I‘m sure you’ve seen a post like this before, but mine is different because I have actually registered and used these sites to write and make money. Or not make money. You’ll see what I mean as you read on…

As I continue to build my business, I decided to take advantage of my down time to figure out how I could get paid as a writer. As I continue to create my own literary masterpieces (like plays and screenplays and more books), I wanted to see if there was any truth to making money as a content writer or ghost blogger. Turns out I can. So can you. But it takes perseverance and curiosity; two things I think many lack when they set out to explore money making options on the web.

I started this process on November 23rd, 2016. Here’s the breakdown of five sites I’ve explored, and what my results were in the four weeks that followed.

I’ve listed them from best to worst, based on my experiences:

1) WriterAccess 

5 Freelance Websites That Pay(http://www.writeraccess.com/)
This is my favorite freelance writing site I’ve come across yet. In four weeks, I’ve made over $400 dollars writing press releases, blog posts, and website content. I’ve even done a few product descriptions. And you know what? I really enjoy it. In four short weeks, I have become a “solo writer” for an entertainer and another entrepreneur. That means they don’t release their jobs to the general pool of writers on the site, but directly to me. I love that. The potential I see is this site is pretty cool, too.

The more clients that choose me as a solo writer, the more opportunity I have to make decent money. This last week, I’ve made more than any other week because of those solo jobs. ($200 of the $400). This shows me the potential if I stay and continue to write. I check for jobs, and take only the ones I have interest in. Of all the sites I’ve personally explored (and I’ve looked at several), this one pays the best out of all of them. 

The only caveat is that you have to be willing to take the time to fill out an extensive application. And it is quite extensive. But they want high-quality writers. I’ve decided to carve some time out to continue to write for this site. Having that extra cash has been nice.


2)  Zerys

5 Freelance Websites That Pay(http://www.zerys.com/)
This site isn’t too bad. They pay isn’t the greatest, therefore I choose to be particular about what I write. I’ve written very short blog posts (150-200 words) and have earned $30 dollars in the past four weeks. Why have I earned so little, you ask? Because the majority of clients on this site want a lot of content for very little pay.

This seems to be a trend with these kinds of freelance sites. I’ve seen offers to write a 1,500-word blog post for $7. Some writers take it, but I don’t. No thanks. I’ll write those little ones for a whopping $2.80 – $4.80 because they literally take me 15 minutes.

The application process isn’t too bad on this one, either. Thanks to the extensive application WriterAccess wanted, I have everything I need to copy and paste into freelance sites like this one. But I won’t be spending a heck of a lot of time on Zerys because of the wishy-washy pay.


3) iWriter 

5 Freelance Websites That Pay(http://www.iwriter.com/)
Okay, I tried to love this site. I tried. But now I want to stab it in the eye. This site works in tiers: You start as a Standard writer and can graduate to a Premium writer and then to an Elite Writer.

The pay as an Elite writer isn’t horrible, but you have to jump through fiery hoops and cross deathly, snake-ridden jungles to get there. Standard writers make $1.01 per 100 words. That’s awful. To move out of this lowly place and become a second tier writer (Premium), you have to have a minimum of 30 reviews and a 4-star rating.

That means you have to continue to write for peanuts and ask for reviews along the way. If you don’t want to do this, you can pay iWriter $147 dollars to bump you up a tier. After you buck up, you are required to write three articles for them to approve. And while bumping up might look pleasing because some clients will pay $28 dollars for a 500-word blog post, I just don’t know if I would pay out. Actually, I know I wouldn’t.

So far, in the past four weeks, I’ve made $3.66. I’ve written a total of six pieces. Three were rejected. Three were accepted. For the record, I’ve not been rejected at all on the first two sites, which goes to show how “tough” the clients are on iWriter. Not only is the pay horrible, but in the writing directions where clients offer $1.01 for 100 words, they write nasty things like, “THIS MUST BE EXACT OR I WILL REJECT YOUR ARTICLE AND GIVE YOU A POOR RATING.”
Pfft. Whatever. Bye.


4) Writopedia

5 Freelance Websites That Pay(http://writopedia.org/)
I cannot figure this site out. I just can’t. Not only will it not let me upload my headshot (it constantly gives me a
Server Error/Application message), it won’t let me put in my desired pay. It takes me to the same Server Error/Application message every time I try.

This tells me the site might be bid-based, and I personally have no interest in a bidding war. To add insult to injury, I have NO IDEA how to even begin finding content to write. I have clicked on every word and image in every corner of this site and I find nothing. I just can’t figure it out and I no longer want to. After swearing and slamming my head on my desk, I went downstairs and ate a handful of sugar cookies. I instantly felt better.


5) UpWork 

5 Freelance Websites That Pay(https://www.upwork.com/)
This is a bid site. I know, I know, I just said I had no interest. But I wanted to find sites that were legit so I could share this information with you. I registered and spent two days looking at jobs. The pay they offer makes me angry. If you are a writer, you deserve to be paid.

These clients are offering $60 dollars to write ten 1,000 page blog posts. TEN. That makes me sad, especially because someone out there is going to accept this job. I give this one thumbs down. If you have success here, share your secrets. My head hurts from banging it on the desk so much.

I’ve explored many more sites, like Skyword and Freelancer.com. I haven’t been offered any work from Skyword, and Freelancer.com is just as bad (if not worse) than UpWork.

I’ve been a freelance writer for close to 10 years. I get paid decent, I think, for a 500-600 word article ($150- $175), so it’s difficult for me to accept a job that wants to pay me a measly $5 for the same number of words. I also realize that many that accept these low paying jobs are in other countries where this pay rate is acceptable. But I don’t find it acceptable, so I choose to skip over those offers.

I did this research so I could create this blog post and encourage those that are looking to make money with their prose to respect what they do enough to say no to ridiculously low paying jobs.

I also wanted to show you that when you do choose to apply to any of these sites (like WriterAccess), that you have to be willing to put in the time if you want to see results. I’ve shared the WriterAccess site with a few people that were interested, but they never followed through because of what it took to be accepted. When I asked why, they said they wanted to make some extra money, but didn’t want to put in the effort to get there. That mindset fascinates me.

I hope this post has served you. Feel free to share your own personal experiences with these sites or any others.


Joleene Moody is a former television reporter and anchor turned freelance writer, blogger, and speaker, based in Central New York.
(No, not New York City. Not even close. 🙂
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