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Done With Demand Studios Also; The Gripe

Posted by on Nov 16, 2009

Yesterday I castigated Helium for some issues I was having with them. Today, it’s Demand Studios turn.

I’ve written about them twice. The first time I wrote about them, I was introducing them to you as another site where writing might not be such a bad idea. The second time I wrote about them, I decided to update you on how I was progressing, so to speak.

Today, I’m telling you that I’m done with them, and I’m going to tell you why. In this case, it’s two things; I’m not sure how the third thing is going to play out just yet.

In the update, I mentioned that they had turned down one of my submissions. There were two problems with this. One is that they don’t tell you why they’ve turned it down, other than to say it doesn’t meet their standards and to read their pdf about it. Well, I’d read the pdf, wrote in their format, and they didn’t like it. I even totally rewrote the first submission, only for them to kill it.

It happened again on Thursday. One of the articles I wrote they asked for rewrites of a couple of areas. I did that, resubmitted the article, only for it to be rejected without a reason why once again. That’s enough of that, I figure. Understanding that I’m not perfect in writing in a style for someone else, I’m willing to try to learn and try again. However, if they don’t give you a clue, there’s nothing you can do about it.

Also, on the Demand Studios site, you have a work desk area where your performance, money, etc are all listed. Everything disappears once they process things except the articles that they reject. It stays there forever, like a scarlet letter, and there’s not a single thing you can do about it. Sorry, but I don’t need a constant reminder of my supposed failures; I’m not a dog who needs his nose pushed into his own urine on the carpet.

One other quick gripe. They changed up their article formats, and that really started to spell the end for me. They have articles in different formats. Two I worked on were “about” and “how to.” “About” was my favorite format, and relatively easy also, because you could write the entire article, come up with at least 5 categories to place your information in, and that would be that. There used to be lots of articles in that format, so you had a lot of pretty good choices. Suddenly, they changed up on us, and the majority of articles were now “how to.” Now, there’s not a lot wrong with that, except with those articles, you’re supposed to lay out a step by step process for getting something done, then provide reference links that back up your article.

What’s the problem? Here’s an example. Before I realized that they had changed the format, I wrote up an article on how to bring down one’s blood glucose, something I’ve talked about with my modified eating plan (and, by the way, it’s working like a charm; also lost 5 pounds). When I went to the site to post it, I realized it had changed to a “how to” type of article.

The problem now was that my article didn’t fit because there’s no one way to give a true step by step process for how to lower glucose levels. I certainly wasn’t going to be able to find any reference material relating to it. With the initial article, I talked about lowering carbohydrates, eating more fat, eating many smaller meals during the day, which are all covered somewhere online, so I had lots of references. With the new format, nothing fit. Then I realized that all the articles I’d selected to write on were in the new format, and none of them fit; at least they didn’t fit if you asked me.

So, earlier today I got paid for the last articles I’m ever going to write for their site. Once I saw the payment in Paypal, I went to their site to close my account. Lo and behold, once again, there’s nothing on their site I could find so I could close my account. What the hey? So, I’ve had to write them through their help desk to ask them to remove me. I haven’t heard anything yet; we’ll see.

One big thing I’m now learning is that, before I sign up with anyone else, I need to make sure I can easily leave if I want to. I always thought most sites had that sort of thing, but I now see that’s not true. Very lackluster on my part to not notice that; I’m going to try to learn from this mistake for the future. However, the main thing, once again, is that Demand Studios turns out not to be the panacea I had hoped they’d be. I did make some nice money there, but with the changes and other stuff, it’s just not going to get it done for me.

Oh well, back to the drawing board; who else wants some writing services? 🙂

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15 Comments »

Some of those “write for us” sites drain your time and energy something awful.

Before blogs were an Internet staple, I wrote for one of those sites and made a set amount of money each month. When the money model ended, I was gone.

To me, it’s easy enough to determine a great topic, start your own blog, and slowly but steadily increase visitors.

