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Online Writing Platforms That Pay Creators

Person writing fiction that can be published to online writing platforms

Writers. It’s an old profession with many flavors. You can write about news, and that makes you a journalist. You can write about Deep Thoughts, and that makes you a philosopher (or a comedian). Or you can write about fog and little cat feet and that makes you a poet. It’s not just about the words you put down. It’s what you say with those words that count. And, these days, there are lots of places on the internet where different flavors of writers can say what they want to say. Some of these online writing platforms will even pay you to write.

This article is a part of our series on How to Run a Creator Business. In our first blog post, we defined creators as folks who produce content on the internet. This article focuses on the different ways a writer-creator can showcase their work on the internet.

If you’re a writer who wants to work with traditional publishers, this article won’t cover that. And, if you’re a freelance writer looking for job opportunities writing content for businesses, you should check out our article on online freelancing websites.

This article will focus on online writing platforms where you can write under your own name to publish your own content. And there are two ways you can do this.

You can submit articles to magazines that publish online. Or you can publish your articles yourself on an online publishing platform. We’ll go over both.

Writers Should Have Their Own Website with Maybe Their Own Mailing List

Before we talk about the online writing platforms that pay writers to write, we want to highlight the importance of having your own website. Having a website is fairly important for all creators, but we think it’s especially important for writers.

This is because your website is the perfect place to showcase your content and to make money from it. All you have to do is to write the content and then publish it. You don’t have to satisfy a minimum follower count or be in a specific country. You might not be able to make much money right away, but at least you can start.

And you can always work on publishing content on the other online writing platforms, where it may (or may not) be easier to attract a readership.

The point of using your own website as an online publishing platform is that it is more stable than writing on other platforms. Those online writing platforms may go away. But you’ll always have your website. And you can implement most—if not all—of the traditional ways to make money on your website. These ways include:

  • Advertising revenue share
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Direct reader contributions/tips
  • Sell your books
  • Run a subscription using a mailing list

Most of the online publishing platforms we profile in this article will help you make money using one or more of these methods. But they tend to want a cut of your revenue too.

We already covered how you can build a website in an earlier article. We urge you to check it out.

Online Magazines are One Type of Online Publishing Platform That Pay

One of the most traditional ways a writer can make money is to write a story or an article, submit it to a magazine, and hope the magazine buys it.

There are now fewer and fewer traditional magazines that print on paper. A lot of them have at least an online presence. Some of them are even online-only magazines.

Because the magazines are online, those who write for them fit our definition of creator. That’s why we’re going to briefly discuss online magazine submissions in this article.

Long before the internet became widely used, writers who wanted to submit to magazines (and other publishers) used a book called Writer’s Market to look for places to submit their work. Writer’s Market was a pretty thick book, and it listed the submission guidelines of publishers of all types and genres. Unfortunately, Writer’s Market went out of business.

Now, there are other places on the internet that list various markets for magazines. We found some for you. This list includes both fiction and nonfiction online publishers:

There are other lists, of course. Just do an internet search if the ones here do not fit your needs.

But don’t just rely on the guidelines on these websites. Review the definitive version of the submission guidelines on the magazine’s website too. If you don’t follow the most current guidelines, it almost always guarantees a rejection.

There Are Numerous Online Writing Platforms that Pay Writers to Publish Content

We said earlier that writers really need their own website. But building a website can be a little intimidating, especially if you’ve never done it before. And a lot of folks who work in the arts—which includes writers, of course—don’t feel tech savvy enough to even try.

This is why there are online writing platforms made for writers. Many of them will let writers set up their own area to post their writings. Most of the writings will be public, but sometimes you can designate some or all of the writings to be subscription only. The platforms that offer both types will often help writers collect subscription fees.

We’ll profile five such platforms below. If the platform pays writers or helps writers make money, we’ll include the information too.

Of course, there are many online publishing platforms than the five we profile. We don’t have the space to give you detailed information, but we’ll list them for you. This way, it’ll be easier for you to do additional research on them, if you’re interested.

Let’s start with the biggest and the most well-known online platform for writers: Twitter.

