Empirical Evidence

A reader sent me an email that he also gave me permission to reprint. His comments first and then my response:
“Here are the positives I’ve picked up on so far: (1) You have an honest face, (2) In your writing, you have a sense of humor, (3) You generate articles yourself, suggesting that you really do believe there is value in it, (4) I found one fellow’s site complaining that you wouldn’t publish his erotica, telling me that you do have some standards, (5) can thousands of article submitters all be wrong? Those are all positives, but not the empirical evidence I’m looking for that article marketing is worth the time and trouble.

What gives me reservations?”

Ok, at this point, I can’t show you word for word what he wrote because he slammed some of our top authors unjustly but was wise enough to ask me to not print some of the direct thoughts as he didn’t wish to create enemies out of this discussion.

His first complaint is that our top authors by volume are poor writers.

I don’t agree with his assessment, but if he is comparing them against an academic research paper with footnotes, sure they are not the same. This isn’t the same medium or forum for 3,500 word articles that have 10 hours of editing performed. This is the site that thrives on 400-750 word articles so that ezine publishers can easily digest this content and send it to their members. We approve articles in 15-90 seconds each. That is the model that works for us. This model does not allow for perfection. We value ACTION instead of perfection. We have a strict format that doesn’t allow figures, images, tables or other research paper objects.

Wow, if he thinks our site with 5.5 pages of editorial guidelines has poor writers, can you imagine how he must feel about the copycat sites that keep pooping up like bird dung?

His second complaint is that our endorsement page is nothing but article-submitters promoting article-submitting.

Well, duh… You were expecting what?

His third issue: “In my couple hours of research, I could not find a single article by an objective authoritative source recommending article marketing. Are there any bonafide business or marketing experts who recommend it? Anybody on the faculty of a university or in the marketing department of a successful company who recommends it? This is obviously a major phenomenon, so has any solid research been done that demonstrates its effectiveness?”

He obviously missed Dr. Andy’s research on the power of article syndication.

Every single Internet marketing expert that I know of agrees with the power of article marketing/syndication as a traffic, credibility and lead generation theory & strategy.

He missed over 200+ authors on our site that are doctorate level, Ph.d, MD, etc. It’s not that the doctors who are authors legitimize EzineArticles.com alone, but they are the most educated academically out of the 14k+ unique authors listed with us.

Lastly, he slams the intelligence of our authors with this paragraph:

“Frankly, Chris, although I continue to have an open mind, the
opinion I am forming is that article-publishing sites are a kind of
online vanity press, where would-be writers can publish their
articles, call up their articles on screen and see their byline out
there on the web, and enjoy the thrill of knowing that the rest of
the world has access to their words. There is no harm in that, and
if you make a living by providing that service, then you are a smart man.”

I took a few days to respond to his comments because I was floored that he was even asking them or making these judgements… as in, where has he been for the past decade. :)

I agree that every author at some level has an ego and does value seeing their articles online… but that gets old pretty quickly and a different sense of purpose or set of reasons fuel the fire that has allowed a site like EzineArticles.com to grow and have value for the million+ unique visitors that come each month to read the works of over 14k unique authors.

Conclusion: We are not right for everyone.

I really don’t have the interest in ‘converting’ this person to the power of article syndication as a cornerstone online business building strategy. The defense rests so that the jury can get back to sending in more articles.

11 Comments »


1
Dy Witt writes:

Chris, I am laughing so hard. You are cool and funny and…really cool. (I am an author at a loss for words haha)
I could tell that gentleman that even withOUT empirical evidence, 2 months after I sent you 2 articles about hand-painted ceramic tile, my inquiries went through the roof and for the first time in 15 years in business, I had all the work I could do for almost a whole year! So article marketing works for me! I am SOLD. Keep up a great site.

Comment provided November 16, 2005 at 11:30 AM

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2
Lance Winslow writes:

Regarding the Challenge of Proof for Article Marketing. The critics comments that the “Top authors by volume are poor writers.”

