Saturday, April 17, 2010

What Is It About Demand Studios?

Demand Studios must be the biggest name in the freelance-writing world these days. Every time I make a post with "Demand Studios" in the title, my visitor numbers take a big jump.

That's a sign of how the freelance-writing world has changed. As reporters lose their "real" jobs, they rush to Demand Studios and its $15 stories. The place is a financial safety net. I know, because it's one to me, too.

Now, I do wish the company paid more than $15 a story. (They do offer $20, $25 and $30 stories, but those are for special assignments. And, from what I've heard, they're usually more work than they're worth.) I do wish that the copy editors didn't ask for the moon for these $15 stories.

But, despite all this, I'm sure glad that Demand Studios is around. Those $15 stories have added up for me. They've helped me fill in the blanks from all the trade magazines that have gone kaput.

Here's a word of warning, though: Nothing lasts forever, not even Demand Studios. Writers need to always be drumming up alternative streams of income, and not just more content sites. For me, that means editing comic books and making inroads in commercial writing. More about all this later.


  1. Here you go again, "from what I've heard..." Are you a journalist or just an op-ed writer? The $20 to $30 articles are not for special assignments. You just have to apply to be a writer for Livestrong and travel partner (USA Today). But if your $15 articles are not up to par, you won't get approved, though I don't know if they even looked at my eHow articles when I applied (I was recruited for travel partner so I don't know how they determined who would be chosen).

  2. Hi, RSM:

    Thanks for posting. I really do appreciate Demand Studios, though it might not always seem like it. As far as the $20 to $30 articles, I consider Livestrong and the travel partner stories special assignments, don't you? They're not open to everyone who writes for Demand Studios. That makes them "special assignments," right?

    Anyhoo, thanks for reading and commenting.


  3. Ignore rsm. Bug up his ass for some reason.

    About them "special assignments." I haven't applied for the $30 ones, but the $20 ones for might be just up your alley, because some of them are LISTS! And I know you love lists! Clips with the USA Today URL can't hurt none either. My two pennies.

  4. Hi, Eve:

    Thanks for writing. I do like lists. But the whole arrangement with -- and I should write about this -- bothers me. People who write for USAToday should earn more than $20, even for "easy" stories. This arrangement just smacks as one more sign that making a living as a writer is going to become ever more difficult.


  5. Well, I see your point, but here's how I see it: we're already writing $15 articles for less than what they're worth. In fact, by writing for ANY content mill, we're writing stuff that is way less than what it's worth. So we might as well write that same article for five bucks more.

    I wonder what Demand Media's cut is.

  6. Hi, Eve:

    You're right on those counts. Sometimes I'm worried that the content writing, though it helps me pay the bills, is keeping me from having the time to land better jobs.

    It's certainly a juggling act.