Demand Media Announces $80 Plan For eHow Writers

2:28 PM Posted by GloryBug

Demand Media Announces New $80 Per Article Plan For Writers

Demand Media, the parent company of Demand Studios and eHow, as well as other companies, has come out with a couple of announcements recently.  They announced they were actively seeking UK and Canadian writers, and have also announced they are planning to pay eHow writers $80 per article.

Now, What Could Be Wrong With That?

Well, part of the problem with that, the announcement, is that it's a bit misleading. 

  • eHow has two writing divisions, Demand Studios writers who write for eHow as 'Contributing Members' at a low flat rate per article, and eHow Writer's Compensation Program writers, who write for residual-only earnings, and are called 'Users'. (Who else calls their writers 'users'?)  This plan was not offered to the WCP writers, even though they are called eHow writers.
  • This plan also wasn't offered to the majority of the CMs, either.  Somehow, Demand Studios hand-picked 50 lucky writers to participate in this program.  How those people were picked is anyone's guess, kind of like the secret algorithm used by DM to pay the WCP writers.  They've hinted that maybe they'll pick a few more writers at a future date... maybe.
  • This plan is supposedly for 'featured' content.  Which CMs already have published on front page of eHow, for a low flat rate.  It makes no sense to pay $80 for a featured content article that last month was being written for $15 or so.
  • This plan supposedly will require more words and more research to create 'higher quality' articles, and need to have expertise in the topic (the eHow directory already claims that CM writers are experts, and that WCP are just 'regular people') - yet eHow spokespeople consistently give interviews claiming their CMs have high quality articles, and that they are sweeping or weeding out the low quality articles written by WCP writers.  Why should they offer to pay more when they already claim to be producing high-quality articles at $15? Essentially, it appears they are admitting their featured CM articles are low-quality, and they are now going to pay more to fix that perception?
  • How much space is really available for 'featured content'?  Even with a pool of 50 writers, how much featured content can really be fit on eHow front page each day?  5 new features each day for a year is less than 2,000 articles a year. (Demand Media claims to produce 4,000 articles per day- none of that is high enough quality to be featured?).  Why in the world would they suddenly decide to pay a select group of 50 people to write 6-7 new articles a month at $80 a pop, when those writers were supposedly chosen for being 'the best' already, and from a business standpoint, should be expected to continue writing for the pay they were already getting.  Why not just give them a bonus?  Why announce that they're going to be paying 'eHow writers' $80 per article?
  • How did these 50 people get picked?  Are their names going to be released so that people can see the quality of work they were chosen for?  Are any WCP writers on that list? Employees?  Moderators?
  • Why was this announced at about the same time as the announcement that Demand Media is opening up eHow to writers from the UK and Canada, neither of which will be able to participate in the WCP, and supposedly will earn about $3-10 per article? (And is that pay in American dollars?  Who knows.) Could it be to counteract the bad press Demand Media received for using eHow WCP articles on a mirrored UK site without paying for use of their articles?
How much more likely is it that this $80 plan for eHow writers is just a publicity stunt to get lots of UK and Canadian writers to sign up and write for pennies on the dollar?

Here's an example of the high quality articles Demand Studios has been paying flat rate for, from an author they claim is an 'expert', rather than just the 'average person' CWP writers---

How To Remove the Wax Coating from an Orange
Step 1-
Warm running water can help remove surface dirt.Rinse the orange thoroughly under warm, running water to remove any surface dust or dirt.

Step 2-
Gently rub the the entire outer skin of the orange with a soft-bristle or vegetable brush, as you hold it under the warm, running water, to help remove the wax.

Step 3-
Rinse the orange again before turning off the water. Dry the orange with a clean towel.
Is this really the kind of expert that is in the pool of 50 CM writers chosen to get paid $80 for featured articles?


  1. Crunchy Data said...

    Typical example of Demand Media's current tactics, and very well stated. Glad you took the time to help people understand this. And I hope our Canadian and UK friends are paying attention.

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  3. JadeDragon@innovativepassiveincome said...

    Nice example. Demand Media likes to call their writers experts but they have such tight guidelines it is hard to get good content worth reading. I found out what the $80 plan was about. It is all the "featured articles" like the How to whatever by Sarah Palin articles we have been seeing on the front page of eHow. They threw their normal guidelines out the window to get those more expensive articles.

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