LEGIT 3 Legit Ways to Make Money Writing Movie Reviews

Kanvi

Bronze Wordsmith
Apr 16, 2018
310
266
80
make-money-write-reviews.jpg

I think we’re experiencing a golden age of movies. There’s so much good stuff coming out. And I’m not just referring to superhero movies and summer blockbusters. It isn’t hard to find good, quality entertainment for a wide variety of preferences. Even long-dormant franchises are making a comeback.

If it’s a golden age for movies, it’s also a golden age for… sharing opinions about those movies. Just check your social media feed whenever a big movie starts screening. People go nuts trying to dissect the movie and share opinions about every aspect of it, from the production to the actor’s bad accents.

I’m actually guilty of doing this. (What can I say? I’m pretty opinionated) Someone tried to shut me up by saying I should get off social media and become a professional movie reviewer. And you know what? I actually took that person’s advice! I did it on a lark, but surprisingly, being a movie reviewer actually pays well! I’m sure my earnings are nowhere close to what someone like Roger Ebert made, but they were enough supplement my income.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who loves sharing opinions about movies. If you’re one of those people, you might want to try becoming a professional movie reviewer. You get paid to watch movies and share your opinions about them — what’s not to love?

If you want to give this a try, I’m providing four general methods for earning from your work. I gave all these a try (and then settled on one), which means I can help you make an informed decision about which method to pursue.

But before we start, I’d like to emphasize the word “earn.” Anyone can start a blog and start uploading reviews. But they may not necessarily get paid for it. My goal is to teach you how to get paid for your work.

You ready? Let’s go!

1. Start Writing Movie Reviews in Revenue Sharing Sites

This is the best place to start if you’re still building your portfolio of reviews. Revenue sharing sites are just that: sites that share revenue. You post your works on the site, and you get paid a monthly royalty based on the number of page views your work generates.

I’ve tried quite a few of these sites - there are a lot of legit ones - but I highly recommend HubPages. The site, which used to be known as Squidoo, has a thriving community of content creators. Yes, there are a lot of writers competing for attention, but the site also has a lot of readers. I think that’s a net advantage.

HubPages gives you a cut of advertising revenue. It may sound swanky, but it’s not that big. But considering that you’re only starting out, small money is better than none. Hopefully, you can get the ball rolling and move on to the next method.

2. Start your own movie review blog

Once you’ve built your reviewing skills through those revenue sites, it might be time to start your own blog!

The benefit of this is that you’ll have more freedom to write whatever you want. (With revenue sharing sites, you will have to work according to their terms of usage) Plus, you won’t have to compete with other writers on the site who are reviewing the same movies.

The downside to this is you will now be competing with the entire internet! You will also be in charge of designing your blog and promoting it. You will also have to monitor your own website traffic and tweak your content strategy accordingly. You’ll definitely need a strong DIY (Do It Yourself) ethic to go at it on your own.

That said, I started building an audience through my own blog. There was only so much exposure I could get on revenue sites. I strongly suggest you give this a try. Here are a few tips on how to start and monetize your blog:

Getting Started

I suggest starting out on a free blogging platform, specifically WordPress. The platform has lots of nice-looking themes you can use. Just because these themes are “free” doesn’t mean their not good. Even when my blog started making money, I stuck with my free theme. Not because I was cheap, but because the theme was awesome, and my readers kind of associated me with it.

Starting a WordPress blog is super-easy. If you know how to use MS Word and Facebook, you’ll be able to create a cool-looking blog on WordPress in about 15 minutes. I’m not exaggerating. That’s how user-friendly WordPress is.

Monetizing Your Blog

Now that you’ve got your blog up, it’s time to monetize it. Here are two ways to do that:

Amazon Associates

This is basically an affiliate link program. You add the shopping links to your site, and you earn a commission whenever the item is sold. In effect, this turns your site into an advertising platform.

You can also integrate the links to your reviews. For example, if you’re reviewing a famous director’s most recent movie, you can add affiliate links to the rest of the director’s filmography. This way, you monetize your content without actually disrupting it.

Link: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com

CJ Affiliate by Conversant (formerly Commission Junction)

This is another affiliate program you can try out. They have lots of products and advertisers. There were times I used them over Amazon , and earned a good deal of money.

Link: http://www.cj.com

3. Become a freelance movie critic

This is the last item on my list, but it’s the one with the most prestige. When you’ve built your name and following through the first two methods, you can start writing reviews for the larger online publications. (Or even the smaller ones… those sites still pay pretty well.)

