Creating Great Content Just Got Easier

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from renovating eHow, it’s that one size does not always fit all. Based on what we’ve learned from this process and the feedback we’ve received from writers, we’ve decided to move away from form-like templates and towards an open content creation platform.

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Do Slack Off

chaos-office2__final_2The Demand Media Studios office can be a hectic place. The day to day operations of keeping the Studio running require a boatload of hard work and teamwork. It involves a cast of characters that can range into the dozens who can be spread out across multiple departments. Needless to say, communication is important if we want to keep this operation running smoothly. Continue reading

A Balanced Writing Portfolio

gfgfgfgOne of the most difficult problems for a freelance writer is to develop a level and flow of work that will provide a balanced, regular income. Spend months working on a book and wait for advances and royalties; write a magazine article in a couple of hours, then wait for payment on publication; work on website copy over a fortnight for a company, and sometimes wait months for them to settle the invoice … frustrating isn’t it?

There is a better way, and it comes from the world of financial investment: the “writer’s portfolio.” We’re not talking about a display book showing your magazine cuttings or book covers — this is an approach to getting more income from your writing and getting paid more regularly. Continue reading

How to Juggle Freelance Work and Parenting

futurefreelanceI didn’t always understand why my work priorities aren’t everyone’s priorities, especially when I managed nonprofit volunteers and needed them to meet their deadlines. Then I had a baby, and suddenly, I got it. Volunteers often had full-time jobs plus the best full-time volunteer opportunity of all: being a parent.

After leaving nonprofits and spending several years as a flower shop owner, I decided to stay home with my kids. That’s when I dived headfirst into freelancing. I thought it couldn’t be simpler than freelancing part-time while the kids played quietly.

Right. Continue reading

Nine Ways To Survive the Workday

Each day at the office is filled with its share of to-do lists, deadlines and stressful moments, so the last thing we need when attempting to stay on top of it all? Not having our heads on straight.

Life is all about balancing out challenges with the decision to remain upbeat, determined and poised. Happiness is a choice, after all. Here are nine daily routines that help me remain positive and energized.

1. Begin the day with exercise.

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Can’t Someone Else Do It?!

cantsomeoneJ. D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye,” Shel Silverstein’s The “Giving Tree,” Tim Urban’s Procrastination Blog Post … what do these three pieces of literature have in common? If you ask me, they’re all must-reads. Continue reading

Featured Contributor: Madison Garcia

sandiego School: San Diego State University
Degree: Masters in Accounting
Approved Sections: Business and Finance, Culture and Society

As a San Diego resident, you must on the inside scoop on the best attraction. Our craft beer. There’s over 100 craft breweries in San Diego and they just keep on coming. I particularly love stopping in at the small brewery tasting rooms in the Mira Mesa and Clairemont Mesa area. The brewers are often the ones serving up the samples and they’re always excited to chat about what’s currently in the fermenter. Continue reading

All About Markdown

BLOGIAMADAMarkdown – a new feature in the Studio’s writing tools that allows writers and editors to make content more engaging through the use of formatting. As this is a newer function within our platform, we decided it would be helpful to provide some additional insights into when and how you should use formatting when working on Studio assignments. Continue reading

Change the Channel

ssssssssIt might sound absurd, and even harder to admit, but writing can sometimes feel stale. Considering all the forms of entertainment we have circumventing the web — videos of cats, animated gifs, breathtaking photography — standard text, all by itself on a plain piece of paper, appears … archaic. Purists will argue there’s no truer form of entertainment than reading a passage and embarking on an adventure using nothing but the imagination, which is fine. Truth be told I’m not here to counter argue that, as that ideology does make sense to me. After all, I love writing. However, as a creative individual looking to express myself in different ways, I ventured outside of traditional standard writing in order to find a different channel. That outlet? Photoshop.

What started out as a mere distraction has actually blossomed into a full-fledged hobby. Whereas some people utilize the software to enhance images, I’ve take a slightly different route: I like to alter pre-existing images floating around the web by adding effects. Not only does this practice help to channel my influx of creativity, but it also helps keep my mind sharp. While I enjoy writing, it’s equally as fun to work in this medium.

Here are a few of my favorite altered images. Granted, they aren’t perfect; I am still learning Photoshop’s many intricate tools. As I continually push myself to learn more, the process becomes more enjoyable, and easier. Continue reading

Featured Contributor: Jenny Green

contribSchool: Open University (UK)
Degree: MA Literature
Approved Sections: Gardening, Pets, Science

Because you’re so enamored by Science Fiction, can you tell us what your favorite book from that genre is? Arghhh… that’s a hard question. My most recent favorites have been Anne Leckie’s Ancillary Justice and Connie Willis’ Doomsday Book.bloggerbooks Continue reading