Derivative Content Be Gone

I just recorded this 4 minute unscripted video to give you some insights into my current thinking on the issues of the past few weeks:

Downloadable Versions:
WMV Format     MOV Format     MV4 Format     MP3 Format

After I finished recording the video, I watched it and made some notes about what I had said. Let me clarify a few points:

We’re not at war with Affiliate Marketers … the more we think about it, we’re really at war with people who submit highly derivative content … You know the type … You’ve seen this type of low value article as it looks like yet another rehashed works of every other similar kind of article instead of the fresh perspective that a true expert in their niche delivers.

Those who write & submit high value exclusive rights content have nothing to worry about.

Are you really an expert author if you write highly derivative content? No.

Ideal members write original content and own the exclusive rights to that content.

What’s the ideal word count? 400-800 words.

Get this: Over 142,000 articles are currently in “Problem Status.” Of those, 41% are under 399 words. Compare that to those that are over 750+ words which account for 1-2% of the total. That means you can significantly increase your chances of having your article accepted purely by increasing your word count to the 400+ range. Watch for a full blog post this week with the details on this internal stats study.

Don’t increase your word count for word count sake. More filler words that say the same thing really adds no value. Instead, find ways to add your unique perspective, your unique expertise and how that can help your ideal reader to improve their situation. Use bullet points, numbered lists, etc.

As for the big “crack down” on low value content: We’ve been raising our standards every single month since we started. The only thing changing is the pace at which we raise our quality standards.

This wasn’t just a business decision that affected us but it will also impact you because your high quality articles will have less competition for our million+ daily visitors when you don’t have to compete with low value derivative content. We have an obligation to protect the massive time investment our ideal members have had over the years.

Don’t worry about rejection. Even the best writers get rejected from time to time. Use the rejection process to learn our Editorial Guidelines. We know it takes time to learn and understand our 5-6 pages of guidelines. It’s ok to make mistakes along the way.

Keep on writing & submitting your best quality original articles as that’s the best way to get high-value traffic & exposure back to your website.

My goal for doing this quick video was to reassure 99% of our membership that they have NOTHING to worry about. If anything, they will see an improvement in the quality of content that will be side-by-side to their articles. That’s healthy for competition because no one wants to put their high value articles next to low value rehashed/regurgitated works, right?! Right on. :)

UPDATED Oct 27th 2009: You can now View this video on YouTube.


Henri writes:

Love the video style post, keep more of those coming!

I like this higher quality thing, it forces me to learn to write better, higher quality content. Even though I write from my head, I can sometimes get stuck in rut where I write the same stuff!

The problems of a high volume writer I guess ;)

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 4:21 PM


Our servers are never offended if you accidentally submit content you already submitted…as it’ll just reject it and give you a notice about why. :)


Maggie Dawson writes:

Chris, I just posted this to the helpdesk but I’m betting it’ll never get to you. Please, put this question to bed for me and many others like me that don’t fall into your “spammer” category but are really wondering about the grey area that seems to be growing larger every time you post about this.

The way I have been approaching my article writing is this. I have a list of about 250 relevant keywords I want to try to rank for on google. They’re all similar- tax lien, tax deed, tax lien investing, tax deed investing. Stuff like that.

My articles are all completely original, written by me.

However, they do generally follow a similar formula. “Here’s why what you’re doing isn’t the best way to do what you’re doing.” Example 1, 2, 3, which are usually similar article to article. “Here’s another way to do it.” Obviously, the same thing in each article, since I’m promoting one infoproduct (for a family member). “Here’s why it works.” Example 1, 2, 3. Similar article to article.

However, I do write it completely from scratch each time.

Is what I am doing considered derivative content? I’m really confused.

I heard you say on a recorded teleconference from August, I think, that it’s not just quality, it’s quantity. I’ve been trying to hit all the important keywords for my niche while still writing articles that are completely different from each other, but that have the same basic message (appealing to different people, who search for different keywords).

I must be doing something right, since my CTR is hovering around 20%. Is it really “derivative content” that’s the problem, or just crappy derivative content? Obviously, people find my articles valuable…

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 4:42 PM



A lot of smart authors use “article templates”… nothing wrong with that.

Using article templates is not derivative content.

What you don’t want to do is create dozens of articles that have identical sentences or paragraphs.

We see this often in the body sculpting / weight training exercise articles where the author will repeat 2-3 paragraphs that are identical in the start of each article, they’ll insert specific content in the middle guts of the article and then they’ll conclude with boiler plate identical paragraphs or two. Unfortunately, this is not ok any more even if the middle guts of this type of articles would have been unique content, the article is highly derivative.

If we lived in a world where people didn’t spam sites like ours with derivative articles, we’d have no problem with it. Unfortunately, this is the way it is today and thus we aren’t able to say YES to content that is identical to other content already submitted.

Hope this answers your question. :)

ps: If you only care about ranking on Google with your articles, you have taken 2 steps backwards in terms of being an ideal member of EzineArticles. Nothing wrong with wanting to be found in Google, but that level of priority often leads to low value content …otherwise known as “spiderbait”… and anything bad for Google & their users is bad for EzineArticles.


Ed Baker writes:


Just my thoughts;

I can’t imagine trying to rank for 250 keywords as it would seem an impossible task.

I try to select 7-15 really good ones (those with highest possible monthly searches and lowest possible competitive pages (>50,000 or so).

It seems if you write or create video for that matter on keyword(s) in this fashion and bookmark your pages, they will rank on page 1 pretty often.


Maggie Dawson writes:

Writing 250 articles doesn’t seem like an impossible task to me. :) I’m all for EzineArticles taking the measures they are, because I rank in the first 10-20 returns for my keyword almost every time.

Having a little trouble ranking for “tax deed” though! :)


Maggie Dawson writes:

Thanks so much for replying… that’s a relief.

Re: Google… completely in agreement. I’m not sure why you’d want to rank on Google with a crappy article. I guess you have 142,000 people you can ask!


P.S. Congratulations!!

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 5:15 PM


Maurice writes:

Hi Chris

Thanks for taking the time to really explain what you really desire from articles we submit to your website.

I just wanted to know your opinion on article directory submitters. I’ve used them in the past but realise that EzineArticles is the Numero Uno article directory online. As an internet marketer, I’m sure you appreciate the value of one-way links to one’s website. Yes, unfortunately some people abuse this and submit trash left, right and center.

Still, are you against article submission software and how would you advise one navigates this potential minefield in regards to submitting to EzineArticles.

Many thanks

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 5:49 PM


Simple: Never use article rewriting software.

I’m not against article *submission* software but I also will never encourage you to use submission software because we’d rather have a direct relationship with you instead of just blowing your content into our hay wagon. Most content submitted to us indirectly with 3rd party software or 3rd part submission service providers is low rate…very rare when it’s high quality.

Best to submit directly. Aren’t we worth it? :)


Maurice writes:

Yes You are!

Thanks for the response and clarifying this issue which has opposing views in the IM world.

Kind regards
Mauri e


will writes:

I think this is certainly a step in the right direction. Better quality will not only enhance the Directory’s brand but also that of the Authors.

Any plans for an EzineArticles Author /Expert “certification” in the works for authors that all original? Maybe one would get that after submitting X amount of original articles and is audited every X months. It might be an idea to help both the Directory and Author to further stand out from the crowd.


Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 5:50 PM


Too labor intensive at the moment. Have considered it many times though and I’m not ruling it out.


Eleni McDermott writes:

I spend alot of time writing and editing my quality articles and it discourages me when I read through some of the content of other articles that have been allowed to filter through ezine. Sometimes I feel that EzineArticles values quantity and not quality of articles, therefore allowing a window of opportunity for derivative content.

I hope this new `crack down’ will reinforce that high quality and originality is what’s important and recognize the expertise of those writers who agonize after each sentence to ensure it is of substance!

Keep improving…your reputation rides on it. Thanks for the opportunity to feedback

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 5:50 PM




I whole-heartedly agree with what you said. I always try to write my own stuff and shy away from rehashing someone else’s. I have my own opinion. I want people who read my articles to at least believe I have some integrity whether or not they agree with me. Integrity is important with what I’m trying to do with my business — which is teaching kids. I do sometimes have word-count problems though. I don’t want to fluff up an article just for the sake of “proper” word count. I say what I feel I need to say. When I’m done,I’m done. Fortunately, I think that most of articles are over 400 words though.
I have a hard time with knowing that the leader in articles has over 20,000 articles. I can’t imagine getting anywhere near that. Even 1,000 seems high.
Anyway, thanks for the heads-up.

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 5:53 PM


Daniel Zarco writes:


Great Video !

I have been reading what alot of people have been saying on the blog last week, and how they were upset about ” you not accepting their article”, and let’s not forget the person who wanted to give you ” $ 26K” to accept the article ?!! If people really have life changing experiences, or want really good google traffic, then they should only discuss, and or write real life changing experiences in the articles that other people can relate to. So if it’s a topic in business, or real estate, talk about something of value that you feel will be useful to others, and the readers. That is what will get you some good feedback and ratings. People who write a bunch of “mumbo, jumbo, BS” are not going to get the right people to follow them in any exciting adventures you partake in . Be honest and sincere!


