Demand Media Banks It Hard

by Josh Todd on July 30, 2010

If you’ve ever searched Google for the answer to a practical question (and who doesn’t?), you have probably seen the website eHow.com.  It seems to appear on the first page of results for literally thousands of unique terms.  What you may not know is that the company behind eHow.com, Demand Media, has created a cash machine so big that Wall Street and even Google itself has taken notice.

Demand Media Banks It Hard

Essentially, Demand Media is a massive content creation company.  But instead of using employees to do the work, they outsource it all to freelancers.  Authors get paid a set price per article, and they are encourage to crank out several at a time with strict deadlines.  If you like writing but don’t have the time to create your own blog, this actually could be a nice way for you to make a little extra cash on the side.

I can’t help but be impressed by Demand Media and what they’ve done.  They took a simple concept that’s been around for ages, Article Marketing, and scaled it to an unimaginable degree.  The company is rumored to be worth around $1.5 Billion.  It will most likely be acquired by a major public company or have an IPO of its own in the near future.

The reason I felt this was worth a post is to remind all of us of the power of the internet and the opportunity that we have each and every day to get a piece of it.  Don’t get discouraged because you got in the game too late, there is so much money to be made out there.  The world hasn’t even begun to realize the changes that the internet has brought into our daily lives, and the more it gets integrated, the more opportunity there is for us to make money.

You don’t have to create something completely unique and original to make millions of dollars.  Just ask Google.  They certainly didn’t create the search engine, they just built a better one.  All you have to do is keep your eyes and ears open, and when you see something that could be done better or bigger or more profitable, do it!

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Profit Addiction July 30, 2010 at 2:25 am

I hate them, I can never outrank them, lol.

That's crazy though, it's amazing what you can do with a business model when you take it and run with it!

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Mike July 30, 2010 at 2:43 am

Great post Todd. I'll have to look into Demand Media for a few gigs. I'm actually a part-time freelancer for Demand Studios to subsidize my blogging costs (web hosting, cool plugins, etc) and find it pretty easy to be able to earn $30-$45 a week for 2-3 400 word articles per week. I know some writers at Demand Studios are full-time and can bring in around $30-$35k (actually more than full-time from what I hear). Professional writers have mixed feelings about these content warehouses similar to those that professional photographers have of royalty free image companies. But your point is well taken…opportunities abound.

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Jonathan Volk July 30, 2010 at 3:00 am

Very cool article. Encouraging. 🙂

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Moe Vazquez July 30, 2010 at 3:51 am

Great post. I didn't know Demand was behind that.

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browie July 30, 2010 at 4:31 am

ehow is awesome. I'll use it when I'm searching the world wide web.

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Chris Risenhoover July 30, 2010 at 4:33 am

I first read about demand media through an article in Wired http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/10/ff_demandme….

What I found so powerful about their model was the degree to which they analyze terms that 1) have a high adsense value 2) have very low organic competition. Their model is very data driven – so they are not just producing random content, or even content that is the most popular, but content that monetizes well.

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Josh Todd July 30, 2010 at 5:02 am

That's a great point. I didn't realize they did it like that but it makes sense.

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newjersey July 30, 2010 at 5:31 am

Another interesting point about Demand Media is that they own the domain registrar Enom. Enom is the back end for thousands of domain resellers and other registrars. The tremendous amount of data this gives them is amazing.

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Josh Todd July 30, 2010 at 5:33 am

Wow I didn't know that! This company is definitely taking over the internet…

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Tipjar July 30, 2010 at 11:45 am

Fack, why don't I think of this stuff

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Winston Cook August 1, 2010 at 2:32 am

Great post Josh..I was looking at their page and realized something interesting. 1 of their other properties is livestrong.com. I use this site a lot because it does a phenomenal job of giving calorie content and nutrition information for food. The site really is incredible..they have taken a brand.."Lance Armstrong" and turned it into a dominant site for online health..This will be interesting for internet marketers because studies are showing that people who use sites like livestrong.com are having 50% better results in weight loss…The wave of the future for the health and weight loss industry is in our smart phones..The data we input helps us understand our habits better and their "free" sites/apps gives them an amazing understanding of what we eat, where we workout, what we like etc..And best of all it is seamless! These guys are good..

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Russ August 1, 2010 at 5:51 am

You said it right bro. This is the way it works. Stay in the game. It can get bumpy. It will only get better.

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bob August 4, 2010 at 9:28 pm

I would not be so quick to gush over Demand Media. They own eNom, which is the number one spam registrar in the world and were featured in a KnujOn report (see knujon.com) on domain name registrar compliance as supporting illicit online pharmacies. Read it, then decide.

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Josh Todd August 4, 2010 at 11:31 pm

I don't really care what types of sites they provide hosting for through their eNom division; that's not really what the article was about. Nice shameless plug for your website though.

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bob August 4, 2010 at 11:54 pm

Hi Josh,

1. KnujOn.com is not my website.

2. KnujOn does not need any plugs, shameless or otherwise.

3. The article mentions that Demand Media is either going for an IPO or selling itself, so my comment was relevant.

4. The SEC and investors will care when they go for an IPO or sale. Due diligence by the lawyers will find out. And this will affect the future of of what they do thus affecting the readers.

5. If you really do not care about eNom enabling criminals, then there is nothing I can do, but you really should care.

–bob

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Josh Todd August 5, 2010 at 12:51 am

Seeing as how KnujOn.com and ColdRain.net are owned by the same people, and your email address is _____@coldrain.net, it certainly appears that it is your website.

