Ghostwriters Unite - EZA How dare you..........

by Bev Clement 81 replies
Thanks to Jay for pointing me to a blog post on EZA.

I am totally flabbergasted, gobsmacked by the post on their blog.

Pen Names

Look at the last bullet point, that has to be the dumbest quote in the history of EZA.

I know they say almost, but come on how many people will read the word almost.

So, I can write as an expert using my own name, but it is second rate when I write for someone else. Sorry, that logic doesn't work.

That is like saying, because there are a lot (yes there are) of crap articles on the directory then all of them must be crap. I know they are read by humans, but sometimes you wonder what level of English understanding some of them have, when they allow some articles to go through.

Chris you have a right to run your directory the way you want, but to claim this about ghostwriters is totally crazy. Have you the same principle, do you say that all books in your local bookstore which are ghostwritten are second rate? If not, why not because a ghostwriter is a ghostwriter.

I have ghostwritten offline, and I have ghostwritten for people who have submitted to EZA, and they are written with the same standard in mind.

Sorry, Chris you totally blew it on that one.

Crappy articles have nothing to do with a pen name, crappy articles are written by people who have no idea how to write articles, and know they can get away with it because your people allow them through.
#main internet marketing discussion forum #dare #eza #ghostwriters #hypocrisy #mfa #unite
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  • Profile picture of the author James Schramko
    I wonder if Chris is trying to make the distinction that some people using pen names don't care as much as real named article authors.

    I know a few people in my markets just spam the heck out of forums, blogs and article directories because they feel safe with pretend names.
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    • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
      Originally Posted by James Schramko View Post

      I wonder if Chris is trying to make the distinction that some people using pen names don't care as much as real named article authors.

      I know a few people in my markets just spam the heck out of forums, blogs and article directories because they feel safe with pretend names.
      Yes James... I think he is.. and this is gathered from his crappy submissions from pen names in the past (which I can appreciate is a problem for EZA), but to blanket rule on all pen names because he thinks ghostwritten content is "almost always 2nd rate" is troubling to say the least.

      Peace

      Jay
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  • Profile picture of the author Allen Graves
    Bev,

    Here's the thread where Chris responded here on WF:

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...bout-head.html

    Seems they should just decline the "vomit" articles and accept the ones they think are worthwhile instead of generalizing a large portion of article marketers as "second rate" or as only traffic builders.

    I am also offended, not because I write or use ghostwritten articles, but because so many of you do!

    And if I were a ghostwriter I would be PISSED! What if Google came along and said everyone who uses EZA will be considered second rate...EZA would collapse...as I'm sure a lot of ghostwriting businesses will because this statement was made not only on EZA, but at the WF as well.

    AL
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  • Profile picture of the author valerieSONORA
    Well I feel like slapping someone. His statement has no logic to it at all. It's plain stupid.

    He basically said most crappy articles are ghost written. Umm, crappy articles are written by crappy writers. It has nothing to do with whether it's ghost written or not. In fact a lot of people who can't write or just don't like to get ghost articles so they can have GOOD articles.

    Who says, I want some crappy articles, so I'm going to hire a ghost writer?

    No, they say I want some GOOD articles, so I'm going to hire a ghost writer.

    :rolleyes:
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Bev -

      I agree with you. Now I'm totally confused because on the other thread Chris posted an answer to Allen Graves question about pen names that said:

      There is nothing wrong with pen names.

      Use them if you'd like or don't use them.
      Crappy articles are crappy no matter what name they are submitted under.
      I can imagine someone starting various niche sites and quickly submitting poor articles under pen names for each niche. But is the pen name the reason? No - the article quality is the issue and that is the writer's fault and has nothing to do with whatever name was used.

      I expect trying to maintain quality control at EZA is a fearsome task but if you write quality content and brand yourself with pen names in multiple niches, I don't see why you would be penalized for it. Authors offline do write under alternate pen names when writing different types of novels and writing online in the same way would seem logical to me.

      EZA doesn't accept PLR articles - and yet I run into them there quite frequently so obviously they slip through. Ghost written articles are not the same thing and I wonder if editors are seeing PLR and thinking "ghost written".

      I very much doubt if someone at EZA or anywhere else can tell whether a good, informative article was ghost written or not.

      kay
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    • Profile picture of the author Tuzic
      Banned
      hi,

      thats not fair for ghost writers because people pay good money for the articles to be written and they get slander instead of a thank u ? from some people.
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  • Profile picture of the author Monetize
    I don't use EZA because it's so spammy anyway with all the
    AdSense everywhere, but I think it's offensive for a website
    owner to insult his users, especially since many of them fell
    for that whole $97 premium rip, and to say that the quality
    of people's writing is second rate if they use pen names or
    ghostwriters. People use pen names to ward off competition
    and ghostwriters because they can.

    Vomit is as vomit does.
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    • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
      Chris does explain that pen names are more acceptable when used under the "real name" account in order not to dilute the author's brand/authority, although the solution he offers, which is to create slightly different versions of one's own name, is rather limiting.

      But the statement that pen name-submitted articles are often ghost-written is illogical. Surely ALL pen name articles are ghost-written in that they're written for someone other than the actual "real name" of the submitter.

      In other words, if I submit an article under the made-up name of Bill Smith, whether that person is real or otherwise, the article is effectively ghost-written as it wasn't submitted under my own name.

      Therefore, a ghost-written article cannot be considered inferior to any other pen name article.

      And as has been already pointed out, the quality of many published articles would be greatly improved by the services of a professional ghost writer.

      Frank
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Well I feel like slapping someone. His statement has no logic to it at all. It's plain stupid.
        It's almost certainly true, statistically speaking.

        I've done ghostwriting in the past, and I was pretty good at it. I did half of a six-part series for a very well known marketer (a brilliant woman, with a PhD and very solid writing and marketing skills), and she came back a year later and had to ask which ones I wrote and which she wrote.

        I understand that some ghostwriters are much better than others. I also know that the people I associate with have to go through typically 8 or 12 writers to find a decent one. Not good or great, just not embarrassingly bad.

        I also know that most of the article marketers I see on this board create stuff that I would call keyword optimized traffic magnets, rather than anything that could be called decent writing. That includes some people who claim to be professional writers.

