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Searching through Demand Studios Titles

Regular readers know that I’m on a mission to increase my monthly income by 10% each month. Actually, I changed the percentage from 10 to 15% (maybe I need to do a different post outlining the effect of increasing your income by 15% each month instead of 10%).

Holidays Happen4th of July

Of course over the holidays most people are out having a good time and they’re not on the internet reading articles I wrote. Since I have very few seasonal articles, my residual income takes a hit during these times (a hint that I should write a few seasonal articles).

Anyway, since I’m on a 15% monthly increase mission, my Excel spreadsheet tells me exactly how much money I need to earn each day in order to stay on target. It’s no surprise that from July 2-5 my numbers were in the red.  So, to make up for the deficit I decided to write a few Demand Studio articles.

DS – A Surprisingly Enjoyable Experience

I was very surprised to find several titles that seemed to be tailor made for me. As I read the titles out loud to my family, they wondered if someone had been lurking around our house listening to our conversations and observing our lifestyle. The titles were a hand in glove fit for yours truly thus making it easy to bang out an article in 15 or 20 minutes.

To add icing on the cake, Demand Studio recently revamped its search function making it extremely easy to find appropriate titles.

Finding DS Assignments

Giving Credit where Credit is Due

I’ve got to hand it to Demand Studios this time around. They not only made it easy for me to find titles, but the titles were actually enjoyable to write. To top it off, not a single rewrite request from any of the CEs (I probably shouldn’t say that out loud, I might jinx it).

I don’t make it a regular habit to write for Demand Studios, but in situations where I need to meet my daily writing income goal, they sure come in handy.  As I continue to build my residual income, I’ll use them less and less, but it’s nice to know they’re around when you need them.

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Crystal July 8, 2010, 10:24 am

    I’m not sure I like the change. I’ll get used to it but the new title font and color make them difficult for me to scan. What I really wish they’d fix is the photo search. I never cease to be amazed at what comes up. I often look through 30 pages of photos and then pick the lesser of the evils. Oh well, it’s money in the bank and it’s fun!

  • Mandy July 8, 2010, 12:20 pm

    After that second article I wrote for which I received a frustratingly vague rewrite request, the CE’s have also been surprisingly agreeable. No rewrites and even good reviews.

    20 minutes for an article is great! I wish I could write them that fast. Ah well, as I keep focusing on one subject area the research and writing will come easier.

    My main goal for July is to devote twenty hours a week to online writing, all upfront out of necessity. I’m still weeding out other committments so that I can make that challenge a reality.

    Like Dori says (from Finding Nemo) “just keep swimming, just keep swimming . . .”

    • Felicia July 8, 2010, 12:38 pm

      Dori is my favorite character of that movie, and you’re right. Just keep swimming. 🙂

  • Allison July 8, 2010, 12:41 pm

    I have a love/hate relationship with DS and its editors. I have written for them for nearly a year and in 400 articles, never had a rejection…until this week.

    I was approved to write for one of their exclusive sites at a higher pay recently. The topic is my specialty and I turned in several articles. One editor got three of my articles and rejected all three of them on baseless terms. So far I’ve had one overturned, but the rejection remains on my scorecard. Talk about frustration and hours down the drain. I’m done with the specialty site (and that editor). I’ll go back to regular DS articles!

  • Deanna July 8, 2010, 12:42 pm

    I’m happy to hear that it is easier to find titles on DS – I haven’t seen that new feature yet. Even though I am not a fan of DS, I do go there from time-to-time to see if there are any interesting titles to choose from and usually I never find anything. I’ll be sure to check out their new feature.

  • Emory July 8, 2010, 7:09 pm

    @Allison: Sometimes the few extra dollars in pay aren’t worth the extra scrutiny you get from the CE. I’ve decided to stick with the $15 articles myself.

    I like the search changes. They instituted a new change today in the appearance of the forums. Font is smaller so it’s not as easy on the eyes as it used to be.

  • Victoria - Ozarks Crescent Mural July 9, 2010, 4:23 am

    Glad to hear you had a good title experience. I do Title QA for DS and love my job. I always wonder when I’m looking the titles over how you writers feel about them. Nice to hear that at times they fit perfectly.

  • Crystal July 9, 2010, 11:14 am

    Ok – I finally ran out of luck and got to experience the revision from hell first hand. I’ve yet to re-read and decipher the CE comments but am blown away by the fact that about 2/3 of the Things You’ll Need list was eliminated. In addition, wording was changed that creates an error in one step. Does anyone know if I can reverse these changes in my revision? Or do the CE edits override anything the writer does? What is the likelihood of getting the same CE repeatedly? I suspect that a revision request from a couple of days ago may have been the same person based on comment tone. Also, as CEs can tell by our profile who we are, what happens to future articles if a particular CE gets pissed off? I can feel an appeal or two coming on – any tips or advice from DS old-timers?