Daniel Zarco- CEO and Founder

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 5:55 PM


Angela Sands writes:

Well done Chris!

I couldn’t agree more. The value in your end-product will be based upon the caliber of content you have available. Quite honestly, on a number of occasions I have visited various articles, they have been around 2-300 words long and really consisted of generic, non-insightful information and it was disappointing.

As you have alluded to, it’s not simply about increasing the word count to bring it up to your requirements, its about making sure that the content being delivered is ‘valuable’ and I appreciate this.


Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 5:57 PM


Christa writes:

Your video message was very helpful and it was great to see you in person.
I asked myself how long an article should be. Mine are about 800 words or longer. I like to write, so my articles are genuine. Even though I try to do my best, I am sure I make mistakes with English, which is bugging me. (No, the spell check does not get them.)
Again, thank you for your video message.

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 5:58 PM


Jack McKenzie writes:

I’m just working on my first article right now and I find your desire for quality articles to be refereshing. Looking forward to a long and productive relationship with EzineArticles!

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 6:02 PM


Art writes:

I view EzineArticles as one of the best, if not the best. There are a ton of crappy directories out there. I like what you are doing here because people will come for quality articles. In fact I think it will increase your traffic so it will be good for me. Have at it!

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 6:02 PM


Stephen writes:

Hi Chris
Great stuff, and good on you for saying it. Originality is what some folk have, and others lack, so they copy. There’s the old saying: ‘Class says “Me”, fashion says “Me, too”.’ It’s easy enough to recognise originality, but harder to be original.

We’ve all had enough of the regurgitated repetitive earful we get, whether it’s from so-called IM gurus, weight loss promoters, spam-senders, politicians, junk mail, even The News! It’s LOUD, but it’s not new!

Also, I have really appreciated the email series EzineArticles sends me about how to write better, and how to write better articles. Perhaps you could send this series to those who don’t yet reach the grade of quality – it can only help them.

All strength to you

New Zealand

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 6:06 PM


Glad you like our free training series of emails! :-)

We’re currently improving on them right now to add in all of the new training tools we’ve delivered over the past 9 months that haven’t been integrated into the series.


Mark Thompson writes:

Re the stats, as we all know stats on their own mean nothing.. how do the word counts of articles in problem status relate to the actual word counts of live articles?

I.e are 1% of the live articles also over 800 words and are approx 40% of the live article under 399 words?

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 6:06 PM


I’ll be answering at least half of that equation in an upcoming blog post already written. Stay tuned.


Laurie writes:

I’ve appreciated EzineArticles from the day I found you. The articles are consistently of a higher quality than most other article directory sites on the web AND if I forget and post duplicate content or forget and market my product in the body of the article, I get reminded of it.

I realize that it’s not a negative, and helps me stay on track.

I really appreciate your time and energy with this process — and keeping the standards higher.


Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 6:11 PM


Shane writes:

Hey Chris,

It really makes sense! There are so many articles out there that make you click away the second you start reading. I find the articles that have over 400 words are more informative to the reader and really prove ezines worth to both the reader and the writer.

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 6:15 PM


Heather Loewen writes:

Thank you for letting us know what is going on at

I have recently stretched into another niche and submitted an article that hasn’t been approved. Now I understand why. It is up to me to develop my content to higher standards by learning more about this new niche and delivering higher quality content.

Thank you for keeping your (and our) standards up.

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 6:16 PM


Richard Drakes writes:

Chris this is great news. Who wouldn’t want to be associated with a company that focuses on quality and integrity.
To me, authors who produce quality, original content should be rewarded by seeing their work published where it is appreciated for what it is; a valuable source of information, not a clever way to obtain Google rankings.

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 6:18 PM



I love your point! As painful as it may be, how great it is to see your article written with truly original material. I want to encourage you by saying, “Your brain really will not break if you concentrate harder on producing meaningful words!” Now back to my task of writing a long overdue article…

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 6:18 PM


Ken Harthun writes:

I wholeheartedly agree with you, Chris. Nothing irks me more than to see poorly written, self-serving “articles” showing up in search results and on the site, especially knowing that these are in competition with my own.

I’m sure most expert authors will be happy that their quality content doesn’t have to coexist with, as you say, “low value rehashed/regurgitated works.”

If I can help in any way, let me know. For now, I’m getting the word out in some forums I participate in.

Ken “The Geek” Harthun

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 6:20 PM


Ken Siew writes:

This is definitely good advice, Chris. It makes me more conscious of my own writing and ideas (I happen to be writing for my blog now!). I think it’s important and okay to get your ideas from other areas such as books, blogs, and magazines to expand your horizon but you should also have your own opinion about them and back it up with some facts or data. I’m happy about the ideal word count number as my posts usually fall within the ballpark of 400-800, but I wouldn’t be too concerned about it as long as I believe I’m delivering valuable content to my readers. Thanks for putting this video up!

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 6:27 PM


Mike Lawson writes:

Hi Chris

Its really useful to have seen your video.

So much of the stuff that gets put out about using articles to drive traffic to your website talks about writing high volumes of short articles and submitting them to hundreds of article directories.

Many recommend using software to subtly alter your original articles automatically and then use other software to submit them automatically to those directories.

Where, in your opinion, is the value in creating aticles and submitting them to EzineArticles? Is it in the dissemination value of other people using your content (and accrediting you as the author of course) or is it in establishing yourself as an authority on your subject?

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 6:28 PM


Allan Wikman writes:

Yeah. As a complete newbie to this article marketing and internet marketing, I’ve got a lot to learn.

Tell me, too.





Using software to alter your articles subtly is a slippery slope. I advise against it.

This reminds of the question…should you write 1 article and submit it to 200 places or submit 200 articles to 1 place? …with my biased answer being that you should submit 200 articles to 1 place..EzineArticles, I mean…the place that gives you the highest return for your article submission time. :)

How much should you rewrite your article? 100%.


Suzan Schmitt writes:


I am very happy to hear this because I am in the self help/coaching category and there is an author in that category who writes articles that are the same article with the paragraphs rearranged then given a different title.

It seems to me these people should be pretty easy to spot when they have thousands of articles in a category and the remaining authors have low hundreds.

I appreciate the new approach because it give those of us who do write all of our own origional articles a fighting chance.

Thank You,

Suzan Schmitt: The Coach Marketer

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 6:33 PM



Thank you, Chris, it must be an unbelievable challenge sorting through so many articles. You want to help us, that is evident and these videos do just that.

One thing which occurred to me recently is that until my last article I never thought about key words. Then I got nervous and thought, OMG, what if I had key words all over the place! I went back and researched what you have said in the past about it as well as the other tips you and your helpful team have offered us. Then I looked at my article one more time before submitting.

I would encourage every writer for EzineArticles to concentrate on his or her subject matter and make that the focus. Make your article excellent. When you think your article is blow your socks off great, work it two or three more times. Get dizzy with perfection.

Also, have someone who is a good writer carefully look over your work before you send it and don’t get too defensive. Remember the goal: be published!

I’m lucky that my husband can quickly point out where I have gotten off track and that puts me back on the subject. His payment? A thank you and a hug.

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 6:38 PM


Lisa Wolfe writes:

I agree. Simply put, those who write articles based “only” on obtaining new sales and “not” to enlighten or help the reader, are not only hurting themselves, but yes, the rest of us here at EzineArticles.

For me, I’m happy to see this video and also just fine with an article of mine getting rejected. I do use this as a learning tool because I have a passion for writing and helping others, and without criticism, my work will be garbage at best. Especially being a young journalist.

There are those who wish to produce quality content for very moral reasons and those who don’t. In this case, it’s purely black and white.

Where there is a gray line and perhaps honest mistakes happening here (in some cases) are with new affiliate marketers or those in MLM like structures. I have an educated guess the companies they are affiliated with don’t teach them how to go about selling through online content publishing. Most affiliate or network marketers don’t have any solid direction.

I could go on and don’t want to judge anyone personally, as I don’t know any of you. I do, however, know what I’ve read here and other article sites. In fact, I only use EzineArticles and “one” another company based on the fact they have such high standards because I do not want to be associated with free-for-all sites anymore.

It may be a learning process, for new folks getting into Internet marketing, but it like anything, should be researched and understood before you put anything out there that could come back to “you – your name” and make you look untrustworthy or worse.

Just my thoughts and opinion.

All my best!

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 6:45 PM


Curt writes:

Very cool, professional video :)

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 6:49 PM


Jon writes:

This is great news. I have hesitated on submitting more articles for awhile as when browsing EzineArticles I was disappointed to find mostly “fluff” articles designed to lead the visit to an affiliate website and nothing more. This seems like an abuse of the system and should definitely not be tolerated. I look forward to submitting more quality articles in the near future. Also, thanks for the free coffee mug!

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 6:58 PM



That irritates me more than I can express…

I want to review 10 out of 10 articles and be proud every single time I see 10 out of 10 that were excellent articles.

I even like articles where you can tell a genuine expert wrote them, even if they couldn’t get the grammar or sentence structure right for whatever reason. Perfection is less important than sharing expert unique high-value knowledge.


Jeremy writes:

Thank you for the video. Are you allowed to quote other sources in the article?