        The math is on Sparky's side on this one.

        Just like I predicted would happen with the really good copywriters, the better content creators are, slowly but surely, moving toward creating work for their own benefit, rather than for hire.


        Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author thatgirlJ
    I got upset about this earlier and posted on EZA's blog. Interesting that it got no response there...

    Anyway, I really don't think they or anyone else can tell what is or is not ghostwritten.

    I agree with what Paul is saying to a degree. Yes, it can be hard for people to find a good ghostwriter. But one doesn't have to do with the other.
    We have no way of knowing how many of those "bad" articles are ghostwritten, and how many people are just bad writers.

    I'm with Bev on this one...that statement is uncalled for on that blog.

    And...it's not the first time he said it either

    I wrote that he'd be surprised at how many of his favorite writers I've written the content for They are GHOSTWRITTEN for a reason. Some experts just aren't great writers, so they need a professional to help them out.
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  • Profile picture of the author azgold
    I can't think of anything at the moment that I could add to what you all have said.

    Guess those of us who ghostwrite have been insulted multiple times - once for each client article that we've supplied for use on EZA. That doesn't exactly encourage clients to use our services, either.
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  • Profile picture of the author thatgirlJ
    I did feel a bit like breaking my EZA mug :-P (Just kidding, it's a great gesture )

    I was just about to bite the bullet on becoming a paying EZA member, however...

    Allen Graves' directory...here I come
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  • Profile picture of the author Bev Clement
    Paul, I would agree with you about a lot of the article marketers here, and some people who claim to be writers don't have a clue.

    I have been working with some who want to write and their articles are really bad.

    To me a pen name might let someone hide behind bad writing, but there are also other reasons a person uses a pen name.

    I have seen some bad samples of articles, which people are going crazy about thinking they are the best around.

    But, for an article directory to claim that almost all ghostwritten articles are 2nd class is totally wrong. There are a lot of good ghostwriters out there who charge so that the client doesn't submit crap.

    To me it doesn't matter who wrote the article, crap is crap. There are too many article marketers who are producing crap, so why doesn't Chris say almost all article marketers are submitting second rate articles, because a lot are.
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  • Profile picture of the author donlester
    it's always contraversial to generalize. Yet it happens in many places unfortunately. On the internet the lines between real and pseudo identities is thin at best. But I believe ghostwriters are not guilty of using pseudo identities, what they do is different. Ghostwriters have likely been around almost as long as writing itself and behind some of the greatest people in history.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rachel Goodchild
    I read a column about a ghostwriter for a few high profile print and web columns- and posted about it to my blog
    Many are ghostwritten

    Ghostwriting often improves quality!
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Lockwood
    That blog post is the biggest piece of b***shit I've read in a long time. It shows an amazing lack of knowledge of the history of pen names.

    Was it done by a ghostwriter?
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  • Profile picture of the author valerieSONORA
    Mark Twain was a pen name. Just one of many greats
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Hunter
    I'm with you on this, Bev.

    I've written for several clients here on the WF and they took the articles that I wrote for them and put them on EZA without any problems. I write that good and the articles that I have written for clients have received THOUSANDS of views for them.

    I just really see this as a slap in the face of good writers, period.

    Another thing that irritates me a bit, Chris will spotlight authors on the EZA blog and when you go check out their profiles, they've written all of 30-40 articles! Why don't you spotlight the people that have written hundreds or thousands of articles for you, like Tim Gorman, Fabian Tan, and Steven Wagenheim, to name a few?!

    The fact is that some of these same people have ALSO used ghostwriters to build up their massive amount of articles that EZA have absolutely NO PROBLEM monetizing each and every day.

    It all reeks of hypocrisy to me.

    'Nuff said.
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    • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
      Chris' response in that first thread and then the follow up blog post inspired my blog rant about it..

      I mean c'mon... some ghostwriters are the flippin best in the industry...

      Bad writers turn to ghostwriters to make their work even worth publishing... I used Jenn and Bev as my examples, but there are hundreds if not thousands more that write exceptionally....

      I do think this is a damaging message by EZA and whilst I don't like to hype up drama.. I think it's a bad move IMHO.

      It is interesting that my blog responses and e-mail all agree with us..

      The majority of Chris' message is bang on the money, but his stance against ghostwriters is terrible.

      Peace

      Jay
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  • Despite the fact that Mr. Knight sees a TON of crappy articles, most of which were churned out by outsources, it is WRONG to tar ALL ghostwriters with the same brush.

    I also wonder at his reasoning behind pen names and their usage.

    Finally, as for the whole "you're just doing that to drive traffic" Mr. Knight, HOW DARE YOU?! What the hell is your directory but a fancy MFA (Made For Adsense) website?! Or, at least it was until you started offering Plutonium status to authors for a monthly fee...
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    • Profile picture of the author Dana_W
      Originally Posted by Vince Runza Online View Post

      Despite the fact that Mr. Knight sees a TON of crappy articles, most of which were churned out by outsources, it is WRONG to tar ALL ghostwriters with the same brush.

      I also wonder at his reasoning behind pen names and their usage.

      Finally, as for the whole "you're just doing that to drive traffic" Mr. Knight, HOW DARE YOU?! What the hell is your directory but a fancy MFA (Made For Adsense) website?! Or, at least it was until you started offering Plutonium status to authors for a monthly fee...
      "Plutonium Status..."...love it, Vince!

      I have gotten so much good out of Ezinearticles that I hate to see this going on. And in Chris' defense, he does say this at the end of his blog post.

      "Lastly, yes I know there are all kinds of examples of good people using pen names in non-evil ways. Unfortunately, they pay some of the trust or credibility price for the greater majority who use pen names to scam the system with thin content."
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      • Profile picture of the author Greg Cooksley
        Hey Bev,

        Thanks for posting this.....

        From this and many other threads about EZA, it appears that they
        are becoming more and more dictatorial in their approach to dealing
        with authors.....

        EZA exists because of the support from authors and NOT the other
        way around......They would do well to remember this....

        I'll say this again......vote with your feet (or your keyboard).....start
        actively re-directing your articles to other sites.

        Don't just bitch and moan about it - DO SOMETHING TO SHOW YOUR
        DISAPPROVAL.....

        Warriors unite.....

