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How Writing for Suite101 Makes One Writer Money

freelance writing kittenAt one point this site was an affiliate of Suite101 – I don’t know if that program still exists.

I tend to suggest that Suite101 and site’s like them may be best for beginning writers. In this article, which I requested, Prerna describes how Suite101 has helped her establish her writing career. It’s another “look” at the service.

By Prerna Malik

Two years ago, when my baby was born, I was freelancing as a copywriter and even though I was working from home, I was still feeling overworked and exhausted. Not surprising, since I was managing a baby, a home and a job that demanded constant creativity. So, in despair, I submitted my resignation only to find that as my baby grew, so did my free time and so did my desires to connect with others and create something other than mashed bananas!

During one of my searches for online jobs, I came across Suite101. It seemed nice enough – the articles were well-written and it had an actual application procedure, lending it more credibility than sites that just invite you to sign up. A bit of research on other freelance writers’ sites led me to apply. On being accepted, I happily started writing on topics that I was comfortable with. Did I make money right off the bat? No. Because although I wrote well when it came to creating ad copy, I needed to be a better writer online.

Fortunately, Suite 101 has an Editor for every section, useful, relevant tutorials and an incredibly encouraging community that not only supports but also teaches. Here is how these three combined to make me a better writer who earns a full living wage from writing online.

  1. Editorial Support: Editors at Suite aren’t going to spoon feed you but neither are they going to rip you to pieces. Paying attention to the “flags” and editorial feedback ensured that I became a better writer and was able to overcome the initial challenge of being a non-US writer. Today, when I have clients in the US and Australia appreciate my writing and come back for repeat assignments I only have my Suite101 editors to thank.
  2. Tutorials that Teach: Learning to use keywords without stuffing the article and turning it into a complete mess is another skill that I learnt from Suite. The well-crafted and researched tutorials teach you how to write well while using keywords and SEO. Paying attention to the tutorials ensured that I wrote well and made money on sites other than Suite as well. Using SEO is not a bad thing and in fact, you need it along with well-written, authoritative content in order to rank well in SERPs. Suite teaches you how to do that. Easily.

  1. A Community that Fosters Growth: The Suite101 community consists of published authors, established experts and writers who’ve crafted a niche in the online writing world for themselves. Drawing from their experiences, learning from their mistakes and seeking their support is an incredible way to grow as a writer. Not just that, I’ve landed writing assignments, got a new site to write for and connected with writers and bloggers who’ve helped me establish myself in the world of online writing by reviewing my articles, offering feedback or simply, brainstorming with me.

Today, I am proud to be the Buddhism/Taoism Feature Writer for Suite101 not because I make good money from it (although that helps!), but because putting Suite101 on my writing resume and directing clients to my articles on the site has helped me get assignments with hourly pay rates way more than what I was earning monthly. Today, my earnings from Suite make up for about 30% of my total writing income. Most importantly, it has helped me improve as a writer, learn more about the craft of writing and connect with talented people.

Prerna Malik believes in writing with passion, living with simplicity, parenting with love and creating a place that invites you to put your feet up and relax. Find her sharing her journey and experiences at The Mom Writes.

Two newsletters:
Abundant Freelance Writing – a resource for freelance writers including 3x a week job postings.
Writing With Vision – for those who want to get a book written.

Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 26 comments… add one }
  • Hi –
    I am a feature writer for Suite101. When it comes to money, the confusion lies in that it will vary by 1) How good of a writer you are 2) How well you market your articles online 3) What you write about (some topics pay more than others – see Google Adsense) 4) Whether or not you stick with it.

    There is no set payment for writing an article. You are paid in accordance with how many people visit your articles and how many people click on the ads around them.

    I used to make .17 a month. Then $17. Then $170. I keep writing more and more, linking them to each other, promoting them. Now I make well over $200 a month, consistently.

    You get out of it what you put into it, like most things.

    BTW – Anne –
    What do you mean by
    “I’m an affiliate of Suite101 – that’s why their ad always shows up first on the list. When someone joins their program I make a bit of money. It’s part of the way I keep this site going. ”
    I have never heard of an affiliate or referral program at Suite101. Interesting.

    Thanks & hope this helps someone.

    • Thanks for the additional info.

