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Re-Evaluating My Suite numbers

For the first time since I’ve been writing for Suite 101, I took a look at my numbers.  More than just the total PV’s and total revenue and percentage drop or increase from day to day or month to month, I finally looked at my progress (or lack there of) by topic.

Unfortunately, I haven’t quite figured out how to download all of the statistical information, so I sat with pen and paper and took a blurry snapshot of my numbers.  As you know, depending on the camera, its tough to get a clear picture of a moving target, but I did the best I could.

Here’s What I Found

My most popular articles are articles which garner very little income.  I say this because they’re on topics such as cooking, writing and green living.  Traditionally, those types of articles get great page views, but poor revenue.

Of course, since they are the most popular, when they suffer a significant drop in page views, it affects my overall Suite 101 portfolio. A page view drop in traditionally low paying subject areas is a concern, but it won’t cause me to lose sleep at night.

My Own Subject AreaSuite 101 Page Views

I was surprised to see that although I’ve cut back writing to the minimum of one a week (well, it averages out to one a week) in my FW subject area, I still continue to see an increase in page views.  As I was going through the topic list and tallying the numbers, I fully expected to see a tremendous drop in my insurance page views and percentages. Not the case.

Another thing I noticed was that other business related topics in which I have articles have increased in page views over the past month (all except one which dropped by 2%). That was another pleasant surprise.

Putting 2 and 2 Together and Coming Up with 2?

I know the internet is a moving target and that nothing stays the same for more than a millisecond, but it seems that either the per click or CPM for business/finance ads have dropped significantly. Either there was a significant drop or, the previously low paying subjects such as cooking, writing and green living paid a lot more than I thought.

How else can I wrap my brain around my continually dropping Suite 101 income?

Not Giving up Yet

I’m not one to give in to defeat (nor will I spin my wheels in a losing situation), but I’ve got to come up Fat Lady Photo from Bronx Banter Blogwith a new method of operation to see if I can turn this situation around. It could be nostalgia on my part because Suite 101 was my first venture into residual writing for a site that I did not own. Or, maybe it’s because I’m stubborn. What ever the reason, I don’t want to throw in the towel just yet.

In the internet world, three and a half years is a long time.  I’ve got too much time vested with Suite to blow them off just yet. The fat lady may be warming her golden pipes, but she’s not singing yet.

{ 21 comments… add one }
  • Crystal November 8, 2010, 12:50 pm

    Wow Felicia – thanks! Somehow I failed to realize until reading this post that I could see my article stats. Hmm. Where was my brain? Really interesting. I may become re-inspired to write at S101 despite my lack of earnings:) Wish they would clue us in on to which articles earn but I guess comparing earnings with article views each day provides some helpful info.

  • Alina Bradford November 9, 2010, 12:58 pm

    I feel the same way, Felicia. Things seem to be stuck over at Suite. I made more last year at this time then I am now and I have somewhere around 50 more articles. This is getting somewhat ridiculous, but I once loved Suite so much…

  • Ira November 12, 2010, 3:07 pm

    Well, now I am all confused heh..

    I am really just getting started on the freelance writing scene.. 6 days young at this point, and still excited 😉

    But maybe you can help me decide what to do here…

    My situation is this :

    I am disabled “in real life” (lol).. legally blind and all that jazz. Have a severely autistic son, as well. Needless to say, I can NOT work outside the home, and have been unable to make any income in 4 years. I am just discovering the online freelance world, where I can put my talent to use.

    Here is my problem :

    I started out at Triond, which, while not a bad site, pays REALLY low i fyou don’t get the people to ad click (i do have adsense). I have also done some posting on Bukisa, as well as Factoidz.

    2 days ago I discovered Textbroker, and already have myself at level 4 with then.

    I have been trying to find a home for my non-TB articles (i write a ton lol). Last night I got accepted for Suite101. I was originally intending to, if accepted for s101, write for s101 and factoidz (they have the new up front bonuses for reviews done well). However, after reading your and others recent laments rearding the pay at S101, I am confused as to where to place my efforts.

