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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


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).

{ 375 comments… add one }
  • Misha Safranski August 7, 2008, 10:12 pm

    The Demand Studio website was undergoing some changes during this period of time, and there were some technical glitches. Things have been straightened out for the most part, and they are adding new features/article types. There is no set day for review, so it’s wise to write as many as you can and submit them ASAP. It’s also wise to write everything in a word processor, just in case. Articles that are approved by Wednesday at 5pm Pacific Time are paid out that Friday. HTH!

  • Misha Safranski August 7, 2008, 10:13 pm

    One other note, there is a yahoogroup for Demand Studio writers – DSWriters-subscribe@yahoogroups.com 🙂

    Misha Safranskis last blog post..Things heard out of the 13 year old’s mouth…

  • Felicia August 8, 2008, 12:03 am

    Thanks for the info Misha,

    I didn’t know about the Yahoogroup for Demand Studio writers. That’s good to know. I’ll check it out.

  • Nancy August 19, 2008, 7:08 pm

    Not wild for Demand Studios any longer. I applied a few weeks ago, got accepted and wrote two initial articles for them under the “How To…” portion. They were immediately accepted and I chose two more articles. My internet promptly went down for a week and I missed the deadlines. Following that, I chose another article under the “How To…” and submitted it. I did this one the EXACT SAME WAY I did the other two and it was sent back for revision in less than ten minutes, saying the format was incorrect. Befuddled, I wasn’t sure what to change. I tried messaging the “editor” as to what to change, given the other two I had done were done in the same way, same format. The response was to deny the article entirely and now all that’s offered is really crappy assignments that no one wants, like, “How To Make a Vaccuum Bra”.

    I’m done with Demand Studios.

    Nancys last blog post..A perfect example of the "Precious Darling Syndrome"

  • Felicia August 19, 2008, 7:20 pm

    Oh no, not the dreaded “Vaccuum Bra” article!

    Lately there have been quite a few changes at Demand Studios. I notice that they are taking quite a bit longer to review articles and they don’t pay as timely as they had originally.

    I currently have about 9 articles awaiting approval. I understand your frustration. It seems that they’ve hired a bunch of new editors that might be the reason for the change in format issue.

    I’ve found lately that I do better by suggesting my own titles. I’d rather write about anything than to have to write about the “vacuum bra.”

  • JS August 26, 2008, 8:20 pm

    I applied to Demand Studios as a writer many months ago. Then on 8/4/08 I got my first email from them “re-inviting” me to join even though I’d never been invited in the first place. Still I went to log in and get started but they hadn’t bothered giving me a password.

    I requested one, waited 24 hours and still didn’t have one so I emailed tech support. I got a password on 8/7/08, logged in and suggested 5 new How To article titles. I eagerly awaited an email from them and didn’t receive anything. After 2 weeks I noticed that 4 of the articles had been approved on 8/7/08, almost immediately; however, they never had bothered telling me this. The articles weren’t clickable even though they were still marked “approved,” and tech support went through 3 days of telling me first one thing and then another, (first it was “a bug” in their system).

    Finally, without really checking, Demand Studios insisted that their emails to me “must be” in my spam folder (they’re not, they never were, I checked regularly), and that I would have received 2 emails per article in total, one confirming their approval and one warning me they’re about to expire. Their tech support person is now resorting to absurd, smart-alecky remarks like “Because you didn’t see them in your spam folder…” despite my stating and restating that that’s not the case.

    Clearly they’re trying to cover their butts and admit no error. I’ve requested that they resend the emails to me with full headers showing when and where they sent them, and have also requested the email address of this tech support person’s supervisor. No response yet.

    They also suggested that it was “likely” that my articles had been picked up by another writer now and so why don’t I just make up some other things to write about. Likely, or *definitely*? Hey, this is $90 we’re talking about. Demand Studios still have not given me a straight answer.

    The way I see it Demand Studios owes me $90 for lost wages, or they need to re-approve the articles so I can write them, or they need to prove that the lost emails are somehow my fault (even though I’ve received all other correspondence from them and have never had anything from them go into my spam folder). If none of that happens I’m filing a complaint against them with the BBB and also filing a case in small claims court in their home city of Bellevue, WA.

    It’s been one thing after another with this company. They’ve already left a sour taste in my mouth and I haven’t even started work for them yet. If anything changes I’ll come back here and let you know how it concludes.

    Good luck, folks, and watch your backs.

  • JS August 26, 2008, 8:22 pm

    (Oops, make that $60; still, you get the point. I want my dough.)

  • Felicia August 27, 2008, 6:55 am


    Sorry to hear about your troubles with Demand Studios. Although I’ve had a few hiccups with them, it’s been nothing to that extent.

    It sounds like there was an e-mail mix up.

    As far as suing them, you’re probably going to waste more time and energy and aggravation than its worth. I know you’re frustrated with the situation, and understandably so, but I would suggest that you spend your time making money elsewhere.

    Don’t let Demand Studios upset your ‘creative writing Chi.’

    Which ever way you decided to handle it, please come back and let us know what happened.

    Good Luck.


  • Joe Wappel September 10, 2008, 11:08 am

    Hello All

    I’ve been just been invited to join Demand Studio. ANy problems with sending them my SS#?


  • Felicia September 10, 2008, 11:15 am

    They’re legit. It’s just that they’re going through a few growing pains right now.

    I believe that when I first signed up I didn’t submit my social security number, but after I earned a certain amount (I believe it’s $600), they made me supply them with my ss#.

  • Anonymous September 10, 2008, 1:01 pm

    Hello Joe and Felicia,

    You need to supply the SS# because when you earn over $600, you will be issued a 1099 for earnings reporting. As well, you will need to complete a IRS W-9 (Request for Taxpayer Identification Form). You can download it from http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw9.pdf. I’m not sure how the different clients (Demand Studio, Textbroker, etc.) handle this.

    As I mentioned in an earlier comment, you might want to file for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for “individual”. That way, you supply the EIN instead of your SS#.

    I hope this clarifies the main reason you’re being asked for your SS#.

  • Alyssa September 10, 2008, 1:50 pm

    Ooops! I was trigger happy – The last comment about the 1099 and IRS w-9 was from me, in case anyone has any comments or questions.

  • Frank September 10, 2008, 6:20 pm

    Interesting read, Felicia. I was accepted not long ago by DS and haven’t begun any writing until today, which happened to be when I found your posts.

    Curious if you think their growing pains too painful right now, or is this place definitely rebounding from the summer fiasco?

  • Felicia September 10, 2008, 6:47 pm

    Hey Frank,

    To be honest, I think I’m going to take 5 from Demand Studios for a while.

    I’ve been writing for them for a while without incident, until they started making a lot of changes. I’m sure in the long run the changes are all going to work out for the better, but I’ve got to manage my time as efficiently as possible.

    I’ll wait until their editors begin to agree on how the articles are supposed to be written and then maybe I’ll be able to go back and write for them. Recently I’ve had articles approved and not approved for the exact same reasons by different editors. Since you never know which editor is going to get your articles, it’s a crapshoot as to whether or not they’re going to approve them.

    While Demand Studios is legit and will pay upon approval, my time is precious and I’d prefer not to write articles and hold my breath to see if they’re going to approve it.

    It might work out well for you because being new, you don’t have the ‘old Demand Studios writing habits’ to break.

  • Jen Brister September 10, 2008, 9:46 pm

    I don’t know if you saw it on their blog, but they just posted a call for people to write for some of their other websites…I wonder how that’s going to go…

    Jen Bristers last blog post..Dancing with Myself….

  • cin September 18, 2008, 7:46 pm

    I will chime in here because I have been loving DS lately. My experience has been like this…
    First article accepted piece of cake.
    Then the next few were rejected. I learned it was for simple stuff… I never read the guidelines and was not spacing properly and such.
    Then I got into a good spell of getting things accepted but it seemed to take forever to get paid. I am too busy and frazzled to actually track anything so I can’t tell you how long it took but I have lately noticed that my stuff is getting accepted and paid VERY QUICKLY over the last month or so.
    As for the crappy titles… they are the pits. I suggest all my own now. It’s tough at first to come up with something but once your mind gets in that groove it’s great.
    They have recently started a blog and new, less strict writing formats. To me, DS just seems to be getting better and better.

    cins last blog post..Another Day Another Flood

  • Felicia September 18, 2008, 7:58 pm

    Hi Cin,

    It looks like they’re making a few changes with the articles and formats. This could be an improvement, but the jury is still out.

    I haven’t done any work for them in the past week. I guess the recent e-mail from them with the new formats will entice me to look things over and give it another shot.

  • cin September 18, 2008, 8:28 pm

    OH! And I absolutely cracked up at the vacuum bra comment! That, and the PLASTIC SKIN WIG, have been on my nerves for several weeks! ROFL!

    cins last blog post..Another Day Another Flood

  • Jen Brister September 18, 2008, 10:00 pm

    Someone PLEASE write about the plastic skin wig so that we can all move on!

    Jen Bristers last blog post..Get Paid to Blog (new opportunity)

  • Susan S. September 23, 2008, 7:30 am

    I just started writing for Demand Studios and noticed that the article template requests images. Under US copyright laws, any original, creative content, even on the Internet, is deemed protected by copyright unless you have explicit (written) permission to use it. I have emailed DS about this (haven’t heard back yet), since I don’t want to “lift” an image from a site I’m writing about, and I don’t feel comfortable requesting permission to use an image if I’m not the end user who could vouch for where it would be placed (and the TOS states that writers are not employees/representatives of DS). Anybody else encounter this? How do you handle the image question?

  • Felicia September 23, 2008, 7:42 am

    When I post images to my articles, I use the free Stock photo site http://www.sxc.hu.

    You can use those photos without fear of copyright infringement. Some of the photo owners request that you notify them when you use their photos and others request written permission, but in general, they are free to use.

  • Susan S. September 23, 2008, 5:18 pm

    Thanks for the tip. I downloaded one image and emailed the photographer to confirm how to list credit – and if I don’t get a reply I’ll presume to just use the name listed. I’m curious as to whether DS expects writers to also be art directors, though, or whether the image uploads are optional. When I do photos with magazine articles, I get paid a lot more. It would help if there were more of a “getting started with DS” tutorial, in addition to the style guide.

  • Felicia September 23, 2008, 5:44 pm

    Although photos are not required at Demand Studios, they are encouraged. I only use one photo at the beginning of the article. I don’t use photos for each step.

    As far as a tutorial for them, unfortunately, you sort of learn as you go. They recently made quite a few changes so I’m getting the hang of it all over again. I haven’t written any of the articles on the newer formats (other than How to). I claimed a few this week and am going to give it a try.

    Have you visited the DS blog? They seem to address some commonly asked questions there.

  • Lisa Russell October 18, 2008, 1:19 pm

    I had a few rejected a couple months ago, and put them up on ehow’s wcp program immediately and one of them has already earned more than $15 in just 2 months. I was told to make specific changes (that were lame and off-topic) and when I made them, I got a rejection note saying that I didn’t make any changes at all. I lost about 8 articles completely because of that glitch in June. After that, a flock of new editors were hired who all seemed to have different rulebooks to follow. So I printed out the DS rules, and made sure that my articles were perfect and lo and behold an editor asked me to change something AGAINST the policy. When I pointed that out they became nasty, rejected it and I sent an “I quit” letter, but so far my account is still active. Last week I wrote one for the first time in months.

    Lisa Russells last blog post..More Investigative Reporting

  • Felicia October 18, 2008, 5:28 pm

    I’ve severely cut back my writing on Demand Studios for similar reasons (I write about 1 or 2 a week). Not so much for rejections, but since I just a few weeks ago realized that I can write for eHow directly, I could kick myself for not doing it sooner.

    Between Demand Studios and Writers Research Group (the organization I wrote for before Demand Studios), I wrote about 250 articles that are now on eHow under someone else’s name. If I had an eHow account, I would be earning residual income from those articles. Oh well, better late than never.

  • Asa Yarborough October 31, 2008, 10:13 am

    I encountered some of the same problems with Demand, but not lately. Their payments are timely and accurate, a freelancer’s dream in that regard, and the slow payment period was due to a technical glitch (I asked). They certainly are growing quickly. I also asked about the editors. There have been some new hires who are still learning the system, but the managing editor, Richard Lally, has set up at the Help Desk to help all writers with complaints or issues. He’s a gem, courteous and clear, he’s helped me get several articles passed and he’s explained what was wrong with articles that were rejected in a way that was mentoring and helped me to avoid rejections with other pieces. I don’t know where they found him, but I googled him and he’s the author of 19 book, all with major companies, three of them best sellers, so he really knows his stuff. You can reach him through the Contact Us link by writing to his attention with all editorial issues. It’s a great new service.

  • Felicia October 31, 2008, 10:39 am

    Thanks Asa,

    I recently started writing for them again (started last week). I’ve got to say that so far so good. I’m pleased to see that the notification of payment and the actual payment were timely and accurate. As far as editing goes, I haven’t had a problem since I started writing for them again.

    What ever the glitches were, they seem to be all ironed out. Only time will tell.

  • JS November 7, 2008, 2:37 pm

    Up until this week my experiences with Demand Studio have been positive. I wasn’t happy when they decreased the amount of pay for suggested titles but that was a change I could live with. Three or four weeks ago I was thrilled when the amount of titles I could claim at a time increased, I took this as a positive sign, after all, if they didn’t like my work they wouldn’t have increased my work load.

    This week I was shocked when I got an email saying that there were no longer any titles for me to claim. I immediately emailed the editorial team (several times) and was told that do to my high number of rejected articles it was decided that I wasn’t interested in learning how to write a proper article for DS. I was stunned. The week before I’d had two rejections but hadn’t thought to much about them, I thought the articles were sufficient and the editor didn’t. It happens.

    What I couldn’t understand was the comment about the high level of rejections. I sat down and figured it out and realized that approximately 3% of my articles were rejected. I’m a farm kid and in my experience a 97% efficiency rating is really good. I emailed DS asking what they considered a high number of rejections but haven’t heard back form them yet. I also pointed out that sometimes the editors comments aren’t very helpful and that it would be nice if they had a way to appeal rejected articles.

    I’ll just have to wait to see if they answer me.

  • Felicia November 7, 2008, 2:59 pm


    JS,that’s a first. You’re right, 97% is pretty efficient if you ask me. I just don’t understand their reasoning.

    While you’re waiting for them to get back to you why don’t you sign up with eHow and write articles there directly? I recently started writing for eHow and have found it to be a positive experience so far.

    You won’t get the upfront payment like you get through Demand Studios, however, you will earn residual income over time. In my eHow Experiment post, I share how much I’ve made.

    You should look into it.

    Good Luck

  • Veronique November 9, 2008, 11:55 am

    Please inform on how to become a contributor with Demand Studios. I have made two separate accounts from two different computers and chose different topics to write about. They sent an email to me stating at this time they have no topics for my current experience. I’m good enough for Suite 101 but not Demand Studios? LOL

    Since the new site is up, I have tried applying for other jobs, but the system won’t allow me. I think there is definitely wrong with their system. I’m seeing all the topics they claim to have available for writers on the front page, many of which I would love to write about.

    Thank you.

  • Felicia November 9, 2008, 12:29 pm

    That’s very odd! In my opinion, Suite 101 has stricter editing guidelines than Demand Studios does. If you can write for Suite you should be able to write for Demand Studios.

    What topics are you choosing as your area of expertise? I don’t know if that has anything to do with it.

    Just had a thought. Have you tried writing for Writers Research Group? They provide content for eHow also. Their pay is different and you have to wait 60 days in order to receive payment, but it is a legitimate operation.

  • Veronique November 9, 2008, 8:15 pm

    I know, something isn’t right. They only allow you to choose five topics. The first time I filled out pets, relationships, sports & fitness, travel and wedding and added a few to other topics not listed. Personal finance, legal, parenting, food and drink. I gave them links to my writing samples for two different online magazines I have written for and a few other published works on the net.

    I have heard of Writers Research Group, I think I will give them a shot as well. I have only two articles on eHow and plan to add more articles regarding massage therapy. It may be a glitch on their site. I had even written an email to them explaining the areas I have expertise in, but never heard anything from them in return.

    Thanks Felicia, maybe one day I will be able to write for them. LOL

    Have a good day.

  • Cassie Tuttle December 30, 2008, 10:39 pm

    Just stumbled in here as I was doing some research on DEMAND STUDIOS. I’m in the process of applying for a freelance/contract position with them as a “title proofer.”

    Not sure exactly what that is. I’m a freelance copyeditor, and the job description calls for people who are “detailed oriented, have exceptional grammar skills, and can spot a spelling mistake” – that would be me. I’ve passed the initial review and am getting ready to take their test.

    A buck here, a buck there. Right?

    Cassie Tuttles last blog post..Ain’t No Other Man – following up on the previous blog ….

  • Felicia December 31, 2008, 7:26 am

    Hey Cassie,

    Hmmm, Title Proofer. I’d be interested to hear how it goes.

    Good luck on taking the test. Come back and share your progress with us.

  • S. January 15, 2009, 11:05 pm

    So, I’m guessing it’s a-OK to give DS my social security #? I was just approved and I’m giving it a shot.

    Thanks in advance!

  • Felicia January 16, 2009, 7:30 am

    You’ll have to give them a tax ID number if you want to get paid. I did and I haven’t had a problem with them in that regard.

  • August January 22, 2009, 5:40 pm

    Hi Felicia,

    First off, great job on your website. I came across it a few months ago and it was the first I heard of Demand Studios. A few weeks ago, friends of mine with a production company told me that they do some work with Demand Studios. So, I thought I’d check them out. I submitted my resume and some writing samples, and they immediately replied, stating that I don’t qualify. Hmmm. (There were 6,000 writing jobs available when I applied.) So, I sent them another email, asking them to reconsider. They responded, and again rejected me, stating that I don’t meet their goals. Hmmm??? Their goals??? At the time of my second rejection, they had (and still have) approx. 6,500 freelance writing jobs available.

    I’ve located some other sources (through your website, no less!) and hope to work with them. But, you have to understand that when one sees 6,500 jobs available and then told that you don’t qualify for a single one of them – well, it sucks. I feel for the guy who got rejected by them because of a 3 percent rejection rate! Any suggestions for DS … or happiness, in general?

    And yes, thanks to your site, I’m contacting other online publishers.

    BTW, you look like one of my old neighbors in H’wood, and I adored her. It’s just natural that I adore you! I wish your site continued success. Thanks, mom.


    PS – Shucks, I’ll write about the vacuum bra!!! If they’d give me the chance!

  • Felicia January 22, 2009, 6:04 pm

    Hi August,

    Welcome to the blog.

    I’ve got to say that I’m shocked and speechless about your Demand Studios rejection. It’s quite obvious that you have more than enough writing talent to bang out the How to articles they have. .

    Have you tried writing for eHow? While the payment isn’t immediate, the residual income does build over time.

    I’m glad that I resemble someone nice. I’d hate to walk down the street and get assaulted because your neighbor was a horrible person and they thought I was her. 😀

    If I come up with a solution to the DS problem, I’ll post it, but in the meanwhile I’m stumped. Does anyone else have any advice for August?

  • Maria -- WAHM January 22, 2009, 7:36 pm

    August — the 6,500 is the number of articles titles they have available for their writers, but depending on topics, there may not be many that fit your experience/ writing niches. Or they might not be hiring right now. Try again in a few months!

    Maria — WAHMs last blog post..Revenue Sharing Sites: eHow, Bukisa, and InfoBarrel

  • Gina January 24, 2009, 12:59 pm

    I’ve been writing for Demand Studios for about a year now, taking month-long breaks when my schedule didn’t allow time for it. Until this week I’ve not had any problem with them at all. This week they have lost several of my written articles. By my caluculations I should have been paid about $120 last week but only got 77.50. This week they just failed to pay me for all but one $5 article. I’ve still got 13 articles checked out but when I log on to write them, I click the write button and am sent to a pagy saying the site has denied me access. I’ve e-mailed them three times but to no avial. Has anyone else had this problem.

  • Felicia January 25, 2009, 9:06 am

    Hi Gina,

    Sorry to hear of your troubles with Demand Studios.

    I’ve had a few issues here and there, but nothing as severe as losing articles or not being able to log in.

    I find that I write for DS in spurts. There are times when things go swimmingly and then there are times when it becomes very frustrating. I think I’m on the downside of the honeymoon with them as I’ve had a few annoying situations with them recently. I think it might be time for me to take another break from them for a while.

    Maybe its time for you to write an old fashioned letter and mail it to them. Send it via certified mail with a return receipt. This way at least you’ll know that they received your letter. You might get some action that way.

    Has anyone else had a similar experience to Gina? If so, any suggestions on how to resolve it?

  • Michelle January 31, 2009, 11:44 pm

    Has anyone had any experience editing for Demand Studios? How does it compare workload and pay-wise to the writing?

  • Ryane February 4, 2009, 2:15 pm

    Thank you, Felicia, for all of the good advice on writing for Demand Studios. I just got approved to write for them, but was feeling a bit apprehensive (giving up my SS#; the fact that the directions on how to get started are somewhat ambiguous, etc…) I think I will take it slowly at first, follow that style guide to a fault and see how it goes. And, I will definitely check out your other suggestions for legit, paying freelance jobs. Thanks again!

  • eddietor February 4, 2009, 2:24 pm

    Does anyone know how long it takes to get approved as a DS writer?


  • Mel February 13, 2009, 6:52 pm

    I was rejected for Suite 101. No specific reason defined. I was given a list and told that it was either one or several of the listed. Mmmm interesting.

  • Felicia February 15, 2009, 8:30 am

    Sorry to hear about your bad experience with Suite, Mel. Hmmm. That’s pretty interesting. Not sure what’s on their list of reasons, but maybe you can try again in the future.

    In the meanwhile, there are tons of other opportunities out there.

  • Frankie Anon March 15, 2009, 4:09 pm

    Hi. Does anyone here publish under a pseudonym on DS? Is that allowed? I’m hesitant to use my real name b/c I don’t want this to interfere with my “serious” writing or my job. Do they permit pen names? How much information about you do they share? Their site says they can share personal information from the materials you supply. Will details from my resume be public knowledge? Also, my publishing credits are old, mostly print, and not on the web. Do you guys think this will disqualify me? (I write a blog, but its under this “pen name.” I write some personal stuff, although I think it’s very well-written (I try.) I could submit that as my writing sample, but I worry about my worlds colliding. Any advice would be most welcome. I’d love to make a little extra income!

    Frankie Anons last blog post..Books, Brochures, Bartlesville

  • Felicia March 15, 2009, 4:20 pm

    Hi Frankie,

    I publish my DS work under a pen name. They don’t have a problem with that. As far as sample work, you could use your printed or electronic work. I think they want to make sure you can string a few sentences together.

    They will know your real name because you must use it in order to get paid, but you can publish your articles under a pen name.

