The Internet features a lot of websites where writers can connect with customers. None of them pay as well as finding your own clients, but some do offer decent pay and deal fairly. Others have serious problems of various kinds. Here are some notes from my experience:
BlogMutt. It’s my current favorite; I get a good chunk of income from it. It makes nice use of gamification, letting writers rise to higher levels by writing articles and having them accepted. (I’m currently Level 8.) Customers post topics that they want posts on, and you can submit articles on any that your level qualifies for. At first you can only write short articles, which have the lowest per-word rate; as you rise to higher levels, you can accept requests for longer articles with better rates. The forum is friendly, and the staff is helpful.
Writer Access. When you start out, you take a writing test that determines your star level. With a higher level, you qualify for better-paying assignments. You can apply for open requests and may get picked to carry them out. The ratio of requests to writers is low. To get more work, you need to get on customers’ “love lists.” They let you see requests which other writers don’t see. You have to jump on your email notifications fast, though, or someone will beat you to them. Writer Access pays better than BlogMutt per word, but so far I haven’t managed to find as much work from them.
Constant Content. With this site, you can write articles on your own initiative, which customers may pick up. It’s a good model for a writer with a niche, and I sold a small number of articles there. I ran into too much editorial incompetence, though, and gave up. Some people have reported better experiences. It may be the luck of which editor reviews your material.
SwarmContent. This site looks attractive in some ways, but it has a fatal flaw. As with Constant Content, you write articles for customers to pick up. The problem? They publish the articles in full before selling them. To “protect” from plagiarism, they show the articles as images rather than text. Either they’ve never heard of OCR software, or they think content thieves haven’t. I’ve seen reports of people’s unsold articles being plagiarized, so the thieves know. As far as I’m concerned, this is a fatal flaw.
There are lots of other sites around, and there may be even better ones that I don’t know about yet. If you’re a writer, these sites are good for keeping the income flowing while trying to get more, better paying, direct clients.