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eHow Articles Unavailable

It seems that there have been quite a few problems recently over at eHow. The problem came to my attention when I attempted to publish a How to and realized after a day or so that I had not received the usual “Your Article was Published” email. For those of you who don’t write for eHow, they instituted a plagiarism checking function that causes a delay of a day or so when publishing new articles. While the articles are being checked, it shows a status of “Unavailable.”

After a few more days, I noticed the article still wasn’t published so I moseyed over to the forums to see what was going on. Well, it only took a couple minutes to realize that eHow was having problems with their publishing function and folks are up in arms. I was amazed at how many threads were started about the Unavailable status of articles.

What to do while eHow Works on the Problem

When things don’t go the way I want them to, I pull out my handy Serenity prayer. I do a quick assessment of the situation:

Is eHow aware of the problem?
From the many, many, many (did I say many) posts on the forum, I’d say eHow is very much aware of the problem.

Can I fix the publishing problem?

Can I expedite the fix?

Can I research articles and place them elsewhere in the meanwhile?

Reaching the Destination

As a freelance writer you are in the driver’s seat. If you’re driving along the highway and find it’s temporarily closed (construction, accident, ice – you name the reason), you have a couple of choices. You can sit in the car, fume and get angry because the highway is closed or you can get off of the highway, and take a few side roads towards your destination. As long as your radio is working you can listen to road condition updates. Once the obstacle is cleared, you have the option to get back on the main road towards your destination.

If you’ve ever gone on a long road trip I’m sure you’ve found that some of the side roads have the most pleasant scenic views, shops and cafés. It’s amazing what you come across when you are temporarily forced to take an alternate route.

Do I stop writing eHow articles?

Absolutely not. I still write them, but I won’t bother to post them until they have corrected the publishing error. If they take too long to fix the problem, I can always place the articles elsewhere. To use my daughter’s least favorite phrase “There’s more than one way of skinning a cat.”

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Rachel @ Pen Meets Wallet February 16, 2010, 1:44 pm

    lol, “more than one way of skinning a cat”- totally cracked me up!
    .-= Rachel @ Pen Meets Wallet´s last blog ..eHow UK Compensation =-.

  • Deborah February 16, 2010, 2:24 pm


    Your ability to turn a negative into a positive is an admirable trait that I am sure has gotten you quite far. I haven’t submitted very much at eHow, so I was unaware of this until you mentioned it here. Thanks for the heads up! And for the reminder that, where there’s a will, there’s a way. 🙂

  • Elizabeth February 16, 2010, 5:06 pm


    I love your road trip metaphor. I always think of your focus on diversifying income streams whenever I end up spending too long on any one site.

    Of course, eHow is not my favorite site, mostly because of their article sweeps. I do realize that they pay well though and it is wise to keep multiple streams of income open.

    It must be the time of the year for writing sites to have glitches. Suite has been going through quite a few as well. Hopefully they’ll all get sorted out soon.

    Till then, good luck and enjoy the scenic view!


    .-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..I Took the Amazon A-Store Plunge =-.

  • Diane Nassy February 16, 2010, 5:48 pm

    I’ve heard so much about eHow in the past 6 months and have been tempted to write for them, but when I visited the forum, their forum, all I saw was thread after thread full of complaints. since then I’ve seen only negative things, such as the UK situation, disappearing articles and now this. I think I’ll stick with Associated Content for now!
    .-= Diane Nassy´s last blog ..Haiti Earthquake Haikus =-.

  • Julie - Inspired to Write February 16, 2010, 7:35 pm

    Great way to look at it! I left the forums awhile ago because of all the negativity and it really was not productive for me. Thanks for that bit of info though, I have an article waiting, too. Still had not affected my earnings though!
    .-= Julie – Inspired to Write´s last blog ..Printing Memorable Writing and Photos into a Book =-.

  • DeAnna February 16, 2010, 7:37 pm

    Hi Felicia,
    I also had an article sitting in the Unavailable status for a few days and visited the Forum there to see what was up. While I understand the frustration, I am always amazed at how many eHowers get really angry with the site for having issues. Big sites will have big issues, so it’s best to be patient (like you) and wait until the problem is fixed. I’m happy to see someone else feel the same way. 🙂
    .-= DeAnna´s last blog ..eHow Pays Out UK Earnings =-.

  • Crystal February 16, 2010, 11:12 pm

    Thanks for the heads-up, Felicia. I’ve been lucky with my eHow submissions and gotten them published with minimal frustration. But then again, I haven’t done that many. When something seems to glitch up, I also check the forums. That’s all it takes to make me feel really good beings my issues have thus far been nowhere near as awful as what others are experiencing! I agree – recite the Serenity Prayer and look for a detour.
    .-= Crystal´s last blog ..Are Your Grandkids Safe Online While Visiting You? =-.

  • Krista February 17, 2010, 9:56 am

    I find there seems to be a lot of people who like to complain in forums and the negativity tends to snowball. I usually avoid reading complaints because there is really no reason to get worked up about things you have no control over – especially if the site you are writing for is legit.

    I enjoy reading ehow articles but since I am not a U.S. citizen I cannot write for the site. I think some people should recognize that they have some great opportunities to earn ongoing revenue that others do not.

    C’est la vie!

    • Felicia February 17, 2010, 10:02 am

      Good point, Krista. Sometimes we need to take time to appreciate the opportunities we have.

      Thanks for the reminder.

  • Ann Yo March 7, 2010, 3:45 pm

    This article is an inspiration to online writers, thanks for sharing this one.

  • Matthew Lord April 27, 2010, 3:22 pm

    I just came across this post when I was searching for ehow problems. I have some articles that have been sitting in “unavailable” mode for a few weeks, and were recently kicked back into draft mode.

    I was about to get ticked off… but then I read this. Very nice post.

  • Lisa Reed July 8, 2010, 3:18 pm

    Hello everyone. What is going on? There are almost no articles to write, and the ones that are available the rejection rate is horrible.

    • Felicia July 8, 2010, 3:21 pm

      Lisa, I’ve been finding just the opposite. As a matter of fact, I just posted today how writing for DS over the past few days has been a dream. I guess one person’s dream is another person’s nightmare.

  • Ignatius July 8, 2010, 8:26 pm

    Hi Lisa,
    Is it possible that you meant to post this on the Textbroker thread and accidentally posted it on this eHow article? The reason I’m wondering is that I have had a couple windows open at the same time on NJFM myself and inadvertently posted on the wrong article. Demand Studios/eHow articles don’t have a rejection rate. That’s why I’m guessing you were thinking about Textbroker.

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