    I signed up about a year ago or so with them. I’m not sure if they changed their sign up requirements (comments from anyone who recently signed up with DS are welcome).

  • carol stanley March 31, 2009, 3:10 pm

    This is a great article…I am finding some of the “help” on demand not so helpful…Can you tell me the format in which photos are sent..mainly the size.. Many of my photos have not been accepted…Really apprec. some help..And thanks again…Carol Stanley

    carol stanleys last blog post..Reinventing the Wheel

  • Felicia March 31, 2009, 3:31 pm

    Hi Carol,

    My photos are usually .jpg and the size varies. I get my photos from stock.schng so the size, depending on the picture, is about 300 x 200 pixels.

    Hope that helps.

  • carol stanley April 1, 2009, 8:06 am

    That does..and thanks for taking time to write back…Do you write any articles besides HOW TO for Demand.????? WHile I am asking are there any other sites that offer article writing from freelancers? Thanks again, carol

    carol stanleys last blog post..Reinventing the Wheel

  • Felicia April 1, 2009, 11:47 am

    I’ve written a couple of “How Does” and I think I did an “About” or two. Lately I haven’t been writing much for Demand Studios. It’s been about a month or so since my last DS article.

    There are tons of other sites that accept freelance writers. I’ve mentioned a few here on this blog. There’s eHow, Associated Content, Suite 101, HubPages and Textbroker to name a few.

    Currently I make the most residual income with Suite 101, but it didn’t happen overnight. Try eHow. If you’re writing articles for Demand Studios, you surly can write for eHow. It’s the same stuff.
    Check out a few of my blog posts and comments from my readers. You’re sure to find something that suits you.

  • Lynne April 9, 2009, 2:11 pm

    Has anyone else had any problems signing up to Demand Studios. I filled out their form but nothing happened when I pressed the apply button at the bottom. I’ve tried twice on different days now but the same thing happens each time.

  • Lynne April 14, 2009, 5:17 pm

    Hi – just to let you know re my comment above that I solved the problem by downloading Firefox and using that instead of Internet Explorer.

    However I had another issue logging in to eHow which could only be solved by getting my ISP involved. I use satellite internet and there is a program which runs in some satellite services which prevents the eHow site from working properly – I was driving myself crazy trying different computers and different browsers and clearing the cache several times a day but it took just a simple email to my internet provider to sort it out. They did something technical their end and now it’s fine.

    • Felicia April 15, 2009, 7:09 am

      It’s amazing the many snafus we face. Whether it’s the website, the computer, the ISP, the browser or just plain human error, there’s never a dull moment.

      I find I’ve been having a few problems with Firefox lately and had to switch to IE for a bit. Your comment might help other readers that are going through the same problem. Thanks for coming back to give us the update.

  • Jennifer April 22, 2009, 3:50 pm

    So what is the overall impression now (4/22/09) of Demand Studios? I was thinking of having my husband submit something.

    • Felicia April 22, 2009, 4:04 pm

      I think Demand Studios is a legitimate site with quirks. If your husband is looking to make a few dollars, it can be done at Demand Studios.

      My relationship with them is on again/off again. My advice to you and your husband is to give them a try. If it works out well, keep writing for them. If it doesn’t, give it a break and come back later.

  • Denise May 6, 2009, 11:57 am

    Is there anyway to work with DS without submitting the SS# via web?

  • Felicia May 6, 2009, 10:10 pm


    Try emailing them to see if there is another way to provide your SS#.

  • lisa May 6, 2009, 10:14 pm

    Hey Felicia and All:)

    I have a question regarding Demand Studios application process.

    I am been trying unsuccessfully, and getting frustrated I must admit, with being able to actually submit my job app and sample writing to their site.

    The tech error keeps reading “all *fields must be filled in”, which they are.

    I have done as they have suggested by downloading firefox and resending; all the no avail.

    Did anyone else experience this problem and if so, what should I do to correct it?


    Lisa L

    • Felicia May 6, 2009, 10:19 pm

      Hmmm, sounds like a glitch. Can’t say I’ve come across that one. Can anyone else help Lisa?

      Did you try sending an email to DS telling them about the problem? They might have a workaround.

  • lisa May 6, 2009, 10:26 pm

    Hi Felicia,

    (I love the technology of fast communication!) Thanks for replying so fast.

    Yes, I actually have DS on my Twitter contact list. They said to go ahead and hit the contact button while I am on their site and a techy can help me

    But so far, all it does is send them an email.

    Lisa L.

  • John May 14, 2009, 2:24 pm

    Hi, Felicia.

    I am an advertising copywriter with 13 years of experience who was recently laid off and am contemplating applying to Demand Studios, Suite 101 and a few others. I was wondering if you knew if your samples need to be pieces that were actually published, or if you can just write something up on a whim to show them what you can do.


    • Felicia May 14, 2009, 2:37 pm

      Hi John,

      Sorry to hear about your layoff. As far as Suite and Demand Studios goes, you don’t have to use published work (most of these sites don’t require published work). They just want to make sure that you have a good command of the English language and that you can string a few sentences together in an interesting and grammatically correct fashion.

      Good Luck!

  • shirley May 26, 2009, 12:13 am

    Not true this company will not just except anyone , I have been writing for months now gave samples of my work what a joke of a company they are. They did not even send me an email to let me know or a reason why I had to log in to check the application to see it showed not eligible they are very unprofessional and are not what they claim to be.

    • Felicia May 26, 2009, 6:29 am

      Sorry to hear about your experience Shirley.

      It’s a good thing that there are so many other freelance writing opportunities on the internet. Thank goodness Demand Studios isn’t the only game in town.

  • Nancy May 27, 2009, 9:54 am

    I am delighted to find this thread for two reasons. First, I do some freelance writing and editing and didn’t know about DS–could be an option. Second, it appears that content from my Storybook Quilts website maybe stored illegally on a protected area of the DS site. (All my SQs have US copyrights.) Since I don’t have an account, I can’t get in to check. There appears to be either text or images from my Maurice the Cat SQ on http://write.demandstudios.com. Any ideas on how I can check on this would be MOST appreciated!

    • Felicia May 27, 2009, 10:38 am

      Hi Nancy. Welcome to NJFM.

      Did you try sending an email Demand Studios about the copyrighted material? See how they respond and then take the next step if necessary.

  • Nancy D May 27, 2009, 6:39 pm

    Just kind of checking in here and I still haven’t gone back to DS but might look at it again given things seem to be improving. I never had an issue with getting paid, I had an issue with editors who don’t play by the rules and then blacklist you when you call them on it.

    My freelance stuff has picked up and I’ve been kind of busy these past few months, much to my surprise, so other than my Examiner.com site, I haven’t had time to do anything else.

    Originally, I came here today to look things over since my blog is showing someone from Advance Publications visited here and moved on to my resume and blog. (Felicia, Advance Publications are the folks who publish Conde Nast, et al. Good visitor to have).

  • Coleen May 30, 2009, 3:05 am

    Hi there

    Your comments are all very interesting. I take it you are all US residents because I found out after I applied for work with DS and was accepted that they only engage the services of US citizens. I am an Australian Based writer and I am wondering if anyone knows how I would go about obtaininga an EID so that I can do some writing for DS. I have worked for US based businesses and never been asked for one before, so it is interesting that DS have requested an EID or SS#. I also came across Ehow about a year ago but noticed that it was only avialable to US Citzens as well. I am finding this to be more often than not the case when it comes to the residual payment schemes on Articles written, so I am now thinking that it is worth my while pursuing the question of whether or not I am entitled to apply for an EIN to work in the USA as a non resident living in another country.

  • Teresa May 30, 2009, 4:47 pm

    I discovered Demand Studios a couple weeks ago and, since I’m an SEO writer by trade, thought it would be a great way to make some extra cash. I got accepted right away and started writing. I have to say that I was a little annoyed with the pages and pages of style guidelines but thought once I get the hang of it, it will be easy. Well, I’ve written 5 articles now. The first one got accepted within hours, but I’ve had 2 sent back to me for rewrites. And those rewrite requests have contradicted their official style guidelines (one asked me to add to an article because it didn’t meet the word count, when the guidelines say never to pad an article to meet the word count). I did the rewrites because I wanted to get paid, but honestly, their editorial system makes no sense to me. Are they just editors that sign up like the writers looking for extra cash? At $15 a pop, I think it’s a bit scandalous that they can even ask for a rewrite to an article that follows their guidelines, but I’m discovering many of these sites pay that little. I probably won’t continue writing for them, but it would be nice to hear from someone who works as an editor for them to find out what the deal is…

  • Coleen May 31, 2009, 2:24 am

    It seems that what I am consistently reading on this blog is that writers are experiencing all sorts of issuess with having worked accepted by the editors over at Demand Studios.

    This leads me to wondering whether it is really worth pursuing an EID so that I can work in the USA….that’s if it is possible. As yet I still do not have a clear answer.

    If the editors can’t get their own guidelines correct, how can the writers? It seems that Demand Studios may be more hassle than they are worth. What do you think?

    • Felicia May 31, 2009, 9:00 am

      Well said Coleen. I’ve all but stopped writing for Demand Studios for the very same reason (I wrote 4 articles in April). It’s not that I get many re-writes, but for $15 an article having to educate an editor on the subject matter in order for your article to be approved is just more work than its worth.

      As far as the EID, I’m not sure. Since I’m a US citizen I’ve not come across that problem. If I find info regarding international writers acquiring an EID, I’ll share it with you.

  • Nancy M May 31, 2009, 11:12 am

    Coleen, an EIN (employer identification number) is available only to businesses (including freelances who aren’t formally “businesses”) that pay taxes in the US. It’s allocated by the Internal Revenue Service–see http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=97860,00.html So, unless you plan on establishing a busines presence in the US and filing US income tax, you wouldn’t be eligible for an EIN.

    I suspect DS doesn’t want to use ex-US writers because it’s easier not to handle any tax/business filing consequences this might entail and more than enough US-based writers are available.

    I hope you find a good outlet for your talent!

    • Felicia May 31, 2009, 11:47 am

      Nancy, thanks for the informative post.

  • Teresa May 31, 2009, 7:16 pm

    For Coleen: I certainly wouldn’t go through the trouble of dealing with the tax issues just for Demand Studios – while it seems to be a legitimate business, it hasn’t proven to be reliable. If you’re doing it for multiple businesses or your career, that’s a different story.

    I do know quite a few foreigners who work in the U.S – they are designers, so a different field, but similar in the sense that many freelance. However, all the people I know had to find full-time jobs in the U.S. and find a company that was willing to legally sponsor them. I’m not a legal expert, so don’t know exactly what that entails, but I do know there is some financial obligation on the company’s part as well. Those foreigners pretty much had to stay full-time at that specific company until they qualified for and received a green card. Only then were they able to leave and freelance. I don’t mean to be a downer! – obviously I know foreigners who have done it. But I do believe, unless you’re being paid under-the-table or making less in a year than is taxable by the U.S., you might face similar issues.

  • Coleen May 31, 2009, 7:19 pm

    Hi Felicia

    thanks for your comment. After reading what you have said I can see that I am actually eligible to apply for an EID. Still, after pondering what I have been reading here the past few days, I have decided that working for Demand Studios does not appear to be as lucrative as it first seemed, given the ongoing issues with Editors.

    A friend of mine in the USA has begun working for them and had actually pointed me in their direction, not realising at the time that DS only engaged the services of US citzens. I will now sit back, watch, wait and see what type of responses she is getting after submitting her work to DS.

    This lady is an extremely experienced Ghostwriter, having written over 1000 ebooks as well as articles, blog posts, etc, so if they knock her work back, based on their ‘inconsistent’ guidelines, then it is for sure that those editors over there will knock anyone’s work back by the sounds of it. Whether the editors approve articles seems to be based on the day of the week, their mood and what’s happening on the day!!!!

    Thanks for all of your comments. It’s been interesting reading this thread and I will continue to read posts on this subject as they come through to my inbox.

  • Coleen May 31, 2009, 8:11 pm

    Felicia thanks so much for your informative comment. Based on what you have said it certainly does ential alot just to get an EID. As stated in my previous post, at this time I will not be pursuing one just so that I can work for Demand Studios! It’s a shame. I was offered work as a ‘writer’ and also as a ‘title proofer’, provided I passed the test.

    • Felicia May 31, 2009, 8:44 pm

      I agree, it isn’t worth it. However, I want to give credit where credit is due. Nancy was the one that provided the info on getting an EID (thanks Nancy).

      Part of the reason why I love blogging here at NJFM is that I like sharing what I learn, but I love the fact that I have the best followers on the internet. When I don’t have the answer for something I can rest assured that one of my readers do.

      Coleen, have you tried Suite 101? They don’t offer an up front payment, but the residuals over time are proving to be worth while and they accept international writers.

  • Kimbra June 1, 2009, 9:43 am

    Hi there,
    I noticed throughout this thread that everyone is talking about a $15 flat fee per article.
    Has anyone ever written a “profit share” article for Demand Studios? If so, how did it work out? What kind of rates are they paying for profit share?

    • Felicia June 1, 2009, 10:07 am

      Hi Kimbra,

      Since I write for eHow I never bothered to write a residual article for Demand Studios. They only pay residuals for up to 5 years. eHow continues to pay for the life of the article.

      Anyone else have DS profit sharing experience they could share?

  • Kimbra June 1, 2009, 11:20 am

    Thanks Felicia,

    So it pays more to write a $15 flat fee to write for DS than get residuals for 5 years? That would make me think residuals don’t pay off very well.

    What is the relationship between ehow and DS, and what kind of $ can you make from residuals on ehow? Are we talking a couple of dollars per article a month, or does it really add up?

    I’ve been a professional writer and editor for 15 years – staff positions at magazines, newspapers, and a science organization. This web content writing is new to me, and though I’m very intrigued, I’m a little wary.

    Thanks for running this forum! Great help.

    • Felicia June 1, 2009, 11:39 am

      Residual income is a tricky thing. With proper keywords and search engine optimization and great traffic, some articles do much better on a residual basis than an up front pay basis.

      eHow is owned by Demand Studios. Check out the eHow site to get a feel for it. I’ve pretty much given up writing $15 articles for Demand Studios. I find that residual income works better for me. Some of my residual articles do very well (I’ve got one on eHow that has earned over $265 in 4 months) and some don’t do so well. The good thing about residual income is that the money keeps coming in. My article that earned $265 in 4 months stands to earn quite a bit over time. I’d hate to see the income stop because a 5 year limitation is reached.

      It’s hard to tell which ones will be winners and which ones won’t. Over time you’ll get a better feel for potential money makers, but it’s part trial and error and part learning the ropes.

      I post my eHow earnings on My eHow Experiment post. I’ve only been with eHow for a short period of time, but my online experience tells me that next year and the year after is when I’ll really see my eHow income grow. When articles have had a chance to stew online for awhile, they earn more.

      Correction: I just looked at my stats. I wrote the above article 6 months ago so that’s an average of $44 per month or so. Let’s say the article continues at the same rate of earnings over for a period of 5 years, that would mean $2,640 for an article I spent 1/2 hour writing. The earnings don’t happen overnight, but I’d rather spend 1/2 hour and earn $2,640 over 5 years than $15 over the same amount of time.

      Some other articles only earn $10 a month and others $20 and $30 a month. Some don’t earn anything. It’s a crapshoot, but overtime the earnings accumulate.

  • diana June 2, 2009, 9:52 pm

    hey there, just wondering about how long it takes you guys to write each article for DS? i just got accepted, and need to email them for more info. i want to see a writing sample to see exactly what they want (since they have fairly specific guidelines) and need more info on how much/what kind of research is expected for each article. any advice/feedback for me would be much appreciated!

    • Felicia June 3, 2009, 9:10 am

      I can’t speak for everyone but when I write for them I spend about 1/2 hour on Demand Studio articles. If you select titles you’re familiar with it shouldn’t take too long.

      I haven’t written for them in a while and their writers guidelines might have changed a bit. I think someone who is currently writing articles for them can better answer your question.

  • Lynette June 15, 2009, 6:09 pm

    Hi, Felicia:

    What an incredibly good site. I’m a writer, (mostly in print, not including my blog) and had been thinking of other online writing opportunities. This discussion has been extremely helpful. Now I’ve got to go check out your other sites. Happy to have met you!

    • Felicia June 16, 2009, 6:52 am

      Hello Lynette and welcome!

  • Lynette June 15, 2009, 6:41 pm

    Not sure if it’s okay to start a new topic, but I know you’ve written on Oboulo, and wondered if you’ve ever written for them?

    • Felicia June 16, 2009, 6:55 am

      I’ve never written for Oboulo personally. From what I can see they are very particular about what they accept. There seems to be more rejected than accepted work.

      (I’m going to attempt to move these comments to my post on Oboulo).

  • Ken June 17, 2009, 10:51 pm

    Just got accepted by DS (does anyone NOT get accepted?) as a copy editor. Forgive me if this forum is just for writers, but your comments are very helpful. I retired as a full-time magazine writer a couple of years ago, and have been exploring the freelance universe since then. DS pays copy editors $3.50 per article, so I don’t expect to get rich. But if it works out, the work will keep me from getting rusty. (Here, Rusty. Good dog.)

    • Felicia June 17, 2009, 11:07 pm

      Congrats Ken.

      Maybe you can come back later and shed some light. You can be the brave editor to respond to my open post to Demand Studio editors.

      I have the feeling that you won’t get too rusty working for DS.

  • Autum June 19, 2009, 1:40 pm


    Anyone here without a writing degree or years of work experience works for DS? I’ve had college education and took a couple of writing classes…Applied and got rejected. Tried again but they told me once was enough.

  • shirley June 19, 2009, 4:18 pm

    I write for several companies. And I applied to DS and was rejected also. They way I look at things it’s their loss. There are many places to write for some are very strict. And some editors will work with you. The main thing is proof read everything. And cross your fingers. I have found many editors to be very moody and if they do not like your work on the first impression they will not except you.
    Do not give up its is their loss 🙂

  • Autum June 19, 2009, 8:08 pm

    Thanks Shirley,

    I agree with you. At least I have Associated Content to write for. I suppose you can’t always win. Autum

  • shirley June 19, 2009, 8:25 pm

    Hi Autum, you’re welcome. I know I write for AC there fine with me.

  • Melissa June 20, 2009, 11:05 pm

    Hi, Autumn, Shirley.

    I write for Demand Studios and have been doing so for about a month and a half now. I’ve had very few problems with rewrites and rejections. But I also think that what behooved me is that I have extensive research and writing experience in a very particular field. So it might not be enough for DS that a writer can write well, if you know what I mean. Honestly? I could probably make more money putting up articles at Constant Content. Everything that I upload sells within the day, and the articles take far less time to write than DS articles — and I get more for them. 🙂

    Ken, Demand Studios needs to pay you CEs more. For what you have to do (edit AND fact check), $3.50 is just not enough. Everyone complains about the back-ups. Give editors incentive to edit full-time, not just when they need a few extra bucks. Just MHO on the matter.

  • Emily June 21, 2009, 12:49 pm

    I am considering trying some freelance writing work. I just left my position of many years as a pre-school director to be home with my new baby. I was an English major at a very good school and edited academic papers when I was in grad school. Seems like I ought to be able to do this. About how long do you find it takes to write one of these articles?(ie to earn the $15? Alternatively, at about what rate do you earn on eHow?

    • Felicia June 21, 2009, 1:33 pm

      Hello Emily. Welcome to NJFM blog.

      Regarding how much one can earn on eHow, check out My eHow Experiment post. As far as how long it takes to write an article for DS, it varies. It takes me about ½ hour, but each writer is different. Read a few of the NJFM posts and comments on Demand Studios. You’ll get a better perspective of how it works for different writers.

  • Kenneth June 29, 2009, 10:08 am

    Hey, I recently applied to Demand Studios and was not accepted. I have a journalism degree form Auburn University in Auburn, Ala., and I have a year of experience reporting for a daily newspaper with hundreds of published clips. I am freaking pissed and dumfounded that I was not accepted for this. I literally had to beat out about 80 other applicants for my current newspaper position. Why in the world was I not accepted for Demand Studios?

    • Felicia June 29, 2009, 12:39 pm

      Kenneth, don’t let Demand Studios get you too upset. With your qualifications there are lots of other legitimate sites that will be happy to have you.

      I don’t know why some qualified people are rejected by DS. It doesn’t make sense.

  • Nancy M June 29, 2009, 12:48 pm

    Kenneth, Could it be that the editors were threatened with someone as good as you probably are? Perhaps it’s a complement!

  • Kenneth June 29, 2009, 3:03 pm

    I sent them an email asking them to please reconsider my application only to be told they are not looking for my style. Ummmmmmmm….okay?????? What are they smoking? I know all kinds of hack writers with no real writing experience working for them. As far as writing goes, Demand Studios is a joke. Anyone know of any other good freelance sites?

  • Lynne June 29, 2009, 3:52 pm

    What did you send them as examples of your work? I was a staff journalist for an international news organisation for 12 years so had lots of hard news examples. But I sent DS some very light feature type pieces because that is more their thing.

    If I were you I’d just forget DS I barely write for them now as the pay didn’t seem to be worth the effort. If you have the time building up a selection of articles to make residual income might be a better offer. NJFM has great examples of the different sites which do this.

    Or have you tried bidding for work on elance.com?
    .-= Lynne´s last blog ..Additional income sources for writers =-.

  • Abbey Smith June 29, 2009, 7:07 pm


    My name is Abbey Smith. I’m researching custom content vendors for Swift Communications, Inc. I came across this discussion in my research. Fascinating!

    We are looking at Helium, Associated Content, Demand Studios and Textbroker. Swift owns local/community newspapers/news sites across the Western US. We need a vendor who can help us manage a network of local freelancers as well as provide quality custom and features content.

    From a writer’s point of view, which of these vendors are the best deal for you? I’m interested to learn any other feedback you might have.

    Thank you so much for your time!


    • Felicia June 29, 2009, 7:30 pm

      Hi Abbey and welcome to NJFM.

      I’m going to defer to my readers to provide their opinion on Helium and Associated Content. If you do a quick search on this site you’ll find quite a bit of information on how writers feel about Textbroker and Demand Studios. I hope the information provided will help you in making your decision.

  • Melissa July 15, 2009, 2:29 am


    From a writer’s perspective, I find that Demand Studios turns out the highest quality content. While I enjoy Helium and Associated Content, there is no editing of these articles, whereas, DS does edit the articles that writers submit. When it comes to content, quality matters. A lot of people want to be writers, and while these forums are great for personal expression, there’s a reason why DS pays more than other sites.

    Texbroker: Not a fan. Namely, because some of the people who pay for articles on TB use them on DS and AC under their own accounts to make money, which is, IMHO, quite unethical. I wouldn’t touch that site with a barge pole.

    I am very happy writing for Demand Studios. I come from a legal background and find that it challenges me and allows me to share my expertise in my areas of specialty. The people at DS are really great, too. Highly professional.


