Looking for magazine writing jobs that pay well and are open to new writers?
We’ve all been there — scrolling through job boards, desperately searching LinkedIn for promising opportunities.
That’s why we wanted to make it easy for you to find the best freelance writing jobs with high-profile, career-building magazines.
Whether you want to work part-time or full-time, the more you know about great freelance writing opportunities, the sooner you can get published on highly-visible platforms.
This post will help you find the best magazine writing jobs from home, making your job search much more rewarding.
How Much Do Magazine Writers Make?
When starting out as an entry-level content writer, you might be thrilled to work for $0.05 a word while honing your skills and building your portfolio.
As you improve and your confidence grows, you can earn $0.10 or more a word, doubling your income. And with the magazine jobs listed here, you can earn at least $0.20 per word!
So, what does it take to turn this dream into reality?
How To Improve Your Chances at Getting Published in a Magazine?
You know you have great ideas. The thing is, plenty of other writers do too.
What separates struggling writers from those who earn $0.10 a word or more? Well-paid published writers prioritize the following:
- Developing their writing skills
- Becoming (or finding) a good copy editor and proofreader
- Creating high-quality writing samples for their portfolio
- Finding the best remote writing jobs
- Learning how to write persuasive pitches
- Risking rejection and submitting their story ideas
Improvement in these areas will increase your ability to land better gigs.
Let’s take a look at some of these freelancing opportunities.
15 Places to Land Magazine Writing Jobs
Take a look at our list of online magazines looking for writers.
In addition to being print magazines, all have well-established online platforms. And all of them are looking for freelance writers like you.
Take note of the ones that call out to you. Read their articles, and get to know their writing style before pitching your ideas.
The main focus for Cosmopolitan magazine is the empowerment of young women. They prefer pieces ranging from 1,000 to 1,500 words, complete with clear, high-definition photos.
They pay $200 to $400 each for feature articles and around $0.20 a word for other articles.
The focus here is on women’s style, beauty, wellness, culture, and entertainment. Check out Glamour’s home page and Trending Stories to get a sense of their preferred content and style.
The site has no published guidelines, but you can pitch your idea to Perrie Samotin on Twitter.
Writers for this magazine have earned $0.27 per word.
3. Good Housekeeping
The majority of Good Housekeeping’s readership is married women who have children and work outside the home.
They welcome submissions of about 500 words for the “Blessings” column, along with short stories about women (or family members) who’ve overcome serious health problems or medical emergencies.
4. Oprah Magazine (Digital Version)
A look at Oprah Magazine’s homepage should give you an idea of what readers have come to expect from the digital edition, including personal interest pieces, deep-dive article collections on reader favorites (like the Bridgerton series), and product recommendations (e.g., “[#] Warm Winter Coats…”).
They prioritize contributors familiar with their articles, along with members of the Feminist Enterprise Commons.
See the graphic below for their 2021 pay scale:
6. Smithsonian Magazine
A glance at Smithsonian’s homepage menu and feature slideshow give you a quick idea of the variety of topics they cover and the articles they prioritize.
Pay averages $0.36 per word.
7. The Sun
The Sun Magazine is always open to “daring personal essays,” as well as fiction and even poetry.
Submit your essays, fiction, or poetry online or by mail, using the address given.
You’ll find their pay rates outlined on their submission page. For long-form essays, they’ve paid as much as $2,000.
8. The Atlantic
Be sure to read their post on “How (Not) to Pitch.”
Pay varies from $150 to $1,600, depending on the assignment.
Follow their guidelines to pitch your idea.
Writers who’ve had their work published with Vox have earned around $0.50 a word.
10. BuzzFeed News
If you’re interested in submitting an essay to BuzzFeed News, send your pitch to firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief note on the essence of your idea. Or send an edited first draft of your essay as an attached Word or Google doc.
Writers published with them have earned $0.50 a word.
11. Discover Magazine
Discover Magazine is looking for writers with verifiable expertise in science-based topics — including medicine, technology, space travel, physics, and paleontology.
Pay varies but averages $0.52 a word.
12. High Country News
Per their submissions page, consider which section of High Country News you’re pitching, read the guidelines for that section, and send your polished pitch to the best contact, which you’ll see posted after the guidelines.
Check out their Bingo Card for new contributors to ensure you avoid popular stereotypes about the indigenous populations in the American West.
Pay varies per section, but news and reportage pieces earn $0.25 to $1.50 per word.
13. New York Magazine
Look through the different imprints — Vulture, The Strategist, The Cut, etc. — to see what New York Magazine has to offer. Pitch a feature article idea to their editors by email to email@example.com.
You can also send your query by mail to their Editorial Submissions desk (address given on their submissions page).
Writers published with New York Magazine have earned $0.70 a word.
14. New York Times Magazine
The New York Times will consider op-eds that are well-written and fact-based. Read their submission page for details, along with this piece by Paul Tullis on how to become a contributor for the digital edition of NYT.
Writers published with NYT have earned $0.50 a word.
As America’s oldest general-interest monthly, Harper’s Magazine prefers long-form narrative journalism and essays with unique perspectives on politics, society, culture, and entertainment.
Writers published in Harper’s have earned $0.70 a word.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get a job writing for a magazine that publishes famous writers?
They may prioritize well-known writers, but all the publications listed in this post are magazines that accept freelance submissions — even from those who have yet to make a name for themselves.
Remember, every artist starts as an unknown.
How do I write a pitch that will make me stand out (in a good way)?
Doing your homework is crucial.
Your pitch needs to align with the publication’s tone, style, and audience.
If your mind goes blank every time you prepare to pitch an article idea, this post will answer your nagging questions and help you write one you’ll be proud to send.
The more you do it, the easier it gets.
How can I send them a link to my portfolio if I don’t have one?
The key is to start building your portfolio right away, focusing on showcasing quality pieces over quantity.
Even just two or three well-written guest posts can be enough to demonstrate your writing abilities.
Another option is to start publishing on Medium.
What should I write for my author bio?
You’re not the only writer to get nervous about writing your bio.
Be prepared to write multiple versions until you can find the right balance of being interesting, informative, and concise while avoiding being cliché or vague.
And don’t forget to make it pop by using some well-placed power words.
What degree do you need to write for a magazine?
You don’t need one.
While a degree in English or Journalism can help you with your writing and reportage skills, the editors for these magazines are more interested in seeing proof you can write something they’d want to publish.
If you have any other questions related to getting published online, this page is a goldmine of relevant posts. Check it out, and bookmark it for easy reference.
Which Magazine Writing Jobs Stood Out for You?
Once you identify the magazines you’d most like to write for, create a spreadsheet with the following information:
- Contact information — including the name of the editor
- Social media links — to reach out to editors and share their content
- Article ideas — content ideas their readers would enjoy
Then prepare your pitching materials and get going.
The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be able to list a high-profile magazine on your writing portfolio.
What will you do today to make your magazine writing dreams a reality?