Demand Media

by on February 15, 2010

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I’m sure that you’ve heard a lot in the news about how traditional media companies are having trouble taking their business models online. You may be under the impression that making money from web content is near impossible, but there’s a dirty little secret: it’s not. While companies like the New York Times stick to editorial integrity and chasing Pulitzers, there are companies out there that craft their content with the sole purpose of making money. A perfect example is Santa Monica, CA based Demand Media. They’ve secured more than $355 million in venture capital funding, grown annual revenue to more than $200 million annually, and reached a valuation north of $1 billion all by taking an ROI based approach to content development. How does that work? Demand Media has developed an algorithm that helps them find profitable topics. By using data from Google AdWords, they’re able to estimate the demand for a given piece of content (example: an article and video on how to tie your shoes) along with the revenue that the yet to be developed piece of content could be expected to make given a certain number of pageviews.

Demand an Internship

This may sound unsavory to some of the writers out there, but I’d imagine the business students are in awe. Demand Media delivers their content through a number of web properties, and some of these include eHow, Cracked, and In addition to distributing profitable content across their web properties, Demand Media also licenses some of the social media tools that they’ve developed internally to other businesses. One of the amazing things that I learned about Demand Media while researching them is that they publish approximately 4,000 articles and videos every day. Demand Media is YouTube’s largest contributor, and the number of pageviews that they’re driving across their network is staggering. They’re able to develop so much content through an army of freelancers who work through a site called Demand Studios. If you’re a Writer, Filmmaker, or Copy Editor, that’s the first option for getting an “internship” (it’s only freelance, and the rates are kind of low) through Demand Media. Your second option is to check out Demand Media’s Corporate Career offerings. There’s only one internship posted right now—an unpaid Editorial Internship in Santa Monica, CA—although I wouldn’t be surprised to see more opportunities posted in the future. You can apply online for this postion, but before you do, take an hour to learn more about Demand Media—there’s a ton of information available about them.

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