  • Kat July 15, 2009, 9:08 am

    Honestly, I applied and they sent me a copy writing test and I don’t remember why but I told them I wouldn’t take it (probably because of pay). Then they wrote me back and said I passed it.

    They didn’t even read the copy test, so I never bothered with them.

  • Abbey Smith July 15, 2009, 12:25 pm

    Hi Melissa and Kat,

    Thank you so much for responding to my post. Your feedback is incredibly helpful. Melissa, I appreciate what you said about Textbroker. It’s great to get an insider’s perspective.

    Thanks again!!


  • Bill Swan July 16, 2009, 1:56 pm

    Well, as someone who has written for DS steadily for over a year (meaning I get weekly income from them), I can say I’ve seen many good and bad points with the company.

    On the good side:
    1. they pay on time, every time. I never worried about a payment not showing up.

    2. there is always at least some work (although the work will slow down seasonally)

    3. their chief editing team (Richard, Eve and others) seem to know what they are talking about.

    4. you actually can write as much as you can handle from them.

    5. this is an ongoing gig with no signs of slowing down.

    6. a forum for people to ask for help or offer advice.

    And now, for the bad points:

    1. communication between editors and writers is sorely lacking or very limited.

    2. lack of professionalism seems to come in waves as new writers and editors are being constantly hired.

    3. system “glitches” are common, and almost seem to have a schedule of at least one per month. These range from content being wiped out, to editors not being able to edit, to Java scripts not functioning, to slow functionality depending on which browser you are using.

    4. constant weekly “maintenance” either on Tuesdays or Wednesdays which causes work to be disrupted at least for an hour.

    5. available titles to write to being either too broad for the word count, mis-categorized, unwriteable, or too specific at least half the time.

    6. a constant higher level of stress (at least on the forums).

    My honest opinion – if you can look at Demand as simply a “content factory” where you churn out work for a weekly pay, you can look past many of the problems. But, there are points where I have wondered how the heck the site, and the company, have grown to the size it is with the constant problems they seem to have. I have yet to see another content site (including AC, Bright Hub, or even Textbroker) who have had the technical and production problems DS has. I understand they are a large company; but I often wonder if they tested any of their code or guidelines before putting them into use.

    • Felicia July 16, 2009, 3:11 pm

      Very well said, Bill.

      Your comment holds a lot of weight since you have been earning money consistently with them for over a year.


  • Kimbra July 16, 2009, 4:29 pm

    I’ve been writing for them for a couple of months, and agree. You have to just think of it as a content factory.

    My question to you is: how DO YOU navigate their subject list? I don’t think I’ve ever gotten to the end of one of their lists. Their filters are next to useless for me. I’m sure I could find more gigs with them if it didn’t take more time to search their topics than it takes to write their articles.

    Any hints?

  • Bill Swan July 16, 2009, 7:55 pm

    At one time Kimba there was a “Last” link at the bottom with the page numbers. That vanished during one of the major maintenance projects early this year.

    As for how to navigate the lists:
    1. enter multiple search words (yes these get listed single form)
    2. pick which format you are looking for (Fact Sheet, How-to, List etc)
    3. Look through the categories on the right of the titles and pick the one you want; then only look for those titles.
    4. I only go four pages deep before moving on because DS doesn’t add titles THAT fast, and after page 4 it gets into titles that no one wanted in the first place.

    If you set an amount of time to search, say an hour, stick to it each day and then get out. Otherwise you can easily bog down and lose valuable writing time. If you can’t find something to write after an hour, go to another site and work there; then come back to DS tomorrow.

    One huge Tip: It’s not worth the frustration or the headache to spend more than an hour per site looking for ideas. You don’t get paid to look.

  • Abbey Smith July 17, 2009, 1:27 pm

    Hi Bill,

    Thank you for your detailed feedback on Demand Studios. I work closely with another Demand Media brand–Pluck, which is a social media platform. Pluck is a great company and I enjoy working with their team very much. The one thing I had to realize and adapt to with them is that they release a new product when it is 80% complete, and then finish the build out based on how users are using the product. This is great, but to partner with them means you have to adapt to this and get ready for lots of testing, which requires time and resources.

    This statement of yours made me think of the Pluck production process: “I understand they are a large company; but I often wonder if they tested any of their code or guidelines before putting them into use.”

    Perhaps Demand Studios takes the 80% build out approach to their code and guidelines too. 🙂

    Learning this has made me stop and think before jumping into brand new projects with them. It’s exciting and the benefit is that we get to help mold the product, but it’s resource-intensive on our end.

    Thanks again for sharing,


  • Wendy July 29, 2009, 5:30 pm

    Hi all!

    I wonder what anyone/everyone thinks about this new “score card” on Demand Studios?

    I do not think they fully understand their writers, nor do I think they have any idea of how to retain good ones…

    I’m pissed.

    I don’t think most professional writers feel “graded” by their editors.

    Any thoughts?


    Plus, okay, I have a pretty “good” score…but I **know** that the editors who have marked me down were not professional. There were a handful who were just ignorant. 80 – 90 percent have been fabulous, but I don’t like the idea of being “graded” by any of them.

    I always knew that DS was short term, but now it **really** is.

    What are they thinking???

    .-= Wendy´s last blog ..Another day, another… =-.

  • Wendy July 29, 2009, 5:40 pm

    Hi…always looking for opportunities…Abbey, not to be too personal, but can you expand on your work with Pluck? I looked at their web site and wasn’t too sure how to go about applying. Are you an employee? If so, do you work from home? Etc…

    Again, sorry if my questions are too personal…I don’t mind a generic reply, I’m just really curious about opportunities with them (or anyone, really…)

    : )

    .-= Wendy´s last blog ..Another day, another… =-.

  • Diane July 30, 2009, 11:45 pm

    Hi, Colleen, I’m from outside the US and recently I’ve been thinking of collaborating with someone in the US, meaning I would ghostwrite the articles while he takes care of creating the account in Demand Studios and then we’ll split the earnings. But we haven’t yet decided on how to go about it because we’re not sure of how much the taxes will be. Can you shed light on the approximate percentage of standard US taxation? Thanks.

    • Felicia July 31, 2009, 1:05 pm

      The US tax percentage all depends on the person’s tax bracket. Check out the IRS Federal Income Tax Bracket to help determine tax percentage.

      I would think you would have to have a very close relationship with someone in the US in order to co-mingle one’s income and tax liability.

  • Poppet July 31, 2009, 12:11 pm

    I have been writing for DS for over a year. In that time, the quality of DS has plummeted.
    I’m down to writing 5-10 articles for them per week.

    They brag about the years of experience their copy editors have, and then I recieve illegible rewrite requests.
    An Example: “I know disagree but i still right anyway”
    YES.. that’s an actual rewrite request.
    No instructions, no anything.
    These same copy editors send snarky comments and have gone as far as to say “you need a different job”
    I worked for a high circulation magazine for more than 15 years.

    The worst part is the editorial team will not answer requests of any kind, so appealing this type of rewrite is fruitless.

    The system constantly has glitches and articles are “lost” daily.

    While they are a legal company, I highly encourage you to tread carefully with DS. You can easily end up wasting your time.

  • Wendy July 31, 2009, 1:47 pm

    Thanks, Poppet! That helps tons with perspective. Just coming off a really lame edit and it helps to be reminded that I’m not the only one.

    Felicia, if necessary, please move to the appropriate thread, but I am wondering about Constant Content? Are there many people who use this successfully?

    Hope that is an appropriate question.


    .-= Wendy´s last blog ..Another day, another… =-.

  • Dee July 31, 2009, 4:20 pm

    Great site, Felicia. You have provided a cool forum for a nice community of writers, including Wendy. She is frustrated about the new Demand scorecards and who can blame her? True professionals will not stick around and be humiliated by a rating system. They will move on to other providers that avoid using random methods to motivate their writers.

    • Felicia July 31, 2009, 4:36 pm

      Dee, I agree with you and Wendy. After Wendy’s post I took a look at the scorecard. It just reinforces the need to build a large residual income source so that you won’t have to worry about Demand Studio’s scorecard.

  • Gloria August 1, 2009, 5:17 pm

    I noticed the reference to Constant Content on here, and wanted to spout my 2 cents.

    I worked for DS for 2 years. During that time, the editing went down hill and the rejection rate for unsubstantiated reasons soared.

    I found myself placing the rejected articles on Constant Content where I would earn 3-5 times the amount I would have recieved from DS.
    It took me a while, but I finally asked myself “why would I BOTHER with DS when I can make so much more with CC??
    I’ve more than doubled my income with that single revelation.

  • Wendy August 1, 2009, 9:20 pm

    Hi! Thanks for that feedback, Gloria. I just checked, and it was Melissa’s June 20th post that clued me in to Constant Content. I am really glad. It seems like a great option. My three articles that were rejected from DS are now “under review” at CC. I think it’s a great model.

    I’m okay with DS for the short term, but I can tell that I need an escape route…other baskets to fill, whatever. I am hopeful about the residual income thing, but in the short and medium term, I need $$$ : )

    .-= Wendy´s last blog ..Another day, another… =-.

  • Heidi August 1, 2009, 9:55 pm

    Gloria, if you don’t mind sharing, what type of articles did you write for DS when you made the switch?

  • Deanna August 2, 2009, 1:18 am

    You asked about Constant Content. I have been placing my articles on that site for over two years now and have had very good luck there. They are honest and pay you each month after you reach the $5.00 min. Yes, only $5.00. You have complete control over what you charge for your articles and what you want to write about. The editor can be tough, but fair, and if you are a competent writer you will do well there.
    Good luck!
    .-= Deanna´s last blog ..Article on Plagiarism Checkers for Your Articles =-.

  • diana August 3, 2009, 12:03 pm

    hi all — wanted to tell you all how grateful i am for all of your feedback and comments. felicia, this site is a wonderful resource for those trying to make a living freelancing. i actually just started writing for demand studios about 2 months ago, and i don’t have any real complaints. the stories are so easy, i’m able to pick topics i’m already familiar with, and there are lots of $20 options on the livestrong stories. i agree that the reject/rewrite requests don’t always seem fair, although admittedly i’ve only had a handful. these are certainly not my primary income, but it’s a really nice option to fall back on. i could easily do 10 a day if i needed to; that’s a quick $200. not bad if you need some extra cash. and for the people upset that they didn’t get accepted, the only thing that i can say is that they seem to like feature writers. i have a strong feature writing background, and think that helps with few rewrites, almost no rejections, and getting accepted. hope this info helps some others — i say it’s worth a shot if you want to do it, because there is certainly some money to be made and the work is pretty easy.

    i’ve also tried constant content because i’ve heard such great things about that site — only very few stories submitted so no bites yet. any other sites that are really recommended by other writers on here? p.s. tried getafreelancer.com — horrible and i wouldn’t recommend it unless you want to get paid $1 an article. thanks everyone!

  • Wendy August 3, 2009, 5:24 pm


    That was weird…my comment just got erased somehow…I’ll try again..

    Just wanted to say thank you for the tip about the $20 articles with LiveStrong. I had not noticed any before, but will look.

    Also, a tip about Constant Content, if it helps: My articles just got rejected due to “font size” — though I had breezed through the guidelines, I had had no idea they were such sticklers for stuff like font size. I’m still really happy with them, but if it helps anyone, just really dot your “i”s and cross your “t”s so to speak…

    I still think Suite101 is the # 1 long-term choice, though : )

    Take care, all


  • Wendy August 3, 2009, 5:32 pm

    I am wondering if there are LiveStrong articles listed for you right now. I don’t see any when I check…my irritable side is thinking that perhaps I’m “banned” from them or something…which would be kind of weird, considering I have a high acceptance rate for my articles, strong writing background, etc…

    But it **is** possible…

    Just curious. Are there lots of the $20 articles **always** for you, or do they come and go?

    Thanks…I love being able to share this information in order to make better choices.


  • diana August 3, 2009, 8:49 pm

    hi wendy,
    yes, there are currently pages and pages of the $20 livestrong articles available. of course, some of them are difficult topics that i wouldn’t want to touch, but some of them are pretty easy. maybe i have access because i’m a health writer (don’t know if they approve us just for certain topics and not all), but i would think that anyone would have access. and, i’d say there’s been a pretty steady stream for about a month or so; i’ve only been writing for them for about 2 months though.

    good to hear about suite101 — i was just approved for them and am working on my first stories. hoping it brings in a decent amount of cash. my first constant content article was rejected b/c i listed Web sources as http://www.whatever, and they don’t allow any www or http. who knew it would get rejected for listing sources?? but, thanks for the tip — i’m sure i will make other small mistakes that will make my stories get “rejected,” so it’s good to know some other things to look out for!

  • Pam August 5, 2009, 10:37 am


    Hi again Felicia… this question is for you or anyone peeking in. Still in newbie-ville with Demand, cranking in a few articles here and there, so far so good. I took your advice and bought Writer Gig’s ebook, which has been sooo informative. Now I’m moving to level 2 and prepping to finally start my blog. You are obviously the grand puba of blogging, (or at least her second in command- lol) and I wanted to know is Blogger.com okay or do you recommend another platform to get it all started? I know I’m a little off topic, but I’m trying to squeeze in some time at my day job to ask… 🙂 Got caught up reading this post and wanted to ask quickly. I’m sure your fingers are moving steadily as we speak… pls chime in any advice when you can. Thanks!!!

    • Felicia August 5, 2009, 10:56 am

      Hey Pam,

      Not so sure I’m the grand puba of blogging (more like the chief cook and bottle washer).

      As far as blogger goes, it’s a perfectly fine platform. I’d like you to check out this blog: http://makemoneyforbeginners.blogspot.com/. According to his site, he’s making a few thousand a month and the blog is on the blogger platform.

      He has a ton of great information (I was just checking it out last night – will do a future post about him). So, if he can do it, I’m sure you can too. As a matter of fact, I have a couple of blogger blogs. Unfortunately, I don’t spend much time updating them because I’ve spread myself a bit thin. They do bring in money monthly, however, so I think it’s a good place to start.

      It has its pros and cons, but it’s free.

  • Pam August 5, 2009, 11:29 am

    “Chief Cook and Bottle-Washer…” LOL! You’re the best Felicia. Thanks for the speedy response. I’ll check out the link. Now to figure out a punchy name for the thing… Happy writing today! 🙂


  • Bill Swan August 6, 2009, 5:48 pm

    Felicia, I have a question for you. In your relationship with DS, did you ever get the feeling that the deck was stacked (possibly inadvertantly) against the writers?

    What I mean is the amount of unpaid “extra” work that Demand Media seems to ask of the writers. Here’s a few examples I’ve seen within the past few weeks.

    1. requests to include photos with articles by content editors (even though this is optional for writers to do so), and having the possibility of having it count against you

    2. having the “responsibility” to inform the editing team if you find mis-categorized titles and un-writable titles (even though there are people paid to do this, and writers are not paid for this work)

    3. having very limited ability to communicate with anyone.

    And the scorecards, at least to me, seem to leave many of the writers second-guessing how good they really are as writers. Now I know there are really bad writers on the web; but since when does an arbitrary scorecard re-enforce good work and productivity?

    One last observation which I wonder if you ever noticed….. the turnover of writers and editors. From my eyes, it seems as if a new wave of each arrives about every 60 days. It makes me wonder how bad the turnover rate really is when DS needs to constantly hire on new help.

    • Felicia August 6, 2009, 8:12 pm

      Bill, you’ve got a point. However, I learned early on in my career, both online and offline, to recite the serenity prayer. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

      I realized early on that Demand Studios was going to manage their site the way they saw fit. The deck may indeed be stacked against the writers, whether intentionally or not. However, since they own the sandbox, I quickly learned that I either had to play with their toys according to their rules or bide my time until I could buy my own sandbox and play with my toys the way I wanted to.

      I chose to get my own sandbox. 🙂

  • Bill Swan August 6, 2009, 8:27 pm

    Recently, I realized that trying to do my best on DS caused more work than it was worth; along with twelve hour days trying to make a living there. I am now trying to find the material to build my own “sandbox” which is why I found your site.

    The problem is building up enough income at a good pace to replace what I have now. I know it can be done, I’ve seen enough people doing it. I am an old hand with writing, but a newbie with using the Internet for all I can to earn money.

    • Felicia August 6, 2009, 8:51 pm

      Bill, I understand where you’re coming from.

      When I started, I worked both ends. I wrote a few articles for residual sites, but more for sites that paid up front. I needed the cash and I needed it immediately.

      However, I tried to find some time to work the residual end too. It took some time before the residual started to pay off, but eventually it started to come in. As the residual income grew, I spent less and less time on the up front pay sites.

      Initially I knew very little about SEO and keywords. That’s where Suite 101 came in. My first few articles were considered just fine for offline publications, but they were terrible when it came to online publications. The Suite editors offered constructive critique which helped me to improve my online writing skills. I’ll be forever thankful (although it was painful when it occurred). Their critique improved my earning potential.

      Work Demand Studios for as long as you can stomach it, but work the residual sites too. Why not give Suite 101 a try?

  • Wendy August 6, 2009, 8:28 pm


    Wise words about the sandbox building. I need just a few more hours in my day, and I’ll be just fine. Any idea where I can get some, cheap?

    : )


    .-= Wendy´s last blog ..Another day, another… =-.

  • Bill Swan August 6, 2009, 9:24 pm

    Yes, print and online writing are sooooo different. I have a friend who I compare notes with all the time. He wishes he could make weekly income like I do; I wish I could make bigger payouts like he does.

    I recently found out that you can take a Fact Sheet from DS and expand it to a full length article for a site like Associated Content. This gets another $3.50 upfront from a $5 article without needing more research. I’ve only got 61 articles on AC and it’s taken me a year to get there because I was, like you, concentrating on sites and people who paid upfront. I get residuals from AC, a couple of dollars per month; and I get maybe 50 cents from Triond each month. I have work on Helium, but it never amounted to a payout. I’ve got four blogs laying dormant because I became too tied up in keeping the income coming in. I just found out I still have an eHow account, a Hubpages account, and yes I think I had a Suite 101 account once someplace. I haven’t done anything with any of them. Lately I’ve concentrated on Demand Studios and Bright Hub to keep income moving.

    So basically I started a foundation, but stopped building it to keep the bills paid. How did you make the move from constant pay to where you are now? How much time did you put into it each week? I know this takes a year or more to work.

    • Felicia August 6, 2009, 10:01 pm

      I feel your pain. I first started out building a website because I liked learning HTML and playing around with graphics. I also wrote because I could.

      If you read a few posts on this blog, you’ll find out that my websites contain every online error possible. They’re not focused, the SEO is pitiful and I used original and non original content. I have articles from free article directories on both of my websites (my blogs have original content).

      Even with all of the errors, I still receive monthly payouts from Google AdSense (about 1/4 of my monthly earnings). In addition to AdSense, I also placed code for Chikita, Amazon, InfoLinks, AdBrite and TextLinkAds on my various sites. Each of them contributes to my monthly earnings.

      While playing around with my sites, I wrote about one article a week for Suite 101. I opened an Associated Content account and probably placed one article there. I didn’t like it too much. I have a Helium account (never placed anything on it), a Bukisa account (which pays very modestly) and I created several blogs (this is the only one I keep up to date), I write for eHow and on the rare occasion write for DS (I used to write for them frequently a year ago). Oh, almost forgot, I just recently signed up for HubPages (it’s looking very promising).

      I have a few affiliates that I promote from time to time. They’re good for an occasional financial bonus. I don’t push affiliates too much because I haven’t quite figured out how to be good at it yet (it’s on my ‘To Do’ list).

      In other words, I’ve kissed quite a few frogs in my freelance writing career and probably will kiss many more. The one thing about kissing online frogs is that they don’t kiss and tell immediately. You have to wait a while to see if the kiss was worth it.

      What I’m trying to say is that you should continue to work at what pays the bills, but in addition to paying the bills, you have to eke out some time to kiss a few frogs.

  • Susan August 7, 2009, 1:50 am

    Thank you for this forum. I am just beginning to investigate freelance writing, and all the good information from here is certainly appreciated. You have put me months ahead!
    Also, thank you to all the writers who have offered your words of wisdom and experience.

  • Margaret S. August 9, 2009, 2:23 am

    Hi Felicia,

    This is all very interesting to me, since I just signed up for Demand Studios. I’ve never freelanced, but I decided to give it a try out of financial necessity. I’m working but my bills are outpacing my salary (who’s aren’t?!!), and with a kid and a mortgage I thought I should look into it. Of the freelance online places, which besides Demand Studios pay well, and which are not worth considering? I’d appreciate your advice, and thanks.

  • Natalie August 12, 2009, 2:58 pm

    Hello Felicia,

    I’ve been following your forum for a while-I find it very interesting and informative. I’ve been a Demand Studios writer for quite a few months now. Everything was going great at first(I was making $300-$400/wk with them), however, recently there’s just no pleasing them. I’ve been receiving constant rewrites; a few were valid, but many were not. Almost three weeks ago, I emailed the editorial team on one rewrite request that made absolutely no sense. To date, no one has responded and the rewrite has since expired.

    I’ve decided not to write for them as much anymore (if ever again). I’ve gotten myself a website and I’m concentrating on finding more private clients; I’ve been successful in landing a few. Some pay very well; others I’ve had to lower my cost in return for a large quantity of work. However, the stress level is lower as they are not as demanding as Demand Studios, and I have more bargaining power. I’m saying all this to say that Demand Studios is okay for the new writer, but once you’ve honed your skills, it’s time to move on. Felicia, thank you for this invaluable forum you have provided for writers.

  • Corrine August 24, 2009, 1:51 am

    I was having doubts about the editor claims of “5 years of experience”. So,
    My 14 year old niece applied to be an CE.
    She made up some places she “worked” and they sent her a test to take.
    It was equivilant to about a 9th grade grammar exam.
    She passed.
    She’s now “qualified” to edit for Demand Studios.

    Just thought you would be interested to know.

    • Felicia August 24, 2009, 7:24 am

      That’s so funny and so sad.

  • Alina Bradford August 24, 2009, 9:45 am

    Wow. Just wow. I applied to be an editor and I was rejected. I have more than five years exp. editing magazines, websites and book.
    .-= Alina Bradford´s last blog ..Homemade Camera Filter Made From Welding Glass =-.

  • Mary August 24, 2009, 10:42 pm

    Hi Felicia

    I have been meaning to write on your site for a while. I think you are wonderful! This site has been extremely helpful and saved my sanity a few times. I have been writing for Demand studios and Textbroker. Since Textbroker paid so little I started writing more for Demands. At first there were no problems but when I started writing more articles it became quite frustrating. First they would wait to reveiw my articles until one or two days before payment went out. Then they would want me to revise a perfect article. I had a few editors that were quite rude, one that even deleted part of the article not suggested. Another I was so unclear of what they wanted so I wrote to the editor and then they denied the article because I didn’t fix it. ??? Frustrated of being out $75.00 I started writing for Textbroker. Very seldom do I get a rewrite, I think maybe once. No headaches and the article is done and I get paid. Lately I received 3 referrals and they do pay more for that. Sorry this is so long but I had to say something about Demands Studio. I have had rewrites and they still rejected, same format, nothing different.

