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Demand Studios $15 plus residuals?

Wouldn’t it be nice if in addition to the $15 up front pay for Demand Studio articles you could earn residual income? Well, you can (Shhh – don’t know if it’s a secret or not, but lean in closer and I’ll tell you).

Amazon Links

I’ve decided to make my hard work for Demand Studios pay residually. Every time I write an article, I find an Amazon product that compliments my subject matter and insert the appropriate affiliate link. I have a video somewhere on this site on how to insert links (oh here it is).

I don’t know why it took me so long to start inserting Amazon links on DS articles. After all, I’ve been inserting them on eHow articles regularly. So far, I’ve earned an additional $3.46 in Amazon residuals on my Demand Studio articles.

Types of Links

Since I tend to write mainly business and finance articles for Demand Studios, I recommend books, software or CD’s on the topic. For example, in writing an article on “How to Improve a Credit Score,” In my resource section I would recommend a book such as Your Credit Score, How to Improve and Protect the 3-Digit Number that Shapes your Financial Future. I usually select books with shorter titles, but you get my drift.

Even if the reader does not buy the book, anything they purchase while searching Amazon as a result of my Demand Studios link puts a few pennies in my pocket.


The one thing I make sure of is that my Amazon links are 100% related to the subject matter. Some CE’s really check resources and links while others don’t. Either way, I try to provide at least 3 references and 2 resources for each of my articles. The Amazon links must be placed in the resource section for the general public to be able to access it.

If I’m writing 5 articles on the same topic, I use the same link 5 times. All that matters is that the link is relevant.

If you’re not already doing so, you should give it a try (it doesn’t have to be Amazon, it could be some other relevant affiliate link). There are no guarantees, but it’s better to open the door for potential earnings by inserting links rather than closing the door and missing an opportunity for residual income.

{ 31 comments… add one }
  • Rachel January 15, 2010, 10:39 am

    WOW, I never thought of this. Seeing as I write for DS quite a bit, I need to give this a try! Thanks for the tip!!
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..2010 Online Writing Goals =-.

  • jen January 15, 2010, 10:56 am

    I’ve always wondered if this was against policy or not. I think I’ll give it a try! Thanks!
    .-= jen´s last blog ..How to Make Money with a Blog- OIO Publisher =-.

    • Felicia January 15, 2010, 11:25 am

      Jen, I wondered too.

      I reviewed the Editorial Guidelines, specifically the information regarding resources, and didn’t find anything so I decided to give it a try.

      As with anything, it’s okay until its abused. Hopefully we’ll all place relevant links so that DS won’t come out with a ruling against placing affiliate links in the resource section.

  • Allison January 15, 2010, 6:05 pm

    I just saw the DS post on affiliate links…right AFTER I completed my first article using an affiliate link. Oops…hopefully it won’t be penalized. But thanks for the tip anyway Felicia.

    By the way…I have never commented on your blog, but I have been a follower for many months and really enjoy your posts. I have been freelancing for about a year now, but you inspired me to create my own niche site this weekend.:)

    • Felicia January 15, 2010, 6:11 pm

      Welcome Allison.

      Sorry about the affiliate link, but I am happy that you decided to create your own niche site. You’ll be amazed at how much you’re going to learn by creating one.

  • Shamrockcon January 15, 2010, 2:39 pm

    I never knew you could do that on Ehow. With all the changes recently, I’m sure we can’t do it now. Have you tried it recently?

    • Felicia January 15, 2010, 2:47 pm

      Shamrockon, I did it as recently as yesterday with DS and with eHow as recently as 3 days ago.

  • Ashley January 15, 2010, 4:52 pm

    This is no longer allowed on DS. It seems as though your post brought this to their attention due to the fact that this was posted on the forums today only hours after your blog post. Here’s the latest post on the DS forums that has been announced via a link on everyone’s Workdesk:


    It’s been brought to our attention that some writers are putting affiliate links in their articles to earn extra money from their work. We haven’t had an official rule that forbids this, but we are creating one going forward.

    The reason is because we want to provide our readers with an unbiased experience when they come across our content, and affiliate links undermines that goal. So, going forward you may not add links to the Resource or Reference sections that will profit you financially when people use them, even if the link is relevant to the article.