    Factoidz has seemed to pay an abysmal amount per thousand clicks (i’ve had 1k views on the dot and have only earned .32 from it), but give an “activity bonus” (i’ve posted 7 articles and theyve hearned something like a dollar for the activity).

    The work is NOT something I am averse to doing, as I have earned an at least ok amount from TB, and will be concentrating on that for primary income source. I am just wanting to also build up an at least decent residuals for my own work (not mandated by others asi in TB).

    Would I, in your opinion (and your dear readers, of course) concentrate on finding work elsewhere? ANY advice would be appreciated.

    • Felicia November 13, 2010, 7:04 am

      You ask a loaded question, Ira.

      Sometimes I wonder if my blog helps or hinders folks. Your hesitance to join Suite 101 because of my dropping numbers tells me that maybe I shouldn’t be so transparent. Sometimes it’s best to test to water and determine if the temperature is to your liking.

      Yes, my Suite numbers have dropped and I’m not happy about it, but when you look at the fact that in the first 10 months of 2009 I earned over $4,500 with Suite and the first 10 months of 2010 I earned over $4,700, actually my dollar income didn’t drop, but my work seems to be devalued. I say devalued because I added additional 50 or so articles to my portfolio and my income only increased by $200. That means that my per article value has declined.

      If I were a newbie starting out, I would still write for Suite.

      As far as Factoidz goes, I would not recommend them. Read my post and the readers’ comments regarding Factoidz.

      I’ve listed quite a few writing sites here on NJFM. Look under the “Opportunities” section or the NJFM Database. If you want quick up front pay apply at Demand Media Studios. They pay twice a week. The one caveat is that with quick pay comes a level of editorial frustration. If you spend a little time reading some of the Demand Studio posts here, you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

      Some folks like Examiner while others prefer Textbroker. There are so many sites out there that you’ll have to try some to see if they work for you. What works for me may not work for you.

      Ira, I have a little over 400 posts here on NJFM which discuss the things you ask. Spend a little time reviewing some of the posts and especially the comments from my readers. They offer more information in the comments than I provide in the posts.

  • Ira November 12, 2010, 11:02 pm

    Well.. just a little update on my last comment (and sorry for the length of that one)… After running into the information on your factoidz post, I think I will skip publishing with them any further.

    So now I am in even deeper trtouble with all of this lol

    Would someone out there, wise beyond their years, mind giving some advice to my situation? 😉

    In either case, Felecia, you are an ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE person, and a resource more valuable than you’ll ever truly know. Thank you for this website.

    • Felicia November 13, 2010, 7:09 am

      Ira, I saw your second post after I responded to your first comment. Everyone here is in a similar situation in that they want to earn money from home. Some because they have children and prefer to stay home and others like me who have work-aversion-itis. We all muddled through, took our licks and read advice on blogs like this one an other blogs. My advice to you is to continue reading. Visit the blogs of some of my readers too as they offer a ton of information.

      While you’re reading, do some writing. Writing online is like having children. The time is never perfect so you go ahead and do it anyway. My advice to you is to jump in, do your research and when you’re stumped ask questions. Ira, Welcome to the Buffet. 🙂

  • Ira November 13, 2010, 8:40 am

    Thanks Felicia for your wonderful responses.

    After talking things over with my family, I decided to stick with the plan that my intuition is telling me to do, which is to primarily write for textbroker, and any articles I write on the side (many lol) will go to Suite.

    Don’t be afraid to be transparent; it’s very helpful to folks like me looking for honest answers. It wasn’t really the numbers that threw me for a loop, it was just seeing a lot of folks talking about the downed numbers. After a little thinking, I wonder if it is because of the changes Google has recently implemented, and any older articles are no longer being spidered?

    What I have seen some people saying works as far as older pages goes, is to do a small update to the article (if it’s possible.. is that, at suite? have not seen yet lol), which will force Google to send a spider over there and look it over. This will “ping” the article and get it re-listed again.

