Many writers markets are listed in online collections, from paid writers market listings such as WritersMarket.com to various free listings on blogs and freelance writing sites. The only problems with those sources are that they often feature the same writers markets, and they're frequented by large numbers of freelance writers, meaning more competition for the writing gigs. If you're tired of coming across the same writers markets, or looking for something highly specific, a simple (and often overlooked) tool to finding those "hidden" writers markets is your favorite search engine. Let's explore a few search tips to help you find less-publicized, and well-paying, writers markets.

General Writers Market Search Tips

The following phrases are commonly used on websites of publications which accept freelance writer submissions:

  • "writers guidelines"
  • "submission guidelines"
  • "author guidelines"
  • "contributor guidelines"
  • "write for us"
  • "hiring freelance writers"

Using the above search terms alone can give you a good general start, by exposing not only large publications which are well-optimized for those keyword phrases, but also by presenting you with many writers market listings and writers guidelines databases available online.

Pay-Based Writers Market Search Tips

While searching for "writers guidelines" will give you many markets to choose from, you likely won't be able to get through all of the listings. Perhaps you want something based on a certain pay rate, or at least pay type (per word, per article, etc.). Now try a search using one of the above general search phrases with something pay-based, like the examples below:

  • "per word"
  • "per article"
  • "per feature"

You can also try very specific pay rates in your searches such as the following examples (just plug in different amounts, based on your goals):

  • "$1 / word", "$1.00 per word", or "one dollar per word"
  • "5 cents per word", "$.10 / word"

Niche-Based Writers Market Search Tips

Many, if not most, high-paying markets for freelance writers require someone with a background in the particular niche. Many freelance writers also choose a topic area to specialize in, based on their experience. You can further narrow your writers market search results by searching only within your desired niche with search phrases such as:

  • "travel writing"
  • "business magazine"
  • "children's magazine"
  • "in flight magazines"

You can also do more general niche-bases searches without other options, such as simply searching for:

  • "travel writers markets"
  • "business writers markets"
  • "children's writers markets"

Putting it All Together


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The trick to finding high-paying "hidden" writers markets when searching online is to keep trying various search combinations until you see markets that you haven't come across before. For example, the following search combinations in Google for someone specializing in the business writing niche offer very different results. Take a look at them, and then play with your own search combinations until you find the writing gigs you're looking for.

business writers markets - yields very general results, and many to sites that might offer related writers market listings

"writers guidelines" and "business magazine" - yields more specific results, with more individual hiring publications in the niche

"writers guidelines" and business and "per word" - yields another set of specific results lising individual publications, and lets you often see the per word rate the publication pays right in the search results summary (saves time in weeding out low-paying markets)

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Indie Writers, NakedPR.com, and BizAmmo.com.

Jenn has over 17 years experience writing for others, around 12 years experience in blogging, and about a decade of experience in indie e-book publishing. She is also an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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