Searching online for writing websites can at the same time be a very rewarding and very frustrating exercise. On the one hand, the number of hits you will get is probably one of the biggest you can get. Of course, if you exclude the most current news or celebrity gossip. Still, that number will be quite close.
So, the information is out there, that is the good part. The key question though, the one that can be frustrating is – what exactly do you seek from writing websites?
Are you a potential writer seeking a job or a potential client who needs some writing done? Or maybe you are a literary agent seeking new talent? Do you possibly need a writing tool that works online, or need writing advice? Or, possibly, you are short of writing ideas and want a writing prompt?
Potentially, one or more writing websites can answer all of these questions. The key thing any potential visitor of a writing website has to ask himself is – what is it exactly what I need from it? The number and abundance of available information online are bound to answer that question. But also, a few others connected to writing along the way.
Essentially, writing websites can be divided into a number of broad categories:
- Sites offering writing services, either by agencies or individual freelancers;
- Online or printed publishers of books magazines or other publications;
- Writing agents and promoters;
- Writing advice, experience and writing prompt sites;
- Sites offering free publishing space to aspiring and other writers;
- Writing tools and reference sites;
- Aggregate sites offering lists and information on all of the above.
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Writing websites offering writing services
This is possibly the largest and the most sought-after category of writing websites. Essentially, it can be divided int two broad categories. One is the agency service sites. The other is the websites set up by freelance writers offering their services.
Agency service sites, also known as content mills or content farms are a two-way street. They offer their services to potential clients and at the same time, possible work for potential writers. According to Scripted, one such service, “the mills were a place where an Internet marketer could find writers to craft content for their own sites. The idea was to pool these writers together on a single platform and give them assignments to raise the mill’s ranking higher up in the search engines. This has worked famously in the past for many writers and well-known sites out there today, as some would pay the writers a fee per article, while others gave them a commission of the profits earned from ads on their articles.”
They add that “today’s content mills have become more of a writing marketplace that allows freelance writers to sell their work to many different customers. This has become an incredibly effective resource for all parties involved, as everything is kept centralized within a single system between the broker, the buyer, and the seller of services.”
The larger services offer a broader range of writing possibilities, while smaller ones tend to specialize in certain writing work like legal writing or so-called academic writing.
Individual freelancers and writing advice websites
The number of websites is set up by individual freelancers is in no way lesser than that of the writing agencies, if not the greater. They range from the more established ones like Carol Tice or Jeff Bullas among others to the just starting novices.
In most cases, the more established freelances offer more than their writing. Usually, it is a series of writing courses, writing advice blog articles or a list of sites or printed publishers that are seeking writers. Of course, quite a number of educational sites like Study.com and Educhouces.org offer writing advice, in most cases in the form of lists of useful sites.
Of course, there is quite a number of writer’s service/advice sites that are not strictly tied to a single freelancer. The WriteLife, Scribendi, Writer’s Digest and other, that offer both advice or additional references and sites potential writers can consult.
There are then quite a number of writer’s cooperative sites, serving as writing advice centers, experience-sharing sites or offering writing prompts. Medium.com offers space to quite a few of them, The Writing Cooperative being one of the largest among them.
Various online and print publishers, and writer’s agents should also be included in the general category of writing websites. Their services range from their latest releases to offering advice to writers or seeking pitches for new publications. Among those, there is a growing number of self-publishing sites that offer writers the possibility to present their work in print or electronic form. Reedsy, for example, “serves as a bridge uniting authors and publishing freelancers in the self-publishing industry. The firm has no physical office location but operates remotely via cloud computing.” (Wikipedia)
Writing presentation and writing tools
Yet another growing category is the sites that give the possibility to writers to directly present their work, both to potential readers and potential clients. Such sites offer potential site visitors to review the work of a number of writers without needing to go to an individual site of each and every one of them. Writing.com and Writers Cafe belong to the more established sites in that category.
Quite a number of writing sites are geared exclusively to giving writing advice. These range from specific content writing, copywriting to writing poetry or novels. For example, Now Novel offers not only possible novel resources, but courses, coaching, editing and space to write. On the other hand, Writer is exactly what its name says, an online writing space, “the Internet typewriter” as they have dubbed themselves.
As could be expected, the number of writing websites that offer specific writing tools is also very prolific. In many cases, these sites are tied with some form of a software application. Probably the best known and most used among those are Grammarly and Pro Writing Aid. With a number of those like Hemingway Editor, there is a free online version and a desktop app that comes at a certain price.
In many cases, finding these tools can be ‘a long and winding road,’ and a number of sites serve as a reference tool that lists all currently available online writing tools. Blurb is just among these.
Navigating among the writing websites
With such an abundance of information, it is often hard to navigate among writing websites. On the other hand, for both potential writers and clients, it can be quite a rewarding task.
To make it useful, visitors of all the writing sites have to have a clear idea of what exactly they are looking for. That will save them a lot of time and often, quite a lot of grief. Still, at the same time, they are bound to access some very useful information they were not aware of or that might come in very handy, even if they just stumbled upon it.