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 7:01 PM


You can, but syndicated articles isn’t quite the right medium for quoting sources.




I am yelling; “YES” right now in my living room office.

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 7:01 PM


Randy Marsh writes:

Hi Chris

Thanks for the video. What can we do as Authors when we find our content copied at another blog with no link to EzineArticles and no credit to the Author. Some of these people even sign there name to it.


Randy Marsh

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 7:04 PM


Send the webmaster a note, give them 24-48hours to comply. If they don’t, send their ISP either a Cease and Desist letter or DMCA complaint. If that doesn’t work, report their ISP to their ISP’s ISP. This works every single time…but it can be time intensive.


Joseph Freeman writes:

I remember one interview with you where you talked about needing only 10 articles to make an impact on your traffic. That was the old days. In that interview you said the current number was around 200 (I think) or so articles. That interview was probably at least a year ago, maybe more.

I hope that this change will actually help better articles to have more of an impact. If it takes an incredible number of articles to make a difference in traffic, that’s what you’re going to get.

If this course correction of standards helps the good articles perform better, you should get more good articles.

I think most of us are after traffic results. It will be nice to know that there is a place where some intelligent, hard work will get results and that we don’t have to compete as much with someone that can use software or hire a writer to vomit out a ton of derivative content.

I like it. Thanks.

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 7:06 PM


Scott Reynolds writes:

Thank you for leading the way to higher quality content on the internet! I am a marketer but have believed for a long time that those scripts, spinners and other tricks would hurt us all in the long run.

I generally only submitted longer articles to EzineArticles and used shorter articles for blog posts, but never really kept track of word count. I always knew the value of good, original copy and understand an article kicked back means it would do me no good if it was submitted. I appreciate that!

My observations of the last few months has been most internet users will only read the first paragraph or 2 even of great articles written by pro’s. I believe this is because the internet has lost the trust of the general public from marketing techniques promoted in the past. Have you noticed similar trends?

Glad to see you still improving the content on the internet!

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 7:12 PM


Allan Wikman writes:

Anyone else have any data on this horrific stat?

What does it say about length?



Ardell Nagle writes:

Great comments, actually I wrote an article about key rich articles to rank on Google. If you go overboard with too many keywords, you are missing the point. Yes you want a good ranking with Google but you want to inform your readers. If you are paying more attention to your keywords you are not giving your readers what they want content, why not keep Google and the readers happy.

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 7:18 PM


End-users or readers FIRST always.

Think about your IDEAL client or reader of your article. Speak to them and the rest will take care of itself.


Gary Huynh writes:

A lot of affiliate marketers promote products in different niches. They have no interest or knowledge in those niches which they promote, so of course the content will reflect this.

It has come to a point in certain niches where you read an article and just think to yourself, “Didn’t I just read that?”

This video post really nails down the concept of derivative content which really doesn’t add anything to the quality of EzineArticles.

There will always be two distinct methods of promoting affiliate products; you can either use the throw stuff at the wall method and make money from the quantity of your content or you can create quality content which helps people and generate “word of mouth” advertising for your site.

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 7:19 PM


Ardell Nagle writes:

Gary great comment, you stated it perfectly.


Sherman Walters writes:

You’re right. I started this process with quantity as a priority. But, I’ve noticed the articles with a more personal touch (versus information overload) get a much higher CTR than the others.


C.A. Perez writes:

Thank you very much for the clarification video. It was good to see you “live”. Earlier today, before I read your email I ran across a blog post on CB Engine, a service I subscribe to, with a novel idea on article writing. I quote a portion of it here:
“… what about writing one KILLER article and spending more time promoting it? I’m talking about doing research, finding quality information and truly providing an article that is valuable to people. Not just a well-disguised sales letter as most articles are. It doesn’t necessarily need to be long, but it should be loaded with useful substance. It should be a great article.
Then spend time promoting it on forums, directories, blogs, social bookmarking networks, Myspace, Twitter. Get backlinks to it. Try to to push it to the point where it becomes somewhat viral. Takes on a life of it’s own. Ranks high in the search engines. The more popular an article becomes the more popular an article becomes. I know folks that have single articles that earn them 5-10k a year.”
I like it. Even though I like to write, writing about the same thing over and over bores me. However, I am pleased to know that topic repetition is not the issue but rather word repetition. I understand the marketer’s need for article volume to promote a specific product or company. Thus, the need for topic repetition much like Maggie states above.
Thank you, for your sincerity. I like sincerity.

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 7:32 PM


Billy Jobling writes:

Hello Chris ,

As a novice computer user , I find myself frustrated trying to fully understand the rules. I know it is my responsibility to learn the direction of backlinks and how I need to fit them into the big picture of my article(s) so I try to do that. In the meantime , I will continue to learn the terminology and technology involved in getting my article(s) published with EzineArticles.

Being in that arena of 142,000 with a problem article in review, you can count on me coming out soon because I love the message and help my original article will send to many. So staying the course to solve any problem with my article is what I will do.

My one article that is live with EzineArticles gives me a feeling of a fun accomplishment because I can recognize the superiority in your factory.

Your friend,

Billy Jobling

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 7:41 PM


Excellent Billy!

Stay focused on getting your message out to benefit your ideal reader! That is the whole point. :-)


Keith Elliott writes:


Once again, a very informative video. I sincerely hope that the folks who are pushing article spinning software see this.

I get into some “boisterous” discussions with those who keep saying that you just need to turn a couple of words around and that makes it “original” content. Like yourself, I disagree.

And it seems that most (if not all) of the posters here just sit down and start from scratch every time. I know I do.

Personally, I find it easier to just let an article flow as I think about it.

And one final thing – which you mentioned – it is SO EASY for me to spot an article written by someone in my niche who knows nothing about the subject. As you say, it’s the same half a dozen sentences rehashed over and over again. My customers aren’t interested in seeing that again. And again. And again. Oh, you get the message.


Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 7:46 PM



End users…your customers are SMART!

They can see right through puffery, trickery, rehashed & regurgitated content. All of those article spinners fool no one.

I like to think we live on a very small planet. I call it my “Small planet theory”…and you only get so many chances to prove what kind of person you are… do you cheat or do you provide high value original articles based on your expertise?


Anthony Godinho writes:

Great video Chris! I think it’s a great idea to have these high standards and I totally support the idea. Keep up the great work!

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 7:53 PM


Lalitha Brahma writes:

Thanks for clarification Chris. Appreciate impressing upon quality and helping us to become better authors.

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 8:25 PM


Paul Roth writes:

Great policy and good to cut the dead wood = less clutter for us! Of course if you are an expert in your field there are usually so many original things to write about that you don’t have time to get to them all.

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 8:31 PM


Alicia Castillo writes:


If I have to chose between quality and quantity, I’ld always chose quality…

I like your approach to excellence. Thumbs up.


PD: I received an offer for a software that creates hundreds of articles from one basic one, changing words. I think that is the kind of promise that goes against quality.

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 8:45 PM


Rod Gisick writes:

I’ve noticed that many of the articles I’ve read in my niche, are essentially pointless, say nothing of any substantive value, and are obviously only a teaser to get someone to their website. That’s ok, but if they can’t give any good information then who would want to go further? I haven’t submitted a lot of articles because I just don’t want to add to the drivel of pointless, worthless articles. It adds nothing to EzineArticles and to credibility.

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 8:47 PM


Kim Simpson writes:

Great job Chris. I support push for good quality articles. It will benefit everyone. Keep up the good work.
Kim Simpson

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 8:59 PM


ChrisLWagner writes:

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the great advice. I am just learning how to blog and write articles. I looking forward to submitting articles in the future.

Keep up the high standards – it will force me to learn good habits from the start.

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 9:06 PM


Sean Buvala writes:


Good to see your face and your body language on this. Thanks for posting it. Keep moving toward consistentcy in your editorial piolicy and its all good for all of us. Win/Win.

Nicely done.

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 9:15 PM


Ardell Nagle writes:

I have enjoyed all the comments here. Thanks Chris for videos.
Some of the comments have mentioned quality and that is good and yes I will review my articles before submitting to see if they enough content of value.
Telling us what we might be doing wrong helps any author to improve.
Reading the comments also helps to gain knowledge. Also in reading there are some very good authors out there who believe in original and quality articles.
Every new marketer should join ezines to submit their articles because of their belief in quality articles, and the help and and support that is given to improve our writing.

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 9:35 PM



I applaud you and EzineArticles for your standards. I like knowing that my articles will be considered as higher quality work because they were accepted by you. I have worked hard on them. Thank you for all your advice as well.

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 9:49 PM


Donna Kim-Brand writes:

Love your notion of Small Planet Theory, Chris.

Seems it’s a double edged sword sometimes, though, as we seek systems and formulas to save time and keep from reinventing the wheel. This can pave the way to a certain amount of conformity, especially from those minimalists in the crowd.

Still, I agree that even on the proverbial beaten path true ‘originals’ and ‘experts’ will shine through as they (dare I say WE) have earned our idiosyncracies, eccentricities and unique perspectives!

Thanks for beating the drum!