        Regards

        Greg
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        • Profile picture of the author Bev Clement
          Chris thank you for coming in here, but here is the problem. You are talking about ghostwriters whereas you mean content writers, and often people who are using article spinners.

          I think you are missing the point that we are expressing here. It wasn't that we disagree that a bad article is a bad article, but your blanket statement that almost all ghostwriters.

          That would be like me saying, never use an article directory because almost all of them only have crap articles. The fact is that a high percentage of articles on articles directories are crap, but that doesn't mean all are crap.

          If you look at what some of the gurus are saying about article writers, and look here on the forum about article writers, the majority don't talk about ghostwriters, they say content or article writers. The assumption is that a content or article writer is cheaper and produces a different standard of writing to a ghostwriter.

          I was commissioned by Harper Collins in London to ghostwrite for them. I know for a fact that the majority of people who offer their services writing here, wouldn't be approved. Yet you have others who are commissioned to write in their own name by some of the major publishing houses, and they also ghostwrite for people.

          The final problem I have (for the moment) is your comment
          The best ghostwritten content is content we can't tell was ghostwritten.
          The best pen name members are pen names we can't tell are pen names.
          That seems totally against what you said in the blog. You now seem to be saying that a ghostwriter is good if you can't tell it was ghostwritten. But the fact remains that you still think that almost all ghostwriting is bad.

          The question is how do you know what is ghostwritten and what isn't? Are you confusing PLR articles which are badly written with ghostwriting. I have clients who have paid me a lot of money to write their articles for EZA. You could say that you don't know they are ghostwritten, but as they haven't written any articles themselves what do you have to compare them with? Do you see the problem, a good article is a good article regardless who wrote it, and a bad article is exactly that.

          Ghostwriting isn't about convincing the directory that a certain person wrote the article but about the quality of the article.

          I'm not convinced that your staff are doing the best job in deciding what is a good article or not. So many are giving bad information, and are badly written, that it seems the problem isn't the amount of bad articles you refuse but the amount of bad articles you accept.

          In one way it doesn't affect me as I rarely submit my own articles to your directory. But I do think you need to take the responsiblity for allowing bad articles to be accepted, and not blame it on ghostwriters.

          Bev
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          • Profile picture of the author alyiceedrich
            It seems to me that Ezine Articles is trying to forge a new direction for ezine directories--to go from crap to quality, and in Chris' effort to move foward he sometimes goes about it the wrong way. Like using the term ghostwriters when he probably means content writers. And even then, there are some d* good content writers out there.

            I understand the desire to only publish quality content, but that's hard to do when you're getting your stuff for free. Especially since there are so many scrapper sites out there that make getting a good quality link back (via article directories) nearly impossible. Some even say that article directories just don't work anymore, where distributing articles directly to quality sites is starting to be more cost effective, even if it's labor intensive.

            Truth: It's hard to "dictate" what you want when you're getting the content for free, making money off the content, and then distributing it for free. Mandating specifics for donated articles will always rub someone the wrong way.
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            • Exactly. I've written "content" articles and let me tell you, I worked very hard on them. Each one took me a couple of hours to write and I re-read and edited them several times before I sold them.

              People who write under their own name sometimes put out crappy articles. It's not the "who" that wrote the articles that's the problem. The root of the problem is that there is a whole bunch of crappy articles being churned out and submitted to article directories like EZA. Article spinners or whatever it is that's causing this problem are making the issue worse. NOT ghostwriters!!

              I am still a big believer in ghostwriters and plan to use one for a very large project I will have going in the near future.

              Originally Posted by alyiceedrich View Post

              It seems to me that Ezine Articles is trying to forge a new direction for ezine directories--to go from crap to quality, and in Chris' effort to move foward he sometimes goes about it the wrong way. Like using the term ghostwriters when he probably means content writers. And even then, there are some d* good content writers out there.

              I understand the desire to only publish quality content, but that's hard to do when you're getting your stuff for free. Especially since there are so many scrapper sites out there that make getting a good quality link back (via article directories) nearly impossible. Some even say that article directories just don't work anymore, where distributing articles directly to quality sites is starting to be more cost effective, even if it's labor intensive.

              Truth: It's hard to "dictate" what you want when you're getting the content for free, making money off the content, and then distributing it for free. Mandating specifics for donated articles will always rub someone the wrong way.
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              • Profile picture of the author Allen Graves
                Hi Angela,

                Just wanted to clarify another generalization...

                "...submitted to article directories like EZA."

                There is a directory out there that is like EZA, but there is no crap being submitted there...only some really good, ghostwritten and author written articles and content.

                Sorry, just keeping it real.

                AL
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                • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
                  Originally Posted by Allen Graves View Post

                  Hi Angela,

                  Just wanted to clarify another generalization...

                  "...submitted to article directories like EZA."

                  There is a directory out there that is like EZA, but there is no crap being submitted there...only some really good, ghostwritten and author written articles and content.

                  Sorry, just keeping it real.

                  AL
                  So put the flippin link in your sig already will ya Allen???????????????



                  gwan... you know you want to

                  Peace

                  Jay
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                • Well, this is great news, Allen. Would you mind posting a link to it?

                  Originally Posted by Allen Graves View Post

                  Hi Angela,

                  Just wanted to clarify another generalization...

                  "...submitted to article directories like EZA."

                  There is a directory out there that is like EZA, but there is no crap being submitted there...only some really good, ghostwritten and author written articles and content.

                  Sorry, just keeping it real.

                  AL
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                  • Profile picture of the author Allen Graves
                    Sorry, I can't. But I will say...you get what you pay for these days.

                    Jay, you crack me up. LOL

                    AL
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                    • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
                      Hi Angela

                      I think we're actually saying the same thing :confused:

                      I was just pointing out to Big Mike and Brian that Bev started this particular thread as a response to a blanket criticism of the quality of ghostwritten work.

                      I'm with you on the price issue.


                      Frank
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                      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                        Bev,
                        But, for an article directory to claim that almost all ghostwritten articles are 2nd class is totally wrong. There are a lot of good ghostwriters out there who charge so that the client doesn't submit crap.
                        At what point does it become true to say "almost all?"

