1. Quick Summary
  2. What are the Best Writing Side Hustles You Can Try Today?
  3. Key Takeaways
  4. Is Freelance Writing Work Hard to Do?
  5. Writing Marketplaces
  6. Greeting Cards
  7. Short Stories and Magazine Articles
  8. Medical Writing and Academic Writing
  9. Frequently Asked Questions
  10. Writing Side Hustles that Earn You Money

So, you want to quit your job and write full-time. This is not a fantasy dream because it can be done. All it takes is focus and using the right platforms to find jobs. There are thousands of writing jobs available in any one hour, day, or week. The best part is that there are many types of writing side hustles to choose from.

Apart from writing your own blog, there are various ways to earn some money writing articles and that's what I'll be discussing today.

What are the Best Writing Side Hustles You Can Try Today?

There are many options for writing side hustles, including freelance writing sites (Upwork, Fiverr), content mills (Textbroker, Verblio), greeting card ideas ($50-300 per accepted idea), short stories for magazines ($50-250 per story), and medical/academic writing (CrowdPharm).

Key Takeaways

  • Popular writing side hustles include freelance marketplaces (Upwork, Fiverr), content mills (Textbroker, Verblio), and magazines/books (Writer's Digest, Chicken Soup for the Soul).

  • Freelance marketplaces allow you to bid on jobs, while content mills assign you work for low pay.

  • Magazines like Grain pay $50-250 for stories, while Chicken Soup pays $250 plus free books.

  • Medical/academic writing sites like CrowdPharm and Kolabtree require expertise.

Is Freelance Writing Work Hard to Do?

Freelance writing work isn’t hard to do, but it can be hard work to find clients. A freelance writer must have good time management skills and the ability to find new jobs. 

It also helps if you find a niche you can specialize in or a type of writing you enjoy doing. Since some criticism is involved, you should have a thick skin.

Whether you’re a beginner or an old pro, finding the right writing jobs can be challenging. That's why we've put together a list of places you can apply for writing jobs. Some are writer job boards, but we also threw in some clients you can contact directly.

Writing Marketplaces

Some platforms host clients looking to hire freelance writers. With some, you propose to the client on a project-by-project basis, while with others, clients choose you. These boards or platforms can be a lucrative way to earn money.

1. Upwork

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Upwork is free to join. All you must do is set up a profile and then search for work. Clients post jobs, and you and other writers propose your services to them. Sometimes, the client will tell you a price, but often, they'll ask for your price. 

This can sometimes create a bid-type situation among writers for the same client.

Many writers have gone on to have a lucrative freelance writing career with Upwork; it's one of the most popular freelance platforms.

One downside is that Upwork takes a ten percent service fee on the money you earn from clients.

This is overall a great freelance writing side hustle you can opt for If you are bored with your current job.

2. Fiverr

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Starting with Fiverr is easy; you set a profile and describe your services. Services are referred to as "gigs" on the site.

You create packages with pricing tiers. Having multiple packages helps you draw clients. For example, you may have a package for a low fee of $25. 

Then you could add services for a larger price. Or you may price an individual article higher than if the client bought a bundle.

Fiverr has two downsides. It attracts budget-conscious clients, so you may need to lower your rates in the beginning until you acquire positive reviews. Another con is the service fee that Fiverr charges.

3. Guru

Guru operates like Upwork. It’s free to sign up. All you must do is create a profile that showcases your skills and relevant experience.

You then search for jobs and apply to the ones that interest you. If your proposal is accepted, you communicate with the client and perform the job.

Guru charges the freelancer a nine percent commission on the price of the work.

4. Toptal

Toptal offers their clients technical freelance writing gigs. Toptal stands for Top Talent. Based on their process that’s just what they have on their platform.

There is a fairly rigorous screening process. It starts with language and personality. They look for language and communication through an interview and assess personality traits. They're looking for candidates with a passion for their work.

The second phase is testing each applicant’s technical knowledge and problem-solving ability. Only candidates with exceptional results advance.

