Twiddling my thumbs

Not an author yet? Have questions? Post here!

Moderators: Celeste Stewart, Ed, Constant

DCOrange
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:49 pm

Twiddling my thumbs

Post by DCOrange »

Hello, all -- I submitted my first article four days ago and I'm planning on submitting two more tomorrow (that being Monday, 1/18). I have this strange worry, though, that nothing at all is happening. Is four days common for an article to sit unviewed by anybody but me? Is there a way to see if my first article is actually under review? Will I see a notification in my email? Sorry if this is all-too-common a question, but I see nothing on the forum directly addressing this. Thanks.
PaulMaplesden
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:29 pm

Re: Twiddling my thumbs

Post by PaulMaplesden »

DCOrange wrote:Hello, all -- I submitted my first article four days ago and I'm planning on submitting two more tomorrow (that being Monday, 1/18). I have this strange worry, though, that nothing at all is happening. Is four days common for an article to sit unviewed by anybody but me? Is there a way to see if my first article is actually under review? Will I see a notification in my email? Sorry if this is all-too-common a question, but I see nothing on the forum directly addressing this. Thanks.


Yes, it's normal for non-request articles to take around 5-6 working days to get reviewed. Since the site redesign, CC is getting a *lot* more customers and orders, and anything created for customers takes priority with the editors. (At least in my experience). My advice is just to keep writing and submitting on a regular basis, and not to worry about review times.

Building op a good catalog of articles is the single best way to make money here, until you start to get private requests. It can also be worth applying to casting calls if you're a good fit for the client's needs.

You will get a notification email once your article is reviewed, with one of three results:

- "Your article has been accepted." - The editors liked your article, think it's a good fit for the site and make it available in the catalog.
- "Your article has been reviewed." - The editors like your article, but there is further work you need to do to bring it up to the standard needed. This is often a little rewording, grammatical / punctuation errors and the like.
- "Your article has been rejected." - The editors didn't think your article was a good fit for the site, for any one of several reasons and are not considering publishing it to Constant Content.

In terms of increasing the chances of your article getting accepted:

- Read and reread the extended writer guidelines, they give a good overview of what's expected. https://www.constant-content.com/about/ ... elines.htm
- Never use first-person perspective in your posts.
- Title your articles properly.
- Use tools like Grammarly (checks punctuation, spelling, grammar etc.) and Hemingway (Checks writing for readability, active voice, and a lot more) - Both tools are free.
- Use periods after bullet-point lists, if they are complete sentences.
- Avoid using "that" if you can.
- Use punctuation properly with (parentheses) and "quotes."

If you get an article sent back for review, don't take it personally. The editors have to get through many articles a day, and they want the site to succeed as much as you want your writing to sell. They are ensuring that only the highest quality content gets published.

Most importantly, keep writing and keep submitting. I only started to see good sales when I had about 50 articles accepted. Write on a regular basis, in an interesting way, on subjects you know, and you can be successful here.

Hope this helps!
Gauderbock
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:26 am

Re: Twiddling my thumbs

Post by Gauderbock »

Also bear in mind the time of year - like most of us, the editors will probably still have a backlog from the holidays to catch up on, and as PaulMaplesden mentioned, paying customer requests will have the priority over catalog submissions.

FWIW I've also got quite a few submissions waiting for review, it's best not to sweat it ;)
DCOrange
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:49 pm

Re: Twiddling my thumbs

Post by DCOrange »

Paul, thanks for that *very* useful response. Much appreciated.

My first submission, for what it's worth, was written in second person, which I understand is allowable and, in the case of my article, useful. I can't say that I understood your caution against using "that." Can you explain?
DCOrange
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:49 pm

Re: Twiddling my thumbs

Post by DCOrange »

And thanks also to Gauderbock. It's great to feel connected.
PaulMaplesden
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:29 pm

Re: Twiddling my thumbs

Post by PaulMaplesden »

DCOrange wrote:I can't say that I understood your caution against using "that." Can you explain?


It's something that my writing sometimes gets a "review" rather than an "accepted" for. I have noticed since I reduced my use of it, my articles tend to get accepted more. It's often an unnecessary word, and removing it can make writing look cleaner.

For what it's worth, my process when writing is as follows:

- Come up with an article idea in a niche I believe is saleable (I have a database where I capture all of my ideas).
- Think about interesting approaches and carry out some research.
- Structure the article.
- Write the article; I tend to use second person, and an "expert friend" tone of voice.
- Run the article through Grammarly.
- Run the article through Hemingway.
- Remove any extraneous uses of "that!"
- Edit the article, clarifying / strengthening relevant points and removing weak ones.
- Proofread the article.
- Submit the article to CC.
- Articles tend to get accepted / sent back for review in around 5 business days.

On a good day, with around 5-6 hours to dedicate to writing, I can create about 3,000 words.

Hope this helps!
DCOrange
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:49 pm

Re: Twiddling my thumbs

Post by DCOrange »

Thanks again, Paul. Those tips will come in handy; I can use the structure.

