Demand Media Freelance Writer Reviews | Glassdoor

Demand Media Freelance Writer Reviews

15 reviews

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Freelance Writer

1.6
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Demand Media Chief Executive Officer Sean Moriarty
Sean Moriarty
5 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • And the company was committed to their people as human beings with generous perks and work/life balance (in 14 reviews)

  • Flexible work from home; Innovative - all electronic communication from hiring--to work assignments--to team interaction--paid via Paypal (in 10 reviews)

Cons
  • There was another person that started on MONDAY and were let go Tuesday (in 5 reviews)

  • Low pay, too many guidelines needed for what the work entails, too much research and rewrites required for what is very scant pay (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Freelance Writer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Freelance Subject Writer in Jersey City, NJ
    Former Employee - Freelance Subject Writer in Jersey City, NJ

    I worked at Demand Media part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    DM paid regularly and on time. The editorial process seemed fair, considered the company's "content mill" reputation.

    Cons

    Opportunities for new articles seem to have dried up. Last time I checked, I found that it was no longer possible to make any workable amount of money from DM.

    Advice to Management

    Either pay your writers more to incentivize them to take on less-than-ideal writing assignments, or find a new source of optimum writing opportunities.


  2. Helpful (5)

    "Do Not Waste Your Time - Believe all the negative reviews here!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Comp & Benefits
    Former Employee - Freelance Writer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Freelance Writer in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Really none - unless you want to take the chance of your article being approved by one of the few copy editors that are actually literate or have any working knowledge of the subject matter.

    Cons

    The majority of editors are not qualified yet the managerial staff will back them up. They want fluff, not quality.

    Advice to Management

    A waste of time to give them any advice.

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Worked in Education for Demand Media"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Freelance Education Writer in Jacksonville, FL
    Current Employee - Freelance Education Writer in Jacksonville, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good topics that seem challenging, but editors often shot me down. I don't think my work was below par.

    Cons

    As I have read, editors are inconsistent. I would research and write and then often rewrite and many of my articles were rejected with no pay after the second rejection.. I think I made about $1 an hour working for Demand and I have more than 25 years as a researcher/writer and editor and am very particular with my work.

    Advice to Management

    Not sure.


  4. Helpful (3)

    "Demand Media Needs Improvement"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Freelance Writer in Santa Monica, CA
    Former Employee - Freelance Writer in Santa Monica, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Demand Media (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The best part of working at Demand Media was the variety of writing assignments. Being able to write about everything from pets to obscure cultural topics was interesting.

    Cons

    The quality of the editors was not consistent. I would have excellent editors for some projects and those who were barely literate to rate articles. There was also a weird ratings system that tripped me up as a writer. I didn't like the unprofessional behavior of many of the editors.

    Advice to Management

    Hire editors that are professionals, not those who lack experience and consistency.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Writer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Freelancer - Freelance Writer in Santa Monica, CA
    Current Freelancer - Freelance Writer in Santa Monica, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Demand Media (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I can work when I want and only if I want. The pay is fair for the work expected.

    Cons

    Your job can be gone with no notice because they have changed their priorities.


  6. "Don't bother with these people if you're a freelancer..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Freelancer - Freelance Writer in Miami, FL
    Current Freelancer - Freelance Writer in Miami, FL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Demand Media (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Assignment editors issue clear guidelines for articles and helpful editor's notes for rewrites.

    Cons

    Low pay, too many guidelines needed for what the work entails, too much research and rewrites required for what is very scant pay. Also, you don't get paid for your work if your article isn't accepted by an editor.

    Advice to Management

    Paying your freelancers fairly is a great start towards better-quality work that won't have to require so many rewrites and guidelines.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Soul-crushing for experienced writers."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Freelance Writer in Santa Monica, CA
    Current Contractor - Freelance Writer in Santa Monica, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Demand Media as a contractor (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flexible hours. You work when you want, if there's any worthwhile articles to claim in the areas you're approved for.

    Cons

    I applied and was accepted as a freelance writer working from home. I was approved to write in four areas. I went into the job with an open mind, despite reading hordes of negative review about the company. The first three months was a learning experience as it takes a while to get used to their style of writing. The copy editors - who not only control your scores but have the final word on whether your article gets accepted or not (read as whether you get paid or not) do not mince words in their criticism. Several editors I worked with were very, very good. But there also were those whose comments always carried a condescending tone. And there were a couple editors who were highly regarded by the company - despite the fact that they made glaring editing errors. By the time I reached the six month mark, my scores were very high but I'd had my fill. The time I was spending researching and writing to turn in a $25 article that wouldn't require a re-write was boiling down to earning less than minimum wage per hour. The pool of articles available to writers dropped as the company lost clients and half of the articles left were un-writeable (i.e., "Top Five Schools to Learn Flooring Installation" and "How to Get in Shape Without Exercising or Dieting"). Even though I'm still technically one of their freelancers, I haven't written an article for them in months. And I never even applied to write for the area I am most knowledgeable in because I ultimately realized neither I nor any of my associates in the industry would ever consult Demand's articles for information.

