Recently, I wrote about how Seed.com is gone as far as freelance writers are concerned because it no longer offers paying writing assignments. Shortly thereafter, I wrote about the lack of titles at Demand Studios available for freelancers to write and concluded that it may be either natural ebb and flow, or an attempt to reduce expenses before reporting quarterly earnings. Turns out that Demand Studios might be following Seed.com’s footsteps.
A recent email and forum posting regarding the dearth of Demand Studios articles available to be claimed by freelancers (see here for how Demand Studios works) suggests that Demand Studios is shutting down its old way of doing business.
The gest of the email is that Demand Media (the company) has a bunch of partners and continues to work on finding new ones. However, the company also has its own web properties, particularly eHow.com, where it previously published tons of articles. In fact, according to the email, eHow and its related networks now has over 3 million titles. The note goes on to say essentially, that there is really nothing else worth writing and publishing because the company already covers everything worth covering — more or less.
Apparently, the company feels that the remainder of the supposedly vast riches offered at the end of the long-tail of internet searches and Google results don’t merit a $15 payout for a new article when the company’s properties likely already have dozens of "close enough" titles available. That the company was hit hard by Google’s recent crackdown on content mills can’t help.
Demand Studios Shutting Down for Freelancers
There are "premium" articles and websites and the company made a big deal out of hiring "feature" writers and the like. Theoretically, there will continue to be work for these authors and specialty writers to make money writing online with Demand Studios. General freelance writers, however, are pretty much done as the remaining titles available dries up.
As of today, there were under 300 total titles remaining in all categories. (At least all of the categories that I can see, I’m only authorized in some of the "special" or "premium" categories.) For writers doing writing on the side, or for professional freelance writers who only use Demand Studios as a supplement to their writing income, it looks like Demand Studios is ending, at least for now.
Demand Media Quarterly Earnings
The company must publish its quarterly financial reports in the coming weeks. This data may suggest whether there is any future for the company in the open freelance writing space. If revenue from its web properties has taken a big hit from search engine algorithm updates, then there is little incentive for the company to ever release more titles to revitalize its freelance writing program. If the numbers aren’t so bad, then there may be a resurgence once the company figures out where and how to focus its future efforts.
For now, freelancers who once relied on Demand Studios for significant earnings will have to look elsewhere.