The third phase is an extensive screening. 

They provide specific live exercises looking for:

  • Problem-solving ability.
  • Depth of experience.
  • Communication ability.
  • Creativity.

During the fourth phase, applicants are assigned test projects. These projects take one to three weeks.

Toptal claims only three percent of applicants pass the screening process.

When clients need technical writing, Toptal provides them with a list of profiles, and the client chooses who they want to work with.

It is said that Toptal writers make anywhere from $30,000 to $200,000 per year.

5. Scripted

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Scripted is a competitive platform. It hires only two percent of applicants. Once accepted as a writer, you set your rates. Most Scripted rates average ten cents a word.

When clients post jobs, you have the opportunity to respond with a proposal. You are paid when the client accepts the article. However, the client can reject an article, in which case you receive partial payment.

It is not free to apply to Scripted; you pay $19. This goes to the employees who evaluate applications and the “testing partner”.

But ultimately, Scripted promises a one-time $50 bonus.

Even If you are an account or a therapist, you can try these marketplaces to earn some extra money for yourself.

6. Job Boards

Job boards allow you to choose individual clients without going through a third party.

There is a list of clients with their job descriptions. You then read the descriptions and decide to apply. You don’t have to pay a fee. Some of these job boards include:

Freelance writers who go freelance writing job boards and find various clients from various industries. These include:

  • Cannabis
  • Celebrity related
  • Health and fitness
  • Crime & horror
  • eCommerce
  • Grant writing

Each client provides different parameters with different pricing.

7. Content Mill

Known as a content farm or writer's mill, a content mill produces large amounts of content for clients. Content mills provide various written content, including:

  • Blogs
  • Web pages
  • Reviews
  • Tutorials
  • Social media posts

Content mills have a group of writers to whom they assign articles. Content mills often pay low rates to writers but offer a lot of work.

8. Contently

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Contently connects writers with clients. But unlike sites like Upwork or Fiverr, the writers don’t have to bid against each other. This means prices aren’t pushed downward. Instead, Contently establishes a price for each piece and then offers the job to a writer who is qualified to complete the work. 

You’ll need to register and post a profile. It will ask you for links to past work. Once you’ve completed this, the site’s editors evaluate your qualifications and determine if you’re qualified to write for their clients.

The editors will contact you with an offer if you are chosen.

Although not all the jobs are high paying, they are reasonable. You’ll receive the full scope of the project so you can determine if the pay is worth the work.

The pay range for Contently is $570 to $1,400 for a 400-to-700-word article. However, this price depends on the type and number of sources.

If you are an introvert who doesn’t like to speak much, this is a great opportunity to make extra money without talking with someone.

9. Express Writers

Express Writers is a content development company. They enter into contracts with clients and share a portion of the proceeds with the writer.

Applying is a little complicated. They require:

  • Basic application
  • Resume writing
  • Samples
  • English tests
  • SEO tests
  • Spelling and grammar tests

Topics or articles are assigned to you; you don’t choose. You can refuse an article, but this should be a rare occurrence, especially in the beginning.

You don’t have any content with the client. Instead, all work is done through a team leader. You also don’t know how much the client is paying.

Payment is around one cent per word.

10. Textbroker

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You sign up with Textbroker using the author registration form. They ask several grammar questions and request writing samples. If you’re a newbie, you can choose a topic you're familiar with, but you'll need to write at least 200 words.

Textbroker editors rate your sample within a few days. Your rating determines your payment.

Textbroker offers free writing resources, including:

  • Blogs
  • Tutorials
  • Videos

These will keep you up-to-date on writing trends.

Depending on your rating, you can earn from 1.1 cents to 5.5 cents per word. Once you have earned a minimum of ten dollars, you can request a payment, which is made weekly.

11. Verblio

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Verblio, formerly known as Blogmutt is another content mill.

Verblio offers clients two types of writing: hybrid content, which is AI-written with human editing, and human-only written content.

