What’s Going On with My Suite Earnings?

| May 27, 2010

I’m growing increasingly disappointed with my Suite 101 earnings. I would think that by adding more articles the income would go up, but it’s either stagnant or dropping.

As you know, I keep pretty good income statistics and review them often (probably too often) to see if I’m expending my efforts in the right place. I noticed a significant drop in income between October and November of last year. It dropped even further in December but picked up in January only to continually slide in February, March and April. It’s not quite the end of the month but May is looking pretty disastrous.Suite 101 Earnings Drop

eHow Looking Sweeter

By contrast, I look at my eHow earnings and they continue to rise even though I’ve not written any new articles since they closed down shop in March. At the rate that I’m going my eHow earnings are almost double what I earn at Suite 101 (with a lot less effort).

I’ve long been a fan of Suite 101 and am not about to abandon ship. It causes me concern, however, when my earnings seem to be in a holding pattern (or dropping) even with adding new content. At the rate that I’m going my May 2010 earnings will be lower than what I earned in May of 2009 even after adding an additional 73 articles.

It seems that the hurrider I go the behinder I get. That just doesn’t make sense.Fast Typist

Time to Research

Things have been pretty busy on the home front, but I’ve got to find a little time to find new venues (or work a little more on old venues) to make up for the continual drop in Suite income. I’m even thinking of trying a few self-generated revenue share titles for Demand Studios. If the DS revenue share income is calculated in any way similar to the eHow revenue share income, then it’s worth going through a few CE comments (but only a few).

Oh well, revenue fluctuation is one of the challenges that comes along with online freelance writing.

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Category: Suite 101

About the Author ()

Felicia A. Williams is a freelance writer and blogger. She spends the majority of her time with her family and writing. If she's not writing or commenting on NJFM, she's either outside smelling the roses or writing articles for one of her other sites.

Comments (34)

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  1. Beelissa says:

    I feel like I’m where Monica is at. Felicia, you’re — a forget what they call it — the head writer for your topic at Suite101, right? That gives you a bigger % of the money. And if you’ve written more than 50 articles, you get a bigger % too, right? I’m at the starting gate, and finding it hard to come up with topics, and finding their style hard to write for.

    I’d like to hear more from Monica about Examiner. And these editors at AC — I write for AC (not often, but sometimes) but have not had any real contact w/ editors. I’ve visited Bright Hub pages (but I can’t list them as sources at DS so I don’t stay long), I’d like to hear more about their potential as an income earning platform.
    Beelissa recently posted…Things I’ve Learned by Cleaning a Building that’s Open to the PublicMy Profile

  2. MonicaRW says:

    I applied, got accepted and have had my full with Suite101! For some reason, I cannot get the first article off the Ground…UGH. This so called-“Editor” keeps sending my article back (now the topic is seriously like two weeks old and not even news, at this point) asking for “Subheadings” but refusing to give an example of what she is talking about.

    Considering the earnings are down, by reading a majority of the responses here, I would say that it is not worth it regardless. I will keep my focus on Examiner (no editors…YAY!…Plus I won 2 free movie tickets today), Associated Content (Cool Editors..Great!) and my newest venture Bright Hub (Looking forward to this one).

    Suite is not worth the time, IMHO.

    • Felicia says:

      Monica, sorry to hear about your bad experience with Suite and I can understand why you think its not worth your time.

      Suite was my first residual writing site, so I guess out of nostalgia I’m sticking with it. They taught me a lot back then. You’re starting at a different point than when I started. You seem to have a handle on online writing. Suite gave me my SEO basics as I was an offline writer writing for an online world.

      Yeah, my numbers have taken a severe nosedive. Because of that, I’m only writing what is required by contract. I’m hoping things turn around.

      Since I have over 200 articles with them, I still earn a pretty decent income for writing only one article a week so I guess I’ll stick it out.

  3. LilyRose says:

    Don’t worry, Felicia. As you said, even the big earners are hurting at Suite lately. I believe around or after February was the month Suite took a turn for the worst.

    I don’t know what’s going on. But my guesses are irrelevant ads perhaps and a lot internal site problems i.e. viruses, outages. The good thing is Suite’s new CEO is exploring the current revenue model. So we’ll see how summer shapes up.

  4. Suite 101 rejected my application the first time. So, I signed up at Demand Studio and was accepted. After writing 2 articles, I applied to Suite 101 with those articles as my samples. I was accepted. Haven’t written anything yet for Suite 101. Total blank about what to write at the moment.
    Su-sieee! Mac recently posted…Helping Our Fellow CreaturesMy Profile

  5. Beelissa says:

    Tashana, I second Felicia’s recommendation to make sure you write in 3rd person and check for passive language (“it was written by” is passive; “she wrote it” is active).