    If you have been using affiliate links in the past you do not have to worry about being penalized for it. This is a new rule and will only be enforced going forward.

    Thank you for your cooperation.”

    • Felicia January 15, 2010, 5:16 pm

      Wow! I’m impressed!

      I guess people do read this blog. 🙂

      Well, there you have it. I guess we can’t place affiliate links on DS articles anymore.

      Thanks for the heads up Ashley.

  • Eve January 15, 2010, 5:22 pm

    Ah, Felicia – you are quite famous in the DS forums. You definitely were when I was writing for them last summer.

    I’m heading back to DS myself soon. Bummer that they got wind of this extra way to make money.

    • Felicia January 15, 2010, 5:34 pm

      I’ve got to tell you, I’m truly surprised. Sorry about letting the secret out.

      I guess all future secrets will be released in my newsletter. Not too many people signed up for it so that way if I blab too much, it won’t get around so quickly. 😉

  • Deborah January 16, 2010, 12:41 pm

    “Unbiased experience?”

    I think they just don’t want their writers to have any room for growth. DS is the online equivalent of a dead-end job. They want us to work for as little as possible so that the writers that they take advantage won’t *learn* that they are being taken advantage of. Those people make me sick. If I didn’t need money so much, I definitely wouldn’t write for that place.

    • Felicia January 16, 2010, 5:21 pm

      DS is what DS is. I guess it fills the void for many of us from time to time. We just have to take it a face value. Write a few articles, earn a few dollars and on to the next.

      As long as we keep building our residual income source, the need to write for Demand Studios will diminish over time. Until then, a writer has gotta do what a writer has gotta do.

  • JadeDragon January 21, 2010, 2:07 am

    Seems all good things come to an end with DS. They seem hell bent on restricting writers ability to earn. Too bad because it is not a sustainable business model.

  • Wendy January 28, 2010, 9:28 pm


    Your comment really sums up how I feel about my experience there.
    I read an interesting blog post by a well established copy writer. His point of view was basically that if you are just starting out and don’t have any credentials at all, well, maybe it’s a good place to start.
    Another post by another well established writer noted, though, that he would do a Google search and check for articles written for DS (or other similar places) before hiring a writer…that really made me realize that I should have used a pseudonym…

    Ah well.

    On to other projects.
    .-= Wendy´s last blog ..I Just Lost $2 (and that is okay by me) =-.

    • Felicia January 29, 2010, 10:51 am

      Wendy, it’s not too late to use a pseudonym. I’ve changed mine once or twice with Demand Studios.

  • Wendy January 29, 2010, 4:08 pm

    Hey Thanks for reminding me, Felicia!

    Does it affect old articles or just the ones you write from that point on?
    .-= Wendy´s last blog ..I Just Lost $2 (and that is okay by me) =-.

    • Felicia January 29, 2010, 5:05 pm

      When you change your name, it changes on all of the articles.

  • Wendy January 29, 2010, 4:14 pm

    I wonder if anyone would mind taking the time to let me know something about pseudonyms? I really can’t think where I can look this up…I’m awfully tired today…

    Fine, I can change my name…but I also want a different picture and bio…is that legit…to just make stuff up???

    How *does* that work?
    .-= Wendy´s last blog ..I Just Lost $2 (and that is okay by me) =-.

    • Felicia January 29, 2010, 5:07 pm

      I changed my name and added a picture (I didn’t have one before). I used a free photo of a woman from stock.xchng that looks nothing like me.

      My bio remained the same.

  • Wendy January 29, 2010, 10:35 pm

    Hey Felicia,

    Thanks so much. I have had a really frustrating day and your response honestly picked me up a bit.

    I changed my name to a man’s name…so I’m going to have to go find a picture somewhere : ).

    Thanks, again, as usual….
    .-= Wendy´s last blog ..Lukewarm Olympics =-.

  • Maria (WriterGig) February 9, 2010, 7:47 am

    I added a few affiliate links to Demand Studios articles when appropriate, back when I wrote for them. 😉 And yes, I earned a trickle of revenue that way, and still occasionally see that tracking ID convert to a sale on Amazon. I do understand their reasons for banning affiliate links from their paid writers, but I’ve always wondered why eHow doesn’t add their own affiliate links to their own content.
    .-= Maria (WriterGig)´s last blog ..What Makes a $1,000+ eHow Article? =-.

