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A Demand Studios – Oops?    

Recently I’ve received various comments to my recent post Demand Studios is a Keeper expressing some frustration and dissatisfaction with them lately.

I started with Demand Studios about 2 months ago and was relatively pleased with them. After all, $15 a shot for a quick article isn’t too bad considering some of the low prices people are offering for content.

Things were going along swimmingly for a little while. I would write a couple of articles, get them approved and receive payment by the end of the week. All was going well and then suddenly, it seems like someone poured sludge into operating system. Written articles sat awaiting approval for an extended period of time, weekly payment didn’t quite match the article count and bookkeeping became a little sloppy.

After this slow down, I too decided to slow down. I stopped writing as many articles as it was frustrating waiting to see if the articles were going to be approved and even more frustrating when payment was slow. Just one e-mail from Demand Studios explaining the problem would probably put a lot of the writers at ease. Since that didn’t come, I chalked it up to internal database problems and decided to work on some of my other projects.

Interestingly enough, last night I received this e-mail from Demand Studios:

Dear Demand Studios Contributor,

In June, Demand Studios experienced some technical difficulties that may have resulted in moderate to significant data loss in your articles. While we know this problem resulted in the complete loss of some articles and many others having to be rewritten, we are unable to identify exactly who and what was affected. The problem has since been resolved.

In order to compensate you for this inconvenience, we will be issuing you a one-time bonus payment of $15, courtesy of Demand Studios. We understand that this may not completely cover the loss you encountered, but we hope you accept this payment with our sincere apologies. The payment will be posted to your PayPal account today.

We thank you for your patience as we continue to improve Demand Studios. Feel free to contact us with any questions.Paycheck

Sincerely,

The Demand Studios Team

Well, I guess a little notice after the fact is better than no notice at all. In view of this mishap, I’ve decided to better track my Demand Studio writings on a spreadsheet. Although I was not one of the writers who suffered a loss, I’d rather be able to recompile my article information rather than guess.

Lesson learned. Always know the status of your bacon (or tofu for vegans).


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Filed Under: Demand StudiosFreelanceSelf EmployedWorking from HomeWriting

About the Author: Felicia A. Williams is a freelance writer and blogger. She spends the majority of her time with her family and writing. If she's not writing or commenting on NJFM, she's either outside smelling the roses or writing articles for one of her other sites which include Tidbits and Stuff, BLULOW, A Dose of Health and a few other sites/blogs scattered around the internet.

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  1. AnonJ says:

    I didn’t like Textbroker. It is a puppy mill for writers. For the time spent doing research that the client wants you to do and then write for them under a huge wall of their rules..three dollars doesn’t sound appetizing. And then some clients go as far as to sneak in ” html included please” Uhm. Excuse the heck out of me? You cheap snake go hire a web designer.

  2. Amybella says:

    Wow, that is crazy!! I didn’t hear about that I my fiance and I have been with them for several years. I bet you didn’t mind the unexpected payment though, right?? ;)
    Amybella recently posted..Interested In Working From Home? Confused By Which Jobs are Legit and Which are Scams??

  3. Leticia says:

    Thanks Felicia,

    I know it’s really hard. I’m still trying to pull things together.

  4. Leticia says:

    Thanks Ignatius,

    Eventually I will follow Felicia’s lead and try my own sites. But I’m not sure of how personal sites make money if items aren’t targeted for selling. Is it only through google adsense and infolinks?

    • Ignatius says:

      Some blogs do make money with just Adsense and Infolinks. Do some research on how to “monetize” a blog. There is plenty of information out there. Avoid the “get rich quick” sites that just want to sell you a product or an ebook. It’s going to take you some research time and some hands-on time setting up websites to learn how to make money with your own sites.

      I’m glad you found Felicia’s blog because she gives a very realistic view of the process of making money online.

      • Leticia says:

        Ignatius,

        Wow! I’m glad you told me about the use of APA style writing. Now that I know that AP style should be used, I’ll definitely do research on it.

        As far as monetizing my own websites, the research that I have done lead me to some understanding about SEO optimization, adsense and infolinks. I don’t know if using these tactics will be the only way to monetize my sites without selling anything however, I’m still willing to move forward in my research to find out.

        Thanks for steering me in the right path. I see that newbies have a lot to learn. I am definitely glad to have found Felicia’s blog.

  5. Leticia says:

    Thanks Bill,

    Great information. I may be willing fall into DM’s “trap” for the immediate future, as I welcome upfront pay at this time. Beginning a new career is never easy. I will, however, work with sites for residual income, as I have read that this is the best way to go, although it is a little difficult to feel that way at the moment. I know that a payment of $15 will never match residual pay, as this will definitely exceed $15. But $15 upfront sounds pretty good at the moment.

  6. Ignatius says:

    Internet content writing is changing due to changes at Google. Bright Hub has shut off some of their channels, Demand Studios has dropped a fairly large number of writers and some other sites have stopped adding content.

    No one can really tell you what the future holds. You have dropped back into writing just as the content sites are changing their games. As mentioned above, Textbroker is a good place to start. They serve as a broker between writers and people who want to buy content. They are thriving in the new situation.

    Bill’s answer about Demand Media Studios was very thorough, but I would like to mention a few things. New writers tend to be overwhelmed with all the rules at DMS. The availability of articles for general interest writers also fluctuates wildly at times. Right now, a lot of writers are having difficulty finding topics they are comfortable writing.

