Oct 062008
 

Being a Suite101 writer has plenty of benefits, and few drawbacks. Here are the reasons I enjoyed writing online for Suite, plus a few words of warning.

Working as a web content writer is profitable in many ways, including financial. I rounded up these benefits of writing for Suite101 to commemorate my two year anniversary (since I didn’t get a watch!).

First, a writing quip:

“Writing is elemental,” says Natalie Goldberg in Wild Mind: Living the Writer’s Life. “Once you have tasted its essential life, you cannot turn from it without some deep denial and depression. It would be like turning from water.”

I don’t know if I see writing for Suite101 as water, but it’s a great place to learn web writing and hone your skills as a writer. If you know nothing about being a web writer, read Writing Online: Write Your Dreams to Reality – it’ll teach you most everything you need to know about blogging, social media, SEO, list building, and how to build a strong blog following.




And, here are ten reasons I enjoy writing for Suite101…

10 Reasons I Write for Suite101 (Benefits of Online Writing)

A steady trickle of passive income

If you want to live on a freelance writer’s salary, you need multiple streams of income. You can’t rely on Reader’s Digest or Sports Illustrated for a steady paycheck, even if you’re the best freelance writer in the whole wide world. Editors leave or get tired of your style of writing, and your paychecks dwindle or vanish altogether. So, one of my best reasons for writing web content for Suite101 is the steady trickle of income it offers.

The exponential potential for growth

Note that I said I enjoy writing for Suite101 because of its trickle of income. These are crucial words; newbies are often disappointed at how long it takes to build a steady income that doesn’t make your family snicker. Like compound interest, it often takes months to build up steady, respectable revenue – but once you get the ball rolling, it develops its own momentum.

Web content writing skills

Learning about SEO (search engine optimization), keywords, Google CPC (cost per click), web writing, etc. is really important if you want to optimize your own blog or website. The web writing skills I’ve learned are definitely one of the top three reasons I love writing for Suite101 – especially because it’s preparing me to work for other online magazines and publications.

“Suite” editorial support

The Suite101 editors work closely with the writers to make sure each article is as well-written, optimized, and as accurate as possible. While I view this as a great reason to write for Suite101, I have found that some writers find this “support” a little too onerous. Since the appeal of “strong editorial support” depends on so many factors, each writer needs to make this call him or herself.

Writing what I love

As a full-time freelance writer, sometimes I have to write about things that make me want to drink gin straight out of the cat dish (I stole that phrase from Anne Lamott). One of the best things about Suite101 is that I can focus on psychology. I have a degree in psych, I love learning and writing about human nature, and I love combining all that in my articles. Most writers choose to write about topics that they’re extremely interested or educated in, which is a great reason to write web content for Suite.

Freedom to choose certain topics

If you want to write about a whole range of topics, such as depression, cats, hot fudge sundaes, or Halloween costumes, you can. Even if you’re a Feature Writer for a specific topic (I’m the Suite101 Psychology Feature Writer), you can contribute to any of the other hundreds of topics. It’s a great way to explore other topics and practice different types of writing (eg, book reviews, interviews, research shorts, Q & A’s, etc).

Repository for web articles

Say you just wrote an article on “How to Find Online Writing Jobs for New Writers”, and you have tons of extra information. Instead of losing it to the ether, you can write up the unused bits in an article for Suite101. This is a great way to repurpose your research and hard work – and it’s another reason to be a web content writer for Suite.

Suite101 writers’ community

There’s a great community and writer’s forum, which is not only a great place to learn about Suite policies (and sometimes kvetch about them), it’s also a good place to share the big moments in a writer’s life. Writers post about their most current book publishing experiences, births, surgeries, writing successes and failures, requests for information for magazine articles they’re writing (I often get great info from my fellow Suite writers), and so on.

Writing portfolio and platform

Another great reason to write for Suite101 is the potential for other web content writing jobs. Many Suite writers are contacted for blog or magazine writing possibilities, simply on the basis of their Suite articles. Building your online portfolio and writing platform and getting your writing out there will help you become a more successful freelancer.

