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How to Write and Sell Articles

I've been writing and selling articles online for over 12 years. I do this full time. Want to know more?


How to Write and Sell Articles

If you want to know how to write and sell articles, you're in the right place. It's been over two decades now since I figured out how to do it, but the thrill of an article acceptance has never gone away. I'm mostly asked to write articles in advance now, so I don't work for magazines like I used to; I just write for one or two I like (and the ones that seem to like me!) and even then only occasionally. I can't remember the last time I actually wrote for a magazine, to be honest. And that suits me fine.

Writing is a great part time occupation, but if you work hard at it you have the chance to do it full time. I now take on ghostwriting work and copywriting work, mostly online, and there is no shortage of it once you get yourself out there.

This lens was created to share the story of how I first started to sell my articles. I'm hoping that by doing this I can help you get further along the road towards your own acceptances.

The best advice at this stage? Read on, learn from what I did and persevere. I am now full time, purely because I have so many sources of online writing jobs and magazine work that I can't manage it all part time anymore - so believe me when I say it CAN be done. In the end it all depends on whether you're ready to put in the effort or not. There are plenty of online writing gigs out there for everyone - not to mention all the magazines you can write for as well.

Let's get going!

Photo image credit: my own

How I started selling my articles

(otherwise known as a nine month struggle...)

I remember it as if it was yesterday. I sweated blood to get my first article idea, and of course I sent it off to the biggest women's magazine in the country.

With hindsight there was no way it was going to be accepted, but I was still disappointed when it came back just days after I'd sent it.

I can remember the day things changed, and I wrote what would become my first accepted article.

I've long had a love of cats, and in the UK at the time there was a cat magazine with a circulation of around 25,000 readers. I submitted a short 500 word piece to them... and received an acceptance letter just days later.

I remember receiving that envelope. Not a thick one with a manuscript inside, but a thin one that could only contain a letter of acceptance. I got the princely sum of £12.50 for that article, but I was so delighted with my success I sat down and spent the rest of the day writing more articles.

Days later I notched up my second acceptance, and I've never looked back. I've had disappointments, of course, but by and large, I've done very well.

You can too. You can also benefit from my years of experience. Hey, I'm beginning to sound old now...

What's that saying - the longest journey starts with a single step? Writing is very much like that. But the sooner you start your own journey towards publication, the sooner you'll get there. And when you do, nothing else beats it.

I am now writing e-books, articles and blogs for clients worldwide, and have never been happier. That's what happens when you hone your skills and make the most of them.

A quick poll for you

7 Steps to Getting Your First Article Published and Paid For

Want to get published and paid for it? Lots of people want to know how to write and sell articles - but not all of them are prepared to put the work in that is required to see it happen. That is a shame because it's not as hard to get published as you might think. You just need to make sure you go about it in the right way.

This is what you need to do.

1. Aim low to start with. Don't aim for the huge mass-market women's weeklies. They have a lot of competition and beginners are better off to go elsewhere and leave those markets for later.

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2. Don't dismiss the internet. There are plenty of websites that will pay for submissions. Do some research to see if there are any you like the look of.

3. Query your ideas before writing the article. This will save you wasting time writing something that doesn't have a solid market.

4. Stick to what you know. There will be plenty of time to branch out later on, but for now, you need to make things as easy as possible for yourself.

5. Don't put money first. It's good that you want to get paid for your work, but don't be blinded by dollar signs all the time. Refer back to step one if you need any clarification!

6. Present your work in a professional manner. Find out how the market you want to submit to likes articles to be presented to them and follow it to the letter.

7. Finally, make sure you get your facts right. This refers to every single part of every submission you ever make. Not only should the article be factually correct, but you should also make sure you are sending it to the correct person - and in the correct manner. Do they accept email submissions? Find out before you attach it and email it off.

There is plenty more to writing and selling articles, of course, but if you bear the above seven points in mind you will be off to a roaring start.

Another poll question

Make Money Writing: Write and Sell Articles - by Angela Booth

I subscribe to Angela's email list and every single email has at least one gem of information in it. I thoroughly recommend you find out more about her and her various writing courses and programs.

Want to write for magazines? That's how I started, with a guide very similar to this one

This is a great book packed with tons of advice - a real 'nuts and bolts' style book

© 2007 Allison Whitehead

Time to let me know what you think!

Ronshea on September 20, 2014:

I say u can make good money too. U done it. I'll like to be able to say i done it too. Lets c u an employee of fine is like paying you something on a article i wrote.That's at least 1. Got my drift. i luv being bill free.

Perrin from South Carolina on May 15, 2014:

I've written magazine articles off and on for years, both as columnist and as freelancer. You can make good money writing them, if you do it full time.