I’m glad you shared your experience, Mitch, which confirms what I’ve thought about most, if not all, of those sites.
.-= Shirley @ Solo Business Marketing´s last blog ..Business Card Options Get Better =-.

November 16th, 2009 | 11:01 AM
Mitch:

Thanks Shirley. Thing is, that’s now another outlet where I’d been making at least a little bit of chump change that I now have to figure out a way to replace. That’s the hard part about starting a new part of one’s business; it takes awhile to build it up.

November 16th, 2009 | 1:50 PM
Leeza:

Mitch, did you re-open the rejected article? The CE will leave comments there as to why the article was rejected. I’ve had several articles rejected and they always leave a comment as to their reasons for rejecting. I think it’s a requirement.

Also, the glucose article can easily be written as a How To. As for the references, I think you misunderstand what Demand is asking for. All they want to know is where you got the information; they aren’t looking for you to cite a step-by-step explanation. There are hundreds of websites on your topic that you could have referenced.

I can tell by your blog posting that you are not a professional writer. That’s okay, there are others at Demand that aren’t either. The editors, however, are professionals. . .ALL of them. They will ask for rewrites on grammar, punctuation, etc. and, rightly so.

I think you should stick with Demand if it is helping financially. Just take your time on the articles, re-read them before submission. And, go back and read the CE’s comments. You can learn a lot from them.

If you have problems trying to fit your info into a certain format, go to the forums. There are tons of very nice people there who love to help other writers.

Just a thought. The pay is not that great, but if you write enough articles, it is a great way to get some, as you say, “chump change.”

Best of luck.

November 16th, 2009 | 2:45 PM
Mitch:

Hi Leeza,

First, I did open the article, and there was nothing there, on either article. I certainly made sure to check.

Second, you might think it’s easy to write it as a How To, but I’m kind of literal, so I didn’t see any way to do it. I’m not misunderstanding anything; I’m not quite that stupid.

Third, in my mind, I’m a professional writer. I’ve been paid for writing, as you saw on the left of this blog I’ve written a book and an ebook, so saying I’m not a professional writer is pretty disingenuous. If you’re saying that I don’t only make my living by writing, that part is true, but it’s a transition I’ve been thinking about and have been working towards over the last few months. I don’t have a problem with anyone asking for rewrites; happens all the time. I do have a problem with not knowing what the problem is after they reject something, then not being able to remove it.

By the way, I’ve been talking with one of the editors there, and we’ve been talking about my issues. We’ll see where that goes.

November 16th, 2009 | 3:09 PM
Nina:

I understand some of your problems with DS… I have been with them for almost a year and publish content daily. I also have a 96% approval rating…

But you are not being fair. The problem is that you did not understand the system or requirements.

About does not change to How To. Once you claim an assignment as an About, it will not change to How To. It stays as an About until your work has been accepted. It means that you did not use Find Assignments tool properly or claim the correct format.

Also, CEs DO always include rejection or rewrite reasons. You have to open the article to view private comments left. It would state the exact reason such as “You did not complete all rewrite notes.”

You could have also stepped out of the platform and asked for help. DS has very helpful editors. You can e-mail them, use their forum or even ask anywhere online for some assistance. With thousands of active writers, they do have a community that will answer questions and guide you in the right direction.

I’m not always 110% satisfied with DS and they do have their hiccups. Still, your assessment is not 100% accurate.

Feel free to contact me if you need any help or would like clarification.
.-= Nina´s last blog ..Help Make A Child’s Wish Come True Through Twitter =-.

November 17th, 2009 | 9:53 AM
Mitch:

Hi Nina,

Thanks for writing. I keep wondering why people keep saying I’m not understanding things. I’m really not that stupid; trust me on this one.

I didn’t say that I claimed an About assignment and it changed. What I said is that many of the assignments that used to be About assignments have changed to How To types of assignments instead. I have one area where I used to claim the majority of my assignments. They used to almost exclusively be About, and now they’re overwhelmingly How To.

