453 Percent Growth In Article Comments

Last February 2006, we accepted 94 comments submitted on articles vs. accepting 520 comments on articles last month. That’s a 453% jump in article comments approved!

A reader that is engaged with your content enough to leave a comment essentialy blesses the article with their endorsement; albeit a percentage of the comments that are not kind (which is why we give you the ability to delete any comments you don’t like).

Article comment trivia: 6,458 comments were accepted in the last 12 months of which 37.8% were rejected for being mean spirited or inappropriate.

Blog comment trivia: 5,038 comments were posted in the last 2 years (by 1,100 unique humans) of which ~99% were accepted.

Author Photo Motivation

I had an idea about how to encourage authors/members who didn’t upload their author photo yet and I wanted to run it past you to see what you think?

Right now, if an author didn’t upload their photo, it doesn’t show up, but if they upload their extended bio or they use the new EzineArticles Inbox system, it shows up a “Author Photo Not Available Yet” image like the one here on the right. —>

What I’m proposing: Make the missing photo into a link that pops up a form where anyone could encourage the author to log in and upload their author photo. My thinking is that if authors knew how much their readers wanted to see their author photo, they would prioritize the uploading of their photo.

The argument against my idea is that I don’t want our members who have decided to never upload an author photo to be nailed with potentially dozens of emails from users and other members who want to encourage them to upload their author photo (while being totally unaware that the member has no intention to ever do it).

Your thoughts?

Article Quality Question From Strephon

Strephon asks:

On a competitor site there were some articles on writing that were simply poor, and not expert. What happens to articles here that are obviously not expert? Are they rejected? Do you reject articles after three months who don’t get read, like a cut-off point? Really the question: how do you control for quality so that this site has a good expert reputation?

Answer:

We reject (1) out of every (5) article submissions because of quality issues, questionable or inappropriate content, non-exclusive rights (PLR) submissions or just too much self-promotion in the article body. We do not reject content 3 months later if we already approved the article, but we will remove an article that causes complaint(s).

Something new that we do that I don’t know of any other competitor doing it is that we have (2) human editors review every single article submission. Between 5-15% of articles that are already approved are rejected after-the-fact for not meeting (1) or more editorial guidelines but in most cases, it’s a soft rejection which means a templated problem article (PA) email is generated to the author asking them to fix an easy problem so we can re-approve it. It’s our goal to get our 1st editors approval to 99% or greater because we are embarassed when we have to reject an article after-the-fact for our own editor approval mistake.

As of right now, we have 13,115 articles that are in a Problem Article (PA) queue waiting for an expert author to fix a problem that can be fixed. There are 24 different problem article status codes and custom email templates that are mailed when an editor PA’s an article that can be saved with a small repair by the author. The highest problem (25.3% or 3,319 articles) is too much self-serving product promotion in the article body. The article body is where you GIVE and the resource box is where you TAKE. This is a concept that some authors really struggle with.

In addition, there are 1,767 (13.5%) articles in a problem status because of too much personal self-promotion or the advertising to content ratio is too high. Ideally, you want a resource box that is 15% or less than your total article word count. Lastly, 11.6% (1,521) articles are in a poor grammar/spelling or punctuation error status mostly due to ESL (English Second Language) authors.

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Anything They Can Do

“Anything you can do I can do better/I can do anything better than you!”

That’s one of the best-known songs in the Broadway musical “Annie Get Your Gun.” Rework the words a bit, and you have a strategy for finding new article ideas:

Anything they can do, you can do better!

The next time you read a story or another article and think, “I wish I could have written that,” look for an angle the writer might have missed. No article can ever cover all points of a story, interview every expert, or deliver every bullet point or numbered list of items to help someone solve any issue.

Look for anything the writer might have overlooked and think about your core set of beliefs or niche strategies applied to a particular article. You’ll be able to spin a completely new direction with your article when your unique viewpoint is added to the article idea.

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New Categories- Fax and Telephone Systems

Two new niche categories to tell you about today:

The FAX category is all about our old friend, the facsimilie including history, fax machines, fax services, fax to email or other device gateways, how to get faxes when traveling, faxing from your computer and anything else relating to the world of faxing. The 130 articles we moved last month into this new Fax category have received the 3rd highest amount of traffic within the Communications category including competing against categories with 3-4X or more articles. This tell us it’s an ‘in demand’ content category.

The TELEPHONE SYSTEMS category is all about business and personal phone systems ranging from cordless, pbx, internet, satellite, to the supporting sub-systems such as voice mail, auto attendant, and other device exchange gateways that allows voice & data calls to be routed to where needed. Also an ‘in demand’ content category as the 80 articles in this new category last month out pulled by 2:1 the 667 articles in the VOIP (Voice Over IP) category and this is now the 4th highest traffic channel within the Communications main category.

If you’re an expert in either of these two new categories, we welcome your quality original submissions today.

