Article Quality Question From Strephon

Strephon asks:

On a competitor site there were some articles on writing that were simply poor, and not expert. What happens to articles here that are obviously not expert? Are they rejected? Do you reject articles after three months who don’t get read, like a cut-off point? Really the question: how do you control for quality so that this site has a good expert reputation?


We reject (1) out of every (5) article submissions because of quality issues, questionable or inappropriate content, non-exclusive rights (PLR) submissions or just too much self-promotion in the article body. We do not reject content 3 months later if we already approved the article, but we will remove an article that causes complaint(s).

Something new that we do that I don’t know of any other competitor doing it is that we have (2) human editors review every single article submission. Between 5-15% of articles that are already approved are rejected after-the-fact for not meeting (1) or more editorial guidelines but in most cases, it’s a soft rejection which means a templated problem article (PA) email is generated to the author asking them to fix an easy problem so we can re-approve it. It’s our goal to get our 1st editors approval to 99% or greater because we are embarassed when we have to reject an article after-the-fact for our own editor approval mistake.

As of right now, we have 13,115 articles that are in a Problem Article (PA) queue waiting for an expert author to fix a problem that can be fixed. There are 24 different problem article status codes and custom email templates that are mailed when an editor PA’s an article that can be saved with a small repair by the author. The highest problem (25.3% or 3,319 articles) is too much self-serving product promotion in the article body. The article body is where you GIVE and the resource box is where you TAKE. This is a concept that some authors really struggle with.

In addition, there are 1,767 (13.5%) articles in a problem status because of too much personal self-promotion or the advertising to content ratio is too high. Ideally, you want a resource box that is 15% or less than your total article word count. Lastly, 11.6% (1,521) articles are in a poor grammar/spelling or punctuation error status mostly due to ESL (English Second Language) authors.

I would like to see us increase our tact and diplomacy when working with our authors that have articles in the problem article status because rejection (even when it’s a soft rejection) is never received very well by newbie authors. The experienced expert authors know we are not rejecting them personally, but rather we are saying “we love you and if you can make this change or tweak to your article, we can accept it.”

If only this quality issue were as simple as the complex article content review process…

Having a good site reputation goes beyond the articles that are accepted and this includes:

  • The speed and uptime of how fast the website experience is
  • The around the clock support from our network admins who monitor server performance
  • The site security and follow through (we talk on the phone almost daily now with other ISPs around the planet)
  • The member/non-member support service/speed (solving problems before they become complaints)
  • The quality control & reporting software we custom wrote
  • The proprietary duplicate content identifier and exclusive vs. non-exclusive content article/author tagging data system
  • The [can’t mention this yet until it’s patented] system that helps us understand the trust level we should have with each authors history with us
  • And the endless internal site audits and reports we ask of our dev team to produce to help us manage the quality metrics

Incidentally, the 13,115 articles in the problem queue is down from 17k two weeks ago as we put additional editorial labor recently on working 1:1 with as many authors as we could to give them a little extra assistance to fix their articles.

As far as I’m concerned, we’re still a serious distance from the ideal level of quality I’d like to see us be at.


Jan Verhoeff writes:

I’ve been rejected a time or two, but I always figured it was content related and never worried too much about it. With one exception, every single article has been accepted eventually, and I pulled the article that was not accepted. I reread it and decided it sounded rather childish and self serving even in the fun mode of marketing/advertising I intended it in, so I just withdrew the article.

The fun part of having the folks at EzineArticles go over my stuff is, if I’m seriously wondering about something and it does get rejected, I know without a doubt that I screwed up. Because 99% of everything I’ve ever submitted is accepted, with no questions asked.

I love EzineArticles (more than just cuz you send me coffee and a cup). The editors are valuable for replaying my messages. The tune works!


Comment provided March 17, 2007 at 7:17 PM


Jeff Herring writes:

Hi Chris

What comes thru as a loud and clear theme is the dedication of EzineArticles to make this a quality site on both the technical and human level.

You could easily reject articles and not worry about it – your dedication to trying to help authors is above and beyond the call.

When I have dug a little deeper with my students and members about why they have not submitted their first article, the reason is often fear of rejection. You may already say this, something like “we would really like to accept your article, there are just a couple of tweaks that will be necessary before we can” or something like that.