Donna Cook on March 24, 2014:

Terrific lens! I didn't start writing until I retired and joined Squidoo. I never considered freelance work but the more I read about it, the more I think that I can do it. Bookmarking for reference!

Tanya Jones from Texas USA on March 05, 2014:

Very thorough and informative lens. I enjoyed reading it.

bgbeautydiaries on October 12, 2013:

Your advice has helped me gain so much more understanding about the freelance industry. Keep up the great work!

tammywilliams09 on September 04, 2013:

It was great that you loved Cats and used that passion to write and sell articles in that niche. Thanks for sharing your tips.

suepogson on August 04, 2013:

Great lens nad I echo AilynK's question below.

anonymous on June 28, 2013:

now... where do you sell your articles?

JohnGcorner on June 06, 2013:

Great info for beginners, I'm sure this has helped 100s or even thousands of people to make some money. Keep it up!

anonymous on May 30, 2013:

Helpful lens !

wiseriverman on May 23, 2013:

I found this to be very valuable information. I'm bookmarking it and reading it over so that it all sinks in.


ConvenientCalendar on May 01, 2013:

Great lens! Great advice!

anonymous on March 20, 2013:

Great lens

SteppingRasor on March 09, 2013:

Very, very good. Thanks.

Lou Martin from Atlanta, Georgia on February 26, 2013:

Thanks for the great advice!

bskcom on February 25, 2013:

Thanks for your advice. You make it sound more promising to sell articles.

Treasures By Brenda from Canada on February 18, 2013:

Yes, a great resource for anyone wanting to write and sell articles.

anonymous on February 14, 2013:

I think you have excellent information for those wanting to get their feet wet writing and selling articles, thank you for sharing your wisdom and knowledge gained from experience.

acreativethinker on February 01, 2013:

So much great advice here. This sounds like a very helpful lens. Thanks for sharing. Take Care :)

Mommy from The Fabulous Midwest on January 22, 2013:

Promoting yourself comes naturally after awhile, but many writers hate it at first. Thankfully I had a marketing background before I switched to writing.

Allison Whitehead (author) on January 21, 2013:

@aesta1: Yes it was a moment I'll never forget. The acceptance meant far more than the money ever could. Thank you so much for the blessing!

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on January 21, 2013:

I felt your joy when you got that 12.50.

Allison Whitehead (author) on January 17, 2013:

@martinho: Glad you like the lens. Good luck with your writing!

martinho on January 15, 2013:

This has got my mind boggling. great tips too.

Allison Whitehead (author) on October 26, 2012:

@victoriahaneveer: I never want to get a "proper job"!

victoriahaneveer on October 26, 2012:

I've made a career out of being a freelance writer and it's mostly rewarding (apart from those irritating people who ask me when I'm going to get a "proper job" instead of "playing around writing bits" - snarl!) I agree with all your advice on this lens. Good job!

Mark Falco from Reno, Nevada on October 13, 2012:

There's a lot of great advice here. Starting with the smaller publications sounds like a really good idea. I guess if you get turned down there is always an online outlet for those articles like Squidoo or your own blogs so any effort wouldn't be wasted even if you don't have articles accepted by magazines.

Sandy Mertens from Frozen Tundra on October 09, 2012:

Very good information.

anonymous on October 09, 2012:

GOOOD Information here! Your readers might be interested in making decent money for their articles over at

HarrietC LM on October 08, 2012:

Nice and informative, just the way I like it =) Thanks.

Allison Whitehead (author) on October 02, 2012:

@anonymous: The best bet is to find out the terms of payment before you write anything. That way you'll know whether the company/person you're writing for is suitable in your situation. Best of luck!

anonymous on October 02, 2012:

I love this business. The problem here is how do I get paid in Nigeria if I write to a company in US, etc? And most importantly, how will I know when my article is accepted by such a company?

Allison Whitehead (author) on October 02, 2012:

@favored: Thank you for your comment and the blessing - much appreciated!

Fay Favored from USA on October 02, 2012:

Good suggestions and tips to follow. I appreciate it.

Allison Whitehead (author) on September 19, 2012:

@flinnie lm: Thanks Flinnie!

Gloria Freeman from Alabama USA on September 19, 2012:

Thanks for the info and tips.

Allison Whitehead (author) on July 19, 2012:

@poorwendy lm: Yes I've thought of that as a starter for finding new clients - haven't thought of a good way to do it yet though!

poorwendy lm on July 19, 2012:

I've been researching Fiverr as a place to sell services, including writing. That could be another resource.

cynthiannleighton on July 12, 2012:

@anonymous: You can get practice over at Street Articles -

(1) they're really good about telling you why they reject an article

(2) you get a community of people sharing what your article helped with

(3) practicing will help you learn skills you need to do your testing

You can get practice at EzineArticles too but the "bar" to jump over is higher.