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bob August 5, 2010 at 1:06 am

Hi Josh,

Looks like you have answered your own question, I own coldrain.net and I do not own knujon.com, so clearly knujon.com is not my website. If I wanted to plug my website, I would have plugged coldrain.net, which I did not. But thank you for the shameless plug of my website, which does not need any plugs.

Do you any answers to the other (more important) points?

–bob

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Josh Todd August 5, 2010 at 1:10 am

I'm not sure why I'm even continuing to argue at this point, except that I want you to admit that you own the site. The WhoIs Registrant for Knujon.com is "knujon.com and Coldrain.net – we can help" – http://whois.domaintools.com/knujon.com

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bob August 5, 2010 at 1:38 am

Hi Josh,

Yes, you are right there is no point to this debate. If read a little closer, you would see that G. Bruen is the owner, not R. Bruen. Your misreading of the whois record still does not make me the owner. Moreover, you have focused on a trivial point and not dealt with the important issues.

Have a nice day.

–bob

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Katy December 13, 2010 at 8:45 am

Bob, you’re a lier, it’s obvious.

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Bob December 13, 2010 at 9:33 am

Well Katy, I am not a liar, but at least I can spell.

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newjersey August 5, 2010 at 1:28 am

bob you are a moron.

Enom is a massive registrar that primarily caters to domain resellers, and also serves as the back end to alot of other registrars.

Enom does not enable criminals. I worked for one of their competitors (and we were partnered with them) for over 8 years and know the enom guys personally (before demand bought them out)

They have no interest in harboring spammers or criminals – they are far too busy counting their legitimately earned $$. I don't care what your moronic report claims it is just retarded.

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newjersey August 5, 2010 at 1:32 am

lol

domain tools doesnt lie!

bob i hate you

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bob August 5, 2010 at 1:50 am

Hi newjersey,

That is typical. You cannot refute the claims of the report, so you resort to calling me names, tell me you don't care what the reports says, and tell me you hate me. How grown up of you.

I would suggest that you read the report before decide if the claims are valid or not. If you can show that they are not valid, post your argument.

The reason that they harbor spammers and criminals is just what you said: the money.

–bob

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newjersey August 5, 2010 at 2:30 am

bob i really dont want to drive any more traffic to your crummy "spam" report site and read some made up report.

i personally know and work with people at demand media and they and they take sites down all the time for legitimate reasons. Perhaps you are not clear on the roles of a domain registrar vs. that of a hosting company? Most registrars abide by the rules on when they are allowed to take down sites (exception = godaddy who doesnt play by the rules). You cannot just yank a domain offline everytime someone yells "SPAM". The hosting company is responsible for this, not the domain registrar.

I personally managed the spam/abuse departments at another registrar for many years and this crap would come up all the time and clueless people and spam organizations would make these claims ALL THE TIME.

Seeing as this is an affiliate marketing blog, the focus is on making money. No one, especially the shareholders, give a shit about your spam claims. Go demand media content mill!

back to the real topic – 2 more articles on how hard they bank:
http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/content_display/news/

http://adage.com/mediaworks/article?article_id=14

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bob August 5, 2010 at 3:16 am

Hi newjersey,

Well, it seems you going to continue name calling rather than take a look at the report, which is not fabricated, but well researched. The registrar community has been looking at the report since 21June and have yet to show any of the claims to false. There are two minor points being debated based on rule interpretation, but that is it.

I am well aware of the roles of domain registrars and the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA) that they signed with ICANN. Many registrars do follow the rules, including GoDaddy, which you have brought into the conversation for reasons I do not understand. There are a few really bad registrars, a bunch of good registrars and a bunch in the middle who are not bad, but could be a little more helpful in keeping the bad guys off the air.

If you read the RAA, the registrars, in fact, have agreed to abide by local and federal laws, as well as by ICANN policy. Those that do not, like eNom, set themselves up to lose their registrar accreditation.

Nobody has said that a registrar should yank a domain name because some yells SPAM. Every complaint filed is verified before the site loses its domain name. There are rules and procedures for this. eNom simply refuses to follow them.

If you worked at the abuse department at some registrar, your attitude explains why it is so difficult to get the bad guys off the air. If you think we are clueless, you have not been paying attention.

Yes, this is an affiliate marketing blog. No one has said you can't or shouldn't make money. It is just that some ways of making money are illegal or unethical. That's why we have law enforcement agencies. For those who might want to invest in Demand Media, they need to be fully informed before they lay out their money. That's just good business sense. If, after understanding the situation, they still want to invest, so be it. The market will take care of itself.

If the moderators believe that my postings should censored, they will act, but your rants will not be the reason.

-bob

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Dan Lew August 15, 2010 at 12:15 pm

eHow is very good about explaining things step by step, I have always used them for a bunch of stuff. Nice inspirational post about them, thanks for sharing.

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Bob December 13, 2010 at 9:40 am

To all of you who have said that eNom has not enabled criminals, you should be aware by now that eNom/Demand Media made an arrangement with LegitScript to verify all of their online pharmacy domains.

Since then, thousands of them have been suspended, each of which was a criminal enterprise. And before you ask, the answer is no, I have not received any benefits from their arrangement.

So yes, eNom was enabling criminal enterprises and now they are fixing it.

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affmind April 3, 2011 at 4:52 am

Stumbled on this (relatively) old post and had a good laugh. Funny how opinions have changed about eHow in the recent months.

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Alex Yegorov July 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Good day! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa? My site discusses a lot of the same topics as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other. If you’re interested feel free to shoot me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Fantastic blog by the way!

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