I have had a love-hate relationship with Suite 101. Since it is the first place I began my online freelance writing career back in 2008, I guess I have never completely given up on the roller coaster relationship. I took a hiatus at the end of 2009, but that was more for personal reasons.
I have seen so many changes with the site (mostly good), that I am quite impressed with their tenacity. After the Google Panda debacle, they made more changes. Again.
One of the big changes is to give all writers their own subdomain. So, for example, my profile and all my Suite 101 articles now fall under julie-mcelroy.suite101.com. This is good and bad in my opinion. The bad news is now writers lost that PR 7 link juice that came from the main domain. It is like starting over to build up your online reputation in the search engines eyes.
The good news is is separates the good writers from the spam and poor writers. This is the intent of Suite – to not punish the entire site for a few bad apples, but reward individual authors. It all gets your name out there in the search engines (which could be good or bad depending on how you feel about your name on the Internet).
Many people on Suite 101 are claiming their Page Views and income has gone up since this subdomain change occurred. I have not seen this yet, I think it is too early to tell. However, I have seen a slight increase in my revenue since pre-Panda. But that is also due to that fact that on September 1st, I became a Feature Writer, which includes a revenue bonus.
Overall, I have seen that Suite 101 is starting to slowing creep back up in traffic, but mainly in the last month.
It is too early to say what is going to happen. However, Suite has been around since 1997 and I don’t see them throwing in the towel anytime soon, despite what Matt Cutts thinks about them.
Should You Write for Suite 101?
Well, that depends on your goals. I would say, don’t use it as your only place for writing. If you want to take your career as a freelance writer to a more professional level, seek out other options. If you don’t care about making a lot of money and just want to publish online, Suite 101 is one of the better options. The community is helpful and they are more partiuclar than some sites I see.
In Google’s eyes, it is a “content farm,” but I disagree. First of all, not anyone can write for Suite. You have to apply with a sample of your writing. Not everyone gets accepted, so I don’t consider it a place for spammers. Back in 2008, I was accepted as a writer there. I imagine now, they are even more particular in who they accept.
They also have editors and now topic editors. I guarantee any spammy, overly promotional, affiliate link filled article will get rejected. So while it does have a lot of content from various niches, the content is regulated to keep the spam out.
Overall, there are possibilities at least to get your foot in the door as a writer. But don’t expect riches or even enough for a car payment for quite awhile. It is a way to get clips and exposure as long as your articles are of high quality and helpful to online readers. You first have to get past the application process.
Some writers would argue that you should not get your start with a content farm, but I guess it depends on your definition. I happen to disagree with Google. But, that is just me.