Essay writing jobs are popular among freelance writers. They have low barriers to entry, and you can quickly find dozens of gigs online.
Although accessible, you might feel skeptical about paid essays. They encourage cheating, after all. To help you reach an informed decision, let’s discuss some pros and cons of writing essays for money.
The Pros of Writing Essays for Money
Freelance writers worldwide take on essay writing jobs because they’re simple and accessible.
1. Academic Writing Gigs Are Widely Available
Freelancers primarily accept essay writing jobs for their accessibility. They’re widely available. A quick search on Upwork already displays 1,000+ projects, and you’ll likely find more on other essay-writing platforms.
Just search “academic writing” or “essay writing” on freelancing sites to get started. And make sure you contact multiple clients. They receive thousands of resumes regularly—your first few applications will likely get rejected.
Also, sign up as a Fiverr seller. While you might not receive as many orders initially, you’ll have some flexibility over setting your rates.
2. You Can Work on Essays Within Your Field of Expertise
Essay writing jobs comprise several niches. There are orders for personal essays, academic research papers, history reports, case studies, and business proposals, among other coursework. You’ll have no trouble finding ones that suit you.
While you might feel tempted to write about multiple topics, consider starting with just one or two fields. Orders often require 1,000+ words. You’ll spend too much time researching if you have minimal background knowledge of them.
Choose orders that align with your profession. For instance, economics reports suit finance professionals, while biology essays are perfect for healthcare workers.
3. Writers Can Make a Quick Buck With Paid Essays
It’s common for freelancers to struggle with client acquisition regardless of their tenure and skill. Even seasoned professionals experience a dry spell. Many spend weeks finding a lucrative gig that will replace their previous ones.
If you lose work and get strapped for cash, supplement your income with essay writing jobs. They don’t pay much. However, the extra money should help you get through these trying times.
Attract more freelance clients by utilizing your online network. Update your portfolio, contact hiring managers, and publish guest posts on reputable websites.
4. Essay Writing Gigs Are Often Open to Writers of All Levels
Writers of all levels can try writing essays for money. Even inexperienced freelancers and college students qualify for most of these gigs. They don’t even have to write that well yet. Clients just need assistance with their coursework, e.g., essays and theses.
Newbie writers should maximize these low barriers to entry. Try taking on as many essay writing jobs as possible to jumpstart your career. The freelance market is super competitive. You won’t win projects if you have zero experience.
5. Some Essay Mills Encourage Writers to Paraphrase Content
Essay writing jobs have become easier with the advancement of AI. Content mills now encourage their writers to rephrase articles that chatbots generate.
ChatGPT can generate large amounts of text quickly. The writer then needs to paraphrase the AI-generated text, a process that can vary in time depending on the complexity of the content.
The Cons of Writing Essays for Money
Think twice before accepting essay writing jobs. Weigh the disadvantages first—they might not be worth your time.
1. Essay Mills Encourage Cheating
Regardless of what content mills say, writing essays for money is unethical. It promotes cheating and commodifies plagiarized work. Entitled students may eventually think that corruption and bribery will help them achieve their goals.
The U.K. government even banned essay mills in 2022. It’s a criminal offense to sell paid essays or facilitate these transactions. While writing essays for money might not be illegal in the U.S., no educational institution allows it. Students caught submitting paid essays will get sanctioned.
2. Writing Essays for Money Is Unsustainable
Essay writing jobs are unsustainable. Students will stop paying for essays once they find free alternatives, e.g., AI. Content mills only paraphrase AI-generated content, after all. And considering the accessibility of chatbots and paraphrasing tools, students can do that themselves.
Even if the industry survives, essay writing jobs offer no career progression. There’s nowhere else to go. You’ll only increase your income if you exploit the system yourself and start an essay mill.
3. Clients Care Little About Quality
Essay mills rarely teach writing skills. Let’s face it—students pay no attention to quality. They merely want their assignments done. So unlike legitimate publications and agencies, content mills solely focus on churning out thousands of words. You’ll have no reason to upskill.
While writing essays for money could offer some opportunity for practice, it’s important to remember that high quality, engaging writing is usually valued more in other writing fields. These fields may also offer better opportunities for improving and honing your writing skills.
4. Essay Writers Make Very Little
Unfortunately, you can’t make a living writing essays. Although essay writing jobs are widely available, they pay terrible rates. There are Fiverr sellers offering 500-word pieces for just $5, and to make matters worse, content mills pay even less. Even if you write 5,000 words a day, you’ll only make around $20 to $50.
5. You Can’t Add Paid Essays to Your Portfolio
You can’t add paid essays to your writing portfolio. They already belong to the buyer. Essay mills even provide contracts stating writers should never upload or repurpose their content.
Either way, publications might not be interested in your experience writing essays. The practice is a freelancing gray area. Just write some new blogs and articles if you have no other samples.
Should You Write Essays for Money?
Writing paid essays is a quick way to make extra cash. With the prevalence and accessibility of essay mills, you could probably land your first gig within hours. Just note that writing essays for money is neither sustainable nor lucrative.
Please explore other freelancing opportunities as your writing career progresses. You’ll find plenty of high-paying projects on LinkedIn, Upwork, ProBlogger, Pitchwiz, and even Facebook. Broaden your options.