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Suite 2011I recently made the decision to pick up where I left off at Suite 101. Things have changed quite a bit at Suite so I’m no longer the Insurance Feature Writer, but I have agreed to write at least one article a month to meet the Feature Writer requirement.

Making the Decision

After the Panda algorithm change I spent a lot of time rebuilding my own residual income. I didn’t write for Suite because they were hit hard and financially it didn’t make sense to place more articles there. I had to spend my time placing articles where I could get the most bang for my buck.

In the meanwhile, I kept my eye on Suite and the changes that were occurring. There were a few things that I observed that helped me to decide to return to Suite:

  1. Suite’s management is doing everything in their power to restore Suite 101 to its prior standings.
  2. They showed that they value their writers by changing the bonus system, the minimum article writing requirement and the minimum payout threshold. Each of these changes makes writing for Suite a bit more attractive.
  3. Most importantly, the earnings drop seems to have bottomed out and earnings seem to be picking up again.

Those three observations plus my long history in writing for the site were enough to help me make the decision to return as a Feature Writer.

During My Hiatus

During my hiatus from the site my articles earned a few hundred dollars. The last time I wrote an article for Suite was May 2011. Between May and October my articles continued to earn. Overall, my lifetime per article rate with Suite 101 is a little over $56 an article (I’ve been with them for 4 ½ years). That’s not a stellar per article rate, but not bad for online writing.Suite 101 - 2007

Because I like calculating my earnings based on the current year (can’t pay the mortgage on last year’s earnings), my current per article rate for 2011 is a little over $155 per article. No matter which way you slice it, I have little to lose and much to gain by returning to Suite.

My Freelance Writing Arsenal

My arsenal has reduced in size when it comes to online writing sites. Adding Suite back to my arsenal makes it the only non-owned content site I write for. At $155 per article, I’m willing to make the sacrifice.

Everyone’s experience at Suite is a bit different. On occasion I get the question, “Is writing for Suite 101 worth it?” I have a history with Suite and it’s definitely worth it for me. Is it worth it for a newbie? I still think it is. As I’ve mentioned before, the editorial feedback from Suite’s editors helped improve my online writing style. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be where I am today. That kind of feedback is invaluable.

UPDATE 10/18/2011:   After writing this post, Google released another iteration of its Panda algorithm.  Suite 101 came out on the bad side of this algorithm.  As a result, earnings have plummeted. Yesterday my earnings were $0.28.  You might want to wait until the dust settles before joining Suite.

{ 34 comments… add one }
  • cashflowmantra October 11, 2011, 9:02 am

    I think it is a good idea for those who are new to get started with a site like Suite for the reason that you mention. The increase in confidence is priceless.

    You know that I started with eHow and HubPages which eventually led to the confidence to step out into my own blog. Of course it took the push of the Panda to get over that last hump, but I wonder why I didn’t venture forth sooner.

    Obviously fear of the unknown and fear of failure holds a lot of us back from realizing our full potential.

    • Felicia October 11, 2011, 9:10 am

      Fear, such a small word with such large consequences. Just imagine where we’d all be if we didn’t allow fear to stop us.

  • Opal October 11, 2011, 9:02 am

    Hi Felicia,

    It’s interesting that you’re writing about Suite101. Last year, I was approved to write for them, but never acted upon it.

    Recently, I’ve thought about writing a few articles for them, mainly because some people commented about the great feedback they’d received from the editors that were assigned to them. Now that I think about it, you might have been one of the ones that mentioned it.

    • Felicia October 11, 2011, 9:13 am

      Opal, I’m glad you stopped by. I was searching for your blog recently because I know you make it a habit to eat healthy. I recently got on a real food journey and was searching for your blog for food ideas. For some reason I just couldn’t remember the name of your blog or the URL. Your comment has made it easy for me to find it. Thanks.

  • Crystal October 11, 2011, 11:52 am

    I’m glad you brought up Suite – I think it’s time for me to devote some energy there, too. I’m also pleased with the changes over the past year or so – ever since they discontinued the quarterly submission requirement. And now that I think of it, Suite is where I first found you. I was searching for info on the Hitchhiking Grandma, landed on an S101 article and somehow clicked a link that brought me to one of your articles . . . which led to your profile . . . which led to the Tidbits site . . . and then on to NJFM. Is it any wonder I get lost online all the time?

    • Felicia October 11, 2011, 1:59 pm


      Crystal, I remember “meeting” you some time ago. I remember your rock climbing jewelry and I thought it was interesting because I had recently done a review on an indoor rock climbing facility. It’s amazing how our paths cross.

      As far as roaming around the internet and happening upon sites, I know just how you feel. Sometimes I don’t get a lick of work done because I end up on sites so far away from where I started. 🙂

  • Ken Muise October 11, 2011, 7:26 pm

    Dash-gonnit! I can’t do anything right! A day after I go on a rant about NOT writing for Hubpages and Squidoo, my hero is going back to Suite! I’ve never even looked into Suite, but (again!) dash-gonnit!

    I’m like the blogging Bizzaro!

