First, I want to mention that I clicked on an ad while reading an article about content marketing to learn about this service. That’s something I usually don’t do, so props to the folks at Article Forge for good marketing efforts. I was actually expecting to find a writer for hire platform (like iWriter or HireWriters) when I clicked it, though, so maybe work on the messaging a little to clarify that it’s an automated service.
Second, a quick overview of what Article Forge is. I’ll use their description;
Article Forge uses incredibly sophisticated deep understanding algorithms to automatically write articles in the same way that a human does. These deep understanding algorithms allow Article Forge to research ANY topic, exactly like a human does. Article Forge reads millions of articles, learning everything it needs to know so that it can write about any topic in its own words. This means that Article Forge is the only tool ever released capable of automatically writing high quality articles.
Article Forge is not a typical “content generator” that simply scrapes the web and mashes sentences together. Article Forge writes each sentence in its own words, meaning that Article Forge is able to completely pass Copyscape. This means you never have to worry about Article Forge returning duplicate content. Article Forge also supports Tier 1 and Tier 2 content options with nested spintax that can be used across hundreds of sites.
After generating this content, the program also allows to edit the content and post directly to WordPress sites from inside the dashboard, including creating scheduled posts.
That all sounds great in theory, but those are some pretty big promises to make about something that auto-magically creates an article from information it gathered online. Let’s see how it works out.
Signing Up for a Free 5 Day Article Forge Trial
There’s a five day free trial. I write pretty much every day, so I figured five days was a good trial period for me to decide if this would be a useful tool to add to my toolbox. Signing up for the trial was easy enough, you enter your name and email address, create a password on the first screen, then on the next screen you add your payment details. Either a credit card or PayPal information are accepted there.
Since you have to add your payment details in the process, please make sure to keep track of the days during your trial and decide in advance of that five day expiration if you want to keep the tool or not. I am admittedly a forgetful person and I know this about myself, so I like to set a reminder on my Google Calendar for the day before a trial expires so that I remember to go back and either cancel or continue, so that was the first thing that I did after I clicked submit. Then I took a look at the dashboard.
It’s worth noting here that the cancellation process is pretty easy. You simply go to your profile, click on the Cancel Info, read the page and type the sentence they ask you to type to confirm that you wish to cancel and then provide any feedback you have about the tool.
Generating Your First Article Inside Article Forge
Once you’re signed up for a trial you can generate your first article right away, so I jumped right in. There are some options to choose from, pictured here at the right.
You start by entering your keyword and any secondary keywords that you want the article to be about.
Then on the content needs slider you choose whether you want “most readability” or “most variations” (also labeled as Money Site Filler, Tier 1, and Tier 2 content).
I’m not a fan of writing for keyword density and it’s certainly not a best practice these days, so I recommend just sticking to most readabile. We want content for people to read, not keyword stuffed junk for bots. Of course, that’s just my recommendation. This option is percentage based, so you may want to experiment with different percentages to see what you get back.
Next, you’ll choose the length of article you’d like it to generate. There are four choices; Very short 50 words, Short 200 words, Medium 500 words, and Long 750 words. That’s pretty standard, so not really much to comment on about that.
Then you have some on/off choices to make….
Article titles and headings. I’m going to experiment with both in my review below and see what we get.
Add an image (probability) and Add a video (probability). These are interesting … there’s not really an explanation, but from what I can tell it’s just how likely you are to add an image or video and it will include phrases in the article like, “see the image” or “watch the video below.”
Replace keywords with links. When you turn this feature on it lets you enter the links you want to use for the article, but it seems to place them on the keywords in a random location. I’d rather just add the links later myself.
Guarantee Article Uniqueness. This is a nice feature, if you connect your Copyscape account to Article Forge it will check it automatically. It notes that it may take more than one credit to run this checking process.
Add spinning. Not a fan of spun content, so I probably won’t use this feature. Again, not a best practice these days, but something you can experiment with to see what you get out of it.