Twitter is a Social Media Platform Favored by Journalists and Other Writers

(Editor’s Note: Yes, we know Twitter is experiencing a lot of changes after Elon Musk’s takeover. We’re keeping our eyes on the changes. We’ll update this section if necessary after the dust settles a bit. For now, we note that some Twitter monetization programs require you to be a verified user. Which, now might just mean you pay Twitter $7.99/month.)

Twitter is one of the biggest social media platforms around. And a lot of writers and journalists hang out on Twitter. Even though each tweet can only be 280 characters long, writers have made things work simply by replying to themselves and making a Twitter thread.

But Twitter is evolving. It’s testing a new format called Notes, which can accommodate longer content. You can also embed photos, videos, GIFs, and tweets in the Note. Notes can be edited, and you can read Notes on and off Twitter (with a link). Follow @TwitterWrite for updates.

You can make money on Twitter by helping marketers advertise. You and the advertiser negotiate and agree to the deal off Twitter. But Twitter also helps creators make money.

Twitter has four monetization programs. Here are the details.

Amplify Pre-Roll

Amplify pre-roll is Twitter’s ad revenue share program. It’s a program for video content, so it’s not of much use for most writers. We include the information here only for completeness.

To qualify for Amplify Pre-Roll, your videos can be up to 10 minutes. They must be original, of premium quality, and native to Twitter. To join the program, you must be in a country where the program is available (US and Canada qualify).

After you make a video, you tag it with one of 15 content categories. Twitter automatically finds relevant ads to show before your video. You get a revenue share every month. Twitter doesn’t disclose the percentage of the revenue share. For more details, see here.

To be in the Amplify Pre-Roll program, you have to be a verified user. Verification depends on various factors. For example, there’s a category for political figures and another for entertainment figures. There’s one for creators.

To be verified as a creator, you have to be in the top 0.05% of followers or mentions for your geographic area. That puts most people out of the running. There are other requirements for verification. Here are the details.


Anyone can participate in the Tips program. The program basically places a Tip button on your profile. The button links to an outside account such as Venmo, Cash app, Patreon, GoFundMe, etc.

You decide the tip amount to solicit. Twitter doesn’t take a cut, but you do have to pay transaction and other fees for the platform you link to. Here are the details of the Tips program.

Super Follows

Super Follows is Twitter’s version of subscriptions. This program is currently in beta, so it’s only open to US creators.

You have to meet a lot of requirements to be eligible for Super Follows. Here’s the full list of requirements, but some minimums include:

  • Have at least 10,000 followers
  • Be 18 or older
  • Have tweeted 25 times in the last 30 days
  • Your account is older than 3 months

A Super Follow can be priced at $2.99, $4.99, or $9.99.

If your Super Follower pays through the App Store, Apple will take a 30% cut from the subscription price. If your Super Follower pays through Google Play, Google’s cut is either 15% or 30%, depending on your annual earnings through Google Play.

Twitter seems to also take a percentage, but there’s not a lot of information on how much. They take less before you reach a lifetime earnings of $50,000. Once you pass this minimum, Twitter takes a 20% cut. Here’s more information from Twitter on Super Follows.


Twitter owns a newsletter platform called Revue. They bought the company in January of 2021, and they’ve since integrated it into Twitter. The service targets writers.

Anyone can set up a free Revue account. The free tier lets you send out an unlimited number of free newsletters to an unlimited number of subscribers.

You also have the option to charge a fee for some or all of your newsletters. When someone subscribes, Twitter/Revue takes 5%. Stripe, the payment processor, also takes a payment processing fee. (In the US, this is 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.) The rest of the revenue is yours.

You get to decide how much you want to charge for the subscription. The typical Revue creator charges $5-$10 per month.

Here’s more information from Twitter about Revue.

Substack is an Online Publishing Platform Popular with Journalists and Podcasters

Substack is an online writing platform that mostly publishes through newsletters. Readers can visit Substack and browse through the newsletters. Anyone can write and publish a newsletter on Substack. You can also host podcasts on Substack.

Both fiction and non-fiction writers use Substack. A lot of fiction writers use the newsletter format to serialize their stories. Each newsletter might contain one or more chapters to a book.

