No Article Rehashes

Check out this publishers perspective on what they look for in articles that are quality: MMOL with Ezine Articles

1) We don’t even look at articles less than a minimum of 600 words.
2) We prefer in-depth articles on a single subject that is well focused.
3) We look for new ideas, and immediately reject rehashes, sound byte type articles, fluff, or anything that our readers are already likely to know.
4) The “Ten Tips to…” are not off-limits for us, but they need to be really good, and really thought out. No rehashes.
5) Here’s a big one. Many won’t like this. We have a strong bias AGAINST first person articles, unless the writer is well known. Columnists (in print or not) can get away with first person articles, because they are known. The truth is our readers don’t know you, and probably don’t really care about your personal experiences, and most first person articles are obviously about first person experiences. Unless you are Bono, or Hilary, or Dylan or…

And they “immediately reject rehashes, sound byte type articles, fluff, or anything that our readers already likely know.” Excellent guideline to follow from an article writers perspective!



I’m of two minds on this one.

Part of me thinks, “Wow, that’s great!” Looks like they’re focusing on weeding out what’s already been said and done.

The other part of me thinks, “Holy sh**.” It leaves me with the impression of an elite group who is going to be extremely picky, judgmental and not at all open to many talented submissions, no matter how great they are.

Personally, I wouldn’t try to submit to someone with this kind of perspective – not because I couldn’t do it, but because I’d be far too nervous about rejection to even enjoy the experience. Writing should be fun, a good, pleasant experience, not a nerve-wracking application for the Golden Seal of Approval.

Maybe it’s just the wording of their guidelines. They sound… snotty. Maybe I just haven’t had enough coffee yet :)

Comment provided November 4, 2007 at 9:44 AM


Darlene Norris writes:

There is a tone there that’s a bit off-putting. But I went to MMOL and read the rest of the post, and he/she does say…

“So, here’s a suggestion to writers. Consider the audience you want an ‚¬“in‚¬ with, and write for them. If you want to be seen as an expert by highly educated professionals, tell them something new, in an original way, and write in depth, and damn the idea of keeping things short. ”

Not bad advice, really.


Comment provided November 4, 2007 at 11:04 AM


Carl Pruitt writes:

I am of two minds as well. I applaud their effort to promote quality for their particular audience.

On the other side of the issue, there is room in the world for rehashes. There is very little new information in the world, so deciding what constitutes a rehash is subjective. There is also room in the world for a little fluff and there is definitely a place for short bursts of information. Most of society actually doesn’t like to read and will pick up more from a 300 word article they do read than from a longer article they skip over. First person stories told well can draw readers in just as well when related by someone they have never heard of as when related by someone they know.

An author must be able to produce the information in different formats for different audiences.

Comment provided November 4, 2007 at 11:10 AM



Hi Chris!

This is an interesting subject. I believe you remember how many times I defended long articles in our discussions.
When the author is serious he or she is going to give more when writing more.

Short articles are very useful too. I learned to write in all sizes.

I believe that some of my articles follow exactly the guidelines you present here, while other articles are totally different.
I learned to respect my readers’ preference.

This is why I see many times a very simple article for me being so much read while other articles more complex with scientific information and advices don’t receive anyone’s attention until the readers that can evaluate their quality appear and suddenly the old article has many views and I receive many visits. I would not write the simple article because I feel it is too simple. I would give much more information; however, some of my readers prefer short articles. If they want to learn more they can read another article or care for my ebooks. They don’t like long texts.

Other readers love long articles, where I mention my adventures.
Each article has its specific readers.

My advice for all authors: Write in all styles and sizes and respect each guideline.
Try to follow their rules in a few articles and see which articles bring you more visits.
Write first of all for your readers.

Comment provided November 4, 2007 at 12:15 PM


Roy MacNaughton writes:

The writer of these rules is setting out the parameters of what HE wants to see on HIS site.

This means he is stating the criteria for his chosen target group. These are the kinds of readers he is trying to attract: he KNOWS that his readers don’t want short, puff pieces or sound bites full of rehashed ‘stuff’.

He knows they are more interested in longer, reasoned, third party efforts. He is not interested in personal opinions or first person narratves. He is acutely aware of why his readers visit his site.

