Demand Media and Weed Out Freelancers

In a turn of bad news for $20-an-article freelancers, two fountains of paid-in-pajamas writing gigs have largely dried up. Demand Media and AOL’s are scaling back contract assignments for their content farms.

The companies give different reasons for their cuts. Demand Media says it now has enough informational content to keep the search traffic coming.

In an email to ClickZ News, spokesperson Kristen Moore said, “We’ve shifted our focus on assignments to more targeted categories and to other forms of content (slide shows, video series and feature articles). We’re still assigning some standard titles in the ‘how to’ and topic view format for, but we’ve now built a comprehensive library and will be making fewer of these assignments for the foreseeable future.”

Mario Ruiz, spokesperson for Seed parent AOL, said the company’s content-sharing relationship with sister property Huffington Post is part of the reason it’s pulling back on freelance assignments. “[We’ve] scaled the Huffington Post Media Group’s editorial team and continue to grow its blogging platform, we have reduced the number of SEED freelancers as we evaluate how best to integrate its strengths with [Huffington Post Media Group],” he said via email.

A third large publisher of cheaply produced editorial content, Yahoo-owned Associated Content, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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