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Twenty-one websites that will pay you to write for them

Making a living as a freelance writer can seem impossible. These 22 websites will help you along your way.

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    Alicia Barney Knapp works in a co-working space in the evening after leaving her daughter in on-site childcare, on February 24, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. Barney Knapp is a freelance writer.
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You'd like to get paid to write online, but many websites are looking for contributors with experience. If you don't have significant experience, what can you do?

Good news! There are a lot of websites, small and large, that will pay you regardless of experience. If you've ever looked at a greeting card and thought, "I could do that," written a poem or short fiction, thought you could do a better job on a research based article than what you've read online, are an expert hobbyist or more, you could be earning hundreds or thousands in extra income a year.

Below is a list of 22 sites that pay for your writing. It isn't comprehensive, but is merely meant to provide a wide range of examples of paid writing opportunities. Use it as a guide to help you find many more sites that will pay you, too!

Recommended: Fifteen best entry-level jobs of 2015

1. ADDitude

ADDitude is an online magazine is devoted to providing strategies and support for people who are living with ADHD and other learning disabilities. Though they typically accept guest contributions from journalists and mental health professionals, they are also looking for writings from lay people who have personal experience with ADHD and other learning disabilities. Articles should be no more than 2000 words, and payment amount is calculated based on many factors including length, and experience with the topic.

2. Alive Now

The bi-monthly devotional magazine Alive Now will pay a minimum of $35 for a submission that is accepted. They provide the themes, which can help you structure your submission.

3. BabyFit

Owned by SparkPeople, a popular online preventative healthcare website, BabyFit focuses on fitness and nutrition when pregnant and as a parent. If you can write a well-researched article between 500 and 1200 words, you may be interested in submitting one to this site. They pay contributors between $25 and $90 for their expertise.

4. Blue Mountain Arts

If you can write contemporary prose or poetry focusing on personal experience, check out Blue Mountain Arts. This greeting card company will pay you $300 for exclusive rights to your poem, or $50 for one time use in a book.

5. Classic Toy Trains

Obsessed with toy trains? Could you write about them? Well, Classic Toy Trains accepts articles on this very topic and they pay $75 per page.

6. Chicken Soup for the Soul

Chicken Soup for the Soul, which is also responsible for the best-selling books with that same name, will pay you $200 for an "inspirational, true story or poem about ordinary people having extraordinary experiences," or $100 for a devotional. Submissions should be no more than 1200 words in length.

7. Comstock

Adult humor greeting card company Comstock is looking for ideas and will pay you $50 for each one accepted.

8. Developer Tutorials

If you're knowledgeable about computer programming and design, and can write a tutorial, this website might be for you. Developer Tutorials is looking for list-based articles and will pay for accepted contributions. The rate depends on many factors, such as length and quality of the tutorial, as well as the demand for your particular lesson.

9. Fantus Paper Products

Their greeting card division, P.S. Greetings Inc., which manufactures "everyday" greeting cards and has an extensive Christmas program, is accepting submissions to be featured on their rack and box set cards. Compensation is decided on a case-by-case basis.

10. FineScale Modeler Magazine

If you enjoy building or know a lot about model airplanes, cars, ships, etc. then you could earn some extra money writing about them at FineScale Modeler. This magazine pays for articles between 750–2500 words, and the payment amount is based on the length of the article.

11. Girl's Life

If you have a daughter, sister, niece, or female friend who is younger than 18 and likes to write, create poetry, or short fiction, she can earn money if her submission to Girl's Life is accepted. Payment amount is decided on a case-by-case basis.

12. Glimmer Train

Glimmer Train has been devoted to discovering new writers since 1990 and pays up to $700 for first publication rights for accepted stories.

13. High Country News

High Country News is a non-profit magazine focusing on the American West ("people, politics, culture, and aesthetic values"). If you like writing on these topics, they will pay you .50 to $1.50 per word (yes, per word) depending on your writing experience and their experience with you. If a submission is accepted and they decide not to run it, you will receive a 25% kill fee (a percentage of what you would have received had the article run).

14. Oatmeal Studios

This greeting card company is looking for humorous greeting card ideas, so if you have a knack for that, send them to Oatmeal Studios. They'll pay $75 for each idea that is accepted.

15. The Hairpin

The Hairpin focuses on women and features (mostly) women writers. The topics are varied and wide-ranging, from celebrity culture to tips for creating a great cover letter. They are looking for original, unpublished content, and pay contributors for their work.

16. ReachSelf

If you're inspired by and have personal experience with self-improvement, share your knowledge by writing an article. ReachSelf is looking for articles about improving the quality of life around such topics as health, beauty, fitness, reaching goals, success and more. Contributors are paid for their accepted submissions and the amount is set on a case by case basis.

17. Smart Alex

Adult humor greeting card company, Smart Alex, is looking for submissions that are "funny, edgy, and risque…topical, witty, smart, ironic, or sexually suggestive." Compensation is discussed once a submission is accepted.

18. Smithsonian Magazine

Recognized for its libraries devoted to exhibits in in science, art, history, and pop culture,Smithsonian Magazine will pay authors whose submissions are accepted. Hard numbers are hard to come by, and as you can imagine, they receive a lot of submissions, but it looks like an article could earn up to $1500 for a piece they like.

19. Tales to Go

Tales to Go is a paid subscription website and book publisher focusing on stories about travel. They are looking for personal, non-fiction stories and anecdotes, especially to unfamiliar areas. Stories should be between 1000 and 3000 words. Works that are accepted will receive a $50 honorarium.

20. The Secret Place

The Secret Place is a quarterly devotional made up exclusively of freelance writers. They pay $20 per accepted meditation devotion which should be about 150-200 words.

21. The Sun

The Sun is an ad-free paid subscription website that focuses on many aspects of the human experience. They pay contributors anywhere from $300 to $2500 for their work and are looking for essays, interviews, fiction, or poetry. They even throw in a complimentary one-year subscription to their magazine.

This list really is the tip of the iceberg, and many writers, including myself, have had positive experiences and enjoyed the extra income. Let's grow this list. Let me know about your favorite sites in the comments below!

This article is from Kim Owens of Wise Bread, an award-winning personal finance and credit card comparison website. 

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best personal finance bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.

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