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Seeking advice on contracts for bloggers/online writers

Discussion in 'Online Journalism' started by edemire, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. edemire

    edemire New Member


    I have been offered a position as an online sportswriter/blogger/marketer for the largest newspaper in a 3-million person state.

    I'm fortunate because the company has money to pay for this hybrid position, but I've never negotiated a contract before.
    I'll be expected to both create content and aggressively disseminate it through social media, etc. I'd like to get paid fairly to do both of these jobs, and get a commensurate cut of whatever increase in traffic I can bring to the sports Web site.

    I think it would be good to discuss framing the contract with a) a blogger who has done something similar and/or b) a contract attorney who has experience with bloggers, especially those who have entered into agreements with news companies.

    Does anybody know of anyone who has ever negotiated a blog property with an old-guard media outlet?

  2. MartinonMTV2

    MartinonMTV2 New Member

    What newspaper offers a contract?
  3. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Unless you're a big name, you're not in a position to frame anything.
  4. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Are you talking about drafting a job description?

    Does the contract make you exclusive to that company or that paper? Is that what the contract is for?
  5. edemire

    edemire New Member

    I believe the job description will be part of the drafting. The contract would make me exclusive to the company only in the state. Since the newspaper doesn't consider major national and international papers competition, I would still be able to work for them as a freelancer.

    So the contract would entail those things, as well as a (hopefully just) pay scheme for me as blogger.

    To further complicate matters, if I increase traffic enough I will likely be given the opportunity to sell my own ads to run on this company-hosted blog and make commission off that (another novel experience for me).

    Thanks for your patience.

    I just realized may be best to draft something that lasts 2-3 months and then reassess then, based on blog's success.
  6. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    This is becoming clearer now. I am guessing health insurance is not part of the package.

    I have no idea how to charge them, but you need to be sure that the paper is promoting your blog. That need to be stated like so many hours on the front page each day so people will even know that you are there.
  7. Brian Cook

    Brian Cook Member

    I would try to avoid making yourself responsible for your own monetization unless you're already experienced in that. Selling ads is a totally different skillset from writing stuff and that sounds like a red herring of an incentive.

    I haven't really negotiated anything with a large media company, I was just told this is the deal and wrote to it. monthly stipend and pay per post at Fanhouse -- the early days of fanhouse -- and just a flat rate per month for TSN when they were running the Sporting Blog.

    I would suggest you argue for a piece of the traffic. Do the math. Figure out their approximate CPM--or ask them for it; if they don't want to give that figure out that's not a good sign-- figure out what a break-even point for them is, and request some chunk of a reasonable CPM on traffic above that. That traffic figure is frankly going to be pretty intimidating but it will give you an excellent goal to strive for.
  8. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    And here is this idiot's email.

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