you’re signed up, you’re free to pitch ideas to the many companies on nDash’s books. nDash is all about facilitating relationships between writers and brands, and you can work on it all far more proactively on this platform than on ClearVoice or SkyWord, both of which are rather passive.
There are occasional “open assignments” that you can pitch for, but nDash is more about hooking you up with companies that are a good fit for your knowledge and experience. It’s a good place to find clients for regular “x posts per month” relationships.
Particularly good for: Writers in any niche who want the chance to pitch to companies away from the more crowded job boards.
Downside: Not great for “jack of all trades” writers – it’s best to pick a niche to make your profile shine.
WriterAccess definitely has more of a content mill feel, but pays 5 cents per word to mid-level writers, and apparently 7 cents to $1.40 per word for writers at higher levels.
One thing to know about WriterAccess is that it only accepts US-based writers. As such, I’ve not been able to join myself, but I’ve commissioned a full review of the platform, which will be coming soon.
Companies including Microsoft, 3M and Samsonite are shown on the WriterAccess site, and the company has a reasonably good online reputation – both with clients and writers.
While WriterAccess probably isn’t a dream job for an experienced person seeking online writing jobs, it’s certainly a good way to fill in quieter periods, especially for writers who can hit the higher pay levels.
Particularly good for: US writers who want reasonably well-paid work to fill in the quieter times.
Downside: The application process is very time-consuming.
Find the site here.
Online Writing Jobs for Experienced Writers: Conclusion
The five sources of online writing jobs shown above are just a few examples of places you can go to find work if you’re a more experienced writer.
If you work through all of these and struggle to find any work at all, or don’t get accepted for the platforms, it’s perhaps worth looking at improving your writing or verifying that your experience is as relevant as you hope.
If you’ve tried any of these platforms, please share your feedback in the comments.