Tuesday, April 6, 2010

eHow Pulls the Plug on the WCP

In my previous post, I included the dramatic announcement by eHow to end the WCP (Writer Compensation Program). After perusing many different writer forums, I've gotten a nice overview of what these changes mean.

Future eHow Articles

All future eHow articles will now be written by Demand Studio writers. This means that each article must go through an editorial process before being published on the site. Writers can opt for revenue share on these articles like they had at eHow, or they can take advantage of the flat fee payment of $15.

A good lot of eHow writers were automatically selected to become writers at DS. Others received emails informing them they would need to apply separately with DS to continue to write for eHow. Those that were automatically selected will only be able to write How-to's on DS. If a writer already had a DS account and was selected to continue writing there at the close of the WCP, they will have two separate DS accounts.

Current eHow Articles

Articles published under the WCP will remain on eHow, and they will continue to earn as they have in the past. Writers will still be able to edit their articles as well as access their eHow profiles as usual. They will not, however, be able to write new articles. It is worth noting that the current eHow articles are not immune to a future sweep.

What This Means for DS Writers

Those who write for DS have expressed mixed feelings about the eHow merger. Some are afraid it will slow down the editorial process while others are concerned about the availability of titles now that there is an influx of new writers. However, since the eHow writers automatically accepted at DS will only have access to how-to's, this is not likely to be much of a problem since there are many different formats such as About, List, Strategy and so forth.

What This Means for eHow Writers

For those eHow writers automatically selected to write how-to's at DS, there are many changes. Unless already writing for DS, eHow writers are likely to be shocked at the editorial process when they are used to instant publishing. They might not be able to meet the high standards that is expected of writers at DS. I've found that writing a DS how-to and an eHow how-to are completely different in terms of time spent researching, editing and adhering to style. Good references and resources are required, which can take a bit more time as well.

What This Means for eHow and Demand Studios

The decision to merge eHow and Demand Studios will have lasting implications on eHow as well as Demand Studios. For eHow, it's a good thing since the site will have less spammy and poorly written articles. For Demand Studios, only time will tell if this is a good step for them.

The Importance of Diversification

If there is anything a writer should learn from this event, it's the importance of diversification. Whether or not you wrote for eHow or Demand Studios, never put all your eggs in one basket be it a client or a website. Diversify your income streams with the anticipation that something like this may happen to one or more income source.

Since just about 50% of my residual income is from eHow, I will now have to branch out and try other forms of passive income. I was already contemplating doing this before the end of the WCP which just confirms it was a good hunch.

What are your thoughts on the end of the WCP? Will you continue to write for eHow through DS? What steps are you taking to diversify your writing income?


  1. I am a DS writer, as well as a writer for eHow. I think that writers who only write for eHow will be in for a major shock. Many of them will probably not have what it takes to stick it out with the DS copy editing process. I probably won't write much more eHow articles unless I see titles that I really like. My reason for this is simply because I wrote for eHow whenever a random topic would cross my mind. I didn't have the stress of meeting word counts, putting in references, etc. It was free writing basically. I'm sad about it, but not going to complain because I know business is business. It has been hard for me to find other clients out there to write for that pay at least as good as Demand Studios, so if you find something awesome I hope you post about it or send me a message! :)

    I also found out that eHow writers who apply to write How Tos through DS will have to go through a testing process where their first 3 articles are looked at by editors upstairs before they are allowed into the system as a permanent eHow/DS writer.

  2. Kristal,

    I agree that writing for eHow was more like freewriting. That was the biggest draw for me, and I, like you, only wrote for them when I had an idea for a random article. DS guidelines are much more strict.

    Also, thanks for clarifying about the testing process for accepted eHow writers.

  3. I think that ultimately it will make the content on eHow much better as there is a bunch of questionable articles out there right now. I have been working to build up my own niche sites instead of relying on eHow and other sites that I don't have control over.

  4. I'm sad about it and I'm an 'insider' I think the merge signifies the complete corporate takeover of the site. We won't have funny witty How-To titles anymore. It's a complete zap to creativity.

  5. The whole point of writing for eHow was that it was so much easier than the DS rigamarole. IF you have to go through DS CEs and spent 20 minutes searching for the latest acceptable source, it's no longer worth the time.

  6. I think the merger could be a very positive thing. I already have a DS account and am approved for both eHow and Livestrong (the $20-$30 articles) but preferred to write through eHow's WCP.

    The DS editorial review process will certainly clean up the eHow site, which benefits everyoen int eh long run.

  7. I had written for DS in the past, but opted for ehow when DS took back over 300 of my articles without warning. I am approved for DS, but will explore other options as well.



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