There is nothing wrong or right about this. It’s just different. It’s only one of his marketing tactics; using ‘content targeting’. This is what you must do as both a writer and an article directory owner. Choose your target and stick to it.

I like some of the ideas, and dislike others. I prefer longer pieces, but then that’s the kind of person I am trying to reach. If you are in this just to get the most articles posted, or some other ego-driven motivation, that’s up to you; but if you are trying to write real stuff that will be used by your target group over time, then some of his ideas make a lot of sense…..for him and his directory.

When you put his ideas into this perspective, they don’t seem half bad to me….in fact, they make a lot of good sense.

Comment provided November 4, 2007 at 12:42 PM


Ramon Greenwood writes:

If MMOL’s guidelines were followed to the letter, I’m afraid far fewer articles would see the light of day at EzineArticles and other such venues.

Seems to me everybody ought to more concerned about getting rid of the endless rehasing of the same ideas, the typos, hyberbole (especially in headlines) and bad grammar.

Comment provided November 4, 2007 at 12:43 PM


Chinmay Chakravarty writes:

An excellent article is an excellent article. Guidelines can follow.

Writers try to sell their articles, not themselves.

If one is too concerned about the possible consequences, he/she can never achieve anything.
Yes, we should write good pleasant articles and ‘readers’ is not a homogeneous group.

Comment provided November 4, 2007 at 1:09 PM




Darlene, I think you have a great point, who are we writing to? That sets the stage really.


There is apparently a HUGE objection to first person writing. I would not make it in this setting because I write a lot (not solely) in the first person. Am I famous? No.

I think I have developed a style that is working. I do have followers on other sites that tell me they have read my work, so that is a confirmation of something. I check out my numbers on EzineArticles a lot too. If the numbers don’t show readers, I know that I am not writing in a direction that will continue to work for me.

I believe a lot of people are looking for someone who might understand and relate to their situation. The world can feel pretty cold at times, so people need to know that there is someone out there like them. That is best accomplished by writing in the first person, I think anyway.

I wrote an article over a year ago now about artists not being accepted in juried shows. I guess I could have written it from a more clinical point of view, but it would lack the luster and sympathetic ear that it was intended for.

The other thing to me is that there is a big movement towards people who write or join social networks to get a cut of the action. If someone wants to pay me? I’ll write within any parameter they want.

I write to improve my SEO and to try to get people to go to my website just like everybody else. I appreciate EA’s attention to detail and continual reminders that excellence is the goal at hand.

Improvement should always meet the honorable deed of creating words that flow together to form a thought, so I agree with everything except the first person thing. As Darlene wrote, it depends on your audience.

Christina has some good points too.. diversify. That’s also a symptom of real growth.

Comment provided November 4, 2007 at 1:20 PM



Oh good grief! I see I forgot to add the to cap off my italicized words…sheeze.

OK! Onward to perfection.. starting now.

Comment provided November 4, 2007 at 1:24 PM


Joe Shaw writes:

I hate the idea of becoming obsessed about writing an article just to get published. Personally, I would rather focus on Quality, Value, and Service.

Longer doesn’t mean better to me. I believe in writing my thoughts as concisely as possible. Whenever I put too much focus on the lengths, numbers, or click thru rates of articles… I feel like my quality and value suffers.

I think it’s pretty clear that Lance Winslow is one of the most published authors here at EzineArticles. I just went out scanned several articles from different categories. It didn’t look to me like Lance would qualify for being published with this author.

MY POINT – I think there’s room for good people to differently interperet what constitutes a quality article. My opinion is that you may as well write according to what you think offeres the most value for YOUR ideal audience, whether that be short or long.

Comment provided November 4, 2007 at 1:35 PM


John J. Alquist writes:

Hey Chris:

Some “authors” do rehash articles and play other games to improve search engine performance to fooling the fuzzy spiders and robots which show up for periodic website visits.

It’s difficult to establish an exact code of conduct to avoid article rejection. Intead, perhaps it might work better to list a set of behaviours which could result in rejection and let it go at that.

So, if someone subjects junk with no editorial merit, reject the submission as non-compliance to the list behaviours which are not acceptable. No more detail than that!