      Oh affiliate programs are a way webmasters and bloggers earn money… essentially sales commissions. Make sense?

  • I’m interested in this ONLY because of the chance to learn that Prerna talks about, the tutorials and working with an editor. Also, I have NO clips whatsoever. My sister helped me cobble together a writing resume, but that won’t help me if the only thing I can point people to is my blog, the story I published in my school lit mag (which isn’t even online!) and a silly little skating club newsletter I did six or eight years ago.

    Bottom line: is it worth it for the experience? I just don’t see making that much money off it.
    Elizabeth West recently posted..Vocabulary – B GoodMy Profile

    • Only one way to find out and that’s to try an article or two and see what happens… that’s what I’d do I think.

  • Nice Post, Prerna.

    I’ve been writing for Suite for over 3 years. When my tech writing job moved several hundred miles away, I gave the freelance writing stuff a try.

    Suite was my first venture into paid online writing. I had dabbled around with a couple of my own personal websites just for fun, but it wasn’t until I started with Suite that I realized I could actually earn money.

    I write about what I know or am passionate about so it doesn’t take much time to write an article there. When things were going well at Suite, I averaged about $150 per week. As a Feature Writer I’m obligated to write 1 article a week. Unfortunately, lately Suite has been undergoing a lot of changes and my numbers have dropped significantly to the tune of approximately $100 a week (I’m hoping they regain their place on the internet so my numbers will stop dropping).

    Keep in mind that my current weekly rate is based on articles I’ve written over the past 3 years. Because I’ve been with them for a while, I’m sticking with them through this “temporary” drop. Since I write for several other sites and have my own blogs/websites, the drop in Suite income has not affected my overall monthly income. Fortunately, my other venues are growing.

    Prerna was nice enough to share her Suite experience with us. Suite 101 is not for everyone. I’ve earned quite a bit with them over the years, but they are not my predominant source of online income. The good thing about the internet is that if Suite 101 isn’t for you, then you can choose one of the other online sites or write for private clients.

    As for me, well, I’m sticking with Suite for a bit. Only time (and income) will tell when and if I call it quits.

    • Thanks for sharing your numbers with us. And yes, the Suite isn’t for everyone… in fact nothing is.

  • Hi Carol and Anjeeta,
    I think you misunderstood me when I said that I make $1-$2 per article per month. Let me clarify, like I said, S101 has a revenue sharing pay model which means that I get paid for articles that I wrote even six months or even two years ago as long as they get ad clicks. So, when I say $1-$ 2 per article per month, I mean that as a total. So, say for instance, I write 5 articles in a month but I already have a total number of 150 articles, so I would, using the same example, make anywhere between $150-$300 in that month, which is not bad money. In addition, I get paid even if I quit writing for S101 as long as my articles get ad clicks.

    Also, I do not write for $2 per article. Like I said, I charge .10 per word right now which works out to $25 for a 250 word article. Again, I do not think that is very low. It takes me 30 to 45 minutes to write a 250-word article which brings my hourly rate for private clients to about $50 or so.

    I hope I was able to explain the revenue-share pay model better. I apologize for assuming that everyone would know how it works.

    Prerna recently posted..How Writing for Suite 101 Makes Me Money- A Guest Post on About Freelance WritingMy Profile

  • I think Suite 101 could be a great experience for new writers or for those contemplating becoming a full-time or even part-time freelance writer. You may not “get rich” writing for them (depending on where you live in the world) but if you’re a college student or a stay-at-home mom, it could be a step in the right direction.

    • Nicely said Rebecca, and some apparently make decent money… probably about the same ratio as outside Suite etc.

  • Want to apologize for my comment about price ending up after your post discussing prices! Not sure how that happened.

    I’m impressed that you can live on those kind of rates anywhere in the world.
    Carol Tice recently posted..7 Networking Tips for CowardsMy Profile

    • Carol, thanks for apologizing… as far as order? Who knows what happens.

  • Anjeeta

    I am not a US based writer anymore , I used to live in NYC but now am posted out in Asia. Life here is in fact more expensive than even Manhattan so I really can’t accept pay like $2 for an article which on an average takes me an hour to write and edit.Both buyers and writers need to get a reality check. Writing is a serious business which requires skill and intelligence, don’t know why more people don’t realize this fact.

