Demand Media
3.1 of 5 99 reviews
www.demandmedia.com Santa Monica, CA 500 to 999 Employees

Demand Media Reviews

Updated Apr 07, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

3.1 99 reviews

                             

100% Approve of the CEO

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Shawn Colo

(3 ratings)

56% of employees recommend this company to a friend
26 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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It's fine. It's plenty of work, but the freelance setup can be frustrating

Freelance Contributor (Former Employee)

I worked at Demand Media as a contractor for more than a year

Proswork your own hours

plenty of work to do and projects to work on

Once you're accepted you can begin writing right away

Content is on major websites all over the world

ConsWebsites all have different styles, standards, and even at times different systems for selecting content (Cracked a great example) and therefore you have to be aware of these differences, I wasn't always made aware of the differences too much.

Pay is mediocre

Advice to Senior ManagementFocus on quality of freelance staff, not quantity.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Freelance Writing Experience Simultaneously Rewarding and Frustrating

Freelance Writer (Current Employee)
Baltimore, MD (US)

I have been working at Demand Media as a contractor for more than 3 years

ProsI 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.

ConsDemand 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 Senior ManagementI 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.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Heavy cowboy mentality

NOC Analyst (Former Employee)
Kirkland, WA (US)

I worked at Demand Media full-time for more than 3 years

ProsSmart people
Good atmosphere
Culture is pretty good
Flexible

ConsEverything is run in a chaotic manner
Most outages and SLA issues caused internally due to lack of oversight
Very high turnover in IT support
Mid to upper management is a good ol boy system

Advice to Senior ManagementListen to people with operations experience. Take a real survey of wasted man hours and equate that to dollars lost, then correlate to how much of that is caused by internal idiocy.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Flexible hours.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Demand Media

ProsYou are given seven days to complete articles you choose to write.

ConsGuidelines are strict. Your communication with the copy editor is limited. You have one opportunity to make corrections after submitting an article for review and receiving copy editor revision requests.

Advice to Senior ManagementAllow more communication between writers and copy editors.

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Was once a great place to build experience, but no more

Contributing Writer (Former Employee)

I worked at Demand Media part-time for less than a year

ProsThese are things I liked about Demand when I started writing for them, under the old system:

-Served as an entry point for new writers looking to build a portfolio (way back when)
-Flexible hours
-Remote work
-Choice of topics (way back when)
-Message boards for writers
-Quick responses from editors
-Range of assignments offered (way back when)

Cons-Low payment per article
-Competition amongst writers for topics
-The company changed its entire approach to content creation and management. To be honest, this has resulted in better quality product for them. However, when the change was made, information was misleading and it felt like management was trying to conceal what they were doing. Concerned writers on the message boards did not have their questions answered directly. While I don't believe anyone was "fired," the new model made it impossible for many new and less experienced writers to find any assignments they were deemed qualified to write. After trying and failing to acquire authorization in a special topic, I stopped looking for articles.

Advice to Senior ManagementI wish the transition would have been handled more directly. Many writers would have still been upset by the changes, but I think they would have been more receptive and accepting if the plan and its implications had been made clear from the start.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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Great

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Demand Media

Prosinteractive work environment, great people

Consnot stable, can change structure dramatically

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Good opportunity for writers to beef up portfolios.

Web Content Writer (Former Employee)

I worked at Demand Media part-time for less than a year

ProsYou get paid as quickly as you write articles.
Plenty of topics to choose from -- there's something for everyone.
Good way to beef up your writing portfolio.
Good way to get feedback from editors about your writing.

ConsNo royalties paid -- once you're paid, that's it, no matter how popular an article becomes.
Image selection can be difficult/dry (at least when I was writing for them--this may have changed).
Topic availability can dry up on occasion.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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From the freelancing side.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Demand Media as a contractor

ProsVery consistent with pay schedule-if something goes wrong, they do try to fix it and pay on time. Section editors are very responsive, and they are trying to ensure the articles written make sense and are things people would want to read. They try to bridge the editor-writer divide and listen to both.

ConsLike all freelancing, inconsistent levels of work; sudden changes that are not always what you thought they would be. Take a wait-and-see approach to any news they have about changes rather than assuming the changes will be wonderful. Planning long-term can be difficult. You'll see people in the forum constantly say you have to have other clients, and this is very true. Freelancing for Demand has become more like freelancing for other outlets in that the days of thousands of articles are gone.

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Web article content writing ups and downs.

Content Writer (Current Employee)
Rochester, NY (US)

I have been working at Demand Media as a contractor for more than 5 years

ProsPrompt payment, variety of assignments, work as little or as much as you need to.

Consrules constantly change, not always a lot of articles to write and new editors take awhile to break in

Advice to Senior ManagementA review of current writers in your database for other assignments, rather than requesting each person interested in new or special assignments to do an application for each position would be helpful. You would get better quality writing for these new or special assignments because these are people who already know Demand Media rules.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Great people but management lacks vision

Software Engineer (Current Employee)
Santa Monica, CA (US)

I have been working at Demand Media full-time for more than a year

ProsNice people, beer Fridays, updated tech, beer fridays

ConsNo room for career expansion, not innovative, little collaboration across teams

Advice to Senior ManagementEncourage competition between teams and create something new.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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