Low Pay For Poor Content Does Not Make For Relevancy
I have been going through the new-writer resources at Demand Media, and I have to say, they have a variety of good resources to help an aspiring writer emerge as a true author, journalist or publisher. With the IPO a few weeks ago, one must wonder whether Demand Media will be able to meet a long-term obligation to provide relevant content.
Here is what I see. First, writers do not get to keep any rights to their work. It becomes Demand Media property. Second, Demand Media employs, as actual staff, a number of copy editors who will rewrite the works submitted by the sub-contractors. Third, the sub-contractors get very low rates, and that makes them cheap research assistants.
New writers get between $7.50 and $15.00 for articles to eHow.com or other mass content sites, all of which delivery snippets of information that results in a broad propagation of key words and key phrases. However, like tofu, one can get filled without ever being fully satisfied.
The low pay is hardly an enticement to bring good, experienced writers. The relinquishing of rights will certainly not suffice, particularly for more complex works. Even when writers propose their own assignments, the works is a rev-share deal. Hardly worth it for someone who can sell their own material and keep all the rights.
This portends the short-term success and long-term shortcoming of Demand Media. We have never written an article for them, as we are actually in competition with them. We even have a better domain name: thecontentdeveloper.com and the contentdevelopers.com.
Plus, run a search for “content development”. Demand Media doesn’t even rank on the first page. But we do.
Of course, content development requires consistent revenue streams, as the folks at Hulu.com have been carefully building. But that is another blog about another business model, one we believe has legs.