Thursday, November 01, 2007

Writing for Websites

Question of the week: I was just wondering if you might know about writing for the websites of various magazines. For example,; 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, 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. vs. Parents mag, though that's just an example and nothing concrete because again, I have no idea what 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?


Anonymous said...

I write for print and for websites, and I do like them both. In my experience, corporate websites can/will pay more than other websites - and even print pub.

The only other point: it's fun to write for both. Website writing is different because things must be chunked up with bullet points and headers all over the place. In a way it feels less like "writing" and more like "delivery," if that makes sense.

Jen A. Miller said...

I like writing for both and have to agree that web writing can be a lot less PIA than dealing with print magazines. But that's not always the case -- I just got asked to do a big rewrite on a website piece to fit with the website's vision (and a lot of the comments make sense). It just depends, but I wouldn't write off websites entirely when looking at your bottom line.

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Great question! I'm an editor/writer for so if the writer of the question has specific Qs on pay, etc, I'd be happy to answer them. I can't get anyone a job though, but might have some suggestions...