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Make Money Writing Personal Essays (Up to $750)

 You might not have ever considered the idea of getting paid to write about your life but there are lots of places looking for insights and perspectives about personal experiences from an ordinary writer like you.

Here are more (non-Medium) publications that pay writers for personal essays.


Who they are

DAME is a popular publication that covers news, cultures, science, politics, entertainment, society, technology, health, environment and economy.

What they look for

A women-led magazine, DAME is looking for stories that “transparently and thoroughly explain the context of what’s going on, what’s currently at stake, and who’s most affected”. An ideal DAME story is human-centric and original, not breaking news.

They don’t publish art, fiction, poetry, previously published stories, or fully written or reported stories.

Pay is $350-$750.

How to submit

You need to pitch them your story idea by filling out their pitch form here. If you don’t have a story idea right now but would like to contribute to DAME in the future, you can join their Freelance Program by clicking here.

2. BuzzFeed Reader

Who they are

BuzzFeed might not be a new name for you. The platform is popular for its click-worthy headlines and content that garners millions of views. The good news is they also accept personal essays and cultural criticism on BuzzFeed Reader.

What they look for

They’re looking for fresh perspectives, pieces with a clear central idea that “offer insight into an ongoing and relevant cultural conversation for readers.”

Topics can include but are not restricted to travel, drugs, body image, race, hormones, physical or mental illness, relationships, sexuality, religion, good, family, money and disability.

You can also write critical essays for them. These are argumentative pieces rather than personal stories on topics such as fashion, politics, technology etc.

  • Pay: Varies but $0.25 per word on average.
  • Word count: 1500–2500 words for personal essays

How to submit

Submit your pitch or first draft as a Google doc or Word file to [email protected] . You might not hear back from them if your piece is rejected due to the high volume of submissions they receive. But if it’s accepted, they respond within two weeks.

3. Extra Crispy

Do you happen to be a foodie? If yes, this publication is for you!

Who they are

Extra Crispy is a food publication that talks about cooking hacks, foodie travel ideas, food news, brunch cocktails, breakfast recipes etc. What they don’t talk about are restaurant reviews.

They publish how tos, original recipes, illustrated narratives, works of humor, personal essays and opinions pieces and reported stories. While this is a broad range of topic ideas to choose from, they’re quite picky.

What they look for

Extra Crispy is not looking for any breakfast-y article or musings of a foodie. They want specific, well-developed ideas with a pinch of personal experience coming from credible sources. Research their site before you start penning down your story to ensure they haven’t published something similar before.

  • Pay: $0.40- $0.50/word for 800–1000 word essays (on average)

How to submit

Send your pitch to [email protected]

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