    Advice to Management

    I wouldn't know where to begin.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Freelance Writing Experience Simultaneously Rewarding and Frustrating"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Freelance Writer in Baltimore, MD
    Current Contractor - Freelance Writer in Baltimore, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Demand Media as a contractor (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    I have been a freelance contract writer for Demand Media for several years.

    Demand's system allows me to sign into an online virtual "work desk" from my computer, choose article topics that interest me, write the articles, and -- if the editors approve the articles -- get paid for them. The online virtual "work desk" is really well-designed, and enables me to produce articles, see copies of past articles, review article payments, sign in to forums for writers and editors, and many other good features.

    I am paid regularly (twice a week) via Paypal. I receive approximately $25 to $30 per article. Articles are published very promptly.

    Writing these articles sharpened my research and writing skills. When I first went to work for Demand, I was a bit long-winded as a writer. Conforming to their requirements forced me to write in a punchier, clearer, more informative and colloquial style.

    Demand also insisted on thorough research for articles in my specialties (law, business, finance, careers, health care), forcing me to be more careful in my choice of references.

    Demand enabled me to get back into freelance writing after years away from freelance writing spent in other careers.

    Cons

    Demand funnels each submitted article to an anonymous pool of copy editors (CEs) assigned to each special topic section.

    For writers used to working with one or two editors on a regular first name basis and becoming familiar with their preferences, constantly having your articles reviewed by strangers -- usually anonymous -- can be stressful.

    Demand's editorial guidelines are ridiculously complex, and management has recently added "The Associated Press Stylebook" requirements to Demand's own internal guidelines, making it very difficult to write articles that conform 'perfectly' to the two sets of guidelines.

    CEs have difficulty applying two sets of guidelines, leading to situations in which one CE will approve an article using certain types of references or grammatical uses and the next CE will reject a very similar article, objecting to those same references or grammatical uses. This can affect a writer's overall "scores" from CEs, causing writer ratings to fluctuate dramatically, even if a writer's style has not changed.

    In addition, the CEs are of uneven quality. Some are very experienced, conscientious and polite; others are inexperienced and/or rude. Demand allows writers to rate CEs anonymously, and CEs rate writers anonymously on writer "scorecards." CE ratings of writers seem to count for more than writer ratings of CEs.

    Advice to Management

    I would suggest that Demand assign writers to one or two CEs in each section and give them a chance to communicate with them regularly on a first name basis, as opposed to the current system of nearly anonymous editing.

    If a writer and CE don't get along, give the writer (or the CE) the option of transferring the writer to a different CE. If a writer "flunks out" with three or four CEs, then the writer probably has a problem. If a CE consistently 'loses' writers, then that CE has a problem. You'll quickly weed out the poor quality writers and CEs using that method.

    I would also suggest that Demand use just one set of editorial guidelines, instead of two.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Once you get past the initial learning experience of what is expected of you, it's a good place to make extra money."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Freelance Writer in Wichita, KS
    Current Employee - Freelance Writer in Wichita, KS
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    They pay a bit more than other places for articles of the same length.
    You can work at home, any time of day.
    No phone calls involved.
    Articles written are researched online, so all information needed is at your fingertips.
    They offer a good forum if you have any problems.

    Cons

    They are a bit more picky about how the articles are written.
    You have to choose to write about titles available, and good titles are not always available.

    Advice to Management

    Be more strict about proper categorization of your titles to make them easier to locate.


  10. "Decent article mill, but beware standards creep"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Freelance Writer
    Former Employee - Freelance Writer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Demand offers an acceptable article-mill rate for writing ~500 word pieces and has a consistent and navigable system for writing and submitting them. The site eliminates the need to constantly hunt for work and provides a reliable pay rate and a client whose payments will not bounce or be retracted.

    Cons

    Editing is inconsistent and over the course of my 4 years of working there, requirements rose significantly. At one point there was a pay increase, but that was not always commensurate with the added demands. It's hard to be certain that titles are writeable and the work quality that was rewarded one week may be denied without payment the next. Standards for writers have also gone up, with DS requesting degrees and extensive work backgrounds for all authors, while only offering about .05/word.

    Advice to Management

    Increase consistency among editors and be reasonable about your expectations for the credentials of someone willing to accept a nickel a word.