Your Most Frequently Asked Freestyle Questions, Answered!

bloggersThere’s no such thing as a “stupid” question around here! With the new Content Creation Tool in full swing, it’s inevitable to run into a host of questions. As the community specialist and over-seer of the forums, I have gathered some of the most common questions I’ve received here in this blog.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Question: How do I get back to the Work Desk?

Answer: Click on the Demand Media Studios logo in the upper left-hand corner. Be sure to save your work first! 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

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

Emphasizing Intros & Subheads

Last August, we updated our Introduction and Subhead guidelines. The primary goal: Improve the helpfulness of articles. Utility is the principle objective for the vast majority of our articles. We’re not simply answering readers’ questions. We’re providing solutions for their needs. That in mind, intros and subheads are two significant elements of the article. Before readers ever read the full article, they’ll scan the page and see those. If we’re not explicitly addressing needs and solutions within intros and subheads, then we run the risk of obscuring the deeper solutions the article itself is providing.

Since we launched those guideline revisions, we’ve seen tremendous improvement in article quality and utility. But we have plenty of room to learn and grow. Given the subjective nature of each individual title and its needs, there will never be a one-size-fits-all approach. But we can clarify what we’d like these to be and offer examples that highlight best practices. Continue reading

Wheels Up, Words Down

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By: Bryn Bellamy

There’s an inherent difference between people who travel and people who don’t travel. It’s cliched to say travelers are restless, but I do think we crave variety in a way that other people crave routine. Not that there’s anything wrong with craving routine, but the traveler lives for the surprises, and perhaps even the dangers that come with stepping into the unknown. (I’m not an adrenaline junkie of the flying-squirrel-suit variety, but I do get a bit twitchy if I haven’t been on an airplane for a couple of months.) Continue reading

Internet Memes — Hilarious or Annoying?

meme catLove ’em or hate ’em, memes (rhymes with ‘seems’) are an integral part of our daily internet browsing. With sarcastic text plastered across an iconic image, memes provide a near-instant satisfactory scratch to the everyday mundane itch. What makes memes wildly successful? I believe it’s because they are A) relatable, B) humorous, C) often crude, and D) obnoxious–but that’s what makes them so interesting in the first place. Any way you look at it, memes have vast become a widespread form of internet speak across communities, forums, blogs, and emails. Understanding their rich culture, and origin, has become something of an art form.

memesIf you’d like to brush up on the origin of a meme, or simply looking to obtain more knowledge about the subject, head on over to Know Your Meme–a comprehensive website that is constantly being updated with not only the classics, but the latest and greatest.

Looking to create your own meme, but not sure exactly where to start? Of course there are various websites devoted to meme-generation, some more favorable than others. If you have a twitter handle, or Facebook permissions, a great place to make memes is Quick Meme. Another site that allows you to quickly make a meme is imgur, which doesn’t require any log in credentials. Either site proves the necessary tools to…

  • Select an image that’s already established as a meme
  • (or) upload a new image of your choosing
  • Place text in the desirable locations–most often a top line and a bottom
  • Share functionality to plaster that newly created meme of yours across the internet

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Personally, I’m in the ‘like’ camp when it comes to memes. Oh, and speaking of the aforementioned ‘relatable,’ this particular meme (First World Problems, pictured directly above) is one of my personal favorites. Basically, if you’ve never heard of this this meme it investigates the various ‘struggles’ people go through in a first world Country–struggles that would ordinarily be considered plush in practically any other situation.

What, if any, are your favorite memes?

How To: Make an Animated GIF from a YouTube Video

Ever find yourself wishing you could easily make an animated gif from something you saw on YouTube? Well, now you can. Best of all it’s free, relatively painless, and only takes a few short minutes.

After you’ve scoured YouTube for that copyright-free video you want to make into a gif (I chose a Monster Truck fail montage), visit: makeagif.com. Once you’ve opened makeagif.com in a new tab, simply follow the instructions I’ve outlined below.

pro tip: create an account (free) at makeagif.com for quality gifs and no watermarks.
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What’s the point of a “clean” URL? It makes sharing the image much easier, since it won’t link to a website, and instead directs users to the image itself. This way you can upload it to Twitter, Facebook, attach in an email, or even post in the Studio’s Forums minus the headache of sending anyone to a website.

Here we have the final product…

Huge success! (for us, not so much the driver of the truck)