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Have you ever wondered how do movie critics make money?
Well, the most logical way I can think of is that the media company that they work for, whether its a newspaper, magazine or television station writes them a paycheck for offering their opinions on the latest films being released.
Being a movie critic is an important job that people do get a lot of value from. If you’ve ever read a movie review in a newspaper or magazine or watched shows like Ebert At the Movies or BBC’s The Film Review, then that in itself is proof.
Whenever I sit down to watch a movie, I usually do a web search to see if the movie is worth watching or I’d search after I’ve seen the movie to see what others thought of the movie.
I’m sure that there are others who do just like me and that presents an opportunity if you’ve ever thought about writing your own movie reviews. Writing reviews is one thing though. How you make money from them is another.
In this article, I’ve done some research and put together a list of ways in which you can make money doing movie reviews. If you want to do something you love and get paid for it then read on.
1. Write for Magazines & Newspapers
If you’re serious about having a career as a film critic and you have qualifications such as a degree in entertainment journalism then you may want to seek out a job with a magazine or newspaper publication where they often publish film reviews.
Contact info can be found in all magazines and newspapers and most of them also have an accompanying website on the internet where they may also publish their content.
Most entertainment magazines and newspapers already have movie reviews but if they don’t, they may be open to the idea of carrying them or looking for help in getting these pieces published.
Should you end up getting a job as a salaried writer for a print magazine or newspaper, you can enjoy great pay and a job that has many great perks including watching a lot of movies.
2. Write for Internet Websites That Accept Paid Submissions
There are many websites online that people look towards for their opinions on movies. These websites sometimes need help getting content and are willing to pay for reviews and other film related content such as lists eg. 50 Best Movies of 2019.
It can be tough finding these writing opportunities but they are out there and I’ve dug up a few that you can start with. If you’d like to find these on your own then just look for websites that include movie review articles and see if they allow submissions by searching the name of the website and the phrase “write for us” or “submissions”. For example, if you want to write for Rolling Stone, you’d search for “rolling stone write for us”.
The other downside to finding paid movie review writing opportunities is that you may get your submissions rejected or not hear back from a website after making a submission. It is important to follow each site’s submission guidelines and read some of their actual reviews and content to get a feel of what they’re looking for.
For your reward, the pay varies with each website with some paying as low as $10 per review and some on the higher end (over $100 per review).
Check of the following list of websites that currently accepts submissions. I’ll continue to update this list as I find more sites.
3. Write for Revenue Sharing Websites
While some websites accept contributions and pay you per submissions, there are other websites that will let you publish quality content and then give you a share of the revenue they make based on the performance of the content you submitted to them.
This revenue can come from earnings from advertising platforms like Google Adsense and Amazon ads and product recommendations placed on your content pages.
The downside is that the pay is usually on the low side unless your content goes viral of does very well by getting a lot of traffic.
Unless the site caters to a special niche, you can submit movie reviews and other content on these websites so if you’re a good writer, you won’t be bounded to just writing movie reviews only.
Here are a list of sites where you can write movie reviews and how they share their revenue. I’ll be adding to this list as I find more websites.
4. Make a YouTube Channel
Yes. I know. This article is about writing movie reviews.
However, a YouTube channel can be another option you can use if you’re good with a camera and just want to get out your opinion. You may need to write your review first and use it as a script for your video and you can also post it in your video’s description.
YouTube videos are very popular these days and they may get a lot more traffic than the reviews that you write. Create a channel that you can use for general review of new films that come out every week or you can choose a niche to make your channel about. If you love westerns for example or foreign films then you’ll have a much better chance of growing your channel subscriptions where you don’t have to compete with bigger channels that do general reviews of popular films.
If you can find a very creative angle for your film reviews then you’ll have a great chance of becoming popular on YouTube. For example, the channel Screen Junkies has a series called Honest Trailers where they make fun of movies and Film Theorists discusses what’s wrong with movies and both have massive followings.
How do you make money with YouTube videos? There are many ways including the YouTube Partner Program and you can also recommend affiliate products in the video description. If your channel does become popular, you can also have other opportunities presented to you.
5. Create Your Own Movie Review Website or Blog
This is probably the best option out of them all. Or you can use this option along with any of the ones mentioned above.
While option 1 (writing for a magazine or newspaper) may be the toughest one to get into, there are no barriers preventing you from starting your own movie review blog or website starting today.
The internet has allowed ordinary unqualified folks to position themselves as experts or offer their own opinions on movies and other subject matter. And their opinions are welcomed because they are relatable. Honestly, when was the last time you’ve read a review by a real movie critic? Sometimes those things sound like a college paper.
Creating your own movie review website or blog allows you to write about a topic you love and monetize those writings so that you can earn an income.
One popular way of monetizing your website is to use advertising sites like Google Adsense which pay you whenever someone clicks on ads displayed on your website or for every 1000 impressions you get on pages where ads are displayed.
You can also earn from recommending affiliate products related to movies by joining the Amazon affiliate program or any movie related affiliate program.
To get started creating your movie review website, you can choose to review movies in general or go niche by reviewing certain types of movies (westerns, foreign film, kung fu, 80’s, blaxploitation, horror, sci-fi, superhero, tv movies, Netflix originals, etc).
Your next step is to build a website that you will own so you have to first get a domain name preferably with the .com extension. Then you’ll need somewhere to host the websites and there are plenty of web hosts you can use for this. After you get a web host, you can simply install WordPress, pick a WordPress theme and then start writing.
I’ve gone through each of the steps for building your own affiliate website in this article.
To learn more about this process and to have all the resources (including web hosting) you need to get a movie review website up and running, I would suggest joining the Wealthy Affiliate community, an online learning website that teaches you how to start a website that makes money. It is free to join and get started but you also have the option to upgrade to premium to get more training and access to more resources.
I’ve been a member there for over 10 years and will be available to help you if you need guidance while starting out.
With Wealthy Affiliate’s help, creating a movie review website is just one of the possibilities but it will allow you to write about a topic you love and make money while doing it.