Writers don't need to compete against other writers or pitch clients. You choose an assignment by clicking the "Research" link and selecting from available assignments.

Assignments are paid by the word count, starting at $11.50 for a 300 to 400-word article.

Sometimes they are not open to applications, but they will take your name and email address for the waitlist.

12. occupies the middle ground between a traditional content mill and a freelance marketplace.

You don’t have to bid for jobs like you do with freelance marketplaces like Upwork. You also won’t have low compensation like you would with Textbroker.’s emphasis is on SEO performance. The types of jobs available include:

  • Blog writing
  • Marketing content writers
  • Ghostwriters
  • Social media writing
  • Scriptwriters

Only one percent of writers who apply are invited to join the team. Even when the writer is accepted the in-house editorial team regularly reviews their work and offers feedback. works more like an agency. It sends each order to one of its writers. Or they offer their clients a self-service plan where the client chooses the writer directly. The client then works with the writer. pays writers between ten to 14 cents per word. This is ten percent higher than the national average in the U.S. For example, a 500-word article would pay $50.

13. CrowdContent

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CrowdContent accepts all levels of writers. It's a good jumping-off point for new freelance writers. There are two ways to get work. One is the Freelance Writing Marketplace.

Freelance Writing Marketplace writers work directly with clients.

The second way to work is the Managed Content platform, where the writer works with an in-house editor and project manager. If you're a new writer, the Managed Content platform could be for you.

You choose assignments by signing into your account and claiming an order if they’re available to you. Availability is based on criteria from your account details and as set by clients.

You are then required to complete the order before the deadline.

Base rates for CrowdContent are 1.2 cents for one-star writers. Rates increase to 6.6 cents for four-star writers. There are also bonuses available.

14. WriterAccess

WriterAccess assesses you before hiring you as a freelance writer. They rate you based on your ability, which will determine how much you are paid. But the problem is, it's a one-and-done trial. You can't retake it. If you don't do well, you'll be stuck at low pay for a long time.

It takes a couple of weeks to receive approval.

WriterAcces clients place orders with writers using a pay-per-word order or a pay-per-order form. Once an order is reserved, the writer is expected to fulfill the order.

You can also write an article and submit it to the platform for sale.

Once a writer is approved with an initial star rating, they have full access. This includes:

  • Content orders
  • Idea orders
  • Casting calls

Pay is based on rating and includes three stars earning 2.8 cents to six stars earning seven cents per word.

There are other payment structures. You could be paid a flat rate, or you could set your own rate. Setting your own rate is called a Casting Call.

WriterAccess pays twice a month. They also have an on-demand payment plan, but that has a seven-dollar fee.

Greeting Cards

This one is a little on the whimsical side. But you can make a little extra cash if you have a knack for sweet sentiments. Submit your inspirational words to greeting card companies.

15. Avanti Press

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Avanti Press cards are upbeat and offbeat, with fun being taken seriously. They feature bold graphics and sassy verses. Avanti is printed in the U.S. and has a strong sustainability ethos.

Although they don’t always have openings, you can still contact them with ideas or message them.

16. Blue Mountain Arts

Blue Mountain Arts creates more than greeting cards they also sell:

  • Calendars
  • Gifts
  • Books

Blue Mountain Arts greeting cards encompass subjects like:

  • Love
  • Friendship
  • Family
  • Missing you
  • Other real-life subjects

Prose written on special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries are also cards they market. Blue Mountain Arts is looking for original and creative writing skills that don't mimic what has already been published.

They do not accept AI-generated or AI-assisted content. They also don't accept:

  • Religious verse
  • One-liners
  • Rhymed poetry

They also accept seasonal submissions.

Blue Mountain Arts pays $300 per poem for the exclusive publication on a greeting card worldwide. They pay $50 per poem for one-time use in a book.

17. Comstock MarketPlace

Comstock MarketPlace is an adult humor greeting card company. They are not looking for pretty poems or sweet verse. They are looking for gag lines.

They are looking for funny adult humor verses. They also have a premier gay line for which they want humorous content.

