If you are just starting out as a writer and you are discouraged by the content mills you’ve found online when looking for paid writing gigs, take heart. You do not have to work for pennies a page. There is an ongoing need for good content writers and even if you have limited experience there is no reason why you shouldn’t tap into these opportunities just like the pros.

As you know, there are many forms that your writing can take. Whether it’s a novel, website, blog, brochure, ad or video script, the field is vast. My first suggestion would be to focus your energies and get good at creating one type of content. For example, I am primarily focused on writing website copy and blogs. Why? Because that’s what the majority of people ask me to write. This focus has enabled me to get better at what I do and the word has spread. This leads to repeat business and referrals.

Where Do I Start?

Do some research and see who needs the type of writing you offer. Here are a number of sites that accept guest blog posts and they are willing to pay for it. Check out their guidelines and requirements to see if their need fits you:

1. The Penny Hoarder is a great site about earning and saving money (and thanks to Kyle Taylor for the idea for this post). They offer writers $75 per post or links back to your site, and with 2 million unique monthly visitors that’s a lot of potential traffic for you. Check out their guidelines and note that they like unusual or zany stories. Read through the site first to get an idea of the type of articles to write.

2. Do you like writing lists? If you can create a 1,500 word list post with 10 unique items, Listverse will pay you $100. Go visit their site to see the kinds of lists they’ve already done then check out their guidelines to see how you can contribute.

3. TopTenz is another list site, and it pays writers $50 per list. They specialize in Top 10 Lists only and you’ll notice that the headlines are eye-catching. Check out their guidelines to see if this is for you.

4. Funds for Writers provides tips and tools for writers and they pay $50 for original articles. Your piece should talk about your success or advice on earning money with your writing. Read their guidelines to learn more.

5. On the first of every month, A Fine Parent posts a new topic with submission dates. This is a parenting site that pays $100 per post, and you can earn a bonus if your post is deemed most popular at the end of the year. Check out their guidelines.

6. When you visit the Cracked website you could laugh your head off just by reading the headlines. It’s a bonus that they pay writers $100 to write guest posts about pop culture and weird topics. You need to read their guidelines and join their Writers Forum before you can start pitching your idea.

7. Want to share your love of wine? Posts for IWA Wine Blog pay $50 and will help readers learn more about enjoying wine. They “appreciate submissions about the best ways to choose, use, install or enjoy wine cellars, racks, cabinets and cooling equipment.” Take a look at their guidelines.

8. If you live overseas, International Living may be interested in your 500- to 600-word stories about expat life and be willing to pay $75 for them! Visit their website, read the guidelines and consider sharing your stories.

This is just a partial list of the many opportunities online for a freelance writer to make money (click here for the original list) and it only focuses on blogs and articles. Give them a try and let us know how you made out!