Types of Online Jobs in Writing

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Looking for online jobs in writing and you don’t know where to begin? I get that. When I first decided that I wanted to supplement my income by writing online, I had no clue where to begin either.

I remember spending hours looking at search result after search result trying to find the solution. So, fast-forward 3 years to now where I’ve decided to make it easy for you.

Here you will find 5 types of online writing jobs that pay you to write online. And, I’ve done them all.

online writing jobs that pay

Content Mills

I know- you’re probably wondering what a content mill is. It’s a website that specializes in content writing services. The website acts like a go-between for clients wanting website content and writers wanting to write.

The Process

The process is simple:

  • You sign up with the website (This usually requires submitting a writing sample)
  • The website approves you and assigns you a level
  • Search for content jobs that have been submitted by clients (We’re talking about blog posts, here)
  • Accept the job
  • Write the content and submit
  • The client either accepts the content or asks for revision
  • You get paid– typically once a week

The Good and The Bad

What’s good about content mills? Most beginning online writers use this as a stepping stone. It’s a good place to get your feet wet and build your writing skills.

What’s not so good about content mills? First of all, the pay per word is usually low. That’s because these websites take their Writing for Content Millscut of what they charge the clients.

That’s why they are called content mills by so many. Writers crank out tons of content for minimal pay.

Even more, you don’t even get recognized for the content. You can’t use it to build your portfolio, which every online writer needs as proof.

Is it all that bad? No, I’ve found some great content jobs on content mills.

Yes, when I first became an online writer, I worked the content mills like Textbroker. And, I made good money that I used to supplement my income.

Personal Experience

Honestly, I still do at times when I have down time. I find that it challenges my writing skills to write for someone else in an area outside of my niche.

And, I have friends that supplement their fiction writing by writing for content mills. They spend a few hours a day doing that, and then the remainder of their working hours is for writing fiction. It works for them.

Hey, content mills may work for you. I just know that, for me, I wanted to write in my own name. That’s part of the appeal of online writing for me. I wanted credit for what I write.

Freelance Writing

Ultimately, most people that start out as online writers find themselves eventually becoming a freelance writer.

Basically, you will be writing content for someone else, but you get paid better. And, most often, you get credit for what you write (if you ask client first).

Why is that? As a freelance writer, you are self-employed and running your own business. Clients hire you outright to write content for them.

Freelance Writing

Why do they hire you? It’s based on your reputation as a freelance writer. To establish your reputation, you build your portfolio with samples of your best work. This highlights your strengths as a writer.

Also, most likely, you’ll want to own a website so that potential clients can find you. After all, you’re an online writer, so your presence needs to be online. Sure, you can make do with a Facebook page, but you’ll get more traffic by owning a website and running a blog. Incidentally, your blog can highlight your writing skills.

What You Can Write as a Freelancer

What kind of content can you write as a freelancer? Yes, you’ll probably write more online content and blog posts. But, you can also write sales copy, white papers, newsletters, emails, magazine articles, and even ebooks.

Pretty much, you will write whatever clients want written that they don’t want to write themselves. And, you can even find yourself writing for repeat clients. Even better, you will want to find a few clients that will put you on retainer to write for them.

Once again, it’s building that level of trust in your online writing business. It’s way better to build up a strong client, reliable client base than having to hustle to find clients.

Finding Clients

How do you find clients?

There’s several ways: freelance websites, job boards, and cold pitching.

Freelance websites run sort of like content mills, but better. Clients post jobs they want done. You bid on the job based on what you’re willing to get paid (and the client’s proposed budget) and how long it will take you to complete the job. Once awarded the job, you complete the assignment according to the client’s requirement. Once completed and accepted, you get paid according to the website’s policy.

For me, freelance websites was a step up from content mills. I spent an entire year pulling jobs from websites like Upwork. Yes, I was able to make a reliable, solid income from this source.

Again, it was the lack of owning my intellectual property. Yes, the original concept was the clients. But, the finished product was my ideas, and I didn’t get to keep them.

Unfortunately, the same holds true for most gigs on job boards like Contena or with cold pitching. It’s the reality of freelance writing. You’re writing somebody else’s content, and they own it. Now, you’ll find some clients that will let you add your byline, but most own the content outright.