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 9:54 PM


Reginald Hollie writes:

Thanks for the great advice. You guys have a way of bringing up quality articles writers. I really appreciate what you do for us. Keep up the good work. Email me if you have any comments regarding my site. Thanks again Chris, to you and the EzineArticles staff for doing a fabulous job.

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 10:01 PM


Donahue writes:

Chris, I am a wanna-be affiliate marketer, but I can tell you that I fully support your crack down on derivative content. I have two articles with you and am about to submit another, but they are completely original. I think the credibility of will drop if you continue to publish junk…eventually google will catch on, and having an article on will have little or no value.
Please stick to your guns, if anything – get tougher! I want my articles to carry some clout, I don’t want to submit to a quasi-spam site. Stay tough! thanks, Donahue

Comment provided October 26, 2009 at 11:32 PM


Chad Wilgus writes:

Great info. This helps me when writing, i like to be able to feel like i am writing to give info. to a reader and not writing to satisfy rules.

Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 12:14 AM


Devanand Singh writes:

Well I am relieved to hear this. I just wrote my first article but before i did, I read other articles on EzineArticles’ website.
A few of those say to keep the articles short like 300 words so that readers won’t get bored or turned off.
When I was finished with my article, I was a bit disturbed that it was much more than that. I submitted it anyway as I thought I spent too much time and effort writing it from the heart and didn’t want to throw that away.
Your newsletter came just in the nick of time to comfort me as a novice writer.
Keep up the good work and I will keep on striving to churn out quality.

Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 12:23 AM



Very informative video and do appreciate your effort in increasing our articles value.

Due to heavy commitment I do not write many articles and have been bombarded with automated article writing software and have been wondering where all these millions of articles will be stored and who will have the chance of accessing them?

I was tempted once, wrote one and failed.

Thanks for your video and for putting my mind at ease.

Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 12:28 AM


Sunganani writes:

Here is the thing about articles that I have found: most writers are doing it to drive traffic to their sites for sales purposes. Nothing wrong with that but I find that they are not really good content. They simply seem to be saying, “come and buy from me”.

I think the raising of the quality of articles is great. For me quality increases credibility. I have read is some quarters that more and more people are going to another article directory site but that’s fine. At least we know that those who want quality will always come back to

And thanks for the training. I am getting to write better even for my blog.

Keep up the good work.

Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 12:54 AM


Juliet du Preez writes:


I applaud EzineArticles!
I am becoming more and more amazed and disheartened by the number of rehashed articles I come across (not to mention low value).

I write in a couple of places and recently came up for voting in one of the rankings on another site. There were ten finalists and can you believe that two of them had plagiarized work? The mind boggles. Talking of full-out plagiarism I came across an article the other day that was a word-for-word copy of a Men’s Health article. I could go on….

Well, once again, I think this is great on your part and EzineArticles will certainly go up in the ranks of online credibility.


Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 12:57 AM


Michael R Cooke writes:

I try to make my site and its content top notch, and article submission to me is really just for promotion and SEO.

My site features articles, a blog – it consumes my writing and is my first priority. All of it my content is high value, based on my experience and expertise.

Which is why I’ve not submitted articles here. Because if it’s a really good article, I feel I’d be cheating my site’s readers if I didn’t post it on my site, and once posted, it would be ‘derivative’ if contributed as an article, no? Or would it be ok to use this service to distribute articles also available but only on the author’s site?

Sure I can rewrite an article, but if it’s the same ideas the different words don’t really make it less derivative, do they?

Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 2:39 AM


We are talking about derivative based on content already in

We don’t consider content that is also on your blog as derivative to us, therefore we still encourage you to submit those types of articles.

Another friend pinged me yesterday on this same issue and I’ll be doing a new video on explaining the differences between derivative content vs. repackaging your articles for use in syndication. Should be out soon.


Thank you Michael for asking that question, and thank you Chris for answering it.

I’ve been concerned about submitting content from one of my blogs to EzineArticles, and wondering if they would be rejected because the content is already on my blog. I’m happy to hear that I would not need to “spin” it as they say.

I’m just getting started, and don’t want to start on the wrong foot (smile.)


Ken Leatherman writes:


I’m so glad to see you bring this point out. My clients have asked me this question more times than I can count. Now I will be able to direct them to this post that speaks with authority.


Gordon writes:


Nice to see the Mr Chris!

IMO this is a very valid point, if content is not at least 70% original then, search engines will de value the entire ezine site which, will effect everyone.

Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 3:48 AM


Colin Platt writes:

Great advice Chris, and thanks for insisting on the best writing standards and practice.

According to my Google analytics account, EzineArticles are one of my best traffic sources 30.45%,
compaired to other articles sources at less than 2% with the identical content.

Keep up the good work.

Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 4:25 AM


Enamudu writes:

Thanks very much for your improvement approach. Truth is: positive changes should be the operating rule for all that are minded to make life increasingly more pleasurable for human beings.

Thumbs up for you Chris.

Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 4:29 AM


John Higgins writes:

It was great to receive this advice. I would stress how important it was to be able to watch a video because it gives a real insight to your thinking as well as giving us a lot of crucial information very quickly.

Sitting at home writing articles can be very difficult because there is so much conflicting information out there on the internet. The training series that you have provided has been a great help and I would encourage everyone to take advantage before writing another word. Also, I made huge steps forward when I printed out your Author Submission Guidelines and studied them. They have been in a folder on my desk for a very long time and I refer to them constantly.

Thankfully, I chose quality over quantity a long time go and my articles are all hand written by myself and are always at least 550 words and sometimes longer. What a good decision that was! I feel we are moving in the same direction.

Please let us know what you are thinking by using a selection of media and please tell us important news by video as soon as possible.

Kind regards,

John Higgins

Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 4:46 AM


Ann Musico writes:

The more you raise standards, the more it pushes me to raise my own and that can only be a good thing. I appreciate the quality of this site and it’s content and I’m grateful to be considered an EzineArticles Author!

Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 5:19 AM


Kevin Riley writes:

Glad to see you’re going to police the quality of articles on EzineArticles more strictly. It’s time we choose quality over quantity. I’ve seen some utter garbage being churned out.

Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 6:17 AM


Barbara Bruno writes:

Very encouraging and exciting! This will insure ezines “topshelf status” long into the future.

Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 6:44 AM


Ed Baker writes:

Firstly, with so…many writers it is not an easy task to write content that doesn’t have at least some derivative content.

Secondly, derivative content written with a new perspective about the same subject is just that; “a new perspective”. Right?

Lastly, I suggest your video is derivative content, as the subject has been written on many times by EzineArticles staff and is certainly common knowledge. Right?

Just my thoughts,

Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 6:47 AM



When I say “derivative” I mean derivative based on our existing database of over 2 million articles.

A good example of a derivative video would be someone who mixes a bunch of videos together to form a new video or better yet: Let’s say I recorded thousands of hours of video and then spliced together today’s video of segments from previous videos. That would be derivative. Because this video was brand new to me and includes content never seen before, it’s not derivative against anything I’ve done in the past.


Mark Thompson writes:

Chris, I gave this more thought. The problem with long articles is that many people don’t read them fully they skim read them so they don’t get the info. They also get bored and click away from the article. If you are lucky that will be to one of your adverts. Good for EzineArticles not good for the writer.

One stat that i would love to see is the clickthrough rate of 700 word articles compared to 300 word articles. I suspect that would be quite revealing.

I also suspect that if you placed the resource box at the top of the articles for any article above 700 words you would soon have a whole load of 700 word articles

Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 8:09 AM


The challenge with that kind of report is that it takes in consideration the quantitative metrics without any qualitative analysis.

Here’s what I mean:

We could provide these numbers and then you’d probably make false conclusions because you and we don’t know WHY the results came in as they are. Surely it can’t be purely based on word count alone, right?

Ex: Does a crappy article perform better in CTR for the author or for ad clicks vs. a high value unique original article?

One spammy trick that doesn’t fool anyone is that an article will over promise and under deliver with hopes of flipping the user to visit their website to complete the original reason they landed on their article. This might cause an increase in CTR at the expense of the authors and our reputation. Today, we reject this type of article under the problem status, “Fails to deliver on the promise made in the article title.”


Mark Thompson writes:

“Surely it can’t be purely based on word count alone, right?”

Which is the point I made earlier about the stats meaning nothing on their own

With more information it could be that 399 word articles are Statistically LESS likely to be in problem status.

Quoting stats on their own with nothing to quantify them is always a problem although is does appease the masses.

Please don’t think i am knocking you or EzineArticles, I still think you are the best game in town. I just think that quoting stats is never a good idea and is often used when there is lack of hard evidence.


Bambang writes:

I am an affiliate marketer and just wondering whether I can insert affiliate link in my article.


Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 9:00 AM



Before you write your first article, I would recommend that you read our recent blog post on Affiliates:

Also be sure to read section 3 if you haven’t already in our Editorial Guidelines which states the following:

Affiliate links will be allowed if the link is a domain name you own which forward/redirects to the affiliate link from the top-level of the domain name. For example, it is permissible to forward to an affiliate link from:

…but it would not be permissible to forward to an affiliate link from:

Any article with an affiliate link that does not adhere to this guideline will cause the article to be rejected.