My First Article Result was Not Great, Not Even Good
Like I said, I jumped right in and created an article right away. I entered the keyword ‘cross stitching‘ and a secondary keyword. I left the slider set all the way to most readable for the content needs. I chose a length of 500 words. I set the image and video probability to 10%. I left the other settings off.
Once I clicked submit the tool worked for awhile. I wasn’t sure how long it would be, so I got up to refill my water, I took out the recycling and checked the mail, had a smoke break, and when I came back it was ready. I’d say less than 10 minutes total.
The article pictured here to the left is exactly what the tool generated without any editing by me. You can click on that image to make it full size for reading if you’d like.
The article generated was 572 words, a decent length. Unfortunately, the content of the article was pretty awful and most of it didn’t even make sense. Starting right in the first paragraph; the second sentence made no sense and was very poorly worded.
And it just got worse from there. It mixed sentences about cross stitch, crochet, embroidery, and beadwork together. The whole thing was just a mess. It described the wrong supplies, and then even for the supplies it talked about the information it gave was incorrect in some cases.
I don’t know why they’re stitching on a pumpkin, but hey whatever makes you happy.
So I deleted this article, but I wasn’t ready to give up yet. I figured cross stitch is a bit of a specialized topic and it’s also a small niche, so maybe the generator would do better if I went with something more general or just in a different niche.
My Second Generated Article Result, Still Not Great
SO let’s try this again. For my second generated article I opened up Niche Reaper and picked a random keyword phrase with a high search volume and a lot of indexed pages in the search results.
The keywords entered for this test were ‘apartments in Indianapolis‘ and secondary was ‘apartments Indianapolis’
The settings were most readability and 500 words, with the article title and headings option toggled on. I was a little more mindful of the time the tool took on this test since I stayed at my desk, working on this review post in one window and watching the Article Forge progress bar in another window. It was about 6 minutes for this one. I will note here that my kids are in the other room playing League of Legends so there is a possibility that my connection was slow today, so your results may be faster.
The article generated for this one was 503 words and still not a very good result. Again, you can click on the image for a full size version that you can read if you’d like.
The very first sentence in the article is about choosing a dog and has nothing to do with an apartment. The rest of that first paragraph doesn’t really make much sense either.
The second paragraph starts off, “In other words, some apartments aren’t well ventilated,” but there’s no context for that statement at all. Then it talks about an advertising tip mixed in with how to find an apartment opening, speaking to two entirely different audiences there.
My Third Generated Article Result, A Little Bit Better
I still wasn’t prepared to give up yet. For my third test I decide to go with a longer keyword phrase in the hopes that being more specific would bring a better result.
I used a keyword phrase of ‘how to start affiliate marketing‘ and a secondary phrase of ‘learn affiliate marketing’ thinking that surely there is a lot of content out there on the subject for the tool to go mine and come back with something resembling a real article. I went with most readability and 750 words, titles and headings off though.
Still under 10 minutes for the result even though I went with the longer article option and the article generated was 787 words. The result was a little bit better than my first two attempts above, but still not something that I would publish on any of my websites.
There are still several parts that don’t make sense and a handful of inaccuracies.
There’s also mention of a tutorial video being below the article, which of course you would have to go find one or create one. Noting here that I had the image and video probability set at the default 0.
Honestly, I don’t think I could even edit this to make it better, it’s just so all over the place. It would be easier for me to just scrap it and start over from a blank page.
Testing Article Forge for Product Review Content
Since I wasn’t having much luck with the general topic article generation, I decided to give product specific content a try.
First try on product focused content was ‘Ninja blender reviews‘ with the settings at most readable and the Very Short 200 word option. I was thinking maybe it could generate a blurb to use as part of a promotion.
The program generated 210 words in less than 5 minutes. It’s not completely awful, but it’s certainly not ready for publishing either. Although, in this instance, I think a little editing could bring it up to a usable quality.
That’s progress, right?
I wonder if it’s a better keyword selection or if it just generates short content better.
Let’s use the same keyword phrase and see what we get when we request a longer article….
