One of the more popular posts here at All Freelance Writing is my auto-updated list of websites and blogs that pay $100 or more per article. But $100 per post isn't the great rate some newer freelancers think it is. That's a low rate on the professional scale, though thankfully those gigs are advertised more often these days than even just a few years ago.
When you're ready to take your freelance blogging or web content writing work to the next level, you need to aim higher. High-paying online writing gigs are advertised on job boards much less often (due to more supply than demand, unqualified applicants taking a lot of time to sort through, and other ways clients have to find professional writers who are a good fit.
That said, some of these gigs and writers' markets do get advertised publicly -- such as gigs with online properties tied to print publications or blogs with highly-specialized audiences. To get you started in pitching higher-paying online prospects, here are some websites and blogs that pay writers $500 (and sometimes more) per article.
Autostraddle is a progressively feminist online publication catering to lesbian, bisexual, and queer trans women. They also include content about and by non-binary individuals. They accept freelance submissions covering fashion, beauty, sex, relationships, dating, trends, and humor. They're particularly interested in contributions from butch/masculine-of-center women, people of color, trans women, those under 23, and those over 45. Payments generally fall in the $50-200 range, though they also accept longer (3000+ word) investigative journalism and pop culture features where they negotiate pay up to $2000 in addition to covering expenses.
Backpacker magazine covers hiking, backpacking, North American destinations, and advice for improving the backcountry experience. All articles and photos must appear to Leave No Trace's ecologically friendly practices. Destination features run 1500-5000 words. They also accept personality, technique, and gear features as well as freelance-friendly departments (Life List: 300-400 words; Done in a Day: 500 words, Weekend; Skills; and Gear). They also publish web-only content from freelancers based on each month's theme. They pay on acceptance and buy all rights. Payments run $.40 - over $1.00 per word.
Beneath Ceaseless Skies seeks short stories of up to 14,000 words. They publish "literary adventure fantasy" with second-world settings. They pay 6 cents per word.
Better Humans accepts contributions offering actionable advice, based on the author's experience and primary research, on topics such as productivity, leadership, and health. Articles run around 2750 words on average, and pay is a flat rate of $500.
This magazine is devoted to science fiction, fantasy, and horror. They purchase both fiction and nonfiction writing. Payment for nonfiction is 10 cents per word up to their 2500 word limit. Payment for fiction (1000-16,000 words) is 10 cents per word for the first 5000 words (and 8 cents per word over that limit).
Color Bloq publishes "art, scholarship, and community knowledge" by QTPoC writers and creatives around each collection's theme. They have an open-pitch process and publish quarterly. They accept articles and critiques focused on history in a social, cultural, or political context as well as reporting and analysis and deep studies into a singular topic. These pieces range from 1200-2000 words and pay up to $500 each. Color Bloq also accepts personal essays from 600-800 words, for which they pay $200.
Earth Island Journal covers environmental issues such as wildlife conservation,land conversation,public policy, climate and energy, and more. Contributors are paid $.25 per word for print stories (around $750-1000 for an in-depth 4000-word feature). Online reports pay $50-100 and are a good way for new writers to break into the market.
LiisBeth accepts queries from new and professional feminist writers "anywhere along the gender continuum." They prioritize submissions from "womxn, trans, queer-identified writers, community voices and journalists." Pay (in $CDN) runs $500-650 for feminist enterprise profiles, $250-500 for personal essays, $800-2000 for critical analysis / issues / policy analysis submissions, $500-700 for service articles, reviews, and research briefs, and $250-500 for event round-ups, playlists, poetry, and other submission types. The average word count for profiles and small features is 800-1300 words. Larger features typically run 1500-3000 words.
The LA Times accepts freelance contributions to its travel section, both in print and online. They buy first North American rights, and have strict ethical standards (please review their linked guidelines for details). They don't accept queries -- you must send the full spec piece. And trips must have been taken in the past two years. They accept 400-word submissions for their Weekend Escape section, 1300-word destination pieces for print and online publication, and 200 word blog posts. Print pieces pay $200-750 while online-only pieces generally pay $500. Weekend Escapes pay $200. And blog posts pay $75.
Model Railroad Hobbyist publishes articles and videos "on all aspects of model railroading and on prototype (real) railroading as a subject for modeling." Articles typically run around 3000 words with 10 photos and a short video clip (payments being $230 for these). $200-600 per feature is typical, though they've paid over $1000 for longer articles as well (such as through their website where length isn't an issue).
Sport Fishing magazine publishes 9 issues per year and focuses on saltwater fishing mostly around North America. They accept features of 1800-2400 words, including sidebars, though their departments are usually staff-written. They pay $750 for print features. Digital features pay $200 for up to 1000 words and $300 for over 1000 words.
Strange Horizons is a magazine that publishes speculative fiction as well as poetry, interviews and reviews. The pay is $0.08/word for fiction and stories must be less than 10,000 words, though below 5,000 is preferred.
Teaching Tolerance accepts both magazine articles and online contributions for K-12 educators "interested in social justice and anti-bias topics." Features run 800-1600 words. Why I Teach pieces run 600 words or less. Story Corner features student-facing short stories and nonfiction. Short articles for the website should run 500-700 words. They pay $1.00 per word for magazine contributions and $100 for short online articles.
As always, these market list posts are dynamically-created by pulling current listings from my larger directory of writers' markets. That means any time a new market is added meeting these pay conditions, it will automatically be added to this post. And if markets are removed, they're cleaned from this post automatically too. If you come across dead links or outdated summaries, you can help keep the market collection up-to-date by simply clicking "report link" below an entry, and I'll get a notification to have it reviewed ASAP.