    • Felicia August 24, 2009, 11:14 pm

      Your situation is the very same reason why I love residual income.

      I guess I have to thank Demand Studios for my transition from up front pay to earning residual income.

      Spend a little time writing for residual sites in conjunction with up front pay sites. Over time you’ll be able to stop writing for sites like DS. You’ll only write for DS if you want to, not because you need to.

  • Heidi August 25, 2009, 3:44 am

    Just a note for Demand writers, never send an article back to a copy editor for a question about a rewrite request. Email support.

    The editors can only communicate with you once, so if you send an article back unchanged, their only option is to reject the piece.

  • Melissa August 25, 2009, 5:26 am

    Felicia, before I forget — thank you for cluing me into WriterGig’s eBook and eHow. I bought the eBook, and cannot tell you how much it made a difference in my earnings immediately. Many people “cash out” at $10 after months of writing — I was at $30 after my first month and only 43 articles (mid-July to mid-August). So …HUGS! And THANK YOU!! Mwah!

    That said, I’m gravitating away from DS; I can handle the occasional growl in my editing comments, but what I can’t abide is a retaliatory strike down to “1” on my scorecard (long story, but trust me, it was obvious) or comments that cross the line. Having been an editor, I can tell you that if I had made comments to a writer in an office setting, I would have been fired on the spot. Anonymity online causes people to behave in odd ways, and a lot of them are *not good.*

    All I can say is that I wish I would have spent more time on eHow and other rev share sites building up my passive income. I could have been doing quite nicely, had I only applied myself. I now intend to focus on long-term goals rather than the quick fix. Again, thanks, Felicia, for this blog and for the eBook rec! 🙂

    • Felicia August 25, 2009, 7:40 am

      I love to hear it when a writer comes over to the ‘dark’ side of residual income.

      Congrats and I know you’ll do well.

  • Elisabeth McCumber September 2, 2009, 3:45 pm

    Hi Felicia,

    I just discovered Demand Studios yesterday and thought I’d do a little research before jumping in. You have a good thing going here. I’ve learned more in the last hour about the possibilities than I knew existed.

    I’ve been freelancing in print for a year and a half, but this is the first I’ve heard about residual income for e-writing. I’m interested. Clearly Suite 101 and Constant Content seem highly recommended. My question is whether Demand Studios is worth pursuing at the same time. Wherever my time goes, I would like to spend it in building for the long term.

    Thanks for your advice.

    • Felicia September 2, 2009, 3:55 pm

      Welcome to NJFM, Elizabeth.

      As far as Demand Studios goes, I used it in conjunction with Suite 101 and other residual sites. Since it takes a while for the residual to kick in, Demand Studios’ up front pay helped to pay the bills.

      If you schedule allows it, try all three of them.

  • Beelissa September 6, 2009, 9:19 pm

    I’ve been writing for Demand Studios for several months. I’ve only had one article actually rejected, and that’s really my fault, I refused to pick specific printers that would be best for printing brochures and business cards and instead talked more general strategy about how to get good results and what general things to look for in a computer printer. I think about 1/4 of my articles come back w/ rewrite requests. I see the system as very uneven, being dependent upon the quality of the CEs which seems to vary greatly. My first article has some terse, almost critical, remarks, but others have had nice comments, more of a personal note touch, even apologizing for some of the requests. Once they asked for a photo that I couldn’t deliver so I sent it back w/o and it still was approved. A couple of other times I was able to supply a photo.

    The forums and the writers resource area are helpful. And the turn around is pretty fast, though it has varied in the few months I’ve been there. They have a new thing where they have quick updates on the top of the writer’s desk page, to give you info about when the site will be down, style guide updates and other stuff you might miss if you’ve just got your head down writing away and don’t visit the forums too often.

    It’s a good site to write for if you don’t mind paying attention to some rules without needing your hand held as you go along. And I wonder if results vary depending on the topics you tend to pick, also. I’ve decided not to pay too much attention to my “scorecard” as it hasn’t changed in over a month. They’re paying me, that’s the important thing, and the score has no bearing on payment, as far as I can see.
    .-= Beelissa´s last blog ..It’s not really a lollipop =-.

  • Pete September 10, 2009, 9:09 pm

    Hi Felicia,

    Thanks for all the good info you produce. I want to start freelancing online, and I don’t need to concentrate on immediate income but would rather build a residual e-writing base for future income growth. What companies do you recommend I start with?

    Your advice is appreciated!

    • Felicia September 11, 2009, 5:53 am

      Welcome to NJFM, Pete.

      Please take a look around the blog. I share my experience and recommendations for many legitimate writing opportunities.

  • Lori Hein September 12, 2009, 4:24 pm

    Hi Felicia,

    Just a quick hello and thank-you from a new fan. Your site is wonderful. Glad I found you.


    Lori Hein

    • Felicia September 12, 2009, 7:43 pm

      Welcome, Lori.

      Just a quick note. I made a quick stop by your site and it brought back the attacks of 9/11 all over again. My husband worked in the World Trade Center and was in the building when the first tower was hit. Fortunately, he was in the second tower and managed to escape. It’s a long story and one day I’ll share it here, but suffice it to say that 9/11 holds a special meaning to me, my family and of course the rest of the world.

  • Tamara September 16, 2009, 5:19 am


    Thank you for this forum. I am writing for Demand Studios, Associated Content, Helium and Ehow. (I have had some problem with Ehow but I am finding that it DOES pay and that my residuals are growing) Because of this forum and your advice I have now been accepted to Suite 101 and also write for HubPages.

    I LOVE writing. I have a Masters in English and I wanted a career where I could work from home and be with my children. You have helped me open my horizons to make this possible.

    Thank you!

  • Leona September 18, 2009, 5:20 am


    I recently started writing for Demand Studios and I think that I am over the Honeymoon phase as well. My first 7 articles went really well with minimal rewrites, I thought was a great way to expand my brand. This week I got an article rejected because it was too long. I was supposed to write about Succession Plannning, my first article followed the guide keeping it very general and between 400-500 words. Well it kicked back and so I wrote specifically about the topic. Anyone in business knows that succession plans are complicated and lenghty and don’t fit in a 400-500 word article without being very generic.

    I have tried to talk with Richard Lally, and while some of you sing his praises I don’t see the light. I have not had a response since my last e-mail and the content editor was beyond unprofessional. I’m finishing up my last articles and taking my talent elsewhere.

  • Rebecca September 22, 2009, 3:44 pm

    Does anyone know Demand Studios will drop you as a writer if you don’t write for quite some time? I still have a full-time job to pay my bills so I’m okay with waiting for residual income from sites like eHow and Suite101 to build, but if I do quit my job I want to make sure I have the DS option to help pay bills. I’m wondering if I just write an article a month for DS if that will be sufficient. I’d rather spend my time focused on long-term income but don’t want to burn any bridges with DS.
    .-= Rebecca´s last blog ..The Main Credit Bureaus =-.

    • Felicia September 22, 2009, 3:48 pm

      Rebecca, I can’t say for sure, but I haven’t written for them in over two months and I’m still able to log on and claim titles.

      I don’t know how long that will continue. Maybe you should send them an email to find out for sure.

  • Rebecca September 22, 2009, 3:58 pm

    Thanks, Felicia. When it comes right down to it I don’t want to write $15 articles unless I need to to pay the bills. I just got my first article accepted by Suite101 and I was very encouraged by this email from the editor: “Hi Rebecca…Thanks very much for your 1st submission to Suite101. Your article is excellent, very well-written, with no changes required. I’ve published your article, and look forward to seeing more of your stuff. “

    This is so much nicer than my “scorecard” from DS – I’m at a 3.8 for grammar and a 4 for research and I honestly can’t see what I’ve done wrong. It’s pretty demoralizing!

    But yes, I probably should write to DS and see if there is a minimum requirement per month or quarter.
    .-= Rebecca´s last blog ..The Main Credit Bureaus =-.

    • Felicia September 22, 2009, 4:02 pm

      Wow, that’s great news. You’ll find that once your article base grows at Suite, you won’t need to write for Demand Studios unless you’re in a temporary financial bind.

      The difference between Suite and Demand Studios is like night and day. You’re already doing well with Suite. It only gets better.

  • Pam September 22, 2009, 4:21 pm


    Thanks so much for that… I needed Suite 101 inspiration today. I have a full time job and a toddler (full time job #2), I try to workout regularly and (gasp) I couldn’t resist the temptation to start my own money-making blog. I really, really wish that I looked as thin as I’ve stretched myself (LOL). Some days I can barely get it together to write a grocery list much less an article. I’ve been writing for Demand for a month or so now and I’m starting to see what every one’s talking about. Great for fast cash, but can’t see the romance going on forever. I’ve been really stalling with Suite 101 stuff and time will be running out before I know it to reach my 10 article deadline, so I’m gonna take your advice and put more effort there. Do you (or any of your readers) know if Suite will allow you to reapply if you don’t meet the initial deadline?

    Anyway, thank you thank you for providing this blog as a peek behind the “freelance opportunity” curtain. You rock. By the way, what energy pill are you on? How do you find the time to do it all….


    • Felicia September 22, 2009, 4:48 pm

      I don’t think Suite will get rid of you for falling a little behind on your obligations. If you find you’re running into a problem, contact one of the editors there and explain your situation.

      I’ve run thin from time to time with Suite. I now try to get ahead of schedule to avoid having to bang out articles at the last minute.

      Regarding my energy pill, I try my best to work smarter (I’m older now so I have to work smarter. I don’t have it in me to work harder). I spent a lot of time writing for sites like Demand Studios and other even lower paying sites. I would write while my kids were in school and every spare moment I had. I got burnt out and grumpy.

      There had to be a better way to earn money. Right about then is when I came across Suite 101 again. I actually discovered the site may years before but felt I wasn’t a ‘good enough’ writer to apply so I didn’t (what a waste of valuable time in self doubt).

      Good enough or not, I was tired of writing like crazy for low pay and crossing my fingers to see if Demand Studios would accept my articles every time I submitted them. The rest is history. I built a base of articles and still continue to do so. I’ll take it easy once my monthly residual earnings reach $5,000.

      Between writing for residually paying sites like Suite and my own sites/blogs, I find I don’t have to work as hard. I use voice recognition software so I talk to myself while I do my chores and allow the computer to transcribe it while I’m out running (well, sort of running. I’m not a very fast runner).

      I had to make the decision to increase my residual earnings and decrease my up front earnings. It wasn’t an easy decision, nor was it easy to do, but I knew unless I did, I would forever be on the write for pay treadmill. I could probably double my income if I wrote for up front pay, but I don’t want to write for those types of sites again. I’m working hard to realize my dream.

      One of my new favorite sayings is: Assume everything is possible unless proven otherwise.

  • Pam September 23, 2009, 1:12 pm

    Thanks for the response, Felicia. I’m gonna get crankin on those Suite articles and give Demand a break for a few days. So good to know that there is some room to negotiate with editors if it comes down to it though. By the way, I just read your 250th post. I didn’t look at the date, so I don’t know how recent it was, but regarding your Windows Vista angst, I can relate. I’m a Microsoft Certified Trainer, so I have access to Windows 7 a little early. In my opinion, it rocks. Microsoft is hardly payin me to say that, I’m just one of a billion instructors who try to help folks understand their programs. BUT since I upgraded, I’ve been like a kid in a candy store. Everything is faster, and if you’re into interface (like I am), it’s so pretty… whenever you’re ready for a change, give it a try… make sure you have backed things up and know where to get drivers from if you need them (I’m sure you know the drill), but Windows 7 found everything of mine with no problem and my upgrade went off pretty much without a hitch…. off my soapbox now, just wanted to help free you from the Vista prison (at least come October)… take care. happy writing… 🙂

    • Felicia September 23, 2009, 1:34 pm

      Pam, thanks for the heads up.

      I’m still suffering through Windows Vista. Every time my daughter hears me let out a heavy sigh she says, “I know, I know, you hate Windows Vista!”

      I hope Windows 7 is as good as you say. Well, anything is an improvement over Vista.

  • Shannon September 24, 2009, 9:17 am

    I bought a Dell Inspiron Mini netbook this summer. Why did I choose it? Because it has Windows XP installed!

    Have you considered going back to XP, Felicia? Netbooks are cheap. I got mine for less than $400.

    • Felicia September 24, 2009, 10:34 am

      Shannon, I thought about going back to XP, but just didn’t take the time to reformat and install XP. This laptop is rather new and my daughter said that she wants it because it’s “bubbly.” I don’t know what the heck she means, but when I get my Mac I’m going to give her the bubbly laptop. In the meanwhile, I’ll struggle through.

      Hopefully Windows 7 is all that it’s cracked up to be.

  • Deborah September 24, 2009, 10:44 am

    As I’ve said in a different post, I’m not a huge fan of DS. I’m genuinely afraid to write anything there for fear of having it sent back for some silly reason or another.

    Two days ago I created an account at eHow and though have not earned anything yet, from all of the good things I hear about them I am sure that in due time I will reap the rewards of my hard work. I’ve already made over a hundred friends and received 13 recommendations and I’ve only published one article.

    I have also taken those three articles that DS rejected and placed them on different blogs. There’s no reason to waste good content.

    Also, just out of curiousness how long does it typically take to earn from eHow articles? In my articles area it says that I have no views and zero earnings but my article has at least five ratings and over 10 comments. I’d be happy if an experienced eHow writer could answer this question for me. Thanks!

    • Felicia September 24, 2009, 11:18 am

      Hey Deborah,

      How long it takes to earn money on an eHow article depends on a ton of different things such as article topic, SEO, amount of traffic the article receives and so on. Some earn quickly, some don’t earn at all but most fall somewhere in between.

      eHow often has issues with updating views and revenue so you may see comments on your articles but your page view and revenue numbers may be ‘stuck.’ Everything catches up in the long run, but it can be frustrating at times.

      Placing your Demand Studios articles elsewhere is a wise move. You’re right. No sense in wasting good content.

  • Deborah September 24, 2009, 11:26 am

    Hi Felicia,

    Thank you for your quick response and your encouraging words. I’ve only been reading your articles for a few days but I can see that you are truly an inspiration. I’m really happy that I found this site. I was doing a lot of flat-fee projects through various private clients and when times were slow, I was almost literally starving. I never thought about earning residual income until I read your posts and then it hit me that if I just kept doing what I was doing and maintained a few blogs with good content, in due time I would see rewards. I’ve learned a good lesson about patience and perseverance. Keep up the excellent work. Best wishes on reaching your goals.

  • Kimbra September 24, 2009, 12:24 pm

    I keep reading on this blog about writing for Demand Studios and ehow as if they are different. OK, so I signed up for ehow (been writing for DS and Suite).

    I gather now that DS sells articles to ehow. I now assume they are not run by the same folks. My logical conclusion is that ehow pays more than DS for the same articles because DS appears to be middlemanning them to ehow. Is this correct? Can anyone clarify the relationship and what it means to the writer?

    • Felicia September 24, 2009, 12:44 pm

      eHow and Demand Studios have the same ownership, Demand Media. Check out their website on how it works.

      As far as earnings go, it depends on the writer. eHow pays residuals and Demand Studios pays up front. Some writers prefer to continually write articles and earn up front pay, while others, like myself prefer residual. Writers can also choose both.

      Some writers make a decent paycheck from DS because they continue to write. If, however, something happens and they can’t write, then there goes their earnings. With eHow, the earnings will continue even if the writer stops writing. Online freelance writing is all about making choices.

  • Rebecca September 24, 2009, 7:43 pm

    I just read on the Demand Studio site that they are now paying twice a week. Seems they are appealing to the “need cash now” crowd. And of course there is a place for that, so it is nice for those who get in a jam to have the option to crank out some articles fast for some emergency dough. Still, in the long run I think residual income is best.
    .-= Rebecca´s last blog ..Planning for Credit Repair =-.

    • Felicia September 24, 2009, 7:56 pm

      Wow, that’s a nice perk. I’m glad they did something to make the writers happy.

      Edit: After seeing your comment I signed into my account. I see they also increased the rate for Fact Sheets from $5 to $7.50. It looks like they’re trying to keep the writers happy. That’s a good thing.

      Now if they would only fix the inconsistencies in the editorial process. Who knows, they’re making some positive changes, maybe they’re working on that too.

  • Katie September 26, 2009, 9:48 pm


    Wow, what a great blog! Thanks to everyone who has contributed because I just scanned through a lot of your comments and learned a lot. I am new to e-writing. I’ve always loved writing. Anyway, I will get to the point! I was filling out an application at Demand Studios and I paused at the terms and conditions. Maybe this is a stupid question…so, please forgive me. The clause about “work for hire” means they have the rights to your work, right? I’m not very familiar with the types of articles they want, so maybe I wouldn’t want the rights to the articles! LOL. But, can someone just clue me in a bit more here so I know exactly what I’m getting into?
    Thank you!

  • Felicia September 27, 2009, 12:15 pm

    Katie, you have it right. Demand Studios owns the rights to the work.

  • Bill Swan September 27, 2009, 12:38 pm

    Here’s a new development on DS. They are requesting that all writer bios be updated and then reviewed by the editors. Here’s the fun part, they are now stating you must have a head shot, provide education and work history and some dumb fun fact about yourself. This has the writing community calling foul over privacy issues and (of course) no one from DS has addressed it yet.

    And, as a side note to the new pay schedule, the editors now have (as of noon on Sunday 9/27) over 4,000 articles to get through and climbing.

    Once again I don’t think Demand thought yet another idea through before tossing it up in the air.

  • Renault October 1, 2009, 12:06 pm

    I can sympathize with the person who tried to contact Richard Lally and did not receive a response. Same thing happened here, but I’ve since learned it wasn’t his fault. A technical problem with the spam net was keeping emails from reaching him. They’ve fixed it, and my last three emails got through. He is everything people say he is, a real gem. He won compensation for me for one rejection, explained an unclear rewrite request so I not only earned approval when I was certain I wouldn’t, the article came out 20 times better. And he upheld one rejection, but took the time to explain what I did wrong so it doesn’t happen again. I learned more about writing in that one “session” (he deconstructed my entire piece and pointed out the right and the wrong), than I’ve leaned in the past five years. He can be firm, but he’s also kind and goes out of his way to help writers. I read somewhere that he’s a Buddhist, and it shows. He’s a real asset at Demand, one of the reasons I’ve decided to continue writing for the company. When I have a problem with a CE, I know I can go to him to resolve it and get a fair hearing.

  • Phillip October 3, 2009, 1:09 pm

    I’ve found the discussion about Demand Studios very interesting. I was starting to apply there when I read their Contributors Agreement. Has anyone else read this? The author makes impossible warranties, the company can change the article in any way that it pleases, and the agreement says that the company will not be liable for any legal damages. Yikes!

  • Master Dayton Writing Blog October 8, 2009, 2:31 am

    Great review. I already write for eHow and have enjoyed the residual income from that work, but I have to admit having a $15/article job lined up every time there’s a gap would definitely be a huge plus. I’ll have to take a look at them and see if I can get signed up…hope so since I’ve been doing this freelance writing thing for 5 years now, LOL.
    .-= Master Dayton Writing Blog´s last blog ..College Students as Part Time Writers, Part One =-.

  • Nita October 13, 2009, 1:24 pm

    I really enjoy your blog, it was so helpful. After being fed up with some of DS CE on their power strokes i decided to start publishing my work directly to ehow. It is a slow process but the income is building up. Thanks to you i can cut out the middle man and post my work directly. Do not get me wrong though, i do still write for DS when i need the upfront money.

  • Faith October 18, 2009, 3:25 am

    I hardly comment on blogs but this is my second within the hour and that’s because your blog is just that good. I also apologize for this long comment. I have some experience working with Demand Studios. In fact I started writing for DS in August 2008. I endured all the DS frustrations: unnecessary rewrites and rejections, rude and sometimes downright clueless editors, and the time toward it took too long for articles to be edited and approved, making it impossible to claim new ones.

    However I stayed on because it was a regular source of weekly income. I tried to see the big picture and I figured it would get better at some point. But this week was a watershed moment. One of my articles was flagged for plagiarism. This has happened in the past, usually because I used the name of a government agency or organization that appears elsewhere on the internet, and is usually cleared. In this instance I used the same expressions for an article about bankruptcy with a lot of technical details that I had used in a similar earlier article I wrote for DS. I got an email from one of the editors saying I was being dropped as a DS writer for that reason. I am trying to appeal this by contacting Richard Lally even though the old way of reaching him directly no longer works.

    In the meantime I have been asking myself that maybe this is just what I need to get off the DS sucking machine that drags you in, sucks the life and creativity out of you when you are reduced to an article-spitting automaton. This is also ironic because I started writing for Suite 101 and DS around the same time. However because of a family emergency I could not continue with Suite. I have been meaning to get back but it just never happened. I guess I will never know what would have happened and how much I would have earned had I continued with Suite for the last one year. Also I had placed some of my DS-rejected articles on Ehow and just last week I received a payment. I had completly forgotten about them! So maybe this is my wake-up call to focus on writing for residual income instead.
    .-= Faith´s last blog ..Yes they Can =-.

    • Felicia October 18, 2009, 8:00 am

      Oh man, Faith!

      What a kick it the pants (but maybe a much needed kick).

      I’m sorry that things didn’t work out with Demand Studios. I found them to be a great source of income but I felt I gave them more than they gave me. As you so appropriately said, they sucked the life out of me and my creativity.

      I used to get knots in my stomach thinking about spitting out another $15 How to and having to wait to see if the editor would approve it or kick it back for a silly reason. I used to plan out how much money I needed for the week and write accordingly. I gave them too much power over my freelance writing life.

      Not only did I not enjoy writing for them, but spending so much time writing for them pushed me back into the ‘job’ mentality. They were my boss and I the employee.

      eHow is a great backup to DS. Additionally, I don’t think it’s too late for you to go back to Suite 101. They have been a steady and increasingly growing source of income for me.

      Actually, I have to thank Demand Studios for operating the way that the do. If it were not for the editors, silly comments and sometimes slow review times, I would still be there spitting out $15 articles selling my time and creativity instead of spending my time writing about anything and everything I want to write about.

      When I get a Demand Studios Jones (in other words when I have a craving to write a How to article), I place one on eHow. Other than that, I work on continually building a base of articles to increase my monthly income.

      I do miss the weekly pay schedule, but I’ve learned how to get around that too by playing the weekly paycheck game.

      All I can say to you is, if there’s a will, there is most definitely a way.