                        75%? 80%? 90%

                        Tell me what number you think would qualify that as a true statement, and let's ask Chris if the percentage of crap he sees matches or exceeds it.

                        Chris has said that pen names are fine. That's cleared up. It's been demonstrated by many people in this thread that quality content is generally approved.

                        So, what's the beef? That he publicly stated a thing that pretty much everyone in the group agrees is true?

                        Marian,
                        bad move Chris... your getting A LOT of people upset...
                        Actually, he's not. People are getting themselves upset by turning "almost all" into "all," and forgetting that they don't see the flood of garbage that EZA deals with.

                        The twisting of Chris' words into a blanket insult is wrong. His comment was simply a recognition of fact. That is, assuming he can count, which I'm prepared to believe.

                        Then turning it into a word game by making distinctions between ghostwriting and content writers takes the whole thing into the realm of the ridiculous. From Merriam Webster Online:

                        ghostwrite: to write for and in the name of another

                        Nothing about quality, depth or purpose. Just that.

                        Yes, it's useful to make distinctions like the ones presented here, but it is not reasonable to expect the entire world to know of them. Especially when they're presented after the fact, to rationalize and justify taking unwarranted offense.

                        I'm not the least bit surprised that Chris made changes to his wording. From the time we first communicated, on a list for list moderators over 10 years ago, that's been his style. Listen to feedback, treat it all as useful data (rather than insults or challenges), and adjust. He's always seemed to value differences of opinion, rather than abusing people over them.

                        Threads like this one are big reasons that the list of people I'm prepared to recommend to folks who ask is so short. If someone takes too much offense, too easily, I don't want to expose my friends to them.


                        Paul
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                        • Profile picture of the author Allen Graves
                          Paul,

                          I know what Chris is going through in regards to this. I don't know him personally, but I can certainly associate with it and I do not envy him in that way whatsoever.

                          The fact remains that the original statement made were, in fact...blanket statements. That is why I jumped in, and I am aware of the flood of garbage that he sees every day. I understand that it can be extremely frustrating and can lead to all sorts of things.

                          I have not gone back to the blog or reread any of the posts here. So if he has changed his wording, so be it. But he needs to realize how powerful his words can be. He quite possibly could have ruined people's businesses yesterday because of his response in the other thread and on his blog.

                          As "THE OWNER OF EZINEARTICLES.COM," many people consider his word to be golden. If using ghostwriters is considered second rate by him, then BAM - there goes the business for many of them.

                          Problem is, as far as I can tell, he is still maintaining his view that pen name users (and the other users) are second rate and are there only to get backlinks or traffic. While that is true for most of his visitors, it is not true for all and making good people pay for it is something I would not approve of.

                          I also took a bit of offense to the statements because (as I touched on above) what he says, unfortunately is misconstrued as the be all and end all of the article directory world.

                          So if he is in the mood to change his words...perhaps he should preface his entire commentary with the fact that he is only speaking about HIS VISITORS. I've worked my ass off to get my visitor base educated and at the highest level they can be...whether they use pen names or not. My authors use pen names and ghostwriters, but I don't have tons of vomit to sift through every day.

                          I guess the whole theme of this post is that even if blanket statements are not made, the article marketing community will generalize them based on the fact that they are coming from Chris.

                          Hope I haven't ticked you off too much, Chris. I'm just sayin...

                          AL
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                          • Profile picture of the author Ken Strong
                            Geez, it's about time for a separate EZA Forum, with all the threads recently...
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                          • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
                            Allen,

                            Regarding blanket statements, I'll repeat the question I asked Bev: At what point does the measure "almost all" become true?

                            I think Chris knows how powerful his words can be. I think you overestimate that factor, in much the way that people overestimate the impact of many threads here.

                            That said, good writers are not going to be affected by this in negative ways. In fact, the good ones stand to gain by any change that moves things toward a higher quality standard.

                            Crappy writers might lose out, but I'm not missing any sleep over that. It's just not that hard to learn to write decently. If they don't want to make the effort, let them do something else.


                            Paul
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                            • Profile picture of the author Allen Graves
                              I'm sorry Paul, I never saw the word almost...I also never saw the word all.

                              I just saw that people who use pen names are second rate because...

                              So I cannot answer your question, maybe Bev can.

                              AL

                              p.s. It doesn't really matter to me any more, though. I think I have made my point perfectly clear.
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          • Profile picture of the author chrisknight
            Bev,

            Then let this be my apology for offending good ghostwriters. That was never my intent.

            If I understand your argument, it's that 'ghostwriters' are good and it's the 'content or article writer' service provider that produces a lower quality work. Ok, well, that may be true sometimes and I appreciate your distinction.

            Thousands of our members have hired bad article content writers who delivered poor quality non-original, non-unique, non-exclusive rights content as if it was suppose to be original, unique and exclusive rights content.

            BUT, get this: When our members ask us to reinstate their account after being suspended for submitting non-original content that they insist were written by ... they call them, GHOSTWRITERS. I don't hear members saying, I shouldn't have hired that "article writer" or "content writer." They place their blame on "the ghostwriter" as being 'what' or 'whom' they were buying the content from.

            This isn't fair, but it's what the market is calling it.

            You probably know this, but many ghostwriters selling their work as 'ghostwriting' are actually article spinners, plr rewriters, or other thin content writing mills. They dilute the reputation of the industry of ghostwriters.
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            • Profile picture of the author Kay King
              they call them, GHOSTWRITERS
              Of course they call them ghostwriters. They don't want to admit they bought cheap PLR and/or used an article spinner - because they know they aren't supposed to do that.

              I appreciate EZA' efforts to reject poor writers and to publish quality articles.

              The problems I notice there haven't changed much over the years:

              -Bad writers (can't spell, no grammar, no info, poor language skills)

              -Impatient writers who switch around a couple sentences in a pack of PLR articles and submit them as "my article". As with ghostwriting, there is good and bad PLR but in my opinion PLR doesn't belong in article directories.

              -Lazy writers who can't be bothered to do any research on a topic and write broad generalizations and call it "an article" with no real factual information included

              - Dumb writers who just type out a couple paragraphs repeating their keywords over and over and submit articles not worth reading

              Any of the four above will be just as bad using pen names as using their own name. A few will only be lazy with pen names.

