Oct 21, 2011
James Patterson

How to Turn Your “Junk” Clips into Paying Gigs

If you’re a Demand Studios writer, you’ve no doubt been feeling the pinch over the last few weeks as the site has moved to a new system for doling out assignments. One analyst estimates the new assignment system effectively cuts out up to 75 percent of writers from getting regular assignments.

This, from the company that still touts being able to easily make a full-time income from home. If stock prices are any indication, we may have already seen the heyday of DMS, meaning thousands of writers who had hopes and dreams of making a go of a freelance writing career are sitting high and dry right now.

One of the problems with those who spent an inordinate amount of time and energy devoted to Demand and other content mills is that now that’s all their writing portfolios are stocked with. And, in the world of professional freelance writing, many editors out there value a clip from Demand Studios or other content mills as much as investors are valuing their stock right now. Which is to say, not very high.

So what do you do if you find yourself out of work but with a pile of Livestrong or eHow clips on your lap?

My advice? Use your clips locally. Yes, the Internet is flush with stories critical of DMS, their model, the quality of writing and the such, but there are bound to be people in your community who have never even heard of Demand Studios, let alone the hit their reputation has taken as of late.

I almost universally use my most high-profile clips, such as the federal government work I’ve done, to get clients. But there may be clients in your area for which your Livestrong or eHow clips are more appropriate. Hit the streets and go to locally owned health and fitness businesses in your area. Tell them you’re an experienced freelance writer. Ask them if they’ve ever heard of the LIVESTRONG brand. Yes, they say? Tell them you’ve written articles for Livestrong.com.

The key is to focus on pitching the right audience with the right clips. Trying to land a gig writing articles for Men’s Health or Shape using your DMS clips is an exercise in fruition. But you may end up having success pitching local clients, even those who have never used a freelancer before.

Turning “junk” clips into paying gigs is possible. It just takes quite a bit more effort.


  • I’ve landed several clients just this way; We forget that not everyone keeps tabs on the latest doings in content mills. Heck, most people don’t know what a content mill is!
    Josh Rahn recently posted..CommunicationMy Profile

    • Awesome Josh. It can be done!

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This little corner of the Internet is for anyone who's looking to start a freelance business while holding down a real job, wondering how to jump from part-time freelancing to full-time or looking for freelance writing information in general.

My name is James Patterson. You can learn more about me here.