10 Websites that Pay Writers 50 Cents Per Word

When I started researching and publishing lists of publications that pay writers, around five years ago, the decent paying markets where still heavily skewed toward print publications. At the time, it was much easier to find print magazines that paid professional rates. It was much more difficult to find websites that paid decently.

Times have changed. Online publications have managed to build large audiences, and successful businesses that can support higher pay for writers. It is still difficult to earn a living as a freelance writer, but I have observed a gradual increase in pay over the last year.

There are more and more website editors openly advertising higher rates of pay, and putting more effort on recruiting writers. It seems to me that the transition away from print publications and to online publications is becoming viable for both writers and publishers.

The following is a list of ten websites that, according to our research, pay fifty cents per word for the writing they publish. Keep in mind that payment rates are not set in stone, and may need to be negotiated.

Also, if you are new to freelance writing, and not confident with your pitching, please do not send a pitch without reading this first.

  1. Patch is “a network of hyperlocal websites covering community news in 1,000+ towns across America.” They want pitches for narrative features (1,000 to 2,000 words) about New York City. They are actively seeking diverse voices. They also encourage pitches from young reporters and journalism students. They pay 50 cents per word. To learn more, refer to this Twitter post.
  2. FiveThirtyEight is a website that uses statistical analysis to cover elections, politics, economics, science, sports, life, and culture. Payment reports indicate that they pay up to $0.50 per word. To contact them, refer to this page.
  3. Heated is a food publication from Mark Bittman (a food journalist, author, and television personality) and Medium (an online publishing platform). Their “goal is to showcase the links between food and just about everything else: agriculture, politics, history, and labor; culture and cooking; identity, family, and love.” They are actively seeking pitches. According to one payment report, they paid $0.83 per word for a 1200-word feature. To learn more, visit this page.
  4. SevenFifty Daily is an online magazine that covers “the business and culture of the beverage alcohol industry.” They want pitches that appeal to one of their “three audience segments: buyers (retail/somm), distributors, or suppliers (importers/producers).” They publish a mix of shorter (400 to 600 words) and longer (over 1,000 words) stories. Their rates start at around $0.50 per word. For details, read their pitch guidelines.
  5. Prism is a nonprofit that is working in tandem with Daily Kos. They elevate “stories, ideas, and solutions from leaders, thinkers, and activists whose voices are critical to a reflective democracy.” They are seeking pitches for articles, essays, and op-eds. They pay 40 cents per word. They are also seeking comics, graphic stories, or other illustrated work, for which they pay $150 to $500. Details here.
  6. Wine-Searcher is a website that offers information on wines. It is a place where users can find and compare wine prices, keep up with wine news, and learn about wine regions and grape varieties. According to one payment report, they paid $0.50 per word for a 1,000-word feature. To contact them, visit this page.
  7. Mel is a lifestyle and culture magazine that is committed to producing content that men care about e.g. their bodies, mental health, jobs, money, sex lives, relationships, digital personas and entertainment. They publish features and essays of 1,500 to 3,500 words. Payment reports suggest that they pay up to $0.50 per word. To find out more, visit this page.
  8. NextTribe is a digital magazine for smart and bold women who want to “age boldly (not oldly).” Their mission is to “offer information and inspiration with a healthy dose of irreverence for women over 45.” They pay $0.25 to $0.50 per word for their feature stories (of 700 to 1,000 words), and $50 for their Hot Flash section’s short articles (of 250 words or less). To learn more, refer to the submission guidelines for feature stories and guidelines for Hot Flash.
  9. Taste is an online magazine for those who love to cook at home. They are looking for original recipes, reported stories (500 to 2,000 words), concise guides for the home kitchen, chef and cookbook author profiles that have a home cooking angle, photo essays, shopping guides, opinion pieces, and colorful stories from unique home kitchens. According to payment reports, they pay up to $0.60 per word. To pitch, visit this page.
  10. Hakai Magazine is an online magazine that “explores science, society, and the environment from a coastal perspective.” They are based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The length of stories and commentary in their “news & views” section is 300 to 800 words. While, the length of narratives, essays, profiles, and investigative pieces in their “features” section is 1,000 to 5,000 words. Payment reports indicate that they pay up to $0.60 per word. According to Hakai magazine’s website, they have a “modest travel budget and all expenses must be approved in advance.” To learn more, read their submission guidelines.


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