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How to Get Accepted as a Demand Studios Writer

I often receive e-mails from newbies asking how to get accepted as a writer for Demand Studios.

This is a difficult question for me to answer because I applied to Demand Studios a year or two ago. Back then all I had to provide was a resume, a writing sample or two and advise them of my areas of expertise. Nowadays, it seems that their application process is a little more stringent. I’ve been hearing from time to time about writers who were not accepted as DS writers.

What is Demand Studios Looking For?

One of the best ways to ensure acceptance is to look at their ads. I found various websites that advertise for freelance writers. The classifieds are populated by ads from Demand Studios, Suite 101, Examiner and the like. Often times the ads are specific about the type of writers they’re looking for. For example, just recently I saw Demand Studios advertising for health writers in an online paper geared towards New Jersey residents. I guess a California resident could also apply, but I thought it was interesting that it targeted New Jersey health writers.

Writing Samples

Demand Studios is not secretive about the sites for which the content is written. Take a look at their sites to see what type of content they’re looking for. If necessary, adapt that type of writing style in one of your samples. Make sure your samples are well focused and written in the second (and sometimes third) person. First person samples should be avoided.

Tease Them with Your Expertise

Demand Studios isn’t always look for the most highly experienced writers. I’ve seen time and time again that well-qualified college-educated longtime journalists and writers have been rejected by Demand Studios. It’s not because they’re not qualified writers, but online writing is much different than writing for print publications.

It’s my opinion (and just my opinion), Demand Studios wants to see user friendly, informative articles. I don’t think they’ll get too impressed if your samples are littered with $100 dollar words and complicated sentence structures. Just take a look at a few Demand Studios generated eHow articles; simple, to the point and informative.

What about Lack of Experience

According to their website they’re looking for writers who have at least one of the following:

  • College degree in journalism or related field
  • Writing or journalism experience
  • Overall expertise in a certain area (this is the one that will get you in if you don’t have either of the above two).

If you don’t have extensive writing experience but can demonstrate that you are an expert in your field (whether its travel, auto, insurance, finance, etc), you stand a good chance of getting accepted.

As a matter of fact, here’s wording straight from the Demand Studios site:

Don’t have a writing sample? Compose a quick How-To on something you know. Think about guiding a stranger through a project or explaining a problem and the solution.”

What if They Don’t Accept You?

I’ve heard that some people have re applied using a different e-mail address. I don’t know how accurate that is and it’s only hearsay on my part. I think the best way to get except it is to specialize in an area that they need and provide a good sample.

I welcome input from folks who were recently accepted to write for Demand Studios. Maybe sharing your application process can help other writers get accepted.

{ 49 comments… add one }
  • Gina March 24, 2010, 8:50 am

    Felicia-Thank you so much for posting this!! I love your site! You do an EXCELLENT JOB! Thank you for all you do.
    .-= Gina´s last blog ..Buckle Down and Get Motivated =-.

  • Shannon March 24, 2010, 9:40 am

    My blog co-author and I were both accepted as DS writers in December. Each of us has a college degree and professional writing experience (newspapers, a book, etc.) but we also have plenty of online writing samples. We’re discussing this post right now and we think Felicia’s right on the money: emphasize your expertise.

    Keep in mind, though, that you may not be writing much about your area of expertise. The subjects and titles are pre-selected according to keyword algorithms or whatever. So, it’s kind of like you have to show that you’re an Olympic high jumper but you end up in the bleachers with your laptop, writing about gardening or veterinary medicine — your other passions!

    Oh, and good grammar is crucial … (duh). 🙂
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..Studios Rock! Apartment Therapy’s Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces =-.

  • Allison March 24, 2010, 10:38 am


    You are right when you say that one of the best ways to get accepted is to avoid over-the-top phrasing and focus on the simplicity of the article. DS likes everything to be succinct and to the point. Write a good how-to and it seems your in! Thanks for posting this. I know it will help a lot of people.
    .-= Allison´s last blog ..Discouraged in Youth Ministry =-.