      Oh, and by the way, your comment wasn’t so long. 😀

  • Deborah October 19, 2009, 9:39 am

    I have to completely agree with you, Faith. I feel like companies like DS are really ruining the writing industry.

    I make my living 100% as a writer. I do both residual and project writing because that’s how I can take care of my immediate needs and any future needs I may have.

    To be honest, I really thought DS was a great company when I first started. Their pay scale was a lot better than a lot of other internet companies who want to make your fingers bleed for a measly $1-$5 per article. It’s really sad what the writing industry has been reduced to. Now it is so much harder for professionals to earn a living doing this because people keep taking these low-paying writing jobs.

    Back to DS. I have had all of the same problems with them but because of the lack of local opportunities and work in general around this time of year, I’m forced to work with them. It’s unfortunate but I know that perseverance will pay off and one day I can look to getting a better gig with a private company.

    And Felicia, obviously your patience and perseverance have paid off for you. As for only earning residuals, that’s not for me. I just couldn’t imagine waking up each day with no work to do. I’d be bored, lose my sense of purpose, etc. But I am happy that now I am not just limited to short-term projects. Because I found this blog, I was able to start thinking about doing both. My goal is to have half of my income as residual and half from projects. Wish me luck.

    Don’t let DS get you down. It’s no one’s fault they’re the way they are but theirs. Just try to pursue other opportunities in the meantime.

    • Felicia October 19, 2009, 9:48 am

      Oh Deborah, I hope I haven’t given you the wrong impression. I’m far from bored with nothing to do! Man, I should take a photo of my white board so you could see all of the projects I’m involved in. I just choose to set my own schedule rather than having DS or someone else set it for me.

      As a matter of fact, there aren’t enough hours in the day for me to accomplish all I want to get done. My hubby has mentioned several times that I should get an assistant to help me with all of my projects. Honestly, I don’t think I’m at that point yet, but I am far from bored. I just have a large dream and it takes a lot of work to accomplish it.

  • Deborah October 19, 2009, 2:45 pm

    Hi Felicia,

    I’m sorry I think I gave you the wrong impression as well. I’m sure you are kept very busy. I was speaking of my own life and experiences lol

    But yes, I wholeheartedly agree. It’s my work spreadsheet to fill out, not DS’s.

  • Lavender October 30, 2009, 12:40 am

    Found this via google… and just wanted to say that I’m really surprised. I applied at Demand Studios yesterday. I sent them my resume and a writing sample. Today I got a form email saying I was rejected. Although it didn’t say ‘rejected’, it said they didn’t have anything matching my background and writing style. This really shocked me… I’m a published poet. I’m in school for creative writing. I’ve won writing awards constantly since the age of 10, and continue to.

    I emailed them and asked if I could find out WHY I was rejected. Was the article I sent in not the kind of thing they are looking for? They replied and gave me another form response that told me nothing.

    I’m really upset. I know that I’m perfectly capable of writing the type of articles they want. I wish they would have at least told me what about my application was not satisfactory. I’m also upset to see that you can never reapply. I know there are other pages out there like this, but none of them that I’ve found have the large up-front payments, and as a student I could really use the money now, not in a few years when it starts to accumulate.

    • Felicia October 30, 2009, 6:58 am

      Lavender, sorry to hear about your experience with Demand Studios.

      I believe that when a door closes another one opens. Have you tried Textbroker? The up front pay isn’t as much, but I believe the frustrations are less.

      Check out the NJFM database. There might be some other sites that will work for you.

  • Tina November 9, 2009, 10:57 pm


    No fret. You’re obviously not alone. The same thing happened to me today, and I believe I’m very well qualified. I used to work for the 6th largest newspaper in Chicago. My published works were so impressive, I was offered for them to be published in books. I studied writing in college and also won many awards. I have a college degree with a 3.9 GPA. But, I too, was rejected with the same exact reason. I emailed them to find out why. I’m still waiting on a response, but now I really don’t care. They have too many problems now. I’d rather be frustrated in the application process than to be frustrated on hours of hard work that I might not even be paid for. When God closes a door, he opens another that no man can close.

    Felicia, this is a great blog and you are very resourceful. Keep up the good work!

  • Jo Galbreath November 10, 2009, 6:49 pm

    Thanks so much for this blog! The posts have made me re-think bothering with Demand Studios or any of the other online sites that buy content you mentioned. I have content. I’m not interested in writing assignments. DS put an ad in our local newspaper saying they were interested in all sorts of content. I short stories that would make videos or film. Screenplays and scenes are also available. Seems like too much work just to get your own projects out. Perhaps running a blog and getting advertising works for you as well or better, Felicia? I studied journalism and commercial art in college years ago. I’m convinced my background through art businesses I’ve run on my own, and projects I’ve produced myself are a good foundation. I have a day job, so I’m building the budget necessary to produce the videos and short films. I plan to release them on YouTube. I know Google has recently purchased YouTube and are agressively pursuing matching content to advertisers. I don’t need money to come in from my projects monthly or weekly. So getting advertisers for my content on YouTube really is a better way to break into writing and film for me. I’m wondering why anyone would bother with a traditional publisher or film studio anymore.

    • Felicia November 11, 2009, 6:50 am

      Hi Jo,

      With online writing, I find there’s no one way to success. If money isn’t a problem for you, then there’s no need to write for online content sites unless you enjoy writing, want exposure or want to build backlinks. Regarding blogging and advertising, it takes a while before blogs begin to make money. With online content sites, on the other hand, money comes in a lot quicker.

      With your credentials and background you should give your project a go. It may be fun and easy creating your own project, but the difficult part is getting the traffic and the general public to view your project. Keep at it though. It may go slow in the beginning, but things pick up.

  • Alexander Mark November 24, 2009, 5:25 am

    Wow Felicia, I am so glad I found you. Your level headed and calm approach to the subject of writing for Demand and all the comments from others have really helped me to decide not to write for them.

    I learn quickly if something is bad, and after working for Examiner.com for a months and a half, I figured out they just want people to churn up content to fill their site. Some are successful, just like at Demand, but for me, it’s not worth the trouble.

    I’d rather earn a few pennies at Hubpages because it’s a great writing community, (just avoid the spammers and the obvious lurid content posters), and offers an excellent format to post articles full of pictures, videos, and links.

    I am going to explore the rest of your content here like your ehow project – you are a goldmine. Thanks!

    • Felicia November 26, 2009, 5:10 am

      Hi Alexander,

      I wouldn’t quite rule Demand Studios out. Yes, there are lots of frustrations writing for them, but they do pay on time.

      I think everyone has had a few frustrations with them, but they have also made quite a bit of money. Try them for yourself then come back and share your experience.

      On a more recent post, I decided to try writing for them again. So far so good (only one silly editorial request).

  • Wendy November 26, 2009, 9:29 am

    Hey there!

    As one who has been extra critical of Demand Studios, I have to admit that recently things seem different. My editorial requests, too, are coherent. That alone gives them bonus points in my book. As long as the articles are quick to write, there are enough normal titles in the line-up, they pay quickly and on time & the editorial requests are normal, I’m okay with it…

    And hack writing like this has never paid well…so I don’t think the whole writing industry is imploding.

    Anyway, if you *do* need money, I’m back saying they seem to be trying pretty hard to do the right thing…

    (written just before I am about to jump in to a few more articles…)
    .-= Wendy´s last blog ..Nov 12, Essential Oil Blends =-.

  • Dane Morgan December 3, 2009, 12:15 am

    I’m a bit late to the party here, but thought I’d throw this out there. http://morguefile.com/ is a completely free stock photo site. They have their own license that covers all images on the site, and it amounts to do anything you like except offer the images as free standing image downloads.

    PS. I’m getting ready to apply at DS. I found this page doing a search to get an idea for what they might want to see in the sample articles and resume they ask for on the application page.

    • Felicia December 4, 2009, 8:32 am

      Hi Dane,

      Check out the NJFM database for free photos. I believe I have them and a few others listed there.

      Good luck with DS!

  • Paul December 7, 2009, 2:37 am

    Count me in as another one who’s written for Demand Studios for a few months and now sick to death of having the life sucked out of me for $15 an article. Demand editors have no idea what they want – one sends a rewrite for one thing, another accepts it and then sends a rewrite for something the first one accepted etc – in fact their editors all seem to be brain dead. On top of that I’ve seen a few people in their forums complaining that Demand editors add errors to their articles and I’ve had that happen to me also. My final decision? Demand Studios is a waste of time unless you want to crank out cookie cutter articles which all sound the same and make you, the writer, sound brainless. I’m finished with them. Have better places to write and not willing to keep supporting a company that’s providing empty ‘filler’ content for various websites.

  • VC Drake December 8, 2009, 2:19 am

    I do Keyword QA for Demand Studios and you’d think pennies aren’t worth much, but at a penny a click (about as fast as it takes to do the job), it adds up rapidly. Not even putting in hardly any time during the day, I’m pulling in over $200 a month. If I decide I want more, I could easily double that. I’m very glad to find a reputable company to work for online at home. I’m so sick of trying to go through all the scams to find real work. Finally found one and pretty sure it was your blog that turned me onto them. Thank you!

  • Alvin December 12, 2009, 3:33 pm

    I’m reading a lot of these complaints about DS and just shaking my head. I’m not shilling for them for anything (I just read a piece indicating they paid their writers $17 mil last year and made $200 MIL), but SHEESH, have you seen what other freelance sites are paying? PENNIES. $

  • Anne December 18, 2009, 5:58 pm

    I have been writing for Demand Studios for 4 months. I have been edited fairly and paid on time. The pay rate for articles is low, but these $15 “articles” are 300 word shorts, the $7.50 “articles” are 100 words or less – and I write at home, in my sweats, with the tv on, my diet coke in the frig and my dog at my feet. Excellent! … I’m not spending money for gas, sending out articles on spec, etc. I make about $700 a month. I like the DS Web site, with its Workdesk format, and the stats and published articles tabs. Very easy to navigate, very organized, and it seems like they are always working on improvements. There are issues, like all of the stupid titles, but I just cruise past those and grab the ones that I can write in a reasonable amount of time with the least amount of stress while researching. I’m not emotionally invested in the little articles I’m writing – it’s not that serious – some writers get too upset, in my opinion, over the minor criticism of editors. I just say “thanks,” make the changes and get on with it! They have my SS – and they will need it. I’m getting a 1099 at the end of the year. YEAH!

    • Felicia December 19, 2009, 6:21 am

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Anne. I’m not sure about all of the style guides, but I know the “How to” style guide requires 400-500 words.

      On the most part, things have been going well lately with Demand Studios, but there are those times when it can be frustrating. I’m glad that things are going very well for you.

  • Linda January 5, 2010, 8:12 pm

    I’d like to apply to DS. Not sure if I meet the qualifications since I only write for my own two sites but would like to try. I naturally want to make my best effort. Does anyone have any examples to share of articles you have written for DS? Or, maybe you could point me to one of the sites that display the DS articles. Just need to get a feel for what they are looking for. Thanks, Linda
    .-= Linda´s last blog ..Nov 20, best dogs for children =-.

  • Felicia January 6, 2010, 8:15 am

    Hi Linda,

    You can find a lot of DS articles on eHow. Look for those written by eHow Contributing Writer. They also place articles on other sites such as Pluck on Demand and a few other sites.

    If your website is an indication of your writing, then you really shouldn’t have a problem in my opinion.

    I applied over a year ago and their application process may have changed, so if anyone can give Linda better advice, please chime in.

  • Linda January 6, 2010, 8:27 pm

    Thanks Felicia,
    I did apply to DS. I think though that only one of my writing samples uploaded. It says on the application to send at least one. It seems from what I’ve read that people are sending two. Can’t find a way to add the other one now. Hope it will be okay. I did apply to TextBroker and was accepted at level 4. Yeah! Any thoughts on how they are to write for? There doesn’t seem to be anything on their site to indicate where their articles are published. Or, do they go to individuals? Not sure exactly what they expect in an article. Do you know? Thanks, Linda
    .-= Linda´s last blog ..Nov 20, best dogs for children =-.

    • Felicia January 7, 2010, 6:39 am

      Linda, check out the Textbroker post. A lot of my readers share their experience writing for them. I think you’ll find it informative.

  • Linda January 7, 2010, 6:10 pm

    Just got a turn down from Demand Studios. How long do I have to wait before applying again? Any tips for the second time? Thanks, Linda
    .-= Linda´s last blog ..Nov 20, best dogs for children =-.

    • Felicia January 9, 2010, 10:55 am

      Linda, I’m not quite sure what the wait time is before applying again. If anyone has information that can help Linda, please let us know.

  • Stephanie January 9, 2010, 10:29 pm

    Hi Felicia, I’ve just been approved to write for DS and I’m very excited to get started. But I initially applied to write for livestrong, but I’m not seeing any livestrong articles. Is there something I need to do to get them to show up? Thanks, Stephanie

    • Felicia January 10, 2010, 7:00 am

      Congrats, Stephanie!

      I believe you must be specifically approved to write for Livestrong. I think they want folks with a medical or fitness background. I don’t fit their bill so I haven’t applied to write for Livestrong.

      Can anyone give Stephanie advice on what it takes to write for Livestrong?

  • Stephanie January 10, 2010, 4:50 pm

    Thanks for your response! Interesting, because I’m a personal trainer and I thought that’s why I got approved. Thanks again for your help.

  • Chad January 15, 2010, 2:08 am

    Hello Felicia,

    So now that you have passive income on both eHow and Suite101, which one do you think is more profitable?

    • Felicia January 15, 2010, 7:55 am

      Chad, it’s interesting that you should ask this question.

      I was just looking at my numbers and trying to figure it out.

      I’ve been writing for Suite for about a year and a half longer than eHow, but I have fewer articles there. I still haven’t written 200 articles for Suite as yet. With eHow, I just re-reached 300 (an eHow sweep here and there kept knocking my total number of articles down from 300).

      Last month (which was a poor month for residuals for me), I earned about $20 more with eHow than I did with Suite 101 and so far this month eHow numbers are coming in better than Suite (not by much). So it’s hard for me to say with an uneven playing field. Either way, you can make money using both sites and I would recommend using both.

  • Janice January 20, 2010, 1:33 am

    I was wondering if sites like Demand Studios gives out w2 forms or if it’s more freelance. A friend of mine was wondering, she wants to do copyediting instead of writing though.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Felicia January 20, 2010, 8:17 am

      Demand Studios issues a 1099 form.

  • Mark S January 28, 2010, 7:32 pm

    I got approved a month ago, wrote 6 articles which were all approved. But even though I’ve received an email for each article saying I was paid through PayPal, I’m still not seeing it in my PayPal account. And there’s no way to contact them except through a form in their Help Desk. I’m not writing for them any more, and I’m spreading the word about their sketchy practices.

    • Felicia January 29, 2010, 10:49 am

      Wow, that’s odd. I’ve worked with them on and off for a year or two and never had such an experience.

      There’s got to be some way to contact them to resolve the issue. Did you use the Help Desk form? I’ve only used it once and they were responsive.

      I’ve been frustrated with them from an editing standpoint, but I’ve never had an issue when it came to payment.

  • Mark S January 29, 2010, 3:44 pm

    Yes, I used the Help Desk, but didn’t get a response the first time (about a week ago), though at least on the second try, I got an automated message saying they received it. Pretty discouraging though. Still hoping it’s just a computer error.

  • Ricky February 3, 2010, 8:21 am

    i’ve visited several sites that claim demand studios is pretty much a sweat shop. others say the editors are amateurish and demand ridiculous rewrites.

    but i’m very leery about working for this company.

    • Felicia February 3, 2010, 9:10 pm

      Hi Ricky,

      Demand Studios is a legitimate company and it does pay twice a week. That being said, as with any company, you will run into a few issues.

      Just keep your goal in mind and you’ll be fine.

  • Mark S February 4, 2010, 9:19 am

    My issue I mentioned earlier is now resolved, and my faith in DS is restored. It turns out it was my mistake – I accidentally had two Paypal accounts and was looking at the wrong one. Thanks for the discussion!

    • Felicia February 4, 2010, 9:26 am

      Mark, I’m very happy to hear that there was such a logical explanation for the mix up.

      I think we all feel a little better that you received your payment and that it was an honest error.

  • JadeDragon@innovativepassiveincome April 16, 2010, 7:16 pm

    I’m still waiting to try DS out. Same company as eHow and you just have to look around to see what kind of a gong show that was.

    I love the blog redesign! Nice and clean
    .-= JadeDragon@innovativepassiveincome´s last blog ..Should You Work 9 to 5 For Someone Else or For Yourself Online? =-.

  • Amo April 18, 2010, 4:44 pm

    I am a CE and DS is pretty much a sweatshop (what job isnt?), but you can make it work for yourself if you need a steady income coming in. The reviewers want edits worth $20, not the $3.50 that we get.

    • Felicia April 19, 2010, 8:28 am

      Thanks for sharing a little CE insight, Amo.

  • John April 19, 2010, 7:42 pm


    I am wondering about the application process. What kinds of requirements do they have?

    I feel like I am a good writer. I always got high marks on my papers and essays in college. I enjoy writing and have been thinking about applying to one or more of these sights to try and make a little money on the side. I don’t have any professional training as a writer. However, I do have a college degree which I would assume implies that one knows how to write. Journalism was one of the many majors I had in college before finally settling on Telecommunications. So I have taken a few Journalism classes. I don’t have any examples of my work unless you count blogs and forums of which I have contributed.

    What do you think?

  • Charlie April 27, 2010, 4:35 pm

    Hey everybody,

    Here is the deal with DS. The contend editors treat their writers and the audience like they’re morons. The claim that they are there to help people out with how to articles, but they nitpick everything and your articles sit for weeks on end before getting published. I wrote a How To on how to install a bluetooth printer to your home network. The first step was “Open your DVD tray and insert the software disc that came with your printer”. The editor asked me if the reader is supposed to insert the software disc into the printer or the computer they are using! Nobody knows how to successfully write a how to article because some editors don’t care about some things and others take their job way too seriously. The whole thing is a scam to get affiliate links into your How To article. They make thousands of dollars and pay you 15. It’s joke and I have never had to do so many rewrites and the titles are never clear about what they want. Even though Textbroker doesn’t pay as well, you won’t have to put up with the garbage that DS puts out and the articles are actually easier to do. Textbroker clients usually accept your articles in a day too. The people that write for DS are all brown nosers because you can be terminated at any time. My rejection rate on DS was 16 percent. My rejection rate on Textbroker was less than 1 percent. Dump DS if you don’t feel like you’re make any strides. I spent a week doing rewrites and made $120. On any given week I make around 500-600 on Textbroker. Mahalo isn’t bad once you get the hang of things too.

  • Rebecca April 27, 2010, 7:10 pm

    I’ve actually decided to give DS a second look,and it’s paying off. My articles have been flying through, my bank account is happy and I’m learning and growing. I decided to leave a note for editors, asking for feedback on my articles, and I’ve gotten amazing help and feedback. Editors have gone out of their way to mentor me and teach me step-by-step how to improve my articles. As I’ve followed their advice, my ratings have soared. My husband lost his job a month ago, and I’m not stressed because of the amount of money I can quickly make through DS. Though I love writing for sites like S101, for paying bills, DS can’t be beat.

    • Felicia April 28, 2010, 8:31 am

      Rebecca, that’s refreshing to hear.

      You took the proactive approach in asking for feedback from the editors and it seems to be working out well for you.

      Very wise move!

  • Pam April 28, 2010, 3:40 pm

    Hi Felicia,

    Long time no talk to… I’ve been pumping up my Demand game lately, and most days I’m pleasantly surprised with how fast my articles get approved. Like many have said, there may be frustrations with Demand, but payday twice a week sure is nice. My problem is I’m so limited on time (aren’t we all) on any given day and I’m really trying not to spread myself too thin. I’m already borderline transparent as it is. So I began wondering what things I could do to earn more with the same time spent… Then I saw Charlie’s post and am wondering what does one have to do to make 500-600 per week on Textbroker? I signed up months ago but haven’t submitted yet. Charlie, Felicia, anybody… is that a reasonable expectation with moderate work?

    • Felicia April 28, 2010, 10:21 pm

      Hey Pam. Good to see (read) you again.

      Grandma is my resident expert on Textbroker. I know she’s been busy lately, but I’m sure she can give you the scoop on Textbroker earnings. I know she recently earned $2,000 in one month so $500 a week is definitely doable.

  • Grandma April 29, 2010, 12:09 am

    If you do it full time, it can be done, maybe, but it really helps to be a level 5 author so you can access the higher paying articles. Yesterday someone posted $12,500 worth of articles level 5, 250 to 500 words each – pays $25 for the max. There were about 550 articles; today down to 331 right now. Somebody is happy. But these are expert level articles, with expectations high on the part of the client.

    You can do wonders with full time application – maybe. Getting direct orders is a plus, especially if you have a decent rate of pay. I haven’t been doing TB full time, but lucked out with a $500 two day job this week, plus everything else, so it may be another great month. Better be; people keep asking me to give them $100.

    Bear in mind that TB claims to have 23,000 writers and about 5000 clients, so the pool is full of hungry fish.

    I have little feedback regarding what others write; it would be interesting and nosy to know.

  • Sophia T May 5, 2010, 8:03 pm

    Lately, the editors at DS have been wanting the whole world for 15 bucks. It’s becoming impossible to make any money with them. They need to tone it down just a wee bit.

  • Shannon May 6, 2010, 12:01 pm

    There’s definitely been a crackdown on the DS copy editors’ work, it seems — both delaying the editing process (which takes forever) and increasing the likelihood of rewrites. I used to get ZERO rewrite requests and now I often get them. Sometimes when I’m bored I do the $3 Answerbag tips and even those are getting kicked back to me for rewrites. Frustrating! (P.S. I’ve been thinking of actually applying for the DS copy editor position; if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, right?) 😛
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..Raisins: the Original Organic Dried Fruit =-.

  • Pam May 6, 2010, 4:11 pm

    So glad to know it’s not just me, Shannon and Sophia. I’ve not been consistently writing for them for very long, but I’ve definitely seen a difference too. The editing process used to be lickety split and where I rarely got rewrite requests before, now it seems every other article needs a rewrite. The rewrites on the $3 and $5 articles are the worst! Shannon, I might be right behind you. LOL. 🙂

  • Crystal May 6, 2010, 4:39 pm

    I am so glad I happened upon these recent DS comments! I’m an eHow migrant and committed to giving it a fair shot but the potential for rewrites or rejection is a little stressful. So far I’ve had 2 of the former, 1 of the latter and 4 that went through without a hitch. But from the sound of things, I guess I’m doing ok.
    .-= Crystal´s last blog ..Is the Chi Blocked in Your Bedroom? =-.

  • Hayley May 8, 2010, 3:47 pm

    Once again, DS is not paying their writers properly.
    Some are getting partial payments while others are receiving NO pay at all.

