Politics of 3rd Party Article Submissions

We are often asked, “Do you accept automatic article submissions from so and so?”

To which we respond, “We do accept automatic article submissions from a select small list of 3rd party article submission service providers, but we have never disclosed and had no plans to disclose who the approved 3rd party article submission service providers are to prevent implied endorsements.”

Here are some of the politics behind our reasons for the above policy and many insights into our thinking on 3rd party article submission providers:

First, I need to share that some 3rd party article submission service providers submit articles to us without our approval. We take no responsibilities for whether those submissions arrive or are processed properly because they were submitted by a computer instead of a human.

There is another group of 3rd party article submission service providers that we have approved (a hard coded approval directly into our submission systems designed for 3rd party submissions), however, the same deal applies: We make no warranties or promises to accept or process those submissions.

For the purposes of this blog entry, I’m only discussing AUTOMATED 3rd party article submission service providers, and not MANUAL 3rd party article submission providers (people who do it by hand for you).

Our primary reason for being open to accepting 3rd party article submissions: is to receive a volume of unique & quality article content that we could not receive without them.

Our primary reluctance to be 3rd party article submission provider friendly: We highly value the 1:1 relationship with every author and the majority of authors who wedge a 3rd party article submission provider between us weakens our direct relationship with the author.

It is true that incoming submissions from 3rd party article submission providers are of lower quality than direct submissions from registered members. Last monthly alone, over 450 duplicate article titles were submitted by 3rd party submission providers (almost 50% of all duplicate article submissions)… of which we auto eliminate them and provide no feedback to the author of the duplicate title submission elimination.

Another main concern with articles that come from 3rd party submission providers: PLR article submissions. :( Authors who have hired article submission service often don’t care about their relationship with the websites they are BLASTING their content to and often try to stuff their submissions with non-exclusive rights & non-original content that wastes our time as we sift through it to delete them.

I won’t name them, but there is less than a small handful of article submission service providers that have built their business for the long haul and with a good ounce of integrity intentions. The rest of providers have a “get-rich-quick” intention and we’d prefer to never hear from them.

Something positive that came from our work with accepting automatical article submission providers: We created the technical ability to compete directly with them. I estimate the 3rd party article submission industry is a ~$700k a year industry…not exactly wildly lucrative, but interesting nonetheless.

The moment we publicly announce an “EzineArticles approved 3rd party article submission provider seal of approval”, it’ll seal our ability to enter the market to compete with them…because we’ll be forced to choose an alliance with them in order to get their support.

So, the next question is, which way do we make more money? At this point, it would be much more lucrative for us to go into the business of 3rd party article submissions than from the revenue created by the increase in article submissions that 3rd party article submission service providers could provide us.

However, it presents another political conflict: We don’t like going into new markets unless we can become the best or one of the top 3 players and to become the best, we’d have to create a new set of relationships with publishers willing to accept content from us. That’s not the problem…the challenge is, there is an avalance of interest for us to provide content directly and automatically for publishers …which begs the question: How much do we provide for free vs. how much do we charge for the quality of content our human editorial approval review process creates?

This puts us in conflict with our future possible 3rd party article submission clients because they would want mass-distribution while we’d want to control distribution to only quality authoritive niche sites appropriate for the content.

We do not want to contribute to sites that attempt to duplicate what we are…yet our 3rd party article submission clients would want us to do that… which brings us full circle to being frozen on any decision to go forward with 3rd party article submission providing because our market integrity matters more to us than any additional revenue stream we could create.

Yes, this thought has crossed our minds: What would the major search engines want from us? I think they would want us to not expand distribution of content for *volume of content distribution sake*, but rather the only whitehat grounds for article distribution would come from helping highly niched authority sites to deepen the breadth of their content for the benefit of their readers first. Example: An swimming website that is already established as an authority in their niche would look to EzineArticles to maintain their authority by increasing the depth of related content without any non-related content.

With this blog entry, I didn’t intend to solve any of the problems presented, but wanted to provide a framework to understand our thinking when it comes to 3rd party article submission service providers.

Complex issues indeed…

Your thoughts?


Ed Howes writes:

Hey Chris,

When is a blog post an article? You cannot risk integrity for a large boost in revenue and expect to prosper, so it would be utter foolishness for a small increase. Since you have very low risk, premium service revenue generators in the works there is no need to risk any compromise in your operation. I suspect some people are reaping benefits from automated submissions to large numbers of second rate directories set up to handle them but no one leads an industry with a me too attitude and eventually the temporary hot profit wells go dry. Now you have exposed the fact you do accept some autosubmissions with no guarantees, some of the few hundred who view this post could ask their service provider if you accept their submissions. That seems plenty fair to me. For those of us who could not care less about hiring third parties, it’s good to know we are not competing with thousands who do. In other words, thanks for sharing.

Comment provided September 4, 2006 at 5:06 PM




For me, a blog entry is never an article as I don’t mix the two.

When I want to syndicate 100% of the content, I produce an article.

When I want to syndicate the title, summary and a link to the full story, then I produce a blog entry.

Comment provided September 4, 2006 at 5:13 PM


Ed Howes writes:


Lighten up you holiday work a holic. The question was a tongue in cheek reference to the length of the post, which could easily be an article. :-)

Comment provided September 4, 2006 at 5:36 PM


Lance@carwashguys.com writes:

Real Winnners often work holidays. And their success shines miles ahead of the rest. I have proof of this. Good job Chris.

Regarding the 700K total Industry take of the automatic online article submissions sub-sector. You know that sounds about right to me. And it is being divided quite substantially by many folks. 4 rather large ones, about 12 second tier and hundreds of little folks trying to make a little extra money. If they can do it with quality and careful review I agree it makes sense to you to allow that. If not, obviously not. So I concur with your summation on that.

I find these folks charge somewhat high rates and as others compete for price, I wonder if they are making minimum wage if they do hand submissions and question quality if they do it totally automated. Therefore it makes sense to carefully screen the authors. But do they? Hmmm? I suppose the ones you found do and so they charge more, if they charge more then they have better articles, but fewer customers with the increasing saturated market. So all in all, I think in reviewing this you are correct for all your stated reasons and the changing and evolving of that market.

Meanwhile I want to kill these automated programs which put posts on forums, they are ruining the Internet indeed, but that is a whole other story and one I have written a few articles on and letters to our government. Of course the articles are read by many but the problem persists.

With that said I wonder if the automated services are leaning towards a degradated skew, as these mass forum posters charge $.35 each and the services posting articles are as high as $3-4 each as I have seen. Big gap and low cost bidder will see more business, but the worst articles and manipulators ruining article sites who do not screen articles and authors.

All in all the good guys can help here and the bad guys are busy screwing up other article submission sites with crap and therefore you win either way, which is also interesting. So Chris, either you are a very good chess player, very lucky or both. Consider this in 2006.

Comment provided September 5, 2006 at 1:57 PM



I do love the game of chess!

Haven’t played it in years, but it’s a fun game for sure.

Guess which chess piece I like the most?

Comment provided September 5, 2006 at 5:14 PM


Lance@carwashguys.com writes:

Well having been my High Schools Chess Club President I too like the game and the Knight moves in mysterious ways and is the key to the fastest possible game winning set of moves. Meanwhile try turning the tables at the multi-dimensional board game of 3D Chess. I believe that most represents the game of business.


Comment provided September 5, 2006 at 11:26 PM


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