Ideas are mailed to Comstock on a 3 x 5 index card. The best way to be accepted is to have the written content as well as an image concept. For a returned item, you must include a self-addressed stamp envelope (SASE).

Allow eight to ten weeks for a response.

Payment for gag lines is $50 per idea.

18. Oatmeal Studios

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Oatmeal Studios is looking for humorous greeting card ideas that appeal to various interests and ages. Card ideas need to be written for several occasions, including:

  • Birthday
  • Milestone birthday
  • Relative birthday
  • Belated birthday
  • Get well
  • Anniversary
  • Thank you
  • Retirement

Oatmeal Studios will reject several types of prose, including:

  • Puns
  • Gross ideas
  • Mean ideas
  • Lengthy poetry
  • Narrowly focused ideas (i.e., new baby for quintuplets)

You’ll need to indicate outside or inside of the card. You can email your ideas or snail mail.

Payment is $100 per purchased idea.

Short Stories and Magazine Articles

Many online and print magazines need content. Many magazines will pay for:

  • Short stories
  • Helpful tips
  • Jokes
  • Poems

These magazines only pay for submissions if the work is published.

19. Grain Magazine

Grain Magazine is published four times a year. It is a literary journal. Before submitting any work to Grain, they recommend you read one of their publications.

They only open up for submission from September 15 to June 15. Any work submitted outside of this period will be automatically rejected.

Types of work considered include:

  • Poetry
  • Fiction
  • Literary nonfiction
  • Other

You can submit your work via mail or through Submittable. They don't accept emailed submissions. If you want your snail mail returned, you must include a SASE.

They don’t publish the same author twice in one year. And you can’t submit twice in one year. They also have a submission cap. Once reached it’s closed for the month and you’ll need to submit the next month.

No work generated or assisted by AI will be accepted.

Payment includes $50 per page up to $250 regardless of genre. You’ll also receive two copies of the issue where your work appears.

20. Writer’s Digest

Writer’s Digest will accept original pitches or completed manuscripts on spec.

A query should be sent to Writer's Digest that includes:

  • An outline.
  • Highlights of each point you intend to make.
  • How the article will benefit the reader.
  • Why you’re the appropriate writer to address the reader.

They will also need a brief bio and your writing credentials.

Allow two to four months for a response.

Payment for manuscripts is 50 cents per word. They will pay you 25 percent of the original price if they want to reprint anything you've written.

21. Guide

Guide is a weekly Christian story magazine for readers aged ten to fourteen.

Each issue has three to four true stories. The guide doesn’t publish:

  • Fiction
  • Poetry
  • Articles
  • Devotionals

Each piece should involve a clear spiritual element. Standard featured lengths are 850 words, but they will accept 450-word stories. Types of stories accepted include:

  • Adventure
  • Inspiration
  • Biography
  • Nature
  • Personal growth
  • Christian humor

The guide will also run a two to 12-part series with each chapter’s length of about 1,200 words. It should have a degree of spirituality throughout. Please query before submitting.

Upon acceptance of the first serial rights, payment is seven to ten cents per word.

22. Chicken Soup for the Soul

Chicken Soup for the Soul stories are inspirational, true stories. They focus on ordinary people having extraordinary experiences. They are personal stories filled with emotion and drama.

Chicken Soup stories are written in the first person, and the stories close with a punch that creates emotion.

Chicken Soup will accept poems that tell a story. They will not publish poems overly focused on rhyming and read like greeting cards.

Most accepted stories are published six months to two years after submission. Chicken Soup doesn’t send rejection letters. But if you haven’t heard before 60 days of the book’s on-sale date, you haven’t been accepted.

If your story is chosen, you will be notified by email.

The payment is $250 and will be sent to you one month after the book's publication. You will also receive ten free copies of the book.

23. Yes! Magazine

Yes! Magazine publishes original reported stories that elevate community-based solutions. They must promote freelance writing opportunities for systematic change.