    What Felicia describes in her original post is NOT a “past problem”. It is actually an ongoing problem. Forum posts are made approximately once a month stating problems with payment. DS always claims this to be a system error.

    I have a feeling the non-payment is going to become a permanent “glitch”.

    No more writing for them.
    Please spread the word to other freelancers.

  • Rebecca May 8, 2010, 4:45 pm


    I’ve never not been paid properly by DS. Yes, there is a current PayPal glitch that has impacted some of the 10,000 writers, but it is not being ignored by the powers that be and no one who has been around for any length of time is worried about it.

    Regarding the monthly posts about nonpayment, are you referring to the ones by new writers that wonder why they weren’t paid on Thursday when payday is Friday? That is the only thing I can think of when it comes to regular posts about payment; they are posts by writers who don’t bother to read the payment schedule (or read it and forget) and then wonder why they haven’t been paid a day before payday.

    If DS really didn’t pay regularly as promised, I doubt there would be people on there celebrating their 4,000 article. Who would keep writing that many articles if there were payment issues? You can warn people if you want, but be sure that you are reporting truth rather than rumors or you may find yourself in legal trouble.

    Quit if you want. That is your prerogative, but try not to spread false rumors about a company that pays like clockwork and makes things right in the rare times there are computer glitches.

    • Felicia May 8, 2010, 5:15 pm

      I think I need to step in here. I’ve been writing for Demand Studios for a couple of years and have never had an issue with payment. I see that there was an issue recently with payment, but I fully believe that Demand Studios will pay its writers. The post above references a glitch that occurred some time ago and they tried to make it right.

      Hayley, as Rebecca said, it is your option not to write for Demand Studios, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s still a reputable place to write (even with that one CE that requests silly rewrites).

  • Autum May 11, 2010, 7:13 am

    Rejected and banned because of my lack of skills. Migrated from eHow to DS. A bit heart broken. I’m no writer. Writing isn’t my strong point, though I try. Hope I can still keep the Title review portion.

    • Felicia May 11, 2010, 7:22 am

      Autum, it you truly want to earn money as a writer, you’ll need to work on your writing skills. Once you improve your writing you’ll find a lot of online opportunities.

  • Autum May 11, 2010, 7:35 am

    I wrote a few articles that got published on DS. I appealed the rejected and rewrites saying that they should have corrected minor mistakes instead of wasting time. One CE said my article was generic because there’s tons of info online. I said well ofcourse unless it’s a new discovery. Though I grew up in this country I’m from a foreign background, so writing is always a struggle no matter how much effort I put into it. I should have kept quiet, perhaps I would still be a writer for DS. Thanks for your prompt comment. Good luck.

  • Nida Sea May 15, 2010, 6:28 pm


    I just came across your site last week and have been browsing your many topics. I just have to say I truly ENJOY your site and find it very informative! I’m in the process of developing my own writing site and hope to have it as extensive as yours. I’d like to exchange links once its up and running. 😀 Thanks!

    – Nita

  • Shannon May 18, 2010, 2:51 pm

    As if we need more DS complaints, I’m just wondering if anyone’s noticed the harshly critical ratings for grammar and research lately. The CEs are dishing out bad report cards like candy. I’ve gone from 4-5 range to the high 3 range in both grammar and research. It’s pretty insulting since I have a master’s degree. If anything, I’ve stepped up my research and used grammar checkers. It’s just getting ridiculous over there!

    Such a shame … I’ve been quite a DS champion, until recently. 🙁
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..Save Money on All Car Insurance =-.

  • Kelly May 24, 2010, 1:07 am

    I received the same $15 from them, but I do not believe I lost any content. I still write for them to fund my online adventures. Like Shannon noted above have been getting harsh complaints also–really about stupid things.

    I think there is a wide array of editors doing/wanting different things. One editor told me to do one thing and then another editor rejected an article because of what the first editor said.

    It is still worth it. In 2 to 3 hours I can make $50, even though I still will have to deal with pointless re-writes, but that’s life!

    Great blog BTW.

  • Tyra1 May 24, 2010, 4:12 pm

    It’s pretty obvious if you search Demand Studios on blogs and such, a vast majority of it is upset and frustrated writers. There is a reason for this.

    The process goes like this for many writers including myself.

    -Spend 30 to 60 minutes writing an article (Plus in many cases it takes 15-30 minutes to FIND a good title to write or to load your queue.)

    -Wait 3-4 days, receive a REWRITE request(sometimes you don’t get a rewrite and you get paid, but lots of times you do get a rewrite). A rewrite is a copy editor sending your article back to you for “corrections”. Some of these demands can be completely unwarranted, but you will have to do them anyway. In many cases, the rewrite request has nothing to do with you doing anything wrong, but is simply to please the copy editor. This means every time you write a article it’s just like throwing something down a crap shoot. You never know for sure if you are going to get it back.

    -Fix the rewrite and send it back. Depending on the demands of the CE it could take another 15-30 minutes to fix it or worse a “full re-write”. Wait another 1-4 days for it to be RE-reviewed.

    -Risk the chance of rejection for fixing your article. Depending on the CE, if they don’t like it they can simply reject it. Therefore you get paid nothing and get a black mark on your record.

    Now i know lot’s of times you just get paid, and it works as it should! But there is a large factor, most writers have a 25% rewrite rate or slightly higher. SO that means 25% of your work you either don’t get paid or have to spend more time on it. Let’s face it, if you are writing less than 1 a hour, the pay is garbage. Add in rewrite time, the pay is even worse. People who work for DS extremely over-exaggerate their earnings and how they easily find 15 articles a day to write. Seriously maybe 1% of writers do that. Finding 5 articles a day of easy to write non crap titles is more difficult than the actual writing. Not to mention there is NO consistency among titles. Do you like to write exercise titles? Well one week you might find 5 exercise titles, then the next week go months without seeing another exercise title.

    So unless you are an expert on everything, good luck rocking out 10 articles a day without spending 16+ hours working. Also expect 25% or more of your work to need revisions or to be thrown out the window.

  • Lauren Nelson May 25, 2010, 11:04 am


    I’m sorry you’ve had such a frustrating experience with DS. Make no mistake, there have been days I’ve wanted to throw the monitor out the window because of them, but by and large, I’m supporting my family with that income.

    I’m a single mom, didn’t want to do daycare. Instead, I did a lot of research on ways to avoid rewrites, increase your productivity and search for good titles. There are some copy editors I’d like to give a swift punch to the nose, but for the most part, if I follow the guidelines to a T, any rewrite I do get is a 2 second fix.

    I write an article in 18 minutes now using focus booster. I tend to write between 7 and 14 a day, which is $100-$200 a day for me (I only do the $15 titles). My rewrite percentage is 21%.

    I fully believe that you have to find a writing platform that works for you. For me, that platform is DS. For you, it may not be. That doesn’t make you a bad writer anymore than it makes DS a villain. If you’re interested in giving it another shot, check out my blog for a couple of tips. Best of luck to you!

  • Rebecca May 25, 2010, 3:50 pm

    Hi Tyra,

    I understand your frustrations, but I don’t think that a high rewrite percentage has to be the norm. I had about a 20% rewrite rate when I hadn’t bothered paying attention to AP style and hadn’t spent time really understanding the style guides for each article type. I made the decision to focus on doing things right and my rewrite percentage for the last couple of months is at about 7%. I spend a little more time on articles than I previously did, but not much. So I don’t think a high rewrite percentage has to be the norm. Follow the style guides, write to the title, etc. and you should see your rewrite percentage drop dramatically. Also, when I get a rewrite now, they tend to be for very minor things and only take me a couple of minutes to fix.

  • Emory June 2, 2010, 2:06 am

    I submitted my first article to DS in April 2010. So far, it’s great for quick cash and I’ve never had a payment problem. I write How-To’s, so I can only do four or five at a time. It’s perplexing to hear how others can write 10 or more a day. I wish I knew their secret!

  • Poppy James June 7, 2010, 10:54 am

    From what I’ve been able to gather, DS articles are placed into an editor pool. Some folks are subjected to the same poor editing pool each time. Lauren, you must be in a quality pool.

    I’ve compared articles with five other DS authors and consistent editing standards are nonexistent. The rubrics issued require training to use in a consistent, comprehensive manner. The group of five submits articles using the same “mistakes” and the editing is 100% inconsistent. Editors routinely leave grammar errors and add a few of their own for good measure. The recent requests for article modifications have been based on subjective requests not included on the rubrics, including suggestions for headings and extra (or substitute) content. The requests contradict, even within the same edit.

    I’ve worked as a designer for written competency testing and also an editor. The low pay is a signal that this is not a professional operation, but the posing with a rubric and editing standards is just plain frustrating for many folks who need a regular income to make a living. The fact that the standards undergo frequent updates and modifications is a flag that things are not working. The continual advertising for new writers and editors is another flag. An examination of the writing samples, and the articles praised as favorites by the staff, illustrates the inconsistency. Several blatant rule violations can be found in each sample. Makes it tough for folks, even professionals, to decipher.

    The text tracking device should be applied to compare the article and editing changes. Writers should be allowed to flag editors for odd requests and bizarre formatting. Collectively, we’ve made six article review requests and only one was ever answered. [It was a rejection that was overturned.] When an editor reaches a rejection set point, the articles should be reviewed to evaluate the editor’s standards. The final content review done by the DS editing staff is inconsistent at best. There are hundreds of articles published each day with typos, grammar problems and even incorrect word substitution. These are not tiny mistakes. We’re talking blatant problems and even symbol substitution in the text. If these were reviewed, even once after the initial editing, there wouldn’t be these kinds of problems.

    People chose to work for DS and force is not involved, however, when a company makes statements as to the professional standards, the firm should be held to the advertising claims.

    • Felicia June 7, 2010, 11:02 am

      Thanks for the insight Poppy.

      I’ve found that in writing for Demand Studios I put my best foot forward. If there are minor corrections, I have no problem in making the changes. However, when I get CEs that want me to rewrite entire paragraphs or make requests that indicate they are not familiar with the subject matter, I take my article and post it elsewhere (usually on one of my own sites).

      After placing them on my own site I get to see how much revenue they generate through Google AdSense. There are several articles that have far exceeded the $15 I would have earned if the CE had approved it for DS. After seeing such positive results, I almost look forward to silly edit requests. I look at it as a win-win situation.

  • Shannon June 7, 2010, 12:26 pm

    I find that if I add notes to the editor before submitting an article — explaining anything that’s unclear — this prevents some of the rewrite requests. I try to anticipate issues. It also helps if you’re nice! The editors are human beings. Tension between DS writers and editors is no secret, so a little courtesy helps.

  • Emory June 7, 2010, 1:24 pm


    How does Google Adsense work for articles? Do you mean links are included within the article or ads are placed next to the article? I’m working on building a site of my own (finance related).

    And yeah, DS writers sometimes get strange CE requests. I’ve abandoned two articles myself because the CE basically wanted a complete rewrite. For $15, it wasn’t worth the trouble.

    • Felicia June 7, 2010, 1:45 pm

      Emory, I hope I’m understanding your question correctly.

      When I place an article on my own site, the site has Google AdSense ads. In Google AdSense I can monitor which pages earn the most money by creating a URL channel.

      Do you currently have an AdSense account? Once you have an account you’ll see how to set up channels to track your earnings.

  • Julie Wein June 7, 2010, 1:45 pm

    I’m so glad I found this place. I just discovered Demand Studios a couple of weeks ago. I applied, was accepted, wrote my first article and had it approved after some rewrites. Then they rejected my second and third articles and “fired” me. I’m locked out of my Demand Studios account now.

    At first I was upset because I felt like a failure. But then I did some research and found this site. Reading the dozens of other stories reporting the same things I dealt with made me feel a lot better about the whole thing.

    After my second article got rejected, I agonized over every word I wrote for the third article. I spent 4 hours on a 400-word article, had my husband (who has been a journalist and newspaper editor for close to 20 years now) edit the article and make some changes before I sent it in, and they STILL rejected it. I even modeled my third article after the first article I wrote, which did get approved. On my first draft of the third article the CE told me I had to stick to the subheads they suggested (even though it says feel free to write your own). After rewriting it, using ALL subheads that they suggested, the CE still said I wasn’t writing what they were looking for.

    My second article was to explain the difference between credit and debit. I got ripped to pieces by the CE because I explained the difference between debit and credit cards, and was told that while the title mentioned credit, it made no reference to credit cards. When I rewrote it, I made no mention of actual credit cards and they still rejected it.

    Talk about a losing battle. Time is money, and Demand Studios wasted far too much of my time.

    • Felicia June 7, 2010, 1:53 pm

      Julie, you didn’t waste your time. Now you have two articles that you can place elsewhere. 🙂

  • Emory June 7, 2010, 2:25 pm

    Yes. That’s what I was asking. Thanks.

    I’m new to “content writing” and from reading your blog, I’m now aware of residual payments from articles. I know you write for Suite 101, but do you have any posts on this site that discuss Associated Content or BrightHub? I’m trying to decide which residual site is the best one to begin with.

    I like DS, but you’re right: if you don’t write everyday you will make zero dollars. On top of that, I control which article I write and which article I submit, but I have no control over its approval, which makes it a stressful way to make money. And I’ve only been there two months!

    • Felicia June 8, 2010, 7:52 am

      Emory, I don’t write for AC or BrightHub. I think there are a couple of discussions regarding AC and Brighthub somewhere on this blog. Try the search option to see what you find.

  • Julie Wein June 7, 2010, 3:44 pm

    probably not, actually…i’m pretty sure in my upset state I deleted those articles. 🙁

    • Felicia June 8, 2010, 7:54 am

      Julie, one thing you’ll learn with online writing is that nothing goes to waste. You can always recycle your work. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you.

  • Julie Wein June 9, 2010, 12:24 pm

    Luckily I actually got DS to send back the 2 articles they didn’t accept. They didn’t even give me a hard time about it, which shocks me.

  • Shawn June 10, 2010, 6:06 pm

    I just wanted to comment on the mention by several posters that they intend to apply for copy editor positions on Demand Studios.

    I am a newspaper and magazine professional with 28 years of writing and editing experience. My most recent assignment for the last seven years was as the Sunday editor of a newspaper. I also spent every single day copy editing and proofing daily pages.

    I applied for a copy editor position with Demand Studios – for which I have written since August 2008 with approximately 500 articles published – and they rejected me. More than a year and a half later, it still states I am “not eligible” to be a copy editor.

    The most frustrating part is that Demand Studios copy editors often think it is their job to teach me how to write. I’ve been writing since before most of them were born and for much better pay. I know no one will believe me now, but in 1991-92, I was making between 75 cents and $1 PER WORD writing basic, consumer stuff about computers. If Demand Studios paid that, each article would bring me $500 rather than $15.

    The copy editors have run so far amok recently that the organization posted a message saying the folks at Demand Studios are overwhelmed by rejection appeals and now limit them to one for every 20 published articles.

  • Shannon June 11, 2010, 11:45 am

    With all respect, Shawn, I believe it’s a mistake to expect that one’s past experience in print media — no matter how distinguished or well-paid — has any relevance to digital media. Demand Studios is a different world, with different rules. I absolutely understand your frustration, but you won’t find peace of mind by comparing apples to oranges.

    My advice to anyone who writes for DS is that you need to develop a thicker skin. I don’t even look at my published articles anymore (except to back them up) because I can’t stand looking at the hatchet job by the CEs. They frequently ADD ERRORS, like reversing two numbers in a date, etc. I just move on to the next article and refuse to let their obtuse “editing” enter my thoughts.

    • Felicia June 11, 2010, 2:39 pm

      I’m with you Shannon, except once I get paid for the article I don’t even back them up. I back them up before I submit the articles to them. For $15 and a pen name, they can do what ever they wish to the articles. 😉

  • Janet June 11, 2010, 2:28 pm

    I write for Demand as well but decided to take a break from them. It’s awful over there right now–writer morale is down, way down. I have been exploring other options and have been lucky enough to find a few. I also post abandoned rewrites and rejected articles on Suite 101; although the money I reap from this avenue won’t pay my rent, it’s something I can look forward to every month.

    After losing nearly $100 in one day because of CE problems at DS, I decided that it’s not worth my time to write for them as much anymore. I’ve been approved to write for special projects with DS, which pay more than Ehow articles. I think I’ll stick to those and my side projects. If the special projects become too stressful, I’ll quit those too.

    CE inconsistency costs writers money. I’m not talking about bad writers; I’m speaking of writers who know their craft. Again, it’s terrible over at Demand right now. Writers are not motivated to write; neither am I.

  • Emory June 11, 2010, 5:17 pm

    @ Felicia: I don’t back mine up either. After it’s approved, I never give it a second thought.

    @ Janet: Things ARE ugly over there at the moment. TPTB are flooded with rejection and rewrite appeals. Quite a bit of anger in the forums. I’ve decided to cut back and write only two articles a day there as basic supplemental income. I can’t spend time writing an article only to have it arbitrarily kick-backed. I haven’t had a rejection yet, just a lot of unecessary rewrites.

  • Marcel June 12, 2010, 6:18 am

    After seeing all the negative comments, I posted here a while back that I would not waste my time with DS. Then I kept reading positive reviews so recently I applied. I was rejected and I think without a real evaluation. But after writing them to have a real good look at my resume and samples they apologized and allowed me access. I was pretty happy until I hit the wall of guidelines.

    The guidelines are a mile long and it is a bit vague what I should read before submitting my first article. Now I see more negative comments about the treatment both experienced and inexperienced writers get, and I am not so enthused about drilling my way through vague guideline navigational instructions only to be made to rewrite contrary to the guidelines.

    Do I really need to go through ALL the guidelines if I know AP and good writing practices? I already went through the guidelines intro (which I had to search for) and am working on completing my bio.

    • Felicia June 12, 2010, 8:39 am

      Marcel, I do recommend going through the guidelines at least once. When I first signed up I read through the guidelines but they have been revised many times since then.

      They are revised so often than I don’t bother reading them anymore. The only parts I review are the reference/resource section to make sure I’m using the right format, but I skip over the rest.

      Since you’re new to DS, give it a read to get a feel for what they’re looking for, write a few articles to test the waters and then make a decision as to whether or not you need to ‘study’ their guidelines.

      You could let the CE know that it’s your first attempt at writing for DS and to ‘be kind’ with any criticism or recommendations. Some CEs are nice and will provide helpful feedback.

  • Marcel June 12, 2010, 8:47 pm

    Thanks Felicia, I really appreciate your feedback. I can understand not wanting to go over mounds of material when changes happen so often, but it makes sense for a newbie like me to go over the ground rules before I dive in.

    I have read that some writers get the boot from DS because they didn’t follow the guidelines closely enough, and I do not want to be one of those, it seems that DS is still a great place to make an income.

    I’m not sure about asking for mercy. If I get a mean CE, then they may sense “weakness” and go for the jugular, 😀

    Love your articles / comments about DS and other sites like Suite 101, you’re a big help to those of us trying to “break in” to online writing.

  • Wesley July 12, 2010, 1:49 pm


    I do believe that you are a good copy editor, and editor and got paid well before. I’ve noticed that more than a few people defend Demand’s low pay and disrespect of writers.
    I think that your experience does translate to digital media, too. Good writing is good writing whether on the online or in print. I just don’t think that DS wants professionals, but amateur CEs and writers, too. With that said, don’t fret too much over being rejected as a copy editor for DS. Take is as a sign that you’re over qualified.

  • Shannon July 13, 2010, 10:26 am

    I wouldn’t go so far as to “defend” DS or its perceived disrespect of writers, as Wesley mentioned. I’d simply offer my two cents to anyone who’s experiencing frustration with transitioning from print to digital media. It’s a different world.

    Good writing is good writing, of course. The thing is, it’s not about good writing. It’s about how well you adapt from writing for print to writing online. You’ll notice that Felicia writes in tightly focused paragraphs with bold subheadings. That’s because she’s experienced with digital media and knows how people read online. People read differently online than they do in print, so the information is formatted and delivered to them differently. If DS doesn’t like your adaptive approach or formatting or online writing skills, you might be rejected. Whether you’re a good writer or not is irrelevant.

    As for pay, we also need to realize that we’re living in a global economy where money (i.e., upfront pay) is not valued the same way universally. For example, I live in NYC where the cost of living is very high. A $15 article would scarcely buy a cocktail at my neighborhood bar. But if I lived in rural Kansas, 20 of those articles would pay my rent. If I lived in India, a $15 article would be worth $135. That’s good money.

    Sorry to sound repetitious but writing online means adapting to entirely new rules. I still think Demand pays better than just about all other sites; however, if they ever allow writers from foreign countries, we’ll see those rates plummet or the payment model will change. We’ve all watched our traditional jobs move overseas because of the global economy.

    I respect all writers, wherever they live. I’d love to be paid more. But I’m realistic. My plan is to be smart, so I don’t have to work at all.

    Apologies for the lengthy comment … hopefully you see where I’m going with this. 🙂

  • Crystal July 14, 2010, 10:44 am

    I’ve been having mixed luck with DS recently but it’s still been more positive than negative. Finally had one of those horrible CE rewrites I’ve heard so much about so I just let it expire – figured an abandoned rewrite was better than a rejection. I planned to reclaim the title as soon as it hit the assignment list but just couldn’t stay up that late. I’ve still got the article and will use it elsewhere or save it for a similar title. I will be happy to be away on vacation to visit the kids and grands in MT and ID this coming week (all paid for with DS earnings, btw) – I need to take a break from writing but can’t seem to stay away! Suppose there’s a support group I could join?

  • Peggy Wheeler August 12, 2010, 7:35 pm

    Well, I just started with Demand Studios. Posted my first article for review today, but not without some unnecessary aggravation. Let me ‘splain.

    Last week, on Friday, I claimed my first topic. Wrote it over the weekend. I’d just gotten a brand new laptop, so it’s working like a gem. However, when downloading a video on Sunday, I contracted a nasty virus (which was fixed today, thank goodness). I could use the laptop okay, but could not download some links or any videos. So….I write my article in Word, then fumble around the Work Desk to try to figure out how to access the template to paste it in, and submit it for review. After a couple of days of frustration, I say to myself “Self, why not just ask someone at the Help Desk how to do this?” What happens? I get a response, but it’s not to the question I asked. So this afternooon, one day before deadline, I submit another question to the Help Desk. I recieved the same response that I received the first time — the response the does NOT answer my question, which is “How do I access the template to write my article, and submit it for review?” So, a third time I ask the question.

    While waiting for a response, I go into the Work Desk again (for about the 5th time — no exaggeration) to try once again to figure it out on my own. I finally see the pale small writing above the place where you claim your assignment that instructs us on how to access the template. I get the article posted, send it for review, and when I get back to my e-mails, there is another response. Guess what? The response I get (STILL not answering my question) is something ike “I suggest you review your New Writer Orientation.” Say What?!?!! What if I was still grappling with the virus on my laptop and couldn’t get INTO the orientation yet, and here I am one day away from deadline? I’m a brand new writer asking for help, and yet, I STILL have never received a response to my question; and I’m told in an obvious way to “figure it out on your own.” So….is the kind of support we can expect from the Help Desk????? If so, I’m not too impressed with Demand Studios. Am I the only one who has experienced this lack of support? If so, perhaps this was a one-time fluke. I’m hoping that’s it.

