It is not in my nature to write articles that demean other people, or companies. This trait is simply not reflective of the character that I would like to convey, whether in 'real life' or while establishing an online, respectable and trustworthy, persona on online article submission/ revenue sharing website communities like InfoBarrel. Unfortunately, my recent experience with the eHow platform has spurred my recent writing of a series of articles that, I hope, will serve more so as a warning sign to their founders/creators, rather than tear their company and business apart in a completely heartless manner.
The truth is that the fundamental nature of their business is great.
In fact, not everyone can be fortunate enough to stumble on an idea that essentially feeds and nourishes itself off of the very contributions of its users. The eHow platform is self-sustaining to that end: as long as passionate users are ready and willing to dedicate long hours towards writing, and uploading content, rather than produce the content themselves, these companies can display Google Adsense advertisements in order to monetize (make money off of) their own traffic. As has become fundamental to this business model, this revenue is then typically shared, based on a divided percentage, with their users/ content providers. Regardless of how traffic finds a particular article, whether through internal eHow searches or organic Google searches, the goals are essentially three-fold:
1) To increase the website's brand, and practicality, through the utilization, and provision, of shared knowledge.
2) To make money for the dedicated writer/content provider, that is based on "click-throughs" of their own articles' Google Adsense advertisements. (Monetization can occur in many ways, however, Google Adsense has proven to be the most reliable, at least for this industry)
3) To produce a self-sustaining, revenue producing, machine of a company that continually evolves to meet the needs of its users.
Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, the eHow platform has gone wrong.
While my own negative eHow experience could provide ample material to write a plethora of well-crafted articles, in this article I am more so interested in delineating, and defining, a massive trend that has begun to take hold. With eHow's very own forum absolutely inundated with disgruntled members, it is difficult not to immediately be subjected to thread after thread of user complaints or reports of eHow website platform glitches. In fact, I challenge anyone who reads this article to go to the eHow forum, type in the keyword search query "Info Barrel", or "deleted article", and report back as to what you discover. (You are more than welcome to post your own eHow experiences, whether positive or negative, in my below provided comment section, immediately following this InfoBarrel article!)
The negativity is deafening.
Regardless of the industry they cater to, no company, contrary to what some may believe, is perfect. No matter what eHow does, or any other revenue sharing/article submission platform website or company do for that matter, they will never truly make every user happy. This occurrence is expected, especially in an industry that is swamped with many ferocious competitors. Unfortunately, the escalating trend of user disgruntlement, and dissatisfaction, has warranted the need for this series of Info Barrel articles. At the cross-roads should be a delicate intersection of quality articles, as well as satisfied users.
A compromise, or trade-off, needs to be made somewhere.
The resulting has been what I would like to define as a 'mass exodus' from the eHow platform, to such website platforms as Info Barrel and Instructables, for a variety of reasons. Under the heightened pressure of unclear user expectations, and nearly inexistent feedback, the eHow platform has done many things wrong. While they have, in fact, done many things right in the execution of their business plan, it is the things they do wrong that serve to tarnish the spirit, and loyalty, of their dedicated, and passionate writers/content providers.
While many eHow freelance writers have had absolutely awesome experiences with the eHow website platform, the consistent user disgruntlement isn't so much founded in individual user dissatisfaction with earnings, as much as it is about unclear expectations, and faulty company feedback and expectations. Very seldom have I heard negative testimonials regarding what eHow users earn from the revenue sharing aspect of their individual article's monetization. Many are fortunate to almost immediately have their articles indexed in Google's search engine for some great keywords, which makes eHow immediately appealing.
Unfortunately, however, this continual trend of user dissatisfaction is founded in what appears to be sheer and utter neglect of its very users, by the eHow staff and company. Not only has waiting days on end for an email response occurred to me, but, I am sad to say that I haven't experienced the worst of what eHow has done to its very own loyal, passionate, and long term users. With periodic mass article deletions occurring, there are many longterm eHow users that have had articles completely wiped/deleted from the eHow system with very little feedback, if any.
My heart can't help but drop when I read forum posts about how otherwise longterm eHow users are now looking for a new home for their articles because of the sheer user mistreatment and neglect that they have had to endure. As a dedicated freelance writer myself, I do understand the hard work and passion required to skillfully craft an article.
Unfortunately, it is my firm opinion that the eHow platform has grown beyond its own ability to effectively manage its users.
What has now resulted, in the eHow website platform, is a seemingly mysterious force that all users are subjected to periodically in their massive, site-wide, article sweeps. In order to safeguard and ensure quality content, this occurrence is completely understandable; however eHow could learn a thing or two from such platforms as Info Barrel. Info Barrel has not grown beyond its means because, from the very beginning of their website endeavors, they applied a 10 article manual submission review requirement for each new user that joined their website.
Had eHow done this years ago, they would not be constantly struggling to get a hold of managing their very own users. The differences in business plan execution are phenomenal, and while a plethora of articles could be written, I do encourage you to explore beyond the confines of eHow.
Whether your experiences have been positive, or negative, I encourage you to share your experiences, with eHow, at the tail end/comments' section of this Info Barrel article or, of course, one of my many other similar articles. If you are not currently a member of Info Barrel, you can join here, or it would be an absolute honor to have you join under my referral link here.
*UPDATE!: Want to see how I now earn $50-$100/day just by writing simple articles for InfoBarrel? Comprehensive research has shown that Market Samurai is the industry-leading software used by those who want to determine which keywords will be the most profitable. With up to 90% revenue share on InfoBarrel, you will have a huge leg-up on other writers just by using this software. (This software has a month-long FREE trial!)