About "that." I see your point and will keep it in mind. At the same time, I tend to appreciate the word's usefulness at minimizing ambiguity. E.B. White's reminder, in The Elements of Style, comes to mind:

"He felt that his big nose, which was sunburned, made him look ridiculous. Omit the "that" and you have, He felt his big nose..."
LMasterson
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 2:48 pm

Re: Twiddling my thumbs

Post by LMasterson »

If it helps, I had 12 different requests waiting in the queue last week, all sitting there at the same time. 4 were for private orders. 6 were for public pool submissions. 2 were submitted because I felt like writing them.

The 6 public pool requests were all approved across a span of 12 hours. 2 of the 4 private requests took a little over 24 hours. The other 2 private requests took another day. The 2 random submissions I added to my general portfolio were still there waiting more than a week later, although I see now they were both approved overnight. These things happen.

Just keep writing what you want to write and build up your portfolio. They'll get to them eventually. Until then, you have the chance to really start building up your general portfolio. I tend to add random articles in whatever niche I want to show up as an area of expertise on my profile (go into 'Edit My Request Settings' and scroll down). After you have 5 or 6 approved articles in a particular topic, the topic itself shows up on your profile as being one of your areas of expertise.

Good luck! :)
escturtle
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:25 pm

Re: Twiddling my thumbs

Post by escturtle »

DCOrange wrote:Paul, thanks for that *very* useful response. Much appreciated.

My first submission, for what it's worth, was written in second person, which I understand is allowable and, in the case of my article, useful. I can't say that I understood your caution against using "that." Can you explain?


interesting - are we really allowed to write in second person? I have had more than one article sent back to me for review, with the only editorial request being to remove all use of second person. Is that a general no-no, or just the request of specific editor?
Lysis
Posts: 1529
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:08 pm
Contact:

Re: Twiddling my thumbs

Post by Lysis »

You got hit for second person? Really? ::blink::

That's all I use. Third person is too formal for web content. I've seen some people say they've gotten away with first person. I got a kickback when I tried to use it.
escturtle
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:25 pm

Re: Twiddling my thumbs

Post by escturtle »

Lysis wrote:You got hit for second person? Really? ::blink::

That's all I use. Third person is too formal for web content. I've seen some people say they've gotten away with first person. I got a kickback when I tried to use it.


OK Lysis- were you blinking, or winking at me? :-)

Not only did I get hit for using second person, but when I resubmitted my article - it was sent back to me within 10 minutes, and I was told that I left ONE second-person narrative in the third paragraph. I was asked to remove it! Since then I've totally avoided second person, but third person is always so stiff... If they're letting you get away with it, I'm gonna give it a go again
HiredGun
Posts: 311
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2014 2:45 pm

Re: Twiddling my thumbs

Post by HiredGun »

escturtle wrote:
Lysis wrote:You got hit for second person? Really? ::blink::

That's all I use. Third person is too formal for web content. I've seen some people say they've gotten away with first person. I got a kickback when I tried to use it.


OK Lysis- were you blinking, or winking at me? :-)

Not only did I get hit for using second person, but when I resubmitted my article - it was sent back to me within 10 minutes, and I was told that I left ONE second-person narrative in the third paragraph. I was asked to remove it! Since then I've totally avoided second person, but third person is always so stiff... If they're letting you get away with it, I'm gonna give it a go again


That's weird. Constant Content's own Extended Guidelines advise second person is allowed:

"Using the second person, or "you," to address the reader is acceptable. Using "we" when it refers to the reader and writer, or humanity in general, is acceptable.

Using the pronoun "one" throughout a piece is not acceptable. Why? A discussion about how using the pronoun "one" sounds to the reader can be found here: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/on ... s-you.aspx"

I write in second person all the time and have never had an editor request third person instead.
Lysis
Posts: 1529
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:08 pm
Contact:

Re: Twiddling my thumbs

Post by Lysis »

escturtle wrote:
Lysis wrote:You got hit for second person? Really? ::blink::

That's all I use. Third person is too formal for web content. I've seen some people say they've gotten away with first person. I got a kickback when I tried to use it.


OK Lysis- were you blinking, or winking at me? :-)

Not only did I get hit for using second person, but when I resubmitted my article - it was sent back to me within 10 minutes, and I was told that I left ONE second-person narrative in the third paragraph. I was asked to remove it! Since then I've totally avoided second person, but third person is always so stiff... If they're letting you get away with it, I'm gonna give it a go again


wow, you got a rogue editor. I got one in the beginning of Jan too. Just purged 2 articles from the system and told me to read up on being cohesive. I am going to review them and resubmit, but it's frustrating when it happens. I wrote a bunch of content and have been sweating it out. Don't want to get that one again.

Anyway, you had some bad luck. Second person is all I use. It's what customers want for their site content.
Gauderbock
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:26 am

Re: Twiddling my thumbs

Post by Gauderbock »

I too write almost exclusively in the second person, never had a problem.

> Using "we" when it refers to the reader and writer, or humanity in general, is acceptable.

Arrggh, thanks for pointing that one out HG. Very early on in my time here I got dinged for doing exactly that. I just took it as being part of the first person prohibition, and have been jumping through hoops ever since trying to avoid 'we' at all costs even when it sounded the most natural.

Nice to see it was apparently just a capricious editor, but it's also a reminder for me to review the extended guidelines more often :lol:
Lysis
Posts: 1529
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:08 pm
Contact:

Re: Twiddling my thumbs

Post by Lysis »

Yeah, I got hit for "we" and "let's." I guess it depends on the editor.
Post Reply