Demand Media – Still The Number One Content Mill?

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A lot of times I hear people grumbling about the lack of available legitimate work at home opportunities. And I can't help but laugh because there are plenty available in certain industries but unfortunately people don't like getting out their comfort zones. One type of work at home opportunity that is in high demand is Content Writing for websites. There are many service providers offering steady work and reliable pay.

One of the proverbial ‘Goliath' of this industry is Demand Media which owns sites like eHow, LiveStrong and Cracked. So there the subject of my review today.

What is Demand Media?

is demand media a scamDemand Media, Inc. is a content and social media company that operates out of Santa Monica, CA., and is known for creating online content through its Demand Media Studios division.

Demand Media was created in 2006 by a former private equity investor, Shawn Colo, and the former chairman of MySpace, Richard Rosenblatt. Demand Media went public in 2011 with a capitalization of roughly 1.4 Billion Dollars!

How Does The Content Creation Work?

Content is generated via a process in which Demand Media uses algorithms to generate titles, which are then posted to a screened pool of freelance writers. Writers can claim up to ten titles, and then have a week to submit the articles. Format and length are dictated by guidelines (incl. a list of keywords that MUST be used). Submitted articles go to an editor (also a freelancer), who can either clean it up or request a rewrite. After writers submit a revised article it is either accepted or rejected.

How You Can Become A Content Writer For Demand Media

The Requirements:

In order to apply, you need to satisfy generally one of the following:

  • Professional experience in one of our 20+ categories
  • Writing experience in one of our 20+ categories with an online or offline publication
  • Degree or certification in one of our 20+ categories

You also need to submit a r?sum? and a writing sample

The Process:

  • Select the categories you would like to write in and fill out an application form. After you submitted the short application, a writing sample, and your r?sum?, the approval process takes only a few days. Once accepted, you get instant access to assignments and a large resource center, that includes in-depth style guides. Familiarizing your self with the system, style guides, and article formats may take several hours.
  • Select your first assignment, research the topic and submit your article for review. The first three articles you submit must be approved by a senior copy editor, who gives you detailed feedbacks on your writing style, content, and mechanics. This is basically a probationary period for new writers. Once your first three articles are approved, you are a fully vested content writer for Demand Media. You are now able to reserve up to 10 titles at a time, and you will have a week to complete them.

How Much Money Can You Make?

Demand Media pays about $15.50 for 150 – 250 word articles and between $40 and $50 for 500 – 600 word articles. There are special assignments available that pay up to $75 – $100 per article.

Demand Media pays exclusively via PayPal, twice a week.

You can see that the earning potential is basically unlimited. It depends a lot on you and your ability to work in as many categories as possible.

What Are The Demand Media Complaints?

Nobody is perfect, and no company can be perfect. There will always be complaints, some warranted, while others seem to be just the usual rumbling from folks who complain for no real reason. However, my research team found some issues of concern, which need to be taken seriously:

Not Enough Work!

True, Demand Media took a hard hit by no other than King Google. Google made fundamental changes to its search algorithm to de-prioritize results from what it called “junk” and “spam” websites. Under Google's new algorithm companies that produced lots of junk content got penalized. According to third-party measurement services, the Google changes had reduced traffic to Demand sites by as much as 40%.

Unique site visits dropped from 100 million a month to 52 million. Of course, this massive drop is responsible for a steep decline in article demands. During Demand Media's heydays, content writer could choose from 100,000 titles at any given time. This number dwindled down to about 50,000. Will Demand Media recover? Only the future can tell.

Too Much Research Required!

One of the Demand Media article writing guidelines requires citing THREE research sources. Even if you are very knowledgeable in a particular category, finding 3 reputable sites, and doing a thorough research may take you a long time. Although you get paid $50 for the article, if it takes 3 hours of research and 1 hour to write the darn thing, you take by the hour would be a meager 10 bucks.

what is demand media

The Usual Complaints About Editors

Get in line, Demand Media. You may be the largest content mill around, but you are not immune about these kinds of complaints. This seems to be an industry-wide issue. Writers and editors simply can't get along. The complaints range from: editors are ‘being nitpicky', ‘overly scrutinizing', ‘unfair' to ‘unqualified' and ‘plain stupid'. The screenshot below shows a typical complaint about editors.

demand media

Of course, that's not to say that all editors at Demand Media uniquely bad or unqualified. Some copy editors are nicer than others, or more tactful than others. I have no doubt that unreasonable requests are made from time-to-time, but I can't say that's the norm.

Is Demand Media A Scam or Legitimate?

Demand Media does seem to be legit and highly reputable company. Despite getting slapped hard by Google and losing a good deal of web presence, Demand Media still has lots of work for talented writers. Major changes in their business model are taking place even as we speak. Rumors have it that Demand Media will either try to sell eHow, and/or switch their main focus to creating web content for other main brand name companies. Either way, Demand Media will be around for years to come and most importantly, their demand on highly qualified writers will not be diminished.

Is There An Alternative?

At the end of the day you may want to give Demand Studio a shot. It may make you some money. But I've always argued why write for others when you can write for yourself and cut the middleman out and make more. That's exactly what My Top Free Work At Home Recommendation taught me to do. It has helped me earn a full time income, and it can help you as well if you're patient and willing to work hard.

Now that said I'm all about multiple streams of income because why limit yourself to one source when you can have many. It also protects you from risk by having various ways to make money. So with that in mind, I would also encourage you to check out My Work At Home Courses where I teach you some of the other ways I earn money as well.

The more options you have the better your chances of success my friend. So don't limit yourself or put all your eggs in one basket.

That's all for today folks. I would love to hear your opinion about my Demand Media Review; so please chime in on your way out and leave a comment in the box below

Thanks for stopping by

Eddy with a y.

4 thoughts on “Demand Media – Still The Number One Content Mill?”

  1. Hi Eddy, This is really a good company that owns eHow but the fact is many people would like to write for them but the requirements are set very high. Not everyone who would love to write can meet their requirement and that’s the drawback.

    • Hey Sonia,

      I think it’s less about loving write and more about, are you able to write to their standards. Not everyone can do that clearly. I think the restrictions have become tougher because their properties have taken such a hit from Google so I understand from a business standpoint why they need to be tougher. That said, I’m still a bigger proponent of people writing on their own blogs and cutting the middle man out. You have far more control that way and can potentially earn way more over time.

  2. Hi Eddy, you are right, editors can be a pain in the famous ‘you know what’; I know from experience. However, those writers complaining about their editors have to put their ego aside and adjust to ‘what and how’ the clients want their stuff written. I think that’s a simple solution to the problem.
    What’s your take on this?

    • Hey John,

      Thanks for chiming in. Yeah I have to agree with you. Given how the platform is set up, you are pretty much at the whim of the editors and clients. So you have to be able to adjust accordingly. Or just do your own thing which is my preference. lol

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