eHow Dumps Its Writers
This page used to include all my tips on writing for eHow. Those are useless now, so I'm converting the site into a meet-and-greet for eHow writers to connect with each other. It can be a place to voice complaints, to remember the fun times and to find out where fellow eHow writers are putting their work now.
I started writing for eHow in February 2008 and ended with almost 500 articles. On a good month, with the writer's compensation program, my articles earned about $400 in residuals. I was enjoying that, but on May 5, 2011, the site cut off the WCP and residuals.
Writers received offers (confidential ones) from Demand Studios to buy out their articles. It varied widely. Some said their offer was $5 per article or $1 per article on the average. The highest I heard was an average of $20 per article. Some writers took the money and moved on to build up online income at other writing sites. Some turned the offer down and scrambled to rescue their articles from eHow's clutches. It was a personal decision with many factors tipping the scales.
Did You Take the Buyout?
Your vote is anonymous/no one sees the individual votes
eHow friends on Facebook report they just received their second/final payout July 11, 2011.
How Much Was Your Buy Out Offer (your name is not displayed in the poll)
This is anonymous/no one sees who votes
Let Your Feelings Out - about eHow
How are you feeling? Mad, sad, hopeful, glad for what you learned, or whatever?
Some Felt Sad or Angry-
jseven lm - eHow had bad communication and treated its writers like dirt, not because they wanted to upscale, but the way everything was handled, so last minute and the lying they did. I was sad that I did not write a lot more on eHow, so my buyout offer would have bought me a new car. I just moved on and shook it off cause that's the business world. We have to make lemonade out of lemons or stay sour and life is too short for that.
anonymous - I am extremely irate. Firstly, I was sent a Dear John/Jane letter in late April. I was completely unaware of what had happened and had 5 days to decide. I read the majority of the people and noted they decided to take the payouts and I figured with only 98 published articles, most of them relevant for certain periods of time, others certainly more valuable, that I would take the $860+ they offered me. Well, I was advised as per their "buyout" agreement that A. I would retain the rights to my articles, B. I would be paid in two installments; first to take place on the 16th June and the second a month later.
This morning I awoke to a shock when I saw 24.60 paid to me from Demand Media. This came a day after I had realized they had changed all my articles from my name to "Braniac" and when I enquired was told, "Oh yes, we did write in one of the clauses that if you sold to us we had a right to change the author's byline".
I quickly retorted that indeed they did but they stated in the same agreement that we, the writers, would retain full rights to OUR work. So how does a hidden clause stating they will remove your name from your work fit in with this?
I have now written to them and am trying to access my original offer page but cannot. Anyone else with similar issues please leave an email or something and I will be glad to get in touch. I think we may need to see about hiring a lawyer to enforce our rights and to force them to admit they are scamming us out of monies we should have rightfully earned and intellectual credit we were promised even in their buyout.
I briefly was invited to and did write for Demand Media but it was too much. Each editor had different criteria and you could never argue your case as to why something was relevant to the article. Many of the editors had no comprehension of the subject matter which I specialized in and many just counted words not looking at context.
anonymous - Now that I turned down the offer and found Seekyt, a site with an awesome over the top helpful admin, I am relieved. Now to place my articles between Seekyt, Triond, and Bukisa is my challenge. I will miss the monthly income from eHow, but I was only averaging 89-112 a month, I had some months higher but eHow would make changes and my earnings would go down. I am upset how they dumped on us, the same day they stopped paying was the day they told us that we had until May 31 to do whatever we had to do. I was scrambling to copy and paste articles and pictures of nearly 300 articles, as were many other writers.
Some Had a Different Attitude -
gottaloveit2 - Absolutely not! I was never very good on eHow and only made $200-300 a month at the max. I probably wouldn't have found you (Virginia!) or Squidoo if eHow had continued. I'm grateful the program died.
Virginia Allain - I feel that eHow gave me the chance to try out writing on diverse topics. That has helped me on Squidoo.
aliciamaggie54 - I learned so much there. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I had. I just wish they would have made an announcement at least two months in advance of stopping the compensation program. Other than that, the opportunity was good.
hsschulte - We earned more there in revenue sharing and from the buyout than we could have anyplace else online. I feel I was paid fairly and then some. It was a great opportunity and wonderful while it lasted. I'm just disappointed that it's over.
Peggy Hazelwood - eHow was my first writing site online and I loved it. I learned so much and earned so much that I can't be angry. Things change. I've learned to roll with the punches, that way the bruises are minimal.
SPhilbrick - It's pointless to be "angry". Most everyone would agree that we made better residual income on eHow than any other place online. EHow had the RIGHT to take the WCP away anytime and it said so right in the TOU/TOS. How about thinking of what was gained instead? I got residual income, a great learning experience in the world of freelance writing, and many opportunities to branch out to other areas.....ALL because of eHow. And I made friends all over the country. No ill-will here even though I, too, will miss the monthly deposit in my Paypal account.
Ann Hinds - One of the reasons I went to Helium was the personal touch. When you write to a staff member, they get back to you. They just went through some big changes and not everyone is happy but we were all told up front. If anything, I am angry with eHow for the lack of communication.
