eHow Admits UK Site is Not Paying US Writers

by JadeDragon on January 11, 2010

I prefer to be positive about life and look forward – but the ehow UK issue contains so many lessons on what not to do to your business partners I just have to blog about it.  I welcome your thoughts in the comments.

eHow community manager Rich posted the following message thread to the eHow forums this morning.

“Dear Members,

We’ve noticed the buzz around eHow’s new UK website and specifically the questions of whether WCP participants are paid for their articles shown on our sister website.  We appreciate all the comments, as our community is what makes us special, and wanted to clearly address your concerns.  At the moment we do not have a system to pay writers for their articles hosted on eHow.co.uk.

We’ve listened to your voices and since we are unable pay WCP participants in the UK, we’ll be removing your articles from eHow’s UK website within the next few weeks.  We’ll keep you posted on our progress and thank you for your patience and commitment to eHow.

Best Regards,
The eHow Team”

A growing number of eHow writers have been raising hell about the issues of earnings dropping and eHow UK site articles ranking higher on searches over about the last 2 months (the UK site has been live for about 5 months).   Until now eHow has been dodging the eHow UK site questions with evasive and half truth responses.   I guess management was finally backed into a corner.

I believe the ehow UK site issue is responsible for both my low eHow earnings and  decline in those earnings.   I started posting new articles on November 1, 2009 and continued adding to the library through out the month.  Many of those articles only had a few days to earn in November.

I added a few more articles in December, replacing 5 that were swept by eHow and increasing the total count a bit.  All the unswept November articles had a full month to earn.  I also built a lot of good links to drive traffic to my articles. Further, conventional wisdom (like found in WriterGig’s book on eHow) suggests that it takes a month or so to for articles to mature.

Instead, earnings in December were lower then November earnings.  I know the holidays might be a factor, but still seems odd.

In January my earnings per day are about 1/2 what they were in December.  Definitely figured something fishy was going on.

If someone steals your content and gets it ranked on the search engines it can adversely impact your revenue.  As I posted in the forums, I can’t understand what the point of cloning all the content of the eHow US site onto a eHow UK site is unless it was a way to reduce earnings for the US writers.  What further makes no sense is that eHow uses a secret algorithm that they can change anytime.  If they wanted to cut payouts to the US writers they can do that anytime without the effort of setting up a whole UK site.

Conclusions?

  • eHow treats their writers with disdain.
  • They knew they were not paying for the ehow UK site traffic yet refused to tell the writers for months.
  • Now they plan to take weeks to remove all the US freelancer material.
  • If they needed content for eHow UK they could have just used the many Demand Studios / Contributing Writer’s articles they own outright instead of stealing the use of articles where writers retain the copyright and expect to be paid for the use.
  • Demand studios is going public soon.  They just ticked off a large group of potentially engaged and loyal small stockholders.   The kind of stockholders that buy and hold and buy more on the dips.  Seems pretty dumb to me.

This issue, added to the MANY technical issues the eHow site has been having is going to really hurt eHow’s reputation. Sad they insist on screwing up a good idea.  What happened to eHow?  No on minding the business.  Very strange indeed.

What a contrast to Constant Content, a smaller site that treats it writers with real respect as business partners for mutual success.

JadeDragon

{ 4 trackbacks }

Look, Ma. They’re Spinning Our Buzz to Create a New Meme. – The Content Writer | Writing Online for Residual Income
January 11, 2010 at 2:10 pm
Different Posts for Different Folks – Beyond Just Being Consistent | The Smart Passive Income Blog
January 24, 2010 at 11:07 pm
eHow UK public relations disaster
January 25, 2010 at 10:23 pm
Demand Studios Ehow Writers Compensation Program
November 3, 2010 at 4:18 am

{ 17 comments }

1 Allison January 11, 2010 at 12:12 pm

They, “noticed the buzz”? Their users have been demanding answers for more than two months, leaving in droves, and the controversy is all over the web.

And one of the many things I find strange is that the eHow UK site is actually in Washington state on the same servers as the US site. So how hard can it be to right this wrong?

Yet somehow I get the feeling that when they say they will take the articles down “within a few weeks” they mean “within a few months.”

Many of us believe Demand Media has been trying to make its Internet properties look much larger than they actually are by cloning the US site and making separate pages for the article comments. Crazy.

Thanks for reporting this. I enjoy reading your blog.

2 JadeDragon January 22, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Well they got the articles off the UK site much faster then I would have thought. Thanks for commenting Allison.

3 Alrady January 11, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Great posting and it is awesome that people worked together to get the “ear” of ehow. I am not so certain that they KNEW that we weren’t being compensated.. I am not even sure they knew the google results were as they were. AND that to me is scarier than a deliberate sabotage of your writing members.
I still think ehow is great opportunity and a good way to learn internet skills. BUT just as many have said, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

4 JadeDragon January 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Agreed – spread the action around. I’m pretty happy with Xomba myself. Read this info on Xomba http://www.xomba.com/about_us

5 Former eHow Writer January 11, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Surprisingly, people aren’t as “ticked-of” as they SHOULD be.

You do realize that this cloned UK article site has been alive and kicking (and earning) for well over 6 months now, right? While I can’t tell you how much the UK website has earned, the US site earns millions in ad revenue every single month. (It has been proven that those eHow UK cloned articles had ranked higher in the search engines, for quite some time, in comparison to their US original counter parts)

Had some alert and savvy eHow writers not forced the issue, eHow would have done absolutely nothing. This is akin to the corrupt politician that FINALLY speaks out because it’s in their political best-interest to do so.

