The Inside Scoop on Fast Approvals

a.k.a. How to significantly improve your articles’ chances of getting approved the first time.

As the EzineArticles Managing Editor I’m often asked, “Penny, what’s the secret to getting my articles approved fast?”

My answer is always the same, “If you’re not quite ready to invest in Premium Membership, the best way to speed up your approvals is to follow these simple guidelines:”

  • Read and re-read your article. Double check for grammar and spelling errors that add time to your article review. Verify proper punctuation and read it aloud to determine if the language flows naturally.
  • Deliver what you promised in the title. If your title says you’re about to give the reader (5) tips, then give them (5) clear tips which are easy to read and straight to the point.
  • Don’t include more than 2 self-serving links (links that you own or have interest in) in the resource box. You want your article to look clean – webmasters and ezine publishers will value your article more when it contains fewer links.
  • Don’t use the term “scam” in your article body or title. It causes confusion for both readers and article editors alike and can cause an article to be rejected.

Most importantly, read and follow the posted Editorial Guidelines.

If, despite your best efforts, your article receives a general error, ask the following questions before contacting Member Support:

  • Do all the links work?
  • Do the links provide value. Are they more than just ads or affiliate links?
  • Is the title grammatically correct?
  • Does the title make sense? Will readers know what they are going to read based off of the title?
  • Does the article contain content that could be perceived as being negative? If so we may not allow it.
  • Does the article unjustly review a product by not providing the pros and cons of that product? A good review offers both.
  • Is the article content going to be outdated quickly (in a few days)? If so, revise it to reduce the loss of value over time.

That’s all there is to it. Following this advice will help ensure that the vast majority of your article submissions will get approved the first time.

One final tip: Submit more articles! It’s simple – the more articles you write, the better you’ll become at creating articles that not only engage and motivate your reader, but also fly through the EzineArticles approval process. Best of all, those additional articles will generate more exposure and traffic to your website!


Lance Winslow writes:

Thanks for these tips Penny and Chris. I had no idea about the word “scam” in article titles, I’ve used that word before in titles, especially my “Identity Theft” articles. Thanks for the tip. How about the term; “Evil Doer Bad Guy Tricks” any suggestions on replacement words for scam?

Comment provided April 29, 2009 at 11:41 AM


Linda Houle writes:

Thank you for sharing these tips – I hadn’t realized that negative sounding words could slow down article approval and acceptance.
Now, could you just find a way to put more than 24 hours in a day so I can get caught up with my Ezine article writing!

Comment provided April 29, 2009 at 11:45 AM


Liz Cosline writes:

You are always helpful and do great work!!!!

Comment provided April 29, 2009 at 11:45 AM


Debbie writes:

Didn’t you used to recommend or allow 3 links/URLs in the Resource Box? I know Chris one time congratulated me on my Resource Box copy and I have always used 2 anchor text links and one website URL. Have the guidelines changed?

Comment provided April 29, 2009 at 11:55 AM



This is a really good subject and I hope you get lots of posts so that all scenarios might be considered, thus creating ease of pushing articles through.

My scenario: I get an email telling me I have a “Problem Article” that has no suggestion as to what is wrong with it. The emails says to “Contact EA”. OK… that to me is like going into an Ezine Article dungeon. I have one article/poem in-particular, that I tried twice to ‘guess what was wrong. I made two attempts to fix it, but for the life of me I just cannot see what is wrong. So said article/poem has been in EzineArticles dungeon for a couple weeks now, it says since the 22nd, but that was the last time I tried to correct it, having not received any info at to what was wrong with it nor any answer to my messages. I have no problem with correcting my articles, I just need to know what is wrong. I do so appreciate EA’s attention to detail and quality though so leave it with that compliment of continuing on with excellence.

Comment provided April 29, 2009 at 11:58 AM


kader writes:

thank you very much for these Tips..
Great .. very helpful Tips

Comment provided April 29, 2009 at 12:14 PM


Ray Lanfear writes:

Great article, thank you for the tips. You simply provide good information that everyone can use, and great advice. thanks again. RayLanfear

Comment provided April 29, 2009 at 12:14 PM




We changed the rule on how many self-serving links we allow in an article in June 2008.