Oh well, that’s the life of a freelancer.


Ghostwriting is kind of like freelancing, yet it’s different in a few ways.

So how’s it like freelancing? Well, just like freelancing, the client puts their name on the content. And, you definitely can’t use it in your portfolio. Most often, you have to sign a non-disclosure agreement. The client doesn’t want anyone to know they didn’t write it.

How’s it different? Ghostwriting usually applies to longer pieces of content like ebooks.

For example, I’ve ghostwritten 10 ebooks on Kindle for different clients. Right now, I can search for the title of the ebook and find the client as the author. That’s because they own the content.

They paid me per word to write it for them. Then, they listed it on Kindle in their name.

I made a one-time fee for writing it, and they make continual royalties.

That’s how ghostwriting works.

Yes, I can make good money ghostwriting. But, I can’t tell anybody about what I wrote. I’m a ghost. Actually, I’m a ghostwriter. I still do it sometimes for clients that I’ve written for in the past. Since they want another ebook from me, I’m able to negotiate a higher price because of demand.

Affiliate Marketing

Now, we get to something that I can finally own as my own.

Affiliate marketing is where you create content to promote someone else’s products or services. You attract visitors, and when they purchase something, you make a commission.

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It’s that simple. Or, is it? Yes, the process is simple. But, actually getting someone to make the purchase is where skill comes into play. You have to have strong internet marketing skills. There’s a learning curve.

For example, you can be an affiliate marketer by owning your own website or blog or without one through Pinterest. You can also promote affiliate products through an email list. But, you first have to have an email list.

No matter how you choose to promote affiliate products, the content you create to do so is your own content. That’s write you own the content.

For example, I own this website. And, yes, I’m an affiliate marketer. I use this website to promote products that I receive a commission from when you purchase them.

Just, not in this post. I wrote this post solely to inform you.

And, I love owning my own website. Matter of fact, I own a couple.

That’s write- two websites in two different niches that make me money.

And, I love it. I mean, I love creating my own content. Okay, I love the money, too. But, I really loved writing this post.

It’s my words on my website. I can show it to people, and say, “I wrote that!”

Way better- I feel pride in knowing that I have my own business that supports my family.

And, I work for myself.

How did I learn to do it? I learned affiliate marketing from Wealthy Affiliate. For more about Wealthy Affiliate’s affiliate marketing training, read my Wealthy Affiliate review here.

Selling Your Own Digital Products

There are several ways that you can sell your own digital products. And, there are several products you can sell.

For example, you can sell printables, such as checklists or how-to guides. The idea of printables came from craft sites that sold downloadable patterns and designs.

Teachers sell printables, as well. In fact, that’s what I sell on another website- lesson plans and worksheets teachers can use in their classroom.

If that’s not enough, you can write ebooks to sell on Kindle or Smashwords. Or, you can design downloadable content to sell on Clickbank. Finally, you can design online courses in your niche that include downloadable content.

Of course, you can sell your own products from your own website using content you write to attract traffic. Or, you can sell them through the websites mentioned above.

What matters is that you’re creating your own products to sell through your own writing. It’s your property to sell. You get the credit. You keep the bulk of the money minus any costs of production.

Most importantly, you’re writing for yourself.

The Types of Online Jobs in Writing You Choose

Whatever types of online jobs in writing you choose is simply a matter of choice.

You could solely rely on one method. Or, you could choose multiple methods to increase your income streams.

Personally, that’s what I do. I make money from multiple sources. But, in the end, it’s all writing.

I made a choice 3 years ago to become an online writer, and I haven’t looked back. It was the solution to my problems.

At first, it was to supplement my income. Eventually, I was able to move into online writing full time.

And over that time, I’ve been a content mill writer, freelance writer, ghostwriter, affiliate marketer with my own website, and sold my own products.

No matter which path I’ve chosen, I’ve made money from online writing.

Which path will you choose? Are you ready to start today?

If my post helped you, please share it with others so it can help them, too.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. I’m glad to converse with others who want to become online writers.

Best of luck to you and better days ahead,



online jobs in writing

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