Imagine my surprise when I logged in to my eHow account this afternoon to find a pop-up telling me the Ehow Writer's Compensation Program (WCP) is no more. At first, I freaked out because I've been working really hard on increasing my residual income on the site. In fact, I added around 40 new articles last month and increased my income by about $95 dollars. I'm extremely glad I did, because according to the email I received, Demand Studios is now the exclusive platform for writing new articles for eHow.com.
What Does this Mean for Ehow Writers?
This change could be good or bad, depending on your status with Demand Media. I have been writing for Demand Studios for well over a year and I'm very familiar with the requirements. Some eHow writers were automatically approved for DS based on their track record at eHow. Current DS writers and those that were pre-approved will be able to continue submitting articles to eHow through the DS platform. The only change will be the way the articles are submitted and that they'll be reviewed by a copy editor prior to publishing. This means your articles can be rejected and you'll have to actually research and site references for your how-to's.
For writers who were not pre-approved to write for DS, you'll have to manually apply to become a writer through Demand Studios. You'll need samples, a resume and actual skill. I know this is going to cut down on the amount of bad content on eHow, but I feel badly for those writers who aren't professional-level but still produced good content for the site. You'll have to take your chances with the application process.
The good news, however, is that everyone will continue to receive payment from eHow for the articles already submitted prior to this announcement. You don't have to be accepted to DS in order to keep getting paid for your previous submissions. What upsets me most is that I can't continue to build on my highest revenue share payment. I stayed motivated writing for eHow because I'd already come so far. Starting over again doesn't appeal to me, particularly when I'd have to deal with copy editors on titles of my own choosing. I think it's about time to focus my attention on Suite 101 and keep collecting my eHow payment each month.
What Does this Mean for Demand Studios Writers?
Current Demand Studios writers will probably accept this change most easily. We're accustomed to the site's standards and formats. The only real change is the copy-editing process prior to publishing our eHow articles. I admit that I don't normally perform as much research for my eHow articles as I do for my DS articles. If I'm going to do the same amount of research for rev-share, I'd rather post the articles on Suite 101, as I make much more money there than I do at eHow in residuals.
Demand Studios writers will go through the "Create Assignment" tab on the work desk, which used to be "Suggest Assignment" and follow the instructions to write for eHow. Keyword research is still just as important, but DS also suggests rev-share titles you can claim from the list of available assignments. In my opinion, however, it's better to do your own research and come up with your own titles. You'll make more money that way if you decide to proceed.
My Thoughts on the Changes at Ehow
I don't know if I'll write any more articles for eHow. Right now, I'm a bit shocked and worried, but I suppose this is the risk we take when we bet on sites like eHow. I felt this coming for quite some time. The eHow forums are constantly filled with complaints and I'm sure it's just easier for Demand Media this way. I can't say I blame them, but I'm more than a little disheartened.
For the time being, I'm going to focus on building residuals at Suite 101 and through my own blogs. I loved the WCP while it was around and I suppose I must take solace in knowing that I'll still receive payment for the work I've done over the past year. Once I get used to the change, I may try submitting a few articles through DS and see how they perform. I'll keep my readers posted if I do decide on this path, but for now, I'm taking a break from eHow.
What are your thoughts and concerns? Will you continue to write for eHow or look for a new income stream?