Have you ever dreamed of making money writing technical articles? How would you feel if I were to tell you that certain publications will pay you up to $600 to write an article for them?
But wait a minute – this is not a quick-money-making scheme. Rather, I will show you how to start making money from writing technical articles, from zero to genius.
So, if you are good at writing and programming already, this is your chance to support your programming career with a stipend you can make from writing. Even if you don't want to write technical articles, you can still use the same process in this article – you'll just have to work with non-technical platforms instead.
About 8 years ago, I dreamed of earning money by writing technical articles to help make ends meet after learning to code for more than a year. So, I hurriedly dove in and started doing research on Google.
"Clatter clatter clatter", those were my fingers dancing across the keys typing "How to get paid for writing technical articles". Boom! The contents of the articles I read made me think, "What! I don't want yet another list. Just. Get. Me. In."
But wait a minute, I still want to appreciate those first articles I found – it took their authors a lot of time and effort to put them together. And as a writer, I appreciated the information they shared because they provided a list of companies I could write for.
Just like them, to help you avoid stress and stop wasting time, I have compiled a list of companies you can write for. After the list, we'll dive into how you can make the most of writing technical articles for money.
Before I show you how to get yourself into the game, it is important that you know the platforms you can write for. So I have curated some of the most popular platforms that will pay you money to write technical articles for them.
Twilio pays up to $500 per article and you're not required to use any of Twilio's packages. They take articles about general development. Apply here.
Clubhouse.io pays $350-$600 per article. They take articles about team collaboration, software development, and general how-tos. Apply here.
TestDriven.io pays up to $500 per article. They publish articles that teach testing, scaling, and application optimization with web technologies.
Honey Badger pays $500+ per article. Apply here.
Hasura pays up to $300 per article. They take articles about Hasura and GraphQL. Apply here.
Digital Ocean pays up to $400 per article. They take articles about Open Source Software (OSS), cloud hosting, Linux, infrastructure, and so on. Apply here.
LogRocket pays up to $350 per article. They publish tutorials about web technologies. Apply here.
Auth0 pays up to $300 per article. You pick from specified topics on the platform. Apply here.
Sohace pays up to $100 per article. They provide topics you can choose from. Apply here.
CSS-Tricks pays up to $250 per article. They provide a list of possible topics to choose from. You can also submit a topic. Apply here.
Real Python pays up to $300 per article (unofficial). Apply here.
WPHub pays up to $200 per article. They publish tutorials about WordPress. Apply here.
Tutorialspoint pays up to $500 per article. You can choose from specified topics or write about any technical topic. Apply here.
Fauna pays up to $500 per article. They provide topics to write about. Apply here.
Smashing Magazine takes tutorials, guides and case studies. Apply here.
Gitlab pays up to $200 per article. They take articles that help you get better at development. Apply here.
Linode pays a minimum of $300 per article and also pays $100 for an existing article. Apply here.
CircleCI pays up to $300 per article. Apply here.
TypingDNA pays up to $500 per article. You're expected to write articles related to TypingDNA. Apply here.
Draft pays up to $500 per article. They provide topics to choose from. Apply here.
SitePoint pays $100 or more. Apply here.
Arctype pays up to $100+ per article and takes articles about SQL, Databases, and Daya analysis.
freeCodeCamp publishes articles about web development, data science, DevOps, Machine Learning and AI, math, learning to code, job searching, and more. You can apply to become an author, and if you're a good fit, you'll be able to set up an account. Here's how to apply.
Dev.to is like your personal blog and you can post any article you want as long as it abides by the community rules and regulations.
Hashnode is a personal blog with a touch of community.
How do you feel after checking out this list?
Well, if you're just like me, I wanted some more guidance - I wanted to know how to "get in" and start making money.
If you feel the same, don't worry, I will show you how to get yourself in even if you're a total novice. Just keep on reading!
If you don’t belong to tech, there are a lot of other publications that pay you to write articles about fashion, food, health and others.
You just need to say "Open Sesame" to get in (🤪). Are you in after saying that? Oh, never mind!
It might be intimidating having to apply to these platforms in order to write paid articles. They care a lot about quality, of course, and only want to publish articles that are suitable for their audiences.
So you have to position yourself as someone who can deliver value to their audience. And let's be real. Why should they pay you hundreds of dollars when they can get someone to write similar articles for less than $30 on Fiverr? You must be able to provide value tailored to their audience.
I assume you have never written paid articles before, but that you're good at writing and programming. Fine! So you have to make sure you write clearly and well, like someone a publication would want as a writer.
The reality is that they don't really care about you. Why should they? They mostly care about their businesses and audience.
Then, what would you do? You need to write at least three articles. The articles must be good enough to get the attention of the platforms that pay for articles. The question now is how will you write such amazing articles? Yeah, this is the magic --"Learn from the best, copy from the best and apply your own style".
