Writing to make ends meet…

Archive for November, 2010

I’m Done at Demand Studios

While, at first glimpse, the gig looks like a great one, in reality Demand Studios isn’t worth the time.  The getting paid twice a week was great…when my articles were actually edited and approved for publishing on time.  Between the time it takes to wade through the available titles, find the required amount of research, write the article, proofread the article, wait for a copy editor to review it, possibly rewrite it if it comes back, and then wait for the copy editor again, it’s just not worth $15.  There are literally no titles right now out of the advertised 300,000 that I can write with any sort of base knowledge that wouldn’t take me hours to research and write.  While some of the anonymous copy editors were really good and helpful, others were completely unprofessional and asked for crazy edits that made no sense.  With only one rewrite shot and no way to communicate with the copy editor for clarification (submitting a clarification ticket could take days to get an answer), it was a crap shoot.

The “community” on the message board was also not helpful and actually would gang on up on people stating their opinions about the way the company was run.  Writers were often talked down to and made to feel like lesser humans in some cases.  While under the guise of “professionals” there to help, really the message board posters were just a “mean girls” clique.

So, steer clear of Demand Studios unless you know a lot about automotive everything and have a ton of bookmarks of appropriate .edu and .gov sites.  Otherwise, you’re going to be wasting your time for the amount of money you make.

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Not Working Out as I’d Hoped

So I’ve been writing about a month now for Demand Studios, but unfortunately, not steadily.  There just aren’t any article titles available that I could conceivably write in a decent amount of time for the price.  I tried to get promoted to the LiveStrong health and fitness type articles, since those would be more up my alley, but I don’t have the right “score” yet to be allowed to write those types of articles.  I got dinged really hard on my first couple of articles for not meeting their specifications exactly and now it’s nearly impossible to get that score back up to where it needs to be to write for LiveStrong.

I’m out looking for gigs again.  I’m really behind on my bills and I can’t keep going on like this.  There has to be a way to make more from writing.  I just haven’t been able to find it yet.

Hit the Wall

I have lost all motivation today.  I had a goal to write $300 worth of articles this weekend for Demand Studios, but I’ve barely finished $45 worth so far. The articles are just not coming to me today and I’m getting distracted way too easily. This is not a good sign for my goal.  I was hoping to have those articles all approved by midnight tomorrow so I could have the $300 pay day on Tuesday.  At this rate, it will not happen (and I’m not even sure they would get through the editing process by then anyway).

I think what I’ll do is take a nap (if my kids will let me) and come back to writing after dinner tonight.  Maybe I just need some time away from article writing and things will start to flow again.  Let’s hope that’s all it takes.

What do you do when you hit the writing wall?  Any advice?

What Does it Take?

I have tried, for years, to get into About.com as a guide and/or a contributing writer.  I’ve never even gotten into prep even though I make sure I am more than highly qualified for what they want for their guides before I apply.  The worst part is that I never hear ANYTHING, one way or another, for months and months.  I rely on their automated “check application status” link and always get the same response: “we have not had a chance to review your application…”

BULL!  I applied 5 months ago!  How have you not reviewed my application yet?  If you’ve reviewed it and don’t want my services just tell me so I can move on and quit obsessively checking the status of my applications!  Man!

Okay.  Now I need to go check my status again.  Sigh.

I Voted, Did You?

It’s election day all across the USA and I did my civic duty and voted. I had a governor, senator, and representative up for vote today, so I made my voice heard. Even if my candidates don’t win, I did my part and voted for who best represents me and my values. I’m keeping my eyes on the results now that the polls have closed, but I don’t plan to stay up too late.  I’m tired!

I’ve been writing as much as possible these last few days and my eyes are starting to glaze over.  I did get into Break Studios today, but so far, there are no articles I am comfortable writing about up for grabs. One of their sites, however, is a NASCAR blog site, so I’m going to pounce on that as soon as something opens up.

Looking for a Paid Gig?

I’ve picked up 2 new paid writing gigs in the last couple of days and learned about a couple more that I thought I would share.

I was accepted as a writer into Demand Studios (and I passed my probationary period and have already had 3 articles approved and published).  They specialize in “How to” and “tips” type articles that span just about every topic imaginable. Most articles pay a $15 flat fee, but there are some for less ($7.50) and some for more (up to $50 for special assignment articles).  They have a very strict writing guidelines that have to be followed for all articles and articles will require rewrites or even be rejected.  So far, the articles I’ve written have been accepted with the research I’ve done.  The experienced writers there say the articles get easier to write once you get the guidelines down, so hopefully I’ll eventually make enough that it will be worth my time.  The nice thing is that they pay 2 times a week to PayPal (Tuesdays and Fridays), so I will have $45 waiting in my PayPal account for me tomorrow.

I’m also in the test process for wiseGEEK.  So far, it seems very similar to Demand Studios with its strict guidelines.  The titles seem easier and more intuitive and do not require references, so they shouldn’t take as much time.  They also pay a bit less, though (most are $10 articles).  I’ve been able to churn these out faster, but I’m still waiting for editor comments, so we’ll see.

I’ve also applied to Break Studios and Internet Brands.  We’ll see how those are.  I’ll report back if I get into either one.

Alright, I need to get back to my articles!  Good luck 🙂

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