The current guideline is:

Maximum of (2) ‚¬“Self-Serving‚¬ active or inactive links/URLs to a website that you own, control, or have an interest in.

Maximum of (2) active non-self serving links to a website that you do not own, control, or have an interest in which adds value to the article.


The general problem status is designed to allow our member support team help you understand how to get your article issue addressed clearly and get your article approved. When issues with your articles happen outside the typical black and white scenarios, we place your article in this status so we can provide another level of service that our more experienced trained editors can address with you. These issues are generally grayer and need further explanation.

I understand the frustration with the response time as we are currently 7 days behind with our Member Support responses but we are diligently working on this. I will address your issue with your article privately.

Comment provided April 29, 2009 at 12:52 PM



Hey Penny,

I went on a ‘field trip’ to a nearby gallery with about 50+ senior citizens, all in their 80’s and 90’s. Afterward we went out to eat. We invaded an unsuspecting restaurant. Almost immediately after sitting down, the dear little ladies at my table began to complain, “Where is my water!? Where is the menu!?” I turned to one of the ladies and said, “Obviously you have never been a waitress before.”

With that said.. I guess I need to be a bit more patient. …Smile.

Comment provided April 29, 2009 at 1:06 PM



High five on Penny’s tips. She wants us to succeed – win/win.

With each article written, submitted and published everyone feels great.

Comment provided April 29, 2009 at 1:16 PM


Daiv Russell writes:

Well, with the exception of “scam’, I’m pretty sure in my 10 years of article writing, I’ve managed to break just about every one of those rules.

Another one I seem to keep breaking is “keyword density” – I can never seem to pin anyone down on exactly what density is the threshold, so I usually just go through and do some pronoun replacements rather randomly after using a keyword density analyzer.

What IS the magic number, Chris?

Comment provided April 29, 2009 at 1:34 PM


Gerry Faehrmann writes:

Thanks for the tips.

Another but general tip in the same vein…don’t use negative language at all.

Comment provided April 29, 2009 at 2:26 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Thanks Marc,

Totally awesome! That is a great list indeed. I will keep it, thanks for the reference site too. That can only help me in my writing!


Comment provided April 29, 2009 at 3:43 PM


Glynis Sherwood writes:

Thanks for this post.

My concern is similar to Kathy Ostman Magnusen’s, though a bit less cryptic. I submitted a 3 part article that contains 11 steps broken down over 3 articles. Parts 1 and 3 were rejected but not Part 2 so far, though it’s essentially the same format. The rejection messages are saying I’m not delivering on the title of ’11 steps’, which of course I can’t do in one article as the steps are delivered over 3 articles. Without going into any more detail, like Kathy I don’t know how to fix this. I am unclear as to what EzineArticles wants me to do, other than create one gigantic article (over 1,500 words) that delivers all 11 steps, but is so cumbersome that no one would want to read it. I need some direction here so I can fix this article as to your specifications. Could you please post some guidelines as to how to write multiple-part articles that conform to EAs standards. I am more than happy to comply, I just need to know what to do.

Comment provided April 29, 2009 at 6:35 PM


Graham Macardy writes:

I found the information very helpfull.I have only submitted 4 articles and now will follow information guidelines as per instructions.Graham

Comment provided April 29, 2009 at 7:56 PM


Doug Samuel writes:

The secret to fast approvals condensed: write useful content!

Badly written drivel will not serve your readers, and therefore will not serve you.

Comment provided April 29, 2009 at 8:05 PM


Geoff writes:

Some good reminders there to help speed up the process. Thanks.

Comment provided April 30, 2009 at 1:44 AM




You asked about our keyword density rule?

The recommendation is to not exceed 1 keyword or keyphrase per 100 words.

The hardline rule is that we think abuse starts around 2 keywords or keyphrases per 100 words. This is the point where your article reads as if you’re aiming for the search engines rather than providing value for the end-reader as your primary goal.

For more resources, read these blog posts:

Comment provided April 30, 2009 at 4:42 AM


Marilynn Syrett writes:

Great tips! I’m sure many people will improve the quality of their articles after reading thru this… Including me ;)

Comment provided April 30, 2009 at 6:22 AM


Sarah writes:

Most of the time, I have problems in determining the keyword density and I always missed out on the max 2 links in the resource box. I am trying real hard to remember the rules by heart.

