Writing is one of the most popular online jobs. There’s a good reason for it – it’s relatively easy and many people can do an adequate job of it. Some even do a great job of it.

Writing online content doesn’t necessarily pay well in many cases, but it’s relatively easy to get something for your efforts. It’s not going to pay what you would get if you had an article published in a major magazine, but then most magazine articles are much harder to write and get accepted. The standards are different.

That said, if you aren’t interested in a career as a freelance writer for magazines, newspapers and so forth, but just want to write simple articles in quantity it’s not a bad way to go. The pay’s not great but the flexibility is there. You’ll generally be able to write completely on your own schedule.

The trick comes in how you get paid. I strongly recommend getting paid by the article in most cases. It’s nice to know what you’re going to get. You can get $5 per article or even less at some sites. I really don’t recommend accepting under $5 per article even if you really need the work, or under $10 if you’ve been doing the work a while. You should be reasonably compensated for your work, after all.

Sites that pay per article accepted include Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios. You may also want to consider trying for a Guide position with About.com, as they pay a set rate monthly with expectations of how much you will write for them, for the first two years, and then base it on the ad income that comes in.

Some sites would rather pay based on impressions, then pay out when you reach a certain level. The trouble with this is that there’s no guarantee you’ll get anything if you don’t reach the payout level. Many articles just don’t get that much traffic. And if you do get paid, it’s not too uncommon for things to stick at that under $5 level even over a period of time. It’s just not worth it on average.

Get an above average response to an article that pays on views and you might do better, but that’s a huge if.

Other sites pay on ad income. This can be good or bad also. Overall you aren’t likely to get much on most articles. This can be sites such as Squidoo where you can even include ads in your content on your own, or blogs that accept articles and handle ad placement on their own.

Anything where you’re getting paid on view or on ad income, the site will encourage you to also drive traffic to your articles so that you earn more. In essence, they expect you to write for them and promote for them. It’s a lot of extra work, potentially.

There are also sites where you can get paid to blog, either on your own site or on someone else’s. Same kind of deal as writing content for other types of sites. You’ll want to decide if you’re paid by the post or by the ad income or page views.

This isn’t work that will make you rich, as a general rule, but it can bring in that bit of money you need to help your income when you’re at home.