You don’t have to know how to code to set up your newsletter on Substack. You can let readers read your newsletters for free, or you can set up subscriptions for one or more of your newsletters. The free newsletters are published to the web, so new readers can find you through search engines. Substack also has a suggestion algorithm, so your newsletter can be suggested to readers who visit the Substack site.

When someone subscribes to a newsletter, Substack takes 10% after credit card processing fees. Stripe is their processor, so the transaction fee for each transaction is 2.9% + $0.30.

You can also set up your newsletter on a contribution model. All your newsletters are free to read, but you invite readers to make monthly contributions. A minimum contribution is $5.00/month.

You won’t be able to include advertising or affiliate links in your publications. So, the only way for a writer to make money on Substack is through subscriptions or contributions.

You can move your domain to be hosted on Substack. They charge a one-time setup fee of $50.

Medium is an Online Writing Platform That Offers Readers a Free and a Subscription Tier

Medium is an online publishing platform with articles on just about anything. Each article is published to the internet and searchable by search engines. The articles are free to read.

Both readers and writers can set up a Medium account for free. Writers can just start writing. (You do have to follow Medium’s distribution rules.)

If you become a popular writer, you can get into Medium’s Partner Program. Once you’re in the program, readers can read a certain number of your articles for free, but they have to become a paid member to read all of your articles.

To be in the Partner Program, you need to publish at least 1 story/article, gain 100 followers, and publish at least once every 6 months. Medium will share their membership subscription revenue with you. Your share depends on how much time a paid member spends that month reading your articles. You also get a revenue share if you refer someone to become a member. For a referral, you get 50% of that person’s monthly fees for as long as that person remains a member.

As of August 2021, Medium’s membership fee is $5/month or $50/year. So, your referral fee would be $2.27/month for monthly subscriptions or $2.01/month for yearly subscriptions. Medium uses Stripe as their payment processor, and Stripe charges a processing fee of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. Medium subtracts the processing fee before they determine your 50%. Here’s more explanation on how Medium calculates your revenue share.

There’s no minimum payout amount. You’ll usually be paid on the 8thof each month for your previous month’s earnings. The payout can take 5-7 days to reach your account.

Sometimes, Medium editors might reach out to you to pay you a bonus in addition to your usual revenue share from the Partner Program.

Quora is a Question-and-Answer Platform but Some Answers Can be as Detailed as an Article

Quora is an online publishing platform that uses the question-and-answer format similar to Reddit. But, while Reddit posters can start a thread with a long post, Quora users start a thread by asking a question. Other users can answer these questions. Some of the answers are as long and as detailed as articles you can find on blogs.

There are two broad programs on Quora that can help Quora creators make money. The first one is called Quora+. The other is called Space.


Writers can monetize their Quora answers through the Quora+ program. Right now, the program is in beta, so it’s invite only.

Quora+ creators can designate specific answers to be in the Quora+ program. A Quora reader would be able to view a percentage of these Quora+ answers for free. But, if they wish to read more, they have to pay a membership fee.

Right now, a Quora+ membership costs $6.99/month or $47.88/year. A Quora+ creator’s share of the revenue would depend on how much time the paid member spent that month reading the creator’s answers.

Quora+ writers get a unique referral link they can share with others. If a reader becomes a paid member through the Quora+ writer’s referral link, Quora shares 50% of that member’s fee with the writer for as long as the person remains a member.


If you start a Space on Quora, it gives you a different way to make money.

A Space is a forum like Facebook Groups or a Reddit subreddit. The Space’s owner can choose to make it a paid Space so that only paid members can access the Space. A Space can also have both paid and free content. Subscription price is set by the Space’s owner and can be any amount. Space owners get 95% of the subscription fees, after payment processing fees are taken out. (I.e. Quora gets 5%)

There doesn’t seem to be any minimum requirements to start a Space. You’d have to post in English and live in a country where the monetization program is available, however. US and Canada are on that list.

