Where’s The Article Beef?

Here’s the deal … The minimum article count accepted here at EzineArticles is 250 400 words*, and that’s a problem for many reasons:

  1. It’s very rare when an individual can write a very high quality article under 300 words. So rare that I rarely see it myself.
  2. Thin content undermines the credibility of our site because if a user is dissatisfied, they will not return.
  3. The greatest offenders of our members who make promises in the article title that they don’t keep in the article body are in the sub 400-word count range.
  4. If you saw a cross-section of the article complaints that come in monthly, you’d quickly see that low word count articles is a constant theme in the offending articles.
  5. If we just raise the word count minimum to 300 words, those who write thin content will just increase their bloat by 50 more words and we haven’t solved the problem.
  6. The highest volume members are often in the barely 250-299 word content club … making this a sensitive topic because it means we will alienate our most engaged members in order to satisfy our users who demand beefy high quality original content.

One possible solution that I’m not thrilled with is to keep the 250 word count minimum but we could flag members who attract complaints or write thin content on purpose to have a different minimum word count requirement, such as 300, 350 or 400 words.

Your thoughts on how you would solve this challenge?

* This post was updated 3/1/2011



My own feeling is that you may want to have different word counts for different classes of article.
I.e. Poetry and Recipes are often shorter than 250 words, so you have to add extra words which are not really relent to your poem to meet your word count.
Your suggestions will only create a bigger problem.
It may be that just certain heading are coursing 80% of the problem. It may be you could adjust the word count to a higher level on these categories and reduce it on others like Poetry, etc.
I would be pleased to hear your thoughts on this idea.

Comment provided August 28, 2008 at 3:33 PM


Yvonne Perry writes:

Some people may want shorter articles if they are posting them on a blog. They may not want an article taking up the entire space, but they want the keywords that a blurb and link to EzineArticles would not provide.

Perhaps allow users to search by word length as well as topic, article title, and author name.


Comment provided August 28, 2008 at 3:43 PM



I must speak up for poetry.

I am writing poems to meet your 250 words now. It does not seem to be a problem. Yet, if I must stretch them on to 300, they might become words, that simply prattle on.

It is the arts though, and I understand why other niches cannot be adjusted to meet a mere poems needs. Yet, I had to lend my words for art.

Already I find myself defining who I am, as a visual artist and poet, by what keywords might be good, to draw a visual eye, or bring someone to my lonely poem.

Quality might not necessarily be defined by numbers. It might just be that a message can be conveyed in a simple sentence, causing a reader to embrace it. I use “Life Take One” a lot. Three simple words, that if considered well, might be life changing.

If a person is not going to write something of quality in 250 words, then why would they step up to the plate by adding 50 more? Quality, or meat, might not be in them to express, no matter how many words they use. If you have to tell someone how to meet their passion, no amount of words will get them to express something that they don’t already possess.

But.. what do I know? I am just an artist and poet.

Humm I wonder how many words this is.

Comment provided August 28, 2008 at 3:44 PM


J writes:

I’m one of those high volume authors you mentioned. I rarily write an article over 400 words and probably 30% or so of my articles fall under 300 words.

In the sections that I write, it doesn’t matter how many words people use, MOST of the articles have very little GOOD information. Most of it is boring and rehashed stuff. Common knowledge.

I know this because I get plagiarized so often that I’m forced into checking out a lot of the other articles.

I agree that you need to do something about thin content. It’s rampant in the sections I write in. If you don’t do something, I guess you’ll eventually lose credibility with google… which in turn drops your this site’s article ranking there… which in turn will turn people away from writing for this website.

I have no problems writing in 250-300 words because I usually stick to 2 major points in my articles. If forced to, I could “bloat” those articles to 300+ words without a problem. We both don’t want that.

Honestly, I don’t know what you should do. But something does need to be done because site credibility is way more important than accepting as many articles as possible.

One thing you definitely should NOT do is give members the power to flag. That will be abused instantly.

I think the simple solution is for your 2nd level editors to use their judgement on whether articles have anything useful in them.

The idea of increasing minimum word counts for thin content authors is interesting and I like it because it will “wear down” offending authors… forcing them to produce less volume which means less problems, but how will “purposeful thin content” be judged and by who?

Thin, useless, commonly regurgitated content needs to be dealt with here, but you’re right not to simply increase the word count across the board.

My vote goes for something along the lines of giving your senior 2nd level editors more leniency to reject thin and common knowledge content.

Maybe consider restricting the number of submissions as well for thin content authors. Have you ever seriously considered something like putting a limit of 5 articles approved per day, per section, per author… for EVERYONE?

Although I frequently submit and get more than 5 articles approved in a section in a day, I’d be in favor of some sort of reasonable limit.

