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.
“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.
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!).
10 Benefits of Online Writing for Suite101
If you’re writing for a relationship blog or online e-zine, read How to Write Relationship Articles for Websites.
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!