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Posts Tagged ‘review’

What It’s Really Like to Write for a Content Farm

ContentFarmsEver read an article on how to mash potatoes or fix your toilet? Chances are, if you’ve typed anything in Google search starting with “how to” or “what to do when,” you’ve read articles written by content farmers, freelance writers who work for sites like eHow and

In the latest Mediabistro AvantGuild feature, a former Demand Media writer tells what it’s really like toiling on the content farm. On a typical day, she writes, she’d find assignments ranging from “the serious to the completely inane.”

There were usually plenty of writeable titles to choose from, but occasionally I’d come across a dud like “How to Furnish a Giraffe” or “20 Benefits of a 3CQ On the JLRM36.” There were also a thousand iterations of the same article: “How to Dye Your Hair Pink,” “Best Pink Hair Color for Brunettes” or “How to Change Your Hair from Blonde to Pink.” Sometimes these redundancies were beneficial, because I could use the same resources for multiple articles and save time on research. At others, the droning nature of this process made me wonder, “What am I doing?”

For more, read My Year as a Content Farm Writer.

ag_logo_medium.gifThe full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Sherry Yuan

Mediabistro Course

Middle Grade Novel Writing

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Hotel Review Site Adds Booking Functionality, Increases Revenue

Oyster's Photo of Hyatt Regency Shows Actual Distance from U.S. Capitol

Marketing Photo of Hyatt Regency in Washington D.C. Shows View of U.S. Capitol

In an industry that’s shucking a lot of oysters, here’s a business that might have found a pearl. started out as a review site similar to Trip Advisor, except that it left the investigative reporting to professional writers.  That was in 2008.  In March 2010 Fishbowl NY reported that the review site would become a hotel transaction service more like Expedia and After three months of facilitating bookings through a third-party inventory provider – not to mention laying off the editorial staff and adopting a freelance model – founder Elie Seidman told mbStartups that the company has seen a spike in revenue.

We were curious as to how well the merchants handled negative reviews and unsexy photos like the ones posted on BusinessInsider last month, but Seidman told us it wasn’t a problem. Because the hotel listings are pulled from a third party, there is little to no interaction between Oyster and the merchants.   Oyster gets a cut of the sales in the same way, said Seidman, that a universal ATM profits from dispersing cash from multiple banks.  More importantly, the customers appreciate the honesty and also like the convenience of booking a hotel straight from the site.

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