    • Felicia October 12, 2011, 6:49 am

      LOL! Ken, you always make me laugh!

      Writing for non-owned content sites is a very personal decision. As Kidgas mentioned in his comment, the non-owned sites like HubPages or Suite do much to help build confidence. It also helps newbies get a feeling for online web writing.

      More seasoned folks like you and I have a different view on non-owned content sites. In essence we look at it as “Show me the money,” or “Give me the backlinks.” With Suite it has to be the money because they don’t allow linking back to your own sites. With HubPages, Squidoo and the rest, there’s a combination of both.

      Non-owned sites are useful and can be profitable if you’re willing to put in the time. But, as you and I know, there’s nothing better than 100% ownership. It takes time but it’s a good feeling when you don’t have to share the earnings with someone else. 😉

  • Michael October 11, 2011, 11:56 pm

    Glad to hear Suite is working to improve. I see from Alexa that their traffic is starting to climb again. Thanks for the update.

  • Deanna October 12, 2011, 2:41 am

    Funny you should write about Suite as I was also thinking about possibly starting up there again. I’ve noticed that my earnings there are increasing – still only at half of what they were before Panda but better than the one-fourth they’d gone down to in the beginning. This winter may be a good time to write a few articles for Suite and see what happens. 🙂

  • Prerna October 12, 2011, 3:12 am

    Aww.. Yay, Felicia. I had to pop over from my email when I read the title of this post. I haven’t been at S101 for a LONG while now and intend getting back sometime soon. I have, however, had considerable success writing for private business clients:-) And I guess, one of the reasons these clients like my writing is because of the editorial feedback that I got at Suite:-)

    • Felicia October 12, 2011, 7:01 am

      @ Michael, that’s a pretty comprehensive post on your blog about alternatives to Demand Studios. Nice post.

      @Deanna, the way I look at it, with the additional 30% bonus for becoming a Feature Writer which will increase to 40% when I reach 300 articles, I’ve got nothing to lose.

      @Prerna, in my opinion, Suite is a good starting point for serious online writers. Your experience is similar to mine when it comes to how Suite has shaped our writing which helped pave the road to bigger and better opportunities. Glad to hear you’re doing so well.

  • Liz October 12, 2011, 10:04 am

    Hi Felicia,
    I found your site a few months back when I Googled Suite to see if it was legit. Your advice for newbies to use Suite for a good start was right on. The editors are so helpful and their encouraging words helped to build my confidence. I’m still a newbie, obviously, but I’m beginning to understand how things work. I love your get-to-the-point, no-nonsense style. Thank you for your help!

  • Vidya Sury, Freelance Writer & Blogger October 12, 2011, 10:33 am

    Hmm….Just yesterday, I was taking stock of what I wanted to do during the next six months and put a question mark next to suite101.com. I think I will, after reading your post. Thanks, as always for a thought-provoking-and-helping-to-make-a-decision post. 🙂

  • Terr October 12, 2011, 12:25 pm

    Hey Felicia!

    Well this sure got lots of people’s attention, and I’m no different.

    You know, I got my feet wet backwards (when it comes to my own work). I started with my blog first, and now I’m considering Suite 101. I didn’t go with them because it seemed the word on this site and others was that beyond exposure, non-owned sites were dead thanks to Panda. If I put in my time, I DEFINITELY need to see the money. But time has passed. If sites like 101 want a comeback, I do believe the worst is over for them. Things can only get better.

    I’m going to throw my hat in the ring. Why not? My question is, do they assign title, or can we come up with our own?

    • Felicia October 12, 2011, 12:29 pm

      Terr, you can write about whatever you want at Suite. They don’t assign titles.

  • Jason October 12, 2011, 12:59 pm

    What you are earning at suite is impressive. With the right training and improvement on my writing then I will definitely give it a try. Suite really did a great job becoming a sought out site again. Its progress is really impressive.

  • Joni October 12, 2011, 1:07 pm

    I too am glad you brought up Suite. I signed up a few weeks ago but have not submitted writing for them yet. I was looking for someone’s opinion on Suite these days and here you provide it. It’s as if you know what we need when we need it…LOL. I am going to send in a sample to see if I can get on there.
    Thanks again Felicia!

  • Alina Bradford October 12, 2011, 7:01 pm

    My earnings are back to pre-Panda levels at Suite. I haven’t written any new articles in a while, but I am seriously considering it. I’ve made some good money there and there’s no reason to quit a good thing. 🙂

    • Felicia October 13, 2011, 6:05 am

      Good for you, Alina. My earnings are nowhere near my pre-Panda levels, but they’re climbing.

