Writing for online magazines is interesting, instructive, and potentially profitable! Here’s why I loved writing for Suite101.com, including how the job taught me SEO (search engine optimization) and connected me to a an awesome group of web writers.
First, a writing quotation from Natalie Goldberg – one of my favorite authors: “Writing is elemental,” writes 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 saw writing for Suite101.com as water, but it was a great place to learn web writing skills and meet other online writers. If you’re new to web writing, don’t focus on reading blog posts and listening to podcasts. Take time to read actual print books about blogging and web writing, because you’ll absorb different information in a faster way. Writing Online: Write Your Dreams to Reality, for example, is a great book that will teach you a great deal about blogging, social media, SEO, list building, and how to build a strong blog following.
I originally write this article in 2008, when I started writing for Suite101.com. I don’t think the magazine is still online, but the benefits of web writing apply to all types of websites and blogs. If you’re thinking about writing for an online magazine or making money as a blogger, you’ll find this information helpful.
Working as a web content writer is profitable in many ways, including financial. I rounded up these benefits of writing for Suite101.com to commemorate my two year anniversary.
10 Benefits of Writing for Suite101.com
If you’re hoping to start and write for your own online magazine, read 10 Tips to Help You Start Your First Online Magazine.
1. A reliable, steady trickle of passive online 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 for on online magazine like Suite101 is the steady trickle of income it offers.
2. The potential for future growth
Note that I said I enjoy writing for Suite101.com because of its trickle of income. These are crucial words; new online writers and bloggers are often disappointed at how long it takes to build a steady income. It takes time to make money online – and it’s definitely not a passive source of income. It takes work! But, like compound interest, writing for an online magazine often takes months to build up steady, respectable revenue. Once you get the finances rolling, however, it develops its own momentum.
3. Improved online content writing skills
Learning about SEO (search engine optimization), keywords, Google CPC (cost per click), web writing, etc. is essential if you want to optimize your own blog or website. The web writing skills I learned are definitely one of the top three reasons I love writing for Suite101.com – especially because it’s preparing me to work for other online magazines and publications.
4. Strong editorial support at Suite101.com
The Suite101 online 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 burdensome. I’m not precious about my writing, which means I’m not attached to my words, sentences, paragraphs or even books. But other writers – both online and in print – aren’t comfortable with editorial input. So, this benefit of writing for the Suite101.com online magazine doesn’t apply to all writers.
5. The freedom to write about 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 writing for Suite101.com 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 online articles and blog posts. Most writers choose to write about topics that they’re extremely interested in or knowledgable about, which is a great reason to write for Suite.
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6. The ability to write about new subjects
One of the benefits of having your own column or section of an online magazine is the freedom to write about new subjects – as long as you tie it into your main topic. For example, I was the Psychology Feature Writer for Suite101.com – but I often tied in different subjects, such as food, cats, social media, Halloween costumes, etc. And, I was able to contribute to any of the other hundreds of topics on the online magazine. It was a great way to explore other topics and practice different types of writing (eg, book reviews, interviews, research shorts, Q & A’s, etc).
7. A repository for web articles
Say, for example, you just wrote a print magazine article on “How to Find Online Writing Jobs for New Writers”, and you have tons of extra information. Instead of wasting or filing away your research, you can write an article for Suite101.com. This is a great way to repurpose your research and hard work – and it was one of the best benefits of online writing.
8. The Suite101.com writers’ community
There’s a great community and writer’s forum, which is not only a great place to learn about Suite’s writing policies (and sometimes complain 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, blog successes, writing successes and failures, requests for information for magazine articles they’re writing, and so on. Writing for an online magazine can get lonely, and the community is a great place to find support.
9. A stronger writing portfolio and platform
Another great reason to write for Suite101.com is the potential for other web content or online writing jobs for magazines. 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 connecting with readers – will help you become a more successful freelancer.
10. 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 Online Magazine writer’s articles).
Are you trying to connect with readers as a blogger? Read 7 Signs Your Blog Will Be Popular and You’ll Make Money With It.
Bonus reason I loved writing for Suite101.com
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 grammar, wording, even the spelling mistakes. When I go back and rewrite my online articles – like I’m rewriting this blog post – I improve my writing skills. This isn’t necessarily a benefit of writing for Suite101 specifically, as it applies to all online magazines and blogs. I love this, though, because I can see how much I’ve improved as a writer…and how much work I have left to do!
All up, Suite101.com was an online magazine that offered the freedom to choose topics, get encouragement from fellow writers, connect with readers, and supply a monthly paycheque. It was a great experience!
Learn how to write for online magazines
In How to Make a Living with your Writing: Books, Blogging and more, Joanna Penn describes how she makes a six-figure income from writing books, blogging and marketing in an ethical manner.
“We’re living in the best time ever to make a living with your writing!” writes Penn in How to Make a Living With Your Writing.
The book includes tips on writing and productivity, how to make money on books, your publishing options (traditional publishing isn’t the only road for successful authors), how to self-publish an ebook, how to self-publish a print book, and how to self-publish an audiobook.
Penn also describes how to run a business powered by content marketing – including product sales, affiliate income, consulting or coaching, professional speaking, advertising and sponsorship, freelance writing and tips for content marketing.
To learn more about writing for online magazines, read Writing for Suite101.com Worthwhile? It Depends…
Fellow scribes, your comments and stories are welcome below!
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