9 Simple Ways Writers Can Find Paying Web Markets

Please help me welcome the awesome Pinar Tarhan to the blog today, for an awesome guest post that’s packed full of cool resources for web content writers who want to get paid (that’s all of you, right??).

I love writing for the web. Really. I mean, what’s not to love? It is fast, interactive, concise and fun. You usually need to use a friendly tone; and editors often encourage you to get personal, deriving from your own life to relate to your audience.

It’s not just the writing style that I love, though.  Researching your market is easy, fast and usually free. An online publication’s previous issues are on the net for your familiarization. Oh, and you no longer need to deal with SASE, or wait for your mail to be delivered (though there are few web markets that don’t accept e-mail submissions.) And most web editors aren’t crazy about phone calls either. I don’t know about you, but I belong to the group of writers that cringe at the possibility of a phone pitch, or a query follow-up.

Not to mention, most online markets are more open to new writers. There is a “Show me what you’ve got” attitude rather than the “Let’s talk after your portfolio gets impressive” wall.

But of course, like most cool things, there’s a catch.

We don’t have one really comprehensive go-to collection for paying web markets. There’s no web markets equivalent of Writer’s Market- a resource most writers happily use and recommend.   It’s up to us to do the digging.

The good news is we can make our own gigantic and ever-growing list that we keep updating as we go along. Below are 9 simple ways of finding web markets:

1. Checking the publishing credits of other writers

The “as seen on” part on the main page of writer websites and their portfolios are great places to start.

There’s a chance you’ll find at least a handful of markets new to you. For instance I found out about Write Your Revolution through fellow writer Glori Surban’s former writer website.

2. Checking writer comments on web articles

I discovered Glori Surban’s website through her comment on Carol Tice’s Make a Living Writing blog, a publication I read regularly.

If you find that you liked what a fellow writer said, just head to his or her website. While it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll find markets, you might meet a writer you want to stay in touch with. After all, writers are the best people to talk to about freelance writing careers.

And this site might have even serve as a beneficial resource on writing or another niche.

3. Checking writer bylines

Most paying web publications include a small writer bio at the end of the article with a link or two, usually to their website and social media accounts.  Some writers tend to leave links to their other online work as well, so heading over to those websites can result in new markets.

4. Asking other writers

Most writers are supportive and want to help.

Since I read Susan Johnston’s book “The Urban Muse Guide to Online Writing Markets” (no longer available) and I interact with her on her website, she didn’t mind telling me her sources of web markets: Freelance Success (paid, with a free trial) and Media Bistro (free job listings and articles).

Media Bistro also offers a paid membership called AvantGuild which is great for writers who want to write for web and print markets. AvantGuild includes a “how to pitch” article series that details what editors of that publication exactly want.

I haven’t tried the paid version of Freelance Success yet, but the free trial gives you insight into what some markets paid for which assignments, what writers have experienced with that publication and so forth. They also present markets in varied categories such as websites, consumer magazines, book markets and so on.

5. Checking the free and paid e-books prepared by fellow writers

In addition to Susan Johnston’s affordable e-book ($17.99), I have Sophie Lizard’s free e-book “The Ultimate List of Better-Paid Blogging Gigs: 75 Blogs That Will Pay You $50 or More.”

When you are on a website that you find useful, don’t neglect the offerings of the owner. Most e-mail subscriptions come bearing gifts. Writers also list books that they have written, as well as other resources they recommend.

6. Going through free market listings

Websites on writing typically feature posts or sections that cover a list of markets in different niches. Some of these sites are paying markets themselves:

  • Women on Writing (WOW) has an archives section on the left on its main page. If you browse through it, you’ll see the markets heading. You can occasionally catch posts with market lists, too.  You can also pitch to WOW. Published articles pay from $50 to $150. The guidelines are listed on the contact page.
  • Angela Hoy’s Writers Weekly e-zine lists a combination of web and print markets in its forum and it is also a web market itself. Its guidelines are listed here. The best thing about it, however, is that if your target market has been reported as not having paid its writers, it is likely to be covered by the e-zine.

The more you look, the more you’ll find.

7. Following links on your favorite resources

I often run into new markets when I follow the links on the blogs that I’m subscribed to. It’s a double benefit: I get informed about the niche, and find new markets.

For instance, I read Wealthy Web Writer Review: A Premium Course for Online Writers, which led to the Wealthy Web Writer website that is a resource for writers and had a write-for-us page.

So you follow the links on your favorite blog articles. While you are at it, why not check out the entire site for suggestions?

There might be posts, blog rolls, webinars, mini-courses…

Writers don’t like to put their hard-earned credibility on the line, so if a recommendation is coming from a writer you trust, at least take a look. Especially if the resource is free. I am not saying don’t buy products, but you shouldn’t underestimate the quality of an offering because it is free.