Thanks Chris.

Comment provided March 17, 2007 at 7:25 PM



Sometimes content is brilliant or even ‘perfect’ and we still can’t accept it… think about religious or politically charged articles.

My point: Sometimes rejection means that it’s just not right for, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong, bad content or even an authors mistake. Perhaps even some of our competitors will accept risque content that we won’t.

If there is any part of my job that I don’t take pleasure in, it’s in managing this gray area of what types of content we should and shouldn’t accept…because ultimately it means someone is going to be upset or angry at us.

Comment provided March 17, 2007 at 7:33 PM


Myrna writes:


EzineArticles is actually a fun site to hang around. Besides having varied topics of interest, I can depend on getting the ‘how to’ on most subjects of interest as well as networking with awesome writers.

I’m almost ready to submit my first articles for approval and as my super teach Jeff Herring constantly says, “just do it”, you’ve already got your articles.

So kudos to you for creating and supporting this site.

Comment provided March 17, 2007 at 7:45 PM


Jeff Herring writes:

Chris I hear you about the part of your job with which you struggle. At the same time, I encourage you to stick with your standards. When you are reaching for greatness, as you so obviously are, you have to be willing to have some people turn you up (they really like and support you) and sometimes have a few people turn you off (get mad, not like you, take their ball and go home, etc.)


Comment provided March 17, 2007 at 7:54 PM


Dave Saunders writes:

I’ve only had one article get a “bounce” and it was a glitch in my resource box. I think the great editorial filters in use at EzineArticles is a great way to promote the kind of content we all want to see on the Internet. Those who can’t figure out the rules are probably not having the success in Internet Marketing that they’d like…and they won’t gain that success until they learn good principals of quality content generation.

Comment provided March 17, 2007 at 9:00 PM


Jan Verhoeff writes:

I’ve never written much religious content for syndication, however, recently I wrote an article for a blog post, and a couple of friends wanted to pick it up, so I posted it on for them to pick up.

A few days later, I googled the title and it’s been posted in more than twenty places. But, it doesn’t show on that it’s been picked up at all.

I thought that was interesting, that they lifted it without using the publishing link. I’ve noticed others do that too. I’ve wondered if it’s because they don’t realize how easy it is to post articles using the publishing links, or if they think they’re just copying an article.

All the links work, so I’m not complaining.


Comment provided March 17, 2007 at 10:04 PM



Dear Chris,

I think the writers in this ezine must have the intention to give something to their readers, not only to promote their work. It would be better if each writer would try to make a combination: say something new and interesting and at the same time promote somehow his work. This is not always possible however… We must understand that people don’t read what we write because they want to give us the opportunity to sell them something, but because they want to receive ideas, help and information.

Comment provided March 17, 2007 at 10:22 PM



Dear Chris,

Thanks for explaining to us how your team works out creating quality information and giving support to writers who want to be expert in what they do.

What excites me as new to this ‘genre’ is the following realization:

I have recently started stating in my blogs that the Internet has become the biggest publisher in the world, and even the publisher of choice over paper books for most writers.

Thus I have switched focus to publishing all my new work in articles up to full-length books on the Internet. My new web site, Creative Writing and is being built and funished as an expert site on writing craft.

What these web pages turn out to be is another book. The process is no different than I did before with paper published books in being an organized collection of information for the public to use and buy.

I am still learning all the Internet ways of publishing this information.

Right now I write a long report on a subject which is for sale. I write a web page about it. Then I write a free article about the subject as well with the key or crucial information on the subject. This goes through EzineArticles, this site.

Thus I was concerned with quality here and on the Internet elsewhere. For every 7-dollar report I do I want a separately written free eZine article to be available through this site.

Thus if the article does get passed for distribution here I can follow its popularity with your statistics.

I don’t know yet if I can get statistics on how many come to my site for further information and maybe buying the full report.

So, it’s great that posting here is quality posting, and thus drawns an audience of readers and writers who are more likely to be satisfied with what they read here.

The whole point being that now we writers of the world should seriously be moving our writing operations to the Internet and learn how to write even better and to make an even better living at writing with Internet distribution.

