Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Is life sweet at Suite 101?

First, let me apologize for the bad pun in the headline. Secondly, let me answer the question up there, too: I wouldn't say it's sweet. But I will say that it's oddly not so bad.

I joined Suite 101 on Feb. 7 as a specialist in mortgages. I know that doesn't sound too exciting, but I really do write about mortgage lending and real estate quite often. Besides, I figured mortgage-related stories would generate a lot of page views and, hopefully, some decent revenue.

Here's the results so far: In February, my stories generated 2,222 page views. From March 1 through March 28, they'd generated 2,159 page views. I've written a lot of about mortgage lending, of course, but I've also written about freelance writing, selling a home and writing for comic books. By far, the mortgage-related stories draw more hits and, I assume -- though I can't tell for sure -- more of the ad clicks that generate revenue at Suite 101.

You don't make money off page views at Suite 101. The money comes when readers actually click on the ads that Suite runs alongside your columns.

As of the writing of this post, I had 27 stories on Suite 101. From Feb. 7 through March 26, these stories had generated $36.73.

Yes, that sounds bad. Yes, it's little more than $1 a story, and I'd never consider writing a print story for $1.20, or whatever that average comes out to.

But there 's more to the story here. I've written about mortgages and real estate for years. I can bang out Suite 101 columns quickly, sometimes in less than 15 minutes. I don't interview anyone for these stories. Research is basic. Writing them is rather formulaic. No, they're not going to win any Pullitzers, but the stories I'm banging out do contain real information.

Plus I'm told that as you put more stories up, your revenues get higher. We'll see.

I think I'll stick with Suite 101 for a while. My goal is to get 100 stories on the site, which isn't as ridiculous as it sounds, so long as you can write fast and stick to topics you know well. My hope is that with 100 stories, I'll generate about $100 a month in passive income, meaning I won't have to write new stories for that money if I don't choose to.

Like all other content sites, Suite doesn't pay all that much. But it does at least have the potential, once the initial work is done, to generate passive income. That, at least, is a positive.

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