In online writing, there are a few different pay structures that publishers use. Paying writers up front is one model, whereby a writer gets a set fee for each article, and nothing more. Residual pay is another, whereby a writer is paid percentage of the income that’s generated from the advertising on their pages. PPV (pay per view / visitor) is another, whereby writers are paid a certain amount for each visitor to a site.
I want to clarify that “up front” doesn’t mean “before the work is done” it means that you get paid in exchange for the article, rather than waiting until the article generates income for the site before being paid. When you write for up-front pay, you generally lose the right to repost your content elsewhere, or to edit your content after it’s published. You might not even see your name on the final piece.
Demand Studios pays up front $3-$80 per article. A very select few writers are eligible for $80 titles. Though the $20 – $35 articles are only available to a few, proven writers as well. The company pays twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays via PayPal. Some DS writers are able to bring in over $1000 a month. My best month ever was a little over $2500, one guy consistently brings in $5k. They used to have a new writer sign-on bonus of $25, but I’m not sure it’s still available.
HotelsByCity DOT NET is a really easy site to write for. Basically you’re writing about hotels. You have to visit the hotel website and fill in the details about their rooms, amenities, policies, etc and then read traveler’s reviews of the hotel and write a recommendation, either yes, no or 50/50. They pay $5 for each one. I used to do 20 of them a day and then I got burned out. The secret to productivity there is to pick a chain hotel and stick with it, their amenities and rooms will be the same across the chain. You need to use original wording on each one or you’ll get asked to rewrite. I had to clarify that this was dot net, because Demand Studios recently (Oct 2010) picked up hotelsbycity.com account, and pays writers $20 per writeup, with more stringent requirements, but an easier format and publishing tool.
Associated Content pays $1-$10 per article plus a revenue share that’s very very low in my opinion, perhaps they think the up front pay is worth it. I haven’t ever written for AC but I know a lot of women who are happy there, with hundreds of articles. I think their revenue share sucks, from what I’ve heard.
CloudCrowd works similar to Amazon Mturk Hits, except that Amazon pays out at $100 and cloud crowd pays daily. Also, on cloud crowd, you get paid for your recruits 3 levels down, so even when I don’t work, I get daily deposits into my paypal account. Sometimes, it’s a very silly amount, like 38 cents, but 38 cents a day over the course of a year is almost $140 and when you have 6 kids, $140 can be a new pair of shoes for each of them (seriously, I shop well)
PayPerPost allows you to get paid for publishing content on your own blog. I know a lot of moms who set up several niche blogs and use PayPerPost to supplement the income. (2010 update- There are actually more companies that do this and I worked with them a lot in September 2010- here are reviews of the companies that buy sponsored blog posts)
BrightHub pays $10 per article as well as $1 per relevant back-link you get
Textbroker pays up front, the rate varies by word, per your personal level of stars. I think most people I know on TB are 4 star writers. Every article has a word-count-range, anywhere from 100 words up to 800 (from what I’ve seen, though I’ve heard reports of longer ones) Here’s a tip, always get the most you can from each article. If you can make $2-$3, why on earth would you settle for $2? So write the max word count every time. The titles suck, the people hiring you and reviewing you barely speak English and their feedback/ review system sucks. Still, they pay. Twice a month, as long as you reach the minimum payout of $10.
Here are two more. I haven’t tried either of these, so I’m not sure what they’re like. Good luck:)
If I’m missing anything, please let me know via the comment section, I strive to make this site a valuable resource for moms who want to work from home and this question comes up ALL the time.
(This article was originally written 11-7-09, but I edited it on 10-17-09, so it would still be accurate – this industry changes a lot.)