Sunday, April 11, 2010

My new success strategy at Demand Studios

I've been writing pretty heavily for Demand Studios for the past four months. The first three-and-a-half went really well: I concentrated on writing real estate stories, my specialty. I wrote mostly about loan modifications, credit scores, foreclosures, home equity loans and anything to do with real estate.

Then, about two weeks ago, something strange started happening. The good real estate titles dried up. I began stretching. After getting one rejection -- which happened because I tried a topic I knew little about and then botched the job. This was my mistake -- in my first three-and-a-half months, I rapidly got three in a row. This time, all three were because of odd copy editor requests.

This was frustrating. It represented $45 down the drain. Then there were all the odd rewrite requests. It seemed that many of the copy editors editing my real estate stories wanted to me to write stories that were worthy of my work with the Washington Post or Chicago Tribune. Sorry, for $15, Demand Studios isn't getting my best work. It's just not worth it.

So here's my new strategy: I'm only writing lists, and I'm only the writing the simplest of lists, stories that are nearly impossible to get rejected. So far, I've written about gift basket ideas, holiday meal ideas, low-cost laptops, traffic laws in Phoenix, the best birthday presents for teen girls, etc.., These stories take 15 minutes to write, which means that I can pump out four in an hour if I'm working hard. That's $60 an hour; not a bad rate. It also means that I can get my Demand Studios writing out of the way fast on an average workday. I try to write five stories for Demand a day, or $75 worth. (I only write $15 stories.) When I get them out of the way, I can spend the rest of my day writing for my private-client content jobs, newspapers or trade magazines.

So far, I've been at my new Demand Studios strategy for about a week. It's gone quite well. The biggest challenge is finding these easy list titles. But if you're patient enough to wade through them, you'll find things like "romantic gifts for adults." That's as easy a $15 as you're likely to make.


  1. It's all the new copyeditors. DS recently opened its doors to UK and Canadian writers and had to hire quite a few new CEs as a result. I literally took two weeks off when that happened. I hate it when there is a new crop of CEs as you're destined to get some of the weirdest rewrite requests imaginable.


  2. Yeah, the new copy editors drive me nuts, too. Some of them don't seem to have any idea that we're doing this stuff for $15 a story.