Irwin Tan, DreamstimeYou don't have to be an experienced professional writer to showcase your work on the internet. The web offers a wealth of opportunities through sites like Info Barrel which allow members to post articles, photos and videos. For many writers simply sharing their ideas and creative impulses is enough but some websites also offer their contributors the chance to make some money, either by pay-per-click advertising or with a flat fee payment for their work.

Upfront payments versus residual income

If you want to simply publish your own work then there are many free blog programs available. If you want to publish your work and generate an income at the same time there are various sites available for freelance writers to sell their work. Some websites such as Demand Studios and Associated Content offer a flat free upfront for writing as well as residual income or instead of it. Residual income comes from pay-per-click advertising which is displayed on the page when your article is published. If a reader clicks on an ad then the advertiser pays a certain about of money and the writer of the article gets a percentage of that. Some writers prefer to go with sites like eHow which offer residual income because over time they can earn more money than offered in upfront one time only payments from other sites.

Referral programs

Some websites such as Squidoo and Info Barrel offer their contributors the chance to make some extra money through referring the site to other writers. You either get a small payment for a new member joining or a percentage of the new members income. The new member doesn't earn any less - the extra money comes from the website's share of the ad revenue.

Advice and editing help

One of the benefits of using sites like Info Barrel, Hub Pages or Suite101 in in the team of editors who review your work and check that your article is up to standard. On some of the sites only your first few articles need to be checked before publishing and then you are free to publish straight to the web yourself. Some websites have stricter style guides than others and it's worth checking this before you start writing to prevent rejections of your work.

Writing communities

Take full advantage of the forums which are usually associated with online writing sites. Use the communities to get advice and suggestions for your writing and how to make the most of different writing programs.

Seven websites for freelance writers:

  • Info Barrel - information, articles and how to guides
  • eHow - popular 'how to' site with a large community of writers
  • HubPages - articles are called hubs on this publishing platform
  • Squidoo - unusually named site for creative types with the option of affiliate sales
  • Suite101 - writers must apply for this online magazine
  • Associated Content - small flat fee plus residuals available on this site
  • Demand Studios - payments from $5-$15 for articles