Well this is an innocent enough statement and I do not take offense to it, in fact if he is referring to me, I do not consider myself a “great writer” but I consider what I have to say to the world worthy and my objectives noble; “to make people think” therefore if he read my articles and came up with these questions, then “I Win” because I did make him think and he wrote a huge email to you. I made him think and that was my objective and thus my article marketing and purpose wins. That is proof right there. Since I am the top writer by a multiple of 7 times number two author (The Article Guy), who by the way along with the number three Carrie Reeder, who both kick ass. I assume he is talking about me, and them and the others below those. Let me tell you that these authors are very good and have something worthy to say.

Incidentally the other day I found many articles posted with “one star” and I read each article that suddenly showed up with “one star” out of the blue, I re-read the articles and did not find them too awfully well written, but all were biting and opinionated, yes well so was Thomas Paine”s works and Shakespeare. The articles and I assume it is the same gentlemen were a critique on Political Correctness, Homosexuality, Over regulation and Liberalism, Socialism and why capitalism, free markets, government watch-dogging is necessary. So, I must have got his goat. Thus I made him think thus he voted on my articles and thus my writing and so they must have been quite effective in making him think and thus effective again.

The critic”s second comment; “endorsement page is nothing but article-submitters promoting article-submitting” Well obviously, what do you think the site is for?

His third comment that; “could not find a single article by an objective authoritative source recommending article marketing. Are there any bonafide business or marketing experts who recommend it? Anybody on the faculty of a university or in the marketing department of a successful company who recommends it? This is obviously a major phenomenon, so has any solid research been done that demonstrates its effectiveness?”

Well this is silly. First there sure as heck are and there are many books on the subject and even Proctor and Gamble uses “Buzz Marketing” even got attacked for it, because it was working so good that the competition complained, see FTC VS Proctor and Gamble (buzz marketing). Additionally article writing is a form of “Buzz Marketing” only more honest, because at the bottom of the article is states who is Buzzing and why? So it is silly to contend that this is not a good marketing too. And every University teaches “word of mouth,” “friends and family” and “PR” as ways to promote any product or service. Further the University of California at Riverside has a whole department, which does e-commerce research and many papers on the subject. Stanford, UCLA, Georgia Tech, University of Illinois, Texas A and M, University of Florida and in Joplin Missouri there is a special course on only this subject.

Additionally I have 2900 articles, 706,000 article views and massive amounts of click thrus to my websites. I consider myself a marketing expert of PhD status but too busy doing it to go to school for it. http://www.carwashguys.com/history/founder.html . And I have been known on occasion to speak on the issue to MBA students, so apparently even though I often have a disdain for higher education, they believe I am an expert to have me speak. Additionally since I am an authoritative expert in marketing do you think for a minute I would be wasting my time if it did not work? I consider my in depth study in the article marketing realm to be research above and beyond what any college student would bother to do for a thesis project. He is forgetting that there are those who actually do it rather than only observe it thru a shallow mind and talk about it.

The critic pushes the line in ignorance when he writes: “Frankly, Chris, although I continue to have an open mind, the opinion I am forming is that article-publishing sites are a kind of online vanity press, where would-be writers can publish their
articles, call up their articles on screen and see their byline out there on the web, and enjoy the thrill of knowing that the rest of the world has access to their words. There is no harm in that, and if you make a living by providing that service, then you are a smart man.”