A Space’s admin can monetize the Space in three ways:

  • Ad revenue sharing. The revenue share is based on ad views and click throughs. Quora doesn’t disclose the percentage of your share.
  • Quora+. You can allow Quora+ answers in your Space. This way, subscribers of your Space can also view the Quora+ answers without paying anything extra.
  • Subscriptions. You can set your own subscription rate for your Space. Subscribers to your Space are allowed to read all the answers in your Space. Quora takes 5% of your Space subscription fee. You keep the rest.

For both Quora+ and Space, Quora uses Stripe as its payment processor. This means Stripe takes 2.9% + $0.30 for each transaction. You have to have made a minimum of $10 before you can ask for a payout.

Wattpad is an Online Writing Platform Popular with Fiction Writers

Wattpad has been around for a while. There’s a lot of fan fiction on Wattpad, but it seems the platform is trying to mentor folks who show promise writing original fiction.

There are three ways writers can make money on Wattpad: Paid Stories, Wattpad Creators Program, and Brand Partnerships.

Paid Stories

Wattpad’s Paid Stories works like a subscription program. It’s currently in beta and is an invite only program.

Wattpad editors look for stories on the platform that can be broken down into parts or sold as a whole. If they pick your story, they’ll help you set up something like a subscription program. Readers can buy Coins with real money through the App Store or Google Play. Then, they can use the Coins to unlock all or a portion of your story.

Wattpad doesn’t disclose how the money is shared between Wattpad and the writer. But, since readers have to by Coins from the App Store or Google Play, we know Apple and Google take 30% of the revenue right off the bat.

The Creators Program

The Wattpad Creators Program is currently in beta. It’s also an invite only program.

To be eligible for the program, you have to have:

  • Published a new story in the last 3 months
  • Written at least one completed novel-length story (50,000 words)
  • Have no platform content violations
  • Written one story that belongs to a genre of permitted genres
  • The story has to have had a minimum number of engaged readers, which is different for different genres

Once you hit the minimum criteria for at least 1 day, Wattpad will contact you and onboard you to the program. You can earn a stipend when you’re in this program, but Wattpad doesn’t give any details on how much the stipend might be. You’ll also get some brand perks, creator-focused resources, and editorial support.

Being in the Wattpad Creators Program makes you eligible for the Wattpad Brand Partnership program.

Wattpad Brand Partnership Program

Wattpad runs various writing contests from time to time. Some of these contests are sponsored by brands. If you win one of these contests, you’d be noticed by these brands.

The brands might buy the rights to your story and turn it into videos, commercials, and the like. The brand might also pay you to create more content for the brand.

Other Online Publishing Platforms for Writers

There are other online writing platforms where writers can create content. Most of these places do not have programs to help you make money. Instead, you simply write to establish name recognition and maybe get followers who would visit your website where you monetize your writing.

For example, if you’re a book critic, you can write reviews on these forums to establish a reputation:

  • Goodreads
  • Reddit
  • Litsy
  • Copper (

If you write articles for the following two online magazines, you’ll get a byline. You’ll also get to link to your website, so folks can visit and read more of your work:

  • EzineArticles
  • Article Alley

If you’re interested in a hybrid self-publishing and traditional publishing model, you could try Inkitt. The platform is for both fiction and non-fiction writers. You upload your story and let people read it for free. If the story does well, then Inkitt publishes your writing through their self-owned e-publisher, GALATEA. The first publication is in English and in electronic format. They might later publish the book in other formats and in other languages.

The Publishing Industry is Changing, so Don’t be Afraid to Explore New Ways to Publish Your Work

Writing is something everyone thinks they can do, but not everyone can do well. That’s why, traditionally, publishers frown upon writers who self-publish. They assume that these writers have to self-publish because the writing is so bad that no publishing house would buy their work.

But, more and more, this isn’t necessarily true anymore. Publishing has become easier and less expensive. Anyone with a computer and an internet connection can write and publish their work. As long as they can find an audience, they often can do just fine.

Traditional publishing still has its advantages, of course. You’ll get editorial, marketing, and distribution help for free.

But, if you’re open to exploring different ways to publish your work and you’re confident you can write well, then you might want to try one or more of these online writing platforms just to see what happens.

Interested in starting and running a small business? Here’s the beginning of our step-by-step guide: What to do right after getting that great business idea.

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