Connection with readers

I really enjoy hearing what readers have to say about my articles on Suite101. I like hearing what readers think about my topics, and how they feel about their lives or relationships (I’m a psychology writer, so the comments I get are much different than, say, the Home Reno & Repair writer’s).

Bonus reason I’m a Suite writer

Ugh, when I look back on the articles I wrote a year or two ago (or even a month or two ago), I cringe at the “errors” – some of which only I can see. Others, everyone notices. But seeing my mistakes shows me how far I’ve improved as a writer. Seeing how I’ve messed up a sentence or an expert’s credential reminds me not to make the same mistake again. Sure, I’m embarrassed at the quality of my first articles on Suite101 – but I’m proud of how far I’ve come.

Suite offers the freedom to choose topics, encouragement from fellow writers, connection with readers, and a monthly paycheque – could writing get any better?

To learn more, read Is Suite101 Worthwhile for Writers? Web Content Writing Tips.

UPDATE: I describe why I no longer write for Suite101 in Should You Get Paid Per Post or Per Click?

Are you thinking of writing for Suite101? Please comment or ask questions below — I’d love to hear from you!

laurie pawlik kienlenI'm Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen - bookworm, travel bug, flute player, writer, blogger, warrior princess. :-) My husband and I live in Vancouver, Canada with our cat and dogs.

Are you happy? My Grade 10 Social Studies teacher always asked me that. And I am happy, despite a hard childhood (schizophrenic mom, no dad, foster homes), infertility, an eating disorder, and a chronic illness. The source of my peace and joy is God; I'm a Christian. Where do you find peace?

I welcome your big and little comments below, about big or little things. I can't give you advice, but writing can give you clarity and insight.

In peace and passion...Laurie

  59 Responses to “Thinking of Becoming a Suite101 Writer? 10 Benefits of Online Writing”

  1. Hi Elen,

    It’s been so long since I wrote for Suite101, I have no idea what the process is now. Can you log on to the Suite site with your old password? Then it might be worthwhile to ask your questions there.

    I suspect they’ll be glad to have you back! But before you write your first article, make sure you check in with the editors first.

    Good luck with it – let me know how it goes!

    Laurie

  2. I was confirmed as a writer for Suite101 almost two years ago (spring 2011), but was then distracted by other work, writing for a host of other projects and reminiscing again and again about the must of getting back on track with what we’ve gotten under way here. Can Suite101 let me know what I need to do in order to pick up where we left off? Can I just submit my first article for publication? Or should I first be in touch with… whom?
    Looking forward eagerly to your response,
    Elen Rochlin

  3. Update: I no longer believe it’s beneficial for me to be a Suite writer – but it maybe worthwhile for you to try.

    Last week, I asked the Suite editorial staff to remove all my articles. They have a new revenue share model that decreased my income from at least $300 per month to $40 per month.

    I used to love being a Suite writer, but the times, they have changed.

  4. I want to write for Suite 101 and make some money. What am I to do for this? Kindly reply me to my email.

  5. Dear Sir/Madam,

    I wish to write for suite 101.com in the field of various management concepts. I belong to India and retired as Dy.GM(HR) from Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd, (A Govt. of India Enterprise) and presently working as a Director(Academics) in a Management College, Dehradun -India,for pursuing students for Master of Business Administration, with specialization in HR,Marketing, Finance & Retail Management.

    May I know what is the procedure to join this group for writing?

    Regards,

    KS RAWAT

  6. Hi Sara,

    I started to answer your question here, and it turned into a 1,000 word “monologue” (except it was written!) So I turned it into an article – here it is:

    Should You Get Paid Per Blog Post or Earn Money Per Click?

    I hope it answers your question…feel free to ask me more questions there or here.

    Happy writing,
    Laurie

  7. Hi Laurie, thanks for this post! Just curious, could you elaborate on why you are no longer so enchanted with Suite101? I’m a freelancer writer with a couple of regular gigs, but looking to make a few more hundred dollars per month. I would write mainly about pregnancy and parenting. Do you think that’s reasonable? How many articles (or in how much time) would be necessary to achieve this? (I realize this is totally variable, but if you have any general thoughts that would be so helpful). As a stay-at-home mom with not a lot of extra time, I’m wondering if this is worth it, or if I should continue to pursue other outlets. Thanks!