All writing contains some ego, or the original reason for becoming a writer, having been a doer all my life I have been critical the “those that can”t write” but on this site almost everyone “can” and are “doing” thru their writing. The use of the EzineArticle site to store one”s articles is well known and it works good for that with a great search engine feature, much better than that of your desk top. Additionally having one”s name and by-line all over the internet is an interesting phenomena, if that gives one pleasure and helps them with their individuality, like a teenager who paints their hair purple or installs a nose ring for a time or a person with a bumper sticker on their car to alert the world of something, but EzineArticles is no vanity press, it may serve that additional purpose but to call it that is shallow minded and shows limited skew of world observations. The fact is people use this method to “get the word out” and thus help themselves in many ways such as web traffic, syndication outlet or information selling. So is this gentleman saying that information selling is not a strategy? Is he denying that in all my 22 different industries and all those print journals I take, that every article with a by-line does not help the author with their consulting business or company sales? Please, obviously it works for both the Industry Rags for content and the authors, otherwise it would not be so widely used. EzineArticles.com is a Hyper-Space Hybrid of that model and it is evolving faster than the critics can understand it. The fact that some would be critic cannot understand that is not the Chris”s fault, he is merely NASA Command and Control as this rocket ship is revolutionizing the Internet. So, you and everyone else may as well get use to it.

EzineArticles.com is whatever you want it to be; It is an information library for the human race, it is a way to be heard, it is a way to promote a product or service, it is a place to store your creative work, is an avenue of distribution, it is a mini-Internet, it is a way to enlighten the next generation, it is a way to boost your self esteem, it is all that and more. One only needs to ask them selves where do you want to go today? Anyone who cannot see that is missing all there is to offer. It would not be the first time mankind has missed the point, but there is no sense in allowing us to be doomed to repeat when we all have the greatest place on the Internet right here, to meet!

Comment provided November 16, 2005 at 12:29 PM

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3
Edward Weiss writes:

Marketing with articles may be one of the MOST EFFECITVE online marketing methods available. Why? Because it builds trust. And trust is what tips the scale for many buying decisions.

Comment provided November 16, 2005 at 2:04 PM

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4

my comments are brief:

this guy’s email is a wonderful example of the difference between science and success

signed – kick ass #2

Comment provided November 16, 2005 at 2:27 PM

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5
Dina writes:

Seems to me that a person like this wouldn’t believe the sight of his own hand before his face even as he was slapping himself repeatedly with it! ;)

Fun, fun, fun.

The proof of article marketing is in my pocket, as I’m quite certain it is for others as well.

Thanks Christopher, you make our days happy ones.

Comment provided November 16, 2005 at 4:19 PM

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6
Bonnie Jo Davis writes:

I am so happy this guy is not convinced of the power of marketing with articles. I earn a good income using the technique for myself and I’m glad that he is taking himself out of the pool of potential competitors…

Comment provided November 16, 2005 at 6:07 PM

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7
Carrie Reeder writes:

I agree with you Lance. I’m not the greatest writer, but I do have experience in my field. I think that anyone speaking from experience has something valuable to say.

I have found good, useful information on EzineArticles.com reading other articles. Some of the best tips and advice I have found have been off of this website. I can’t remember if the writing itself was good or not. I think that’s beside the point.

Comment provided November 16, 2005 at 9:47 PM

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8

I am proof positive of the success of article writing and marketing. So, you want empirical evidence? Nah, then I would have to show you my books. Instead, visit my PR6 site for proof.

Comment provided November 17, 2005 at 4:10 PM

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9
Roger Carr writes:

I am proof article writing and marketing works as well. It has helped me with exposure, but it has also influenced many people that have read my articles. I know because I receive emails on a regular basis letting me know what they have done and encouraging me to write more. That is all of the proof I need.

It would have been interesting if the person’s contact information was included in this blog (I am not suggesting it should have been). Based on the response this one blog has received, I suspect he would have received several emails or visits to his website.

Comment provided November 19, 2005 at 9:48 PM

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10
George Hoar writes:

So are foot notes allowed in submitted articles?

Comment provided March 21, 2006 at 3:37 AM

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11
Chris Knight writes:

Yes, foot notes are allowed in submitted articles, but I don’t think this is the right vehicle to include articles that have foot notes.

Academic-ville is where you want to include foot notes. A single foot note might be ok, but if you’re going to list multiple foot notes, you’ve found the wrong site for this type of article.

Comment provided March 21, 2006 at 6:50 AM

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