    Once you get into some of the special assignments, the situation improves because you have more titles to choose from. However, you need to develop a good track record with DMS before you can get special assignments. That’s difficult for some new writers to do right now.

    You need to have a fairly thick skin to write at DMS. The editors will make changes to your work and sometimes insist on rewrites for reasons that may seem a bit petty. I’m not knocking DMS. I appreciate the fact that I am able to get work there, but the fun and easy writing days there are over, at least for now. It can be a challenging place to write.

    If you are very new to online writing, I think you’ll find Textbroker to be a better place to get some experience. After you learn what it’s like to write articles that have to match rules that buyers have set, you may want to look into applying at DMS again or you may want to follow Felicia’s lead and work on your own websites.

  7. Leticia says:

    Hi Felicia,

    I love your posts and congratulations on your freelance writing success. Recently I have decided to write online; I’ve only been familiar with the internet since 2009. Anyway, in 2009 I was rejected after putting in an application with Demand Studio; I can only guess it was due to my lack of knowledge of their writing style. Since 2009 I have not tried any online writing. I would like to try with Demand Studio again, my only question is do they allow the use of pronouns?

    • Felicia says:

      Leticia, Demand Studios has changed their guidelines and hiring practices since I last wrote for them. As far as pronouns go, I don’t see why any site wouldn’t allow pronouns but I’m not the expert on Demand’s writing guidelines.

      I have an older post on how to get accepted as a Demand Studios writer, but I’m not so sure it’s still relevant with all the recent changes.

      Comments from current DMS writers are welcome. If you have better or more up-to-date advice to give Leticia, we’d appreciate hearing from you.

      • Leticia says:

        I’m very new to writing online and I am not an expert on APA and “online” style writing.  I asked about pronouns because I’m using a program called grammarly which supposedly checks APA style writing. As I use this software to check my writing, pronouns such as the word “you” are always marked incorrect. I’m trying not to get rejected from DS twice. I would love to reach an income of $100K this year as a freelancer. I hope I’m not being unrealistic.

        • Felicia says:

          Leticia, be prepared to work real hard if you want to earn $100K this year as a freelancer. I’ve earned $100K as a freelancer but that $100K is spread over several years. I still haven’t earned $100K in one year yet. Just want to give you a point of reference.

        • Ignatius says:

          Leticia,
          APA style is for academic writing. AP (Associated Press) is a journalistic style that many of the web content places use. Academic writing is usually in third person. That tends to sound stilted on a website.

          I have heard good things about Grammarly, but you should learn AP style if you want to write for content producers. If you search for “AP Style” you should be able to find some sites that discuss the key rules. If you do a lot of content writing, it’s a good idea to buy an AP Stylebook or subscribe to their web version.

          I don’t want to quench your optimism, but I think $100,000 a year in your first year of online writing is very unrealistic. It is possible, but very few writers hit that.

    • Bill Swan says:

      Hi Leticia

      Thought I’d drop into this discussion again after awhile. I’ve been writing for Demand Media (their new name since the company went public) since mid-2008. I’ll answer as best I can.

      Demand has segmented its writing fields. There are generalized eHow writers and specialized topic writers for areas such as eHow Money, Travel, Home and Garden, Livestrong and Tyra Banks. New writers, once accepted, are allowed three articles which are reviewed to determine if they meet standards. Once those three articles pass through, your claim limit to work is upped to ten articles (meaning you can have ten titles chosen at any time). I don’t know how rigorous the application is now currently. But I do know they’ve begun letting go of lots of writers due to poor quality and other writing issues.

      As for the use of pronouns. No they never outlawed pronouns directly. They do insist on second-person or third-person use. They also like to alternate pronouns such as his and hers. Animals are always “It” according to AP Style guidelines. Oh and they follow AP rules, or try to. Lately DM has simplified their guidelines to fall more in line with AP Style.

      Now, as for writing online – well Felicia can tell you as good as anybody else, there’s a huge variation on what and where you can write. Starting with Demand is an option, but it can also become a trap. They pay twice weekly once you get in with them. This payment becomes the problem as people begin to depend on that money. If you use Demand as a learning tool, where you learn AP Style and how to tighten your writing, you can branch out from there as soon as you are able. Demand is a viable starting point for new writers, but should be kept to a part-time or temporary use if possible.

      Other places that I’ve worked with include Bright Hub, Triond and Yahoo Contributors Network. I’m working on getting my own sites up currently. Triond pays, but very small amounts unless you are in it for the money from Google Adsense. Bright Hub is the best of the three but again there is an application process.

      If you are coming back to online writing, learn what’s out there but at the same time choose a content site to work with in the meantime. You get paid while you are learning. Just don’t take too long in the classroom before going off on your own.

      Sorry Felicia, didn’t mean to write a book here.
      Bill Swan recently posted..Of Paying Gigs and Demand Studios

    • Crystal says:

      Leticia – Try Textbroker, as well. There are usually plenty of assignments from which to choose and the stress is less than at DMS.
      Crystal recently posted..Save Big Money on Christmas Gifts at Department Stores

  8. jeannie says:

    Serious food for thought. We tend to get comfortable. Apparently, vigilance is essential in every aspect of life.:)

    Nicely written!