I’m Losing Money by Writing for Demand Studios

| April 1, 2010 | 16 Comments

It’s the end of the first quarter of 2010 and I did a little number crunching to make sure I’m still headed in the right direction towards reaching my goals.

At first glance, here’s what my numbers told me:

Articles Written Amount Earned Average Rate/Article
187 $5,735,19* $30.66

Upon further evaluation I separated the residual from non residual earnings and they told me the following:

Article Type # Articles
Residual (articles and blog posts) 150 $5,180.19* $34.53
Non Residual (Demand Studios) 37 $555.00 $15.00

* These numbers do not include 3/31/10 earning updates.

I believe the numbers speak for themselves. But, since I like to make 100% sure that I’m making the correct decision I took a few intangibles into consideration:

Factors when Writing for Demand Studios

DS Pros:

  • Payment twice a week
  • Always work available

DS Cons:

  • Time it takes to locate writable titles
  • Inconsistent editorial requests
  • Never sure if the article will be approved
  • If I don’t write, I don’t get paid

Factors to Consider when Writing Residual Articles


  • Payment once a month


  • A never ending source of writable topics (I find writable topics in my sleep, when washing dishes, when driving or sitting in the stands at a competition or sporting event)
  • Editorial changes are practically non existent
  • Articles are always approved
  • If I don’t write, I still get paid
  • Zero stress

Best of Both Worlds

I’m a proponent of not making a decision if one isn’t necessary. When it comes to the question of whether to accept up front pay or residual writing gigs, I think the numbers speak for themselves. If the publisher is willing to pay more than my residual article rate, then it might be worth it (as long as it’s significantly more to compensate for research, rewrites, etc.). However, if I’m being offered less than 50% of what I can earn on my own…it just doesn’t make sense.

Setting Goals and Sticking with Them

When I first discovered the ability to earn residual income through freelance writing, I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be great to earn $5,000 per month in residual income?”  There were naysayers who thought it couldn’t be done and that I should seek a more traditional route. Guess what…they’re beginning to see the possibilities too. 🙂

I’m not at my goal yet, but it’s similar to making money with AdSense.  With Google AdSense it takes months to reach the first $100 payout and then eventually it becomes easier. The time span between AdSense checks shortens and after a while you start getting AdSense checks every month. Well, my $5,000 residual income goal is no different.

It took me over a year to earn $5,000 in residual income the first time. Then I started to meet the $5,000 threshold more frequently. Let’s face it; I was able to hit the mark in a little less than three months this year. It’s just a matter of time until I start earning $5,000 each and every month. I’ve just got to stick with it.

If I can do it, so can you, but you gotta stick with it.

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Demand Studios, Earning Money, Legitimate, Motivation, Opportunities, Residual Income

About the Author ()

Felicia A. Williams is a freelance writer and blogger. She spends the majority of her time with her family and writing. If she's not writing or commenting on NJFM, she's either outside smelling the roses or writing articles for one of her other sites.

Comments (16)

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  1. write time says:

    Thanks for the tip Felicia. Looks like a very helpful resource.

  2. write time says:

    Hi all,

    I am brand new to this, and I am very impressed with all the valuable info. I have seen on this site.

    I am in the process of applying to Demand Studios and am looking for advice about posting a resume. I have about three years experience as a ghost writer for a natural health website/blog, but it is hard to document as my name is not attached to the material.

    In order to increase my chances of acceptance by DS, I am wondering how to handle the resume. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to structure a resume (form, etc. — formal or casual? –) and what to include as far as education, job experience (not related to writing), etc.

    Perhaps this advice may apply to a general resume that may be used on other writing site applications as well, as I plan to try and sign up with several.

    I am much clearer on providing a sample of my work, but this resume thing has me a bit puzzled.

    Any suggestions? Thanks and greatly appreciated.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    After spending 2 years at ehow I think my time there is done. I have read a lot about how DS works and I am attending college online and do not have time to research a article write it and than have to rewrite it for 5$! Yeah it would be nice to be paid biweekly but hey like I said for 5$ I could be doing a lot better somewhere else. I gave 2 years to ehow and have made some nice money however I think the end of where it is going is just not for me. I will miss a lot of the people on the site and gave out my email for people to stay in touch with me if they would like but it was time to say goodbye! Nice blog post and thanks for sharing it.
    .-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..How To Make Lots of Money Online Ebook =-.

  4. Brandi says:

    Its great to see what you have achieved thus far this year. I am curious, how much time do you spend writing per day? Also, how much time is spent generating back links?

