How To Make Money Writing Movie Reviews

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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.

screenshot of Screen Rant's film review section.
Film review section of Screen Rant.
  • Cineaste – For their actual print magazine, they accept a number of different pieces other than movie reviews which they usually pay $45 for. For short take reviews, they’ll pay $18. For book and DVD reviews not posted on their website as “Web Exclusives” they’ll pay $36 and for featured articles and interviews, they’ll pay $90. Film reviews must be around 1500 words in length. Please read the guidelines on film review submissions to get an idea of what they accept and don’t accept.
  • Screen Rant – This website regularly published news, articles, reviews, lists and other engaging content on movies and television shows. They’re always looking for writers but they only mention on the website that they’ll pay but not the rates. They do not accept guest post type submissions, only contributor positions where you’ll write in-depth, engaging content which means they could be paying more than $100 per article.
  • Taste of Cinema – Movie lists eg. 10 Insane Movies That Are Actually Based on True Stories – make up the bulk of content from this website. There are also movie reviews but list also let you give a short review for each film that you include so it’s basically all review writing. Taste of Cinema mainly accepts movie lists and they’ll pay you for them. They don’t say how much though.
  • Substream Magazine – This print and digital publication “focuses on discovering and sharing the best in new music, film, pop culture, and entertainment.” They have a section for film reviews and accept pitches from freelance writers to do reviews and other articles. They reportedly pay up to about $0.10 per word so a 1000 word review can pay up to $100 if it gets accepted.
  • Paste Magazine – This magazine website is more known for covering music but movies are also included. They’re looking for reviews and will pay for your contributions. They don’t mention how much they’re paying but judging from their standard of content quality, they definitely pay well.
  • Digital Spy is the UK’s biggest entertainment website and they’ve reportedly paid up to £60 for a review of a TV show that was about 350 – 500 words in length. You can contact them here.
  • Good Movies for Kids accepts movie reviews from all ages and they pay every contributor. Their rates are £20 for each movie review and £50 for a feature. They recently reached out on Twitter to make it known that they’re aiming to accept more reviews and paying for them.

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.

  • Hubpages – They’ll place Google Adsense ads on your reviews and you get paid by Google when you reach the minimum payout requirement. Hubpages also has an earnings program where they’ll pay you directly for anything you earn from recommending Amazon products via your hubs.
  • Cultured Vultures – Film reviews can be at least 500 words and they only publish about 1 per day which means you have to submit and wait. I didn’t include this in the section above because their pay comes in the form of revenue share. According to the site, they pay £2 for each published article and £2 for every 200 pageviews that you get during the first week after publication.
  • Medium – There are some film publications on Medium where you can submit your writing and they’ll share their revenue with you if they’re in the Medium partner program. However, if you can get into the Medium Partner Program yourself then you can reap the same benefits by publishing your film reviews on Medium. You’ll be able to publish your content behind a pay wall where readers of Medium can only access your writing if they’re paying the $5 monthly fee that allows them to read and engage with unlimited content on the site.

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.

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13 Comments

  1. Wow, I did not realise that you can actually earn money from writing movie reviews this is interesting. Thank you for sharing the page for the youtube partnership program I have recently set up my youtube channel and was wondering how and what the process is to be paid by youtube. I have a long way to go to get subscribers and I am sure that it will eventually happen. Wealthy affiliate is a great way to start when you’re a newbie like myself. I am very grateful to have joined WA, I have learnt a lot in 6 months.

    • Yes, Wealthy Affiliate can teach you a lot and I see that you’re already getting into video. That is great. You can do a lot with YouTube. 

  2. these days, virtually anything can bring in money so far there is the willingness and the creativity to do it. I really like the fact that one can focus the energy on this and make money through it. Writing movie reviews and making money from it sounds rather interesting to me and I’d love that. Thanks so much for sharing this out here. Thumbs up

    • Its probably one of the easiest ways for Netflix bingers to get a side income going. Just start a blog and every time you watch a movie, tell people what you think and give the movie a rating. Monetize with ads from Google or Mediavine. 

  3. I would also search for movie reviews before I watch a certain movie before I spend money on the cinema. Same as you, if the movie is interesting, I would listen to movie critics talk about the movie. Or if the movie has a mystery ending, I would definitely search YouTube for ending analysis. 

    There are times where I watch their reviews to get their A+ rating reviews as a movie recommendation. I also like to watch reviews such as Top 20 movies of 2019, so that I can catch up some of the missed out movies to be watched at home. 

    • I do the same as well. I try not to let reviews dictate what I watch though because sometimes the critics try to spoil all the fun – you can enjoy a movie that critics don’t find so good but most of the time they’re right.

      I try to get a general view of how people felt about the movie. If it’s trash then I don’t even bother.

      You gave some good points of what people look for so this should probably help anyone looking to do movie reviews on what kind of content is needed. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Hi, Jay,

    I’m a cinema lover, and I’ve been thinking of writing reviews for a long time. I’m still undecided as to whether I should open a blog, a YouTube channel or write for a company. Fortunately, the Internet opened a whole new world of possibilities. In the past, the only option to become a critic was to get a job at an editorial. Those days are long gone.

    I knew there are some companies that can hire you as a freelancer, but I have never really looked into them. I will look up your suggestions. Thank you for sharing. I will bookmark your article for future reference.

    • Awesome. I’m glad I can help. Lots of companies hire for this or take pitches but you have to know which ones to approach and who needs reviews. Just be on the lookout for opportunities and don’t be afraid to start your own review blog. You can do a lot of other content other than reviews as well. 

  5. Wow! what a great post, it shows that opportunities for making a living are endless. we just need to be open minded.I love movies and I didn’t know that you can make money by writing movie reviews.
    Making a Youtube channel is something i would really like to consider doing, I just need more info on how to get started.

    Thank you for providing such valuable and useful information. my daughter interested in writing reviews for mobile apps, do you Perhaps have information about that? please share if you don’t mind

    Thank you

    • Regarding writing reviews for mobile apps, that’s something I’ll need to do some research and probably write a post. Thanks for the idea.

      I actually did a bit of a quick search and found Apperwall. It’s easy to sign up and get started and you can earn from referrals apart from writing reviews. For this, all you need is a mobile phone and an internet connection as well as the Apperwall mobile app. They pay via PayPal.

      Alternatively, she can also start a website that reviews mobile apps. There are so many apps that she’ll never run out of apps to write about. Then monetize with affiliate programs (if the apps have any) or with advertising from Google or Mediavine.

      I don’t know of any websites that pay for app reviews but like I said before, I’ll have to research the topic and probably do a post about it. 

  6. Thanks for this information. I was not aware of it before and it is quite interesting. You gave several good suggestions on how to do this.

    I like the idea of paid submissions on internet websites. I am not so interested in writing for Revenue Sharing sites. I do have a YouTube Channel so that is a possibility.

    Movie reviews may just be the next revenue model I use. Thanks so much for this info. Much appreciated.

  7. Thank you for this insightful post. Truth be told, I’ve looked at movie review sites every time before I go and watch a movie but I have never thought of this becoming an income stream. Your article has really got me thinking. In your opinion, how long does it take for someone to actually write a movie review article? 

    • I really don’t know how long it takes to write a movie review but in my opinion it should be much easier than my writing this article because all the research is done (you watch the film).

      You can take a look at this article on writing movie reviews to get an idea of what is needed. It shouldn’t be too hard though – the most important thing is that you critique in your own style and have fun writing the content while giving people looking for reviews what they want. You look for film reviews – what exactly is it that you’re looking for? Others may have the same questions. 

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