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4 Websites That Will Pay Beginners — With Little To No Experience

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Is it possible to land a writing job if you have little to no experience?

Yes — if you have realistic goals.

You shouldn’t expect a salaried position with the New York Times, Refinery 29, or Cosmopolitan if you’ve never written before. Jobs like these usually require an academic background in journalism or communications, years of prior experience, and, if we’re being honest, knowing the right people.

But this doesn’t mean that you have to settle for unpaid writing gigs on niche sites. Like I noted in The Lucky Freelancer’s introductory post, there is more than enough work out there for writers of all kinds, at every level.

If you’re just starting out and focused primarily on ARTICLE WRITING, then you should look into some of the avenues I’ve compiled:

Cracked

Photo: Serenity J.

Cracked is a comedy website that publishes lists of obscure facts, info-graphics, and first person essays.

How To Apply:

All you have to do to write for them is sign up for an account, join their writer’s workshop and start pitching lists. Anyone can do this, regardless of their prior experience. You just have to have good ideas and be willing to try.

The editors are extremely picky (their words, not mine) and the site already has a huge archive of material. So, it may take some time to come up with something that will make it to the front page.

Don’t let that deter you! I’ve never pitched Cracked, but I am signed up for the Writer’s Workshop. From what I’ve observed, it’s a pretty positive environment. And there are always editors on hand to give writers feedback on their pitches.

Rate:

Writers are paid $150 for their first five lists. After that, it will go up to $250 per list. For that kind of money, definitely worth a sign-up!

Photo: Serenity J.

Valnetis a Canada-based media company that operates a family of twelve websites, known for their viral lists and news pieces. From my understanding, Screen Rant, CBR (Comic Book Resources) and The Richest, which all focus on different aspects of the TV/film world, are their most popular properties.

There are other websites that post about things like pregnancy and motherhood tips, travel roundups, video game news + more.

How To Apply:

There’s a “Write For Us” button at the bottom of each website. It will take you to their application page. Once there, fill in your name, location, and phone number. Then submit three article ideas and a writing sample.

A close friend of mine, who asked not to be named, used to write for Valnet. At the time of their hiring, their only writing experience was running a blog that covered topics that were similar to the website that they were applying for. Based on their samples, the hiring manager gave them the chance to write a test article, which led to them freelancing full-time.

Rate:

Unknown. But it’s my understanding that freelancing with Valnet can be a source of nice, part-time income.

Book Riot

Photo: Serenity J.

Book Riot is the “largest independent editorial book site” in North America. They publish book reviews, recommendations and think pieces. While they do have a full staff, their pool of contributors is made up of pros and non-pros. You could be among the non-pros.

How To Apply:

Book Riot has a contributor form, which you can access here, right on its website. It asks for your personal information, three books you recently read, two (unpublished) writing samples, and two pitches.

Your writing samples should reflect your ability to adapt to Book Riot’s content. Of the two pitches, one of them should fit into their Our Reading Lives series.

One last thing: Book Riot accepts/rejects and responds to new contributor applications on a quarterly basis (January, April, July and October). So you shouldn’t expect to get an immediate response back. That said, October is just around the corner. So there’s no better time than the present to apply!

Note: Book Riot also offers full-time positions, but there are none open at this time.

Rate:

Unknown

Bustle

Photo: Serenity J.

Bustle is a media company, under Bustle Media Group, that serves millennial women. They publish original interviews, episode recaps, book lists, personal essays + more.

How To Apply:

Head to their submissions page, where they’ve laid out the content they’re currently looking for. Next, locate the appropriate editor for the section you want to write for, then pitch them your idea.

If the editor likes it, they will usually respond within two weeks. If not, you can probably assume they have passed on your idea. If they do move forward, they may work with you to polish it further, then guide you through the drafting process.

There are also staff positions with Bustle and their other properties that require a more extensive writing/academic history. I encourage you to circle back around to these opportunities after you’ve published a few freelance pieces with them.

Rate:

From what I’ve found online, Bustle pays about $50/800 word essay.