  8. Hi Shimelis,

    To write for Suite101, you need to apply directly to them. And, I don’t accept many guest posts here on Quips and Tips.

    I wish you all the best in your writing!

    Laurie

  9. I just read this page almost by chance but I found it useful. I am language and literature student here at Addis Ababa University. May I write you some pieces? I need to have the license from you. Please notify me.

  10. I should write an update to this article about writing for Suite101! A lot has changed since I started writing for Suite, and I no longer write weekly articles. I’m not as enchanted with the site as I once was…though these benefits of writing for Suite are still valid.

    I don’t know if this makes sense…if not, feel free to ask me questions!

    Laurie

  11. Right now, Suite Feature Writers are required to write an article a week (but they can write more). I believe Contributing Writers can write less than that if they wish…but the more you write, the more you improve, and the more money you can potentially make!

    I also believe that the writers’ guidelines are being revised, but the new ones haven’t been given to us.

    Good luck, Arina — I hope you give it a try, and that you enjoy it :-)

  12. Is there a certain amount of articles you need to publish per month, or is it all based on the writer? I’m thinking about signing up to be a writer and improving my writing skills/portfolio, and I would love to know this little bit about the gig.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  13. Hi Kathy,

    Welcome to Suite101 ~ I hope you love it as much as I do! Caveat emptor: it takes months to earn a respectable stream of income (which is why I started writing for Suite four years ago — to earn money). But, if you take advantage of the perks you suggested — media passes, more exposure, linking from your Suite profile to your blogs and websites — then you’ll find your writing career moving forward!

    Good luck, and I hope you keep in touch…

    Laurie
    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post ..How Do Bloggers Get Readers to Comment on Posts? Tips for Blogging =-.

  14. As a published writer for newspapers, websites and blogs I wanted to try doing my own thing where I could write what I wanted, not just what was assigned. I recently came across Suite101 and decided to give it a try. I sent in several articles and was accepted within an hour. Really not too sure how it works but it does seem to give a writer more exposure. I actually belong to several writers networks and which offer media trips. To be eligible for media trips the writer needs to have an outlet to publish, which is where I think being part of Suite101 would be invaluable. If I read the contract correctly I understand that I can have my personal website attached to my profile. Even is compensation is small that alone is great advertising for other future projects.

  15. Annie ~ the first few months of writing for Suite101 are definitely the most difficult! Instead of focusing on the money, I encourage you to concentrate on writing excellent articles that are SEO-friendly. Suite has a wonderful SEO training materials, the editors do their best to help writers. It takes time — months or even years (for people like me) to get the hang of writing for the web….I stuck it out and wrote lots my first year, and am SO glad I did. Now, I’m “passively” earning at least $20 a day (and often more than that).

    Mish ~ I don’t think Suite101 is the right place if you’re writing articles to promote your sites. They don’t allow self-promotion, which includes linking to your blogs in your articles. But, it’s a great place to continue learning about SEO and promoting yourself via your bio (on your bio, you can link to your blogs and websites all you want!).

    Laurie
    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post ..How to Set New Goals When Your Old Goals Aren’t Working =-.

  16. I have a few niche websites making money – I was thinking about applying for suite 101, to write complimentary articles to promote my sites. Is linking from your articles to your own sites allowed?

  17. hey, thanks a lot for your article. i just started writing for suite about a month ago, and with only 5 articles so far i’ve gotten up to $0.16!! feeling discouraged i checked out the writer’s forums, then did a google search for other’s thoughts on writing for suite. so far you and a couple others have really encouraged me to stick with it. so thank you!
    annie

  18. Thanks for your comment, Cherie.

    I think we’ve been writing with Suite101 for the same length of time — three years! Too bad we didn’t know each other better, we could compare our income and earnings ;-)
    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post ..5 Ideas for Earning Money Writing – Tips From Experienced Writers =-.

  19. Great article, Laurie, and I couldn’t agree more. Suite gave me a place to showcase my work, and the money was secondary (in the beginning.) Now that I’ve been there almost three years, the income is an added bonus. I love writing there and the community of writers is outstanding.
    .-= Cherie´s last blog post ..How to Write a Killer “How to” Article in 7 Easy Steps =-.