Shannon writes:

Hi Chris. Thanks for taking the time to put the video together. It did help to clear things up for me. After watching the video and reading some of the discussions, I am not worried about derivative content. I write all of my articles each day starting from scratch and I average around 800 -1000 words for most niches. (And Mark, my click through rates are pretty good, at least I think so. I know that you could argue that readers don’t have patience, but my theory is that readers will certainly remain on the page as long as it is offering them what they came for.)

Still of concern though is questions about niches. Using myself as an example, I write in the relationships / marriage niche. I have over 250 articles and I started this niche last August. I do not really focus on “get your ex back” though. My goal is to save the marriage before any one is an ex.

As I said, my articles are mostly averaging around 800 – 1,000 words. I have comments, subscribers and mostly good ratings. I like to believe that my readers are engaged and that I don’t fall into the category of writers that are causing the challenges.

But, my concern is that I am going to get lumped in with them because of my niche. I am also a premium member. But I’m not a premium member to flood the directory with problem articles. I write one article per day in this niche and have built volume over time and I am very rarely in problem status. I am a premium member because I like the speed and the keyword research. Having my articles approved quickly makes me want to write more articles immediately and this keeps me productive.

I guess my concern is that because of my niche and the fact that I’m a premium member, I’m going to get placed in an undesirable category.

I would hope that you would look at each author rather than lumping every one in a similar niche together? I only publish my articles here. So, I guess my fear is not being seen as an individual but as a subset of a niche. Hope that makes sense and I haven’t been too long winded.

I am all for getting rid of the bad, low quality articles. This is needed, no doubt, and I absolutely support it. I’m just hoping that there is a way for each author to be looked at as an individual if there is going to be considerations of niche banning. Thanks for listening and allowing my feedback. Shannon.

Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 9:39 AM


All very valid concerns Shannon.

48% of our Premium members are Platinum members… meaning, they’ve earned their way out of Basic Plus status.

Without looking at your articles, it sounds like you are on a very good path.


Shannon writes:

Thanks Chris. I’m platinum also. I’m not worried about my quality – just the niche. But I do write from a different perspective (I mostly stay away from “getting your ex back” articles) and I hope that makes a difference. I love writing in the niche and I love the readers in it. So I don’t want to have to abandon it.

I guess some of the wording in the previous post had me over thinking things – (about many premium members causing problems and trying to get the worst articles submitted the fastest.) I could not help but think — “man, I DO NOT want to be lumped into that category. I only want a fast turn around time.”

I firmly believe there are premium members who write very good articles, just as there are folks in the marriage category who do as well.

I hope that weeding out those that make every one else look bad by association will also allow for the “stand out” hard working authors in these niches to shine more.

Sometimes, in the past, I have taken a look at the “most viewed” and the “most submitted” in some of the categories and I wonder how on earth the “most viewed” got there.

But, I think you’re ultimately better off not worrying about this too much. I’ve come to think that you’re better off just writing what you think your reader wants to know (on a regular basis) and suspecting that the rest will fall into place.

Even with my long articles, this has been true for me. People who are really interested – and who are getting what they were looking for – really do read the articles to the end, in my experience. So I’m just going to keep doing what I do and have faith that it’s obvious I’m in a completely different category than what’s been talked about. Thank you again. Shannon

Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 10:31 AM


Walter Werner writes:

I am all for a higher standard of quality and professionalism. The only times I have had articles rejected have been for obvious format errors. By correcting my work you just made me a better writer.

Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 11:19 AM


My article rejections and they appear to be about 1:150 articles or there abouts, are usually for controversial content; politically incorrect, in the eyes of editors; i.e. “Risky Content”

This is understandable, after all, EzineArticles is a family website and delivers content to 100s of nations, nationalities and groups, all of which have ingrained culture, political views, and belief systems.



I honestly and truly believe that Sean Mize’s articles are derivative, and I note that as EzineArticles has made statements for several weeks about derivative articles, I do not understand why his articles still exist on this site? I just don’t get it. But I suspect a few things might be possible. (A) EzineArticles articles has a financial relationship with him; (B) Regulators are investigating his online marketing efforts and thus, EzineArticles cannot remove them; (C) Sean Mize with investors are negotiating buying this website; (D) All of this derivative talk is being played as a diversionary tactic to get article authors to look away at that reality.

I would like you to confirm or deny my conspiracy theory, as I have laid it out here.

Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 12:08 PM


False, False, False, False.


Well, that’s sure good to hear, and so, I have another conspiracy theory or a couple; (1) Is Sean Mize threatening to sue you if you remove his articles and you are still checking with your attorneys on that; (2) This is the individual that offered the $36,000 to remain a premium member, and you are considering holding out for this next higher offer that is coming in?

Can you confirm or plausibly deny those conspiracy theories also? Boy, I must need my caffeine to dream up such conspiracy theories, I better go get my morning cup of coffee now.


Maggie Dawson writes:

Hey Lance,

Have you read any of his articles? They’re not bad. He publishes a lot of them, but he also probably has ghostwriters that write them.

If he’s making a lot of money, he could easy be paying 5-10 people to write for him each month.

His articles are short, but they do deliver on their titles.


I guess, I’ve read about 200 to 300 of them or so. Maybe he is Chris’ brother-in-law or something like that?


Maggie Dawson writes:

He’s not violating the rules. I don’t think there’s any conspiracy here.


Well, it sure goes against “the spirit” of this whole derivative topic. And mind you, there is nothing wrong to being related to someone. But the issue remains, “do as I say, not as I do,” will always catch ire of Chef’s making stew.




Keith Elliott writes:


This one’s for you, it’s a double gift.

For your left hand, a very large pot.

For your right hand, an equally large spoon.

Instructions: Stir vigorously!

Gotta hand it to you, you are very good at that!!!


P.S. Yes, you are supposed to chuckle…


Kate writes:

How do you verify that people who claim that they are doctors in their author resource box really in fact are? I see authors from time to time using this ‘trick’ in the health niches. It is very easy to flush them out as one in particular seems to have a Platinum account with several pen names – with one pen name being a ‘Doctor’. I think that if they can’t verify their credentials, that they shouldn’t be allowed to do this. It give the reader a misleading impression that they are getting ‘medical advice’.

Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 1:44 PM


Kate, that is completely scary. OMG, that’s crazy.



Hi Chris,
Thanks for the video,great to connect a face and personality to the company!

I’m a new member of EzineArticles. My 3rd article has just been approved. My question is many of my articles will be about a variety of personal experiences; how can I make them more interesting to attract more readers?

Can you suggest one of your “EzineArticles Sessions Tips” best suited to my concerns? Looking forward to submitting more articles. Thanks Julia

Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 2:02 PM


Marc writes:


Wow, that’s a tough one. To be honest, I would give you the same advice I just gave another newbie member to help them get a great start in Article Marketing:
1. Read the Blog from start to finish.
2. Review all of the FREE training materials.
3. Read all of the Editorial Guidelines.
4. Write and submit. Write and submit. Write and submit. ;-)

But if I had to choose just one (1) training title, I would suggest this one:
Audience, Client and Competition Research

Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 2:03 PM



Thank you very much Chris, that really opened up my eyes, I usually hire people to write me articles and from now on I am going to start writing my own and hoping to get better overtime.
Maybe a weekly address like this one would keep us motivated :)

Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 2:22 PM


Emily Sandstrom writes:

All this talk about quality. I read the articles one after the other every once in a while. All the wonderful rules you talk about are blatantly disregarded in article after article. One was an ad for an illegal telephone software, one so blatant the ad was used in a television expose on the subject. When I clicked on the ad (because this was being used against a friend of mine by her gangster husband), malware went onto my computer. I wrote you about it, and never got a response. One article on acne had to have been written by a teenybopper with a negative IQ: totally illiterate, banal, and touting one brand.
You published all these, Dude. And you have contests for who can write the most articles in a short time, Dude. And you rejected an article, artfully written, about how guys would rather jump out of airplanes into a forest fire than have a serious talk with a female: Uh, it ‘wasn’t informative enough.’

So, are you the government? Just wondering.

Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 5:26 PM


Michael R Cooke writes:

I hope my articles are better. But yeah, I’ve turned up a number very low quality and no value articles on myself.

You have to understand there’s a ‘search engine optimization’ angle to submitting articles, both ‘white hat’ and ‘black hat’. That’s why there’s ‘articles spinning’ (software that automates the mixing up of paragraphs from other online articles by keyword to generate automatically, ‘new’ articles) and article submission software: every article is a back link to your website, improving it’s search engine ranking.

Blackhat seo types post articles automatically (by keyword) to automated blogging farms giving their sites backlinks, so the worst article gets distributed as long as it has the desired key word set.

So now you have a sense of what the webmasters of have to deal with, it is not easy. And if they took the required measures to get rid of all the spammy psuedo-articles, they’d be deleting a lot of legitimate users work as well.

Perhaps what’s needed is a way to search within a database of just ‘expert authors’ for information.


Michael R Cooke writes:

OK, as an author, expertise is expertise. Once you share the 10 best techniques for “X”, and they really are the best techniques – any subsequent article is likely to rehash that same golden information – and as no expertise exists in a vacuum – if “X” is something attracting a lot of interest others are going to write on the same subject and if they know as well as you do, their top ten techniques will not be very dissimilar from the ones in your article.