Ever thought of distributing someday free information loaded reports, not articles? Or even paid for inexpensive reports?

What I am getting from marketing people is that a report sells for around 7 dollars and can be 15 to 30 pages long, or five to ten thousand words.

The function of a report is to give the current definitive information on a narrow subject field of a niche.

I’m not saying I know yet what I am doing as an author moving his main publishing to via the Internet, but this is where I am now.

One question I have. Should I only submit my EzineArticles through this quality directory, or through other directories as well?

Is this site so well regarded that enough other sites are coming here to get their free articles to redistribute, and so there is little point in my distributing the same article elsewhere?

Come to think of it, am I ‘allowed’ to distribute the same free article elsewhere in other compeditor directories? Is this a directory? Even if allowed, is this an advantage or disadvantage to me? What do your top article writers do? Should we use marketing services to distribute our articles for us everywhere.

Or is your ‘service’ here really good, so we don’t need to hire a service?

It’s a marketing question: will our outreach for our free articles with links be greater if we go to the ezine directories and submit to a lot of them? Or is our outreach great enough if we just submit through the top quality directory such as EzineArticles is? Any statistics or market thinking on this?

You can see I am trying to set up an effective author-distribution and income system through the Internet.

The GoDaddy Guy said recently in an audio to a writer that he should seek distribution of his book through the paper publishing people and that the Internet was not set up to be an effective marketing device for his work. Have a presence on the Web but don’t expect to get either your best distribution or sales for your work through the Web.

This is where we are today on publishing and Internet marketing, it seems.

I am committed to taking this year and next to make my publishing operation work through the Web with no focus on paper publishers, agents, editors or book stores.

Am I going to swim or sink?

Comment provided March 18, 2007 at 3:32 AM


Gary Simpson writes:

Howdy folks,

I think I have only had two articles rejected – and they have both been recently when I have tried to push the boundaries.

One was for being too promotional – I did my own book review. But like Lance says: who better could do that than the author? (OK, I know it is biased!)

The other was for an article I did about how to defeat a rapist. I guess that was too detailed and crossed over the violence line. But it sure was good information – based on 36 years of self defense experience.

Anyway, 2 rejects out of 246 ain’t bad!


Gary Simpson

Comment provided March 18, 2007 at 6:34 AM


Alyssa Johnson writes:

I’ve had 2 articles rejected, but they were both my fault do to broken links in my resource box. I can’t tell you how much I appreciated the fact that they were rejected. A broken link means a lost opportunity to develop a new prospect.

Your dedication to quality shines through for me over and over again as I’ve begun publishing with other directories!

One of the most appreciated (and simple) things you guys do that I haven’t found elsewhere is the notification that my article is live. It closes the loop for me and I find it extremely helpful and, quite frankly considerate.

Keep up the great work!

Comment provided March 18, 2007 at 7:54 AM



Dear Chris,

I’d like to thank you for inviting me to write something! I’m a Brazilian and Greek writer (I was born in Brazil but my parents are Greek and I live in Greece for years) that is starting to write in English right now, thanks to the Internet. It’s nice to find a community and specific help from experts!


Comment provided March 18, 2007 at 1:37 PM


Rebecca writes:

I think it’s fantastic you keep the high standards up.
While learning of the intricacies of dignified web promotion, it helps knowing what’s expected is really a high standard of communication the author offers someone, not just a sales pitch.

Many thanks.

Comment provided March 18, 2007 at 10:06 PM


Eric E. Smith writes:

This is the most important sentence in this article: “The article body is where you GIVE and the resource box is where you TAKE.”

Keep that one thing in mind when writing articles and you’ll never have to worry about getting an article rejected again…

Comment provided March 19, 2007 at 12:41 PM


Audrey Okaneko writes:

I’ve had 3 articles rejected and boy were my feelings hurt.

I actually emailed Chris personally I was so hurt.

I know that if I felt so strongly, others do too.

It sounds like maybe in addition to that form letter rejection, you now have another system in place to provide the assistance in making those articles acceptable. This is great. I never did resubmit those 3 articles.

Audrey :)

Comment provided March 20, 2007 at 9:22 AM


Jan Verhoeff writes:

How sad, Audrey!

