Writing Programs - Are They Worth It?
We all have our strengths and weaknesses and it seems in this day of increased internet business and online interaction, a strength in English and writing is a definite advantage. For the rest, the latest trend in writing programs must seem like a God-send. But for those who have or might succumb to the temptation of wasting their hard earned dollar on such a program, it might be prudent to remember this: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
The number of programs promising to write your articles for you and rewrite the same article for you and distribute it online is growing, but I've yet to come across one that is worth the money. Here's why.
Google search results are not friendly to those who distribute duplicate content. Want to lose ranking? Send the same article out to all the article sites. Have you ever done a Google search and found at the end of the first page a message that reads something like this: "In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the ### already displayed. If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included."
Very likely the researcher has already found something acceptable on the first page and doesn't bother to search these other "very similar" entries, among which might be your very own writing efforts.
You may get away with sending the same article to a few different sites by changing the title, but more than that and you start to attract the wrong kind of Google attention... that is if you can even get your article accepted. The article sites themselves also don't want hand-me-down articles - they want unique material for their site and if you bother to read their writing guidelines, you'll know this. It's one of the main reasons articles are rejected, after poor writing and editing.
Here is another reason why using one of these new writing programs can backfire. Don't for a minute assume you are the only person on the planet using one of these programs. Hundreds of people around the world especially in non-English speaking countries are using these programs to write and distribute their own articles and articles for their clients. Writing articles for others is now becoming a full time business for some people, and for those whom English is not their first tongue, these programs must seem like a dream come true. The problem is they are creating mass produced articles on a grand scale. They are producing the same articles for their clients that are being produced by other writers for their own clients. Talk about duplicate content!
And there are millions of people worldwide who are in the process of marketing themselves online and have heard that writing articles is an excellent and cheap form of self promotion. Some of them can't write, but taken in by the hype, they "invest" in one of these article writing and submission programs. Now, just for a moment, let's consider if only 100 of them were writing articles about beauty, to promote their own online beauty business. They are all using these article writing programs and sending out hundreds of articles that are almost, if not 100%, word for word identical to each other. The first few who send out their articles might be published, but for those following, their articles are being rejected due to the "duplicate content" rule. They get the "Sorry, there is already an article with this title..." or "Sorry, this article already exists" response.
Ah, but these programs can rewrite the same article for you and get around that, you say... sorry, but this fails for the same reason. Don't forget you are not the only person writing the same articles, using the same keywords, on the same subject. These programs are not human and their ability to rewrite unique articles that will save you from plagiarism is limited. After all, there are limited ways in which you can keep rewriting "the cat sat on the mat" before it becomes gobbledy-gook.
Here is an example of a piece written by an international writer whose first language is not English and we suspect used an article writing program:
"Culture and communication is complex and intimate. Why? It is because culture is created through communication wherein communication is defined as a human interaction with cultural characteristics. It is not so much that individuals set out to create a culture when they interact in groups and organizations rather the cultures are natural by-products of communication. The relationship of culture and communication is very significant because the culture is the residue of social communication especially to the individual leaders."
Make sense to you? No, it didn't to any of the article sites it was submitted to either and was rejected. My new client was unable to use this, or any of the articles prepared for them this way and had wasted hundreds of dollars in the process. This same client had earlier referred their wonderful new foreign writer, who charged so little and produced so many articles on demand, to their acquaintances, one of whom was also an on-off client of mine. (Yes, it is becoming a very small world!) Imagine my surprise when they asked me to post their identical articles to the article sites. And yes, their articles were rejected. And yes, these clients both now use human writers closer to home. And yes, it costs them more, but what value is an article if you can't use it?
The article sites reject these repetitive articles, because what use is it to them to have 100 identical articles about split ends, or how to market your widget? Some of these article sites even specify now in their guidelines that they do not accept these mass produced articles. And to ensure these article submission programs can't submit articles, many of the article sites are now using Captcha buttons where you have to manually type in strange words to prove you are human and not a program trying to submit. You also have to select categories and tags and keywords - all things that only a human can do. These article submission programs say they submit to various article sites but what they can't say is that the articles are accepted!
If you really want value for money and help writing your articles, invest in an English writing course, or hire an editor to clean up your own efforts.
Donna Eliassen is a Virtual Assistant (an ex corporate PA with 25+ years experience) who works out of her home office in Western Australia. She is always surrounded by pets of some kind, a husband and a beautiful and talented daughter. You can find out more about her at http://a1VikingVirtualServices.com
Added: 07 февраля 2010
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