              I do my own writing - have pen names - and have never been penalized by EZA because no matter what name I use, I write a real article that someone actually might want to read.

              I just think you are going the wrong direction when you see the problem as "pen names" or "ghostwriting" - the problem is BAD writing. Period.

              Truthfully - some of us here contribute to the EZA problem when we tell everyone to "write and submit articles" even though it's clear from the post they made that they can't write worth squat.

              kay
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            • Profile picture of the author Allen Graves
              Holy Schnikeys! This thread really took off.

              Goes to show you how controversy can be a good selling point if used correctly (but a killer if you do it wrong!)

              Anyhow, I have to say that although I and my (rather small) staff only have to go through a tiny fraction of what Chris and his staff have to trudge through on a daily basis, I believe that instead of making generalizations about large groups of article submitters, each article and/or account should be looked at on an individual basis. Now, if I were in Chris's position, I may be forced to do otherwise, but right now, I'm not.

              Unfortunately for some, this is the way EZA has decided to establish this policy.

              As an article directory owner (sorry Bev) and a spokesperson for many others, I have to almost think like a politician before answering any question or making any kind of statement, blanket or otherwise. I would guess this is how it is for Chris as well. So what is said is said. Let's just go with it.

              Chris, everyone is entitled to their opinion. If this is how you feel, why apologize? As long as you have a stronghold on Google's love, the people here will continue using EZA no matter what.

              Again, I take up for EZA many times as they are constantly bashed here. Yes, they are praised here as well. I just jumped into this one because I felt the statements made were offensive to a lot of the LEGITIMATE, HONEST AND HARD-WORKING article marketers who have to bite the bullet. I don't think it is fair and as I said before, I think such generalizations should be taken down to a more detailed level, subsequesntly affecting fewer of the people who maintain integrity in their work and their online business.

              AL
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              • Profile picture of the author Allen Graves
                Mike...#6 - I'm actually working on this!

                Also, as I state in my TOS - If I don't feel that an author is submitting content of high standard, I don't mess around with suspensions or writing new policies. I simply send them educational materials and if they don't improve...the account is terminated. Easy. Simple. Concrete.

                I believe that is the best way to ensure quality content...education and accountability.

                AL
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                • Profile picture of the author Michael Dominic
                  Originally Posted by Allen Graves View Post

                  Mike...#6 - I'm actually working on this!

                  Also, as I state in my TOS - If I don't feel that an author is submitting content of high standard, I don't mess around with suspensions or writing new policies. I simply send them educational materials and if they don't improve...the account is terminated. Easy. Simple. Concrete.

                  I believe that is the best way to ensure quality content...education and accountability.

                  AL
                  Well said Allen. That is a good policy. I'm going to compare it to the justice system in this country and the way it SHOULD work by rehabilitating non-violent offenders, not locking them up, and not throwing away the key. (Which is essentially what happens when EZA suspends an account.)

                  I've seen some reputable people get their accounts suspended. The worst part about it is that most of the time it is unclear why...

                  I have my own personal issues with EZA and the way their "reviewers or editors" operate. Same article not approved gets approved in a second submission. Goes to show how inconsistent they are.

                  Again, excellent policy Allen and I commend you for educating people instead of taking radical action and giving them a second chance!
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  • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
    It never ceases to amaze me how some article
    directory owners forget who made their directory.

    It's the writers and ghostwriters who provide ALL
    the content.

    I wonder what would happen if they all decided to
    cease posting articles?

    There are many other article directories out there
    and, given the number of article marketers here on
    the WF, it isn't beyond the realms of possibility to
    take another directory to the top of the game.

    Keeping all your eggs in one basket isn't good business
    practice. Relying too much on just one article directory
    is too risky for me.

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author KarlWarren
      While I don't agree with sweeping generalisations, I'm going to play devils advocate - I think the numbers are on EZA's side here.

      Every single one of the ghostwriters who have posted in this thread will agree that MOST people who claim to be ghostwriters and churn out articles are sub-standard.

      There have been lengthy debates about price, peanuts and monkeys - one thing stands out above all else:

      A lot of people who charge for writing work simply can't write.

      I'm not trying to put words into Chris K's mouth, because I use a ghostwriter on occasion, and I write my own stuff too - however, if you read some of the bad articles that have been accepted on EZA, can you imagine how much more absolute tripe they have to reject?

      I'm all for QUALITY writers being paid for quality work, because that is their trade and that's what they are experienced at. What I'm not in favour of is outsourcers who feel that because they're charging low rates that the quality of their work should be sub-standard. I am also not in favour of those who can't afford to live on their rates so they squeeze too much work into their day, inevitably causing:

      - Failure to deliver
      - Piss poor work being submitted

      It all goes back this:

      Q. What's a good way to start earning
      A. Write some articles and submit them to EZA

      Not enough attention goes into producing articles that people want to read.

      Not that I care, I'll continue to pay for and produce work that people want to read - and I'll clean up
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      • Profile picture of the author Bev Clement
        Karl in one sense I agree with you, and a lot of the problems stem from this forum, where people are told to become writers.

        It is interesting that I read a book recently written by a guru, and he made a clear distinction between content writers and ghostwriters.

        He said that a content writer would write basic articles and content for your website, article directories etc.

        Ghostwriters would write in depth articles, reports and books.

        I thought he had a good distinction, but when Chris complained that most of the crappy articles were written by ghostwriters, he did himself no favours.

        If you were to ask a lot of the people who write low cost articles if they are article writers or ghostwriters they would claim to be article writers, outsources but not a ghostwriter. They see an invisible line, they don't feel ready to cross.

        What I don't understand is why Chris is accepting crappy articles. I can imagine the ton of rubbish they have to reject, but so much that gets passed, should never be accepted.

        Chris blames it on pen names and ghostwriters, I blame it on his staff for not doing their job.
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        • Profile picture of the author KarlWarren
          Hi Bev,

          I heartily agree - there is a huge gap between the two.

          I think the problem stems from sources FAR WIDER than WF though. A lot of people see writing as an easy "in" - when I first started, I fell into the same trap.

          Lucky for me, I can write (arguably.)

          I gave myself a good talking to, because I was doing something I didn't particularly enjoy (writing) instead of something I absolutely love (graphics.) I realised that for less work, I could earn a lot more.