  20. Hi Cyndy,

    I hope you enjoy writing for Suite as much as I do!

    Keep in touch — I’d love to hear how it goes…

    Laurie
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..Creative Ways to Use Your Email Signature =-.

  21. Hey, this is great…I was just going to ask Laurie if you still collect any money from your articles even after quitting Suite, but Sebastian’s comment answers my question. Okay, I think I’ve appeased all my doubting friends, I’m going to go with Suite since they accepted me. You have a great site here Laurie!

  22. I wrote for Suite about years ago, and got too busy with life so had to quit. But, I still earn a few bucks a month from those articles I wrote. I’d write for Suite again if I had more time.

  23. Hi Cyndy,

    Congratulations on this new stage of your writing career! Even if it doesn’t work out for you (and web writing for a big e-zine isn’t for everyone), then at least you know you tried.

    If you can’t make the required 10 articles, in 3 months, I think you do get bumped off. However, if there are extenuating circumstances (eg, illness, travel, life problems, etc), then you can talk to your editor about an extension or special consideration.

    If you are going on vacation, you can either upload a few articles before you go (save them in a draft form in Suite, to be published while you’re gone) or write a bunch before you go and after you return.

    It’s important to pick article topics that you’re interested in or know alot about — because those articles will take you less time to research and write. For instance, it doesn’t take me long to write an article in psychology because I’m inherently interested in it.

    Also, remember that the first few weeks are the most difficult (as with any job!). It’s hard to learn search engine optimization, editorial standards, article posting, etc — but once you get over the initial hump, you’ll find it much easier.

    I encourage you to visit the Suite writers’ forum – it’s a goldmine of information! Feel free to ask questions, and search for your questions in the forums….everyone has similar questions when they first start. You’re not alone, my friend.

    If there’s anything else I can do, please ask! And, I hope to see you on the Suite forum… :-)

    Laurie
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..How to Write Effective Titles for Magazine Articles and Blog Posts =-.

  24. Hello Laurie,
    I just got accepted to become a writer for suite 101. I’m experiencing some reluctance to jump in this project, but your helpful info has really prompted me to go for it. I’m a little afraid of pumping out 10 articles in 3 months – do you get bumped off if you can’t make that minimum? Can you ever take vacations from that quota? I’m definitely encouraged after reading your comments to go for it.
    Cyndy Irvine

  25. Hi Omar,

    Good luck with your application to Suite! I hope you get accepted — let me know how it goes.

    Regarding other websites to write for and earn money (I think that’s what you’re asking): I’ve only written for Suite and blogged for myself. But, here’s a list of possibilities for you to check out: Constant Content, About.com, Demand Studios, Elance, Triond, Examiner….

    I hope this helps!
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..New Suite101 Writers – How to Stay Motivated to Keep Writing =-.

  26. I’m gonna reapply to Suite 101. Does anyone know of any other writing communities?
    .-= Omar´s last blog post ..REJECTIONS REJECTIONS REJECTIONS =-.

  27. Oh, and Drums: I use the Glory theme from Solostream. They’re wonderful — they have a forum that answers questions, and offer support after you’ve bought your theme.
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..How to Stop Feeling Depressed About a Relationship Breakup – Rita Rudner =-.

  28. Glad I could help, and I hope you do become a regular reader!
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..How to Stop Feeling Depressed About a Relationship Breakup – Rita Rudner =-.

  29. Thank you the adventurous writer, this exactly what I was looking for …

    I shall be very pleased to become a regular!

  30. What theme do you use on this blog? Just curious.

    Thanks in advance :)

  31. Hi Laurie! Great post!

    I have 2 quick things to add to this ever-growing list.

    First, I have to second Carla’s note about resume- building. S101 was my springboard for a huge career shift into SEO and SEM Internet Marketing! And it was the only experience on my resume that allowed for that shift.

    Another thing you didn’t mention were resale rights and copyright on the articles we write. I’ve sold more than one, and it’s additional income that’s attributed solely to my work at Suite.

