Sunday, October 25, 2009

Giving up on Suite101.

So, that didn't last long.

I got discouraged with Suite101.  I wrote three articles, and made zero, which is discouraging to me.  I *know* that most people have to have 30, 40, 50 articles on the site before they start making money, but that's just NOT for me.  I need to start seeing action soon.

I am concentrating solely on Mahalo for the time being, since I got a small amount of upfront pay AND revenue share on the pages.  I'm not making $1/day there yet, but I'm getting closer.  Lately I've been concentrating on Farmville pages, since they seem to do well on other sites.  Here are a few that I wrote:

Farmville Bot
Farmville Coupons
Farmville Crops
How to Cheat at Farmville
How to Be the Best at Farmville
How to Level Up Quickly in Farmville

We'll see how they perform!  My top page has earned me $2.08 so far.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Where to spend my freelance time?

I have a 40+ hour a week fulltime job, so writing is a side project for me in my spare time.  However, my spare time hasn't been all that plentiful lately.  How do I decide which website to spend my efforts on?

Demand Studios requires a lot of work on my part per article.  Most of the articles are not in my comfort zone and require a lot of research to write an article that won't get rejected.  The money is good, but it's all upfront money.  There's nothing I'm really looking to purchase or pay off right now, so I'm really looking for passive income.

I signed up with Examiner and I am the San Diego Social Media Examiner.  I quickly saw that even with decent traffic, I'm looking at $1-$3 a day.  I'm already making that on my horse forum with Adsense revenue.  I just don't see the point in devoting time and resources to writing articles for the Examiner when I could post the same content to a blog and SEO the heck out of it to get hits.  I also tried Suite101 and eHow, and I'm feeling similar sentiments there as well.  I've written three articles for Suite, and am no where near earning anything.  If I'm going to do a revenue share-type product, I at least want to know a guarantee that I'll be paid something.

This is where Mahalo comes in.  I have been on the Mahalo How To Team for over a month now, and I go back to it on and off.  I have about $180 Mahalo Dollars there (which is unfortunately only 75% of the actual dollar value) and most of it is just from passive income on pages over the past month or so.  I'm up to almost a dollar per day at Mahalo and I have definitely seen an increase.  I'm confident that my numbers will get higher as my pages live on the site longer and I update them more.  I have about 50 pages right now and rising, and I'm starting to really snag some pages that I think will blow up.

Mahalo works by letting you claim pages and write them, and then earning 40% of the AdSense revenue.  You also get up front money for creating the page, anywhere from $2-10 Mahalo dollars.  So there is a small upfront bonus and also the revenue share.  If my pages perform well and I snag good pages, there is a money making opportunity there.  It's also FUN to own and build pages.  I really like having a chance to put my expertise and research ability to a fun use.

I'm working hard on building out more pages right now.  I'll report back on how these daily earnings go up as I spend more time and increase my collection of pages.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Demand Studios Planning to Offer Healthcare Benefits

In a press release issued today, Demand Studios has announced that they have just published their 1,000,000th piece of content and are planning on providing health care benefits.

The article states:

Demand Studios will leverage that scale and offer health care options to active, tenured writers, filmmakers and copy editors who meet eligibility requirements.

I am curious what their definition of tenured, active writers is.  I presume that I am nowhere near eligibility for that.  This is VERY interesting indeed though, and hopefully catches on to spread elsewhere.

Edit: And, it turns out that Freelance Writing Gigs has the details.  3 months is tenure, with an average of 30 articles per month.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Why I Want to Be a Freelance Writer

I've heard this a few times now.  "Why do you want to be a freelance writer?".  Most people assume it's because I don't like to work, or I don't like driving.  These actually are pretty far from the truth.  Here are the reasons why I want to freelance write from home.

  1. Flexibility - I own a beautiful horse that I'd love to spend time with every day.  Being able to set my own schedule so that I can go out to the stable daily at varying times would be wonderful for my happiness.
  2. Future Flexibility - Freelance writing from home and establishing clients that allow me to work from anywhere will be great for not only having children in the future, but also in case we ever relocate.
  3. Motivation/Self Starter - I am the kind of person that if given unlimited income potential will work my butt off to make money.  Freelance writing means that I will generally make what effort I put into it, and I enjoy the idea of this.
These are the three top reasons why I am going to keep working hard until I can make this dream a reality.  Why do you want to be a freelance writer?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Writing for Demand Studios - A Review

Demand Studios was like a gold mine when I found it.  The only online freelance writing that I had done is revenue share through Mahalo, and so I thought it was awesome to be paid in advance for my writing.  DS is still my favorite for up-front and reliable money.  Here's some details:

The Nitty Gritty:

Demand Studios is a "content farm" kind of website, that pays thousands of writers to complete articles from a pool of available articles.  They supply articles to websites like eHow and LIVESTRONG.  The articles are anywhere from 250-600 words in length and you can write as many as you want.  The pay depends on what style of article it is - an About or Strategy article pays $15.00 per article, where a shorter fact sheet pays $7.50.  Demand Studios pays writers twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, through Paypal.  They also have Revenue Share articles available that have no upfront pay but share Adsense revenue with Demand Studios.