    • Anjeeta, you make my point… what is good pay is totally dependent on where we live. And yes, writing is serious business, and no, I don’t take $2 an article either.

  • So nobody can tell me what people make per article on Suite? I actually don’t know and would be curious to find out. It seems a little disingenuous to me to write about how great it is without any dollar figures at all…or just not that informative for other writers who might want to know.
    Carol Tice recently posted..7 Networking Tips for CowardsMy Profile

    • Anonymous

      I am a Feature Writer at Suite, Carol (which means I receive a 20% bonus on all earnings) and I currently earn about $4-5 per article per month. I’ve been in the top 10 for earnings on the site twice (Suite publishes anonymous amounts for the the top 10 highest earners each month) and hope to make my way to the top one day.

      That $4-5 per article per month means that at the end of a year, I’ve made $48-60 for an article. And at the end of the second year, I’ve done it again. I haven’t been there long enough to see a third year, but I certainly plan to. Done right, by the end of 3 years I’ll be at around $.40-50 per word, per article, on average, which is decent for web writing that involves very little reporting, no invoicing, no pitches, etc.

      I do print and other web writing as well, so Suite isn’t my only work, but I wanted to answer your question from the perspective of one of the higher earners on the site.

      • Thanks and if you want to do a guest post on this for me let me know.

  • Hi Allena —

    I’m just thinking that “good pay” is all relative. Prerna isn’t US-based…so what she can live on may be very different than for those of us here in the States. Since a lot of the mills don’t take non-US writers, Suite may be a great situation for her, and one of the few mill options open.
    But I think some real figures would help me understand better what it’s really like to write for Suite…Prerna? We may have to wait due to time-zone differences for her to weigh in.

    • Carol, once again you’re reading my mind. As this site becomes more and more international we’re going to see even more differences between what people consider ‘good’ pay. As far as ‘real’ numbers… well, I wouldn’t expect her to post ’em. Few do. I did find the 30% of her writing income interesting and helpful. That’s a decent percentage.

    • Hi Carol,

      Yep, I do know you from Alist and am subscribed to your blog as well

      Alright, as far as S101 goes, here’s the deal. You’re right. I’m in India, plus we live very, very simply, so my income from Suite is good enough to cover quite a few bills – water, electricity, cable, cellphone and internet to be precise. The S101 model is revenue sharing. So, you get paid for ad clicks.

      I used to make close to $2 per article per month. I have a FW commitment to write 4 articles on my topic each month but I used to write close t0 20 or even more on a variety of topics. That’s changed recently. In addition to other factors, I’ve written much less for the site lately since I’ve taken on more private client jobs due to both personal and professional reasons. For instance, this month I’ve only written 5 articles for S101. The 30% figure is an average for the year till date.

      Regarding private clients, I charge .10 per word for most client jobs, could be more or less depending upon the work/research involved. I know it may be less by many standards but I do hope to increase it soon. And then again, what I’m charging really helps me meet nearly all my bills.

      Also, like I said, when I was starting out, S101 was ideal since it helped me learn about SEO, network with other established writers and editors, learn, improve and grow as a writer. Even today, it is for me an easy way to make good money. I write on what I want to, when I want to and pretty much how I want to. So, I’m a happy Suitee all the time.

      Prerna recently posted..Residual Income Writing- How to Reduce Writing Time by 50My Profile

  • I feel like someone should tell all the newb writers that Prena is the happy exception and not the norm! 🙂

    • lol, Allena… wish I knew what the norm was for writers, in the US and elsewhere. I’ve got people telling me they’re happy with a buck or two an article… at least in the beginning, and that’s right here in this country. Of course, I’ve got others who, like me and you, who won’t touch that kind of pay.

  • Hi Prerna —

    Don’t I know you from A-list bloggers?
    Interesting post. You say you make “good money” from writing for Suite 101. I was wondering if you could share what that phrase means to you? What do you make from your Suite 101 writing? For those of us who don’t write for them, what is their pay model — do you need to get pageviews, or is it a flat fee, or how does it work?
    Maybe you could tell us how many articles you write for them a month and what you make for those?
    Thanks —


    • And when you say your Suite work led to “much better paying” clients, can you give us a sense of what kind of hourly or per-word rates that would mean?

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