    Whoops – actually I have a third! :) – the other thing was the flexibility of the editors with the feature writer position. When I could no longer hold down the fort as the Mind Body Fitness FW, I was allowed to step back to a Contributing Writer spot!
    .-= Alicia King´s last blog post ..Fluff pieces on Examiner =-.

  32. Hi Dawn,

    Congratulations on being accepted to Suite as a writer! You’ll love it :-) — I know I do.

    My number one tip for writing for Suite is to stay connected to the writers’ forum. Oh, and make sure you read all the tutorials and web writing tips that Suite provides — they offer a TON of excellent info.

    Those are your first two steps: read the writers’ forum (almost every question has been asked and answered, so do a search if you don’t see what you’re looking for right away), and read the materials they provide about web writing.

    If you have specific questions, I’d love to help! Just ask away….

    Best wishes,
    Laurie
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..5 Over-Used Words and Phrases for Writers to Avoid =-.

  33. Hi, Laurie,

    I am brand new to Suite 101. In fact, I just got approved to write for them! Now I’m searching the Web and trying to find out what to do next. Do I just start writing about anything? If you have advice, could you please post it on my blog? I just put a blog post up about becoming a Suite101.com writer. I would appreciate any advice. I enjoyed reading this blog and look forward to this new writing gig!
    .-= Dawn Colclasure´s last blog post ..How Suite it is? =-.

  34. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Suite101 lover! The more I write for them, the more I love it…it’ll be 3 years next month. Incredible.
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..Writing Careers – Jobs for Magazine Staff Writers and Editors =-.

  35. I’m not a writer, but I love reading Suite101 articles because two of my family members write for Suite! I think it’s a great place, from what my relatives say.

  36. Good luck Darren — feel free to update us here on if you were successful in your Suite application!

    Or maybe I’ll just see you on the Suite writers’ forum…. :-)
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..6 Tips for Long-Term Success as a Freelance Writer =-.

  37. Hi,

    I applied to Suite101 to be a Contributing Writer. I haven’t heard if I’ve been accepted or not. I hope I get to write for them because I think the experience would be great.

    Darren

  38. Thanks for articulating your thoughts, Paparrany…I appreciate it, and am glad you’re here!
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog post ..14 Tips for Successful Magazine Writers =-.

  39. hey; i have been lingering this website for a bit. Thought I would articulate how much i treasure this place=)

  40. Another reason to write for Suite101 is the amazing training and support they give, in terms of SEO, publicizing your blog, writing for the web, etc. Those skills are highly transferable to your own blog writing!
    .-= Laurie PK´s last blog ..5 Tips for Building a Strong Writers Network =-.

  41. Hi Laurie

    Thank you for your words of encouragement! I like your idea of applying now, and if rejected, to apply again in a few months’ time. It takes some of the pressure off to know that I can apply again if needed. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.

    Thanks
    Monica

  42. Monica, I was a beginning writer when I first started with Suite, and had no published clips to my name! Granted, Suite has changed alot in the past 3 years and I think it is more challenging to get hired — but don’t let your lack of experience stop you.

    If you apply to Suite and don’t get hired, then try again in a few months, after you’ve gotten (I hate that word) more writing experience.

    Keep trying, keep trying, keep trying! Let me know how it goes, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

    Laurie

    Laurie PK’s last blog post..Creating Multiple Streams of Income for Writers

  43. Thank you for the informative article. I have considered writing for Suite101, but do not feel confident enough, because I’m a beginner writer. After reading your article and the positive comments above, I might give it a try after all!

  44. Thank you, everyone for your comments!

    My allegiance to Suite101 is now confirmed. I’m revising a book proposal for my agent and potential publisher, and have found that my Suite stats are a strong selling point. I get over 60,000 page views per week on my Psychology Suite101 site, which is over 250,000 hits per month. This improves my writer’s platform immensely.

    So if you’re hoping to write a book, consider the long-term potential of online writing.

    Happy writing!
    Laurie

  45. I just wanted to extend a thank you for the article and the comments. I’m a young ambitious person trying to break into a new freelancing career and with no real prior experience, it’s been difficult.

