Big news in the eHow world.
If you haven’t heard about it already, eHow is making Demand Studios the exclusive platform for writing and contributing articles to eHow, and ending the Writer Compensation Program (WCP).
The WCP was established in 2007 as a way for anyone (living in the U.S.) to sign up and start contributing how-to articles, sharing the revenue generated from ad clicks on each article. I myself have been a part of the WCP since mid-2008, contributing 150 articles in one month and no articles since. However, every month for the last year I’ve earned upwards of $150-200 for doing basically nothing. This was the power of eHow and it’s WCP, and it’s why so many people flocked to become a part of the program.
Well now, things are changing. Starting April 13th, the WCP writing tools will be out of commission and you will have to sign up apply to become a writer for the Demand Studios platform. Here are the benefits of applying at Demand Studios, as outlined on the eHow blog:
- A better publishing system for writers: writers can suggest their own titles (instead of going strictly with articles that begin with “How to…”
- Writer empowerment to make more money: writers now have the option to choose to write articles that pay monthly on a residual basis (just like the WCP) or select articles that pay upfront.
- Better quality articles: because all articles will now go through a review process and quality assurance.
Why I Think This is a Good Thing
I think the most important thing about this change is the quality of articles that will be published on the platform after the change has been made. If you’re at all familiar with eHow or have written for them lately, I’m sure you know that they’ve been getting a lot of heat for removing articles (without warning) because of poor quality, spam, or certain guidelines that have not been met. Many of the “rules” or guidelines were fairly gray, which is why I think so many articles were removed, and so many people complained.
I could be wrong, but I think change this is their response to that, especially considering the WCP was just recently opened up in the UK. Now, articles will not even be published until they meet editorial guidelines and are of the highest quality, which is good for anyone searching for information on the web, and good for writers because their articles won’t be deleted (or “swept”).
Less spam and clutter that was just there to try and make a buck.
Why I Think So Many People Are Upset
Many people are calling this a scam. It’s NOT a scam, but here’s why I think so many people are upset about the situation.
No one really likes change, especially a change like this that is fairly drastic, involves money and income, where the people involved don’t really have a say.
People react the same way when Apple decides to not approve certain iPhone applications, or remove a large number of apps for whatever reason, as they seem to be making and changing the rules as they go. Again, money and invested time is involved.
What was nice about the WCP is that it was simple. Sign up, write an article, publish it, and get paid a share of the ad revenue. Plus, you get to keep the rights to what you publish.
Now, things are a little more complicated. First instead of signing up, you have to be approved. This means that not everyone who wants to participate can. Secondly, in order to publish an article, you’ll go through an approval/editing process, which is somewhat unknown of exactly how that works at the moment. Lastly (if I follow what people are saying in the eHow community forums correctly), the rights for articles you write under the Demand Studios platform will no longer be yours.
Plus, like I mentioned before, this change comes somewhat suddenly and without warning. Even though many people see this change as being good, they’re still freaking out because it’s all happening so fast.
It makes you wonder…what’s next?
For Existing eHow Writers
For those of us who have articles published on the eHow platform, you’ve probably already seen a number of emails from eHow about what’s going on. What’s good to know is that our existing articles will still be online and generating an income per usual, and we still own the rights to those articles (I believe).
Sweet. I plan to continue to earn a revenue on my existing articles.
But again, after April 13th, you can no longer write new articles for eHow, and you must apply for Demand Studios if you want to continue to contribute to eHow.
What To Take Away From This
Personally, I see this change as a good thing for eHow itself because of the quality of articles that will be written. I also see it as a good thing for writers who do get accepted into Demand Studios because of the new and more professional opportunities that come with it. However, I’m a little put off about how the change was made (like other changes that were previous made on eHow) and how little time people have to even absorb it all. One would think that a company who has grown as a result of the people who participate (almost religiously) in it would understand more about how to bring about such a change and communicate with its users.
Maybe it’s not even possible to do it without rebel. Who knows…
For now, I’ll be looking more into Demand Studios, as well as other platforms such as Info Barrel and Xomba, to see what the passive income possibilities are.
The Overall Picture
There are a few things we can learn from this that go beyond the changes at eHow:
- It always seem to happen this way: once you get comfortable with the way something is, it changes. That’s life. Be ready for it, welcome it, and take advantage of it if you can.
- Don’t put all of your eggs into one basket. In other words, diversify. Things change daily, and what you could be relying on today may not be available for you tomorrow.
- When things change like this, it’s okay to be angry and have an opinion. Just don’t DO anything as a result until you have all of the facts straight, and maybe after you’ve calmed down a bit.
I know there are a lot of eHow writers out there, so I’m curious…What You Think? Good Move? Bad Move? How do you feel about the changes and where this is all headed?
This blog post is just my opinion and based on my thin understanding of the facts that I’ve received from various sources, including the eHow blog and its community forum. Actions that you take from this point on regarding eHow or Demand Studios is up to you and you alone. Thanks!