Allison Whitehead (author) on July 11, 2012:

@anonymous: Hi Michael,

Learning and perseverance are the best two things you can do; it took me a good few months to get work online but once I did it became easier. I don't use ODesk - you could try Elance or something similar instead?



anonymous on July 05, 2012:

Thanks for the info. I'd like to know more about freelance writing because I've been having difficulties trying to pass the readiness test odesk offers its members. I've tried to get a better score all to no avail. Tell how I should go about this; the easiest and fastest way I mean. Michaelchuka. E-mail

anonymous on July 05, 2012:

Thanks for the info. I'd like to know more about freelance writing because I've been having difficulties trying to pass the readiness test odesk offers its members. I've tried to get a better score all to no avail. Tell how I should go about this; the easiest and fastest way I mean. Michaelchuka. E-mail

cynthiannleighton on May 18, 2012:

Nice lens! You do a good job of explaining the writing process and how to sell your articles. Hmm. You might want to write a bit of a longer article as a Kindle book! That's becoming popular now. From Beginning to Advanced? Here's an example Advanced Article Marketing kindle - from Amazon, so you could even sell it here? blessings - Cynthia

blogalexg on May 05, 2012:

Excellent lens! More power to cat lovers!

jballs6 on April 24, 2012:

Some really helpful ideas here, glad I found your lens as this is something I have been thinking about for a while

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on March 15, 2012:

It's always interesting to hear how writers got their start. Sounds like you are doing quite well in your chosen field.

MidnightSunRC on February 08, 2012:

Nice reading for a beginner

Tolovaj Publishing House from Ljubljana on January 29, 2012:

Thanks for sharing your experience. I am writer who tries to expand his off line presence on the web too and I am glad there are so many success stories out there despite severe competition and low payments. You are right. We have to persist and never look back. Thumbs up!

drjohnymartin on January 28, 2012:

This Lens Have good and useful writing information

i love it , Thanks

ionee251 on December 11, 2011:

This lens is so inspiring. I love it.

queen2010 on December 08, 2011:

Nice lens, hoping you can visit one of my lens , thanks much

queen2010 on December 08, 2011:

Nice lens, hoping you can visit one of my lens , thanks much

CMSCoventry on November 25, 2011:

some good honest advice in this article - especially about starting out

dwnovacek on November 24, 2011:

Very useful lens - Angel Blessed!

Joe3Louis on November 18, 2011:

There is so much information on how to stay motivated. Thanks for letting us know what it takes to stay with it .even when at times we just want to give up and say forget it. Staying motivated is the hardest thing to do when frustration sets in. Thanks Joe

SoniaCarew on November 17, 2011:

Great lens, great information.


anonymous on October 25, 2011:

Great lens! Lots of good, inspirational advice to getting started. I would suggest that new writers check out Constant Content. Articles tend to sell for more there, and the editorial feedback on every piece can help you grow as a writer. Plus, there are many customers ready to buy articles and use them online, which can help you build your portfolio quickly.

bead at home mom on September 04, 2011:

thank you for sharing your knowledge in this. It's obvious you get that sharing is more profitable than not. As a new writer I value your suggestions and experience in making my way around this new community. I have featured this lens in my 'labor day squidoo angel quest'.

JoeSteinbeck on September 01, 2011:

Wish I was a better writed, and I'd be all about this :)

Wanda Fitzgerald from Central Florida on August 14, 2011:

Sounds like a perfect roadmap of how to make some money, especially in this economy. Great ideas.

bames24 lm on August 12, 2011:

nice lens... Thanks for sharing :)

anonymous on August 12, 2011:

great lens, thank you for share it.

elhuntley lm on August 09, 2011:

Very helpful lens for us writers who want to be paid for our work.

franstan lm on August 04, 2011:

Great lens

anonymous on July 12, 2011:

Thanks for your sharing for great useful....

anonymous on July 07, 2011:

Writing is a great part time job.Thanks for sharing. strategic planning software

anonymous on June 07, 2011:

WOW! I run an article writing website, where I offer free tools and resources for writers, but the step-wise direction you have provided is seemingly way more useful for newbie writers! Do check out my site anyway: SELL MY ARTICLES

anonymous on May 24, 2011:

great content!!

TheBlairGroup on May 10, 2011:

Great article!

anonymous on April 28, 2011:

great lens.....

that is my new articles directory Big News Articles

kanivel on April 07, 2011:

Hi, Thanks for the information. In the same way I was referred by a squidoo article to, where they publish my article and pay for the number of views it gets. I was excited in the beginning, and joined Triond immediately. I have submitted 5 articles, and then only came to know that they pay only $1 per 1000 views of my article. That too is not payable every month. They pay only if my earning exceeds 50 dollars. BUt before it happens, I will get old & die. I'm tired of searching for a good site where I can sell my article for a decent price.

franstan lm on April 02, 2011:

Informative lens

UKGhostwriter on March 26, 2011:

Wonderful lens - a thumbs up from me!