You can pitch ideas to the online version of Yes! The print version is directly assigned to their editorial team. If you are interested in writing for an upcoming issue, look for the most recent “Call for Submissions”, posted on their website.

Payment for print-reported articles is 50 cents per word.

24. Discover Magazine

Discover Magazine is both online and in print. They want stories that inform and excite readers about science. Although grounded in research stories must have:

  • Strong narratives
  • High reader interest
  • Conversation tone

To submit, you pitch an idea. Don't write the story when you pitch. You'll first need to explain your credentials and provide links to three scientific articles. You must also supply links to your portfolio or website.

Discover’s website,, wants short feature stories between 600 and 1,000 words. They can have a unique angle on current events or evergreen.

For Discover's print magazine, most columns are 1,200 words, but variations in count are decided by your editor.

There are several subjects to choose from, and each one has its own editor. Some subjects include:

  • History Lessons
  • The Itinerary (travel destinations)
  • Vital Signs (medical mysteries)
  • Origin Story (new research overturning our understanding of the past)
  • Out There (space)
  • Piece of Mind (psych/neuro research)
  • Planet Earth (nature)
  • Tech Note (new technologies)

Payment for the print version is one dollar per word. Online stores are paid $300.

Medical Writing and Academic Writing

Medical writing is for those who have medical degrees like:

  • Nursing
  • Pharmacology
  • Social work

This is an opportunity for you to write about your profession. You may write articles or grants. The position varies according to the needs of each client.

Academic writing caters to academics and businesses.

25. CrowdPharm

Once CrowdPharm approves you as a writer, they’ll reach out to you when there’s an opportunity that aligns with your expertise. You may be asked to do work with guaranteed compensation or take part in ideations. At that point, compensation is based on performance.

But you have the choice to accept or reject an assignment based on the compensation and brief you’re given.

When assigned a project, you work with a project manager or creative director. They will let you know if the rate is flat or hourly.

You are required to invoice CrowdPharm monthly. Payments are 30 days and are paid on the 15th or 31st of each month.

26. Kolabtree

Kolabtree is a network of freelance writers that services academics and businesses.

Once you have set up your profile, under the “Join as an Expert” button you’re ready to start accepting projects.

At that point, you will bid on projects. It's like the writing marketplace platform like Upwork. The difference is that you need to have expertise and credentials to work with these clients.

Pay is determined by what you bid and the client.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve given you a lot of writing side hustle ideas to choose from. But you may have other questions. Don’t worry, we have you covered. Here are the most asked questions.

1. Will all writing platforms take a commission on my work?

No, all writing platforms don’t take a commission on your work. There are content mills that pay you to write and don’t take a percentage of your proceeds. Some of these are Textbroker, CrowdContent,, etc.

2. Are content mills a good place for a beginner freelancer?

Content mills are an excellent place to start your freelancing career. They usually have editors who can guide you. The downside is they typically are low pay.

3. Is Upwork or Fiverr better for freelance writing?

Both Upwork and Fiverr are suitable for freelance writing. They do have different freelance writing business models. With Upwork, you can actively propose different clients. But with Fiverr, you must wait until the client chooses you.

Writing Side Hustles that Earn You Money

There are various platforms that will pay you or allow you to market yourself as a freelance writer. Choosing between a content mill or a writing marketplace can be challenging. Content mills are probably better for entry-level writers since you'll receive more guidance.

The writing marketplace can be difficult because you’re bidding against other writers with both your rate and experience.

Short stories in magazines or books may be sporadic but can be fulfilling to write for.

Go with what suits your needs, experience, and talents.

Bob Haegele

About the Author

Bob Haegele Bob Haegele

Bob Haegele, your personal finance guru, draws on years of experience to simplify complex financial concepts and offer actionable advice.

Dedicated to helping you achieve financial success, Bob is here to guide you through every step of your journey to financial freedom with expertise in areas such as investing, student loans, and credit cards. His work has appeared on Business Insider,, and other nationally recognized outlets.

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