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Accepting Writing Jobs Online vs. Writing for Print

Updated on March 29, 2012
This is your to-do list for today...what will you fill it up with? I choose to fill mine with writing jobs online, for very good reasons.
This is your to-do list for today...what will you fill it up with? I choose to fill mine with writing jobs online, for very good reasons.

I did not start out accepting writing jobs online. I started my writing career submitting fiction, poetry and creative essays to literary journals. I was a stay-at-home mother and writing for money was not on my mind. I was writing for pleasure alone.

That changed about four years ago when I suddenly found myself a single mother. I started taking writing jobs online so I could stay home with my children. I will never forget my initial days of writing for money online. I took about three hours a night to sleep, and spent the rest of my time caring for my children or writing articles online for money. I did nothing else and was completely exhausted, but I was so excited to be making real money from my writing.

Luckily, I was picked up by an online web content service within a few months of writing for money online. I have been with that writing service for well over three years and will probably stay there until I am no longer the primary wage earner in my home. Keep reading to learn about my experiences choosing between writing for print publication and writing for money online.

Where Can I Write Online?

One option is to write for a professional writing service. These services produce eBooks, reports, newsletters, blog posts, press releases, and high quality website content.

The best ones allow writers to make personal, long term connections with clients so they develop a steady base of consistent customers. The site pulls in the customers, so writers do not have to market their own services. is a writing service that offers many writing jobs online, but there are many other services to consider. I work for a different service because Textbroker does not make it easy to develop a steady base of personal customers through the site.

Accepting Writing Jobs Online: The Criticism

About a year ago I found a blog written by a professional writer with extensive byline credits for many small trade publications and larger commercial magazines. I found the blog fascinating, but noticed there was a lot of criticism toward those writing for money online.

The attitude on this blog was that those writing articles for money online were cheapening the craft of writing. It was assumed that anyone taking writing jobs online must be a mediocre to crappy writer producing rushed, inaccurate, grammatically incorrect material that was not worth reading.

I was shocked at this attitude, since I had been earning a full living through writing jobs online for a few years at that point. I was proud of my success and appreciative of my online clients who allowed me to stay home with my children while doing something I loved.

What Makes a Real Writer?

At first I was swayed over to the opinion of these “professional” writers. I read that they were making $500 to $2,000 for single articles in print publications. I joined their writing community where they promised to teach me how to write for a magazine offline, rather than accepting writing jobs online.

They spoke to me as if I was a weak, ignorant writer who was being taken advantage of out in the wilds of the Internet. They were going to save me, show me the errors of my way, and teach me how writing for “pennies” online was not worth my time. “Real” writers write for print publications, rather than entertaining writing jobs online.

"OMG...she accepts writing jobs online...and she accepts TIPS!!!"
"OMG...she accepts writing jobs online...and she accepts TIPS!!!" | Source

After seeing my writing, they were actually surprised that I do know how to write. They realized soon enough that I am college educated and have spent more time in university writing courses than all of them combined! Their mission was then to convince me that writing for magazines and local businesses was far better than accepting writing jobs online. They seemed put off by my assertion that the dry trade articles they were writing were far different from the creative writing I was doing when accepting writing jobs online.

They were astonished that I was happy with making three to five cent a word. They exclaimed, and I quote…”OMG! You write for TIPS? ” when I told them my best clients send me tips regularly. They also pay me for my work, but these writers acted as if receiving a tip was a horrible thing that I should be saved from having to endure. I wondered if a print publication or local business were to throw in an extra $50-$100 if they would turn their noses up at that tip…I seriously doubt it.

I was in this group for less than a month before realizing their techniques were not new to me. They were things I had heard of before, and had even tried before. They were techniques I did not want to do on a daily basis, no matter how much money might be promised!

Where Can I Write Online?

You can write for ad revenue on websites like HubPages and Squidoo. Sites like Voices! (Yahoo Contributor Network) may also be of interest to some online writers. these sites allow you to select topics that are of interest to you personally,though you cannot count on consistent income over time.

Writing for Print Publication Exclusively

These “professional” writers were spending their days cold calling every business in their local communities. They were spending hours of their time and money out of their pockets to interview and research extensive articles without any promise of those articles ever being purchased. They spent tons of time creating pitches for high profile print publications and very few of them had ever had a pitch entertained, let alone an article published in those publications.

When they made a sale they did in fact make more than I was making through my writing jobs online per article, but most were not selling articles on a consistent basis. The problem is they would go weeks and even months without selling anything.

Where Can I Write Online?

You can write for private clients that you earn through hard work. Just as those writing for print publications spend a lot of time pitching those publications, you can pitch to high profile, established websites. You may not make $1,000 per article, but you can earn consistent writing jobs online that allow you to have a more active, leisurely lifestyle.

Why I Still Make a Living Writing Online

I cancelled my monthly membership to that group before one month was up. I no longer cared that there were professional writers turning their noses up at me because of my choice to pursue freelance writing jobs online. I still market my fiction and poetry to print literary journals, but I was doing that long before I encountered this group of writers.

The reasons I choose to continue my career with freelance writing jobs online are as follows:

  • I have guaranteed work from consistent clients every week. I have worked hard to build up that client base. This comes with a guaranteed weekly paycheck so I can pay bills.

Where Can I Write Online?

If you write creative essays, fiction, or poems, there are many online literary journals that will pay you to write online. Some pay more than others, and some are connected to well known university literary journals. You get to be creative and make a bit of pocket change..does it get any better than that?

  • I get up every morning, head to my home office, and work just as I would work a job outside of my house. My writing jobs online are a real business, not just occasional work. I am guaranteed to be paid for everything I do, including research.
  • How much I earn each week is up to how much I want to work. I don’t have to cold call and just pray something comes through before my mortgage is due.
  • I enjoy taking writing jobs online, even if I am not being paid a thousand dollars per article.
  • I get to see entire websites fill up with my work. I don’t care that my name isn’t on most of it. Watching a site develop with my words and the beautiful work of a talented web designer is satisfying and fun.

I see the merit in what those writing for a magazine and trade journal audience do for a living. I understand their techniques. They do a lot of the same things I do for the fiction market, but they are doing it for dry, boring trade publications and business flyers just to earn a paycheck.

Their way of writing is just not right for me. I choose to continue seeking freelance writing jobs online. I choose to reserve my print publication hopes for fiction. That does not make me less of a writer. It just makes me a happier, more fulfilled writer.


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