Demand Media Studios — Getting Hired — Part Deux

Posted on December 2, 2010


Part 2 of the exercise to create a writing sample to submit to DMS will address the outline you will create for your article. Use this approach for every article you write, and it will take less effort and time to create future articles. Keep in mind, after being accepted to DMS, you can select from their list of titles for articles, so you’ll only have to come up with section headings and content relative to their titles and your sections.


First, decide on your topic. Use the KISS method — Keep it Simple Silly (aka Stupid☺). If at all possible, decide on a topic that you can write off the top of your head. Are you knowledgeable about gardening? Pick only one aspect of gardening about which to write, such as creating a walkway or building a small retaining wall. Are you an automotive expert? Stick to a simple repair that can be described adequately in 500 words.


Next, pick three main aspects of information you believe are most pertinent or easiest to explain. For instance, if writing a gardening article on building a small retaining wall, you might use the following headings:

  • Purpose of a Retaining Wall
  • Type of Products to Use
  • Benefits of a Retaining Wall

Similar headings can be used for an automotive expert to write an article on repairing a radiator. For instance, How Radiators Become Damaged, What Happens When Radiators Are Left Unrepaired and Quick Fixes for Radiators (or Temporary Fixes for Radiator) may be three headings an automotive expert uses for his sample article.

As you can tell from the list, your sample article doesn’t have to provide instruction; it only needs to provide information. Many writers, especially ones new to professional writing, find it difficult to not discuss the entire scope of creating a retaining wall, for instance, when writing their first articles.

I remember when I first started writing professionally. I so wanted to make a good impression to every new company for which I was hired that my first articles included every dittle, dit and detail related to the topic on which I was assigned. I wanted my articles to be stellar and the company to be happy they hired me. Little did I know, less is more.

Keep that in mind when you’re writing content, too.

We’ll dig deeper into that less-is-more well in the next part of getting hired by DMS.

Until tomorrow …