Those are my thoughts that got sort of random at the end. :)

Comment provided August 28, 2008 at 4:01 PM



It would be easier for us to raise the min. threshold limit by account than by category.

You raise good points about Poetry and Recipes categories.

The last thing we want to do is cause thin content writing members to increase the bloat to reach word count minimums because no one wins then; brevity is lost in verbosity…value is tossed out the window.

Yvonne, We do have a search engine for word length already: http://EzineArticles.com/?type=advs

J, We will never restrict the number of article submissions by author or by day. If an author wants to send in a thousand articles and they are all high quality, so be it…we should allow it.

You did nail the problem though: “Most of it is boring and rehashed stuff. Common knowledge.” … referring to the 250-299 thin content is the source of the problem to be solved here.

I can say that we already each month have been raising the rejection rate on thin content, much to the complaints of our members who are dumbfounded that we could accept an article like it last month but not this month forward. No one is grandfathered when they edit articles and all articles being reviewed must meet todays standards.

I have more thoughts, but would like to listen further to all of yours… Thanks!

Comment provided August 28, 2008 at 4:01 PM


Angela Booth writes:

Here’s what I’d do:

1. Raise the minimum word count to 300;

2. Reject articles which don’t keep the promise in the headline;

3. Reject articles which are simply rehashed content. This might be difficult. Editors would need a background in topics they edit. It shouldn’t be impossible however. In the topics I write in, I see many articles which are obviously just rehashed. The writer doesn’t have a clue about the topic, he’s just cobbling together bits and pieces from other articles.

Perhaps flag articles which seem rehashed, and ask the author for his credentials in the topic? Or for a “please explain”.

EzineArticles has a great reputation. Publication should be an earned privilege, not a right.

Comment provided August 28, 2008 at 4:20 PM


Bobette Kyle writes:

My first thought was to agree with a higher minimum word count, but after reading the comments I changed my mind…it would only cause longer, thin content articles.

To help limit rehashed/rearranged content, how about adding a field in the submission form. Something like: What makes this article more insightful or valuable to readers than others on the same topic? Editors could take the answer into account when deciding whether to approve/reject.

Comment provided August 28, 2008 at 4:37 PM




525 articles are currently in PROBLEM ARTICLE STATUS right now for having an ARTICLE BODY that does not deliver on the PROMISE(S) made in the ARTICLE TITLE.

A year ago, this problem status code didn’t even exist.

So we’re definitely cracking down on that specific type of thin content.

Comment provided August 28, 2008 at 4:46 PM


Audrey writes:

I’m not a writer by trade. I have written some articles under 300 words. I’ve struggled to even hit the 250 on some articles.

If the limit were raised to 300, there are some topics I just would pass on writing as I know I would not be able to come up with 300 words.

Since I’ve never had an article rejected for not delivering on the promise, I’ll venture a guess that I’m “safe” here.

I do know that I’ve read many articles in my category that say nothing and I’ve reread them a 2nd time to see what I’ve missed. Some are 500 words and say nothing.

At least I do say something in my 250 words :)

Comment provided August 28, 2008 at 4:53 PM


Vicki Flaugher writes:

If you are going to set word minimums, I’d want you to base it around the article profiles that get the most complaints (on the neg. side) and the article profiles that get proliferated the most (on the pos. side). Part of all of our goals here, beyond promoting ourselves, is providing information to an end user that they find helpful and usable in whatever format they are needing it for. If that’s 200 words, fine.

Much agreed on enforcing of the title promise being delivered, whether it’s 100 or 1000 word length. Bait and switch for the sake of getting promotion is not something to support, frankly, even if the end user wants it. It is not very reputable, in my opinion, to do that.

Basing the article length on complaints per acount seem reasonable, although perhaps time consuming for you to manage. After a certain number of complaints, I’d dump those authors no matter how long their articles are. Quality needs to be the reigning approach. That’s what distinguishes you from other article sites.

I do not envy your job. :-)

Together, we are stronger.
Vicki Flaugher, the original SmartWoman

Comment provided August 28, 2008 at 5:33 PM


John J. Alquist writes:

I don’t consider articles of less than 300 words to be articles at all. Rather, they appear to be shameless attempts to snooker search engines for higher rankings with a heavy number of their published “articles.”

This can increase one’s position in the search engines short term. But you can only “fool some of the people, some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.”

Chris, please stand tall and don’t let marginal authors start to dumb down EzineArticles.com.
Most of them would be happy with a minimum of 28 word articles.

Comment provided August 28, 2008 at 5:35 PM


Shirley Bass writes:

I am still fairly new to EzineArticles and internet business and may be missing the point, but am wondering if this notice could be placed in the members’ inboxes on EA? If all members read this ‚¬concerned notice’ of thin content and not living up to their promises before they submitted their new articles, maybe they would rethink what they write about and how many words are in their text.

