Monday, October 10, 2011

Bounce Back from the Demand Media Studios Letdown

Over the weekend I received an interesting newsletter update detailing Jenn Mattern’s latest blog post revealing the fact that Demand Media Studios’ “successful” business model is failing. It’s no surprise given the changes associated with Google Panda updates, and how similar content mills have been already affected. I hate that so many DS writers will now find themselves short a source of the income some have grown to rely on.

I’ve visited the topic of writers choosing to write for content mills before. From what I’d gathered from a few bloggers and community forums, many content mill writers simply wanted a way to earn an income working from home without the pressure of marketing. I worked with a California-based content mill when I first started freelancing. I took it on because I wanted secure, consistent income while I built up my client base. The workload was overwhelming with tight deadlines, and four months later all projects completely dried up. I learned that if I took on higher paying work, I didn’t need to work so many long days, and that I couldn’t afford not to market consistently if I wanted to maintain a steady income because the natural order of things in business is that clients will come and go.

Two things stood out about Jenn’s post: (1) she shared the news of Demand Media Studios’s failing business model honestly without putting down those who were affiliated with the company; (2) She was sympathetic to the plight of Demand Media Studios writers. She didn’t kick anyone while they were down, and she offered some real solutions (including some helpful links and books)which will be detailed in a week-long series dedicated to helping these blindsided writers create their own profitable freelance writing business model – she even offered to help the first five writers who contact her by posting information during the series relevant to their chosen specialty.

Part of why I’ve been so absent here is because I’ve been working on personal writing projects and reinventing my own freelance writing business. Yes, sometime reinvention is necessary. I wish all DS writers the best of luck in continuing and developing their freelance writing businesses, and I really look forward to following Jenn’s informative series this week.


allena said...

Is this mass dump of these writers going to mean more competition for those one-off projects I <3? Probably.

Kimberly Ben said...

You may be right, Allena, but there may not be as much competition as some might think. In my experience some people are seeking an "easy way" to earn a living freelancing, and may not be willing to put in the work necessary to reach that goal. Some writers choose content mills because they don't want the worry of searching for clients/projects. Others choose it because they simply don't know how to market and build their business; but once they learn, they just have to put it to practice and they're good to go.

The early stages of building up a steady client base can be tough. I think I once heard someone say you spend around 80% of your time looking for work. In my experience that was just about right. Consistency and commitment are a big part of the process.

Lori said...

Kim, I like how Jenn is approaching it, too. She's giving folks a wide-open door and the map to get through it. The smart ones will take it.

You're right about the reinvention. If we want to move in new directions, we have to plan and then ACT. I'm itching to know in which direction you're heading. :)

Kimberly Ben said...

Lori, that's a great statement: "we have to PLAN and then ACT." Truer words were never spoken.

I'm still working out some of the details of the specialty I'm moving into. I hope to share more soon. :)

Helen said...

Good morning! Thank you for information. Actualy. I wish you new successes and achievements. And those, who act dishonestly will lose in final!)

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