This is how to do it?
You need to first identify six platforms you want to write for. I call this technique "The Rule of Six". Let's use the platforms below as a case study.
Why do I need six platforms again?
You need to study what is considered acceptable by some of the platforms you want to write for. Checking these six platforms will expose you to the best writers in the industry.
What are we checking on the platforms?
You want to check six authors, six writing styles and six topics.
To make it easy, pick a topic from an author from each of the six platforms above. For example, you can pick an article from FreeCodeCamp، one from SmashingMagazine and one from each of the rest.
Make sure the articles selected are about the topics you're good at because it is easy to discover the gap in your style, skills and knowledge by dealing with what you're also good at.
Honestly, I didn't choose my style with this process consciously but when I paid attention to why I write or talk the way I do, I discovered the process I have been explaining to you.
So, you might have had a certain writing style already. By that, I mean it is not necessary to choose another writing style once you have a style already.
For example, I don't try to adopt anybody's style but I adapt different writing styles from amazing authors and always allow my inner thought process to reflect to add a touch of humanity.
You too can improve your writing styles with everything you have learned from others and that is fine. We are all learning from one another.
If you're yet to have an amazing writing style you love, you can take your time, like a week, less than a week or more to read the articles you have gathered and develop your writing style with whatever you learn from the writing styles of the authors you have selected.
Honestly, it is best to adopt the general technical writing style because it will help you avoid unnecessary rejections. But for me, I do what makes me happy.
Then, what next?
Nobody knows whether you're an amazing writer or not until they see your write-up. So, you have to write some amazing articles to showcase your skills.
Pick three topics out of the six topics you have identified earlier. Make sure the three topics you pick are the ones you know about the most among the selected topics.
Then, you need to write an article for each of the topics. Don't try to be in a hurry to finish all the articles but make sure you take your time to write each of the articles with the best of your writing skills.
As far as I am concerned, I don't think it is bad if it takes you 3 to 4 months or 1 to 2 days to write the three articles. What matters most is the quality of the articles.
Hey! How can I write the articles?
It is not rocket science. You just have to be willing to put in the work. You can use the approach I called "PROT".
These are the steps to follow:
Pick three topics out of the six topics; then pick a topic from the three topics you have selected (6-3-1). This is what I mean. You need to identify six topics you can write about, narrow it down to three topics and pick a final topic to write about from the three selected topics.
Doing this helps you choose interesting topics. It could be very useful to identify a great topic.
Research the topic further and make sure you check all of the best articles on the topic.
Create an outline for your writing. Map out all its parts to aids writing flow.
Try to write an article that beats all the best articles you have seen on the topic.
That is the basic way to go about it but it is easier said than done.
Then, what next?
You can share the first three articles on your personal blog or platforms with no entry barrier like dev.to and hashnode.com
By doing this, you position yourself as an experienced technical writer that any platform would want as a writer.
You're now an experienced technical writer.
It is time to get in. Below is the step by step approach to follow:
Research the interests of each of the platforms you want to write for.
For instance, if you want to know about what it takes to write for FreeCodeCamp. The best place to know that is through Freecodecamp. So you have to research and know what they expect. You could google "write for us freecodecamp".
For Smashing Magazine, you could google "write for us smashing magazine". In short, you could find necessary information about any publication you want by googling "write for us + companyName".
Don't assume you can approach all of them the same way. You have to approach them based on their stated requirements or interests.
Wait: Can I send you some stones from Nigeria for breakfast?
Oh! Do you say "I am not interested in eating stone"? You see! We all have preferences. So give them what they want too.
Research the interests of the publication you want to write for. It is very important because it determines whether you will be accepted or not.
It is time to apply. After checking most of the publications listed in this article, I realized the publications approach this application in two major ways.
Some ask you to give them your name, social media username, email and bio, for example, FreeCodeCamp.
You can use below as a template to craft your own bio:
In your bio, indicate your core interest first as in:
Then add your work experience (if any) as in: I have worked with [company name] as a [job title],[company name] as a [job title] and [company name] as a [job title].
There are some other platforms, such as Smashing Magazine, that want you to send the outline of the article you want to write to them, your name, email and bio.
That means you have to also write an outline. But how do you write such an outline?
Listen, this article is not meant to teach how to write an outline but I will give you an example you can learn from.
Here is the outline of Image To Text Conversion With React And Tesseract.js (OCR) I wrote for Smashing Magazine.
Headline: Image To Text Conversion With React And Tesseract.js (OCR)
a) Data as the backbone of any software application.
b) Inability to extract texts from an image as a limition to data processing.
c) OCR as a solution.
B. What is OCR?
a) What does OCR stand for? Optical Character Recognition
b) Meaning of Optical Character Recognition.
