How to Make Money with Articles

Freelance Writing Jobs - Piggy BankThere are several different ways to make money with articles as a freelance writer. Here are a few ways articles can help you make money online, whether as a full-fledged business model or as some side income:

  • Make money writing articles for clients.
    • Pros - Direct payments, Income can come quickly
    • Cons - Limited rights usually limit earning potential per article, Deadlines
  • Make money writing articles for content networks.
    • Pros - Networking opportunities, Build authority status
    • Cons - Pay is usually low, You still lose some or all of your rights to your articles (limits future income potential)
  • Make money writing articles for your own sites or blogs.
    • Pros - You can earn recurring income, You maintain full rights and control over your articles
    • Cons - Income can be slow in the beginning, You have to market your sites aggressively to increase earnings
  • Make money writing articles for affiliate marketing.
    • Pros - You choose the products to promote (unlike some advertising options), Affiliate products can have high payouts, You don't need your own website or blog
    • Cons - Affiliate marketing often works best after building a mailing list which takes time, To be a successful affiliate marketer you generally have to build a certain amount of trust with article readers which can also take time
  • Make money writing PLR articles.
    • Pros - You control usage rights to the articles, You can sell articles multiple times, You set your own article prices
    • Cons - Buyers generally won't pay much for PLR articles, Successful PLR programs can require extensive and continuous marketing efforts (the price won't always justify the time spent marketing)

Now that you've taken a look at how to make money with articles using five different tactics, which would you prefer? Do you already use one or more of these options? Personally, I've tried each of them. Do you know of other ways to make money writing articles? Any pros or cons to add to the methods listed? Share your thoughts, and tell us how you make money writing content on the Web.

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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22 thoughts on “How to Make Money with Articles”

  1. I’ve done all but AFFILIATE MARKETING, and I’m looking to get more information about that —- Hve you done it extensively? I’m interested in someone’s experience and if it was worth the $$$ to do the promoting.

  2. I haven’t tried PLR articles. I’m not even sure what it entails and how to get started. Most of my income comes from writing web content (for certain companies, not to market on my own) and magazine articles. I love print markets, but the truth is that the turnaround is SO slow it can’t really count as my main source of income or I’ll starve. Can you give some examples of PLR articles you’ve done (what they were about, the length, etc.?)

  3. PLR packs, I believe are worth the time if you know how to market yourself.

    I think PLR backs that are business topics, marketing, finance, etc. are ones that sell fastest.

  4. How exactly do you sell the PLR packs? through your own website? Through content sites? Directly to clients? Can somebody point me to an example somewhere in the web?

  5. @Jessica – Personally, I’m brand new to affiliate marketing for other people’s products (at least in taking it seriously). So far so good though. 🙂 I put in time to read the e-book, and then maybe 1-2 hours tops for promoting it, and made over $100 so far (in a couple of weeks – all sales were actually made within two weeks I believe). Not great compared to my average hourly rate, but that’s just with a single product. It was enough to convince me to expand in the new year and to other sites.

    @Diana – While I did PLR articles (I’m pulling them from the market and getting rid of the site in the new year), I focused on business topics. You can see a sample from my sets at

    As for marketing PLR packs, if you can market your services, you likely have the skills to market them as well. In my case, I didn’t put a lot of time into promoting them, because frankly I was able to make more money elsewhere (either with clients or my own sites). They’re an OK supplement, but I preferred other types of projects. For writers who are new or earning really low rates, they’d probably be a decent step up actually.

  6. Writing for other content networks seems like the worst deal overall – you lose rights, low income and no control. How’s the Associated Content project coming along, Jenn?

    I am just getting started blogging on my own domain, and I am pretty excited about the potential, although I am aware the income will be a while coming.

    But at least, with blogging you’re totally responsible for your own income. PLR probably works best when you’ve been writing for a while and have built your authority in that niche.

  7. OMG! I finally understood about PLR packs. I was feeling a little dumb, honestly. They do look like something interesting to try, even if only as a way to generate a little extra (passive) income. I wonder if it would be possible to sell packs through a website such as DailyArticle? Not sure if it’s worth it to set up an additional website just to sell the packs, especially if their price is low. How exactly do you market the packs? Directly to potential buyers? On the web in general?

  8. I just sell them from my own site, and generally promote in webmaster forums (since they’re the folks wanting cheap content for their sites).

    You could set it up as one page on an existing site without much trouble. Unless you wanted to do some hefty branding work, I don’t think it was worth setting up a separate site personally. Just more to maintain.

  9. All articles you post on DAILYARTICLE give FULL RIGHTS to the client DIANA, so you could not post PLR on dailyarticle 🙂

  10. ok, Jessica. Thanks for the heads-up. I read that but somehow didn’t make the connection. It probably makes sense to set up a separate page in my own website for that, then, and then provide links to the articles so people can take a look at the material.

  11. I’m still a little intimidated by the idea of direct PR writing/copy writing, but this sounds more doable at this stage. I may try it, even if it’s just to have something more around.

  12. I’ve been doing a lot of reading over the last 24 hours about PR, copy writing, advertising, etc. It sounds like I have a lot to learn, which means I need to start from the bottom and work my way up. This wouldn’t be a problem, except that I really can’t afford at this point to work for little in order to build experience. So I think I’ll stick to web/article writing for now. There may be a time for me to approach other types of writing, but it’s not now.

  13. There is a lot to learn, thus why I’m going to do that series of short mini books — and then comply them all into one book too (if people want separate or the complied book, they have the option). Definitely will be a good product.

  14. I think it sounds great for beginner writers, especially those who are looking into different types of writing and trying to decide what works best for them. When you are just in the early steps of your career, you need all the guidance you can get! I remember feeling so lost at that time and reading tons of books, most of which were simply too advanced for me.

  15. EXACTLY – hence why I really want to get on the ball with this – and offer short reports — and once I get the collection complete — offer a paperback of all of them together – I’m estimating 10 – short books — and then the paperback maybe 100-150 pages — sell it on lulu where i self publish all my stuff — -we’ll see, but i’m getting excited about it 🙂

  16. Jessica – do you have a storefront in Lulu? If so, can you post the link? I’ve been thinking of using it to sell a print version of my writing classes/workshops. It could be either something I sell separately or a companion (so even the same students can get it if they want). I’ve heard nothing but great things about Lulu, so I’m not worried about quality or honesty, but it would be nice to hear from somebody who uses it for something very similar to what I have in mind to know how well it has worked for you

  17. I’ve tried to post the link tons of times and the comment won’t take — if you go to my blog — (under my sites, it says JM’S BOOKS. — that’s my lulu)

  18. I had the same problem earlier. It may be because the URL is too long. You can use to change it into a short one and then you should be able to paste it anywhere. I’m going to your blog anyway to take a look, but just wanted to let you know in case you want to do the same thing somewhere else and have the same problem.


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