  • Fujoshicat March 24, 2010, 1:43 pm

    I applied to Demand Studios in January for both writing and copy editing. Within hours I was: 1) rejected as a copy editor; and 2) accepted as a writer. I have years of editing experience, including two years as an assistant editor at a magazine, and I’ve heard of much more experienced editors than myself who also got rejected. It’s very odd. 😉 As for the rest, I have two degrees (my B.A. is in English), but I also listed one of my blogs and a website I’ve written reviews for on my resume. I can’t read DS’s mind, but I’m going to guess that they like people who have done at least some online writing – even a blog or a site where you’ve written reviews for free might help. 🙂
    .-= Fujoshicat´s last blog ..The Best eHow Tutorial =-.

  • Beelissa March 28, 2010, 1:28 pm

    Another tip — write in active voice. DS wants active voice, no passive voice. I am writing an article is active voice. The article was written by me, that’s passive.

    I think they are getting pickier as more people apply and as they already have so many writers. And I bet their more picky about editors, though I feel like the writer job is better because writers get paid more per article. A CE gets the same whether the article needs only a couple quick word changes or a complete rewrite. Like Felicia, I think I happened to apply at the right time. And I had online writing experience.
    .-= Beelissa´s last blog ..New Year’s Resolution =-.

    • Felicia March 29, 2010, 8:20 am

      That’s a good one, Beelissa. I forgot to mention that one and its a biggie when writing for Demand.

  • Master Dayton March 28, 2010, 3:49 pm

    I think the main lesson is to remember that online the key is to never get fancy. Be concise, to the point, but informative and you’re going to probably be in pretty good shape. I’m not sure if having a large collection of eHow articles helps or not, but it can’t hurt. I mentioned that with the application, along with my writing samples and everything went smoothly.
    .-= Master Dayton´s last blog ..Demand Studios Review =-.

  • David April 6, 2010, 12:46 am

    I write a blog on personal development with each article over 1800 words long and I was rejected by DS within 1 hour of applying.

  • Sherri A. June 7, 2010, 10:39 am

    I applied and was accepted within a few hours. All I did was show them my website. I uploaded a blog article I had just written as my sample piece. I’ve only been freelance writing for about six months now, but it would seem that they prefer actual experience in freelance writing online. Yay for me =). Now to see what everybody means when they talk about those picky DS editors..

    • Felicia June 7, 2010, 11:02 am

      Congrats Sherri and welcome to the potentially lucrative and frustrating world of Demand Studios.

  • Angela June 21, 2010, 11:02 am

    All of the responses above are helpful. Thank you for sharing them. As I mentioned in another thread, I was recently rejected by DS and have another app pending with them. I find it ironic as I read that without having read this thread my initial app was reflective of the pointers presented. Keeping my fingers crossed that my reapp will be accepted.

  • Matt August 12, 2010, 4:38 pm

    I just got accepted!

    I am so excited right now. 🙂 After researching this website (thanks Felicia!) and others, I recently started diving in, applying to a variety of places and getting my feet wet. Even though Demand was at the top of my list, I did not place very high hopes on getting in after hearing how difficult it can be – that especially became the case after being rejected from wiseGEEK yesterday – but this morning I got the good news less than 48 hours after applying.

    In regards to how I got accepted, I’m sure one thing that really helped me was that I have extensive experience working in media relations in college athletics, writing multitudes of press releases and other pieces, all of which were posted online. And I’m guessing there was something about my writing style that they liked.

    As someone who is a very hard worker and a perfectionist – but one with a desire to not be set to a schedule, or a workplace for that matter – this type of work is perfect for me.

    • Felicia August 12, 2010, 5:42 pm

      Congrats Matt! Way to go. Now the real fun begins…

  • Rachael September 22, 2010, 11:48 pm

    Wow, after reading this, I feel kind of special. I’m only 20 and am currently in College to pursue a BA in Journalism, but I’ve had about six years worth of experience with journalism (starting from H.S. to currently writing for my college’s publication.)

    Like Matt, I REALLY didn’t expect to get approved. My writing sample was an unedited article I’d written for my college paper and a resume that was pretty basic, and I got accepted in less than two hours. I don’t have a degree, I don’t have “formal” experience, so I don’t know how I got in and some professionals are being turned away. I’m just glad that I was accepted.

  • Tashana January 18, 2011, 12:21 pm

    Felicia, I have a question and forgive me if this has been asked or answered in previous post but the thought really just dawned on me.

    When accepting assignments with DS, once they are approved by the editor, does that mean you automatically get whatever the assignment payout is?

