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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- Reliable Pay - Unlike some other sites, DS pays you regularly two times a week.
- Ease of Entry - It was relatively easy to be approved to write, and was a great learning experience.
- 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.