Entertainment Internet

How to Write a Movie Review Online and Earn Money Doing It

Dan Helyer Updated 17-03-2020

Do you love watching movies, picking them apart, and making recommendations to your friends? Then, you may have already wondered about getting paid to write movie reviews. For many people, it’s a dream job, which makes it a competitive field to get started in.

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But we’re here to show you the ropes. We’ll start by showing you how to write a decent movie review. Then we’ll explain all the ways you can start writing movie reviews for money.

Learning How to Write a Movie Review Online

Image of person typing on a laptop
Image Credit: LukaFunduk/Depositphotos

When it comes to writing and publishing online, movie reviews couldn’t be much simpler. There’s some general advice you probably want to follow, which we’ll get into below. But so long as you approach each review as one friend advising another, it should come out well.

It’s good to open with a brief summary of the plot, before outlining what does and doesn’t work about the movie. Keep everything vague to avoid spoilers and try to build a strong argument for why that movie is or isn’t worth watching

Since you’re writing for the web, name-drop any major cast and crew members involved in the production to help your review appear in search results. Just be sure to insert those names and titles as organically as you can.

Tie everything up with a summary of your thoughts and a recommendation to the reader. You might say the movie is a “blast for action-lovers” or “not worth it for anyone who doesn’t enjoy the genre.” Anything that lets the reader know if you think it’s good for them or not.

Finally, give the movie a rating based on the system your website or publisher uses. This might be stars, letters, numbers, or anything else.

Now, let’s get stuck into how you become a movie reviewer online and earn some money.

1. Write Movie Reviews for Royalties

Medium banner offering to pay for written content

One of the easiest ways to get paid writing movie reviews online is to submit to websites that pay royalties for your content. The money you get paid depends on how many people read your review. It might come from subscription fees or ad revenue.

You might also hear these sites referred to as revenue sharing or pay-per-view sites.

There’s a range of different sites to which you can submit your movie reviews and earn royalties. They seem to change all the time, but the most popular ones now include:

All you need to do is sign up and start publishing your reviews. HubPages even has a movie reviews category you can publish to.

We want to highlight Cultured Vultures, a website that specializes in content like movie reviews. Cultured Vultures built its site with amateur writers in mind and strives to pay as much as it can for all its content, offering around $2.50 for every 200 views during the first week of publication.

Cultured Vultures home page

Once your review is online, other folks can read or comment on it and you should receive royalty payments for the traffic it receives. It won’t be a fortune since it’s difficult getting noticed on these sites, but it’s better than writing for free.

What’s more, revenue sharing sites are a great place to start building a portfolio of your work. This is particularly important if you want to go freelance.

2. Become a Freelance Movie Review Writer

Upwork web banner showing freelance writer

Most people can’t expect to earn a living off the revenue sharing sites above. But it is possible to build up a full-time income if you find out how to become a freelance movie reviewer online. When you’ve got a portfolio of high-quality reviews, all you need to do is start answering the calls for writers across the web.

Do a quick Google search for “write movie reviews for us” to turn up all the latest websites looking for a freelance movie reviewer. Of course, these results are bound to change all the time, but we found the following sites looking to hire writers:

There are plenty of other useful Google searches to try as well, for instance, “looking for movie writers” or “paid to write movie reviews.” Any of these are likely to turn up different writing opportunities. You can also set up Google Alerts with these keywords.

Another approach is to visit the websites and blogs devoted to movies to see if they’re hiring writers. Even if there isn’t an explicit ad, it’s worth your time to send an email of inquiry. Let them know you exist, then keep returning to the site to see if things change in the future.

ScreenRant contributor program web page

And finally, don’t neglect the plethora of job boards and project sites devoted to helping freelancers find work. We’re talking about sites like Upwork and Fiverr or job boards like ProBlogger.

These sites run the entire gamut of subject matter, but there are clients out there looking to hire movie reviewers. Of course, you could always write for yourself instead.

3. Monetize Your Own Website

Amazon Affiliate program with movies and music

There’s nothing to stop you from building a new website to host your own movie reviews, then earning money from it through monetization schemes. This has proven to be an effective way for lots of people to earn a living across a range of different subjects.

Although that’s not to say it’s easy.

In fact, going down this route demands a lot of other skills alongside your writing ability, particularly marketing and research. It isn’t always easy finding out how to make money with a movie blog.

You can build a website at little-to-no-cost with services WordPress or Squarespace Squarespace vs. WordPress: Which One Is Right for You? WordPress and Squarespace are the two biggest names in website building. Here's what you need to know to decide between the two. Read More . Once you get up and running, find a way to drive people to your site through ads, word of mouth, or search engine optimization.

One of the most common approaches to creating revenue from your audience is by converting visitors into sales. This is a popular approach for any kind of review because you can use an Amazon affiliate link to encourage your readers to buy the product you’re writing about. All you need to do is sign up for the Amazon Affiliate Program and link your reviews to the Blu-Ray, DVD, or digital download for that movie.