    If so, I’m really going to smack myself for not jumping on board this ship sooner. My application got approved months ago and the only thing I have to do now is submit my first 3 articles. I’m always second guessing my work so I end up writing the article and fearing that it’s never good enough – sooo, I never submit. Obviously I’m the road block to my own success, but I’m vowing this year to change that.

    Thanks Felicia. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    • Felicia January 18, 2011, 12:30 pm

      LOL! Tashana, I just said to my husband, “I love it when I hear the ping of a light bulb turn on in someone’s mind.” I heard that ping, and yes, once it’s accepted you get paid that amount. If it’s accepted by Sunday you get paid Tuesday and if it’s accepted by Wednesday you get paid Friday.

      Half of the road block problem is knowing where and/or what the road block is.

      Here’s to a lucrative New Year! 🙂

  • Tashana January 18, 2011, 12:51 pm

    Thanks Felicia and wow, do I feel foolish for complaining about being low on funds when I have prosperity sitting right at my fingertips; go figure .

    Thanks again.

  • Beelissa January 18, 2011, 1:15 pm


    Just wanted to point out, also, that the editor will give you instructions on what to do if the article does not meet DS standards. You only have one change to re-write (they call it that, but it’s really usually more of an edit) but unless you get one of the very few editors who don’t know how to communicate well, you’ll learn something and still get your article approved.

    I write between 10 and 15 DS articles a week. It’s a good way to make some quick money.

    Good luck!

  • IM March 12, 2011, 8:43 pm

    Will DS allow me to use a pen name? I can’t find the answer in their FAQS. Thank you.

    • Felicia March 13, 2011, 10:28 am

      Yes. I don’t use my real name on DS.

  • IM March 13, 2011, 3:02 pm

    I’m going to apply at wiseGEEK. Yes, the 20 submission requirement a month scares me, but I searched for for complaints by writers and I found one – as opposed to DS’s hundreds. I also like that a writer is assigned to one editor as I want to focus on the writing, and improving my writing skills instead of adding mountains of frustration to my life. The drawback is that wiseGEEK is still considered a content mill and was #1 on a list of companies that took a hit due to the Google crackdown (pen name here I come, if they allow it).

    Oh, wiseFELICIA, do you have any thoughts on wiseGEEK, lol? If you don’t write for them I assume it’s because the pay is a bit lower than DS and the writing format is limited. Am I correct?

    PS. I like Textbroker, they seem like nice people and the process is simple and straightforward, but the pay is SO low.

    • Felicia March 14, 2011, 8:01 am

      IM, I never applied to wiseGEEK because I never had an interest in writing for them. With so many online content sites, it’s nearly impossible to apply to them all.

      I found a few that worked for me and stuck with them while building my own sites.

  • IM March 14, 2011, 12:56 pm

    I just want to add (and I know everyone here agrees) that I appreciate all the knowledge and help you share on NJFM, and your ebook! You should have your own TV or youtube show – I would watch it!

    • Felicia March 15, 2011, 9:24 am

      Thanks, IM. I’m not so sure I’d translate too well on Youtube, but thanks for the vote of confidence.

      • IM March 15, 2011, 12:20 pm

        wiseGEEK sent me a very nice email saying they loved my writing but had way too many applications just now. it could have been a form email, not sure. I wish they had posted that fact on their website before I went to the trouble of applying.
        DS here I come.

        PS. Think of using youtube as the at home alternative to book tours/book signings. You in a comfy chair, fireplace, cup of coffee, and just read one of your blogs to us.

        • Felicia March 15, 2011, 9:21 pm

          IM, sorry that wiseGeek didn’t work out. The good thing about the Internet is there are so many alternatives.

          As far as the fireside chat; if I get in front of a fireplace in a comfy chair and a book, I don’t think I’ll be drinking coffee. 😉 I can see my youtube video taking a wrong turn. 🙂

          • IM March 15, 2011, 10:38 pm

            ROTFLMAO!!!!! LOL!!!

  • Jason March 16, 2011, 2:34 pm


    Wonderful site. Came across it yesterday, and it’s one of the most informative I’ve seen when it comes to writing on the web.

    I’m getting ready to apply to be a writer for Demand. What I’m wondering is this: is it overly optimistic to think that I could make an average of, say, $150-200/week right off the bat writing for them? Assuming I’m accepted and everything goes well with the first three articles, etc.