Regarding article size, sub-literate, slow readers cannot handle too many words at once. And America is being more and more illiterate each day.

So we must be sensitive to slow readers–somewhat–but not to absurdity of just a few sentences supposedly being an “article.”

John J. Alquist

Comment provided November 4, 2007 at 1:42 PM



Is is just me? or is everything italicized now? Too funny!

I think John has a good point about the length. That’s why they made the Bible into a comic strip or animation. Do you think that’s just for kids? I don’t.

Also.. gads look at text messaging. Eww.. horrible hacking of the English language. Small space to write in yeah, but I also think it adds to the increase of low attention spans.

One thing I hate is when someone says in 10K words, what could be said in 10. I have been guilty of that I am sure, but the goal is to make a statement, in an article, in as concise a manner as possible. Sometimes less is best.

Comment provided November 4, 2007 at 2:04 PM


Roy MacNaughton writes:

Sorry Kathy:

I disagree. Often “less” is not best at all.

Speed and minimization are not necessarily good.

If you want to accomodate the almost illiterate attention-deficit-affected readers, just write in bullet points.

If you want to write to impart some knowledge, but to do so in a way that honors the English language, then write real sentences and paragraphs.

If we had followed the quick and dirty rules of expediency, we would never have had the works of Dickens, Hemingway, Follot, Brown, Atwood, Mowat; or even Peter Drucker.

There still are some folks out there who READ.

Comment provided November 4, 2007 at 2:17 PM



Roy, Of course less is not alwaysbest.

In literature of course that is not the case.. poetry would be a wash.

But.. I think we should always question ourselves,

“Does this progress the story?”

Delete what becomes redundant and make sure it flows with information that ties in.

I write poetry too, so I do add a lot of fluff to get them to 250 words. BUT, I try to make sure those words added to them create a comprehensive thought.

I am not suggesting that we all go to comic book levels. Gads! I only say that that is where a lot of people are at. If society continues on this path we won’t have many to read what we write left.

Comment provided November 4, 2007 at 2:41 PM



My most read articles are long, but my most published are shorter.

We simply have to write for a huge audience, using different styles for each group.
A long well written article offers much more than a short one, but there are readers that never read long articles, no matter how good they are.

Original and new content is always necessary, especially because even when we write something new, we have to repeat a few old definitions to help new readers follow us, so we better concentrate on finding something else to say instead of rehashing – the unavoidable repetitions are already known for the old readers that want more information.

We have to consider the fact that the readers who follow our articles want to learn something different each time they decide to read our work.

Comment provided November 4, 2007 at 3:18 PM



Roy: Those are some pretty strong statements. There are plenty of people who still READ, who can’t stand the likes of Dickens et al, and who aren’t even close to almost illiterate attention-deficit-affected readers.

I may be misinterpreting your comment, and I do agree that there is more to the written language than bulletpoints, but there’s much to be said for succinct, concise language that isn’t full of self-indulgent flowery prose.

Christina: Yes.

Comment provided November 4, 2007 at 4:25 PM


Pamela Beers writes:

Personally, I don’t have time to read 600 word articles on the internet. I like something short, sweet, and to the point if I need a quick idea for a writing gig, or website idea. So, for those of you who write 250 word articles, keep doing it. I love them! Thanks.

Comment provided November 4, 2007 at 6:39 PM


Joe Shaw writes:

This is my attempt to turn italics off.

Let’s see if that get’s it.

Best wishes everyone,

Comment provided November 4, 2007 at 9:03 PM


Joe Shaw writes:

Italics are now off.

Comment provided November 4, 2007 at 9:04 PM




Comment provided November 4, 2007 at 9:13 PM



How crazy.. waaa I tried that a long time ago. I guess the golden crown goes to you Joe!


Comment provided November 4, 2007 at 9:23 PM



Right! This was a problem that only Superman could solve!

Comment provided November 4, 2007 at 9:46 PM



That was… incredibly smart. And simple. Wow.

Comment provided November 5, 2007 at 6:40 AM


Joe Shaw writes:

Yes – I shall go down in history as the man who learned to use “slash I” in html. Wonderful.

Comment provided November 5, 2007 at 7:12 AM


Nancy Chadwick writes:

I’m chiming in now that it’s safe (the italics having been masterfully disposed of) and also now that I’ve finished writing another book.

