If you haven't burned off holiday meals, maybe this news will inspire a natural appetite suppressant. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news during this time of year but hopefully this will help new content writers get ahead. When I stressed in my previous posts how rough the seas of online content writing were becoming, I neglected to mention those companies who forgot the Vaseline after you've made money for them.
Is Tempesta Media the Demand Studios 2.0?
Let me start with the first culprit. For many years, Tempesta Media has used a number of freelance content writers to submit content to a number of sites. While the pay was similar to most content mills of the early 2000s, they offered new writers feedbacks and resources for improvement. FYI, Crowd Content offers writers and editors a similar service but jobs get snatched up quickly.
In the past five years (roughly, as I didn't work for them often), their business model has changed and in the past few years, Tempesta wanted writers who were proven subject matter experts. In other words, only professionals need apply and generalists may be considered in the future. This is understandable considering how saturated the market was becoming at the time.
The benefit for me was being able to link my bylined articles (another plus) and use these for my online portfolio. I've done this for years and these were varied publications so it showed off my diversity in topics. Well, over the weekend I learned that my 3-4 articles that were once highly rated and had good traffic replaced my name with that of Tempesta Media.
I started this process by logging into my account and I got a pop-up window that said my "account has been deleted successfully". Huh? I tried again and got the same message. Wondering if this was a glitch, I sent an inquiry through the website portal, and as of 10:30 A.M. PST, I haven't received a response. Considering that my articles got jacked without warning, I doubt that I ever will.
Now, this reminds me of my time with eHow, where I made a nice supplemental income for a few years. This ended when Demand Media bought the site and began to filter certain writers (I spent my early writing years with them and politely speaking, it was a learning curve). However, they did offer to give a final payout to certain articles but my days of receiving residuals for views were history.
I took the offer and went about my business but later, there were reports of long-term writers being forced out without warning. Other writers mentioned not being paid while Demand went through another change, it seemed. And yes, many articles listed Demand as the sole contributor. While I'm not mad at content companies for wanting to stay afloat (especially during uncertain economic times), it would be nice if they'd considered the freelancers who helped them see their glory days.
Using Article Submission Sites for Self-Promotion
Over the years, I've spoken with a few professional writers who refuse to churn out anything without being paid. However, I can attest to the fact that article submission sites are good for writers of any level who want to show off their skills and promote their services. A lot of clients (both content companies and private individuals) will take the credit, so this is a good way to get a byline for your work.
While the above video lists companies that offer "fast" or "instant" approval for free submissions. this isn't always the case. There are companies like Medium that strongly encourage subscriptions and those who do charge authors submission fees on a monthly or flat rate. I have no experience with these so I can't say whether this is effective. Perhaps someone with deep knowledge of algorithms can break it down for us non-techies.
Anyway, my other gripe is with Other Articles. While not listed in the above video, they do come up on a lot of "free" article submission search engines. I have certain criteria for choosing a site and this one had the plainest layout but it used images. When I made my first submission earlier in the year, I was able to link to my portfolio with no problem. In fact, it got fairly high ratings.
However, I made a second submission last week and both articles went into 'pending' status. It stayed this way for days until both were gone. I was able to log into my portal and other articles remained intact but then I remembered something.
Other Articles nudged me to pay for additional promotion services. This was something like $20 but I don't remember the exact terms. I just dismissed it as a vanity thing. A couple of years ago, Ezine Articles did something similar and left my most recent submission hanging in mid-air for more than a year. After more than a decade, I closed my account.
There are a few legit companies yet some of them pad quality articles heavily with Adsense (or similar) content. The only thing I can suggest is for writers to beware of their intellectual property and keep copies of everything. In a rough economy, almost every man is out for themselves and doesn't give a damn about the consequences.