    Thanks for any help. Again, wonderful site.


    • Felicia March 16, 2011, 2:48 pm

      Jason, it’s more than possible to earn $150 to $200 a week with Demand Studios, but I’ve been writing for them for a long time so I didn’t have to go through the 3 approved article phase.

      It all depends on your writing style, how well you follow their guidelines and of course, the person that’s editing your work. Once you get your first three approved, the only other challenge is finding appropriate titles. So, having said all that, yes, it’s absolutely possible to earn $150 to $200 a week with them, but there might be a learning curve depending on what you’re used to.

      Some folks had problems in the beginning and others have not. My recommendation to you is to focus on your goal.

  • Beelissa March 16, 2011, 7:37 pm

    I have made that much per week. I tend to look for articles that pay $15 or more. As you are writing longer they approve you to write higher-paying articles.

    In the beginning, study the guidelines for each type of article. You might find it best to stick to one style or another. Learn from your rewrites and try not to make the same mistake you made before. That said, you’ll always have some re-writes. Try to keep it under 25% once you’ve gotten used to the process. Write a week or more in advance of when you want to be paid, since you have to wait for the editor to approve them.

    The biggest limiting factor seems to be titles, and which titles I can write. Even though I could probably do research and learn things, there are certain topics I’m just not going to write about, like how to fix a car or anything about electrical stuff, for instance.

    Good luck!

  • Jason March 17, 2011, 3:57 pm

    Thanks for the replies, I’m sure they’ll come in handy. I’m waiting for my present employer to approve my use of a few pages from a standard operating procedure manual I wrote for them as my sample. I’m pretty confident I’ll be accepted, the only problem being that I have so little published online so far. But, I do have five years of technical and similar offline writing work under my belt, and an English degree from a decent university.

    Just hoping my main area of expertise is something they’re looking for — basic to advanced diagnosis and repair of a fairly wide range of electronics and circuit boards. I have full (Canadian standard) certification in these areas through my present employer. Also well versed in some unrelated topics, like music theory and most aspects of electronic music and synthesis.

    I’ll be applying very soon. I’m optimistic, but prepared for rejection as well. Thanks for the tips, I’ll post what happens here once I know!

    • Felicia March 17, 2011, 5:59 pm

      Jason, before you submit a sample, take a look at a few of the articles posted on eHow to get familiar with their format. If you give them a few pages from an operating procedure manual, they may feel it’s over the head of too many of their readers.

      There’s no question that you have the ability to write. You just have to remember the type of audience you’ll be writing for.

  • Beelissa March 17, 2011, 8:11 pm

    I agree with Felicia. Find, or write from scratch, something that matches eHow.com content. Look at http://www.ehow.com/home-maintenance-and-repair/ and take a stab at writing one of these titles, or something similar, if they’ll let you submit something that wasn’t already published. It’s been so long since I applied, I can’t remember the details.

  • Jason March 17, 2011, 9:05 pm

    Ah OK. The operating manuals I’ve written were really training manuals in disguise, designed for new hires learning to operate different equipment with little to no experience. They’re fairly similar to the eHow material, but, you’re right, probably too narrow and technical on review.

    I’ll try writing something custom instead, then. Thanks again!

  • Tashana March 17, 2011, 10:28 pm

    Today was the first day I submitted a DS assignment. I have no idea what to expect. I think it’s so’so, but then again I’m so hard on myself that I have the hardest time getting anything written. But this day I just forced myself to do it.

    I can not tell you how many assignments I’ve accepted and (please forgive me other writers) unclaimed. In my heart I know I’m a good writer, but my motivation is lacking at times which tends to steer me in the wrong direction. But not tonight. Even if I get a resounding ‘YOU SUCK’ at least I submitted the article and kept my promise to myself.

    • Felicia March 18, 2011, 4:32 am

      Good for you, Tashana. It’s probably not going to be as bad as you think it will be. As far as unclaiming titles, I think we’ve all done that over at DS. 😉

  • Tashana March 18, 2011, 10:14 am

    It’s great to know I’m in good company. Now, the wait ensues. I keep checking back every six seconds to see the status of the article. My patience level drops to an all time low whenever I’m being critiqued. I want to prep for it. Get my game face on and settle myself in for the ‘worse’. I figure If I expect little, anything above that will be quite the surprise. Sad, I know. Even sounds a little self defeating, but in a way, it helps me cope. Gives me something to drive for. I don’t get criticized enough and when I do I like to be ready to respond.

