Article Editing To Become A Premium Feature

I had hinted in an earlier blog entry that we’re moving to the day that editing articles will become a premium feature due to the intense volume of edits (well over 8,000 this month alone) that are commercial interest driven (nothing wrong with that) instead of added value for the user driven (such as improving the information value or credibility of the article with an edit).

We’ve been burning many internal discussion hours to sort this out and I wanted to share with you what we’re thinking so far:

  1. Every article submission will automatically be given a (1) free edit credit to be used at any time during the life of the article. We’d hope that this credit would be used to improve the quality of the article, fix a typo that no one caught, add an extra insight to the article, etc…
  2. We’ve determined that the page mutation rate would be too steep and unnatural if we allowed every premium member to do global resource box changes with the click of a few buttons. Our estimate is that in the first month of offering a global resource box change premium feature we’d hike from 8,000 articles being edited in a month to easily over 100,000 mutating. This is a trust and credibility issue with our users and traffic referral partners.
  3. We have many business-class premium features in the planning stage for more than 2 years now and we’ve come to the realization that we must release the first feature in order to get this ball started. The first premium feature will be article edit credits combined with priority review for those edits (meaning fast review speed).

Questions:

For those who want to edit their articles beyond the (1) free edit per article, would you rather pay per edit with a pre-paid pack of edits (same concept as buying pre-paid cellular minutes) or would you rather sign up for a subscription service on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis that would include various levels of edits per price point or unlimited edits (same concept as buying a cellular service plan with a certain number of minutes/edits included per month on a subscription basis)?

Any other concerns or issues you think we should take into consideration on this new premium article edit feature?

22 Comments »


1
Zack Lim writes:

Hi Chris,

I think it is better to have a pay per edit with a pre-paid pack of credits.

This will encourage people to write proper articles before they submit the articles.

Zack :)

Comment provided November 21, 2007 at 1:29 AM

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2
Lance Winslow writes:

I think this is good, and that either of your proposals of “pay-per-edit” or the EzineArticles “Pay in Advance” method for a block of edit credits, makes sense. This helps cover the huge cost of editing all the changes. That is fair for all concerned and I certainly like Zack’s point, it means that people will work harder to “Get it Right the First Time” as that is what our Grandparents told us to do. If it is worth doing it is worth doing right, the first time. That my friends is an American Tradition, one we can all be proud of.

Good call Chris, this seems to be a good solution to a very complex challenges and it sure works for me.

Comment provided November 21, 2007 at 2:08 AM

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3
Jeff Herring writes:

While most of the time I’ll choose the unlimited plan so I don’t have to worry about it, in this case I like the idea of the writer focused on the need to “get it the right the first time, that’s the main thing” (Billy Joel) with a pay-per-edit account.

I do have one additional suggestion, tho admittedly self-serving – a credit added to the account for each new member the current member refers to EzineArticles.

Happy ThanksGiving to all.
Jeff

Comment provided November 21, 2007 at 7:11 AM

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4

I’d prefer a pre-paid edit pack simply because I don’t edit that much.

I foresee your heavy users preferring the subscription option.

Could you offer both? ;-)

Could you also expand a bit on this part of section 2:

“This is a trust and credibility issue with our users and traffic referral partners.”

Comment provided November 21, 2007 at 7:38 AM

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5

Angela,

It’s important that we make all major search engines look good for having referred their visitors to us. A high page mutation rate jump (from 8,000 pages edited per month to 100,000+ pages edited per month) could be viewed as a red flag that something un-natural is happening… even if the intent is innocent.

Highly automated web sites have huge page mutation rates and thus they get filtered out as being less valuable than a site that changes far less often. We don’t want to be mistaken for being an automated site when nothing could be further from the truth.

In terms of content evolution, it’s our belief that quality content once posted should not change unless some added value is brought to the page.

Right now, 1.1% of EzineArticles.com is mutating monthly (members editing their articles) and this rate is very natural… Things that are natural are good.

Comment provided November 21, 2007 at 8:15 AM

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6

I have only edited twice, and both times was because a link in my resource box was a dead link from a company that should have been around forever going out of business. Short of that, I try to be very careful about mistakes. I realize the need for you guys to go to offering some premium services like this.