          The rest is history.
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          • Profile picture of the author WritingMadwoman
            Wow, that post is shocking, not to mention insulting to his members who ghostwrite and members who pay ghostwriters to have quality material written. Quality of writing has nothing to do with pen names or real names, ghostwritten or not. Crap exists in all scenarios, as does great writing.

            There are plenty of valid reasons why a person might use a pen name, but he's lumping them all under one umbrella. Dumb and completely illogical.

            Wendy
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  • You've got to be kidding me. Ghostwritten articles are crap? I don't think so.

    Ghostwriters offline are the ones who write books for the people who can't write!! Ghostwriters are the ones who can write and are paid to do the writing for the people that, if they tried to write, would be writing crap. (Do you really think Bill or Hillary Clinton or even Barak Obama wrote their own books? Very unlikely.)

    That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. I can write and I can write well. But the book I am going to put (about working with the U.S. Secret Service) out is going to be written by a ghostwriter.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dmitry
    OK so English isn't my native language - what now I should write crappy articles myself instead of hiring someone else who can write a better one just so I can kiss EZA or anyone else's butt for that matter. That's an immature statement.

    The problem with crappy content exists - YES! But let's not generalize.
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    • Profile picture of the author Karen Keyes
      Wow Bev thanks for posting this. It's absolutely ridiculous to not only imply, but outright say, that pen names are 2nd class and ghostwritten articles are crap! How ludicrous!

      Honestly, I hope you're reading this thread Chris and that at minimum, the many replies here adjust your way of thinking.

      Let's think logically for a moment. Pen names are used for a variety of reasons. I'm using a pen name for the *simple* reason of writing in a completely different niche than my real name. What's the big deal? How does that even have anything to do with the quality of content I output with my pen name?

      Secondly, whether or not I write the articles or get them ghostwritten, what's the difference? I can write crap or get crap ghostwritten - right? And vice versa, I can write excellent articles, AND have excellent articles ghostwritten.

      Geez this is ridiculous!
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      • Profile picture of the author grumpyjacksa
        if ghostwriters are "second-rate"........

        then presidents around the world are delivering second rate speeches.

        'cause i don't believe they have the time to write those themselves.........
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  • Heh, check out this Digg: eza how dare you - Google Search
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    • Profile picture of the author Marian Berghes
      bad move Chris... your getting A LOT of people upset... i am not a ghostwriter myself but I have used their services and all gave me top quality.

      Bad move....
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      • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
        LOL... Bev warned me to watch for the fireworks when I blogged this last night...

        Looks like Warriors.. really are warriors!

        It powerful to make our opinions noted and public like this... hoorah

        peace

        Jay
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        • Profile picture of the author rosetrees
          Quote from their blog - "If you want to build more credibility with us, use your REAL HUMAN NAME for your primary author name, even if you don’t publish articles under that name."

          They wouldn't let me sign up with my "REAL HUMAN NAME". It's a common one and ends in Smith. They made me use a pen name even to open my account. (My cat has her uses!)
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        • Profile picture of the author grumpyjacksa
          seems like things are heating up........

          glad i'm not in the hot seat.

          if you rely on user generated content, don't make it too difficult to generate the content..........

          just my 0.02......
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          • Profile picture of the author chrisknight
            Kay,

            Right! If we can't tell if an article was ghostwritten or not, then the ghostwriter has done an excellent job!

            It's when we can tell the article was ghostwritten because of the wild differences in the quality of articles submitted by many members.


            Paul,

            Exactly!

            The best content writers always seem to move from ghostwriter to writing for themselves or they become... copywriters.


            Jenn,

            Here's what I don't get: Why are you so upset if you're not even the type of ghostwriter that is being singled out in this discussion?

            If you write high quality content that we can't tell is ghostwritten, then you're a positive force in a market filled with thin content ghostwriters.


            Bev,

            And if we can't tell your articles or your clients articles were ghostwritten, then you've succeeded at writing high quality unique & original articles!


            Chris Hunter,

            It's not meant to be a slap in the face to anyone. It's meant to share a clear pattern that members with pen names cause the most user complaints and submit some of the poorest quality work.

            If you write with a pen name or your clients write with a pen name and the quality of your work is so high that we can't tell your pen name or content is ghost written, then you've succeeded at being a high quality unique/original content provider.


            Jay,

            Again, if we can't tell your content or the content of your clients content was ghostwritten by you, then you've succeeded at being a high quality ghostwriter. It's when we can clearly spot ghostwritten content submitted by pseudo names - that type of content is 2nd class.

            I think what you and most ghostwriters here are looking for us to become some kind of cheerleader for the message 'ALL ghostwriters are good' or something? Sorry, that will never happen... In fact, if you're one of the handful of great ghostwriters, you can use this debate to bolster how your content is not like that 2nd class stuff Knight is talking about.

            I agree with you: SOME ghostwriters are the best.. and in the last decade, I can only count on a few handfuls of people I've met that crank out really high quality work; the rest... well, not so high quality.


            Karl,

            Right!


            Bev,

            Fact is, it's clear to us that the bulk of the tens of thousands of articles we human review & reject under pen names were ghostwritten article paks... the kind bought for a few bucks per article. TENS OF THOUSANDS of these find their way into us. It's no wonder you're upset by my sweeping generalization because the GREAT GHOSTWRITERS are the minority in this space.

            I concur that our team has a lot of improvement to make yet and we're taking a lot of action including having a full time internal trainer just for our article review team. Every month our standards raise on what we expect from ourselves and we get more efficient at keeping low quality content out.


            Karen,

            Yes, I'm reading this thread and appreciate all of the comments including the ones that don't agree with me. I'm always open to understanding everyone's perspectives so I know how to better articulate my points in the future without causing a mad 'hater' storm.

            I have said that there are many logical and good reasons to use and write under a PEN NAME.

            The best ghostwritten content is content we can't tell was ghostwritten.
            The best pen name members are pen names we can't tell are pen names.
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            • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
              :: cough ::

              Chris... I am not a ghostwriter... and I don't expect anything from you... I was expressing my disgust at your blanket, sweeping statement about ghostwriters...