    • Felicia August 12, 2010, 8:14 pm

      Yikes! What a nightmare.

      I’ve got to say, I’ve never used the Help Desk, so I’m probably not the person to answer your question. I’m sure someone here will be able to give you a better answer than I can.

  • Crystal August 12, 2010, 8:51 pm

    Ok Peggy –

    I’m confused. When I access my Work Desk, all my claimed assignments are listed as clickable titles that take me to the appropriate template. The only time this isn’t so is when my browser doesn’t fully load the page and then I just hit refresh. So if your titles aren’t clickable, I think that’s the problem. Hope this helps!

  • Peggy Wheeler August 13, 2010, 10:25 am

    Hi Crystal,

    Thank you so much. Your response is actually helpful. I got off on the totally wrong foot with DS. First, I had my own technical issues with my PC and the virus. Then, after spending a lot of frustrating time doing all I could to figure out what I needed to do to create and send my document for review, I finally ask the Help Desk for, well, help. Finally, I get “Go through your orientation and figure it out yourself.” Then, when I do send in my assignment on “How to find a cabin in Big Bear Lake,” the CE sends back a rather condescending comment that’s something like “Your first two steps could have been to help someone get to Disneyworld.” Say what?! How, exactly, is that helpful in any way? And then she or he pretty much goes on to tell me what they think should be changed (extensively), none of which really makes sense, with barely any accompanying constructive or helpful feedback.

    I’ve been a writer for more than 25 years (actually closer to 30). I have a Masters Degree, and I’ve been an editor in a tech writing department for a large software firm. I’ve got pretty thick skin, so I can take criticism okay. I’m not opposed to working with CEs to make changes or incorporate edits. And, I know as a “newbie” with DS, I have to learn to do things the DS way (and I’m certainly okay with that). But, my initial experience with DS–at least with support–has been generally terrible. I’m going to give it a few days rest, take a few deep breaths, then Sun or Mon I’ll claim another assignment. We’ll see how this one goes. For $15 an article, for what I had to endure yesterday alone, I have to really think this over and decide if it’s worth it. Hopefully, this first bad go-around was just a fluke. Crystal, again, thank you. You actually suggested something of real value that IS helpful. It means a lot. Peg

  • Crystal August 13, 2010, 12:12 pm

    You’re welcome, Peggy. Sorry you had such an unpleasant first experience with DS. I’ve only been writing there a little over 3 months but have concluded that the CE experience is the luck of the draw. Most are great but there are a few . . .

  • Crystal August 13, 2010, 1:15 pm

    One more thing, Peggy – Sometimes a simple refresh doesn’t do the trick. If I still don’t have clickable titles after refreshing, I just navigate to another page (like Find Assignments or Scorecard) and then navigate back to the Work Desk from that page. This has never failed to fix the problem.

  • Peggy Wheeler August 13, 2010, 1:39 pm

    Thanks so much again, Crystal. I know it will all be good. I’m ready for another go at this. I’ll be posting my article on my Examiner.com national column. It won’t go to waste. Plus, I’m learning the “DS ropes.” I’m sure I’ll get into the groove soon enough. I can put up with a badly trained CE once in awhile. My objection wasn’t the cricism, but the fact that there was no real helpful feedback attached to it. It felt a lot like condescening sniping without any substance or direction. I don’t think any writer should be expected to put up with that for two cents a word, or even two bucks a word!

  • Raymond Shoemaker August 18, 2010, 2:47 pm

    I was recently accepted by Demand Studios as a contributing writer. They asked me to sign up for PayPal in order to get paid for my articles. However, when I called PayPal to set up an account, I discovered that when you register for an account in order to have payment disbursed, PayPal takes 3 percent of that payment. So that means with every payment for every article that Demand Media publishes, my payment will go through PayPal, but before it reaches me, it will have 3 percent deducted from it. As a NEWBIE I’m just curious but you other folks —are you in the same situation?? Are you cool with having money deducted from your payment in order to use PayPal’s services? Is there another option open to me in order to receive my payment from Demand Media? Sorry, this whole process is new to me and any help would be most appreciated!!

    • Felicia August 18, 2010, 3:16 pm

      Hi Raymond,

      When you sign up for PayPal and receive payment from Demand Studios, they do not take the additional 3% from your payment. If you earn $30, you get the entire $30 delivered to your PayPal account.

      I know there are some vendors for which PayPal charges a fee, but it won’t apply to your Demand Studio payments.

  • Peggy Wheeler August 18, 2010, 3:59 pm

    Hi everyone,

    So I was going to let my first article go because the CE wanted so many rewrites (most of which I really disagree with) and the feedback was so “snarky” I didn’t think I’d want to spend the time for $15 to do it. I decided to suck it up, and just give it a second go. So, I made the changes that I thought the CE was asking for (although he/she was unclear in my mind as to what they wanted) and it was rejected!

    I patterned my article after another e-How article on a similar subject. I was rejected for what was quite acceptable in the other similar e-How article. I can deal with rejection (I’ve been writing since the early 80s) if there is good reason, and something I can learn from it. In this case, the re-writes and rejection seemed, well, arbitrary.

    I already started off on the wrong foot with DS, so I didn’t want to appeal the rejection for fear that I’ll be labeled as a “complainer” or a “whiner” and, therefore, won’t get anything thorugh the CEs. So, today, I claimed another title, and I’m going for it once again. My concern is the “rejection” — I heard someone say these are considered a “black mark” against your “record.” Can someone explain that to me? If a rejection is a “black mark,” and may injure my chances of doing well with DS, (and my ability to earn income), should I go ahead and appeal it? I know I’ll eventually “crack the DS nut,” but right now, I’m struggling pretty hard to learn everything I need to know and do just to get my first article published. I’m most grateful for advice from anyone whose been with DS for awhile. Thanks!

    • Felicia August 18, 2010, 4:06 pm

      Peggy, I think I’ll have to let someone else provide advice.

      When eHow forced everyone to write through DS, I tried submitting an article through my new eHow/DS account. When I saw the comments for rewrite on the article, I decided to let the rewrite expire. After that, I continued writing through my older DS account that I had prior to eHow.

      In my opinion, there seems to be a different editorial standard between the older more established DS writers and the new writers. The articles I get approved under one account might not be approved under the newer account. For that reason, I’ll let someone who recently started writing for DS and has made it through the initial ‘probationary’ time period shed some light on your situation.

  • Raymond Shoemaker August 18, 2010, 4:32 pm

    Thank you so much for the (QUICK) response to my question, Felicia. I discovered this site yesterday when I was doing a little research on the controversial Demand Media… This is a great forum —and nojobformom.com is a great site. Very informative and helpful!

  • Peggy Wheeler August 18, 2010, 5:00 pm

    Thank you, Felicia. I love this forum, by the way! I think what I’m most concerned about is the “rejection” after my re-write on my first article. I’m not so upset by it as I’m concerned about this being a “black mark on my record” as one poster commented. I was not going to appeal the rejection (since I started out badly with DS and don’t want be labled as a “complainer”) but I’m trying to ascertain if it would be a good idea to go ahead and appeal it since it was much like a similar eHow article. If a rejection on a writer’s first article isn’t a big deal, I’d rather not fight this one. If it is a big deal, than I do want to appeal. What’s your take on this?

    • Felicia August 18, 2010, 5:14 pm

      That’s a tough one. I probably wouldn’t appeal my first article. I might try another one to see how it goes.

      You say that you patterned your article after another eHow article. Do you know if that article went through the DS review process?

      Some folks submit notes to the CE along with the article. I’ve done that on occasion when I’m trying a new DS format. Let the CE know that you’re new and trying to learn the ropes. Any constructive criticism he/she can offer is much appreciated. They might be able to provide just the right info to help you get through your next few articles.

  • Peggy Wheeler August 18, 2010, 5:24 pm

    Thanks so much. I’ll not appeal this one. Just submitted another and received a request for rewrite that’s reasonable and thoughtful with excellent suggestions. You are right–I have NO idea if the former eHow article was reviewed by DS editors. Excellent point. Since my last editor was so good, my trust in the DS editorial process just jumped up about 9 notches. As a newbie just learning the ropes, I almost expect that I have to do a little more work until I get how DS does things. And…that’s okay!

    • Felicia August 18, 2010, 5:40 pm

      Peggy, I’m so glad that you received a reasonable rewrite request. There are all types of CEs at Demand Studios. Every time I submit an article, I hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. I always have a backup site in mind if I get an unreasonable request. So, if I get it, I submit the article elsewhere and go on to the next.

      I believe, however, as time goes on, you’ll get the hang of it and the rewrites and rejections will diminish.

  • Julie Wein August 18, 2010, 5:50 pm

    My experience with DS was brief but terrible. Of the three articles I was allowed to submit, two got rejected for reasons that made no sense to me. The problem is, because two of my three articles were rejected, DS disabled my account. So basically they kicked me to the curb before I even had a chance to prove myself.

    I have repeatedly emailed them, first asking, then demanding that they reinstate my account, and I have been ignored every time.

    All I can say is Demand Studios lives up to their name. They are far too demanding for my taste.

  • Peggy Wheeler August 18, 2010, 6:50 pm

    As you can see from my posts, my experience thus far has been less than wonderful, too, Julie. I’m dismayed to hear that you were “dismissed” after only two article rejections, no matter what the issue! That seems pretty cold. But, In my case, I don’t entirely blame DS. Although I was less than happy with the first CE, the second was great and pointed out some things to me (respectfully) that I needed to be aware of. So…I bear some of the responsibility. I don’t agree at all for the reason the CE rejected my first article, but I’m willing to try again and see what happens. Try Textbroker. I just started with them, and even though they pay a little less, they seem more reasonable to work with.

  • Julie Wein August 18, 2010, 7:38 pm

    I don’t entirely blame them for the first article they rejected.But the second article I had my husband look over before I submitted it. He’s been a journalist for 20 years and has been editor-in-chief of half a dozen newspapers. He said it was fine, they said it was unacceptable. They are darn near impossible to please.

  • Julie Wein August 18, 2010, 7:42 pm

    Question for you Peggy. When you submitted your application to Textbroker what kind of writing sample did you send them? I’m struggling to come up with something they will like, which is why I haven’t applied to them yet.

  • Peggy Wheeler August 18, 2010, 10:01 pm

    My husband, who is also a fine writer, proofs everything I submit, too. Didn’t matter. It was rejected anyway. As for “impossible to please,” well there are many writers who do well with D.S. So, who knows? I’m committed to go over the style guide again, and dig in for a second try. But…if they reject my second attempt, I’ll be where you are.

    About your question: I wrote a 350 word article on what my town, Santa Nella, has to offer. My husband I thought it would probably get me a 4 or 5 rating. I was rated at a 4. I understand that most TB come in at 3, so I’m happy with that. They increase ratings over time if the quality of your warrants it. We’ll see how it goes with TB, but my initial experience with them has been better than it was with DS. The issue is DS pays better, and I need to feel that I’m paid for what I do. DS pays, even if it’s not near the salary I commanded as a staff tech writer.

  • Itu August 19, 2010, 3:13 am

    Hello Julie,

    I saw your comment about filling out your application for Textbroker and I thought I’d give it a shot.

    When you send them a sample just make sure that you are original and you use clear grammar. You also want to make sure that your content flows and makes sense.

    The sample that you submit to them is simply just a evaluation of your writing skills. Make sure that you don’t write you information in a complicated way. With Textbroker it seems that everything is all about being simple and strait to the point.

    I joined yesterday and got accepted the same day. I just finished writing my first 5 articles and earned my first $21.53.I am not sharing this with you to brag. I am sharing this because I believe anyone can do it.

    Hope that helped.

  • Peggy Wheeler August 19, 2010, 5:22 pm

    So…..I rewrote my SECOND probationary article for DS. But, since the editing was so good (and because I spend considerable time reading all the guidelines and have printed them off–they now sit on my writing desk) I think I have a good shot of getting this one through. I worked so hard and so long on this article that if it’s accepted, I will have made about 50 cents an hour (hahahaha) but once my first three are accepted and published, I know I will have learned SO much I’m certain the others will be easier, and I’ll become faster and faster at cranking out awesome quality work. BUT, if this one is rejected, I guess it will be “adios” to DS, and I’ll be focusing on TB. I’ll let ya all know! Thanks for your good advice, and your patience. Oh…and does anyone have recent experience with Suite 101? I’ve heard mixed reviews and I’m curious about what you all think of Suite 101 compared to DS and TB. Gracias!

    • Felicia August 19, 2010, 5:58 pm

      Good luck Peggy.

      As far as Suite goes, I a several posts on the topic. Enter Suite 101 in the search and you should find a few of the posts.

  • Peggy Wheeler August 20, 2010, 3:27 pm

    Wow, Itu! I’m SO impressed with your great fortune already with TB. It took me two-days to get accepted at a level 4, which is great since they said it normally takes a week and most come in at level 3. They also accepted my articles, BUT, said they would NOT even calculate pay until all articles are rated (which normally takes a week or longer)because they calculate pay based on rating, and they not only need Paypal info (no big deal, I know) but they require W-9 via snail mail which they review before notifying you of your earnings and dumping anything into Paypal. So how on earth did you manage to get accepted, write all five articles, have all five rated, and have your income calculated on your rated articles all in a single 24 hour period? That’s awesome, Itu. Maybe I did something screwy — how did you manage it? BTW: good for you. Writers like you who manage things so effortlessly inspire me, really. Cheers!

  • oceansideblogs August 23, 2010, 11:52 am


    Any idea how long it takes to get approved to write for Demand Studios?

    • Felicia August 23, 2010, 12:31 pm

      I think it varies. Some folks get approved right away while others have to wait awhile. I was approved a long time ago so I don’t quite remember. If anyone can provide Oceanside a better estimate, I would appreciate it.

  • Nancy Morrish August 23, 2010, 4:42 pm

    I got approved within 24 hours…….Felicia– thanks for all the assistance you provide to new writers. You can’t imagine how much help you’ve been to me in the past week. I got approved to write for DS a week ago today….and then Suite 101 just this past weekend. Based on your great advice, I’ve decided to take it slow and do 2 articles/day for DS and 1 article a week for Suite101.
    ….at the moment, it’s taking me, gosh…about 2 hours to write an each eHow article. I sure hope I get faster! Thanks again.

  • Peggy Wheeler August 24, 2010, 10:18 pm

    I was approved for DS within 24 hours, too. I was surprised because they say it takes longer. I’m guessing that Felicia is right…depends. Hang in there Oceansideblogs!

    On a another, (related note), I know this isn’t the case for everyhone, but for me it was like pulling teeth to get my first DS article approved. I’m pleased to say that I finally got a thumbs-up on my second attempt. I learned so much from my initial failed effort, (also, nearly positive that on my very first try, I encountered one of those “CEs from Hell” that I’ve heard about so much).I put a lot of hard effort into DS Article Number 2, but through that effort I learned even more. I scribed a gazillion Process & Procedures stuff back in my old tech writing days, but “How To” is simply a different animal. I think being willing to learn–or relearn–is important, as is willing to have tons of patience with the process.

    TB is much easier (and articles are faster for me to write), but DS pays much better, so I think I’ll continue with both, and even though I don’t get paid diddly for Examiner.com, I love writing for them. Providing I get another 2 articles approved by DS and move off “probation” I’ll be well diversified. BTW, these gigs do not include my books. My agent is pitching all three, and almost every publisher wants a different kind of book proposal, so I’m a busy writin’ bee, but lovin’ it. DS is my BIGGEST challenge, though.

    QUESTIONs: I’m also pondering Suite 101 as well, but not sure if I want to stretch myself too thin. If DS pans out, I don’t think I’ll try to pick up yet another gig. But, I’m unsure. Any thoughts from any of you on how diversified an online freelance writer outta be? How many of you are writing for several organizations? How is that working for you? What challenges do you encounter? And, most important, if you have multiple gigs (pay aside) which one do you like the best? Thanks everyone, Peg

  • Nancy Morrish August 25, 2010, 2:53 pm

    Peggy…I’ve been with DS just over a week and have had 11 articles approved with 5 under review…but my oh my, it’s taken me hours and hours to write those articles. In my case it’s a real learning curve. I’ve had minor rewrites on 2 or 3 of those articles and I’ve been lucky enough to have great editors. The first editor gave me a tip to help me avoid using passive voice (which I’m not used to avoiding) and it’s been a life saver! I’ve also really learned a lot by using the tracking tool to see what changes the editors have made to my articles. One went through without any changes, but most have had a strikes through here and ther. Enough that I can see what the editors are looking for by taking a look. I joined Suite 101 based on what I’ve read here in “Felicialand” and I’m pumped about 101 because you can write what you want about. It’s nice to have the instant $ but it’s the long term that’s crucial. Enjoy!

  • Peggy Wheeler August 25, 2010, 4:59 pm

    Thank you for your feedback. I appreciate hearing about your experience with DS and your thoughts about Suite 101. I may go ahead and go for it too and just see which of these gigs sticks.

  • Brenda August 31, 2010, 7:09 pm

    Hi, I have read all the posts and though they are for Demand Studios, I have notice all the posts are for writing positions. I was just wondering has anyone recently been hired for one of the copy editing jobs. I was wondering what I could/should include on my resume to be excepted by them, and the hiring process. If anyone knows, please let me know.

  • Brenda August 31, 2010, 7:19 pm

    After posting my previous question, I was just wondering. Since the writing position pays more per articles (which is understandable), is it easier to be hired for the writing position versus the copy editing job.

  • Raymond Shoemaker August 31, 2010, 10:20 pm

    So…just a little help out there from my fellow writers…I recently got accepted to Demand Media as a writer, just finished my tax information, bio, etc and am about to claim my first assignment.

    It seems a lot of the article assignments are “how to”-type articles; I am coming from a background where I specialized almost entirely in feature writing, so this is new territory to me. I am just curious: what are some of the methods some of you seasoned writers have used to research some of these articles. “Google” seems to be my answer to everything I don’t know about these days, so that is the first thing that comes to my mind, but it seems like kind of an irresponsible way of going about the task. What have you guys done? Have you gotten books on the subjects? Interviewed people with specialties on the subjects? Any advice would be so helpful, as this is all new to me. Thank you, —RAYMOND

  • Ignatius September 1, 2010, 10:19 am

    Since you’re already accepted at Demand, read through their private writer forums. There is a forum for new writers and the general forums can be helpful, too. Also, read through the material in the Writer’s Resource Center. The publicly available FAQs may help you as well.

  • Crystal September 1, 2010, 10:57 am

    Welcome to DS, Raymond. I’m a relative newbie there with just over 100 published articles – an eHow transfer in April from the former WCP program. I’ve chosen to stick with just the how-to format at this point and have been advised by the title clarification staff to always do an internet search to determine the most likely meaning of any title of which I’m unsure. Using Google for research is not only acceptable, it’s also advisable since DS really likes to have online references and resources with each article.

    I mostly write what I already know and often use the search simply to gather appropriate references and resources. I’ve also used books or personal interviews on occasion but online research is usually much quicker – just be sure to study the DS blacklist as there are many prohibited sites. Also, carefully study the guidelines for the specific article format you’re writing and look at the examples of each in the Writer Resource Center.

    You may want to try filtering the titles by format to eliminate the how-tos. It seems with your feature writing background, some of the other formats might be more appealing. I filter for how-tos only as that is the format I prefer. A caution, however, on filtering by category – titles are routinely misclassified.

    Good luck with DS! I’ve had a few CE nightmares but for the most part it has been a positive experience.

  • Peggy Wheeler September 1, 2010, 1:30 pm

    Raymond, we are writing online articles, so why would you consider online research to be “irresponsible”? As long as you adhere to DS Guidelines stringently, never plagerize, and site your sources, you’re golden. For $15 per how-to article, I don’t think you’d want to spend a lot of your writing time in a library or in interviewing. If possible, pick assignments for topics you already have some expertise in. That helps (that is if you can find any of those). But, there are plenty of credible online sources for our research. I’ve not been with DS long, but I’m learning the ropes pretty fast, and so will you. Best of luck.

  • sensible sadie September 12, 2010, 12:06 am

    Here’s my story after trying out Demand Studios.

    I’ve been a freelancer for a long time. The economic downturn has dried up regular income sources, so after checking out website’s like Felicia’s I decided to take the plunge. I was approved quickly and was anxious to get started. I was put off by the “fun fact,” that’s part of your bio. I’m over 50 and don’t think much of these cute and often made-up facts about the writing life. I quickly found out that if you don’t write up the fun fact the way DM wants it, you don’t get to claim any articles or make any money. Plus there’s the wait time, often 24 hours, before you hear back from a reviewer.

    I also found there isn’t much readily available information that really helps new writers navigate the site and get rolling. I spent several hours poking around the site, printing out guides and reading those. And still I have several questions about how DS works.

    I finally asked one question through their help desk. It took more than 8 hours to get a response and the person answering gave a generic answer to a specific question. Based on this answer, I went ahead and wrote up the title (it was a shopping guide) and filled out the form required to submit the work.Then I couldn’t submit it. I had suspected there was a problem with this article which is why I contacted the DS help desk in the first place. After putting in almost 2 hours of work and not being able to submit it and knowing no one there cares that’s when I said, “enough.”

    After going through the process I honestly don’t get how a writer can make more than $8-10 an hour, if you can get used to jumping through all the DM hoops — and there are many,

    I should have listened to my gut when I realized the BS I was getting from reviewers when I had problems loading a photo on the bio page. The size of the photo is much, much smaller than they think it is. And why don’t they know this basic fact?

    At this point, I am wary of these glowing claims from DS writers. After researching, writing and uploading, there is no doubt in my mind this is a time-consuming venture. Sure, it probably gets quicker and easier with practice, but there’s steep learning curve — and that’s just the way DS wants it.

    There’s something inherently dehumanizing about the way Demand Studios works, and I want no part of it.

    • Felicia September 12, 2010, 7:34 am

      Sorry to hear of your DS experience, Sensible Sadie.

      Demand Studios isn’t for everyone. Personally, I’ve earned several thousand dollars using them over the years. They helped to bridge a much needed gap when my residual income wasn’t what it is now. It takes me about 1/2 hour per article (I refuse to spend more time than that). The half hour includes about 20 – 25 minutes to write and about 5 minutes for upload time. Things get easier as time goes on.

      I look at DS as meatball surgery. Do what has to be done and on to the next. I learned early on to remove my emotions from sites like DS (although on occasion it can be a bit frustrating). I don’t find it dehumanizing in the least because I haven’t given Demand Studios the power to define me.