      • LilyRose October 16, 2011, 10:28 pm

        Good for Alina! I’m with you, Felicia. I’ve seen an improvement, but my earnings are nowhere near pre-Panda. Last month (Sept ’11) was the first okay month I’ve had since March ’11. I hope the upward trend keeps going to where I can expect to make x amount monthly from Suite. A predictable, stable amount would make me happy, as opposed to the up and down drama 🙂

        • Felicia October 17, 2011, 7:08 am

          Unfortunately, things at Suite have changed quite a bit over the past few days. As a result of the most recent Panda algorithm change, my earnings have plummeted even lower than they were when Panda hit the first time. I earned 24 cents on Saturday and 37 cents on Sunday. I’ll keep an eye on the earnings to see if things will balance out over the next few weeks. Hopefully they will. If not, well, I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

  • Maria (Work at Home Mom) October 13, 2011, 8:13 am

    Funny, I just read yesterday about a writer who is purported to make a few thousand dollars a month at Suie101, and another blog post stating that Suite earnings were coming back up to pre-Panda levels.

    Keep us posted on how things are going over there for you!

    I have a Suite profile from years ago but have not made it one of the eggs in my basket. I’m going to continue to build up my two best websites and try to maximize their potential.

    eHow was an amazing ride with an incredible crescendo, but I’m convinced I can do best with my own sites for now.

  • Melissa October 13, 2011, 8:58 am

    Hi Felicia!
    I was glad to see this post, as I feel the same way you do. I was absolutely thrilled to make feature writer status last week at Suite101. I even posted about it on my blog. LOL No, it’s not a get rich quick writing site but my earnings are steady, increasing with every article I write and I love the editors there! Makes it worth it in my opinion.

    Thank you for the post!

  • Dianne October 13, 2011, 2:53 pm

    Unfortunately I have no choice but to go back to Suite 101. They have such a high ranking for my name, that the site might actually become a portfolio. I’m hoping that my blogs will start showing up first.

  • Grandma October 17, 2011, 9:11 am

    Suite 101 is supposedly creating a new website, but so far they have not informed writers of the new name, at least not anywhere I found on the current website. Does anyone know what the new one is called? It may have been discussed during an online chat over there but I do not go to those. Thanks. Just wondering; I would like to see how it is different.

    • Felicia October 17, 2011, 9:32 am

      I don’t have any info on their new site. I guess they’ll let us know when it’s ready to be unveiled.

  • June Young November 1, 2011, 3:58 am

    Thanks so much for your recommendations. Your blog really is a great resource.

  • Dianne November 1, 2011, 8:54 pm

    Looks likes they’ve fallen again. I think they’ve just given up a bit.

    • Felicia November 2, 2011, 5:50 am

      I’m with you Dianne. My Suite earnings are so low that I’ve got to use a magnifying glass to find them. 🙂

  • Tashana February 21, 2012, 2:21 pm

    Hi Felicia,

    I just wanted to share my news with you because no one can appreciate this more than the writers that have been there.

    After three grueling attempts to write for Suite101, I’VE FINALLY BEEN ACCEPTED – lol…It’s the most bizarre feeling because the article I submitted, in my estimation, wasn’t my best work. So, it really makes me wonder what in the world was wrong all those other times.

    But, no matter, I wont harp on the past. I was so excited and I can’t wait to start writing. There’s so much information to weed through, so I will definitely be keeping up with you blogs (as I always have) to help guide me.

    Thanks again for all your insight into these sites; it is greatly appreciated…

    • Felicia February 22, 2012, 8:27 am

      Congrats, Tashana!!

      I hope things work out for you over at Suite. Since Panda and a few other changes, I haven’t been writing for them.

  • PP September 13, 2012, 2:30 am

    Hi Felicia,

    I am anonymously sharing my experience with Suite101 everywhere I can online. Hope you and your readers find how Suite fires writers informative…

    I’ve been at Suite for several years and like you and others, became a feature writer. Earnings were good and steady. I used Suite to build a writing portfolio, and I even got a book deal from an editor who found an article there she liked.

    I was quite heavily invested in the site because I thought the articles would be a long term investment. In the last year, I’ve made enough monthly to make my student loan payment, even after the Panda crisis. Great freelance gig, or so I thought.

    Earlier this week, Suite deleted my account and several hundred of my articles from their site. They notified me by form email that my style no longer met their editorial standards and vision for the site. When I contacted them, nothing changed and “editorial staff” repeated the same sentiments through the site administrator.

    Writers need to know that Suite can delete your account and all of your contributions and notify you of this via form email as stated in their contract. No repeal process. No discussion from the editor who made the call. Nothing. My advice- invest in the Suite of 2012 with extreme caution at your own peril. It’s a very different place from what it used to be…

    Felicia, you are one smart lady creating your own blogs and websites for your work. After grieving investing too much in Suite, I plan to do the same.

    • Felicia September 13, 2012, 8:45 am

      PP, I’m so sorry to hear your story. I’m sorry on many levels. It saddens me to hear that Suite would do such a thing.

      I’ve had a pretty favorable experience with them over the years even though my earnings have dropped significantly. I no longer actively write for them, but never thought about them deleting my articles. As a rule, however, I keep a copy of all my online articles on my hard drive and would recommend all writers do the same.

      The online writing climate has changed and I’ve been away from it for a while. This news only reinforces the need for online writers to create a place of their own and not rely solely on third party sites.

      Thanks for sharing your story and warning other writers. I wish you the best.

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