I like the idea of one free edit credit – that’s fantastic, and if you do what you’re supposed to, you’d never need more than that one credit, IMO. But if I ever did need more than that one free credit, and I take the time to write my articles properly, I would only need/want to buy edits one edit credit at a time.

I don’t write a high volume though like some do, so I think edit packs are probably feasible for people who write a lot of articles and might benefit from a rate reduction for ‘packs’ of edits. I don’t think many would truly be interested in an editing ‘subscription’ though.

I do wonder though, if charging for editing might mean some people will choose not to edit and leave errors and dead/broken links, etc, on the articles just to keep from paying, which really is not a good thing. Some people are just cheap, I guess.

And now, I’m rambling.

Pay per edit – that’s how I’d use it if I needed it.

Love and stuff,
Michy

Comment provided November 21, 2007 at 9:21 AM

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7
rabasure writes:

It seems that the idea of giving automatic free edit credit to each article submitted is not wise.However to the freshers who submit such articles they may be extended with this free edit credit facility.

Comment provided November 21, 2007 at 9:56 AM

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8

Michelle,

Members leave broken links all the time even when they have the easy ability to edit and fix them.

Of the 15,817 articles currently jammed up in problem status, 561 (3.55%) are for broken links… and at least 5,000+ articles in the site that are live now have broken links that need us to setup a process to notify the members and move towards unlinking them after a period of time if they don’t get them fixed.

Comment provided November 21, 2007 at 9:57 AM

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9

I’m not sure one scheme will satisfy your full range of authors and you may want to consider a tiered structure:

1) one free “edit credit” for each article submitted;
2) for those who may need an occasional additional edit, a pre-paid pack of edits that can be used on any article;
3) for power users who know they will be editing frequently, a subscription that allows unlimited (or a certain number) edits on any article.

The one free edit would probably be all I currently need, but I’m not a power user. However, I can see where, over time, I might need additional edits, especially if I become a more productive author. I’d like the option of upgrading to pre-paid “edit credits” and with continued growth, a subscription would look better.

I buy stock photography in a similar way. I can subscribe to a plan that allows nearly unlimited images within a certain time period. I can also buy credits (on a sliding scale of pricing) that can be used indefinitely. Or, I can buy images one at a time (the most expensive). Having multiple options allows me to determine what is best at any given time or for any individual project.

Comment provided November 21, 2007 at 10:57 AM

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10
Jed Jones writes:

Hi Chris,

I prefer the pay-per-edit plan using a pre-paid credit system, available for purchase in (for example) 1, 5, 10, and 25 credit increments.

Reasons:
1. encourages people to take more care in getting it right the first time
2. people who only have an occasional need for edits can avoid a monthly financial obligation

Thank you for airing your thoughts about this with the community.

Jed

Comment provided November 21, 2007 at 11:33 AM

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11

Hi Chris!

In the previous post you mentioned, many authors that where accused for changing too much their articles explained their reasons and they never mentioned a mistake. Authors that update too much their articles update them for other reasons; they don’t correct mistakes.

I don’t know if it is fair to make them pay for that.
On the other hand, why should your team work twice or more examining the same article?
Your solution seems to be ok. The possibility to update an article once is usually enough for most authors.

I didn’t know that the idea of ‚¬“Getting it Right the First Time‚¬ was an American Tradition!

If this is true, all perfectionists have an American side.

Comment provided November 21, 2007 at 1:21 PM

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12

It’s our opinion based on internal reports that more than 90% of articles edited are done to enhance the traffic back to the authors website rather than enhancing the readership value of the article.

We’re approaching 300 hours a month of doing nothing but reviewing articles edited for non-quality reasons… but of course, that’s our perspective. I’m sure the author is thinking that their articles are more quality to them if they generate more traffic to the authors website.

We still think that if our members articles generate them more traffic, that we BOTH win together… but we also recognize that it’s gotten out of hand or ‘too optimized’ and thus it makes sense that those who want to improve their articles efficiency to drive traffic won’t mind paying a tiny fee to defray the costs associated.