              Peace

              Jay
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            • Profile picture of the author Alan Petersen
              Such arrogance. And from his post Chris still doesn't get it. You've just insulted ghostwriters even with your lame caveat attempt of putting in "almost" before you insulted ghostwriters who do a fantastic job and provide quality content for your directory.

              EZA boycott sounds about right. I'm sure it's unlikely since many folks depend on EZA for their traffic but as John said that is a bad idea to have all your eggs in one basket.

              I'm down for a boycott. I don't use EZA that much so I don't have that much muscle but if we all unite...
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            • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
              Originally Posted by chrisknight View Post

              I think what you and most ghostwriters here are looking for us to become some kind of cheerleader for the message 'ALL ghostwriters are good' or something?
              Chris

              Nobody has asked that you become a cheerleader. But now that you have admitted that you are unable to tell whether a well-written article is ghostwritten...

              Originally Posted by chrisknight View Post

              The best ghostwritten content is content we can't tell was ghostwritten.
              The best pen name members are pen names we can't tell are pen names.
              ...you must realise that your statement that ghostwritten articles are almost always second class was made out of ignorance.


              Frank

              [EDIT] I see that you have now altered that statement in your blog post.
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  • Profile picture of the author dbarnum
    Bev,

    In a rush and speed-reading, so haven't had time to thoroughly check this out, but trust your judgment. So with you on this: you go, girl! Teaming up

    Another lady who does this with fellow writers is Angela, owner of http://writersweekly.com (no affil). who stands up to POD publishers today against Amazon, of all places, as well as other important writer issues. So maybe she can help with this cause.

    If I can, too, give a shout. Checking in later, time to head off to appt.

    Bev and others here - - CHARGE!!!!!! Warrior to action!
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  • Dana_W, that "Plutonium status" reference was from a post I made in the old forum about getting Platinum status immediately. I thought it was a prelude to being upsold to Plutonium status, for a fee.

    Funny, that actually came true. On second thought, not so funny!
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    I would like to apologize to all of my ghostwriting clients for providing what some automatically consider 2nd rate work.

    Why do I say that? Because I get the impression Chris assumes ghostwriting/pen names = second rate content...UNLESS it is the exception to that rule. See the problem there? We are guilty until proven innocent, instead of the other way around.

    I can say that EZA is the best directory I submit to, but that's only because it's the only one I submit to.

    LOL

    I just realized the importance of BOTH meanings of the word 'submit'.

    ~Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author djmurray
    Originally Posted by Bev Clement View Post

    I know they are read by humans, but sometimes you wonder what level of English understanding some of them have, when they allow some articles to go through.
    Yes, and not only English language understanding. Which editor, for example, let through an article describing Peru as a small country in Europe?

    I know that managing an article site must horrendously difficult in terms of maintaining quality, but sometimes what seems like a good idea turns out to be madness. This appears to be one of those times.

    Incidentally, as I've commented elsewhere, this change would have consigned several of the major figures of English literary history to the ranks of the second-class!

    - David Murray -
    Newark, England.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nahm D. Plume
    A most interesting discussion.
    The best ghostwritten content is content we can't tell was ghostwritten.
    The best pen name members are pen names we can't tell are pen names.
    Mr. Knight's comments (above) are enlightening. It's rather obvious I would be unable to have my articles accepted by his directory.

    Yet my writing--in this post and under this, my chosen name--is not particularly different to my scribbling using another name. Allowing, of course, for forum posting vs. article writing style differential.

    Ethereally yours,

    NDP
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    • Profile picture of the author KarlWarren
      Originally Posted by Nahm D. Plume View Post

      Yet my writing--in this post and under this, my chosen name--is not particularly different to my scribbling using another name. Allowing, of course, for forum posting vs. article writing style differential.

      Ethereally yours,

      NDP
      I love the pen name...
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      • Profile picture of the author Nahm D. Plume
        Originally Posted by KarlWarren View Post

        I love the pen name...
        Pun, as you no doubt suspect, intended.

        Yet, it gives me cause to wonder if there are some who don't get it?

        As I see it from my ethereal perch there are two kinds of "writers." Those who write well and those who don't.

        Perhaps a third class: Those with the monumental gall and hubris to market themselves as writers when, in fact, they're not.

        The writers who know what they're doing and do what they know will prevail regardless of name or lack of name used.

        NDP
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      • Profile picture of the author azgold
        Originally Posted by KarlWarren View Post

        I love the pen name...
        That's exactly what I was going say. How perfect for this thread, too.
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  • Profile picture of the author briankoz
    I'd have to agree with Mike on this (about a few things). First, Chris probably is right that the statistics back him up, even though there are plenty of awesome ghostwriters who are probably even better than the original authors in several cases.

    But more importantly, I think if you're charging higher prices and trying to be a top quality ghostwriter, like Mike said, you need to back that up with proof.

    A great, good, and okay article might appear to be almost the same to most people (we all can pretty much tell what a bad article is), so it's hard to justify charging $25+ when you can get $2 to $5 for what appears to be the same thing.

    Show your results, show your rankings, show the sales, etc.. I have to say that I rarely see any proof other than an expensive writer just saying that they're worth it.

    And as a side note, I've used both expensive and dirt cheap writers. Some expensive ones are definitely worth it, whereas some are actually worse than $2 writers I've used. It's hard for most people to weed through whose who and who has the best real results, which is why the cheaper guy can get clients ($25+ to "test" a new writer is a lot to some people, whereas $2 isn't even if it flops).

    Just some thoughts.

    Brian
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Molano
    They are basically calling like half their customer basis 'crap'.

    This is a perfect example of bad IM, they are sure going to get a lot of new premium subcribers now (note sarcasm).

    Will it significantly affect them monetarily? Probably not, but they are definitely in for losing clients.

    (Watch my account get suspended now).
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    A lot of this discussion seems to stem from semantics.

    As someone who is writing about writing, perhaps Mr. Knight's comments are being taken at face value. In other words, he says it's his memebrs blaming ghostwriters, but if he knows the difference, then a post explaining the difference between different terms would be useful.

    The term 'ghostwriters' was used. I'm a ghostwriter. But the articles I submit under my account (real or pen names) are written by me, and me only.

    I can't imagine some of the junk that some of EZA's editors see.