C. Evolution of OCR. Optical Character Recognition can be traced to several inventions but below are the ones that have great impacts on OCR.
a) Optophone was developed to convert a printed page to produce tones that are corresponded to specific letters or character on the page.
b) Gismo was developed to recognise all 26 letters of the Latin alphabet as produce by a standard type-writer
c) CCD flatbed scanner introduced the first omni-present optical character recognition system that could recognise any fonts.
d) Newton MessagePad was designed to recognise handwritten characters.
e) Tesseract intruduces neural networks to OCR to recognise patterns for themselves.
D. Why use OCR?
a). Regulations - It makes it possible to regulate media content. E.g Hiding sensitive media contents like on Twitterand regulation of amount of texts on Facebook ads images.
b). Searchability - It makes images or printed documents searchable.
c). Accessibility - It can provide useful information from an image to a screen-reader.
d). Data processing automation - Pin on a card or QR code can be extracted and processed.
e). Digitalization of printed materials - It makes it easy to convert printed documents to digital ones to store or edit them.
E. Dos and Donts of OCR.
Do pre-process images for accurate results.
Do think about security
Don't take all file formats as Tesseract cannot handle all file formats.
F. What is Tesseract.js?
G. What we will build - an amazon giftcard-pin extractor. We will build a simple application that extracts the pin code of a scanned amazon giftcard.
a) Image Pre-processing
Binarization - Converting the pixels of an image to either black and white.
Noise Removal - Removing small dots/patches of high intensity in an image by blurring it.
Thinning and Skeletonization - It is used to create a uniform width of strokes in hand written documents because handwritten texts have different strokes as different writers write differently.
Skew Correction - A scanned document maybe be skewed a bit and it is corrected by re-aligning the skewed content.
b). Converting a pre-processed image to texts
c). Extracting a certain string of number (pin) from the text
d). Matching the pin for confirmatione). Desplaying a confirmation message
H. Conclusiona). Limition of OCRb). Optimizing OCR for a specific purpose.c). Further reading.
Hey, it doesn't have to belong as this. It has to be suitable for what you're writing about. Even some of the platforms will help you refine your outline. So don't be scared of getting an outline wrong.
After preparing the outline of the first article you want to write, then apply for the Guest Writer position.
That is it.
Hey wait, how can I be writing articles consistently to keep making the money 🤑?
Ah! That is a tough question to answer. Well, I will try my best to tell you some tips. Keep on reading!
If you want to stay in, you have to write articles consistently. Some publications determine the topic you write about. They mostly send out such topics to writers. Some of them don't choose topics for writers. In that case, you have to determine the topics to write about. The question now is, how can you know the topic to write about?
Just like we have done before, you have to check six websites to see which topic is on one platform but is missing on another.
Then you can write a better version of such a topic for another publication if it is part of the topics they're interested in. Most technical writers do that consciously or unconsciously. When you do the work, you will understand what I mean.
Most publications like topics that have potentials but are not widely covered. So whenever you discover a useful concept, approach or package that is gaining momentum, pitch it to any publication you write for. Anyway, be sure it is something they are interested in before investing much of your time in it.
Bottom line: Don't go against the platform you write for or don't do anything that tarnishes their image. If you have to go against them, be ready to leave them. That is it.
For someone like me, this part is not that important because I write to solve problems and gain more exposure. If you write solely to earn more money, you need to improve your earnings.
This is how to do it:
It is really very hard to earn consistently with technical writing if you write for some publications that delay everything. Even if you are capable to write three articles per month, you won't be able to do so if the publication you're writing for usually takes a month or more to release your articles.
That means you have to look out for platforms that don't delay anything whatsoever. Then, you can easily improve your earnings. So you have to write for technical content marketing agencies to be able to write consistently and improve your earnings through technical writing.
Here are some platforms you can write for:
See, it is not compulsory to write for others to increase your earnings, you can start your own blog and monetize it or join a company as a Developer Advocate but it requires more than just writing articles – writing an article is just a great start.
There is no solution, everything is a compromise. So, whichever path you choose to take, be sure of the trade-offs you have to deal with. I prefer platforms like FreeCodeCamp, LogRocket, Smashing Magazine, etc. because my articles are still tied to me and they somehow promote me.
That is more important to me than the money I make from the write-ups. The trade-off is that I may not be able to share my articles with many publications at the same time.
If you want to increase your earnings, you may need to let go of personal promotions and other opportunities connected to them because technical content marketing agencies may not tie all your articles to you. In short, you have to know what is more important to you -- money or promotion?
Everything is a trade-off.
Technical writing is a very important skill that helps writers, learners and the tech industry in general. It can help you earn some side income, solve problems and still give you more exposure as a software developer.
Listen, technical writing is not just for experts. It is for everyone who is willing to help others, promote themselves and still make some money.
The question now is if it doesn't have to be cool, what can you start writing in the next six minutes?
Start now to change the world with technical writing and earn some MONEY.