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Again, this comes down to speed. Online journalism has created an interesting relationship between sourcing and accountability. While digital writers are expected to be their own authority, their readers will take note of any errors in real time.

Try that online and, within minutes, you will be barraged in the comments sections by knowledgeable readers and trolls alike. And for some digital publications, editors even demand that writers participate and respond to questions and constructive criticism. For example, I recently wrote an article for The Points Guy about the credit card benefits offered to active duty members of the military , and several commentators immediately pointed to personal experiences that contradicted what I had written.

Minutes after the article was posted, I learned some card issuers were denying service members the benefits, and that there were other nuances to promised benefits I was not aware of. You can read the dust-up for yourself in the comments section. I once heard a magazine editor say that he expected authors to spend hours working on stories and refining their ideas before submitting a pitch.

And in the case of the more blog-style sites, editors might just ask me to use my best judgment to write about whatever I think would make for a compelling article. Because of all of the time saved during the pitching and writing processes, online writers who are subject matter experts can often make more money per hour, day, or week than they would have contributing to print.

And since online outlets typically publish more than most print outlets, there is the opportunity to make up the difference in total compensation with volume and more diverse opportunities due to the volume of opportunities.

But I recognize that print authors essentially work in a different field than I do. Producing labor-intensive, high-quality content for print publications may be more professionally satisfying than writing for the web, but it has its trade-offs. By understanding the distinctions between print and online writing, freelancers can choose the medium that makes the most sense for their careers. This website uses cookies to improve your experience.

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