    I had never heard about the site before seeing this article, so it will definitely be on the top of my To Do list.

    Thanks!!
    Salem

  46. Thank you for taking the time to write/post this article. I’ve recently been laid off and am looking for a better work/life balance in my next job. Suite was something I was looking into and am glad to have found such positive information on it. Thank you.

  47. Scott, here’s the link: http://www.suite101.com/freelance_writers/

  48. How do you go about becoming a writer for Suite 101?

  49. As a Feature Writer for the Plants and Bulbs Department (http://plantsbulbs.suite101.com), I too enjoy the flexibility Suite101 offers. This month will also finish my second year with Suite101 I have learned alot.

    I also very much enjoyed the residual income that came in during August and September when I was essentially on maternity leave and not producing very many articles for the site. It was encouraging to see how I could continue earning income on articles I had written many months ago.

    Thanks for the great post!
    Angela <

  50. I totally agree with this post. Writing for 101 has given a good foundation of material related to my professional interests and I know my articles are much better than a few years ago. I have made some great contacts because of my connection to 101.

  51. Very nice article, Laurie! I’m six weeks into my Suite 101 experience and have been thoroughly enjoying it.

    It’s been mentioned already, but I’d like to stress how great the writer’s forums are at Suite, particularly when you’re a newbie. These forums are only as good as those that participate, and in this case,what a great bunch of people. The new writer is not intimidated, able to readily find advice, support, and sometimes a laugh.

    I’ve just become the feature writer for the biographies/memoir section in Reading & Lit (http://biographiesmemoirs.suite101.com/) and look forward to the continued interaction in the forums that is always so helpful…

    peace,
    Dale Van Every

  52. Thanks for the tip about repurposing your research for Suite articles.

    I recently landed a great, well-paid gig writing health care articles. Problem is, most of them are short (150-300 words) and I end up writing my article, then spending 20 mins cutting it down to the word count.

    Now I know a better way to use those extra paragraphs.

    See my Suite stuff on parenting, breastfeeding and professional icebreakers at : http://www.suite101.com/writer_articles.cfm/christy22

  53. Great article!!! Writing for Suite 101 takes patience but it is well worth the effort!

  54. I love reading positive articles about Suite101!

    I get a lot of grief from family and friends saying what I make there isn’t worth it, but my monthly profits have doubled each month since I began in July. The 20% bonus I receive since I became the Editing Feature Writer doesn’t hurt either. ;)

    Thanks for the great article! I can’t wait to celebrate my 2nd anniversary with Suite!

  55. As a contributing writer for Suite101 I must say that you’ve listed all of my reasons. Thank you for the sweet(pun intended) article!

  56. Great article, Laurie. I love working for Suite. While working as a Feature Writer for http://painting.suite101.com I have been able to go on press trips and receive items and books to review. I think these are great “perks” that add to the value of working at Suite.

  57. As feature writer for Parenting a Gifted Child at Suite101, http://parentingagiftedchild.suite101.com/ , I spend my research time on topics that are useful in my life.

    I love the SEO writing tips at Suite,the great community, and the strong editorial team. The resources for web wrting skill development are phenomenal.

    My favorite reason to write for Suite101 is that after 7 years as a stay-at-home mom, I finally have something to put on my resume other than breastfeeding and baby-making. This has proved critical for reentry into the working world.

    My work portfolio with Suite101 supports a freelance writing career I love, but previously had no formal training or published examples to justify a hire.

    Thanks to Suite101, that is no longer a problem.

  58. I write about gardens and the plants that go into them. Suite 101 allows me to do just that.

    Yet I “rub elbows” with writers of all kinds, most of us doing different types of writing, at the same time. I like our world wide community of writers.

    Visit my Flower Gardens topic page at http://www.flowergardens.suite101.com/

  59. Congratulations Laurie! I’m a few months behind (Dec.06) but also love the freedom of writing for Suite 101. I think one thing that Laurie didn’t emphasize in the writer community section is the help you can get with your writing, whether it’s SEO suggestions for your latest article or what to charge for other freelance work, the writers at Suite 101 are very generous with their time and knowledge.

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