Article Title Insider QC Tips

One of our article quality control editors (Kirk, Editor #15) offered up an internal memo yesterday for the rest of our editors on the most common article titles errors that we were not catching well enough. I thought I’d share the note with you.

In our editorial guidelines, we cover what should and shouldn’t be in the article title (Section 2. a.). Here are common mistakes we’re continually correcting when doing QC on articles that are already approved:

  • Commas are allowed, but in the middle of titles ONLY
  • The only punctuation we allow at the end of titles are question marks
  • NO exclamation points or periods
  • All colons: and semicolons; long and medium dashes, pipes | and slashes / are to be replaced with short dashes, or changed to word equivalents (man/woman becomes man or woman)
  • Ampersands (&) parentheses () are allowed
  • Quotation marks are allowed to emphasize a PART of a title, but if they surround the entire title, remove them
  • Microsoft Smart quotes: I have seen many editors overlook the smart quote, these need to removed otherwise things will break, ie: RSS Feeds, Email Alerts etc…
  • “Smart” Ellipses (…) which are identified by the fact that they are ‘unbreakable’ – if you try to put the cursor between the periods, or delete one of them, it will become obvious. Replace with standard characters (…), but regular ellipses are fine.

Intuitive Additions

Lately we’ve been thinking about ways that the membership interface could make recommendations, suggestions or *what should it do if it wasn’t automated and we were trying to help our best friend get the most out of their membership* type of thoughts.

On that thought, the first feature is now live: Resource Box auto-save the first default.

How it works: If you have not pre-defined your default Resource Box in your member profile, upon your first or next article submission, our system is going to ask you if you would like to make the resource box that you just used to become your default resource box. If you choose YES, all future submissions will have your default resource box autofilled in for you…saving time. :-)

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Top 10 Expert Authors by RSS Activity

As you may know, you can subscribe via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) to the RSS feed of any the over 47,000+ EzineArticles expert authors. This allows you to track your favorite authors (or yourself) via your RSS reader of choice or you can display in real-time your articles on your website (title, byline, summary and a link to the full article).

Here are top 10 EzineArticles experts by number of views to their individual RSS feed last month:

Expert Author Viewed
Marsha Maung 2,859
Brooke Schuman 1,050
Kitty Barker 1,041
Dennis Diehl 1,010
Vernon Myers 770
Michael Russell 732
Tim Gorman 618
Christopher M. Knight 518
Travis Sago 497
Sharon Hurley 497

Here are the top 10 EzineArticles experts by number of humans who pulled their RSS feed last month:

Expert Author Feed Entry
Tim Gorman 237
Joshua Feinberg 217
Todd Going 207
Nick Wright 171
Barbara Rose Ph.D. 163
Sam Udoh 148
Jim Kitzmiller 145
Peter Hale 142
Thea Westra 140
Hans Meijer 118

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Concept of Exclusive Rights

Dave asks:

Once you post an article for distribution, is it ok for others to post it on a website or Blog before it is approved for your distribution. If some one posts the article before it is approved by your site, would that effect your decision to publish it on your site?

Easy answer: No, it would not impact our decision to accept it. If it met our posted editorial guidelines, we would accept it.

Complex answer: The real question you are asking Dave is, “Does EzineArticles.com require exclusive content written only for your site?” We don’t require that the article content be exclusive to EzineArticles.com (even though we appreciate when you submit new content to EzineArticles first), but we do require that the article content be EXCLUSIVE to your author name… meaning, we must not be able to find any of your article submissions under anyone elses name on the entire Internet.

Common innocent mistake we see too often: An author will post his/her content on his/her own website but won’t put his/her name on their own article… leaving us to wonder who really wrote the article. Therefore, always put your name on your own article. To not do this is a red flag because it means you don’t stand behind your content or your didn’t really write it.

More common mistake that isn’t so innocent: An author will buy a PLR (Private Label Rights) article pack and submit it as his or her own. *yawn*… Seriously, this is the wrong venue for PLR content. Or, an author will try to rewrite PLR content and submit it as his or her own… Or they will buy content from a ghostwriter and not triple check the content for originality, only to find out it’s not original. This happens too often and we’ve expended an enormous level of efforts to tag, identify, and not accept this type of content. Be original and only submit original content. :) Please.

Michele Dortch – Author Spotlight

Here’s a great example of an ideal EzineArticles expert author: Michele Dortch.

Her 21 article submissions span from 2005, 2006 and this year…and that shows a consistency over time (something that is as important as quality and quantity when it comes to article writing & marketing). In addition, Michele has uploaded her author bio and an excellent author photo that appears to be professionally produced.

As for the content of her articles, Michele does a great job of using minimal bold tags, numbered lists and bullets — and this makes her articles very easy to read.

Lastly, unlike some authors who are too efficient at this craft (think about those who write for traffic attraction sake alone), Micheles articles are clearly original content with an intent to deliver unique value in an easy to read format that makes you want to learn more about what she has to offer. Nice job Michele!

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