Question of the week: I was just wondering if you might know about writing for the websites of various magazines. For example, parents.com; is it easier to get something accepted for their website than for their mag? Any idea what they pay?
I don't have specifics on parents.com, but I will offer some general thoughts on writing for websites. In a nutshell, I think they're a fabulous way to build your clip file. Most websites turn over content a lot faster than a monthly magazine would, so they're always on the lookout for new ideas, and because there is a lesser sense of permanence on the site, I think they're more willing to take a chance on a new-to-them writer than a big, established magazine might be.
As far as pay, in my experience, websites do pay less than big magazines (i.e. parents.com vs. Parents mag, though that's just an example and nothing concrete because again, I have no idea what parents.com pays, and I'm sure that it varies per writer and per assignment), in terms of per word, but that doesn't mean that they aren't very worth your while. I used to do A LOT of web writing, and let me tell you, my hourly rate almost always came out higher than when I wrote for magazines.
Think of it this way: a magazine pays you $1 a word for 1,000 words, but between all the editing and interviews, you put in, say, 10 hours. You're making $100 an hour.
A website might pay you 50 cents per word for 1000 words, but the editing will likely be less consuming, at the very least. So even though you've started off with a lower baseline, if you put in, say 4 hours, you're actually making more per hour ($125..and I used to make a lot more per hour) than you would at the magazine.
So readers, what say you? Do you enjoy writing for websites? Have you found them easier to crack?