Writing movie reviews can be a fun (though you have to be good at it) way to make some extra money on the side for movie fanatics.
And no, you don’t need to be at the level of Gene Siskel or the late Roger Ebert. Fortunately, there are a few ways for amateur and beginner movie critics to cash in as well.
Here are a few…
1. Writing Movie Reviews for Revenue Sharing Sites
A very usual way of earning money is by posting small stories or articles on the Internet and collect monthly royalty for the traffic they generate.
There is no dearth of sites that allow you to do that, but here you need to look for platforms that allow you to write and publish movie reviews conveniently.
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Some of the sites allowing you to do the needful are here:
Squidoo (now HubPages)
Update: Squidoo is now known as HubPages, and the SquidFlix tool is no longer available. However, you can still publish movie reviews on HubPages and earn royalty fees.
The reason that prompts me to recommend Squidoo is that on creating a web page, also referred to as ‘lens’ by Squidites, you are entitled to get a part of the royalty generated as a result of advertising on that site.
SquidFlix is a superb tool devised by Squidoo for reviewing movies. It has a simple format where users can fill in their movie review. Rest of it all is done by Squidoo, which automatically generates a webpage specifically for your review.
It is fun using this system as it has a large community that shares your interest in movies. After your review page is generated, others from the community can also make remarks on your review of that movie and every month you earn part of the royalty because of the traffic that your review generates. The amount may not be very substantial, as you are not paid by the number of reviews posted, yet it is better than offering free service.
Another respectable website that enables you to earn some extra pocket money is SharedReviews.com. Though it is primarily meant for reviewing products, you may also review movies already available on DVD.
In this case too, the amount you get paid is not very substantial. Nevertheless, on gathering a large number of reviews your earnings surely increase and you can withdraw those every month for as long as the site continues getting ads and visitors.
2. Start a Movie Review Blog
Another way to make money as a movie reviewer, and my preferred way, is to start a blog of your own and monetize it.
All you need is a few dollars to buy a domain name and a hosting account and you are set. Sure, there are a few technicalities you need to learn, but these days, thanks to blogging platforms like WordPress, it is easier than ever to start a blog. I can literally put up a blog in less than 5 minuets.
Of course, creating content for the blog is another matter, and the most crucial one. By consistently writing good reviews, you will eventually attract enough eyeballs that you can start to monetize your movie review blog.
And when you get to that stage, here are a few ways you can monetize your blog:
A very frequently practiced way of generating revenue from websites is transforming people visiting your site to customers. This is the most usual approach used for book reviews, wherein most of the review articles are linked to an Amazon affiliate link, enabling the writer to get commission on books sold.
You can surely put the same practice to your benefit by creating a blog or website for writing your movie reviews and then link the same to your Amazon affiliate link for your readers, prompting them to buy the DVD of that movie and earning your commission on the sale.
That’s another of my pet affiliate organizations. The Commission Junction contains a lengthy list of advertisers willing to offer attractive rates of commission and deals that you can put forward to your readers.
Some of the examples are: Blockbuster, CinemaNow and Disney.
If your views can manage to draw traffic, you are quite likely to earn a good amount of cash from such types of commission on sales.
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3. Work as a Freelance Movie Critic
There are many blog and website owners who either lack time or are not talented enough to write content on their own and therefore assign the job of content writing to others.
One of my favorites is Freelancer, but you can find many other comparable freelancing sites on the Internet offering similar opportunities.
4. Write for Individual Sites
Your other option will be to just visit websites or blogs devoted to movie reviews and content to find out if they are looking for the services of writers. You’ll be amazed by the number of sites looking to hiring writers skilled at writing movie reviews.
Another smart way to explore possibilities of getting paid for writing blogs is to conduct a Google search. You may Google ‘looking for writers’ or ‘getting paid for writing’, suffixed by the kind of content you are keen to write about, such as ‘movies.’
You’ll find that there are numerous owners of websites and blogs who realize that the only way for them to survive is to pay and get first class content. It means that you have innumerable opportunities coming your way from the Internet. Perhaps, the only limitation would be the lack of time on your hands to exploit those opportunities to the fullest!
I personally think the best way to build a long-term business as a movie critic is to start your own movie reviewing blog. You can of course monetize the blog by selling ad space, or as I mentioned earlier, use affiliate links from Amazon or CJ.
Either way, it is a fun way to earn extra money and there is always a decent size audience for such blogs. So the market is there if you can deliver the goods.