How do you get this job? Well, if you’ve already built a sizable audience, chances are those publications will go to you. If not, you can always pitch to the editor. I suggest looking for the editor’s name in the website masthead, and sending your proposals directly. I also suggest getting a feel for what the publication likes to publish. Your Italian arthouse film reviews may not be of interest to a website that publishes popcorn movies. So target the appropriate website.

After years of writing in revenue sharing sites, I eventually got an email from the editor of a major pop culture website. They liked my reviews, particularly the ones I wrote for cheesy horror movies from the 1970s and 80s. They commissioned me to write a weekly column about whatever movie caught my fancy.

The pay will be great, although not enough for you to quit your day job. But this job is prestigious because it opens you up to a wider audience and puts your name out there. And having that exposure could open up more opportunities, like book deals, speaking engagements, and even TV.

If you’re in it for the long-haul, I suggest paying your dues in smaller blogs, then try going for the largest sites. It’ll take a lot of work, but in the end, it’ll be worth it.

The Verdict: Legit or Scam?

All the methods and websites listed here are legit! I’ve tried all of them, and managed to build a career reviewing movies. You need to put a lot of time and work into it, but when you do, you can only go up!

Your Turn

This review is based on my own experiences working as a movie reviewer. How about you? Do you write reviews for money? Where do you publish them, and how much have you earned?

Let’s hear your stories!
 
Last edited:

a_jerobon

Padawan
Jul 3, 2018
72
77
5
23
Kenya
I love watching movies but I have not tried writing reviews. I am looking forward to start writing reviews in review sharing sites, starting my own movie review blog or becoming a freelance movie critic now that I have the information.
 

higming

Well-known member
May 26, 2018
56
55
5
View attachment 525
I think we’re experiencing a golden age of movies. There’s so much good stuff coming out. And I’m not just referring to superhero movies and summer blockbusters. It isn’t hard to find good, quality entertainment for a wide variety of preferences. Even long-dormant franchises are making a comeback.

If it’s a golden age for movies, it’s also a golden age for… sharing opinions about those movies. Just check your social media feed whenever a big movie starts screening. People go nuts trying to dissect the movie and share opinions about every aspect of it, from the production to the actor’s bad accents.

I’m actually guilty of doing this. (What can I say? I’m pretty opinionated) Someone tried to shut me up by saying I should get off social media and become a professional movie reviewer. And you know what? I actually took that person’s advice! I did it on a lark, but surprisingly, being a movie reviewer actually pays well! I’m sure my earnings are nowhere close to what someone like Roger Ebert made, but they were enough supplement my income.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who loves sharing opinions about movies. If you’re one of those people, you might want to try becoming a professional movie reviewer. You get paid to watch movies and share your opinions about them — what’s not to love?

If you want to give this a try, I’m providing four general methods for earning from your work. I gave all these a try (and then settled on one), which means I can help you make an informed decision about which method to pursue.

But before we start, I’d like to emphasize the word “earn.” Anyone can start a blog and start uploading reviews. But they may not necessarily get paid for it. My goal is to teach you how to get paid for your work.

You ready? Let’s go!

1. Start Writing Movie Reviews in Revenue Sharing Sites

This is the best place to start if you’re still building your portfolio of reviews. Revenue sharing sites are just that: sites that share revenue. You post your works on the site, and you get paid a monthly royalty based on the number of page views your work generates.

I’ve tried quite a few of these sites - there are a lot of legit ones - but I highly recommend HubPages. The site, which used to be known as Squidoo, has a thriving community of content creators. Yes, there are a lot of writers competing for attention, but the site also has a lot of readers. I think that’s a net advantage.

HubPages gives you a cut of advertising revenue. It may sound swanky, but it’s not that big. But considering that you’re only starting out, small money is better than none. Hopefully, you can get the ball rolling and move on to the next method.

2. Start your own movie review blog

Once you’ve built your reviewing skills through those revenue sites, it might be time to start your own blog!

The benefit of this is that you’ll have more freedom to write whatever you want. (With revenue sharing sites, you will have to work according to their terms of usage) Plus, you won’t have to compete with other writers on the site who are reviewing the same movies.

