A series of strange and apparently unfounded deletions of articles written for Helium’s marketplace occurred in January. At a time, all of the articles submitted by me got deleted despite my thorough effort to write high quality pieces. However, after doing a little research on Helium’s forum, I found out that things like this happen to many other writers too.
A quick search of Helium’s forum made me realize one thing – nothing is simple or clear on Helium. There are lots of speculations and guesses, but very little clarification and information from Helium’s staff. Actually, there is no real information regarding the deletion of articles. The matter seems so complicated that it evolved into kind of a mythology.
There seems to be a lot of inconsistency around the article deletion cases and choosing articles that will get full upfront payments. Different discussions on the forum clearly show that articles sometimes get deleted for no apparent reason. It does not happen to everyone. However, it happens and nobody is able to give a clear answer, not even forum’s moderators. Apparently, well-written works adhering in all points to Helium’s guidelines get deleted on occasions. On the other hand, many articles of lesser quality than those deleted get through and their authors get transition credit or even the full upfront payment!
Nonetheless, everybody including forum’s moderators and Helium’s channel stewards is just guessing on the reasons behind these decisions. Though, I will not focus on inconsistency in awarding full upfront payments. Article deletion is my problem.
Possible reasons for deletion
The most apparent reason is that the article was poorly written. This might be the case for some deletions. However, I know that it was not the case in at least 3 out of 4 deletions of my articles. I checked them afterwards and there was nothing wrong with them. Anyway, the last deletion was not even accompanied with supposed reasons behind the deletion. After searching the forum, I have found out that this happened to several other people too. There also were several suggestions from experiences Helium writers and forum moderators.
Deadline – One of the suggestions was that those articles were actually submitted after the deadline for submission. It sounds crazy as titles are supposed to close for further submissions as soon as the deadline is reached. A glitch in program behind the marketplace could make it possible though. This reasoning would also explain why my articles were deleted so fast and one of them even without any further explanation. After all, I submitted all of them on the last day. It is possible that those titles should have been taken off by the time I posted my articles.
Mysterious editors – several writers on the forum were talking about some mysterious editors that are behind many deletions of articles on Helium. Stories of editors seems kind of like a myth to me though. Nobody knows their identity and none came forward to this day, but they are supposed to be in charge of random checks and deleting articles on marketplace before the rest gets to be read by Helium’s staff and the winner of full upfront is chosen. Anyway, in such a case, some anonymous persons who do not have to provide any real reasons decided to delete my articles apparently just because they do not like something about me (probably was the same person in all cases).
Human failure – another possible reason is that people checking the articles were tired/confused/angry/whatever when they were reading/skimming through my articles. Negative feelings would explain why they deleted my articles that were of the same quality as those that got through. I submitted them on the last day possible. Many people do that and so there might have been too many articles for them to check. It is also possible that someone just picked my name and put it in auto-delete box for marketplace. That would be tragic as I would not be able to get any upfronts from now on. Anyway, auto-delete thingy really exists.
I read a discussion where some writer was complaining about his article getting deleted over and over again even after he made all the required corrections. The reason behind this (according to several channel stewards) was that person who deleted his article before left his name in auto-delete for that title. So, our articles can get re-deleted (and probably also deleted for the first time) from Helium even when there is no real reason for that to happen.
Searching the forum did not provide the answers I needed. However, it gave me several suggestions. Personally, I think that at least in three cases, my articles got deleted because I submitted my articles a bit too late. Though, mysterious editors and their incompetence or failure of other people might be behind the strange deletions of my articles as well as articles of many other writers too. Just to clarify, the reason for most of those deletions was bad grammar. I re-checked those articles several times and there were no mistakes that would justify deleting my articles (actually, I found none at all), especially after I have read accepted articles containing many serious mistakes. Anyway, I decided that I will further test the new Helium’s upfront payment system next few days by submitting as many good quality articles as I can write. Though, I will write to the titles that have at least 3 days left on them. If none of them (or only low percentage) get through, then I will know that problem lies somewhere else.