    • Felicia July 9, 2010, 11:49 am

      Crystal, you had a good run going for a while with DS. Unfortunately, we all experience a bit of frustration with them.

      Let me make sure I understand this right. The CE made changes and sent it back to you to rewrite or did the CE make changes and then approve the rewritten article? If it was sent back to you for rewrite, I would place it elsewhere. If the CE made changes and approved it, then the only thing you can do is appeal.

      As far as rewrites go, if the rewrite is simple and only takes a couple of minutes to fix, then I fix it. If the rewrite means introducing errors, making major corrections or if I find I don’t like the CE’s tone, then I take my article and place it elsewhere. Keep in mind, you’re only earning $15.

      My recommendation to you, unless you’re looking to build a portfolio, is to write under a pen name. You don’t want your name associated with incorrect information.

      As far as how they assign CEs to check articles, I’m not sure. Maybe someone else can shed more light on that. I would think the CE has a heavy enough work load and wouldn’t have the time to target DS writers (but I could be wrong).

      Sometimes I enjoy writing for DS (I’ve had a good run recently) and other times it’s frustrating. When I find that I start to get frustrated, I walk away. I’m unwilling to sell my peace of mind for $15. I say that only because I worked hard to build a residual income stream. If I had not built my residual income, I might be more willing to sell a little of my peace of mind for $15. When it comes to writing for DS, you have to set your frustration threshold and stick with it.

  • Crystal July 9, 2010, 1:00 pm

    Thanks for your encouragement and sound advice, Felicia. As further explanation, the CE has made some changes already and sent it back to me for rewrite. Because of the missing list items, I hit the track changes link to make sure I hadn’t inadvertently left them out, or whether a glitch had eliminated them. But no, the CE very clearly edited them out.

    As for putting the articles elsewhere, thanks for reminding me that I do have that option! Any idea about consequences for abandoned rewrites? Seems I recall seeing somewhere that they are seriously frowned upon.

    As for a pen name, I didn’t realize I had that option. I got the impression during the transition that DS wanted real people with real names. But maybe a pen name is a real name? I hadn’t thought previously about a CE’s power to damage rather than improve an article. And there is absolutely nothing that can be done about it after the fact, right?

    Point well taken on setting my frustration threshold. I’m not there yet simply because DS has been such a good experience up until now. I really do need to keep the big picture in mind, however, and not get distracted by the little aggravations. The fact is, I write because I want to and the money is just icing on the cake.

  • Crystal July 9, 2010, 4:45 pm

    Found an interesting bit of info while perusing the DS site. Apparently if you let a rewrite expire, you can claim it again. According to the Help Desk under Editorial: Edit Expired “If your assignment has already expired, the best thing to do is see if it is still available to be grabbed. It will be if another writer has not already taken the title.” So that is my plan at this point. I realize that some other writer could snatch it up at 12:01 but would rather take that chance than get the rejection that is surely coming if I respond to the CE.

    • Felicia July 9, 2010, 5:39 pm

      Crystal, I see you’re learning how to play the DS game. 🙂

  • Master Dayton July 14, 2010, 12:38 am

    My experience with DS is that overall it is a great place to really earn some extra money, but there are always a few nightmare CEs. Most of them I find are good at their job and want to see the articles pass through fine. I’ve had others who changed my article and then rejected it based on their changes. Fortunately, it sounds like they are going to be removed at their next review based on the comments I received during appeal. To answer the question, I don’t know if a CE can easily track all the articles one writer does, but yes, a copy editor could target several articles from the same author. I have one CE do just that, coming up with a heavily related back handed insult for every article he/she demanded a vague rewrite for. Fortunately, this is the exception as opposed to the rule.

  • Su-sieee! Mac July 14, 2010, 2:19 pm

    I’ve written for DS for a few months now. In general, it’s been fine. I’ve had a couple of very picky CEs, but that’s the luck of the draw. Those CEs wanted the article to be precisely DS style: not a single passive construction, gender subjects being he/she and not they, etc. The few times CEs have asked me for rewrites were for content reasons. I hadn’t followed the correct formats or they felt certain types of details should be included. I had no problem doing the requested rewrites.

    CEs who insult, I just don’t get. It’s just not with DS. They abound throughout the publishing world.

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