So there’s a lot of inescapable areas of grey in relation to what constitutes ‘derivative’, unless the focus is exclusively on banning ‘article spinning’. So if your article is about the 10 best ways to achieve ‘6 pack abs’, a bloated category if there is one I’m sure…. Is it possible to give real information and not seem derivative of the hundreds or thousands others sharing real information on that same subject and keyword?

my advice: the more specific the information, the more unique it is. So in addition to diet guidelines, specific recipes. In addition to exercise guidelines, suggest a specific routine. Also, just because an idea has been expressed before doesn’t mean you can’t express it better. For example many people feel they must suffer if they want to stick on a diet – by addressing that issue you may provide value other’s have missed.

Even for my own website, I’ve almost exhausted my expertise in what I’ve written already and find myself revisiting topics from different angles, expressing the ideas differently – but the ideas are not new.

I will share my opinion about the overall quality of articles here, and I do have articles of my own posted here and they’ve been appreciated. Almost every time I search for information on google and an article pops up – I never get the information I’m looking for in the linked article.

Let me share a concept here.
Even if your business model s selling information via an ebook customers must pay for, where you may naturally fear giving away information so good they don’t need to buy your ebook – the information you give away for free can never ever bee too good or too valuable.


Because the marketing principle that people believe what you give away must be worth less than what you are selling or have available on YOUR website! -it is never wrong! Value is how readers know you’re for real, it’s how readers evaluate you as an expert, it’s how people will go to your website and become faithful recurring customers, members or readers.

Now, what about the promotion model here at You want people to use your article on their website and credit you, and your website with a valuable one way weblink that’s the gold standard of SEO, yes? Well think like them for a minute? Why are they going to help you if your article doesn’t help them?

End of rant. But notice the word count, and it’s no article!

Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 5:43 PM



All very good points. And, whereas, I can totally here what you are saying, I have found some additional ways to approach topics. For instance,

Use feed back questions from your clients for article Titles.
Write “2010 Trend” articles in all your categories subtopics.
Write about misconceptions in the industry
Write about challenges of those in the industry
Write from the industry’s vendors perspective
Write case studies of things which have happened
Write about opinions and rants which you have different view on (like this post)
Write about the historical changes in the industry
Write about key players in the industry past, present and future.

And write 5-10 articles using each of those thoughts. And if you go through all that, email me and I’ll give you 10 more. That goes for anyone in any industry, you may email me and we can brain storm.


Dr.Diane writes:

Always enjoy your articles. Love the quality watch! It’s encouraging for those of us who want to continuously improve. Cheers,

Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 5:54 PM


Sofia Hogan writes:


I have been mopping up EzineArticle’s training material and newsletter info like biscuits in butter molasses. Outstanding, outstanding! The challenges you present to each of us will only encourage our writing skills.


Comment provided October 27, 2009 at 9:30 PM


Matt Ellsworth writes:

Chris — looks like you’ve cracked down on another large group of articles. We are working on a similar process. I’ll have to pick your brain some time about it.

Comment provided October 28, 2009 at 12:05 AM


Maggie Dawson writes:

While you’re at it, how about not putting 10 ads between the article content and the resource box on your site. I do everything possible to keep my stuff from getting on Article Snatch.


Mark Thompson writes:

Thats classic coming from one of the biggest ad farm out there.

If i am not mistake all the links at your article snatch are also no follow so there is zero benefit for anyone adding an articles apart from a possible monetary one to you.

Before you talk about cracking down on authors why not give them some respect for their work and at least give a do follow link.


Jack McKenzie writes:

I find it hard to take any writer seriously when I read a comment that does not use correct punctuation or capital’s or cannot be understood without reading it three times. If you want to be respected for your work and opinions then you should (in my opinion) respect your readers.


Maggie Dawson writes:

The plural of capital is capitals.

Also, there should be a comma after “opinions” in your second sentence.



Jack McKenzie writes:

Thanks Maggie, I do Reverse mortgages for a living and some of the people of my generation only made it thru eighth grade – twice.
I will try to improve :-)


Maggie Dawson writes:

Just teasin. :)


Mark Thompson writes:

I apologize if my admittedly poor punctuation and grammar offended you sensibilities.

However please not the time of the post.

By the time I wrote that I had filed 4 magazine articles, written 7 articles (non derivative I hasten to add) and probably more pertinently helped reduce the World surplus of beer.

Of course the capitalization was obviously a result of my fondness for the works of ee cumings


Mark Thompson writes:

I apologize if my admittedly poor punctuation and grammar offended you sensibilities.

However please not the time of the post.

By the time I wrote that I had filed 4 magazine articles, written 7 articles (non derivative I hasten to add) and probably more pertinently helped reduce the World surplus of beer.

Of course the capitalization was obviously a result of my fondness for the works of ee cummings


Emily Sandstrom writes:

I love the way the ads are for the same business as your article, which is of course your business, but YOU aren’t allowed to be too ‘commercial’ in your approach. That is so those ads stand out more.
I think the junk articles are riding on the backs of the artists’ articles, that’s what I think: You as the writer of enjoyable content are creating redeeming-social-value content for article commercials and for frank commercials.
But I don’t care; I put articles in for their own sake, not for the SEO. If I were depending on this endeavor to buy my beans, I would be slender indeed.

Comment provided October 28, 2009 at 1:32 AM


Maggie Dawson writes:

Only if you were doing it wrong. :)


Kacy Carr writes:

Hi Chris I always take on board what you have to say and learn from it. I have in the past, and although being a platinum author have had many articles rejected which I would do my best to correct my mistakes to get them passed. Of course when not able to get them passed for the second time I took the easy way out and deleted some very good and informative articles.

Every decline for the articles involved the (1.e guideline spelling etc) I could never understand, and cannot say I was not gutted when looking at other authors work that had little content and made no sense and yet they got passed.
I now see you have taken note and something is being done. So now if I have to delete in the future I will not feel as bad, or I have to try harder and make sure I pass this specific guideline which I am having problems with.

Thanks Chris for helping us authors that are doing our best

Comment provided October 28, 2009 at 4:05 AM



Many folks who’ve found themselves involved with online article marketing are not necessarily very decent writers. After all, entrepreneurs and writers are generally two different breeds of folks. So, a solution to this problem is to have templates set up that allow article authors who wish to put out a higher quantity of quality articles. This is a very wise choice. However, it’s now being abused.

You see, they use of article templates was to help non-writers put down their expertise and information in a simple way by-passing all the problems with writer’s block, and avoiding the difficulties of structure, outlines, and all the other work that goes into writing an article and putting it all together. Unfortunately, folks are now using these templates to put forth high-quantities of junk articles.

So, I’d like to ask that Article Template Authors go ahead and continue using templates, this is fine, no problem there, but at the same time I wish to remind them, that using a template is not an excuse to write crap, or to merely plug-in meaningless nonsense, just to fill up the space until you have your word count.

If you Abuse Article Templates, you will Lose My Confidence in you, and your reader’s interest and you will join the ranks of crap-articles, which are nothing more than Search Engine Spam via online article directories. So, when you use templates do so with care and consideration, don’t write crap. Make it count, every article. That’s my advice.

Comment provided October 28, 2009 at 12:27 PM



I must confess, I was so upset with Sean Mize’s articles that I wrote this article below; 256-words and it actually got accepted. I knew at that point from my little experiment that EzineArticles had an issue with their ability to weed out the junk articles.

—- —- —- — —–

3 Maybe 4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Write Articles Like This One

All online article marketers know that the title to the article is what gets people’s attention and it causes them to click on the article to read it. It therefore makes sense to use catchy titles, with lots of keywords, and numbers in the title suggesting lists maybe included in the article. Now then, if you really want to turn off all your readers, so you are sure that they will not click on the link at the bottom of your article in the byline then you should use this format; remember these things;

1.) Waste the Reader’s Time with Their Relevant Information; tell the reader things that they are obviously already aware of, and that are such common sense that are no value to anyone that service in to your article.

2.) Make Short Numbered Lists of Three Items; tell the reader things that are so closely related in each of the numbers, that they do not even need to be their own new category, repeating the same common sense, only with a little difference type of sentence.

3.) Insult Reader’s Intelligence; tell the reader how important all this information is to their success in whatever it is you’re talking about, even though everything that you are talking about is common sense items that everyone already knows.

Cut off Article When You Hit Minimum Word Count; most online article directories have a minimum word count and you are not allowed to post articles unless you meet this minimum standard. When you reach that minimum cut off the article.

— — — — — —

This is the article link;

Now if anyone on this website, thinks that this is acceptable, would you please explain to me WHY?

Comment provided October 28, 2009 at 1:02 PM


Actually Lance,

You helped us prove that SOMETIMES quality can be written in 250-300 words. We approved this article because it provided value and offered some great tips.

You offered four great tips here by nailing (simply with satire), what NOT to do.


Yah, I realized that after I wrote it. That it actually was pretty good advice even if was “weak looking” but if I wrote 5,000 of them on the same topic, wouldn’t that be derivative?