    • Felicia says:

      Hi Brandi,

      Welcome to NJFM.

      My daily writing time varies. At this point in the game, I try to add a little more balance to my life. When I first started and realized what it would take to earn money online, I went a little overboard and spent any free time I had writing. That’s why I started using tools like voice recognition software and a digital voice recorder to help me write more in less time.

      As the money started coming in, I then realized I had to diversify my writing venues so I spent time trying to build an article base on more than one site, plus work on my own blogs and websites. I think a healthy balance of developing your own blogs/sites and writing for content sites is important.

      Now, since the money is beginning to come in regularly, I’m at the “Let’s live a balanced life” phase. I have a white board on which I list each of my writing venues. Each month I look at how each one is performing, how I feel emotionally about writing for each venue (my authenticity check ), and how much money I want to earn.

      I’m at the point where I’m limiting my writing to 3 articles/posts a day, 5 days a week. So that’s 60 pieces a month.

      For example, next month my daughter’s Junior High School is having their formal. The event is going to cost me a small fortune (the silly event is only 2 hours long, but she “must” have a new formal dress, shoes, pocket book, hair, nails and so on). I’d rather not come out of pocket for the event so it looks like I’ll be writing a few articles for Demand Studios this month (I’m expecting it should cost me about $300 total which translates to 20 DS articles this month).

      Now that I know that this month I’ll be writing 1 article a day for DS (5 days a week), that leaves me two more articles a day for my sites or content sites. Since I’m a morning person, I like to get my writing done early in the day. Once everyone is off to school and work, I get writing.

      I don’t spend too much time backlinking. I might link one article to another that I wrote earlier on (like my links in this post to my earlier posts), or I might write a Xomblurb or two, but backlinking isn’t a regular task for me. I try to write good SEO’d content that hopefully will draw traffic on its own. I’d rather write or tweak one of my websites than spend time backlinking (just my preference).

      So, to answer your original question, I spend fewer hours writing today than I did when I first started. I’m pretty much done by noon or 1:00.

      However, you have to set your goals and decide how to spend your time. Make sure to reevaluate your efforts often.

  5. The passive income is definitely the way to invest when you have the time to go that route. Are you worried at all with the new changes at eHow how that might effect your passive income plans? I guess it’s a good thing I’ve really started digging into building my own self hosted websites now, because I suspect I’ll be picking up the slack soon.

    • Felicia says:

      Master Dayton, the one thing I’ve learned about writing online is that things change. Because of it I’ve tried to diversify my residual income. Just recently, however, I noticed that my eHow earnings were growing and that I needed to start working on other sites to help balance eHow’s ever growing percentage of my income. Am I concerned about the change? Yes, but I’m not losing any sleep over it. I can’t change what eHow does, but I sure can make preparations to lessen the blow if they decide to change things even more drastically.

  6. Beelissa says:

    You’re right, the numbers speak for themselves, but you speak quite eloquently also. Thanks!
    .-= Beelissa´s last blog ..New Year’s Resolution =-.

  7. MBZ says:

    I made a similar calculation a month or so ago when I had yet another silly rewrite (really silly) from an editor at DS for a $20 Livestrong article. I crunched some numbers and found that I make just about $31 per year per article at Suite 101 and if that holds (I’ve only been there 5 months) then DS was a waste of my time (and a source of frustration with some of their, um, less than adept editors) UNLESS I desperately need the cash upfront. I look forward to your post when you reach $5000/month!

  8. Kathy Gleason says:

    Another inspiring post! I also write for Suite 101 and Demand Studios and it’s always tempting to opt for the up front money. But you always make me remember to think long-term. I started with Suite in the end of December and have 41 articles up, I have a goal of 250 by New Years Day (almost exactly a year.) I better go get writing! 🙂

  9. Krista says:

    I am inspired by this post! It is soooo exciting to see someone with the same goals (100% residual income) doing so well! Congratulations 🙂
    .-= Krista´s last blog ..From Crib to Bed: Making the Switch to a Toddler Bed =-.

  10. Deanna says:

    Thanks Felicia.
    You are the reason I began to take residual income more seriously last year and you continue to inspire me. I can’t wait to read your post the day you reach $5,000 a month! 🙂
    .-= Deanna´s last blog ..My Top Five EHow Articles and Earning More by Using Constant-Content =-.

  11. Mandy says:

    Thanks for the inspiring post, Felicia! Thanks for including the numbers; they speak so much louder than just general “make money doing what I did” articles. That’s why I love reading your blog: you back up everything you say.

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