      Hopefully you’ll find another venue for your writing talents.

      Wishing you the best.

  • Peggy Wheeler September 12, 2010, 9:23 pm

    Well, Sensible Sadie, although there are many successful
    DS writers, (and I’ve been a freelance writer for a lot of years, too, BTW) DS is not for everyone. Like anything else, you get out of DS what you put into it. But nonetheless, sounds as though DS is not for you. No one promised that writing for DS would be easy. DS does impose stringent requirements because they accept only top quality writing. I totally get that, and I also get that even seasoned writers can learn new things. I’ve been writing professionally for over 30 years, and trust me when I tell you I’ve learned a few surprising new things since I’ve been with DS, which have made me a better writer already. For that, I’m grateful. Still, as I already said, DS is not for everyone. Best to you in your future endeavors.

  • sensible sadie September 13, 2010, 10:27 am

    Felicia and Peggy, thank you for kind and helpful comments.

    I want to make clear that my main frustrations with DS is how they structure their business, the many software glitches, lack of consistency from editors, not enough writer support and hours or days for responses to questions and work submissions.

    My other beef is the amount of work for the amount of pay. Just plain out of whack, *and*I understand this is world now and writers need to make a living.

    Clearly, with DS there is an opportunity to challenge oneself and hone research and writing skills. It just depends if you’re willing to pay the price.

    In my case, DS dropped the ball too many times in too short a period of time. And for the amount DS was paying, it just became too much.

    Honestly, I can make just as much money or more by selling used books on Amazon.com.

  • peggy September 13, 2010, 12:53 pm

    I hear you about the money, but what I’ve learned is that online writing is a different animal. I make a lot better money writing for hard copy magazines (but those gigs are not easy to find). DS and others do something called “crowd sourcing.” What that boils down to is they don’t pay a lot, but enough to attract a very large number of writers (some make a decent income, too). Crowd Sourcing is very common these days. If you compare DS to other organizations that crown source, such as Textbrokerm, Suite 101 or Examiner.com you’ll find that DS pays quite well. As you write more DS articles, you’ll find that the process becomes progressively faster. There are many DS writers who knock out two How To or List Articles in half an hour. For the first 10 or 12 articles, it might take you two hours to write one, but once you break through the initial learning curve, before you know it you are cranking those babies out pretty quickly. The writer support issue is a different matter all together, but again, compared to all the other writer-broker organizations I’ve found that DS is one of the best. As for the editors, you are right on. Most are great, but there are a few I hope I never have to work with again. I wish DS had better standards and tighter control over their editors and their editing process (which is uneven at best). But, if you prefer to sell used books on Amazon, and can make better money doing that, I’d say “go for it”! Cheers, Peggy

  • HealthyOpal September 13, 2010, 1:54 pm

    Hi Sadie,
    Last week, I joined Demand Studios so I did run into a few of the things you mentioned. With my photo, I was able to adjust it in small photo editing program I used just for that purpose. It’s called Resize Em’ All.

    I can relate to the requirements too, they do have a lot. However I like that. It shows me they’re only willing to accept top quality writing. I submitted my first article today, and it took me three hours to create. Why did it take so long? The About format is new to myself, so I had to keep flipping back to that and the Demand Studios Editing Style Guide to make sure I was doing things accurately. Also, I did get a few error messages when trying to submit my completed article. However, I had read this past weekend that a few people were having troubles too.

    You can actually claim articles before your bio’s approved. You do have to write and submit one though. Once I’d created my bio I went and selected one article, even though my bio hadn’t been approved.

    I wanted to keep my fun fact on things that I would mainly be writing about. I could have included the colorful tidbts of my love of extreme sports, hiking, and camping but I wanted my “fun facts” to be similar to what I’m writing about at Demand Studios. The “fun facts” I listed was that I enjoy cooking and am currently writing a cookbook. I also wrote that I had a natural health blog, and listed its name. 🙂

    I look at Demand Studios as a learning experience. I’ve been writing several years, however, I’ve already seen improvements in my writing style. I’ve added those new skills to my natural health site. At the moment, it’s challenging. I’m getting used to a brand-new format, but I know if I keep with it, I’ll be able to submit my articles fast. I’m going to give it a few months to see how I like writing for them.

    By the way, I stopped by your website. I like it; I’m forwarding it to a few of my family members who have arthritis.

    Good luck in your writing endeavors!

  • sensible sadie September 14, 2010, 12:40 pm

    Hi HealthyOpal, Thanks for writing and the tips.

    I did manage to resize the photo to a smaller size. DS says under 1 MB, but it’s really about half that size.

    And I did “select” an article before my bio was approved. I say select because I didn’t actually press the “claim” button. Silly me, I thought by pressing enter on the underlined title that it would lead to a small paragraph about it. Instead, like a flash, it was all mine. Now here’s the rub: the claimed article showed up in the appropriate section of my DS Work Desk, and then it disappeared, only to be replaced by a slightly different title — same subject. Now it was a Livestrong Shopping Guide instead of a Ehow How-to. How that happened, I don’t know. Thing is, I was initially approved for Ehow articles. (By the way, both articles paid the same.) I gave this a few hours thought and decided to contact DS to make sure it was okay to proceed. I did this because I was concerned I would not be paid after I wrote and submitted the article. Long story short, I wrote the article, inserted into the appropriate sections, filled out the parts below that and ultimately could not submit it because of an error message that said I wasn’t authorized in this section.

    I hope you got your Fun Fact published as you describe it. DS’s standards for such seem out of whack in the what’s-important-department, IMHO. There was a time (which I’m sure Peggy will attest to) where only a brief recitation professional credentials were acceptable to describe an author. I admit it, I’m old school.

    Any new job requires learning and adapting. No question about that. I do believe you can get faster at producing DS articles, but I really wonder how much that is. You still have to read the research, gather the reference source materials, look at similar article written, etc., etc. This all takes time. So does setting up a system so you can produce work more quickly.

    I, too, was optimistic about my prospects at DS, as I was bolstered by writers like yourself who have a positive attitude and can roll with the punches.

    However, my experience with these type of situations is that when seemingly minor things go wrong up front, most likely it will continue to bigger things. Things at DS certainly snowballed for me.

    I’m very glad that you, Peggy, Felicia and others who have posted here have had success with DS. I hope you will keep us posted on your progress with DS.

    And thanks for checking out my blog and letting others know about it. Best wishes!

  • Julie Wein September 27, 2010, 9:25 pm

    I always thought Demand Studios didn’t give me a chance to show them what I can do, so i applied to them again. I got an email today telling me I was accepted. Hopefully I’ll have better luck with them this time.

    • Felicia September 29, 2010, 7:53 am

      Congrats, Julie. I just encouraged my sister-in-law to apply again also.

    • Danielle Hill March 26, 2011, 4:08 pm

      On their site it says you can only apply once, is that not true? If not, what is the “waiting period” to reapply?

      • Julie March 27, 2011, 10:12 pm

        You can apply more than once. I think you have to wait 3 months to be able to apply again.

  • Suzie September 29, 2010, 12:04 am

    Woman’s World Magazine recommended DS as a source for some extra money in its most recent issue (Oct. 11, 2010). It’s been a dream of mine to write for a living, so I thought I’d dip my toes in to the writing pool freelancing while I go to school. I’m so glad I researched the site and found this article and the comments before applying. It would seem I have some more thinking to do…

    • Felicia September 29, 2010, 7:49 am

      Suzie, everyone’s experience with DS is a little different. I admit there is a level of frustration, but they pay twice a week and the money is steady. Give it a shot and form your own opinion.

  • Julie Wein September 29, 2010, 9:03 am

    I submitted my first article to DS last night and they’ve already gotten back to me about edits. While some of their comments are incorrect I have to say at least this time they were polite about it. So I suppose there is some glimmer of hope. However, the article I submitted is about something called My Search Bar. The sites I used for research both said that the search bar is a virus. However when I wrote that in the article the CE said that it’s not true and neither of my sources said it was, even though they both did. Any advice on what to do?

    • Felicia September 29, 2010, 10:13 am

      Julie, that’s a tough one. The problem with a situation like that is the CE will reject the article if you don’t do as asked and then you’ll have to go through the appeal process. I’m throwing this one out for input from other new DS writers. I’ve been with them for a while so I would probably let it expire and select another title, but being new, your options are limited.

  • Crystal September 29, 2010, 9:34 am

    Suzie – Just go for it. I was also hesitant to apply to DS based on the experiences of others but was automatically transitioned over during the changes at eHow in April. Although I’ve had my share of frustration, all in all it has been a really good thing for me.

  • Ignatius September 29, 2010, 10:53 am

    Take a look at the list of DS recommended resources in the Resource Center at DS. Try to find your topic in one of those. If you can’t find it there, do some more research and be sure you find a definitive answer. You really don’t want to abandon one of your first three articles. That is a test period. Quite a few people get on with one rejection (they look over your articles to see if you have improved), but abandoning a trial article isn’t a good idea. Try searching .edu and .gov sites if you can’t find anything on a recommended resource.

  • Julie Wein September 29, 2010, 11:18 am

    I’m starting to rework my article on the my web search toolbar. So far my approach is to ignore the fact that this toolbar is basically a virus and just write the article as if it wasn’t. I hope this approach actually works.

  • Karyn September 30, 2010, 1:31 am

    I have been writing for DS for some time now but I have hit a wall. The only articles I can find are automotive or construction how-to’s, which are not in my skill set at all. Is there a way to get around this?

    • Felicia September 30, 2010, 6:10 am

      Karyn, develop a new skill set.

      Spend some time doing some extensive research in another field and become an ‘expert’ in it. This summer I wrote a slew of articles on a topic that I became an expert in. The more I researched the more I learned. Now, I not only write on that topic, but I’ve branched out on topics related to it.

      When I saw that my natural skill set articles were dwindling, I reinvented myself so that I could write more.

      Karyn, I suggest you read my post, Has Someone Moved Your Freelance Writing Cheese?

  • Karyn September 30, 2010, 1:47 pm

    So, learn about automotive repair?

    • Felicia September 30, 2010, 2:37 pm

      Karen, the way I see it you have two options when it comes to writing for Demand Studios:

      1. Keep writing on topics in your skill set and when the titles dry up stop writing, or
      2. Learn about automotive repair if that’s the topic you choose to learn about so you can continue earning money writing.

      The beauty about writing as a freelance writer is that you get to choose.

  • Julie Wein October 1, 2010, 9:23 am

    I’m shocked and pleased to report that my first article was accepetd by Demand Studios. So hopefully that’s a good sign for the future. This may actually work out this time.

    • Felicia October 1, 2010, 9:33 am

      Congrats, Julie. You’re on your way.

  • Renee October 1, 2010, 11:57 am

    I am considering applying to DS. I am not sure what kind of writing sample to submit. Can anyone point me in the right direction? Should it be an EHow type of article, or something else?

    • Felicia October 1, 2010, 3:46 pm

      Hmm, that’s hard to say. When I applied I to DS I wasn’t writing for eHow so I provided links to a couple of articles that I had written on the internet.

      What ever you provide, make sure it’s tightly focused and honors the title of the article. I would probably submit an article explaining how to do something. For example, a well-worded piece explaining the origin of roses is nice but sharing tips on how to use roses in a wedding bouquet arrangement is better. I don’t think its necessary to use the eHow/DS format. Write in a format that is most comfortable for you.

      If anyone has any advice, please chime in.

  • Julie Wein October 1, 2010, 4:23 pm

    When I applied to DS the second time around I submitted an article I had written about a health issue. I included tips for staying healthy and briefly discussed two well known illnesses.

    Good luck Renee!

  • Renee October 1, 2010, 9:38 pm

    Thanks for the tips Felicia and Julie. I may give it shot soon. I know I have some articles that offer advice of some sort, I just needs to look them over again and tighten them up. Hope I am accepted… we shall see.

  • Karyn October 3, 2010, 3:28 pm

    I decided to pick up stories on tools needed for auto repair. That is not hard to find out and who knows what else I can get in the process. My focus tends to be home, garden, sewing and travel with pet issues and fashion thrown in. All of the titles I am seeing lately are automotive.

    I once took an article that I blew into something else that at least makes money as an ongoing residual. My goal is always to make lemonade but there can be even a few bad lemons. I think that is the funk I have been in the last few weeks and needed reassurance that I wasn’t simply in a bad situation. Thanks for your help.

    • Felicia October 3, 2010, 3:48 pm

      Karyn, I’m glad you were able to find a few topics that you could write about. I’ve learned that reinvention is necessary when writing in this day and age.

      Every once in a while I look through the DS database to find titles on topics that I’m not an expert in, but would be willing to learn about. In the process of learning, I not only gain new knowledge, but I open myself up to a host of writing topics that I write not only on DS but elsewhere.

      Who knows, you might eventually find that writing about autos isn’t so bad. I know I’ve done my share of automotive articles. I know just enough about autos to be dangerous when I chat with my mechanic.

      Glad you’re feeling better. And, as far as reassurance goes, you’re doing the right thing. As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing better than being a freelance writer. You can learn and write about everything (not to mention the part about making money while doing it). Hang in there.

  • A M October 8, 2010, 12:19 am

    Legit, but not very good, I think. I think that this company really makes people work for the small payments they give. Saw a “filmmaker” listing where you make 20 how-to “films” out of one half day or full day shoot. They offer $300-600 per “film” but I’ve done a lot of half-day and full-day shoots, and you can’t get 20 videos out of that amount of footage, even if they are short 1-2 minute videos. Shooting doesn’t work that way. Also, you’d have to edit all those videos, which could extend your work into many days, even weeks, depending on the videos. It just sounds like a lot of work for so little money, not to mention you must have your own HD equipment and editing set-up. So, with that investment, you’ll be doing a lot of videos before you break even.

  • Katherine Bostick October 12, 2010, 4:28 pm

    I agree that DS is a difficult place to work and does not pay much, but they do pay regularly. DS has kept my family from losing our home when my husband lost his job 2 years ago. I work full time and write for DS part time. I only make about 265-280 a month from DS, but that has helped me keep my mortgage paid. I get aggravated at the system a lot because of miscategorized titles and stupid rewrite requests. I just decide if I want to deal with the rewrites or just let it expire. You folks are right about one thing, the guidelines seem to differ depending on which editor reviews your work.

    And Felicia, I often write on topics I am unfamiliar with simply for the fun of learning something new.

    As difficult as it is sometimes to work for DS, I will continue to do so at least until my husband finds a new job.

  • Kara October 14, 2010, 5:59 pm

    I agree with Katherine. I have been with DS for a year and a half now. I am a full-time writer, so I try to do the whole “diversify your portfolio” thing; but, private clients can be unreliable at times. I’m currently dealing with one where getting him to pay his final balance is like pulling teeth. I collect a deposit before starting the job, but there’s no guarantee that collecting the final balance will be easy once the job is done.

    I do get frustrated at times with DS, to the point where I have had to walk away for a while. I gripe and complain when I get impossible rewrites, especially when I lose upfront money from having to let them expire. It also gets tough when titles in your field dry up and you have to write on what you don’t know.

    I’ve learned to roll with the punches. From what I have seen, DS is the steadiest and most reliable online writing gig at the moment. And I never have to chase them down for my money. I have no clue how much longer they will be around for, which is why I try to find other clients. However, building a client base that allows you to ditch DS completely takes significant time.

    Success at DS comes in spurts. When there are loads of titles in my field, I make lots of money. When there aren’t, I get more rewrites and my income suffers – it takes longer to write on what you don’t know. But in the end, I do not believe DS deserves the bad rap they get sometimes.

  • Renee October 14, 2010, 8:05 pm

    I recently got accepted to DS, but I’m nervous about submitting my first article. After reading all of the horror stories about DS, my fingers have been slow to move towards submitting anything. I’ve made up my mind to just bite the bullet and submit my first article tomorrow. I may have a completely different experience than some of the ones I’ve read from others. Lord, I sure hope so.

  • Crystal October 15, 2010, 10:55 am

    Congratulations, Renee. I’ve been with DS since April and have a few horror stories of my own but mostly it’s been great. So just jump right in and keep your sense of humor handy.

  • Julie Wein October 16, 2010, 6:03 pm

    I just had my third article approved for DS, so it looks like I’m having much better luck with them this time around. When I wrote the third article i got a rather rude CE, but at least the rewrite requests weren’t outrageous. So I suppose that’s a start…

  • Karyn October 26, 2010, 2:00 pm

    @Kara. I walked away for a time as well. Very frustrating when you get an editor telling you how many words the intro should be which do not match the instructions you are getting on the format sheet. But getting paid right away sure beats the alternative.

    I am doing more car stories but I make sure they are ‘list’ articles so that no one can ever say I told them how to fix their car incorrectly (hee, hee).

  • Kara October 28, 2010, 2:41 pm

    Karyn, I wish I knew how to write those car titles… those never seem to disappear:-)

  • Karyn October 29, 2010, 1:50 pm

    @ Kara. No, they do not. I don’t get why some mechanic doesn’t get on and scoop those all up. Probably because they make more working on the car than writing about it.

  • Raymond November 16, 2010, 7:21 pm

    Felicia —

    Could you tell me a little bit more about Suite 101, as I know you write for them as well as Demand Media? I have been unsatisfied with DM for some time now, and I have decided to fill out an application for Suite 101. I went to their website to fill out an application, but I notice they don’t pay a flat fee per article. Would you recommend somebody like myself, who has only dabbled in online freelancing, to try such a thing?

    From looking at payment info on the website, it seems to an outsider like a risky venture, because you do not get paid much at first. In the end, however, it seems to me a writer could actually end up making more from Suite101 in the LONG TERM. Am I correct in that assumption?

    I have a full time job and another part-time job in addition to my freelance writing venture, so I would probably only be able to write perhaps an article a week for them. I will broach this next question carefully, but I must ask it, because I need to know upfront how much money I could possibly be making, or at least an estimate: what would you ESTIMATE you or other writers could end up making if you were to write, say 5 articles a month, assuming reader traffic and reader ad interest are solid? Specifically I guess I’m asking: HOW LONG were you writing for Suite101 before you started to see more than the $10-$20 per article DM offers?

    I know that is a lot to digest, but any help you could give me would be so appreciated as I go forward. Thank you so much.


    • Felicia November 17, 2010, 4:16 am

      Raymond, I won’t answer the first part of your comment because it appears that you decided to sign up for Suite. Congrats on taking the plunge.

      As far as how long it takes to surpass $10 or $20 per article, it all depends. As you know one person’s experience differs from another. It all depends on your topics, your writing style, your SEO skills, Google, the economy, the weather and whether or not you played basketball in the 3rd grade.

      I’ve heard some people write for Suite for almost a year and not make payout and other folks made payout within their first 30 days. Fortunately, I made payout within my first 30 days so I stuck with it.

      I can’t tell you what will work for you, but I can say that just this weekend I turned down a paying assignment because they were paying $60 for 600 word articles. I make more than that per article on Suite 101 so instead of spending my time writing for $60 an article I chose to beef up some of my Suite work. To answer your question as to how long it took for it to start paying off, in my second year writing for Suite I averaged $31.44 per article writing at a pace of a little over one article a week.

      You’ll have to test the waters to see what works for you. Keep writing and honing your writing skills. The editors at Suite are helpful and I believe that if you take it seriously, you could earn decent money there. I wish you the best.

  • EricBailey December 2, 2010, 2:29 pm

    Just poking in to say that as a part-time “content aggregate” or “group sourcing” freelancer, this was one of the articles I read and appreciated before deciding to apply for Demand Studios. Thank you for the insights!

  • Mykal December 14, 2010, 8:07 pm

    I would caution writers against Demand Studios. I was also doing fine the first couple of months but then I began to get frustrated because sometimes I would work hard on an article and the copy editors would make ridiculous requests. Then I had an issue with the rule about using similar content in several articles. One CE told me that was fine, just be sure the wording isn’t the same. Then another CE said I couldn’t write similar content even if it was for articles with basically the same title. I asked for rewrite clarification and instead of clarification I was told that my articles were going to be rejected.
    The rules are unclear and the CEs contradict themselves and interpret the rules differently. However writers are expected to strictly follow these unclear rules. There is no support for writers. Not worth it imo.

  • Republic of Timucua December 15, 2010, 11:36 am

    We recently started a school program for our tribal members teaching them how to get onto DS an other writing sites to make a little bit of money since the economy has caused our Indian Tribe to suffer over 40% unemployment. We’ve been doing this since about Sept. We’ve found that in our experience our tribal citizens are running into about 1/3 of the editors at DS making crazy ridiculous requests on the articles that are being submitted. Most of our citizens writing for DS are also members of other sites like textbroker and Associated Content and just sell the articles that they get crazy rewrites from DS on to other sites. This doesn’t pay as much as DS but still helps them to deal with the frustration of DS’s crazy CE’s. This might help ya’ll hopefully.


    Saturiwa Palatka,
    Tribal Employment Coordinator
    Native American Tribal Republic of Timucua

  • Writley April 23, 2011, 11:17 pm

    There are other sites that are known to pay well with less pressure on the writer. Might be worth it to research them. I’m applying to The Content Authority and am looking at Textbroker. Willow Sidhe and JadeDragon have sites with alot of tips as well. ConsumerSearch pays a minimum of 350.00 a report (12 pages or so) on different kinds of products. I’m sure there are plenty more out there that pay well sans abusive editors.

    • Felicia April 24, 2011, 8:40 am

      Writley, it seems you’re new to NJFM. If you look under the Opportunities section above, you’ll find a host of other opportunities including Content Authority, Textbroker and ConsumerSearch. I also mention Willow’s blog somewhere here on NJFM. Take a look around.

  • jeannie May 9, 2011, 1:53 pm

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

    Nicely written!

  • Leticia August 31, 2011, 12:01 pm

    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 September 1, 2011, 6:01 am

      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 September 2, 2011, 9:06 am

        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 September 2, 2011, 10:02 am

          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 September 2, 2011, 11:57 am

          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 September 1, 2011, 9:34 am

      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.

      • Felicia September 1, 2011, 9:56 am

        Thanks Bill. Your answer is spot on.

    • Crystal September 1, 2011, 10:27 am

      Leticia – Try Textbroker, as well. There are usually plenty of assignments from which to choose and the stress is less than at DMS.

      • Leticia September 2, 2011, 11:01 am

        Thanks Crystal,

        I will sign up today.

  • Ignatius September 1, 2011, 1:24 pm

    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.

  • Leticia September 2, 2011, 9:54 am

    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.

  • Leticia September 2, 2011, 10:04 am

    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 September 2, 2011, 12:06 pm

      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 September 4, 2011, 1:54 pm


        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.

  • Leticia September 2, 2011, 11:05 am

    Thanks Felicia,

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

  • Amybella September 11, 2011, 2:04 am

    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?? 😉

  • AnonJ July 21, 2012, 5:32 pm

    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.

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