What Writers Need to Know Regarding: About.com and Suite101.com (Part II)

Similar to about.com, suite101.com is a site that publishes content from freelance writers and makes it’s revenue from banner advertisements and Google ads, but unlike about.com they don’t pay writers a base monthly fee. Keyboard

At suite101 (a Canadian site) writers are encouraged to dole out as many articles as possible (the minimum being ten articles every three months). Yet, suite101 frequently displays the “Hiring Freelance Writers” link. It’s no wonder, the more writers they have -> the more content they build -> the more traffic they can lure in -> the more ads to be clicked. However, it’s my belief that the writers get a raw deal. Here’s why . . . 

What Writers Need to Know . . . continued:

When a potential writer for Suite101 reviews the “FAQ” page, the company is elusive as to payment. There is one mention, however, and it discusses going from a contributing writer to a featured writer, “up to now, your articles have earned you $10 every day.”

One could assume that the figure of $10 a day ($300 a month) could take a while to work up to. So, let’s start by factoring $1 a day from several articles. This would be reasonable but in actuality, it isn’t unusual for new writers to make .01 a day. That’s correct, after writing about four articles, waiting a month, it isn’t unusual to make under a dime a day. Revenue is calculated from a percentage of Google ads that were clicked on where the writer’s article was featured. This exact percentage figure is not revealed. The writers are kept in the dark. They are not told if their cut is as much as 75% or as low as 25%.

By the way, writers do not receive anything from banner advertising. This goes entire amount goes into suite101’s bank account.

So back to our struggling writers . . . after publishing the ten articles in three months (about 4,000 words total) most writers haven’t accumulated $10.00: suite101’s magic number (where they’ll actually send your money via Paypal).

The point here is that writers aren’t just underpaid, it’s that, in my opinion, the site seems to continuously profit at the writer’s expense. Writer’s want to contribute their work because they believe that after hard work they’ll reap the rewards, but this should take months and months to accomplish. When I posed this concept to the writer’s message board people spoke about “gaining experience” and wrote “its not just about money.”

Right. It’s not just about money, its about being treated fairly. About.com and suite101.com look great on the surface, but when you look deeper, there is a sincere lack of respect for the writers that make these sites run! If you are considering work as a writer (especially online) know what to look out for and don’t be afraid to step away from something that just doesn’t make you feel right.

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