When I first started my freelance writing career, I was happy to get any work I could find. I would take on any assignment no matter how little it paid, simply because it meant I was getting some money. Like many beginners, I turned to content mills to find work. (See also: 6 Places to Find Freelance Writing Jobs)
My wake-up call came when I completed a 1,000-word article and was paid a whopping $10 for the privilege. It had taken me hours, and I made less than minimum wage. From that moment on, I swore off content mills completely.
However, the industry is changing rapidly, and demand for quality content is rising. As companies grow, the rates they’re willing to pay for quality writers have also grown.
If you’re an experienced writer, you can diversify your income by working with more lucrative content mills. Here are four sites that offer jobs that pay up to $2 a word.
Contently.com connects big brands like Walmart and Facebook with seasoned writers, journalists, and other talent. They do this through their freelancer database, Contently.net.
Because the companies that work with Contently are established, well-known businesses, they are willing to pay much higher rates than others. In fact, many assignments pay between $1 and $2 a word, especially if you have expertise in a certain subject. For example, writers with legal knowledge can bring in up to $575 for a 400-word article.
Contently works differently than the content mills you’ve used in the past. Rather than a job board or bidding process, writers create portfolios of their past work. Contently editors then search these portfolios to find writers that would be a good match for an assignment. For example, a writer with a background in IT would likely be a good candidate for a computer software company needing an article. While this process is simple and hands-off, the downside is you may be waiting weeks or even months between assignments.
If an assignment matches your experience, Contently editors will contact you with an offer. They will share details on what the assignment entails, along with the pay rate. From there, you will work directly with the Contently editors as your point of contact until the article is complete and you receive payment.
Founded in 2015, ClearVoice is relatively new to the market. When you sign up for an account, you can set your minimum rate. Afterward, the company will only send you opportunities that meet your pay requirements, weeding out the lesser assignments. Right now, there are assignments that pay between $0.10 and $1 a word.
If your work has been published on well-known sites, you likely have a ClearVoice portfolio already. The company searches for prominent writers, and automatically creates a page for them. You can create your own account and get started quickly.
Like Contently, ClearVoice likely won’t be your primary source of work. You might not get assignments for a while, or may go weeks between jobs. However, it can be a good source of supplemental income.
SkyWord works with companies like Lending Tree, Overstock, and others to offer decent-paying gigs to experienced writers.
With SkyWord, you create a portfolio to build your visibility. Unlike other platforms, SkyWord showcases how many shares your work has received on social media. If you produce more engaging content, you are more likely to get more opportunities that are also higher paying.
Rates can range from $40 to $150 per article.
eByline works with both large and small companies, and has a database of over 2,000 writers. Clients set their own rates, so you’ll find that the pay ranges from a low $0.05 a word up to $1 a word. It depends on the size of the business, complexity of the assignment, and your location.
Unlike the other three sites, eByline has a job board where writers can submit a pitch for work. Or, if a brand likes your work, they can send you an offer for a particular article.
eByline is careful about what writers they accept. They look for recent publications in your portfolio, and look to fill gaps in expertise. For example, if you’re a beauty writer, you might have a harder time with your application than someone with experience in a smaller niche, like economics. If you are in a competitive industry, you might wait weeks for an assignment that fits your expertise.
If you’re sick of writing for peanuts and are looking for higher-paying gigs, these four content sites can help connect you to better work. While these companies are not ideal for beginner freelancers, they can be a strong source of supplemental income for established writers. (See also: 22 Websites That Will Pay You to Write for Them)