Another great way to get paid for the movie reviews you write is to use Google Adsense on your website. These widgets work with Google’s enormous network of advertisers to serve up the most relevant ads to your readers. You can block ads you don’t like, choose where they appear, and pick the types of ads that work best with your site.

If you don’t want to go down the advertising route, you could always set up a Patreon account What Is Patreon and How Does It Work? What is Patreon and how does it work? In this article we look at the basics of Patreon and how you can get started using it. Read More and ask readers to support you directly. A lot of writers feel more comfortable with this form of monetization.

Consider Starting a YouTube Channel Instead

Getting paid to write movie reviews is an exciting way to make a living. But remember that written reviews only account for a small part of the market, hundreds of thousands of people watch movie reviews on YouTube instead.

Consider starting your own YouTube channel 7 Things to Consider When Starting a YouTube Channel Starting a successful YouTube channel isn't easy, but if you keep these tips in mind, you'll be ahead of the curve! Read More to share video movie reviews. You could do this alongside the ones you write. YouTube is a great way to build your personal brand, earn some extra money, and find a passionate audience for your work.

Explore more about: Make Money Online, Movie Review, Online Reviews, Writing Tips.

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  1. BEN-OFFICIAL MASSIVE
    September 19, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    To give u a great example of just getting out there I've started my own channel. I've had a midlife crisis and to get my life back I've started my own channel as I've just mentioned.
    Its called BEN-OFFICIAL MASSIVE and yes this might sound like spam or idiocy but I'm the example of whats written here. You can go out and doit yourself!

  2. Don
    February 8, 2017 at 12:00 am

    good post we have here how your first impressions on here
    site in relation to injustice gods among us unlimited resources

  3. Writermannyk
    April 6, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Thanks for the info. These are good tips for someone just getting started.

  4. tamil radio
    February 20, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Thanks for sharing. Learn many thing about movie review. Mostly I hear movie review in mukilapp.com

  5. hdivaibhav
    November 27, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Get updated yourself with the #Flimreviews , Bollywood News , Friday realse and interviews from the stars only on Newsbala.com. Read what the movie critics say and much more @http://newsbala.com/entertainment/

  6. Michael
    April 8, 2015 at 1:53 am

    I am looking for something I can make living again this is it

    • Anonymous
      June 10, 2015 at 6:20 pm

      Judging by your comment, I'm pretty sure no one would hire you to write something correctly.

  7. Rahul
    April 2, 2015 at 4:19 am

    hmmm thanks very informative article.

  8. Dorothy Bryant
    March 18, 2015 at 10:33 am

    This is a good heads up to all aspiring freelance writers today. I've been a starter too when pursuing this craft. All we should do is to be more passionate in everything that we do and most especially, offer the best service for your clients. I wish anyone could succeed in this kind of job. Cheers!

  9. Chris
    July 8, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Good article. I recently started a DVD review blog and it's going OK but I'd like it to earn a little bit. I'm being realistic so I know ir won't earn me huge money, but maybe a couple hundred a month would be good.

  10. Squidoo Lens
    July 1, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Yeah I think this will be really an easy job for you if you love movies and want to share your opinion and review about a movie which you like most.

    • Jane
      December 9, 2016 at 8:39 pm

      It's not an easy job. If you want to write a decent review, you need to do research before and after the film, generally. You need to be able to write AND edit your writing - even when the editor of a film is doing his own editing. I'm a film critic for a newspaper and it's work. Your name, and your reputation, is attached to that review.

  11. Sotiris Z
    June 30, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Well...actually i should thank YOU :) (and Makeuseof) for the great source of information and knowledge you have been for me over the past months!Keep up the great work guys!

  12. Clara Freeman
    June 29, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Hi, thanks so much for the info...have been doing movie reviews on my blog for months now without pay..will surely plan to reverse the situation:)

  13. Ryan Dube
    June 29, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Hey Sotiris - thanks for your comment. That's an interesting topic, I might just do that - thanks for the great idea!

    • mary grace ponce
      July 10, 2009 at 8:18 am

      hiu are correct

  14. Sotiris Z
    June 29, 2009 at 11:03 am

    Very interesting!Are you planing to write any article on how to get paid for writing music reviews in the future?That would be awesome.Nice work anyway!

  15. michuk
    June 29, 2009 at 11:53 am

    And if your biggest dream is not to get paid for writing movie reviews but rather writing for fun and enjoying the discussion with film buffs like yourself, set up a movie blog on filmaster.com and publish your reviews there :)

    The cool part is that all the content on Filmaster is licensed under creativecommons.org Attribution so if you wish to use the reviews somewhere else or even publish them in some magazine, you can do it without paying a penny, as long as you mention Filmaster in your publication.