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

Creating Great Content Just Got Easier

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from renovating eHow, it’s that one size does not always fit all. Based on what we’ve learned from this process and the feedback we’ve received from writers, we’ve decided to move away from form-like templates and towards an open content creation platform.


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

Happy Holidays from the DMS Team


Esteemed Writers and Editors of DMS,

Can you believe 2014 is steadily drawing to a close? As we prepare the Studio for the holiday observance next week, we want to say “thank you!” to our contributors. Continue reading

In Memoriam: Maya Angelou

Photo by Stephen Matteson Jr/New York Times Co./Getty Images)

Photo by Stephen Matteson Jr/New York Times Co./Getty Images)

Last night esteemed  poet, author, and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou passed away. She was 86 and it’s safe to say that in her time, she not only lived life to the fullest, but left a legacy of words enabling others to do the same. Whether inspired by her works of fiction and prose, or by her own stirring sentiments on life — Angelou’s words are what she leaves behind. So today, we’ll celebrate this heck of a lady by sharing a few of our favorite phrases.

“A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.”
“Let the brain go to work let it meet the heart and you will be able to forgive.”
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but will never forget how you made them feel.”
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
“We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”

Claire & Jenny’s Format Frenzy: The Listicle

It’s full speed ahead here at the offices–we’re finally starting to see renovated content populate eHow! (cue the applause). While you’re busy evaluating, editing, and writing we’ve been cooking up a few ideas behind-closed-doors.

One way we’re adding a wow factor to these renovated works is by exploring new types of engaging content formats. Claire and I are so excited about these formats that we decided to embrace our fandom and produce a series of posts dedicated to everything formats — we’ve dubbed it “Format Frenzy.” In these posts, we’ll outline one of the new formats you might see (if all goes according to plan), and provide examples of some great work!

So without further ado, may I introduce THE LISTICLE.

What is a Listicle?

A listicle is an engaging format that takes ONE central idea and expands said idea into a “list” of related content. So, instead of producing one article on, “How to Make Garland,” a listicle would address the title with, “How to Make Garland: 7 Unforgettable Garland Ideas.”

What sections utilize the listicle format?

We’re hoping to bring listicles to sections like Arts & Crafts, Food, Garden, and Home Decor. We’ll let you know if more sections get the green light.

Who came up with name “listicle”?

It’s hard to believe, but this is a real industry term. Don’t trust me? Check this out!

What does an eHow listicle look like?

Here’s a mock-up of what our listicle content will potentially look like! Gorgeous, right?



Now Arriving: eHow Renovation Assignments

UPDATE: 6/17/2014

Good news everyone, as of this morning every Section is officially Now Boarding. That’s right, each Section is set and ready to go, meaning you’ll be able to view/claim renovated eHow assignments! Please note that you’ll have to first be approved for a Section(s) before being able to view/claim.

Also, please note that we’re releasing assignments as fast as we can. If you log in, click on Find Assignments, and see little to nothing it’s most likely because assignments have been claimed by other writers. If you feel this might be an error you can always reach us at the Help Desk via

Thank you! 


Again, keep in mind we’re constantly adding new assignments. If you’re part of an active section, and you don’t see anything in “Find Assignments,” don’t lose hope. We recommend you get in the habit of checking back regularly, as assignments tend to drop when they’re available.

eHow Assignments are On Their Way!

A few weeks ago I let everyone know that we we’re getting closer to making eHow Renovation assignments available to DMS writers and editors. Well, I’m very happy to say that starting today the wait is officially over.

We’re starting off by adding new assignments for writers and editors in 6 Studio sections. These sections will start getting assignments right away, with more being added regularly.

  • Family & Relationships
  • Garden
  • Home
  • Legal
  • Parenting
  • Real Estate

What about everyone else? Not to worry, we’re plugging away at getting those assignments ready for your sections, too. We’ll be sending emails out to the members of each section as the assignments are ready, so you will know when to hop into your Work Desk again.

In the meantime, I suggest dusting off your copy of the DMS Editorial Guidelines to refresh your memory before your next assignment. And I hope you’re all as excited as we are to start working on eHow again!