Comment provided April 30, 2009 at 7:11 AM




We are not article parts friendly and for several reasons. Each one of your articles needs to stand alone and provide value on its own. Readers get frustrated when they have to read more than one article (and go find it) to get what your point was and what was promised to them in part one. If you promise 11 tips in your title, that article should deliver 11 points and not span across 3 articles.

Having article parts is also not syndication friendly when ezine publishers have to struggle to pull all your articles together so they can be used.

A good article length is 400-700 words. I would recommend finding a way to break this large article in smaller ones of this size and look for the key points that could be split into multiple articles and deliver on each point in each article. You could even break this up in more than 3 articles and make it 11 articles. Each article could zero in on each point.

Comment provided April 30, 2009 at 8:23 AM


Deftsoft writes:

Thanks for the tips, they are certainly gonna help with the article submissions on ezine.

Comment provided April 30, 2009 at 8:30 AM


Jim Carpenter writes:

This post is timely for me but didn’t cover the problem I have been having in a particular niche recently. I have been getting articles rejected then would resubmit them and they would be rejected again after I thought I fixed the problem. After several rejections I had two other people who have hundreds possibly thousands of articles published here write articles and then rewrite the articles when they were rejected.
I had thought it was me, that is why I asked people who had so many accepted articles by them writing I maybe could understand what was wrong with the articles I wrote. The emails I sent for assistance in understanding didn’t help much because I changed what I thought I was being instructed to change but to no avail.

Then both of these other people wrote multiple articles and they were rejected, then redone by these people and still rejected.

So I just do not know what to do. I could really use some directions.

Comment provided April 30, 2009 at 9:27 AM


Lance Winslow writes:

I want more! And I am going to write a letter to Obama to make sure I can have more. I want EzineArticles to pay higher taxes so I can have more. I want the government to pay me to write articles, no matter what quality they are, or even if I do not finish them, and for EzArt to draw up new guidelines to pay each author who has a last name that starts with “W” and a first name starting with “L” and has a blue bicycle with a cool name tage at least $50 per article. I want more, more, more, more! I am entitled because my President said so! Gimme.

Comment provided April 30, 2009 at 2:47 PM




Niche articles are great and offer great value to those that are looking for specifics on a particular locale but if they don’t deliver they are wasted time.

When reviewing these articles, we look for where the value of the niche is and ask a set of questions:

1. Are there specifics to that locale in the article and is it relevant to the title. You don’t want to just add the locale name here and there and have it not deliver specifics as you will lose your credibility in this niche and lose points with your readers.

2. What about that locale made it unique to your article? Could your article be written without the locale and still make sense? If so, then you should consider removing the locale and write your article without it.

I will address your specific issue with this privately. I hope these pointers help.

Comment provided April 30, 2009 at 3:43 PM


Sean Isaacs writes:

Thanks for the above information. I found this to be very helpful. As a new publisher to EzineArticles I have had delays in getting my articles published. “The Inside Scoop…” provided some of the clarity that I needed.


Comment provided April 30, 2009 at 3:59 PM


Gerry Faehrmann writes:

Hey guys, thanks for all.

Also! Lance…whatever you’re on can I have some??

Comment provided April 30, 2009 at 6:47 PM


Pete writes:

Thanks for the tips. Will now follow the same for quick approvals. :)

Comment provided April 30, 2009 at 10:36 PM


Debra Tollefson writes:

For newbies on the internet like me, I think one of the most difficult things to implement in your article, or blog, or what ever is trying to sell people your product without sounding like a salesman. One of my first reader feed backs told me that and then when I went back and read my article, it hit me in the face. I was trying to sell and the article was just that – a terrible looking sales page.

Thanks for the tips, they are helpful !!!


Comment provided May 1, 2009 at 7:14 AM


Jonathan Dunsky writes:

Hi Penny,

I have a question regarding the anchor text length. Until October, we were allowed up to 5 words. Since the beginning of November, I have had practically every article I’ve written rejected because the anchor text is over 3 words.

I realize that the 4,5 anchor text length is a matter for the editor to determine but I have to say that it has become quite frustrating to have to go back and change my anchor text to fit 3 words.