Signing Up:

Getting started with Demand Studios requires you to fill out an application and provide writing samples and a resume.  Once you apply, it can take a week or two to hear a response back.  Once you've been approved, you can fill out your payment information and profile and get started right away. 

Writing Articles:

Finding articles to write is rather easy, there are thousands of articles available at a given time.  DS provides a master list of categories that allows you to search keywords to find an article you want or browse through categories that interest you.  You can also sort by payment price or format (About, Strategy, Fact Sheet, etc.)  You simply click on an article title to "claim it", which puts it in your queue.  Initially, you are allowed to hold 10 articles at a time in your queue, which includes articles that you've submitted for review.  As you become more experienced on Demand Studios, they will increase that number and remove the submitted items from counting towards your queue.

Once you've submitted an article, a Copy Editor must review it.  This is seen to be the biggest negative side of Demand Studios, because the Copy Editors are quite rigorous and picky with the requirements.  DS has a very specific editorial guideline for each format that you must adhere to, and are very strict with references and resources.  If a Copy Editor (affectionately known as a CE) has changes they'd like you to perform, it is known as a "rewrite".  You then have the option to make those changes and resubmit, or abandon the article.  There is no monetary penalty for having a rewrite, however it does slow you down and you are scored on the number of approved and rewritten articles you write.  DS also tracks grammar and content and gives each writer a score.  The copy editing is very impersonal as they pay thousands of Copy Editors, therefore you don't get to establish relationships with your editors.


Once your article has been approved, your payment goes right into your DS account and will be delivered via Paypal on your next pay day.  A huge advantage with Demand Studios is that they will pay you TWICE a week, on time every week, and don't take any sort of Paypal cut from your earnings.  The money is reliable and always there.  You will need to withhold your own taxes to prevent being screwed at the end of the year - this part is important.  Your articles then will be published onto whatever site you are approved for.

Help and Support:

Demand Studios has a very complete Workdesk with a Writer's Resource Center that lets you ask questions of fellow DS writers.  It is a great and friendly place with people who are glad to help.  There are forums for new writers, special projects, title clarifications, news/suggestions, and general discussion.  DS also provides all of the editorial guidelines as downloadable PDFs for ease of reading.


As mentioned earlier, the one major downside of DS is how picky they are with articles.  For some people this isn't a problem.  I personally enjoy having my standard of writing high and enjoy getting feedback. Other people have mentioned receiving negative and unfair feedback from Copy Editors that are not justified.  Luckily, DS allow you to submit arguments up to their site editors for review in those cases.

That is basically the only downside.  Writing for DS has been very positive.


There are many reasons to work at DS.

  1. Income potential - Demand Studios is the only freelance writing site that pays you in advance for articles and doesn't put any cap on how much you write.  There is always work available, and many people make $4000+ a month on Demand Studios as a full time job.
  2. Reliable Pay - Unlike some other sites, DS pays you regularly two times a week.
  3. Ease of Entry - It was relatively easy to be approved to write, and was a great learning experience.
  4. Good resources - Learning to adhere to editorial standards is a great learning experience for anyone beginning with freelance writing.  The community is very helpful and great.
What are your thoughts on Demand Studios?  I love it. :)


I was just approved to write for Suite101.  I'm actually pretty excited about this, and think it's going to replace my Examiner gig.  It mostly interests me because of how I'll be seen as the "expert" and can write about literally any topic I want.  For someone like me with diverse interests and knowledge, this will be great.  I plan to write about gender/cultural issues, horses, video games, and relationship advice.  I think this will be a lot of fun and a nice change of pace from Demand Studios, where I have to choose from existing titles. 

I just wrote my first article.  We'll see how it goes!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

September Earnings Report

September was the very first month I've kicked off this experiment.  Here are my earnings!

Demand Studios: $162.50 - 13 articles
Mahalo: Current Mahalo Balance on 10/18: M$144.61 ($108.45 USD) for 41 pages managed
Examiner: $3.61 for 3 articles

Total: $274.56

This was a pretty good first month.  October is not going to be quite as great here, because I've not been doing much freelance writing.  I hope that I can be motivated soon and pull in some great money!

Welcome to my blog!

Thanks for stopping by my site!

I am a professional in the online gaming field, but I'm trying to make some extra cash through freelance writing online.  I have been writing blogs and articles online for years now, but have only started to see actual cash rolling in from it.  I want to chronicle this journey not only to help others achieve their dreams of earning money online, but also to see my progress as a personal tracker and set goals for myself.  Seeing my goals written down will be immensely motivational for me.

Right now I write for:

Demand Studios

Thanks for stopping by!  I look forward to chatting with everyone who comments!