    Felicia, I’m fascinated by your gift to your hubby and how much $ it’s making. I wonder how that would compare to 10 articles written now using their rev share submission program.
    Beelissa recently posted…Did you hear who died today?My Profile

    • Felicia says:

      I’ve been threatening to write a revenue share article for DS but haven’t done it as yet. Hopefully I’ll write one before the month is out.

      I think I’ve got a mental block when it comes to writing for DS. 🙂

  6. risha says:

    I can’t compare my ehow earnings to anything since, that was the only revenue sharing venture I ever tried (I prefer instant gratification), but my eHow earnings have soared; I’m clearing $800 every month for the last few. I haven’t added anything except a few recipes since last November. Did they change the algorithm? Or did my articles finally get “seasoned,” as they say? Knock on wood, I hope it stays that way!

    • Felicia says:

      I’m with you, Risha. My eHow earnings are great. It’s amazing how well they’re doing.

      Back when we were able to post articles I opened an account for my hubby. As a gift, I told him I would write 10 articles for him so he could get a feel for how to do it.

      As expected, he never wrote a thing but he keeps bragging about how he earns over $100 a month through eHow and the earnings keep increasing. At the rate he’s going I fully expect that he’ll surpass the $200 per month mark by the end of the year. All that with only 10 articles. I haven’t been able to find another site that pays such high residuals with so little effort.

  7. Tashana says:

    Felicia, I submitted my application to Suite101 and much to my surprise, and my writer’s ego, they rejected my article. Of course they couldn’t tell me why but they said I could resubmit. Now, I’m second guessing everything I do, including what I should write about and how I should write it. Wow, I feel like an amateur and I think this rejection has totally been a blow to my writing psyche.

    So, I’m sitting here contemplating, yet again, what to write about – because I refuse to give up. And then I thought, “let me see what Felicia has to say about all of this”. You’re like my online writing pundit for all things — well online writing.

    You writers are where I’m trying to be, “married to the craft”. I wish there was some magic wand that put me in that writing tunnel and traps me there until I hash out at least enough pieces to start getting some return. But, I know there is no such wand. However, I’d be willing to take a piece of advice if you have any to give :-). How do you do it? And do you have any suggestions for resources on writing articles online that you can point me to.

    Thanks Felicia. And I hope you’re enjoying the summer.

    • Felicia says:

      Tashana, sorry to hear about your Suite experience (or should I say not so sweet). 😉

      The good thing about Suite is that you can apply again and it’s not held against you. My suggestion to you is to look at a few of the recent Suite 101 articles and compare the writing style to your own. Especially check out a few of the Editors Choice articles from the Home page to see how the authors approached their subject matter.

      Suite 101 prefers the third person writing style. They want informative, tightly written articles. Knowing SEO is a plus, but honestly, Suite does a good job in training its writers in SEO. My earlier articles for Suite can vouch for that.

      Submit a sample on something you’re passionate about. It’s tough to produce a stale, boring, vapid piece if you’re writing from the heart. Once you write the piece, check it over to make sure it written in the third person. Also, keep an eye out for passive sentences. It’s tricky using an active voice while writing in the third person, but activate your sentences when ever possible.

      You don’t have to make every sentence active, but an entire piece in the passive voice becomes wordy and a little dull.

      OK fellow Suite writers…any words of advice to offer Tashana?

  8. Shannon says:

    My Suite earnings for May were only 25% of what they were in April — in other words, a dramatic drop — that’s weird.

    When you find out what’s going on, Felicia, please let us all know!
    Shannon recently posted…Selling Stuff Online for Summer CashMy Profile

    • Felicia says:

      Shannon, I don’t know if I’ll ever find out what happened. There’s lots of speculation from what I can see in the forums.

      It’s funny; I only time I seem to visit the Suite forums is when I have a problem. Imagine my surprise when I saw the list of the top 10 earners (anonymously) and the top 100 page views.

      I see I barely made the top 100 list. I wish they would have posted the list before I lost 20,000 page views in a single month. Oh well, I’ve decided to spend a lot more time on my other sites. I’ll keep up with the 1 article a week at Suite, but nothing more until things improve.

      As a matter of fact, working on my own sites is proving to be more lucrative than writing for Suite.