The editors have become super-zealous in this respect and in my case, and in others’ I’m sure, it’s forcing me to turn my anchor text into something which I doubt anyone would click.

For instance, if I review a product with a name of 3 words, is it illogical for the anchor text to have the name of the product and the word “review” to follow? Not to mention product names with 4 words.

Yes, it helps my site in SEO terms but it also helps to get a higher CTR. And no, I don’t believe that the article alone determines CTR, the anchor text plays a major role as well.

There are many cases in which 3 words are just not enough. It’s not trying to stuff keywords, but to make sense to the reader. I do believe that some limitation on anchor text length is justified, but 3 is too little. 5 usually is enough and isn’t stuffing, in my opinion.

I would also love to understand why you guys believe this helps EzineArticles in general? I rarely see text links of 3 words or less, even on strong websites.

In addition, I don’t believe that I should be expected to write a super article each time to be awarded a 4,5 words anchor text. I believe each of my articles is good, but most are not a masterpiece, but they do deserve 4,5 words.

As I said, I realize the rules haven’t changed, but since the beginning of November, someone is sure enforcing them way too often than I believe we writers deserve.

I would love to understand why this is happening as it’s become twice as hard to have an article approved, and, in my opinion, for no valid and helpful reason.

Sorry for the rant, but I’ve been a member with good standing since 2007 and this is the first time I felt this much frustration.

I would appreciate a response as I sent an email to support about this but got no reply.

Comment provided November 5, 2009 at 2:32 PM



This is about user-experience. The longer the anchor text, the spammier the article appears.

We are continuously taking steps in educating both you and our editors on what is acceptable and not acceptable, this never stops. There is no hard line rule on 3-5 words except to say that anything over 5 will NOT be accepted, period.

With every editor you will have their own view on this and with that may come a small percentage of inconsistencies. We continually train them to make educated decisions and help them determine what quantifies as quality content. I would recommend to you that if your content does not blow someone away in terms of GREAT quality, then limit your text to 3 words.

Without looking at your account specifics, any article over 500 words that has the wow factor, would be OK to submit with 5 words in anchor text.


Jonathan Dunsky writes:

Hi Penny,

Thanks for your fast reply. I appreciate you taking the time to answer me.

I totally agree that a an overly long anchor text may seem to be less professional (although I don’t think that over 3 words is too much, but that’s a question of taste).

The problem is threefold:

1. As a writer I find myself having to twist the English language quite a bit to create anchor texts which make sense and still would give me some SEO benefits.

I don’t think that wanting some SEO benefit makes me a spammer but the prevailing wind seems to be that it does.

The other thing that’s left to do is place the entire URL of the specific page to which I want to link to. I put it before you that this may seem uglier than a 4-5 word anchor text link.

2. I can’t know in advance which of my articles will strike the editor as unique enough and since I don’t want to have to edit each and every article, I am driven never to use more than 3 words on any of the articles, anyway. I don’t believe that an article has to be over 500 words to be useful.

3. There are cases in which 3 words simply aren’t enough. For instance, writing a review about a movie called From Here to Eternity and wishing to link to a page with the same topic may be difficult to do since the movie title itself is 4 words long.

But even if it were 3 words long like Star Trek 3, I don’t believe that using an anchor text saying “Star Trek 3 Review” will seem spammy. I believe it fits the article.

This goes for many products whose names are 3-5 words in length.

I suggest that the editors take this into consideration when they’re reviewing articles.

Since the beginning of November they seem to be much more zealous in rejecting articles based on this guideline. I believe I am far from the only author to which this is happening.

Thank you for your time.

I do appreciate how you’re trying to make the site useful for us all, but I believe that there can be improvements in this respect.



Article Title is where you should focus 95% of your SEO benefit, even though your article title should be in about 65% natural language and 35% keyword intelligent. Most completely ignore this or think it’s not enough. It IS enough.

If your Star Trek 3 review blows us away, the Editor has the discretion to grant the 4 word anchor text link.

We are tightening up quite a bit the last 6 weeks as too much has slipped in that doesn’t deserve to be in the site… hopefully as we continue training and retraining our Editors, we can become more consistent in our review process (as this is one of our internal goals).


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