Also I feel bummed-out when so-so, sloppy or lousy writing gets published on those pages alongside my work, because I do my best to follow editorial guidelines and often add an original spin. Perusing Examiner.com, the citizen journalist
site aiming to become everyone's favorite source for hyper-local news, reviews and information, I still cringe at style errors and other quality lapses I cannot get myself to overlook in otherwise useful, interesting articles.
But, I must quit wasting precious moments and energy mulling and moping over discouraging words and trends!
The earning potential at Examiner.com is growing steadily. Furthermore, I understand and enthuse over this company's mission, model and methods, blogged recently
As for Demand Media Studios (DMS), the place most often dismissed disdainfully under the content farm label: DMS offers chances at "real gigs" (as well as lucrative contests and generous grants) to writers who can produce a steady supply (or crop) of eHow blurbs up to their exacting standards -- or insane ones, depending upon the copy editor assigned randomly -- for $7.50 to $15 each for several months running. With DMS
's templates and instructions, this is a fill-in-the-blanks task.
Citing acceptable references is the trickiest step, where I trip up (or give up) most often. Keeping up with frequent changes in procedures and policies is the second biggest challenge for me. When I visit the DMS forum to read the latest, I find myself drawn into the rants, complaints and horror stories also. The third is finding doable titles to claim quickly enough to make it worthwhile, because these are auto-generated and listed under the wrong headings, and many are simply absurd.
Nevertheless, I am amid switching almost all my Squidoo-ing energy over to Examiner
and DMS (where I write under a pseudonym because I give up all rights to and control over the articles, yet they link back to my DMS profile). Afterthoughts:
Last year I freelance gardened, also. I prefer smaller-scale images of me pacing myself and relaxing while working...planning, planting, and nurturing...then weeding and pruning...and appreciating...and cleaning up. Earning slightly less gardening than I have over the years on some much harder odd-jobs seemed like getting paid to have fun.
Earning many smaller amounts from writing the best titles -- with fun or education potential -- on carefully chosen content sites isn't such a blast for me yet. But it does seem like getting paid to avoiding overhead expenses and hassles: cold calling, selling, advertising, conferences, travel, unlimited revising, billing and collecting.
Plus: I learn wondrous facts and figures from researching, though this must be done quickly to keep the process worthwhile.
Demand Media is still thriving
post-Panda (by Freakonomics.com)...Content farms are not competing
with or hurting journalism (by BusinessInsider.com)...Post-Panda SEO creates lucky losers
(by SearchEnginePeople.com)...A laid-off journalist spends a week in Demand
(in Columbia Journalism Review).