  9. jen says:

    I also read the May Day info and have decided to do a little back linking to my articles because of it. Today I am going to use Xomba to place back links to all of my Suite articles. We’ll see if it makes any kind of a difference, but it certainly can’t hurt.
    .-= jen´s last blog ..The Sex Book is now Available! Giveaway! =-.

    • Felicia says:

      Jen, I’d be interested to see if your backlinking helps.

      I’ve been spending more time on my own sites and it seems to be paying off. My Google AdSense earnings are now beginning to surpass my Suite earnings.

      I’ll continue to honor my Suite contract, but I’m not going to go much above and beyond that. Instead, I’ll place the series of articles I had slotted for Suite on my own sites.

  10. Really interesting (though obviously somewhat discouraging) post. I’ve literally just gotten my first Suite 101 article approved and am going to be working to get the required 10 up by the end of this month. I’m curious to see how these will do for me, and it’s never a bad idea to add another income stream. I noticed my eHow earnings jump noticeably this month, as some other people have mentioned. Thanks for the update.
    .-= Master Dayton´s last blog ..Residual Income Freelance Writing: Made A New AdSense Mark! =-.

    • Felicia says:

      I’m going to monitor my Suite progress a little more closely over the next few months. I hope things will improve over time.

  11. netlexis says:

    I thought it was just me and the topics I wrote about. I just wasn’t seeing any good numbers so I’m taking a hiatus and don’t know if I’ll try to get back on or not. Right not I’m concentrating on HubPages and some sites of my own.

    You’re right about eHow. This is going to be the best month yet for me and my DS rev share articles, too. Actually, my DS rev shares are doing just a bit better than the ones I wrote specifically for eHow. I know I should start adding more RS articles articles, but I’m fixated on the short answer and tips (trying to build up my courage to write full articles again, I guess).

    For me, eHow has been the best performer of the content sites I’ve written for. I’m just sorry I didn’t write more when I had the chance. eHow’s juice is hard to beat, which may be Suite’s problem.
    .-= netlexis´s last blog ..Google Adsense Rev Share is… =-.

  12. MBZ says:

    There are some interesting discussions in the Suite forums on Google’s “Mayday” algorithm change. It might have something to do with the fairly consistent PV drops at Suite. A search for “Google Mayday” brings some interesting articles and speculation about the weird PV and rev drops so many on larger sites are experiencing. FYI.

    I hope, indeed, to be an old timer at Suite 3 or 4 years from now and to have a larger body of data for comparisons. And a 4-figure monthly income there! Ah, one can plan and dream, right? Both are critical. 🙂

  13. Lauren Nelson says:

    I asked in the forum about average rev share income with DS… not much feedback, largely, I think, because most people gravitate toward DS for their larger than average upfront pay for a mill and the twice a week payments for upfront work.

    One guy did, however, tell me this…

    “I wrote about 20 rev share articles when I started here last July and there were a lot of rev share titles to choose from. I receive between $25 and $30 per month from the 20. A few make 3 or 4 bucks per month and the rest are pennies.”

    A couple of posters on other threads indicated they were making “good money” with their rev share articles, but no one quantified that, so who knows?

    Doesn’t seem like it’s a ton of income, but then again, it wasn’t a lot of feedback.

  14. Beelissa says:

    I would be interested to hear what you find out about the new self-generated DS rev share articles. I always intend to write more Suite 101 articles, but I’m really having trouble getting past the 3rd person voice thing.

    I do a LOT of internet searches when I’m writing. Suite 101 articles don’t come up very often, while eHow articles come up all the time. I would think that has something to do with the amount of revenue?
    .-= Beelissa´s last blog ..New Year’s Resolution =-.

    • Felicia says:

      I still haven’t written a revenue share as yet, but I’ve got one in the works.

      I think the fact that eHow uses other means of monetizing the site other than depending solely on Google AdSense has a lot to do with why we earn so much from them.

      As far as search engine results, I’ve found that my searches tend to yield Suite articles a little more than eHow articles (although eHow does show up on the first page quite often), but I guess I’m searching for stuff that is difficult to explain in a “How to” format. What I find particularly frustrating is when I’m doing in-depth research on a topic and only seem to come up with my own Suite articles in the search results. I guess that means there is a need for me to truly explore and write about that particular topic. 🙂

  15. Aimee Larsen Stoddard says:

    I’m happy with Suite, though I’m sure my earnings are not in the same league as many others. I’m increasing my earnings by about $30/month by adding 10-20 articles. I write mainly in religion, with about half of my articles in that category, so based on conventional web-writing wisdom, I shouldn’t be doing well at all.
    .-= Aimee Larsen Stoddard´s last blog ..When Does Hair Turn Gray? — At What Age Does Hair Go Grey? =-.