The downside to this is you will now be competing with the entire internet! You will also be in charge of designing your blog and promoting it. You will also have to monitor your own website traffic and tweak your content strategy accordingly. You’ll definitely need a strong DIY (Do It Yourself) ethic to go at it on your own.

That said, I started building an audience through my own blog. There was only so much exposure I could get on revenue sites. I strongly suggest you give this a try. Here are a few tips on how to start and monetize your blog:

Getting Started

I suggest starting out on a free blogging platform, specifically WordPress. The platform has lots of nice-looking themes you can use. Just because these themes are “free” doesn’t mean their not good. Even when my blog started making money, I stuck with my free theme. Not because I was cheap, but because the theme was awesome, and my readers kind of associated me with it.

Starting a WordPress blog is super-easy. If you know how to use MS Word and Facebook, you’ll be able to create a cool-looking blog on WordPress in about 15 minutes. I’m not exaggerating. That’s how user-friendly WordPress is.

Monetizing Your Blog

Now that you’ve got your blog up, it’s time to monetize it. Here are two ways to do that:

Amazon Associates

This is basically an affiliate link program. You add the shopping links to your site, and you earn a commission whenever the item is sold. In effect, this turns your site into an advertising platform.

You can also integrate the links to your reviews. For example, if you’re reviewing a famous director’s most recent movie, you can add affiliate links to the rest of the director’s filmography. This way, you monetize your content without actually disrupting it.

Link: https://affiliate-program.amazon.com

CJ Affiliate by Conversant (formerly Commission Junction)

This is another affiliate program you can try out. They have lots of products and advertisers. There were times I used them over Amazon , and earned a good deal of money.

Link: http://www.cj.com

3. Become a freelance movie critic

This is the last item on my list, but it’s the one with the most prestige. When you’ve built your name and following through the first two methods, you can start writing reviews for the larger online publications. (Or even the smaller ones… those sites still pay pretty well.)

How do you get this job? Well, if you’ve already built a sizable audience, chances are those publications will go to you. If not, you can always pitch to the editor. I suggest looking for the editor’s name in the website masthead, and sending your proposals directly. I also suggest getting a feel for what the publication likes to publish. Your Italian arthouse film reviews may not be of interest to a website that publishes popcorn movies. So target the appropriate website.

After years of writing in revenue sharing sites, I eventually got an email from the editor of a major pop culture website. They liked my reviews, particularly the ones I wrote for cheesy horror movies from the 1970s and 80s. They commissioned me to write a weekly column about whatever movie caught my fancy.

The pay will be great, although not enough for you to quit your day job. But this job is prestigious because it opens you up to a wider audience and puts your name out there. And having that exposure could open up more opportunities, like book deals, speaking engagements, and even TV.

If you’re in it for the long-haul, I suggest paying your dues in smaller blogs, then try going for the largest sites. It’ll take a lot of work, but in the end, it’ll be worth it.

The Verdict: Legit or Scam?

All the methods and websites listed here are legit! I’ve tried all of them, and managed to build a career reviewing movies. You need to put a lot of time and work into it, but when you do, you can only go up!

Your Turn

This review is based on my own experiences working as a movie reviewer. How about you? Do you write reviews for money? Where do you publish them, and how much have you earned?

Let’s hear your stories!
How much to they pay on average?
 

Kanvi

Bronze Wordsmith
Apr 16, 2018
310
266
80
How much to they pay on average?
Did you even read the article? It literally states word by word it's revenue sharing for HubPages and for running your own blog it's obviously up to what products you are pushing and what the payouts are on those. As for ad revenue, again depends on the site and inventory fill.
 

Chameli

Padawan
Jun 22, 2018
17
8
5
Writing movie review is a good way to earn money. You can not only earn from network ads but also from affiliate ads. You can promote movie streaming services as well as the movie you are reviewing. The people looking for movie review might want to buy the movie if they like your review. You can publish movie reviews on content site as well as maintain your own movie review site. Review is one of the easiest kind of writing you can try.
 
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Ben_the_Hobbit

Padawan
Sep 24, 2018
27
12
5
I’ve been reviewing science fiction, horror, and fantasy movies. Definitely one of the most enjoyable gigs I’ve had. Here are a few basic pointers for anyone who wants to give film reviewing a try:

Develop your own voice – Everyone’s got opinions, and a few of you could probably articulate those opinions and ideas well. But not everyone can develop a style or voice that is unique. The best way to develop your own voice is just to keep writing. Write a lot, and after you’ve written a lot, write even more. Your own writing style will naturally come.

