Write for Markets that Pay $1 per Word
by Gary McLaren
I guess you would love to receive a check for a thousand bucks. You’re not the only one. An exciting challenge for freelance writers is to break in to high-paying writing markets. I’m not talking about all the magazines that pay twenty or thirty cents per word. I’m talking about publications that pay a dollar per word and more.
A thousand words. A thousand dollars. That’s what you could earn if you sell your thousand-word article to the right publications. But before you send off that manuscript there are a couple of things you should know.
First, most high paying publications prefer to assign articles after receiving a query, rather than receiving unsolicited manuscripts. So you will need to sell your idea and your ability very well. Which brings me to the second point.
It is very rare for an unpublished writer to break in directly to top magazines. These publications have built their reputation with readers over the years by publishing only the finest writing. The editors are unlikely to give you the time of day if you have never had an article published previously. You need to work your way up.
As with many other careers, it is important to work your way up, proving your ability as you climb each step. So if you want to write for high-paying publications, plan your strategy. Start by building up a few clips with local publications. Next, work your way towards regional publications and medium-paying markets. If you already have your heart set on being published in a particular magazine, try to identify local and regional magazines that will give you appropriate and relevant clips.
Finally when you have built up a good portfolio of published clips, and a reputation as a writer who is reliable and great to work with, you’ll be ready to pitch to the editors of the high-paying markets.
So which markets pay top dollars? Here are several examples, and there are many more listed at my web site.
AARP The Magazine, USA
AaRP was formerly known as the “American Association of Retired Persons”. Features and departments in this magazine cover Finance, Health, Food, Travel, Consumerism, General interest, Profiles or first-person accounts of people who have made a dramatic change in their lives. Pays a minimum rate of $1 per contracted word. Guidelines: http://www.worldwidefreelance.com/i/61.htm
Boy’s Life, USA
A general-interest monthly magazine published by the Boy Scouts of America. All articles must interest and entertain boys ages 6 to 18. Major articles pay $400 to $1,500 for 500 to 1,500 words. Departments run 100 to 600 words; payment is $150 to $600. Department headings are science, nature, earth, health, sports, space and aviation, cars, computers, entertainment, pets, history, music and others. Back-of-the book pays $250 to $500. Short stories run 1,000 to 1,500 words and pay $750 and up. Guidelines: http://www.worldwidefreelance.com/i/62.htm
Coastal Living, USA
A lifestyle magazine for people who love the coast. Content looks at homes, destinations, activities, and people along the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf shores of North America, Hawaii and Alaska. Also coastal Canada and Mexico, and the U.S. Great Lakes. Published 7 times per year. Departments cover homes, travel, lifestyle, and food & entertaining. Pay is typically $1 per word, plus reasonable expenses agreed upon in advance. Guidelines: http://www.worldwidefreelance.com/i/63.htm
Air Canada’s award-winning bilingual (English/French) inflight magazine. An upscale travel lifestyle magazine interested in everything from wine to design, popular science to pop music. “As many travellers’ first introduction to Canada, we are proudly Canadian but never parochial about Canadian content.” Pay: base rate is CDN$1 per word upon acceptance. Guidelines: http://www.worldwidefreelance.com/i/64.htm
Entrepreneur Magazine, USA
Magazine covering innovative methods and strategies to help readers improve their business operations. Also current issues and trends that affect entrepreneurial companies, as well as new business ideas and opportunities. Features are 1,700 words. Columns (250-400 words) are paid at $1 per word in the following sections: Money, Marketing, Management, Technology, Viewpoint, Miscellaneous. Guidelines: http://www.worldwidefreelance.com/i/65.htm
These are just a few examples, but you should be able to find many more publications that pay high rates like these. I’ve listed quite a few more in a list at http://www.worldwidefreelance.com/onedollar.htm
If you plan your writing strategy carefully, and strive towards producing writing of the highest quality, then a thousand dollar pay check could be on its way to you soon.
© Copyright 2006 Gary McLaren
About the Author
Gary McLaren is the editor of Worldwide Freelance Writer. For more information on freelance writing and a database of more than 2,200 writing markets, visit http://www.WorldwideFreelance.com