  • Trent February 9, 2010, 2:37 pm


    The DS edict on affiliate links did state there would be no action taken against writers who used affiliate links in the past.

    My DS writing is totally anonymous. I use a non-identifiable photo, a pseudonym and list a city as my location. I live in a blink-and-you-missed-it small town.

    I didn’t fill out any background info for DS other than a basic bio relevant to the topics I write about. The form they have requires dates, and that struck me as invasive–which years I worked for which companies, which years I obtained my degrees–not info I’m going to make public to write work-for-hire. I left all of that blank and there hasn’t been any issue about it yet. I’ve published over 160 items there since November.

    Felicia has the right attitude — accepting DS for what it is saves a lot of energy.

    I’ve been using my discontent with DS as motivation to check out more online writing opportunities. Yesterday I started scheduling an hour a day to apply for other writing gigs online.

    I need the income from DS for now. I’m making progress on my larger goal: to make a good income writing for clients I can feel proud to be associated with.


    • Felicia February 9, 2010, 7:41 pm

      Trent, I’ve got to say, you’ve got a healthy attitude. Things should work out very well for you.

  • Trent February 15, 2010, 5:55 pm


    Thank you. You’re an inspiration.

    I started at Seed on Monday and they published my first item Wednesday and the payment is in process.

    The downside is any number of people can claim the same title. I’ve had two others declined by Seed. I’m waiting to see what happens with the three in review before I do more.

    I’ve been accepted at Suite 101 and have been exploring the forum and tutorials. The tough part for me is that I have bills pressing and can’t quite take the leap to invest time in work that won’t pay off for months. At least, that’s the impression I get so far. I want to give it a fair try, I just need to get the wolf off the door first.

    My other thought is to take my handful of DS expired rewrites and stick them up on eHow to see how that goes.

    It’s too bad no one offers up-front plus residuals.

    Thank you again for all the good inspiration and heart you provide here.


    • Felicia February 16, 2010, 6:52 am

      Trent, I’m not absolutely sure, but I believe Associated Content offers upfront pay and residuals.

      Here’s a post where Associated Content is discussed. It might have some helpful info.

  • Kylie March 23, 2010, 2:55 pm

    Oh my god, I think I love you. I’m absolutely going to start doing this. Every little bit counts!

  • Kylie March 23, 2010, 2:57 pm

    *Sigh* I just read your next post and well, I guess I won’t start doing this after all. 😛

    It was an awesome idea, though!
    .-= Kylie´s last blog ..Without Warning =-.

    • Felicia March 23, 2010, 4:56 pm

      Oops, sorry Kylie. I think I ought to make a comment on this blog post so that folks won’t be misled.

  • IM February 1, 2011, 5:58 am

    Okay, big bump here.

    Need clarification.

    So that means if you apply for a “normal” freelance writer/journalism job, you should not mention Textbroker, Suite101 or Demand Studios?

    Did the “well established writer” who did the Google search mean he will not hire someone who has worked for DS? Is this stigma common knowledge and are online writers not considered writers? Are we considered scum of the earth? lol. Paraphrasing Grace in “Saving Grace” in response to the handsome rich drug dealer who said: “You don’t look like scum.”
    Grace: “I take exception to that, I come from a long line of scummy people!”

    I was trained in a journalism background but have been out of it for a long time because the pay wasn’t worth it. My last journalism job was as an assistant newspaper editor in a small town, $7.50 an hour no benefits, 20 mile one way commute, they took over a month to hire me, there were a lot of applicants.

    I thought mentioning that I write for an online company would show that I liked to be busy and keep my hand in. I applied recently for a “normal”freelance writing job and felt blown off by the writer who does the hiring, and I was puzzled. But now I know why…possibly.

    I was going to use a pen name, now I KNOW I will.

    • Felicia February 1, 2011, 6:51 am

      Let’s just say that being an online writer isn’t considered as prestigious as being a newspaper journalist. The thing is, there really isn’t a comparison. Most online writers aren’t journalists and visa versa. Personally, I wouldn’t mention Demand Studios on a resume. There is too much debate and controversy surrounding them in the online and offline writing community.

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