I like this publisher’s guidelines. I don’t like to read articles online (I also don’t like to watch baseball games online). If I determine quickly that that the article is “meaty,” relevant and helpful, I print it out so I can read it more comfortably. So for me, a long article (however that’s defined) is no problem.

Perhaps I’m in the minority, but I believe the right writer can present material in a fresh way, just as a good teacher finds the approach that works with a class or a particular student. I’m not big on rehashes, long or short. Some subjects have been done to death, but I feel they are comparatively few given the almost infinite variety of possible topics. It’s all in the presentation.

Regardless of what we think we do for a living, we’re all salespeople. Everybody, in every occupation, is essentially selling something, tangible or intangible.

Comment provided November 6, 2007 at 3:59 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Interesting, although, I have watched my articles get picked up that are less than 300 words, about personal experiences, light content (not indepth), Top 3,5,7, or 10 articles, and/or what I consider fluff and definitely, I meant them to be when I wrote them.

Now maybe it is just the odds with the number of articles I have written. But much of this sounds like a “publisher b-session” and them trying to pull rank and be really big and important. I notice this in the 2007 Writer’s Guide this year again too. If the publishers want to feel important, fine? You are all gods, now can we get down to the reality?

I suppose in a perfect world, all Publishers would be praised by all writers who would bow to them? But in the real world, we all know that publishers who are too narrow minded decrease the number of possible readers. And as far as fluff and filler, most all the magazines, ezines, books, and even research papers have some degree of fluff, so who are these folks trying to kid? I am not buying it.

As far as percentage shots go, sure, good advice to a point, but certainly not the end all, be all of what gets picked up by whom. HA! Next Blog Post.

Comment provided November 7, 2007 at 3:18 AM


Pamela Beers writes:

I like reading humor articles. There are some mighty funny ones out there in ezine land.

As far as publishers are concerned, they have their own opinion which does not always reflect mine.

There are some great writers out there who have not yet been published. Some of their work is right here on this site. Bob Crane’s humorous articles are one example of enjoyable reading.

Comment provided November 7, 2007 at 8:09 AM



[i]There are some great writers out there who have not yet been published. Some of their work is right here on this site.[/i]

If it’s on this site in public view, it has been published. The definition of published encompasses posting written work where everyone can see it.

Of course, if it’s ghostwritten, that’s another story…

Comment provided November 7, 2007 at 8:27 AM


Pamela Beers writes:

Re: #28

James, thanks for pointing out your definition of “published”.

Comment provided November 8, 2007 at 10:41 AM



You’re welcome. But it isn’t “my” definition. Look up the definition of publishing in any dictionary or encyclopedia.

Comment provided November 8, 2007 at 10:44 AM


Pamela Beers writes:

We must be reading a different dictionary.

Comment provided November 8, 2007 at 10:47 AM



We must be. Here are mine:

Merriam Webster:

1 a: to make generally known b: to make public announcement of2 a: to disseminate to the public b: to produce or release for distribution; specifically : print 2c c: to issue the work of (an author)


1: to make information available to people, especially in a book, magazine or newspaper, or to produce and sell a book, magazine or newspaper


Publishing is the process of production and dissemination of literature or information ‚¬€ the activity of making information available for public view. In some cases, authors may be their own publishers.

Princeton WordNet:

‚¬ S: (v) print, publish (put into print) “The newspaper published the news of the royal couple’s divorce”; “These news should not be printed”
‚¬ S: (v) publish, bring out, put out, issue, release (prepare and issue for public distribution or sale) “publish a magazine or newspaper”
‚¬ S: (v) publish, write (have (one’s written work) issued for publication) “How many books did Georges Simenon write?”; “She published 25 books during her long career”

Which dictionary are you using?

Comment provided November 8, 2007 at 11:09 AM


Dan Hatcher writes:

One would think that the rule about first person articles is somewhat ambiguous. You only have to follow one rule from what I see, and that is make your article interesting. Personally, I think that articles would be boring if it were not for personal insight into whatever topic is discussed. It doesn’t matter who is writing it and if I know them. Is it interesting? That is the question.

Comment provided December 29, 2007 at 11:29 AM


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