It’s so good that I’ve been a writer for so long. It helps with not taking rejection personally. Like a recipe that isn’t quite right, I just edit, or add something more to an article to make it work, improve it, or increase the potential. Not having enough butter on the bread isn’t a reflection on the cook, but rather a recipe that needs tweaking.

Get those articles back out and adjust them, and re enter them. Feeling hurt is sad, but when you let it keep you from posting again, or reposting, that’s even more sad. Would you let a bread recipe with the wrong ingredients stop you from cooking?

No, you change the ingredients and try again!



Comment provided March 20, 2007 at 9:33 AM



Is it the baker …
Or is it the bread?

Writing for ego can only hurt you in the long run.

If you are in it for the baker then you won’t make good bread.

Comment provided March 20, 2007 at 10:53 AM


Audrey Okaneko writes:

Hey Jan,

That was my whole point. I have over 200 articles here on EzineArticles, yet my feelings were still very hurt.

Of course I still submit new articles. I have a few I’m working on now.

I also promote EzineArticles where ever I can.

I was commenting that yes, my feelings were hurt.


Comment provided March 20, 2007 at 11:27 AM



Hey Audrey,

Keep in mind… we’re an operationally efficient machine designed to process massive quantities of transactions every day.

My point: We don’t have time to reject authors on a personal or emotional level. :)

Also keep in mind that our defenses are at red alert year round because of how much we have to deflect for being legitimately worth our emotional rejection, but are denied the emotion…because it makes no sense for us to become emotional. It would be… illogical.

Mr Spock

Comment provided March 20, 2007 at 11:48 AM




Man, can you write a long comment. :)) and thank you.

I cover this very issue in my Article Production Strategies training product where I essentially encourage a two tier’d approach to article syndication (high traffic sites like ours and highly niched but low traffic sites).

Also, this blog entry on 200 to 1 or 1 to 200 is relevant.

Comment provided March 20, 2007 at 12:46 PM




Yes, I realized my entry was long, but I realized also that another way of looking at the comment is as a collection of issues. As long as I respond to issues presented I feel like I can also add some related issues of my own.

Which of course people can ignor. There is always more sand than gold in the river, but it is the gold that keeps motivating people to sift through the multitude of sand.

Any other ways to present related issues that work better?

I played an intense hour and a half of great doubles tennis tonight with a lot of running and terrific shots made by all. I had some errors also, as did the other players. If we worry too much about making errors we will never go for our shots and make winners. This we learn from our tennis.

Best wishes in the real world.//*-

Thanks for the references.

Comment provided March 20, 2007 at 4:55 PM




I get that you want to express that your feelings were hurt and to just have that acknowledged without anyone feeling blamed or defensive for your feeling hurt.

At least as a psychologist who has helped a lot of people work with their feelings and bring them out as part of who they are, I would hope it is considered a good thing for persons to express feelings, at least where there is room to do so.

Maybe feeling hurt is just that, a feeling?

You could share more if you felt for it, like what kind of attitude or recognition problem is also making you feel hurt?

For me it sometimes is that I put a lot of work into helping others and so that is what my life is. That is how I use my life. But when others don’t acknowledge my time and energy put into something that benefits them as well as me, then I can feel like I am wasting my energy.

In one sense this directory has a ton of good writers and yet none of these writers get directly paid I believe. The people who own and work for this site do get paid for all our efforts.

We would hope as writers here that we do get good benefit back, or why should we be using our precious time and energy to support this site?

One should always be concerned in giving out good energy to other to be realistically aware of what they are able to get back.

Then if we are realistic about our energy exchange we don’t have to feel hurt and rejected if something is not to our liking or self-interest. We do have to stand up for ourselves in this world to be noticed and respected.

Just some thoughts that may be helpful or not.

Just took a slice of the newly baked bread and it is delicious.

Comment provided March 20, 2007 at 5:11 PM


Audrey writes:


The reason I posted was to let Chris and his staff know how I felt getting that letter. If I felt that way, I’m CERTAIN others have too.

I then commented that I think it’s great he has put a new system into place to help others not take it personally.

By the way, his staff rejected an article of mine today. It had been up for many many months. I changed the bio link and today, it no longer meets their standards. The bio link was the ONLY thing I changed.

