CAPTCHA city…

If you run a blog that accepts comments, you may know about the thousands of comment spammers that arrive monthly… that make you want to dump your blog all together.

Not wanting to be held hostage by our own blog and realizing the importance of allowing comments so that a true ‘market discussion’ can take place, our programming crew recently implemented a CAPTCHA system designed to attempt to eliminate the large majority of bot comment spam posts.

In addition to the CAPTCHA added to the blog comment process, we’re also nearing ready to release a change to the entire EzineArticles.com site that would eliminate the clumsy “registered commentor” system for commenting on articles and would replace it with a CAPTCHA for human identification.
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Lion Starts March, Lamb Ends It

March came in as a Lion

Authors: If you’ve been watching your article traffic reports, you may have noticed that March came in roaring like a LION and is ending like a lamb.

Here’s an important lesson to keep in mind: Just like the stock market, our traffic patterns rarely go only straight up. There are often cycles and ups/downs based on the ebb and flow of the Internet.

In December 2005, we were feeling a little down because traffic wasn’t climbing through the roof like we expected it to but we made an important decision: To do NOTHING different… meaning, we believed in the business model and kept on approving articles, educating authors, and driving the business forward.

Know what happened in February? We had a record month, which is amazing considering it was a short 28-day month. This success was largely thanks to our quality expert authors who kept on driving right through the fog to continue writing and submitting quality original articles combined with our persistent efforts in December 2005 when things were looking more bleak than they are today.

What to do: If you already believe in article syndication as a business strategy for all of the benefits that it delivers, then be consistent and persistent if you want to be rewarded when the traffic sunshine comes again.

The authors who kept on sending in their best articles in December and January were rewarded big-time when traffic spiked in February.
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Yaniks Event Update

Yanik Silver and Chris Knight

I’m one of the luckiest guys alive. This past weekend wiped me out and I had a blast all at the same time from Yanik Silver’s event in Wash. DC. Even got a chance to shake hands and meet dozens of EzineArticles members. What a rush!

I spoke on Sunday about email list building & email deliverability for the first half and then article syndication and web content mix for the second half. From the feedback I received, I should have only spoke on the EzineArticles model and all that I’ve learned from building a site from zip to millions of monthly visitors.

If you missed the event, you can go here to sign up to get in line to buy the limited edition of the event in DVD.

Here’s a few of the thoughts that I took home from the event:
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Knight Meets the IdeaLady

I’m in Wash. DC for Yanik Silvers conference and at one of the parties was Cathy Stucker, the Idea Lady. Cathy had interviewed me recently for a collaborative project we called Market With Articles. Always fun to meet the people you work with face-to-face.
Chris Knight and Cathy Stucker at Yanik Silvers Event

Laura Walker, Fallen Hero

Remember EzineArticles expert author Laura Walker? She was one of our first Posthumously Article Authors who touched us last year in August with her articles from the front lines.

I was just alerted that the CBS News Network tonight at (6:30 EST) –> there will be a segment called “Fallen Hero’s” by “CBS Evening News with Bob Schieffer” that features Laura.
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Brian Clark on Article Marketing

EzineArticles expert Brian Clark is a serial entrepreneur who makes his living thanks to the Internet and the written word. He’s not a copywriter for hire, but rather he literally bets his money on his writing every day.

Recently he wrote an article with Yaro on Building Traffic with Article Marketing that is worth a read. It’s a free 10-page report, and Ezine Articles is the only directory featured in it. :-) Nice.
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Lawrence D. Elliott – Author Spotlight

Lawrence D. Elliott

There are (4) reasons I chose Lawrence today for a quick author spotlight review:

1) His characterture is very cool,

2) He ran a press release to announce his ‘EzineArticles expertness‘,

3) His articles are original content based on his expertise, and

4) He proudly mentions his expert status on his website.

Lawrence D. Elliott has been a Realtor(r) for over 17 years and provides professional representation for clients in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties. He runs a network of real estate web sites, which can be accessed through his main web site at http://www.LawrenceElliott.com and you can read his EzineArticles here.

Nice job Lawrence! :-)

Will Quality Suffer?

I recently launched my first training product called, Article Production Strategies. EzineArticles expert author Hans Bool of Spain mentioned the topic of *article production* with this article: Be Aware of The Article Production Hype

My “Article Production Strategies” guide is about helping authors move from 10 articles per lifetime to 1000 articles in the next 2 years, as a possible outcome from someone who reads or listens to the training materials.
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Web Content Mix Strategy

Budding web publishers have been asking me about what they should use as a guideline for their web content mix. Here’s my current thinking:

1) Original content that you have the exclusive rights to should be a min. of 25% of your content. Ride the long tail including sub-tails and you’ll never run out of content generation ideas. This can also include ghostwritten content that you have the exclusive rights to. Lastly, before anyone complains that they don’t have the time to write a few thousand articles this year: Well, then get your writing team to do it for you and just be certain it’s original works and that you have an exclusive right to the content.

2) Original content that you distribute/syndicate in exchange for a link back to your website should be another 25% of your content. Some publishers syndicate 100% of their original content. I’m not saying this is bad or wrong, but if you have hopes to grow your own web traffic, you’ll need to lean heavily on #3 below to create enough ‘uniqueness’ to your website to create market trust.

3) User generated content should represent at least 10% if not more of your total content mix.
Often times user generated content is original, but not guaranteed to be original. This can be in the form of blog comments, forum posts, submissions, votes in polls or online quiz’s, etc.

4) Syndicated content – ie: Content that is non-exclusive to you should never be more than 40-50% of your total content. I especially like this strategy when you can use it to go very vertical in a specific market niche. You can get syndicated content from sites like ours (25 reprint limit per site per year), our competitors, and especially from blogs or other RSS-aware sites that allow their content to be syndicated via XML feeds. Be sure to ask permission before using this type of content and always be a good netcitizen by reading and adhering to the TOS setup by the publisher of the feeds.

Notice that Private Label Rights (PLR) content didn’t even get added to the list. Garbage I say and not worth the headaches or liabilities.

One other web content type that I didn’t include is public domain content. There are very few that can use this type of content right and therefore I don’t advocate adding public domain content in your web content mix strategy.

Your thoughts about my content mix recommendations?

Mike Valentine’s Article Marketing Thoughts

Mike Banks Valentine

EzineArticles expert author, Mike Banks Valentine has a very thought provoking ‘colorful’ article worthy of your attention: Original Web Content Popularity Leads to Software-Created “Frankenstein Pages” & Copyright Abuses

Mike identifies (4) sources of web content in his article… one of which he refers to mashed PLR articles as “Frankenstein Pages” (credit to Barry Schwartz for coining the phrase)! I couldn’t agree more. If his article can help others from buying those crappy PLR content scramblers, the world will be a better place.
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