Diane Cass - It wasn't a personal decision on their part. They paid me fairly for my work, so I'm okay with it. I really miss eHow though. I really do.
anonymous - I say that eHow is a business, and any business has the right to close its doors or to change how it does business. All of us who wrote for eHow did so because of the nature of the business until it changed. It was a great opportunity, we all learned a lot about writing online, residual income, and were able to build our portfolios. For those who took the buyout (I did and it was VERY generous) we now have the opportunity to take those improved skills and move ahead with other projects. I only had 89 articles on eHow and many of them will decrease in value over time, but I can re-write them with updated information and publish the new articles on other sites. Anyone who is bitter about this is not looking at it from a business point of view. There is not one business in the world that is obligated to stay in business or do business the way it always has just because I want it to.
bossypants - Disappointed. It's always sad when an organization that has created something unique and taken an enlightened view chooses to sacrifice that for a short-term gain that they perceive is worth it, somehow. But, these things happen. I learned all I know about online writing at eHow. More, I would never have imagined making so many friends -- people I think about throughout my day. As everyone has said, I'll miss the income, but I write for fun and there's still plenty of that out there!
Alohagems - At first I was very upset. I was disappointed because I was predicting that my residual income would keep on rising. I am also sad because eHow is part of my morning routine (checking earnings every morning as soon as I get up) Buying out means my best residual earner will stop. But I have to think about it... eHow does not owe me anything I should be grateful... I joined paid blogging since 2008 for $5 - $20 but after paying me, I did not earn any more for those articles. I need to move on and forget about eHow. The knowledge and friendship that I gained while being in eHow is priceless. And I am stand-alone now. Thank you, eHow friends.
Nancy Carol Brown Hardin - Not angry...mostly sad but glad for what I learned, and especially glad for all the friends I met there.
Frischy - Angry, no. Disappointed, yes. It is Demand Studio's business and they can structure their site any way they want to. It is my opinion that they are removing what made eHow a great site. They did not ask my opinion, however! They can do what they want. I had a great time at eHow, earned some money that helped my family, learned a lot and made some wonderful friends. It was over too fast, but that happens. Time to search out bigger and better opportunities!
Virginia Allain - I had moved on to greener pastures before the bitter end. Sure I'll miss that monthly deposit in my Paypal, but I learned a lot at eHow and made some wonderful online writing friends.
This is an anonymous poll (even the lensmaster can't see who posted to it)
How Many Articles Did You Have on eHow - give or take a few from the sweeps?
I was sad when eHow ended but life goes on.— Monika Weise
What's Your Primary Writing Spot Now?
Writers Talk about "Life after eHow"
anonymous 5 years ago - I have kept in touch with many writers through facebook. Ehow did develop a Facebook community which was something they had a goal for and I do admire that they provided the tools to form community. I really wish we had a community like before....But we are developing sub-communities with Facebook, Twitter and places like this one.
hsschulte - I love Squidoo! I'm also at BrightHub. It doesn't seem to be for everyone, but the pay is the best out there in my opinion. I also have 7 blogs and post on them when I remember to do it.
Pam Irie - Still new to Squidoo, but like it better with each new step I learn. I do have one blog, Sallygoodin, also. That's about it for writing online for me.
I'm on Squidoo, Xomba and Bukisa. I have a few blogs, here's one of them: www.teabagwoman.blogspot.com
Oh online writing sites, let me list the ways.
I write on Squidoo when notions strike.
I jump over to List My Five after riding my bike.
I jot down some words for my Website too
when I see a grammar or spelling boo boo.
Don't forget, dear one, about AC or Suite
when I don't care if I earn to buy shoes for my feet.
But mostly, dear Internet, I write to breathe.
I split my time between Helium and Squidoo. Squidoo lets me do the fluff that eHow dinged me for. With Helium, I can choose to write for payment and I do volunteer there. I am a RocketMom and have learned lots from the women here. Virginia has been great and more than helpful. I now have over 100 lenses on Squidoo and the only ones deleted were by me. I did not sign a disclosure agreement but I don't have anything bad to say except that Demand Media's underhanded way of dealing with the writers was unfortunate.
I'm writing on my own site, Kitty Cooks, and on my newest blog called Rocky the Wonder Dog.
Angela F - interesting #s on the polls. Hard to believe there are people that got more than $10K in a buyout... wow!
anonymous - mostly my writing is on my own blog but I do some work on HubPages and Associated (Yahoo) Content.
bossypants - I find I'm actually taking a little bit of a break. I have ideas for lenses and have signed up on another site, but I just haven't been inspired to publish, yet.
This is an awesome page, Virginia. You take such good care of us -- letting us vent and also see (anonymously) if all the stuff we've heard of others' experiences might be true!
Alohagems - On Squidoo too. But I am building a blog to support this site and my other residual income activities....
Nancy Carol Brown Hardin - Squidoo is where I'm concentrating my efforts right now...I've done a few lists for Listmyfive, but got bored with that. I find Squidoo gives me more helpful tools for writing than any other site I've investigated.
Frischy - I am writing for Squidoo now. It's fun!
If you signed the non-disclosure agreement with eHow, don't say anything in the comment sections that might violate that. Use the anonymous polls for that info.
© 2009 Virginia Allain