    • Felicia says:

      Aimee it sounds like you’re doing pretty well. Adding 10 to 20 articles a month should do much to increase your earnings. I took the slow and steady approach which seemed to work up until recently. I’m trying to step it up a bit to see if it will help.

  16. MBZ says:

    My Suite earnings have overall been on the rise. I had a great December, dipped in January, rebounded in February and March, then had an absolutely spectacular April due to some time-limited, non-evergreen articles that gave me a 3-digit earnings day.

    May has had some dips but my per-article-per-month amount is considerably higher for May than it was for March, so I feel I’m on track. I *have* noticed a significant stagnation in PV, and last Sat and Sun I had HORRIBLE revenue (nearly 50% drop), but it has rebounded this week.

    I know a lot of “old timers” are experiencing significant decreases. I just started at the end of October, so I can’t comment on YOY issues.

  17. My Suite earnings have been dismal as well. It’s getting discouraging to keep writing for them, and I really hope something picks up.
    .-= Rachel @ Pen Meets Wallet´s last blog ..The Power of Routine =-.

  18. Kidgas says:

    Sorry to hear about your earnings. That is just the most frustrating thing that I can think of…having earnings fluctuate like that. That is why I am so amazed by people who try making money online as their sole income. It would drive me absolutely bonkers! I am already half way there as it is.
    .-= Kidgas´s last blog ..One Year Online–A Look Back =-.

    • Felicia says:

      Kidgas: I think the fluctuation in earnings is why so many of us have ADD. We try not to place too many eggs in one basket and end up all over the place.

      I’ll see by the end of the month how Suite affects my overall monthly earnings. When I compare last month with this month so far, my overall earnings are just a little bit above par. I was hoping for a much larger monthly increase, but I guess Suite just wouldn’t cooperate. 🙂

      MBZ: Oh I remember those early days. Back then my earnings seemed to soar (I really had no place to go but up). Fluctuations happen with all online writing sites and I do expect them to happen at Suite, but in my 3 years of writing with them, I’ve never experienced such a continual decline.

      I am happy to hear, however, that my decline is not sitewide. There are some folks who are doing well and that gives me hope. Guess I need to sharpen my SEO skills and do a bit more research before placing my next batch of articles there. I’ll monitor my progress and make a decision if its worth the extra effort in another 6 months or so.

  19. Elizabeth says:

    My income is pretty stagnant too. Quite a few people have been indicating similar results as well. It’s upsetting, but hopefully this trend won’t last. I’m knocking on wood and keeping my fingers crossed.
    .-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..Lost is Over, Now What? My Top 10 Ideas for Lost Spin-Off Shows =-.

  20. Deanna says:

    Hi Felicia,
    This is very interesting to me because this past month my Suite101 earnings have actually risen quite well compared to past months. I have only added two new articles this month but I like the increase I see. As you know, I have been doubting Suite’s potential for earnings for over a year, but now that I am no longer concentrating on eHow I decided to work on my Suite income. I’ve been happy with the increase I’ve seen so far. It is an up/down game with residual income, that is for sure. 🙂
    .-= Deanna´s last blog ..My Featured Article on Associated Content and Huliq.com =-.

    • Felicia says:

      Deanna, I’m glad to know that your earnings are increasing. Guess I’ll have to hold tight to see if my earnings pick up over the next few months.

  21. Lauren Nelson says:

    Hey Felicia,

    I started doing a bit of experimentation with Suite101.. quickly grew tired of it. I’m exploring other options right now. As a test on DS, I submitted (and had approved) one rev share article. Going by the parameters set up by the site, I *SHOULD* know the results by the 10th of June… I’ll let you know what I see. Only thing with DS rev share is (as far as I know) it’s only How to articles…

    Pat over at Smart Passive Income (yes, thank you for getting me hooked, you and him are part of my daily reading routine) has been posting quite a bit about rev share sites over the past two days. One article he wrote does all the nasty research for you, citing traffic, page rankings, terms, etc. See it here: http://tiny.cc/qcibr

    • Felicia says:

      Jen, I see that I’m not the only one going through a rough patch with Suite. It is very discouraging.

      Lauren, thanks for the link. I’ll check out Pat’s research. I’m also anxious to hear the results of your experiment (I love experiments).

  22. jen says:

    I’ve had a 50% decrease in my Suite earnings over the last few months. It is very discouraging! I hope that it doesn’t continue.
    .-= jen´s last blog ..The Sex Book is now Available! Giveaway! =-.