Using the ‘Ninja Blender Reviews’ keyword phrase and settings on most readable, I toggled on the headings and titles and also set the image/video probability bars to 10% each, and chose the longest content available.
It came back pretty quickly again with 723 words of blender themed content. While the result was better than the first two tries above, it’s still not something I would publish. You can click on the image here at the right to read the article if you’re willing to subject yourself to some more of this nonsense with me.
The title generated doesn’t really make sense and after reading the article it doesn’t fit the content either.
The first thing I noticed was that it mentions several other popular blender brands, which would actually be great as part of a review site if it wasn’t so all over the place. The references don’t really make that much sense and the paragraphs seem like they are just tossed together.
There are just too many things going on in this paragraph and they’re not even things that are related to each other. The first sentence makes no sense. There’s no flow. The grammar is pretty bad. The whole paragraph is just a hot mess.
The closing paragraph starts off, “If you’re on the lookout for a blender that does that, you will likely should spend more income,” but there is no context for the ‘that’ to which it is referring.
There’s an advanced option in the settings under content needs for shuffling paragraphs, I’m not sure I’d want them any more shuffled than they already are.
Testing Article Forge with More Keywords Added
My next thought was that if I added more secondary keyword phrases it might help the tool to generate a better quality article.
More information, better results. Right?
I started with a main keyword phrase of ‘pressure cooker reviews‘ and added four secondary keywords to test this idea. I kept the ‘most readable’ setting for content needs and selected a 500 word length. I turned off the titles and headings option.
Adding more secondary keywords did
You can click on the image at the right to read the entire article it generated with no edits from me, but to give you a quick idea of how it turned out here’s the first paragraph of the 554 words it provided:
The second paragraph then talks about rice cookers, finding a good price on a new store, and mentions, “A pressure cooker isn’t enjoy a normal Saucepan,” and then recommends a brand of pressure cookier.
The third paragraph talks about hiring a pressure washer versus doing the pressure washing yourself. An entirely different topic. Even if the topic were pressure washing, half the sentences don’t make any sense.
Possibly the Best Result I Received from Article Forge
That said, the full article it generated is not something I would publish as-is, it would still need some pretty heavy editing.
The main keyword phrase was ‘how to quit smoking‘ and I added four secondary keyword phrases of’smoking cessation aids, how to quit smoking, quit smoking, benefits of quitting smoking’ to try to guide the tool towards a focused result.
There were a few usable points in the article and it seems to have the least amount of nonsense.
There are a few contradictory points; it mentions both weight gain and weight loss, for example.
I’m raising the white flag at this point, I surrender.
My Final Thoughts on Article Forge
Content creation still doesn’t come with an easy button.
After reading the Automated Empire in Under One Hour Guide (Version 0.1) provided in the dashboard and then testing the tool in various ways to get a preview of the results, I canceled my trial before the end of the five days. The report provided made it clear to me that this tool was mostly designed to put together filler content to submit to private blog networks, a practice which is no longer used by most marketers because Google frowns upon it and tends to penalize those networks and their users.
In all my tests, no matter what settings I changed or what sort of keyword phrases I used, nothing came out that was even close to publishable. It was barely even readable in most cases. Because I couldn’t get a decent result with the single article generation option, I didn’t even try out the bulk article generation part of the tool.
It wasn’t even something I could use as a starting point for writing, which is what I was hoping for. I thought it generated decent starting points for article it would be a good tool for niche site owners who struggle with writing. People ask me all the time for writing tips, for shortcuts, for outlines and ideas. I was hoping that this would be a tool for those folks. Unfortunately, I can’t even recommend it for that simple use; I think you are better off with a blank page and some keywords in mind.
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Transcriptionist, passionate cross stitcher, writer at heart, wife, mom, and finder of lost shoes… Loretta Oliver, married to the comic book geek of her dreams and mother of four amazing young men, has been working from home full time since 2001. With a busy transcription service business, a few niche sites, and a handful of other internet marketing projects on the go, the computer is always fired up and the ideas are always flowing.