eHow - Writers Beware

This article is purely speculation as of this moment, August 25, 2010. I think eHow will slowly delete health articles written by eHow members to minimize payments and competition to their health site, Livestrong.  Demand Studios (DS) owns eHow and Livestrong.  As DS deletes health-related articles on eHow they are running ads to recruit writers for Livestrong.

I should know better by now, but eHow is at it again -- lying to eHow members, arbitrarily deleting articles, and hiding in their terms of service.  At eHow, the bottom line is money, not quality, and I think eHow members will see their articles slowly disappear as eHow secretly plans to stop paying members.  I got into writing online by stumbling onto eHow, so it disheartens me that they are again manipulating the site and members.

eHow History

eHow shut down its very successful Writer's Compensation Program (WCP) several months ago to the shock of all of its writers, including the ones who did not trust them anyhow. Amid a lot of speculation they promised they would not close down the WCP, an almost direct quote from Julie, one of their community managers. They did this because they decided to pay writers $15/article if they wrote them through Demand Studios (DS), eHow's parent company. Many writers were automatically enrolled instead of going through the application process for Demand. I am one of those who was auto enrolled. I did try giving DS a shot, but I never found any article titles that made sense or that interested me to write.

eHow Deletes Articles on Addiction

Earlier this week, I logged on to check my earnings. Some writers pulled all of their articles and others kept them there. I kept them there. If you knew more about my financial situation then it would make sense why I didn't pull them even though I have nothing but contempt for the site's integrity. I noticed my article number was 112 instead of 115 and I thought "WTF" or something similar, and I thought please don't let this happen...again. All three of the articles deleted were on addiction. Immediately, I thought I had an idea of what was happening. eHow is deleting addiction (health related) articles from their site so that they can dominate with Livestrong. When I checked it said to write for Livestrong you need a Master's Degree, which is actually absurd. I have a Bachelor's Degree, training, and experience in Chemical Dependency counseling.

I emailed them for an answer on why my articles were deleted. The reply confirms my thinking that they are going to be deleting people's articles so that they can solely use sites like DS and Livestrong, ones that pay $25 or $35 per article to write with no revenue share from Adsense. His email reply is what follows:

Hi jpwriter,

The issue we've had with those articles are for the following reasons:

-Drug advice is a sensitive subject that should only be handled by a trained professional and we want to ensure that readers of our articles know that

-For your article "How to Have Compassion for a Drug Addict," we do not condone drug use and if we were to allow an article like this to be published on the site, we are suggesting that drug use is okay and that is something we do not want our readers to associate us with

Our readers' feedback is quite important to us and we need to ensure the subject matter and the source of where the information came from upholds are quality check.




Pay attention to the first part where he seems to slyly confirm that they are going to be removing articles that have anything to do with health, addiction, and other topics by saying "sensitive subject" and "only" and "trained professional". One topic I know about is addiction.  A Master's Degree does not ensure knowledge, especially about addiction.  Had eHow chose another topic, I wouldn't react so strongly.  Now, I do agree. I don't think people without training, education, or specific knowledge should write about addiction because there is a lot of bad information. I know  how to stop using crystal meth and write about addiction, not give bad information.

The fact that eHow deleted an article about compassion is the ultimate irony. An "editor" merely looked at the title, not the content, and eHow chose to perpetuate ignorance about addiction, a disease.  Perhaps, I should have used the word "alcoholic" instead except it's all the same disease.

Back up your eHow articles if you still have them. Ask them questions.  Ask about article deletions.  I expect more to come because the eHow drama never ends.

If you want to make money online writing articles at a site that respects and listens to its writers, it is time to join InfoBarrel.

Please Note:
May 5, 2011 - eHow announced that they officially closed the Writer's Compensation Program, and effective immediately, articles stopped earning.  No warning.  The final act.