Allison Whitehead (author) on February 15, 2011:

@dwnovacek: Thanks for the blessing! Much appreciated!

dwnovacek on February 14, 2011:

Informative and well-presented lens. Blessed by your neighborhood Squid Angel!

Allison Whitehead (author) on January 14, 2011:

@WorldVisionary: Thank you for your blessing!

WorldVisionary on January 14, 2011:

You gave plenty of great resources. I enjoyed your lens. Blessed by a Squid Angel

anonymous on November 22, 2010:


Good information!

You can try this site to sell your articles or content-

They have got a great network of Journalists and Publishers worldwide.

jgelien on November 09, 2010:

Thanks for all the great advice! I am favoriting your lens so I can refer to it again when I need information. Thanks for sharing.

ssuthep on October 27, 2010:

Great tips on writing and selling articles for profit.

ZablonMukuba on October 25, 2010:

this is great, i write articles for websites. thanks for the information

anonymous on October 13, 2010:

it is interesting i have red it, and felt happy about it...

Thank you from

Millie02 on October 07, 2010:

Interesting lens, I have learned something today

anonymous on September 29, 2010:

Articles are extremely popular among SEO experts. It increases traffic to our site, it is a powerful advertising tool. It will help us cater to our targeted market. You share a nice lens with Best Business Directory team.

rajeshnetsurveys on August 28, 2010:


It's been very informative. I'd been wandering in the dark since the tried to do something here. Now, at least I think I know where to head. It's been great buddy. Thanks again. Great going.

KeagansKorner on July 30, 2010:

I enjoyed your lens, thanks for sharing!

norma-holt on July 19, 2010:

Another nice lens on this topic. *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Sprinkled with Stardust and also on How to Write Well

anonymous on June 09, 2010:

Is there any way to sell poetry? also how do you copyright an article?

contentcreator on June 01, 2010:

Great info there :)

anonymous on February 03, 2010:

Question, I am 70 years young and have written a few articles of wisdom that I have experienced in my life that I think would benefit lots of people. I would like to sell them and don't have much expertise on the internet. I am copywriting them and would ask if you or one of your affiliates would work with me on this? thanks johne

Allison Whitehead (author) on February 03, 2010:

Hi John! The best way to sell your articles would be to submit them to a site called Constant Content ( You can set your own prices and submit articles on all kinds of subjects too. This is the best tactic to use if you have already written them. Good luck and best wishes.

APlus on November 28, 2009:

I enjoyed your lens. I like the phrase earning money one word at a time. The main thing we need to remember is to focus on content. If we have good content on our blogs, we will have readers. Keep up the great work. If you want to share an article, come to my Article Directory

Novice-CopyWriter on November 14, 2009:

I think anyone can follow these steps,i have done little work to give small tips for beginner about copywriting in my lens

David Lawrence from United States on October 22, 2009:

Great lens. 6 stars - 5 plus a blessing!

anonymous on September 25, 2009:

Impressive!Convincing too.One quotation i like very much tells how one can not live long enough to make all the mistakes every other person has made, just learn from them. And, when you learn from seasoned veterans, you see far beyound the horizon. But, have you, as a seasoned veteran, considered ever taking a bow and handing over the mantle? Well, maybe not until you no longer can type or hold the pen! But there is nothing to fear,lots of ingenious original content writers are just waiting to be in your shoes.


anonymous on September 04, 2009:

A great lens for aspiring writers - easy to read and some excellent advice.

anonymous on May 19, 2009:

Great lens. I'm still just as excited about every acceptance letter (and, it must be said, *nearly* as distraught about every rejection) since the first.

It's important to just keep at it and never give up. I have a lens on getting more writing done in less time and remaining motivated throughout which might help your readers:

Well done!


Dadministrator on March 16, 2009:

Great information for getting started and organizing yourself around deriving value from articles online. Selling articles can be tricky, especially without controls for copyright infringement or without a good marketspace to gauge pricing against. Here's a promising service that's another good resource to post, price, and sell articles that purchasers can also review -

GreenErGlobe on February 22, 2009:

Thank you Allison. Your lens is smart and helpful. I've lensrolled it and will be reading a lot more of your work.

You can view a bit of mine at: How To Write Web Content The Old Fashioned Way

moneyman17 on November 23, 2008:

Your tips certainly are top-notch. so i want to Invite you to visit and submit your articles to

Free Content Articles Directory visit my lens

Articles Marketing

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