This subject certainly made me think twice and reminded me that the status of ‚¬published author’ can be taken away. If authors do not get their articles published on a reputable publishing site, then how will they remain trustworthy or have the marketing creditability for their site and wares? They would have to find other ways to make themselves visible to the public and move up in the ratings.

It is a privilege to be published on EzineArticles. Not only do readers come here to read articles, but those articles are on Google’s (along with other major search engines) pages somewhere. To me it’s not just a game, but it is building credibility with future customers. Raving fans do not happen along that easily and if you can get published on a site such as EzineArticles, then take care to do your best.

Shirley Bass

Comment provided August 28, 2008 at 5:40 PM


Amy K. Jones writes:

How about creating a special category for the prolific under-300-word-count writers – A category that would allow the best 300 or fewer word-count articles to be segregated, with the option for the site users to vote on the quality/content of the articles.

Magazine Editors seeking filler material could still find these articles easily, the writer would still be able to publish content, and the average reader will be able to offer feedback as usual.

Comment provided August 28, 2008 at 6:37 PM


Gordon Cochaud writes:

Survival of EzineArticles may well depend upon the veracity of the content and the validity of the arguments presented. If the editors think an article is is lacking in both of these then it should be rejected out of hand. If the title and summary do not accurately reflect the body of the article, rejection is the best response. A distinction needs to be drawn between plagiarism and repetition. There are, I believe , programmes used by tertiary institutions to scan student’s submissions for plagiarisms – perhaps EzineArticles could consider using one. Whether one cares to admit it, almost all of the information we submit is available elsewhere. Most EzineArticles authors probably use their articles as a means to entice readers to the author’s website. It seems reasonable, that if the content of the article is relevant to their website and is well written the article should be accepted. The genre of the article will determine the minimum acceptable length. Furthermore, one job of an editor is to ensure that the articles are free of waffle and codswallop. (terms for which one may substitute the vernacular). I, for one, do not have a problem with editors rejecting articles when the only apparent purpose appears to be to get the author in print – again! EzineArticles will stand or fall according to the actions of the editorial team. Setting high standards will continue to attract a large following of surfers and the better authors.

Comment provided August 28, 2008 at 8:36 PM


Peter Francis writes:

I like the idea of continuing to raise the bar. In the perfect world the cream has a chance to rise to the top. The problem, however, is that quality articles are being lost in a sea of rehashed topics that may well have been produced by article spinning software or article factories in a third world country then sold and resold again.

Maybe we need to initiate a peer review process where those of us who are serious about putting out quality work can earn a designation that will separate solid article from those that simply clog the system. A designation that is not concerned with length but with quality. Frankly, I love finding 200 – 300 word articles that can give ma a solid concept I can use.

I am willing to step up as a reviewer and I suggest that many others would as well. Let those who are experts in their given areas help raise the bar. We will need a process. We will need a qualification process for reviewers. We will need some organization. It will take some time and effort, but will truly raise the bar. I welcome your thoughts.

Comment provided August 28, 2008 at 9:34 PM


john k lindgren writes:

The content. The CONTENT!

Not the number of words. The Kontent.

Who said ” Kontent is King”?

( Intentional misspelling ) To highlight the subject.

And Mercedes Benz does spell compressor ( a supercharger) da German way: KOMPRESSOR
( the badge on the rear of the Benz. I like that.


John K Lindgren

A struggling writer in SEA



Comment provided August 28, 2008 at 10:27 PM




I was reading a story about a quasi-competitor where the writer didn’t like having to play a ‘rating’ game in order to earn the worthiness of her articles to be accessible by the public Internet (ie: the search engines). The problem with that business model is that the writers of the articles are super-motivated to game the rating system in order to earn the right for their article to reach the public Internet (meaning, one doesn’t have to be logged into the site to view it). I’d rather have writers focus on writing…not rating.


Our anti-derivative software is already better than the commercial options available… to the point where we could easily branch off and create another business around it (but that’s not on deck this year).


I like your idea. Unfortunately, I believe the people who write thin content on purpose don’t care much about their reputation, therefore shame won’t work as a motivational force to help them ‘right their ship’…


I like your idea.. of imposing restrictions on accounts that generate legitimate complaints. It’s not as black and white …. ex: High volume members are more likely to generate complaints moreso than small volume authors because of the footprint impact difference…or the subject matter (political articles are more likely to draw emotional complaints that are not concrete or legitimate in many cases…)

Much to consider… but quality, yes, and providing a very positive user experience is at the top of our list.

Comment provided August 28, 2008 at 10:31 PM



I agree with Shirley. If a writer sees the results of his or her writing failure from the reader’s perspective in their EzineArticles inbox, they may consider being a little more professional in their presentation.
Another opinion is that Editors edit and part of editing can be elimitating an article that contains too much puffiness and not much content. My experience with Editors of mainstream magazines was that they are not interested in saving your feelings, it is about quality. As writers, that is what we should expect. I would suggest you stop coddling the spoofers. If one wants to be called a “writer” they should write!
Patricia Hubbard

Comment provided August 28, 2008 at 11:36 PM


Gamini K. writes:

What I feel is that we must give what our target readers want. Let’s be realistic.Why are are we in this? Is it for the money? Is it for making a name for ourselves? or is it for self satisfaction ?
If your motive is one of the the former two (like my self) you are goverened by the principals of marketing and not what you feel about the whole issue. As a regular bidder for work on line what I have observed is that the customer demand for 300 word content articles are also as much for 500 word articles. Occationlly you come across 1200 word or bigger content articles as well though!
As for myself, my only misgiving is that when I start on a 300 word count I end up in the “beyond five hundred”s ! On the other hand, when you think about it, what is 500 words to a writer if he or she really feels passionately about what is being wtitten!
I also feel anyway Geaorge EL amd Yvonne P have a point worth while considering, practicalities apart.

Comment provided August 29, 2008 at 2:39 AM


Lance Winslow writes:

One interesting thing I am finding is that the newspapers are dummying down, most articles on news sites are now under 200 words, sometimes internet surfers like short articles. Other times serious readers are looking for thicker content, perhaps doing research.

If folks are reading less these days and remember its a click happy world, then you actually alienate a good number of readers. Not the dedicated readers but the Internet surfers and there are far more of them, than those who are really looking for meaty content.

If you go by complaints, then competitors in various categories will attack those they want to be removed from the system and cause you more time in editing and checking.

I have noticed that really long articles do not get many click thrus, I guess because no one ever reads them all the way through to get to the bottom to bother to click on the links.

I believe humor articles should be 150-200 words, Poetry 150-200 words. You could raise many of the other categories to 300 no problem. Personally, I could careless what the word count is, but I do know that many folks who might use these articles do not want longer articles, they want shorter articles; 250-400 words or so.

And the point that anyone can ramble through 300 words is true enough, I’ve read plenty of those here and elsewhere. Right now when I get to 250 words, well I start wrapping it up and discussing the main point in review, because 250 is the end. Generally, I get half way to 300 words or sometimes to 350, but try not to, realizing that 250-300 is where most Internet Surfers begin to bug out, click and they are gone.

One issue that is also important is that perhaps search engines have more to bite on when the articles are longer, the reason I believe this to be the case is that the automated ADS on the various articles sometimes do not have anything to do with the article that is being displayed on the shortest of articles.

Another comment is that generally if your article is about one thing, the topic, title, then you should write about that, and a one point title, well does it really take more than 250-300 words to explain something? Now if you are giving a larger overview then sure, the articles could be much longer. So, what does the reader wish to have? And you only get complaints when someone is unhappy or has an axe to grind (competitor). What about all the people who liked the article read it, and then left with a smile or a new thought for the day. They did not complain, check 4 or 5-stars, but they were satisfied. See that point?

Whoops, I may have written too much and no one will read all this?

Comment provided August 29, 2008 at 3:38 AM


Dan Goodwin writes:

Some thoughts:

> Re poetry – poems aren’t articles. To set a word count for a poem as a poet/writer you’re already compromising your art. Filling in lines with extra words just to meet a min word count requirement means your drastically alter the meaning, the flow and rhythm of the poem.

I’m not sure EzineArticles is the best place for poems, but if it is going to publish poems, there shouldn’t be a min word count. Some of the most beautiful poems written are haikus of 3 lines and maybe 20 words. You cannot in any way measure the value of poems in no of words.

Poems also don’t fit with the issue of the article title not meeting its promise. How could you possibly meet this? “A poem about loss that will make you feel nostalgic and maybe a little regretful”… Just doesn’t fit the criteria as for articles who’s underlying aim are to give a free, beneficial sample of a business or service.

Keywords also, are another virtually redundant concept for poems.

> Re thin content – major issue. Many of my ezine readers are fairly inexperienced with the internet, and have found me through articles on EzineArticles after a Google search. Some have told me they’ve gone on to browse other articles on EzineArticles and found the quality to be “shocking” as one person put it.

I also was approaching a major site in my niche to write articles for them and they expressed serious concern that I published articles on EzineArticles, again because it’s not seen as a site with consistent high quality articles, in fact some are dire.

John J Alquist summed this up perfectly in comment 11: “Chris, please stand tall and don’t let marginal authors start to dumb down EzineArticles.com.”

Comment provided August 29, 2008 at 4:42 AM


Lance Winslow writes:

I had an additional comment and suggestion. Why not forward any complaint to the authors themselves in an email to their EzineArticles inbox here? This would allow authors to adjust their writing and see the complaints to better themselves. Also it gives the author a chance to see if those who complain are industry competitors.

The nature of such complaints is relevant and worthy of mention and could help online article writers very much. Why not turn all this into a positive thing that will help our authors and writers? Many new writers to the Internet scene do not get very much feedback and they are trying to change their writing style as they go for their target market and audience. I see this as a benefit, but only if done properly, otherwise, yep, it will definitely alientate many authors and writers can be quite a persnickety group with all sorts of psychological problems such as depression and anti-social behavior, at least from my research on this topic.

Indeed, I do not doubt I’ve had complaints on the many political articles I write, I’ve also noticed when folks try to rate them one-star. Not because the article is bad, but because they disagree with the opinion. Nevertheless, my political articles are quite popular as I have found. It is an interesting blog post and topic for sure.

Comment provided August 29, 2008 at 4:42 AM


Olwen Anderson writes:

I particularly enjoy writing articles for Ezine because I know they publish only top quality articles for distribution. For me, being published on Ezine is a priviledge, not a right.

When Ezine chooses to let through low quality articles it reduces the value of my articles too, making further submission from me less attractive.

I’d be happy to see editors gleefully drawing a fat red crayon line through articles that don’t meet their standards – no matter what their length.

Comment provided August 29, 2008 at 5:10 AM


Arvada Yates writes:

The value of EzineArticles.com is that people can come here to fine good quality articles (not poems). A good quality article simply can’t be done in 250 words.

Most of the articles that I find in that thin category are not articles at all. They are 250 word advertisements… something I can’t use in my business anyway and total trash.

Another point to consider is that Article Marketer and some other submission services won’t distribute articles that are that short because they recognize that they have very little value.

I guess it comes down to the idea that you have to figure out which customer EzineArticles.com values most… those who come here looking for articles or those who submit very thin “articles.”

Comment provided August 29, 2008 at 5:26 AM



Hi Chris!

There are already many answers here. I read the beginning of each one, reading better the ones I liked more, and I have to agree first of all with my friend Lance. His answer, and also Gordon Cochaud’s answer, are the best ones, according to my opinion.

Since all articles are read by your editors, simply reject the articles that are not what they should be. The number of words doesn’t matter. There are many readers that prefer short articles and there are many subjects that demand a short content.

On the other hand, you have to consider which the purpose of each author when writing an article is. I’m lucky because my articles are lessons and I can give rich content everyday without end. I provide free psychotherapy through article writing in order to convince those that need much more than simple advice that my work is serious and has only positive results.

Other authors cannot give so much good content entirely free of charge. They have to sell their knowledge and this knowledge is limited.

My field is huge: the human behavior, mental health, happiness, love, relationships, etc! Other authors talk about topics that don’t give them any chance of development. They cannot give as much as I do to the reader.

You cannot expect them to give entirely free of charge what they sell in their ebooks, because if an ebook doesn’t provide to the reader much more than free articles, why should he or she pay for it?

So, don’t be so demanding.

Comment provided August 29, 2008 at 6:38 AM



Let’s say you’re right Lance about the market’s demand for 250-400 word articles…

I would add, the market does *NOT* want common-sensicall rehashed thin content that didn’t deliver on the promise made in the article title. This is the type of content that is squarely in our cross-hairs.


We are not the best place for Poems or Humor articles, but accept them just the same. If we were focused on being a destination site for Poetry and Humor, I agree that there should be a lower word count on that type of content… Falls in the “we can’t be all things to all people” category of issue.


On the rating, I agree. In fact, this blog entry had a 1 star rating instantly before the email even went out to notify the blog subscribe list about the new entry… not because the content sucked (I don’t believe), but because the reader probably didn’t like the ‘bar raising” tone or attack on thin content (of which they probably write).


Until we come to a rule change that makes sense, next month we’ll shave another percent off the top of articles that might have passed before but will now be rejected for thin content.

One thing is constant: Standards that define the quality of content on this site must continually raise each month if even by a single percentage point of improvement.

Comment provided August 29, 2008 at 7:51 AM



The truth is that it is really hard for any author to write a good short article ‚¬€ if it is not about humor or poetry.

My suggestion for authors that need to write more but cannot find what to write about or cannot give so much good content because it is part of what they intend to sell, is the usual one: make a research. I always say that, because this is the simpler solution for everyone.

Your basic intention is to make your readers pay attention to what you are saying and make them what to learn more at your site. So, you have to give a lot, without leaving them with the feeling that they wasted their time reading your article.

Read a lot about your topic and then make a summary of what you’ve learned, of what other people said, of what is wrong and opposite to what you said, in other words, find something to add to your article writing two or three paragraphs that will give it more value, without fluff.

Comment provided August 29, 2008 at 9:00 AM


Beverly writes:

Hi, You are kind of right in saying that an article can not be of any use when under 300 words.
But there are articles that I have recently written that do not make the 300 word count because of the content.
I have not sent them in yet as they are not ready.

Comment provided August 29, 2008 at 11:37 AM


Dan Goodwin writes:

If you write articles in a loosely structured way, it’s easier to add more content if needed, to make a word count, whilst retaining the same quality level.

You could write an article called “3 Things You Must Know Before Putting Your Dog In Kennels” and if you write an intro paragraph, final paragraph, and a chunk of words for each of the 3 tips, and it comes up short of the total word count you need, just add another tip or two in the middle and rename it to “5 Things You Must Know…” or whatever…

Even if you don’t explicitly name your article “5 Tips” / “10 Secrets” etc, you can still use this outline of having one main idea per paragraph plus explanation, topped and tailed with an intro and final paragraph. Then add as many paragraphs in the middle as you need to meet your total word count.

If even with this, you’re struggling to make 250 words in an article, then maybe you haven’t got enough knowledge or info to share on that particular topic, and need to research more or pick something else you know more about.

Comment provided August 29, 2008 at 12:05 PM


Mark Harrison writes:

The Lord’s prayer has 70 words in it.

The ten commandments have 372 words in them.

The European Union regulations on the importation of duck eggs have approximately 12,000 words in them [1]

From this we can see that article length isn’t the only metric… HOWEVER, if you are having a disproportionate number of complaints about articles below a certain length, and could deal with, say, 50% of your issues simply by putting in a 300 word limit, I’d so DO IT.

My articles tend to be relatively technical, and typically in the 700-800 word range, typically edited DOWN from a first draft of about 1,000 words.

[1] Factoid presented as half-remembered truth from long ago, with no research done to back it up, in the best traditions of low-quality article writers.

Comment provided August 29, 2008 at 1:43 PM


Don writes:

One of the biggest problems in the article business is people who want tons of content for their website to boost it in rankings but don’t want to actually write original content. So they hire people to go out and scrape sites for articles, rearrange and reword them just enough to avoid obvious plagerism, and then they use them and even submit them to article sites.

I was asked to write some articles for a site once and when I said it would take me awhile it was explained what they REALLY wanted.

Article mills are a lucrative business these days and I’ve seen my original articles rehashed and resubmittied too many times.

How do you stop it? The only way is to review every article and see if it is different enough to publish or if it is too close to another article to reject.

So if you have one article that says “Water your flowers every 2 days” and another that comes in saying “Every 2 days, water your flowers” you reject the 2nd. If then one comes in saying “About every 2 days water your flowers using this special mix of stuff” it would be different enough to warrent publication.

Comment provided August 29, 2008 at 2:12 PM



This feels like a poetry slam in some ways.

I write articles that are often sprouted directly from my poems. I don’t write poetry because I don’t know what to write about. I find that notion offensive. Creativity is something that is interjected in science, nature, philosophy-it takes a thinking mind to create a poem of consequence. I write poetry when I am stirred to do so, when passion meets my pen. I paint, and dare I say I even breathe, for that reason.

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination. ~ Einstein

If creativity is suspended, in all of the arts, I believe a person has stopped pursuing self improvement. That lack penetrates everything and it won’t matter if a person project their thoughts in 250 words or 25 million words.

When creativity is pursued in any form, it perpetuates a motion that is difficult to contain. It flows into everything you do and think and see. Poems, paintings, defined philosophies, scientific discovery and yes, even article writing, are based on the creative mind.

Of course writing should be judged, if the author desires to be in a professional arena, but it cannot be limited to a particular niche, lest one become short sited. We are all trying to find our own way in what we do, but if we cannot think beyond our own circle we will be stuck there, never knowing that poetry might indeed offer knowledge that had not understood before.

Comment provided August 29, 2008 at 2:40 PM



I used to have a pottery souvenir business, shipping 500-2500 wheel thrown, hand sculpted, mugs, per week. It was all labor intensive. When the idea of a new product came up, my mind was directed to- how many can I do an hour? what’s the overhead? who is my market? and do I really want to make 1-200 of these things a day? I write this because I DO understand that the mechanics of things cannot be ignored . EzineArticles is a business, I get that.

Yet… maybe you are trying to direct creativity here, if it breathes at all, that is impossible. And maybe that should be the subject here or on another blog… HOW does one find and enhance that nebulous vision of the creative mind, so that it might inspire a writer to press on, and stretch their imagination to meet new insights.

Just like with anything else, you are always going to have less and best of minds, the object should be how to inspire, not harness and hold down. Encouragement to speculate on ones own philosophies and thus define them better, that to me would be a productive subject.

Comment provided August 29, 2008 at 3:26 PM



Poetry is an expression of wisdom and sensitivity that should be respected and admired.

Articles with poems are much better than many banal articles with recipes about ‚¬“how to make money‚¬, ‚¬“how to lose weight‚¬ or ‚¬“how to make any man or woman fall in love with you‚¬!

Comment provided August 29, 2008 at 3:41 PM


James Strand writes:

As a budding author–I am still in the learning phase and about ready to submit my first article, I am in agreement that quality needs to be maintained. I would look to your editorial staff to accomplish this. If an article is thin, and contains rehashed and poorly written content, then length doesn’t matter and increased length alone won’t fix the problem. Allow your editors to reject poorly written content, or send them back to the author with reasons for rejection.

If there are complaints on a published article, by all means let the author see those complaints. That would be a great form of feedback to allow authors to improve their craft.

Comment provided August 29, 2008 at 4:01 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

One comment on the poetry issue and this has been discussed here under the same topic is that you could always make a title;

The Days of Summer
The Emotions Within
The Joy of Living
The Ocean’s Breeze

And make the poetry article a collection of 3-5 poems with an introduction. This way your poetry piece is at length of the 300 words?

EzineArticles could move to 300 words now if they wanted with very little backlash. Would that upgrade the quality? Yes, I believe so perhaps 20-30%, which is respectable. After that I believe if you go to 350-400 you will find rambling, meaningless sentences, repeating and lots of chliche filler as you hit a point of diminishing returns.

And on the first note, I have found that it is possible to combine two 280 word articles into one 400 word article by sharing the intro and making a subtitle in the article. Thus, combining two points in the same venue. I use this often enough as a sort of template when writing, if one single thought of importance, perhaps an observation, simply cannot fill up the 250 words without redundancy. It also gives the reader more to bite into.

Of course, we all know and this has been mentioned many times above that those authors selling expertise, knowledge, experience or are involved in consulting, do not wish to give away the entire show. This has not only been discussed in the comments above, but also the prior here on this blog’s discussions. If you complete an answer to the topic, the reader is also done reading and never goes to your website, which was the purpose in writing the article

Comment provided August 29, 2008 at 4:06 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Christina, in your comment #34, I had to laugh. Yes, I totally agree with you, but I also know that Internet Surfers are looking for such banal articles. If you go to the home page of MSN.com or any of the news sites that have sections for pop-culture those articles all get mega traffic, by 5:1 over the “real news stories” (whoops that might be an oxymoron).

So, banal articles are enjoyed by the mindless masses. For instance, I wrote an article about hair styles once and to date it has nearly 150,000 clicks. Many silly articles like that get traffic and let’s say you were selling an eBook on “Secrets to Online Dating” well then that is your Target Market. Now you and ey can roll our eyes over all this stuff, but it is a reality.

Comment provided August 29, 2008 at 4:19 PM



Christina, I agree with you about poetry, obviously I do.

I think my feelings go beyond that though. It is about creativity and if it can be encapsulated within a certain parameter.

I don’t agree with you that an articles about ‚¬“how to make money‚¬, ‚¬“how to lose weight‚¬ or ‚¬“how to make any man or woman fall in love with you‚¬ are banal. That is my point. They don’t have to be, if the author is passionate about his/her subject.

As artists, which is really what an author is, we need to be inspired and inspire others in return. For some, money is critical and the lack of it scary as hell. Losing weight, for others could mean, meeting a new day and knowing they actually met a goal, they thought they couldn’t. People who are lonely in life, finding someone to love? You get it I know.

I feel, people need to feel inspired and laugh a little. They need to know that someone else has cried their same tears. You can inspire someone to be a good dog groomer, and change their lives. It is all in how you present whatever passion you feel, to convey the idea that you offer a viable hope, for whatever it is people seek.

Comment provided August 29, 2008 at 4:45 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

Kathy, yes you make a good point, those types of articles do not have to be banal, but unfortunately, they usually are. If you were to survey all those types of articles MOST are banal. The ones that are not usually have better titles, but they often get lost in the deluge of banality type articles in those venues.

Comment provided August 29, 2008 at 4:48 PM



OK Lance, of course. Soo what to do about that? How do you cause people to rise to the occasion? Rules? Will a certain # get you there?

Definitely HATS OFF TO EzineArticles

I think Chris already presents incentives by sending out newsletters of inspiration, spotlighting people who excel within their niches, and allowing conversations like this one.

As Mark Joyner says though, “Ya gotta hit it, till ya hit it.”

Perhaps this conversation is beginning to create its own circle. Humm?