    Again, not sure if that’s the answer to the issue you guys are having with it, but it’s a possibility. All things are, when it comes to good ol’ Google 😉

    Again, thanks. I’ve been spending a LOT of time on your blogs the past few days hehe

    On a very positive note, I have so far pushed myself through a 20 dollar day on TB, and am thinking I might be able to get it up to 40 before I hit the hay. That’s pretty darn good for someone like me who’s had no income for 4 years.. very exciting to me 🙂

    Anyhow.. just had to share with you guys, cause I know you love to hear about success stories. I am not quite the success that some might desire.. but these victories give me the courage to do more and more.

    • Felicia November 13, 2010, 8:47 am

      Ira, I’m doing a happy dance for you (my daughter is looking at me like I’m nuts).

      I’m happy to hear that you earned $20 after not having earned anything for 4 years. That’s awesome. What’s even more impressive is that you’re pushing it to double that number. You are well on your way!

      As far as Suite and Google and indexing and spiders and all the rest…who knows? I write and let the Google/Suite folks figure out the rest. 🙂

  • Ira November 13, 2010, 9:14 am

    hehe All we can do is plug along, right?

    I am of the belief that everything we are meant to have in our lives already exists, it’s just waiting for us to allow it to come into our lives. Sometimes that happens naturally, day-by-day. Sometimes, it will not happen until we make a change… drop the pebble into the water, and let the ripples bring to us what is meant for us.

    That’s what I am doing now. Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” Hence, the pebble must be thrown if one is to achieve any change. That’s what nature is all about, and, since we as humans are (no matter how much we deny it) a part of nature, it happens for us, as well.

    Most people just do not realize that, and continue on with their lives in hurt… I am no longer allowing that to happen. I am now allowing what is meant for me to come to me.

    Just had to share my thoughts there. I guess someone is meant to read it, or it would not have come out. (I know… I hold odd beliefs lol)

    Again, thank you for allowing me to take part in the wonderful energy you have here. If you knew how I ended up here, you’d probably laugh yourself silly 😉

  • Jane November 13, 2010, 9:47 am

    How do you write for several sites without comprising your work? Can you repeat or rewrite the same articles? If I have written for magazines or sites and have not gotten paid for them, can I use them?

    And, lastly, how do you not give your opinion in articles, but facts that many people may already know or will read on another site? I’m worried about repeating information and not having enough original material.

    Thank you all for your help. Hearing from people who have “been there, done that” is a huge help!!

  • Crystal November 13, 2010, 9:58 am

    I enjoyed your insights, Ira – thanks for sharing. As for places to make up-front money writing, consider trying Demand Media Studios. I wrote for Textbroker for 10 months before I tried DMS and quickly realized I could easily make 3-4 times the income writing there at $15 each for how-to articles, which is the only format I choose to write. This is just my experience but you may find similar success. DMS has several formats and lots of titles. Yes, the editors can sometimes be a problem but I only had a small handful of revisions in the past 6 months since starting there.

    And Felicia – don’t even think about changing a thing! This blog is a HUGE help and your transparency is much appreciated. I’ve made it no secret that I am a big fan and that you and NJFM get all the credit for my success over the past year+ since I found you here. This is the most amazing resource and the transparency only enhances that.

  • Lisa Russell November 17, 2010, 12:24 pm

    I’m feeling odd about the drop in Suite revenue, too. I’m still not sure if it’s attributed to the Mayday update (like they tell us) or if it’s because of the site redesign (which happened the same week. All I know is that I’m no longer happy with my earnings there, but i do love the company. Their SEO training gave me a HUGE leg up when I started off and I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world. I trust that Suite will pull through, and that eventually earnings will come back up. In the meantime, I’m working more for myself than anyone else now. I’d like to see the site recover soon, though. I can’t complain, 180 articles for nearly $12,000 is $66ish per article, which is more than I would have made elsewhere. And I’m still earning.

  • Ira November 27, 2010, 6:17 am

    Hey there, Gang!

    I wanted to stop by this thread (hope you don’t mind, Felicia hehe) to see if anyone else is experiencing, or knows why I am experiencing, a high strangeness.

    I’ve added 3 articles to Suite so far (been taking it slow there, since my Elance work has been going really good lol). On Thursday, it shows I had about 103 views total. Then, Friday it showed 90. Now it is down to 70.

    Anyone else ever have this? Trying to figure out what is happening here lol.

