Demand Media is a platform for freelance writers, copy editors, videographers and photographers to find assignments for such Demand Media clients as Livestrong.com, USA Today.com, Michelob, eHow and LegalZoom.com.
Most of the work available on the site is in writing and copy editing. The photography section is fairly new, and before you get too excited about signing up as a photographer, the assignments available are so specific you will likely spend more on the props you need than what you will make. Or they require a very specific item you wouldn’t buy just for shooting photos. For example, “How to Make a Sacagawea Costume” or “How to Troubleshoot a Ford Ranger Starter.”
As far as the writing and copy editing sections, like all other writing sites, work ebbs and flows, and seems to be mostly “ebbing” any more there. At one time between my health and travel approved areas to write about, I’d see up to 10,000 titles to claim. Of course, the bulk of those were garbage and impossible to write, but there was work if you dug at it. My total assignments available as of this writing is 182. That’s for all writers in those areas.
Other sections may be busier, but it’s not just as simple as applying for another section and being approved. I started writing for general health, which they required a degree or certification to write for that topic (I’m an RN.) Then they broke it down into nutrition and health/fitness categories, and I kept writing for health and fitness with good ratings for my work. When a new health category came up, specifically seeking doctors and nurse, I applied and was turned down.
And here’s the thing: If you apply to the site itself or a new section and are rejected, you can’t apply again.
Other great frustrations with the site for writers include some very long editing turnaround at times, and copy editors sometimes having contradictory and inconsistent standards. Being human, there can be a wide variety in how they edit you, from fairly lenient, to the most nitpicky — some will send it back for edits for one little typo, rather than just correcting it, delaying your payment for up to another two weeks.
- Good pay when you can get assignments
- FAST pay — they pay twice a week to Paypal for all work that has been approved
- Great clients that can really pump up your resume and writing clips
- A wide variety of topics
- Huge fluctuations in work available
- Unreliable editing times that can stretch out for weeks
- Inconsistency in copy editor standards
- Difficulty in getting approved to write there and for new topics. If you send back an article with corrections and the editor doesn’t approve it, it’s rejected and you lose it, with no compensation
This is definitely for more advanced writers, and not something you want to rely on for any steady income.