  • Jason March 21, 2011, 6:35 pm

    Hi again,

    Just wanted to mention, my application to DS was approved today. I’m sure that’s in large part due to the advice I found (and followed) here, so I owe Felicia and also Beelissa a huge THANK YOU!

    It’s a relief to know I have a way to make a bit of cash on the side when necessary. Now to see what becomes of me in the face of their somewhat notorious editors! Will be submitting my first attempt this evening.

    Thanks again.

  • Brent March 31, 2011, 3:09 pm

    Just came across your site. Great info. I agree the CE experience is wildly inconsistent. So far I’ve written about 140 Demand articles since being hired in Feb, and have let 3 articles die because of ridiculous CE demands. The best hands down was a piece on Fossils Found in Virginia. The CE the photo I used, of generic dinosaur fossils, would not do. I had to find a photo of of an actual fossil that had been found in Virginia. Try finding THAT on the Demand photo site 🙂
    Overall, though, my experiences with the CEs have been positive. Seems like about 1 in 30 are total D-bags, which isn’t bad.
    I’m wondering, what is a common ratio for abandoned articles? Is 3 out of 140 a lot or a little or about average?

    • Felicia April 1, 2011, 6:30 am

      Hi Brent,
      It’s been a while since I’ve written for DS but 3 out of 140 sounds great. I’ve abandoned a lot more than three in one week. 🙂

  • Anjie Kokan April 8, 2011, 12:43 am

    Thank you for providing all this info, Felicia. I just started a blog a little over a month and I’ve been blogging every day. I also started working online for a writing company, and even though the pay is low, I kind of like it. I think I will try applying for demand. I’ve been afraid of being rejected before, but I have a master’s degree in English and I have a lot of writing experience and award for my creative writing. Are the creative writing awards worth mentioning?



    • Felicia April 8, 2011, 6:19 am

      Hi Anjie, you could mention your education and creative writing awards if you wish but I don’t think it will make much of a difference to Demand Studios. It’s been a while since I visited this post, but if you read the advice given by some of the comments here (and in the original post), you should be fine.

      They’re not so much looking for writing credentials, they’re looking for folks who have expertise in a field and can write How to’s about it. If you’re a car mechanic with the ability to write, you stand a real good chance of being accepted.

  • Miranda April 17, 2011, 6:32 pm

    I was wondering about the pen names thing. Do you apply using your pen name or real name?

    • Felicia April 18, 2011, 6:18 am

      Miranda, I applied using my real name, but when I write for them I use a pen name.

  • Lynn May 20, 2012, 10:38 pm

    Any new information on DS before I apply?

    • Felicia May 21, 2012, 8:28 am

      Not sure I’m the person to ask. I haven’t written for Demand Studios for a couple of years. I’m sure there are some changes, but you might have to poke around their site to find them.

    • Beelissa May 21, 2012, 6:27 pm

      Yes, I can share new info on DS. I was “approved” to write for both the Tech category and the Business category and had been writing for them steadily for a couple of years. Then in January of this year we all were notified that on 2/14 everyone would be removed from the “approved” lists and we had to apply again. New requirements were listed which generally wanted 2 or more years actually working in a field within the category you’re applying for AND 2 or more years writing for publications OTHER THAN DS on that topic. Some categories required even more experience and/or certain specific college degrees.

      So, I re-applied for the Business category and the Tech category. Within a week or 2 I received an email saying I was NOT accepted for the business category. Then I waited and waited and finally, I can’t remember if it was the end of April or the beginning of May, I got a note saying I was not approved for the Tech category (remember, we re-applied in February).

      Both emails assured me that this didn’t mean I couldn’t write for DS, but when I log in I don’t see any titles available, and since I’m not approved for any categories I think I qualify for, and I don’t qualify for any of the others, I guess it’s unlikely that I’ll be writing for them, unless they come up with a new category that I do qualify for.

      Bottom line: they want “experts.” People who have work experience and writing experience on the topic. If you do, you may have a different experience than me. If not, you have my sympathies.

      • Felicia May 21, 2012, 6:37 pm

        Thanks for the info, Beelissa. It’s very helpful.

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