What if these eHow writers hadn’t made an issue? eHow would have continued to do this same thing to no end….knowing full well the ethical implications of it….

The mere fact that they felt they could pull the wool over the eyes of their writers is a testament to how they regard them. It is really actually quite disturbing that they would even try to pull of something so shady of this scale.

Now they ‘promise’ to remove these article “in increments” over the course of “several weeks”……

This reeks of corruption on so many levels. There is no middle ground here.

6 Brian January 11, 2010 at 4:44 pm

this reminds me of the earnings glitch for those who joined eHow in August 2009. I was in that crowd. We all recorded $0 in earnings for about a month and a half before eHow staff finally started looking into the situation. We all rose a stink for 6 weeks straight before they finally started addressing our obvious issues. These guys seriously move at the speed of evolution on the backend of this site.

Persoanlly, my earnings increased over the period so I hope that this move will cause my Jan/Feb ’10 earnings to increase even more so at least we’ve got that going for us. I know many people think leaving the site completely is the way to go; I disagree. I will continue to leave my articles there though I have been greatly focusing on adding new content to other platforms.

7 JadeDragon January 11, 2010 at 5:16 pm

http://freelancewriterswanted-freebieoffers.blogspot.com/2010/01/ehows-big-scam.html? Excellent blog post by another ehow writer. Check it out.

8 Laura January 11, 2010 at 6:58 pm

OMG!!!!! I am so glad that you pointed me to your blog from ehow. They are such a bunch of crooks! As I said in my post over at theri forum (I guess that’s how you found me.. Tee Hee) THEY GOT SNAGGED!

I am fired up about this, and I want to know what we are all going to do about getting the earnings that we SHOULD get from the UK site. Please keep me posted on your blog.

Hey Howie up there (Former EHow writer who posted above), you are so right that this reeks of corruption on eHow’s Management level. They should be able to SHUT DOWN the UK site if they really had the intention of doing it. They can’t remove all of the articles today because there would be no articles left!

Thanks for listening,

Laura

9 JadeDragon January 11, 2010 at 7:08 pm

They could remove all the “user” articles (residual income writers) and leave all the “contributor” articles that they own full rights to. Then they can let UK writers fill in the rest of the content. Otherwise what is a UK writer going to write about? There are already a dozen articles on how to make pancakes. I did not sign up for ehow to have them clone my content and not pay me.

10 Cherie January 13, 2010 at 2:49 am

The eHow.com UK Scam is going to be the company’s downfall–wait and see. USA writers are more than buzzing about this…it sounds like a hornet’s nest in the writer’s forum about this topic. We are po’d and rightfully so.

My point is, whether they had the right to publish at the sister UK website or not….the agreement is the writers would be paid for all qualified views of their articles. So, eHow.com needs to pay up on all views for US and UK, though they are stating they will NOT be paying it out.

I’m glad I realized early on that the vague language and views were not accurate. Only 24 articles there and I deleted them all today. I switched to Bukisa, WordPress, XOMBA and WordPress quite some time ago. No problems with language in terms or getting paid ad revenue or for views as promised with any of these sites. Check out SheToldMe.com and Snipsly.com (think Snipsly is associated with WP)…they are good sources for ad revenue with your backlinks as well.

I am done with eHow.com. They got caught with their greedy little paws in the cookie jar and karma will take care of the rest. If it was to help boost their stock—awwww…too bad. That is a blown deal when stockholders read about the way they treated their writers and the shady crap they pulled.

eHow.com can take their “perks” and shove it! These two sites might be of interest as well.

http://www.xomba.com/ehowcom_not_compensating_writers_articles_uk_ehow_website

http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/ehowcom-demand-media-c295301.html

11 A Blog About Health January 14, 2010 at 2:53 pm

I think this is a very unfair behaviour or do I smell discrimination here? What about UK writers? Do they get paid? Ok. you are not being paid for your articles but the removal of those article is more than getting a slap on the face. First you are “duped”of what is due to you then your articles which are valuable and time consuming to write get removed. It’s a shame.

12 JadeDragon January 22, 2010 at 6:34 pm

There are no UK writers yet – I understand ehow will roll that program out soon so writers in the UK can either work for ehow UK or get residuals. Will see what impact that has.

13 JadeDragon January 25, 2010 at 9:33 pm

Ian Lurie just called out ehow – good job Ian.
http://www.conversationmarketing.com/2010/01/ehow-i-call-bullshit.htm

14 Investor February 3, 2010 at 8:49 am

Holy Cow ! I was thinking of signing up for EHow – thank God I stumbled across this unholy mess. EHow should consider that as this publicity spreads around the web it will find it more and more difficult to find people willing to sign up for their rip-off scheme. Thanks for all the info. you guys I shall see what I can put together in the way of a post or two. I’m sure make money blogger Griz would be interested – and he’s got quite lot of clout. Good luck.

15 JadeDragon February 3, 2010 at 11:40 am

Thanks so much for the tip on Griz. I’ve found Grizz’s blog before but did not realize how influential Griz is. I did a little looking around and ya, that ugly blog gets followed. There is hope for my little blog yet.

16 Mr.Choice August 26, 2010 at 1:31 pm

eHow is feasibly for small boys and girls. They are going to steal your dough if you are on DS.

17 JadeDragon January 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Thanks for the shout out CrunchData.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: