Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The eHow Article Sweeps

The eHow article sweeps, thus named by eHow staff, refer to eHow's periodic "cleansing" of its article library -- at least, the section of its library written by eHow member-writers. Articles composed by Demand Studios freelance writers or previously bought from Writers Research Group are not included in these "sweeps."

As part of its article moderation program, article reviewers view members' articles at random, choosing "Accept" or "Reject" for each one. If the reviewer rejects an article, he selects a reason for rejection from a list of possibilities, which include "Advertising/Spam," "Clone," "Common Sense," "Blog/Opinion" and similar other reasons.

Articles that have been rejected by two separate article reviewers are slated for culling, or removal, from the site. If an article is approved by one and denied by another, it goes to another reviewer for a tiebreaker.

Once an article is removed, its original URL, or web address, is redirected by eHow to a related article or topic page.

Objectively, article moderation seems like an excellent idea. A website filled with spam, cloned articles, useless fluff or mediocre content will do nobody any good, and will ultimately fail. I am a big supporter of improving eHow's content, in all sections of its library (ie including articles from Demand Studios and Writers Research group and its older material).

The main problem I have is the way in which these sweeps have occurred, where decent articles are removed based on two people's subjective, often hasty, opinions and writers are not given a chance to improve or edit their work before it is deleted.

One of my friends, both on eHow and in real life, had an article removed in the last sweep that had already earned her over $1,400 in under a year. Her article URL (#1 in Google search results for her keywords) was redirected to a similar article by a Demand Studios writer. The demoralizing effect of losing this article has turned her off completely from writing for eHow.

In my mind, eHow remains an excellent place to publish content and earn money for your efforts. As the community grows, all kinds of content is added daily, and there has to be some way to ensure that quality standards are upheld. If eHow will listen to its writers and improve the system, everyone will be better off.

For writers who have experienced article loss on eHow, especially those who feel they lost quality articles and don't understand why, you have my my sympathy. Definitely take the time to review eHow's new Writers Guidelines and try to discern why your articles were removed.

I also suggest that writers take their rejected articles elsewhere, but first clean them up, correct mistakes, and make sure the content is truly worthwhile.

There are several very good revenue-sharing content-based sites that I use and recommend, namely:
While eHow is still my top moneymaker, I believe that, in time, these sites may rival eHow for earnings on a per-article basis as their Google pagerank improves and submitted articles appear higher in search engine results.

I have a handful of articles on each site and will add more each month. I am working on my own niche sites as well, and InfoBarrel, HubPages and Bukisa are great for building backlinks to your blogs and other content in a way that eHow is not. On all three sites, you can include links within the text of an article.

With online writing and marketing, diversity is key to success. Write for several sites, not just one. Think of the eHow article sweeps -- if your content was affected -- as a reminder that it's good business sense to earn money from as many sources as possible.


Cat said...

Great, well thought out article. I definitely want to start diversifying.

Mia Savchenko said...

This is an informative post. I learned how they did the evaluation. Yesterday, one of my top earner articles was removed, and the reason they specified was "OTHER". I quote, "Furthermore, if you see the word "Other" as a reason, then the article had many violations and could not be listed. The words, "many violations" seem very harsh. I wish they could point out exactly why it was rejected. Good thing, I was able to retrieve the article from Google's cached. I'm planning to republish it in another site.

Julie Anna Schultz said...

Thank you for an informative post.

This is great advice and makes me realize how important that it is to have the original articles available some place. I had all my pictures lost on my hard drive and learned the hard way.

Eve Lopez said...

About half of my recently "swept" articles were for OTHER. I tried to figure out the reason(s) and couldn't. I'm not the smartest person in the world, but I'm not a complete idiot, either. Since I can't figure out what's wrong with the articles, there's no way I can continue publishing there. Thanks for your suggestions of alternative sites - I think I'm going to give InfoBarrel a shot.

Steven said...

I also write for eHow and have had some articles deleted for a variety of reasons. It doesn't really bother me since those articles were not generating that much money anyway.

My eHow articles can be found at:

bestmommy said...

Thanks for explaining how the article sweeps are performed. Is this insider information or is this procedure posted somewhere on the ehow site? I feel like I have to play detective to find out what's going on, what rules have been changed or added etc.

Anonymous said...

Admit it, Maria. They're screwing people over. Why write a quality article for them only to risk it being deleted arbitrarily? The only real way to write on eHow now is quickly.