8. Googling

Google search might not always give you what you need, but it can still be productive if done the right way.

For instance when I typed “pay per word online writing markets,” I got to a WOW post that listed slogan writing markets.

I got to a lot more markets, both web and print. One list post was Wanderlust for Tangoing Divas: 10 Publications for Female Travel-Writers that introduced me to some unfamiliar markets.

You can mix and match terms, such as “your niche” and writing markets/online markets/paying markets…

But I realized that looking for websites that pay for guest posts bring better results that most phrases. Guest posting can be a very efficient marketing strategy when done right, and the fact that you get paid for it as a lovely perk.

The things to watch out when using search engines are:

  1. Google isn’t your only friend. Sometimes what Google spreads over 5 pages can be found on the first page on Bing or Yahoo, saving you a lot of time.
  2. You’ll come across a lot of list articles. Get ready to do some digging.
  3. Experiment with different relevant phrases, and re-search after some time. Fresh resources are added all the time.
  4. Don’t just try the first 2 pages. Not all great articles are effectively adjusted for SEO. That being said, don’t try to go beyond the 8th page either.

9. Checking for “writer’s guidelines” or “write for us” pages on websites

I was reading about brand extension on a site when I realized they were accepting queries. Of course you need to e-mail the publication and ask directly what their terms are if payment, word-count, etc. weren’t mentioned.

Just because they have submission guidelines doesn’t mean that they pay writers (as horrible and illogical as that sounds.)

Using these methods form a virtuous cycle, leading to an ever-growing list of markets. Then it is up to the writer to study the market, find ideas and send queries.

Yes, these methods take some researching, connecting with fellow writers, bookmarking like a crazy (yet systematic) person and reading between the lines (links). But it’s much more efficient than waiting for market- listing publishers to wake up, smell the coffee and collect our markets for us.

How about you? What are your favorite ways of finding paying web markets?

Pinar Tarhan is a freelance writer and blogger who loves writing about a variety of topics including freelancing, writing, career management, entertainment and relationships. She runs the writing blog Addicted to Writing where she helps fellow writers have a career through writing about what they love. You can follow her on Twitter @zoeyclark.




Glori Surban

Super duper thank you for the mention Pinar! 🙂

And it’s so true what you said/wrote about following links. I’m one of those people who click on commenters’ and author bio links a lot. (Click addict?) Great to hear I’m not the only one.

Also, I guess if you’ve been freelancing long enough, you’ll get used to the how most website navigation works. You’ll know what to look for when you’re looking for opportunities.

Just to add a few more tips…
1. Have a special email account for subscriptions and comments. I’m not really a fan of readers and prefer to get updated via email. (I get exclusive content through it too, like guest post/paid offers!) But sometimes, if we only use one email for all business correspondence and subscriptions, it can get really crowded. So set up one or use an old email specifically for this purpose.

2. When looking for writing opportunities on websites or blogs (and the site owner didn’t set up a specific “Guest Post” page, look at the top navigation bar, the footer, the contact page, or the about page. I’m 80% sure the info on guest posting will be located in any of these pages.

Sophie Lizard

This is a fantastic resource post, Pinar! Thanks for the mention, and for the other interesting links (there are at least 3 there that I’m about to scroll up and click).

I also pay $50 for guest posts at Be A Freelance Blogger, so feel free to pitch me. I’ve read quite a few of your posts on a range of blogs I love, which gives me confidence that you’ll deliver something awesome for my own blog.

And that’s another way to find paying web markets – write excellent blog posts for respected sites, and the paying markets will find you to make you an offer like I just did. 🙂

Pinar Tarhan

Hi Glori,
Thanks for commenting:)
1) You are so right. I created a third e-mail just for some e-mail courses and blog updates. I have one for friends and one other for work. It makes things much easier. Though more inboxes than 3 would probably decrease productivity: )

2) Also great tips. I look everywhere. Sometimes I even check if the website is run by a team. Then I can even ask the editor/owner what it takes to be a team member; if the team members are freelancers. One such editor said he was glad that I asked, he’d keep me in mind and it was great to contact with other writers. It’s all about being polite, professional and sincere.

Pinar Tarhan

Hi Sophie,

Glad to have you as a commenter: )
Did I forget to mention that your blog was also a paying market? Sorry about that. I’m working on a sequel post on my blog about great sites that pay for guest posts and naturally you are on that list.:)
And thanks so much for the vote of confidence. Trust me I started brainstorming when you announced you were accepting guest posts.: )

[…] As freelance writers, we have a special gift: we listen to our clients and transform their needs into engaging copy to enchant a wider audience and profit all of us.  Hunting down these jobs takes time and attention to detail. Pinar Tarhan has a great post up on finding legit, paying web markets on this very blog, titled, “9 Simple Ways Writers Can Find Paying Web Markets.” […]

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