Why is that important? Because you need to distinguish yourself from other reviewers. You need to develop a style that is all your own. Perhaps you’re a softer, kinder critic. Or you’re a hard-ass who doesn’t let the smallest flaw get past you. These are styles you need to develop to make yourself a successful critic.

Play the social media game – I hate social media. I’m a natural hermit. Left to my own devices, I’d rather be left alone with my books and PlayStation. But social media is a requirement for becoming noticed. So make an account, and share everything you’ve created. While you’re at it, don’t forget to #hashtag your posts!

Keep all the rights to the work for yourself – This tip is a bit fiddly, because it means you’ll have to read all the fine print and terms of service you come across. But you’ll want to keep the rights to your work. What that means is the website can’t repost or use your work without getting your consent, or compensating you.

Once you get a decent enough following, you can ask for screeners – My experience mostly applies to online streaming services. I was given media accreditation, and could watch shows in advance. Of course, this meant I had to review what I watched. I wasn’t required to give a positive review.
 

Fred W

Padawan
Jun 14, 2018
95
55
5
I like the idea of writing movie reviews over, say, writing restaurant or song reviews which is, more often than not, reactionary and not especially thoughtful (at least the ones I often encounter are).

There are just so many aspects of a film that you can give your opinion about. I am especially excited over the current crop of movies, TV series, and other shows we have today. My wife and I spend a substantial amount of our morning coffee talks unpacking some of our favorite shows and movies, and what makes them resonate with us. Then we thought “hey, why don’t we start a blog on this?” and share to other readers our feedback and theories about certain shows (non-spoilery if we could do that). Thanks for this article - it might just be the impetus we need!
 

Rodolfo Flores

Padawan
Mar 28, 2019
10
2
5
27
USA, California San Jose
Is it necessary to see the movie for which we are going to write reviews? I mean, we can just have a quick outlook of about 7-8 minutes in order to be aware of essentials and then write down the reviews in a creative way. I really want to earn money through writing jobs, but not finding legitimate sites to start with.:(
 

Amos

Rookie Wordsmith
Jun 13, 2018
130
48
30
Is it necessary to see the movie for which we are going to write reviews? I mean, we can just have a quick outlook of about 7-8 minutes in order to be aware of essentials and then write down the reviews in a creative way. I really want to earn money through writing jobs, but not finding legitimate sites to start with.:(
Yes, it is necessary. Watching just 7 to 8 minutes of a movie won’t enough to give you the “essentials.” How are you going to discuss things like the movie’s narrative structure, character development, and resolution if you only watched a handful of minutes? That’s not a review, that’s just a preview. Sorry, there’s just no other way to do a movie review.

But that got me thinking…

If anyone here wants to write about movies, but is strapped for time, you could just write previews. This can take a few forms:

Trailer Break-Downs

Big studios love to tease their audience with a series of trailers. Think about how many trailers get released for each Marvel film. And since these trailers usually arrive months, sometimes years, in advance, audiences spend lots of times dissecting each trailer for clues about the coming movie.

You can create content discussing the trailers and giving your own theories based on what the trailer reveals. Trailers are full of easter eggs, so you will have to have a sharp eye for spotting important detailed hidden in seemingly plain sight. But to do this well, you need to have deep knowledge of pop culture and whatever the movie is about.

Movie Previews

Technically, a trailed break-down is also a preview. But you can also write about the coming movie without tackling the trailer. Topics that you can file under movie preview include production notes, backgrounders on the movie, profiles on the cast and crew, and listicles about similar movies that fans might want to see.

Series Recaps

Most modern blockbusters are part of a larger universe. These franchises are comprised of dozens of interlocking movies – just take the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), for example. The MCU has been building up for a decade. There are a lot of movies to watch. Some people might not have been able to see everything. You can write content recapping the major plot points from past movies in an effort to get viewers up to speed before the next movie drops.

I saw an article discussing the origins of the various Infinity Gems within the MCU, and it was pretty awesome to know all those details before I watched Avengers: Infinity War.

“Supplemental” Topics

Sometimes, there are topics surrounding a movie that don’t involve the movie itself. For example, during the release of Captain Marvel, a bunch of trolls started review-bombing Rotten Tomatoes. The activities of these trolls were pretty despicable, and a lot of online publications covered it, even if it didn’t have much to do with the movie itself.