Derivative doesn’t necessarily come with the quantity of words but rather how you place the words and what you are saying. Take for example your article here in this post. :)

If you delivered the same tips across multiple articles and delivered nothing new, that would be derivative.

If you delivered the same 3 out of 4 tips across multiple articles and nothing more, that would be derivative.

The point here is that we don’t want you to deliver the same stuff! We want you to research, find out what your market is looking for, and deliver fresh material and that no one else has. As a reader (or potential client), the last thing I would want is to read all your articles and not learn anything new after the first article.

Every author owes it to themselves to build good relationships with their readers and brand themselves with good content!


Thank you for your explanation. I feel morally outraged by Sean Mize’s content, so, I guess I’ll have to deal with that issue internally, and allow your editing expertise to dictate your article acceptance thresh-hold. No further comment.


Mark Thompson writes:

Oh come on Lance lets get this in perspective…. Morally outraged by an article..or articles, I really think you should lighten up and direct you energies towards some more serious social issues.

How about child slavery, 3rd world poverty etc.

Time out for a reality check I think. Article marketing isn’t life or death don’t worry about what others are doing.

It’s starting to sound like you are just upset that Sean has more articles than you. If you feel yours are better just be happy that you hold the moral high ground.


Maggie Dawson writes:

I have to say, I don’t get it either. I read a bunch of Mize’s articles and I thought they were pretty good.


Maggie, I am troubled with your landing pages.


Maggie Dawson writes:

Uh… why?


Maggie Dawson writes:

Nevermind. I can’t believe I took that bait.

Sorry I don’t agree with you about Sean Mize. Obviously EzineArticles doesn’t have a problem with his articles or my landing pages.

Perhaps you should start your own article site Lance! Then you can only let people who don’t trouble you, morally or otherwise, write articles.


Maggie Dawson writes:

Wait a minute. What the hell? You have 19,000 articles and you’re complaining about someone else’s derivative content?

What a joke. Once again I am going to have to unsubscribe to these comments… this is like 10 year olds at recess.


Yes, and everyone of them was written by me, the right way (no ghost writers, no spinners, just hard work), I am upset with Derivative Content! I do not have derivative content. It took massive amounts of time and hard work. So, when I see someone cheating, it really irks me. I realize that Sean Mize is not in the same race as I am, but it makes my hard work look like it was nothing. Maggie, the links on you profile page have NO meaningful information, if these are the same you use for your article langing pages, they actually are against what is expected here. I understand why you are okay with Sean Mize, as you are using a few of the components he uses in his marketing.

This is NO Joke Maggie. And only a 5th grader would appreciate that style of article. If an article marketer cares that little about what they are doing, well, that’s their 10:10 Am recess period, not mine.


Maggie Dawson writes:

Hey Lance,

Give me the link to ONE article I’ve written that is not full of useful information.

Seriously. You obviously haven’t read any of them, or you’d understand why they point to the links they do.

Get a life. Bye.


Dear Maggie,

Apparently we have a miscommunique here. I did not say your “articles” did not have useful information, I indicated that the internet link on your profile page; had NO meaningful information on it. Actually there is NO information at all, only a place to fill in your email address for information. And I stated that if you use that as your landing page in your articles, it does not follow what EzineArticles is looking for when they refer traffic. Now then your detracting comment for me to “get a girl friend” is way off base you are reaching for straws, and should work on your profiling.


Maggie Dawson writes:


What are you talking about?

Since when does EzineArticles have rules for your website (other than “We will not accept articles with links (in the Article Body or Resource Box) to adult-oriented websites, including but not limited to websites that include pornography, adult-oriented sexual content.
We do not allow links to websites that are under construction. Websites must be active and have content in order for you to link to them from your article. We will reject your article if it contains a link of this nature.)

Are you forgetting that EzineArticles has actually checked all of my links for themselves (63 times)?

Seriously, stop spreading misinformation.



Maggie Dawson writes:

Oh and by the way, thanks for advertising my site. Anyone who’s reading this should really go there and download the free Insider’s Guide to making money from tax sale overages.



You must understand, I am not trying to pick a fight with you, this is the landing page comments that I was refering too;

And I did not say that it was “illegal” as per this site, just not what they like. And I said that I was troubled, why? Because I think you can do better than that. Sorry for being troubled. I am sure your guide is full of information for those who wish to attempt to pick up poor older couple’s homes who could not pay their Property Taxes, or those who wish to get in on the REO market and bank foreclosure markets. In fact, it’s big here, we have Chinese coming over in buses, so, you should write some articles geared towards foreign money coming in to pick up foreclosed properties too.


Maggie Dawson writes:


Ya just overplayed your hand.



Maggie Dawson writes:

“I often get physically sick and throw up when I see article makers send readers to a slam page (Squeeze Page) demanding an email address and name for the reader to go to the next step. I think it cheapens “article marketing” and makes all article authors look stupid. Thus, I am sickened by those types of tactics, and would hope EzineArticles would speak out against that trick and stand tall with integrity in that regard.

Oh know, I have to run back to the toilet to throw up, I just saw another one.”

Ok, if I had any doubt about your sanity, it was removed when I read your comment on the page you sent me to.

Sorry, I should have known better than to engage you in this little back and forth. Shame on me. You have a good night.


Yes, that is exactly how I feel about squeeze pages. I think you can do better than that. I can tell you that a good many folks (Internet Surfers) who see squeeze pages feel the same way. Yes, shame on you for your detracting comments, and mean-spirited personal attacks. It is unbecoming of you.


Maggie Dawson writes:

Sorry, that’s just my natural reaction to pompous asses.


WOW, thanks a lot.



Take it offline please.


Maggie Dawson writes:

Seriously Lance, I think you need to stop speaking so authoritatively here. I mean, in this very thread, reps from this site have told you you’re wrong like 4-5 times.


Mark, I posted links to my humanitarian efforts in the third world on your blog, along with links to my free eBooks to help in the efforts. Indeed, I also have 200 articles here at EzineArticles on humanitarian issues. Covering all topics including those you mentioned such as child slavery, hunger, urban slums, rural poor, education, health challenges, water, and so many other serious topics. You are welcome to contact me if you’d like to get involved in any of our efforts to help the third world. Thanks for mentioning this, I’d like to enlist your services to help in the efforts.


Maggie Dawson writes:

You really need a girlfriend.


Mark Thompson writes:

Lance, Seriously thanks for the offer , but I suspect one of us would end up murdering the other within about 3 hours!! :)

I am hopefully off to Vietnam and Cambodia next year an i’ll drop you an email before i go in case you have any projects running over there I can assist with.


Mark Thompson writes:

Wasn’t there something a few months back about gaming the system and upping your article views by getting people to click on a link to your article??



Good point Mark, and since I posted that article here, I might get 5-10 more hits to add to my 8,500,000 article views? Ha ha ha. But good one.


Mark Thompson writes:

Is that all? You should try more derivative articles .. :)


Well, actually at one point I noted that my average article pick-up was 17.8 times meaning that if all those articles averaged my 451 article views it would be a total of; 151,300,000 article views on 19,000 articles. Pretty decent, but who is counting?


Darren writes:

Hi Chris,

After following the continuous “loo roll” blog entry last week, it is surely a relief for sore eyes to see the video this evening, and hopefully, lets keep everything crossed in relation to it answering everyones questions.

I do have a question with regard to the article exposure and, directing Google to collect the data for the UK market and not just the world about.

Is there any known path that can be followed so that we can drive an article based on it’s content to be collected in the UK search? By this I mean, a certain point of the word “UK” or “United Kingdom” in a % of saturation to the word count of the article?

Hope that is clear enough!


Comment provided October 28, 2009 at 4:42 PM


EyeSpyPro writes:

Great choice as there is a lot of terrible articles out there that say nothing, including this site. Good that you are doing this, and even allowing us to report articles that are just rehashed.

Keep up the great work….

Comment provided October 29, 2009 at 3:09 PM



Just created a brand new 3 minute video follow up to this post:
Repackaging Articles is Not Derivative Content

Comment provided October 29, 2009 at 3:28 PM


Everyone should watch that video, and what great energy you have as a public speaker.


Enamudu writes:

Yeah, many thanks for your instructive initiative. It’s really nice to work with people who’re improvement conscious.

More of that, please.

Comment provided October 30, 2009 at 7:10 AM


Rod Gisick writes:

Seems that this forum has become a fist fight, not a professional exchange for understanding! Common chat room bickering is unbecoming, seems to me. Take that crap somewhere else please!

Comment provided October 30, 2009 at 9:39 AM


Richard writes:

Hi Chris,

I hope you get chance to read this. I have been article marketing for 2 years now and have a little success. I write my own content (never PLR or rehashed) on several subjects, I have found that over the past 12 months I have become an expert on subjects which i never thought possible.

I notice that there are a lot of articles submitted on subjects which I am passionate about and a self proclaimed expert.

I have created websites, blogs, articles etc on subjects such as getting an ex girlfriend back (informed subject) sexless marriages (again an informed subject) along the way I picked up a lot of experience with other types of family, relationship, women only, men only subjects.

I think the idea of blocking sub standard articles is great but is the next move to go through the existing articles and delete them?