Also, “getting it right the first time” …as far as I know, has nothing to do with being an American Tradition.

We rarely get anything right the first time… and fail more than anyone I know because we’re willing to always be trying new ways to improve.

Comment provided November 21, 2007 at 1:40 PM

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13

The sad thing about this new feature is that we have to invest tens of thousands in additional server power to combat members who will delete an article in order to resubmit it…and within a few weeks, we’ll be databasing all prior submitted and deleted articles to compare future submissions against.

In addition, our anti-dupe content checker will get a next generation speed and accuracy overhaul at the same time… Watch for this change coming in December.

Comment provided November 21, 2007 at 2:14 PM

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14

Ohhh, I guess I’m too honest, because I had never even thought about people deleting them or putting them in as new to avoid paying for edits.

I would think the majority of people would be honest though. But perhaps I’m too trusting…LOL

I honestly still think by allowing one free edit per article, that you are being more than fair… if I couldn’t fix or change what I needed with one edit, then I’d have no issue with paying a small fee for an edit on an article.

This is, after all, some of the best ‘advertising’ so to speak that their there is, and in fact, is better for me than advertising, and a heck of a lot cheaper. I’ve been amazed for the last year 1/2 or so that this service is FREE, so learning that there will be some minor fees for ‘special’ things – it just makes sense and would be totally worth it, IMO.

Comment provided November 21, 2007 at 2:33 PM

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15

Gee, what do you charge to edit blog comment posts so that the glaring ‘their’ when I meant ‘there’ is not driving me insane?

Comment provided November 21, 2007 at 2:35 PM

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16

Michelle,

Fixed.

The only motivating force (besides honesty) is that once a members article is indexed by many 3rd parties… deleting it and re-submitting it loses the traffic referral reference.

We also blow away membership accounts who continually re-submit content that they just recently deleted…so it’s hazardous to our members relationship with us, health…to delete and re-submit.

Comment provided November 21, 2007 at 3:07 PM

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17

It seems that you and your team have to face a lot!

Comment provided November 21, 2007 at 3:30 PM

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18
Zack Lim writes:

Hi Chris,

It seems that you and your team will have to face many challenges.

It is nice to know that you and your team are doing your best to improve your reader and members’ satisfaction.

I hope that you will find the best solution soon so that you will solve this “Dishonesty” issue where people delete articles and submit them again.

This will definitely prove further that EzineArticles.com is a quality article directory where only quality article and honest people will be accepted.

Zack :)

Comment provided November 21, 2007 at 10:06 PM

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19
Glenn writes:

Hi Chris,

Googled somewhere in cyberspace and found this entry. Anyway, wanted to comment to let you know that it is a great feature to be added on…

I am also interested in having something to integrate at iSnare.com so that all your premium edited articles submitted to iSnare.com will be automatically be pre-approved.

Drop me an email :)

Glenn

Comment provided November 26, 2007 at 5:41 AM

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20
Jan Verhoeff writes:

I like the new attention grabbing color block for Chris’s comments back on the blog. What an artistic way to draw attention to valuable information. I think I’ll snatch it for my own blog (now if I can just borrow your techie to figure out the code!)

Jan

Comment provided November 29, 2007 at 1:26 PM

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21
Wango writes:

‚¬“Getting it right the first time‚¬ is not an American tradition. I’m pretty sure it’s French. That’s why French-Canadians get it right the first time only half the time.

What was the other question? Oh ya, one free edit, then charge. If people abuse the privilege by deleting articles or other stuff, the come up with new rules. Give your plan a chance, however, it sounds right.

Comment provided December 18, 2007 at 4:41 PM

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22
e-papierosy writes:

I honestly still think by allowing one free edit per article, that you are being more than fair… if I couldn’t fix or change what I needed with one edit, then I’d have no issue with paying a small fee for an edit on an article.

This is, after all, some of the best ‘advertising’ so to speak that their there is, and in fact, is better for me than advertising, and a heck of a lot cheaper. I’ve been amazed for the last year 1/2 or so that this service is FREE, so learning that there will be some minor fees for ‘special’ things – it just makes sense and would be totally worth it, IMO.

Comment provided April 4, 2013 at 1:25 AM

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