I did my research before singing with a so-called “content farm.”
The last thing I wanted, as a person who considers herself a decent writer, is to be exploited by a company with a selfish agenda that doesn’t respect quality writing. That’s what led to me Suite101, a Canadian-based publishing platform that is currently defunct. Suite101 was a moderately pleasant surprise.
You had to apply and submit a writing sample to start writing for them. You had editors. There was a $10 minimum payout. (Better than say, $50, which most writers will never reach.) The general quality of writing was well beyond the awful spew that is at the most well-known content farm, Examiner.com.
The item in the contract that caught my interest the most with Suite101 is that publishing exclusivity rights expired after a year. If you are a publishing company reading this, and you want to know what good writers are looking for in their contracts, take note now.
Because it’s been over year, I can now repost my content wherever I want and make money doing so. Copyright remains with me. The risk-free autonomy that this contract clause provided was amazing.
Suite101 never mislead me into thinking they were something they were not. They were open about how they made money and what the problems there were when ad revenue was down. They had a forum for the writers where they could connect as a community and give each other tips on how to write and increase readership.
It was a mutually beneficial partnership. I built a portfolio. I made some pocket cash. I learned how to use Google Analytics and I learned a lot more about SEO that will no doubt help me in my future writing endeavors.
Suite101, if you are ever coming back and figure out a sustainable business model, I would be happy to write with you again.