    • Felicia November 27, 2010, 8:42 am

      Ira, Suite is undergoing a few issues right through here. My page views have dropped by about 50% in the last few days. Between the software glitches and the Thanksgiving holiday, my views are down. Hopefully things will pick up next week.

  • Ira December 6, 2010, 5:59 am

    Hey Felicia!

    I am not sure where else to place this question; it’s Suite related but not about numbers.

    So apparently when first starting out at Suite101, when you click on “My Suite” you are brought to the main page, but a big ol’ Welcome to Suite101 message box pops up, with links to take you to the learning hub, how to earn money, etc. You have to “X” out of the box every time.

    I have yet to be able to find a way to stop this dang box from annoying me lol There’s nothing in the settings, nor on the box itself, nor elsewhere that i can see, to tell Suite to stop showing this message hehe

    I just didn’t know if it was something you perhaps knew about and could help me with. I could ask on their forums, but I don’t want to appear toopid lol (as opposed to here, I know you don’t feel that way about folks)

    Anyhow, if you are not sure, let me know and I can go ahead and ask over there 😉

    Thanks for putting up with your resident bother-er 🙂

    • Felicia December 6, 2010, 7:31 am

      Ira, I guess since I’m an old timer they don’t bother me with the pop-up. Honestly, I didn’t know it existed. Sorry I’m not much help.

      Has anyone else here on NJFM had to deal with the message box?

      • Ira December 6, 2010, 8:17 am

        hehe I kinda figured it was after your days, but didn’t know if you’d run across anyone else asking about it.

        No worries, I will bug the forums about it, and post the results here so anyone else looking for the answers can find it.

  • Tashana December 6, 2010, 7:49 pm

    As with all of the posts on this site, I learn so much. Sooo, I, like Ira, am going to go out on a limb here and seek some DMS advice.

    I have been with DMS for several months now, but I have yet to write one single article. I try and find titles to which I have experience, but then I get overwhelmed with what they’re looking for; my unfocused nature kicks in; and I end up unclaiming (which I’m thinking isn’t the smartest thing to do).

    My question is, since the titles are so unclear on DMS (Demand Studios) how do some of you write your articles, especially since most of them are so technical? I get thoroughly confused when I search for business articles in HR and find titles that seemingly have nothing to do with HR .

    I hope I don’t sound to scatterbrained, but I really get inspired when I read these posts and I feel like I’m losing out on some serious money here.

    Any advice would be great!

    • Felicia December 7, 2010, 7:14 am

      Tashana, finding titles at DMS can be tough at times.

      Sometimes I search by category but most often I type in search terms for activities and items that I do/see every day. For instance, when I was re-decorating one of my rooms I typed in search terms such as blinds, shades, windows, wallpaper, etc. I came up with a ton of articles on how to remove wallpaper, how to install shades, etc.

      Other times I use my pre-set search terms for terms that previously yielded a bumper crop of articles. You can save your search terms and DMS will send daily emails when new titles that match your search criterion are added.

      You made a valid point about the titles not making sense and not being properly categorized. Ignore the ones that don’t make sense to you because it’s hard to write to a title that you can’t wrap your mind around. As far as improper categories, I ignore that. I write to the title and mention to the CE that the title is improperly categorized.

      As far as what they’re expecting, read through the guidelines at least once and then write your article. Write it as a writer, not as someone who is writing not to get a red mark because the article violates one of the terms of the guidelines.

      After writing your article, review the guidelines one more time to see if your article adheres to what they’re looking for; if it doesn’t, make corrections. After that, there’s nothing else you can do. If you did the best you could and followed their guidelines, then submit it and move on to something else while they review it.

  • Peter Owen December 26, 2010, 8:46 am

    How do you decide which site is good for a particular article. I am on Suite and Assoc. Content:
    – which categories – business vs. music vs. home repair etc better on one site vs another?
    – which type – How To vs. opinion vs list articles better on one site vs another?

    • Felicia December 26, 2010, 10:57 am

      Hi Peter,

      In my free ebook I touch upon that very topic. If you haven’t done so already, download it and take a browse.

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