    But, how can you honestly say you can tell which stuff has been ghostwritten? Maybe you can tell which stuff has been re-written, or spun, but not ghostwritten.

    The above paragraph, again, points out how this is shaping up to be a debate about labels and semantics. It happens. No hard feelings either way, but now let's get back to writing.



    ~Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    Hey, kudos to you Chris!

    I just checked the blog again, and think you have clarified (and highlighted) your position nicely.

    ~Michael
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    Big Mike and Brian - you make some great points, but this thread was never about the price of an article. Chris made a blanket statement about the quality of ghostwritten articles, which it appears he now admits was a mistake.

    On the subject of price, I agree that it's hard to find many statistics to back up a higher charge. It's a sad fact that cheaply produced, keyword-stuffed articles are often exactly what many publishers want. In most cases, they wouldn't recognize a well-written article anyway.

    But these shoddy and cheaply-produced articles are only effective in driving traffic because they are being accepted by article directories.

    Higher standards of acceptance would result in better quality writing and a more realistic market price for ghostwritten articles. This short term thinking is resulting in a plethora of SEO driven linkbait clogging up the directories.


    Frank
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    • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
      I remove my hat here.. publicly for Chris Knight.. he dropped by my blog and commented on my post there to let me know he was prepared to change his wording of what he said...

      Like I said I agreed with most of what he said and I just thought the general sweeping statement was the one that was out of place..

      Chris was prepared to absorb our thoughts here and elsewhere and take that into consideration, which for me is top notch..

      Thanks Chris

      Peace

      Jay
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    • I hear what you're saying, Frank, but I think that price IS an issue. I work very hard on my articles. They take me a lot longer than most people's articles take and I re-read them and make any changes needed before I send them out. I woudn't take $3 for an article. Not in this lifetime. :p

      However, there are many, many, MANY IMers who want to pay exactly that (or less, if they can get it). They don't want to pay the price it would take to hire someone who prides themselves on producing top quality material. I believe that price is a big issue in this debate.

      Originally Posted by Frank Donovan View Post

      Big Mike and Brian - you make some great points, but this thread was never about the price of an article. Chris made a blanket statement about the quality of ghostwritten articles, which it appears he now admits was a mistake.

      On the subject of price, I agree that it's hard to find many statistics to back up a higher charge. It's a sad fact that cheaply produced, keyword-stuffed articles are often exactly what many publishers want. In most cases, they wouldn't recognize a well-written article anyway.

      But these shoddy and cheaply-produced articles are only effective in driving traffic because they are being accepted by article directories.

      Higher standards of acceptance would result in better quality writing and a more realistic market price for ghostwritten articles. This short term thinking is resulting in a plethora of SEO driven linkbait clogging up the directories.


      Frank
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  • Profile picture of the author valerieSONORA
    If nobody knows which articles are ghostwritten and which are not, it's simply an unfounded guess that most crappy articles are ghostwritten.

    I know there are at least some people paying $10 or $20 per article for well written ghostwritten articles to submit to eza.

    If I had to guess I would say a lot of crappy articles are written by lazy people who don't want to put for the effort and time for a good article and perhaps can't afford to outsource to a good writer or don't want to. I have seen some really terrible articles there that just look like keyword stuffed rambling and I can't imagine anyone paying for that. Unless of course it is one of those people who want $1 articles.
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  • Profile picture of the author Floyd Fisher
    Michelle:

    What you need to understand is this is what their statistics tell them.

    Obviously, they don't like it because of the abuse of the priveledge that has happened with it. If they ban the practice in the future, can you blame them?

    -Floyd
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  • Here are a couple of points to consider:
    1. Chris Knight is right to want to keep the quality and value of his article directory at the top of the heap.
    2. Many (nearly most) of my former ghostwriting clients wanted articles for their WEBSITES, not article directories.
    Don't bitch and moan about EZA and their policies -- be picky and get better customers for your ghostwriting. There's an easy way to do that. It's what I did for myself.

    I upped my prices -- UP YOURS! :p
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    "The will to prepare to win is more important than the will to win." -- misquoting Coach Vince Lombardi
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      Originally Posted by Vince Runza Online View Post

      Here are a couple of points to consider:
      1. Chris Knight is right to want to keep the quality and value of his article directory at the top of the heap.
      2. Many (nearly most) of my former ghostwriting clients wanted articles for their WEBSITES, not article directories.
      Don't bitch and moan about EZA and their policies -- be picky and get better customers for your ghostwriting. There's an easy way to do that. It's what I did for myself.

      I upped my prices -- UP YOURS! :p
      Vince, my prices are so high...I no longer get requests to write.

      Actually, that's not true. I did my first ghostwriting job in about 2 years
      for one of the members here just recently.

      I think he was pleased with the work, but I certainly don't expect the
      typical everyday marketer to pay my prices.

      And I'm perfectly okay with that.
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      • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
        I guess I come down on the side of the argument that it's Chris's directory - he can do what he wants, within the law. I've used pen names under my main account at EZA since I joined in 2004, and I've yet to have any article rejected.

        I think some of you might be reading too much into his comments about the pen name policy. If I'm wrong about that, I apologize, but I think it's a mountain-out-of-a-molehill issue. Write good quality articles and I don't think you have anything to worry about.

        John
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        • Profile picture of the author Bev Clement
          Paul, that is the problem, Chris used the phrase almost always, but didn't clarify what he means by almost always.

          It will read differently for different people. The word almost means almost, it isn't less than 50% normally it is higher than 75% and would often mean as high as 95%, but in the States that might not be true.

          I think the other point that is missing is that a lot of these articles are from crappy PLR packs. I have received a number of them as bonuses, and they are being sold through article wholesalers and given away free by gurus. We could keep going down the chain, but at some point it doesn't matter who wrote the article. It only matters whether something is good or bad.

          I understand what Chris is saying, but if I have an article rejected by EZA, for the reason it is a bad article am I going to admit it or will I blame someone else. Remember, we live in a world where the majority don't take responsiblity for their actions.

          Thanks Chris for clarifying what you meant.

          Bev
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  • Profile picture of the author waken
    I like the way EZA operates. It gives original writer the advantage over the rest. IMHO, it's good. I think Steven would be most likely to agree on this too.

    And Bev...Chris just amended the statement as you would see here Pen Names
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