Review: Demand Media Studios — Is It Worth It?
I will likely end up reviewing all of the sites I contribute to, eventually. I give my word that I will give each site a fair trial (no posting one article and complaining that I haven’t made hundreds of dollars!) before reviewing. That way, fellow writers, you can trust my words and not miss out on a possibly great oppoutunity.
Demand Media Studios
Effort Involved: High
Do You Retain the Rights to Your Work: No
Judgement: Worth It :)
Demand Studios also accepts other media submissions, but I am only reviewing its process for paying writers. They also have positions for copy editors, but require more experience, usually print experience.
At first, it seems impossible to work for Demand. You must submit a full resume and writing sample, and if you are accepted, there is a probationary “period” of 3 articles. Each article is reviewed by a Senior Copy Editor, who gives lots of feedback. Not only must you go through the exhausting process of sifting through thousands of titles (many of which don’t make sense, or seem to make sense until you do some research) but each type of article (and there are many, from Fact Sheets, to About, to Five Things, to How-To, well, you get the idea) has very strict requirements for the number and types of sections it contains, word count, preferred punctuation and spelling, (only American English allowed) and number and type of references and resources. There is a guide for each type of article, for introductions, and for citing references. There are lists of “blacklisted” sites you may not use as references. It’s all a little difficult to wrap your head around, at first.
Demand has an interesting process, which is much more like print journalism than what other online writing sites have. Once you claim a title, you have 7 days to submit your article, or it is allowed to roam free in the title list once again. After you have submitted, you will be approved, or a copy editor will request that you make changes to get your article in line with Demand Studios’ guidelines. You have 4 days to make the changes and resubmit. From there, you are either approved or rejected. If approved, you get paid.
Wait, didn’t I say this was worth it?
Yes, your first couple of articles will take a few hours, and you’ll be thinking that this is not worth it for $7.50 or $15.00 an article, but as you get used to Demand’s requirements, you will get much quicker at finding information, writing, and editing to make sure your formatting is as preferred. After 6 articles, my average time per article dropped to about 40 minutes (this is while taking care of a baby, mind you) and since there are plenty of $15 titles to chose from, I’d say that’s worth it. That’s somewhere in the range of $22 per hour, and in this economy, what budding freelance writer can turn that down? Also, you get paid per article, as long as it meets the requirements. Most writing sites out there pay you based on views or ad revenue (which means you’re being paid based on your SEO skills, not your writing skills, and how does your writing have anything to do with whether the person reading it wants to click on an ad for online dating?)
Follow the guidelines. Time you have to spend making corrections based on a copy editor’s advice is time you’re not writing another article and getting paid more. Just open the guide for whatever type of article you’re writing in another window and refer to it constantly.
Listen to the copy editors. You are selling an article to Demand Studios that becomes the property of Demand. You are not creating “art.” Don’t take it personally that corrections have to be made, don’t think the editor is “ruining” your vision — because refusing to change what they ask you to change will likely result in a rejection, and wasted time you will now not be getting paid for.
Demand Media Studios is not for beginning writers. In fact, you will not be accepted if your resume doesn’t have writing experience. If you’re not used to working with deadlines or meeting others’ expectations with your writing you will likely become frustrated. If you have no experience with print media I suggest you try a few other writing websites first instead, then move on to Demand.
Click here for a review of the popular writing site Helium, which has a high earning potential, but is not as strict as Demand, and it much more fun!
Click here for tips to help you write for an internet audience!