Hello Giggles

Photo: Serenity J.

Hello Giggles hails itself as a positive, online community for millennial women. Think Bustle, but with a bubblier voice. It was founded by Zooey Deschanel, Molly McAleer, and Sophia Rossi.

Per their Masthead, they welcome reader contributions.

How To Apply:

Hello Giggles lists the kind of content that they accept on their contributor page. They’re “especially interested in personal essays and cultural criticism with unique and diverse points of view, LGBTQ perspectives, smart articles with original reporting, and illustrations.”

To pitch them, email your idea, along with a paragraph about who you are, to [email protected] If you have writing samples, you should include them. But they’re not mandatory. Writers without samples are encouraged to send over a full draft of their proposed article.

I have never written for Hello Giggles, but I have twice pitched them. Neither pitch was accepted, but I did receive an auto-prompt, letting me know they’d received my email.

Rate:

Hello Giggles’ rates aren’t clearly laid out on their website. However, Contently’s freelance rate database lists the pay as $75/reported piece.

These are just a few companies that I’ve observed to be receptive to new, burgeoning writers. I included only nationally recognized brands, to start. But later on, I will branch off into smaller, yet reputable websites that have a proven track record of paying their writers. (Because not everyone who says they pay actually do.)

  • Things To Remember:
  • No experience = no professionally published articles to send to your editor. But you should always have a few sample articles that showcase your writing strengths readily available. Even if an editor is willing to give new talent a chance, they will not hire you until they see how you string words and sentences together.
  • The online writing industry is constantly shifting and changing. And there’s just not enough time for editors to go over every single word you write. So, if you’re fortunate enough to land a job writing online, you should always strive to be a writer that editors love. This means meeting deadlines, minimizing grammar and spelling errors before sending off your final draft, and promoting your work online.

Hey guys, I’m a self-guided/taught freelance writer, copywriter and (soon-to-be) author who’s tried many avenues to make money writing. I decided to share some of my tips, tricks, and fails onThe Lucky Freelancer.

Check Out Our LATEST Posts:

We’re looking for writers. More info here.

Page 2

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Is it possible to land a writing job if you have little to no experience?

Yes — if you have realistic goals.

You shouldn’t expect a salaried position with the New York Times, Refinery 29, or Cosmopolitan if you’ve never written before. Jobs like these usually require an academic background in journalism or communications, years of prior experience, and, if we’re being honest, knowing the right people.

But this doesn’t mean that you have to settle for unpaid writing gigs on niche sites. Like I noted in The Lucky Freelancer’s introductory post, there is more than enough work out there for writers of all kinds, at every level.

If you’re just starting out and focused primarily on ARTICLE WRITING, then you should look into some of the avenues I’ve compiled:

Cracked

Photo: Serenity J.

Cracked is a comedy website that publishes lists of obscure facts, info-graphics, and first person essays.

How To Apply:

All you have to do to write for them is sign up for an account, join their writer’s workshop and start pitching lists. Anyone can do this, regardless of their prior experience. You just have to have good ideas and be willing to try.

The editors are extremely picky (their words, not mine) and the site already has a huge archive of material. So, it may take some time to come up with something that will make it to the front page.

Don’t let that deter you! I’ve never pitched Cracked, but I am signed up for the Writer’s Workshop. From what I’ve observed, it’s a pretty positive environment. And there are always editors on hand to give writers feedback on their pitches.

Rate:

Writers are paid $150 for their first five lists. After that, it will go up to $250 per list. For that kind of money, definitely worth a sign-up!

Photo: Serenity J.

Valnetis a Canada-based media company that operates a family of twelve websites, known for their viral lists and news pieces. From my understanding, Screen Rant, CBR (Comic Book Resources) and The Richest, which all focus on different aspects of the TV/film world, are their most popular properties.

There are other websites that post about things like pregnancy and motherhood tips, travel roundups, video game news + more.

How To Apply:

There’s a “Write For Us” button at the bottom of each website. It will take you to their application page. Once there, fill in your name, location, and phone number. Then submit three article ideas and a writing sample.