Today, my feelings are not hurt at all. So, perhaps how we respond/react/feel about the form letter rejection is relational to how new our relationship with EzineArticles is?

Audrey :)

Comment provided March 20, 2007 at 10:17 PM




For me you do have a point about being hurt by the way articles are rejected. Many agents and publishers reject with form letters also. We do try to get used to it.

When you say ‘there are others’ it makes me wonder these ideas: EzineArticles is maybe a cross between and organization and a community. the thousands of article writers are the workers. The management consists of those who make money from this organization-community as owners and salaried editors and so on.

In a regular large organization there is a personnel department made up of psychologist and counselor types who look after worker complaints. Thus companies put some of their income workers generate into a personnel department to handle the human relating aspects.

Maybe the issue also is that we the writer-workers don’t know how much money is earned and how it is spent.

You would like improvement for yourself and others in how article rejections are done. Maybe management needs to look into this as a community issue and put some money towards solving it?

This would be perfectly natural where a community organization is formed.

It does amaze me that EzineArticles is a huge publishing organization of writers working free for it, just like You Tube has all its people working free for it. A lot of income is generated from ads and stuff and none goes to the workers producing the content of the site.

We know there is good income because these organizations when they get big sell for very high prices.

This kind of thing happens more readily, I suspect, in the birth of a new form, like when factories came into being in England and America a couple of hundred years ago and workers were paid so little of the pie.

Of course ‘enlightened management’ should be aware of all this and keep trying to solve the ‘human problem’ as well.

And the management does seem good and open here with its thoughts.

Writers are going to the Internet in large numbers to try and earn better income than they get from the paper publishing world where they are paid so little for their work because publishers take huge losses in seven out of ten books failing to earn income.

Income is as I see it a big, big issue for writers. Can they earn good money off the Internet? And how? And who helps them do this?

So hurt feelings at article rejection can have deep roots, even in the emerging culture itself. Working writers do not own the money-generating tools on the Internet. How do they get a piece of the pie? Does every Internet writer have to be also an Internet marketer to get a piece of the pie. As the present system is set up, it seems so. This is reality.

We can feel most hurt in life when we have expectations and needs that are not being met because of the way things are.

Thus, we best meet our own needs in life, while hoping the people we team with have compassion, cooperation and the willingness to share, the human values rather than just the commercial values.

Comment provided March 21, 2007 at 1:57 AM


Audrey writes:


I don’t care that I’m not “paid” for the articles I write. I get so many site hits from my articles here that this is my “payment”.

If 1000 folks read my articles and of those 1000, only 100 click my link and of that 100, just one places a $100 order, I’m a really happy camper. I read other folks who say they earned $4 for their one article.

I’d rather have the commission off of a $100 sale than $4 for the one article.

Ok….so after they write 100 articles, they’ve earned $400…hey thats great. How long did it take them to write those 100 articles to earn that $400? Maybe 6 months?

In those same 6 months, I’ve had thousands more read my articles here, pick up my articles here, put my articles in ezines etc. In those 6 months, I’ll take the one $100 order each month as payment :) And just imagine if I get two $100 in a month from those same 100 articles :)

Comment provided March 21, 2007 at 8:33 AM




Thanks for the info for us writers. I’m glad to see you are a happy writer and getting paid for it as well.

I just wrote an article to submit here whose key point is that if writers want to be writers on the Internet and get paid for their work they have to be both Internet Writers and Internet Marketers. I see that you are.

I am heading in the Internet-paid direction myself with my Creative Writing and and other sites. But I am in the student learning process as far as Internet writing and marketing is concerned.

Comment provided March 21, 2007 at 11:01 AM



Very thorough information sounds like great filters in place. Makes me proud to submit (ouch)!

Comment provided March 23, 2007 at 6:59 AM


Hope writes:

I think lots of people take it for granted that EzineArticles is just like any other article directory. I appreciate the time, effort and energy that goes into this directory to make it (in my opinion) probably the most reputable article directory online. These days there’s just too much junk in too many junk directories, making it seem like article marketing is NOT a good thing, when it really is.

Thanks for all your hard work! :)

Comment provided March 26, 2007 at 4:40 AM


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