Comment provided August 29, 2008 at 5:21 PM



I don’t like this idea: “A collection of 3-5 poems with an introduction.”

The reason I continue this btw, is not totally self serving, there are other poets who have posted here.

I have done as you suggest before and it slights the the overall expression. Would you include an article about hair and a car with each other? (Exaggerated to make a point.) I did this in the beginning, and when I think back to where certain pieces of my heart are, with in any ezine.. I can’t find them. They lost that bit of respect that was due them, by me.

An introduction, no problem.

But whatever. I can post the ones that fit here and the ones that don’t I can blog, or do something else with them.

Comment provided August 29, 2008 at 5:34 PM



Kathy, I didn’t mean that the articles about ‚¬“how to‚¬ make money, lose weight or make someone fall in love with you are irrelevant or whatever.

I was just saying that many of these articles are too banal and therefore one cannot say that they are better than articles with poems.

Lance, I know that these are the subjects most people care about ‚¬€ this is why there are so many articles about them. Many of them are very helpful are really excellent, however I was talking about what usually happens!

Comment provided August 29, 2008 at 5:36 PM



Christina, your whole persona, because of our exchanged emails, is one of a caring heart, I know that. This is why I added ‘dog groomers’ into the scenario. To bring the whole subject of passion for what one does into a fuller point; seeking out creativity in writing, for all. We are of the same heart, and as I just wrote, conversations begin to run in circles when you realize, that after all, we are feeling pretty much the same thing, while not using the same words. OK? All is well and understood.

Comment provided August 29, 2008 at 5:51 PM



Of course, Kathy! I was just explaining what I meant because I didn’t have any intention to offend the authors that write about the subjects I mentioned.

I was only defending the articles with poetry, which I consider much better than the banal articles that don’t offer anything to their readers, because they are a mere repetition of what many others already said before.

Comment provided August 29, 2008 at 6:14 PM


Frank Kalinski writes:

Our local paper has a limit on letters to the editors: 400 words. An article length is 800. Why not flag all articles less than 400 words with: “Warning, less than 400 words. This is a letter! Not an article.”

Then let the reader make their own choice. I’m new to writing but 800 words feels like hittting the “sweet spot” and hitting a rope over the pitchers head into center field. You do like baseball don’t you?

Comment provided August 29, 2008 at 9:22 PM




I can assure you that the intentions behind this blog entry didn’t even think about or consider POETRY as a concern. It’s not an issue.

I liked your Einstein quote:


Wow, that would annoy the heck out of our members who submit dozens of articles a day under 400 articles.

Comment provided August 30, 2008 at 4:11 PM




I know.

I just get caught up sometimes. Words flow and there ya are defending passion and poetry, not even being sure you are in right venue after awhile.

I honestly just wanted to encourage others, past words.

Thanks for following me on Twitter and the quote reference.

Comment provided August 30, 2008 at 4:26 PM


Frank Kalinski writes:


I believe (and struggle with) word precision. The dictionary is the Book of Meaning. To understand meaning the words must be exact.

A letter to the Editor is part of a conversation between all readers, like a pot luck dinner. We all bring something to the table. An article then would be like going out to eat; you eat what is served you and you are free to like or dislike the food.
(You wouldn’t pass on Aunt Sara’s 30 Bean salad would you? Hurt the ol’ Girl’s feelings?)

I’m proud to say this is a Letter to an Editor and I apprecate that you read it! But this is not by any stretch of the imagination an Article.

We need editors to improve as writers.


Comment provided August 30, 2008 at 9:12 PM


Ramon Greenwood writes:


I favor a 300 word minimum, the Gettysburg Address not withstanding.

I think there is a far greater concern with people hashing and rehashing the same ideas. Frankly, it’s been a long time since I have seen much original thinking in articles.

Also, I would be concerned about the over-blown hype…secrets revealed, sure-fire steps to success, get rich overnight with no extra effort, etc.

There are no secrets to success. It requires base knowledge/skills, common sense and hard work.

You provide a great service. We all owe your our full support by producing the best original articles possible.

Ramon Greenwood

Comment provided August 31, 2008 at 3:50 PM


Tracy Falbe writes:

I think it’s reasonable to flag writers whose articles produce complaints about the lack of actual content.

Comment provided September 1, 2008 at 8:11 PM



Personally speaking, as a new author, I feel that flagging certain authors is the way to go. I strive to submit quality, viable, useful information. I realize most of my writing is of spiritual nature and that I am “competing” with many other authors. Yet I believe that what I submit should be unique and valuable. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to reach and share with many, many others throughout Earth!

Comment provided September 8, 2008 at 6:24 PM


Lloyd writes:

Very good blog post. I certainly love this website.

Comment provided September 18, 2012 at 9:19 AM


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