A close friend of mine, who asked not to be named, used to write for Valnet. At the time of their hiring, their only writing experience was running a blog that covered topics that were similar to the website that they were applying for. Based on their samples, the hiring manager gave them the chance to write a test article, which led to them freelancing full-time.

Rate:

Unknown. But it’s my understanding that freelancing with Valnet can be a source of nice, part-time income.

Book Riot

Photo: Serenity J.

Book Riot is the “largest independent editorial book site” in North America. They publish book reviews, recommendations and think pieces. While they do have a full staff, their pool of contributors is made up of pros and non-pros. You could be among the non-pros.

How To Apply:

Book Riot has a contributor form, which you can access here, right on its website. It asks for your personal information, three books you recently read, two (unpublished) writing samples, and two pitches.

Your writing samples should reflect your ability to adapt to Book Riot’s content. Of the two pitches, one of them should fit into their Our Reading Lives series.

One last thing: Book Riot accepts/rejects and responds to new contributor applications on a quarterly basis (January, April, July and October). So you shouldn’t expect to get an immediate response back. That said, October is just around the corner. So there’s no better time than the present to apply!

Note: Book Riot also offers full-time positions, but there are none open at this time.

Rate:

Unknown

Bustle

Photo: Serenity J.

Bustle is a media company, under Bustle Media Group, that serves millennial women. They publish original interviews, episode recaps, book lists, personal essays + more.

How To Apply:

Head to their submissions page, where they’ve laid out the content they’re currently looking for. Next, locate the appropriate editor for the section you want to write for, then pitch them your idea.

If the editor likes it, they will usually respond within two weeks. If not, you can probably assume they have passed on your idea. If they do move forward, they may work with you to polish it further, then guide you through the drafting process.

There are also staff positions with Bustle and their other properties that require a more extensive writing/academic history. I encourage you to circle back around to these opportunities after you’ve published a few freelance pieces with them.

Rate:

From what I’ve found online, Bustle pays about $50/800 word essay.

Hello Giggles

Photo: Serenity J.

Hello Giggles hails itself as a positive, online community for millennial women. Think Bustle, but with a bubblier voice. It was founded by Zooey Deschanel, Molly McAleer, and Sophia Rossi.

Per their Masthead, they welcome reader contributions.

How To Apply:

Hello Giggles lists the kind of content that they accept on their contributor page. They’re “especially interested in personal essays and cultural criticism with unique and diverse points of view, LGBTQ perspectives, smart articles with original reporting, and illustrations.”

To pitch them, email your idea, along with a paragraph about who you are, to [email protected] If you have writing samples, you should include them. But they’re not mandatory. Writers without samples are encouraged to send over a full draft of their proposed article.

I have never written for Hello Giggles, but I have twice pitched them. Neither pitch was accepted, but I did receive an auto-prompt, letting me know they’d received my email.

Rate:

Hello Giggles’ rates aren’t clearly laid out on their website. However, Contently’s freelance rate database lists the pay as $75/reported piece.

These are just a few companies that I’ve observed to be receptive to new, burgeoning writers. I included only nationally recognized brands, to start. But later on, I will branch off into smaller, yet reputable websites that have a proven track record of paying their writers. (Because not everyone who says they pay actually do.)

  • Things To Remember:
  • No experience = no professionally published articles to send to your editor. But you should always have a few sample articles that showcase your writing strengths readily available. Even if an editor is willing to give new talent a chance, they will not hire you until they see how you string words and sentences together.
  • The online writing industry is constantly shifting and changing. And there’s just not enough time for editors to go over every single word you write. So, if you’re fortunate enough to land a job writing online, you should always strive to be a writer that editors love. This means meeting deadlines, minimizing grammar and spelling errors before sending off your final draft, and promoting your work online.

Hey guys, I’m a self-guided/taught freelance writer, copywriter and (soon-to-be) author who’s tried many avenues to make money writing. I decided to share some of my tips, tricks, and fails onThe Lucky Freelancer.

Check Out Our LATEST Posts:

We’re looking for writers. More info here.

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