After that will you be blocking articles on certain subjects?

And from this will you be blocking articles which people write to promote their own products, services etc?

I have to ask these things because over the past few months I have noticed that more and more article directories and web 2.0 sites have been pushing marketers away.

Is this the case with EzineArticles?

Are you trying to make the site so exclusive that only Mr and Mrs average will be able to publish article content on how to prune roses?

This may seem like an extreme statement but it all sounds like a slippery slope to me.

After all, it has been affiliate marketers which have made the likes of Goarticles, Articlebase, Squidoo, Blogger and even EzineArticles what they are today.

And now it seems that the game has changed.

I suppose, I’m just sounding off as I have seen so many changes over the past year – some of them for the better and some just completely nuts.

Thanks for the chance to express my opinion.



Comment provided November 9, 2009 at 3:18 PM


We’re already blocking articles on certain unpublished topics. We’ve never made it a secret that EzineArticles is not a freedom of speech website, nor is this a citizen journalism site.

There are several spammy topics that we lean into and reject a higher percentage than other topics. Getting your ex back and penis enlargement for example…are two topics that we reject a higher percentage due to lack of high quality original unique content reasons. It’s extremely rare when those two topics (for example) have high quality unique content.

Marketers are not the enemy as we’re marketers also. Ideal EzineArticles members are experts in their field FIRST and marketers second. It gets murky when a member is a primary marketer and an expert second.

Sorry, I’ll have to disagree with your statement that affiliate marketers made us what we are today. That’s just not true. It may be true that 20-40% (just a guess) of our members are also affiliate marketers, but thankfully the bulk are not. Affiliate marketers don’t provide the best or highest quality content because usually their primary goal is to flip the user before real value has been delivered. My rough estimate is that about 10-15% of affiliate marketers produce great original/unique exclusive-rights content…the rest submit rehashed low value thin content.

It’s not that we’re ungrateful for the affiliate marketers who are also members…it’s just that it’s really rare when we’re blown away by the quality of content submitted by affiliate marketers.


Rusty writes:

I’ve been trying to understand why I’m doing squat with affiliate marketing. Maybe I’m giving too much real information away.

I really think though, one can find affiliate sponsors that fit what they are writing about. It doesn’t have to be about a review of their product. I do that from time to time but mostly, I write about travel, for example and then try to find matching sponsors.

Honestly, it hasn’t been working, I figure I need more traffic. SO I keep hammering away at it.

I really hope its not because I’m really writing about what I know.

Recently, I have made some small sites on subjects I researched then wrote about I never dreamed of submitting here though. Perhaps I should put a paper bag over my had too. You know though, I decided to try it after reading marketer after marketer after marketer tell us to do just that.



The problem is that many people didn’t realize that the web is changing way beyond 2.0.

Quality always win. What happens at EzineArticles is good IMHO.

I am an affiliate and product owner, but I write to promote my own websites. I build my business slowly with articles, and EzineArticles is part of my traffic strategy because it’s the best article directory out there.

Those who are not happy are not building a business. They make money. There is a big difference.

Google slap, EzineArticles slap, FTC review start etc. I think this is just the beginning. It’s time to play with the rules.

Those who are not serious with their online business will suffer.


Comment provided November 13, 2009 at 12:17 PM


Vishal writes:

Yes, its true that most of the article marketers are just picking up the already available content present on the Internet and simply re-writing it as it is.

But in the truest sense, if those people spend some time writing value added article then they will definitely be getting thousand times more return on their investment in the form of loyal readership as well as increased quality traffic to their websites.

Comment provided November 14, 2009 at 5:47 AM


As for picking up material online and regurgitating it, look at and any category of ‘how to’ book. I’m a consumer of computer tech books.

Guess what, any tech ‘Bible’ that tries to be comprehensive, the first 200 pages of every one of those books is awesomely similar.

So, what makes one book better than another if the information is the same? How easy to read and understand the book is, is important. Having specific information for a specific audience, a tech book for a programming professional is more valuable to that programmer, but someone who barely knows how to use a computer will use that book for a paperweight. And vice versa, a book gently introducing computer use will be valuable to the Luddite and a paperweight for the programmer.

So there’s nothing wrong with learning information online for purposes of writing an article. But there is a difference between regurgitating information and writing from actually knowing something. If you write what you know you can write well and deliver real value even if the information isn’t unique.


Enamudu writes:

I love this comment particularly for the fact that it will enable authors to keep tab on their own actvities. This is because sometimes it becomes difficult for the author to know what articles he has used.

So, the art of good record keeping will be learned by writers.

Chris, thumbs for you.

Comment provided November 27, 2009 at 12:34 PM


Opal Marrs writes:

I have been writing all my life (and that is awhile), but I have never tried to market. My goal and aim is toward perfection, to see my work in print and for money. I have submitted only a few arrticles so far and three have been acccepted. I am not sure I fully understand “deriviative content”, but it souhds like taking content from the work of others and that, in my book, is plagiarism. From your video, from your message io me and from the comments from other authors, it can mean that the content sounds too much like a previous submission..
I am learning so much from your guidelines and your articles and I am covering quite a few miles onn my road to perfection. You make me feel like I am the only one in your very large stable of authors because you view my work individually and critique it.

Comment provided December 20, 2011 at 1:11 PM


Peter Nisbet writes:

Re the Sean Mize (Sean Mizzel, etc.) debate, I have written many articles for him in the past, and he does use ghostwriters.

What gets me are the number of articles still published that are apparently derivative content generated by article spinners such as Jonathan Leger’s “The Best Spinner.. ”

Are these things still accepted and how do you spot them other than them often making very little sense through poor choice of synonyms.

I am increasingly more frequently being asked to spin articles using this software but I have always refused. Because requests are becoming more frequent, somebody must be buying and using the software.


Comment provided January 10, 2012 at 3:33 PM


Peter Nisbet writes:

Re Lance’s short article, I learned nothing at all from it – it is all well know stuff, and I object to the rules being broken re short articles .

There are too many short articles on EzineArticles, and many are/were of low quality such as this. This one has no new or mind-blowing content, and while perhaps satirical, still says absolutely nothing we do not already know.

All it proves is that Ezine Article editors can be fooled by anybody to publish any nonsense submitted.

Why set a minimum word count that only applies to some, and broken based upon personal opinion whether or not it is of use to readers?

Either have a rule for all, or don’t have a rule at all. Have you forgotten why you were punished by Google Panda and why this debate kicked off?


Comment provided January 10, 2012 at 3:48 PM


Opal Marrs writes:

From your training series and through discussions here, I think I have reached a better understanding of derivative content. I have been
You have probably heard that we are what we eat, but we are also what we read, research and experience. I believe that good quality articles are based on these principles. I know sentence structure, paragraphing and spelling very well. I have been an avid reader and a prolific writer since childhood, but have never considered free- lance writing as a way to increase my income. I am a new author here, but about 75% of my articles have been published. My first priority is to write quality articles that have value to others. I am also money motivated and I want to market my articles. I glean much information from EzineArticles education series and am grateful for it.. I see something about an Article Directory. How about a series on marketing? What happens if someone sees and wants to buy my article? Do they see only the summary? Do they contact me? Or do they contact EzineArticles first and then me? I realize these questions may be naive, but how else can we learn except through reading, questions, discussion and trial and error?

Comment provided January 15, 2012 at 12:57 PM


Opal –

The main objectives of posting articles on EzineArticles are to drive traffic back to your website or blog, build your credibility and increase your exposure to media and publishers. By default, publishers are given permission to republish your article on the web provided your Resource Box and any links stay intact. The idea is that if your article exists in multiple locations, it’ll drive more traffic back to your site. However, if you’d like those publishers to be able to contact you, then you’d be well-advised to include a link in your Resource Box back to a page that includes your contact information.

– Marc


Opal Marrs writes:

Please forgive the missed in proofing “I have been” in my previous comment. Even the best proofing misses some errors.

Comment provided January 15, 2012 at 1:06 PM


JJ Esse writes:

Thanks so much for your constant interaction with the community. I love seeing how much you respect your writers by answering to our concerns.

I totally agree that copying your own or other articles is bunk. However, isn’t there a difference between copying and reporting? That is, getting facts, figures, opinions and quotes from notable experts and presenting the arguments to the public?

I’m doing a series on Depression. In the first segment I needed to address scientific studies, presenting the opinions and findings of experts, so that in the following segments I could present alternatives.

It seems to me that this is good ol’ fashioned investigative reporting/journalism. I’m willing to be corrected, but help me understand when article-writing became completely about the personal opinions of the author? I thought the job of such writers was to present information and help the public to make informed decisions? They don’t want my opinions on the science of depression. They need to know what experts have documented.

We go out and get the 411 and compile it, which is a both a craft and an art in terms of structure, flow and focus. That’s not the same thing as “derivative” content. The very way in which we build an investigative report is fiercely personal. I chose my sources. I waded through reports and studies for hours upon hours to select the statements that most encompassed the issues. I wrote and re-wrote the article so that it flowed a certain way.

Thanks again. Your thoughts are so much appreciated.

Comment provided February 21, 2013 at 1:21 PM


RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Please read our comment policy before commenting.