Your statement about editors notes just aren’t true; here’s what I got from the last article that was rejected:

Hello, thanks for making the changes. Evergreen basically means if someone is reading the article today, five years from now, or 15 years from now, the article will still have about the same validity. Thus, avoid terms such as “today’s economy” or “health bill currently being debated.” In some cases, adding a date helps.

DS style guidelines address this in detail, so check them out. Search for the keyword evergreen.

Thanks for your work.

Now, if that was an issue when I first wrote the article, the editor should have mentioned it, but didn’t. That would have given me a chance to make any changes or corrections to the post. What I got back didn’t help me at all. Now, if I’m too dense to understand what it means, then maybe I’m still not the person to write for them.

Unfair; no, I don’t think so. Each person’s experience is what it is, and this is my experience with them. If it was a one and done, that maybe could be considered as unfair. But I gave a second chance, and got the same thing. By the way, I have, or had, an approval rating of 94%.

November 17th, 2009 | 11:53 AM
Nina:

DS is only interested in evergreen content. That is why they do not accept news type articles or anything with prices/dates. Stating that an item costs $9.99 could make the article irrelevant in 8 months. It’s for Google and SEO purposes.

Most of their titles are How To, but that is because they are replacing old titles (poorly written content on Ehow, not by DS writers). DS also gets their titles and leads directly from Google, so if web users are searching for ‘how to make a sandwich’ then that title has to be a How To.

I wish you participated in the community or looked for opinions before deciding to quit. You should reconsider and try to work with DS again. It really is a well paying gig, and trust me I write full-time.

Rejections and edits happen, because our field requires us to work with an editor. You can contact the editorial team about a rejection. They can’t reverse it, but they can provide a compromise. In some cases, they do side with writers and the CE responsible gets a reprimand.

November 17th, 2009 | 2:44 PM
Mitch:

Nina, I might think about it at some point in the future, when I’m not as mad as I am now.

November 18th, 2009 | 12:22 AM
Mitch:

On this one we’re two of a kind, Dennis. I’d thought that everyone had to have a way for you to get out of something. I want to get out of something else that I signed up for online, and it turns out I have to actually call them on the phone to kill the account. I know it’s so they can have one last shot at selling to me, and I’d rather not, but at least I’ll be able to get out.

November 18th, 2009 | 12:24 AM
Rose:

Mitch, have you tried blogvertise? It’s a review site. You might make some money with them.
.-= Rose´s last blog ..Bizarre – Ugly Shoes =-.

November 23rd, 2009 | 11:23 PM
Mitch:

Hi Rose,

No I haven’t, as I’m not big on writing reviews for other people to make money from. I do write some reviews here and there on this site, but it’s in my style, and for my purposes. But thanks for the recommendation; maybe someone else who sees this will want to check it out.

November 23rd, 2009 | 11:40 PM

Hi Mitch,

I thought Shirley’s comment was the most telling (>>Some of those “write for us” sites drain your time and energy something awful<<).

Good luck to you in your endeavors.
.-= C Kaufman´s last blog ..Answering Writers’ Questions: Overseas Assets and Finding People =-.

March 26th, 2010 | 2:33 PM
Mitch:

Yup, Shirley definitely called that one. I haven’t written anything for any of them in probably six weeks by now; just too busy with other things that pay better, which is always nice.

March 27th, 2010 | 12:53 AM
Jill St. Jones:

These Demand folks here sound like paid company shills. Contact them for assistance? What a joke. I stopped writing for them last month after a rash of crazy edits. Just like the one you described. I am a professional writer and many of the editors the company hires are not professional anything. It’s the luck of the draw who the writer will turn up. I’m with you on all points, Mitch.

April 30th, 2010 | 3:27 AM
Mitch:

Thanks Jill. I hear it’s gotten worse for a lot of people since I gave up on them, so I’m glad I moved on. Did you know they create an eHow account under your name? However, they control it, and since they have your image, if you wanted to write for them you’d have to come up with a new image and email address; weird, eh?

April 30th, 2010 | 9:34 AM