OI Contributor Terms

Hello, and thanks for visiting our OI contributor terms page. Please be aware that this page lays out our policies and procedures for writers who are interested in becoming regular contributors to our site (three or more blog posts). If you have been directed here by Dan Hatfield, please continue reading below.

If you are just interested in sharing one story with us, you don’t have to go through all the stuff below — instead, drop us a line via the contact form on this page. Thanks.

 

Terms and procedures

On this page you will find a list of our contributor terms. These terms apply to all work contributed to our site unless you receive a specific written agreement with us that states otherwise.

Please also note that the terms below are written in a strict language. This is done to ensure there is a clear understanding of what is expected of you as a freelance writer and of me as a publisher. However, I’m pretty darn flexible, so if you have any issues whatsoever with what you read below, just let me know!

Dan Hatfield
Owner & Editor
OrlandoInformer.com – a Visitus Media LLC website

 

Introduction and attribution:

  • As the writer, it is up to you to pick topics, collect all the necessary information, get photos, and write your content. We will definitely help when and where we can, but you need to be motivated to go after new stories on your own.
  • We are happy to publish almost any article that relates in some way to Orlando tourism. Here’s the test: When you consider your topic, if you were planning a vacation to Orlando, would you be interested in reading about it? If so, then it is likely that we will be very happy to publish it.
  • The articles you write will be attributed to you, and you will have the opportunity to present a paragraph of information about yourself at the bottom of each published post (your author bio).
  • We encourage you to link back to your own site if you have one, or to any social networks that you use in your author bio. You may also, when appropriate, link back to your own site in your article.

Compensation details:

  1. Work to be Performed: You are agreeing to write and submit articles to OrlandoInformer.com. Length: as needed — each article should be no less than 800 words, no more than 1250; Writer has the sole discretion to decide the manner and method in which the articles shall be produced. OrlandoInformer.com reserves the right to edit and abridge as necessary.
  2. Compensation: General compensation is 4 cents per word based on your contribution to the the final version published online. All photographs submitted are considered part of the article — there is no additional compensation. OrlandoInformer.com has the sole discretion to decide which article/s and photograph/s submitted by the Writer is/are to be published. Any article submitted that is longer than 1250 words will have its compensation capped at $50. (This means you may submit articles longer than 1250 words, but unless you have previously discussed it with us, compensation will be capped $50.) As articles are published, OrlandoInformer.com will keep a tally of the Writer’s word count. Once the word count reaches a value greater than $200, OrlandoInformer.com will send payment in one day via PayPal. After payment is sent, the tally will reset, and payment will once again be sent when tally reaches a value greater than $200. In the very rare event that OrlandoInformer.com decides not to publish the Writer’s article, it will not count toward the compensation tally. Please note that these are our general terms for compensation and that different terms may be set up for special projects.
  3. Termination: Writer is asked to submit at least one article every 30 days for publication. Should Writer fail to do so, OrlandoInformer.com may terminate the relationship and any unpaid earnings will be forfeited. In the event that the Writer decides to stop producing content for OrlandoInformer.com, any unpaid earnings will be forfeited.
  4. Original Content: The Writer warrants that the work is his or her own, and the work is original, accurate, and does not infringe on any copyright. It is understood that some material will be reproduced from official sources and, when this happens, will be cited as such. OrlandoInformer.com reserves the right to waive compensation for material copied from other sources.
  5. Copyright: Work to be performed as Work for Hire. Writer grants Dan Hatfield and Visitus Media LLC exclusive, royalty-free, and irrevocable rights to use, reproduce, copy, publish, display, distribute, perform, translate, adapt, modify, edit, and otherwise use work in any capacity and in any mode of publication. Writer will not publish work on any other site or by any other means — in part or in whole — at any time. Writer understands that OrlandoInformer.com may generate advertising, affiliate, subscription, and other revenue from published work.
  6. Citation: When OrlandoInformer.com initially publishes a Writer’s contribution as a blog post, Writer will be given Author credit. In the original blog post Writer’s name will be cited and a pre-approved bio will appear at the bottom of the post. After a period of 365 days from the original publication date, Writer grants Dan Hatfield and Visitus Media LLC irrevocable rights to use the work in other areas of the site, or have it published by other means, without the Writer cited as the Author and without the Writer receiving additional compensation.
  7. Independent Contractor: The Writer is an independent contractor, and nothing contained in this Agreement shall be construed to (i) give either party the power to direct and control the day-to-day activities of the other, (ii) constitute the parties as partners, joint ventures, co-owners or otherwise, or (iii) allow Freelance Writer to create or assume any obligation on behalf of OrlandoInformer.com for any purpose whatsoever. Freelance Writer is not a representative of OrlandoInformer.com and should not present himself or herself as one in the process of collecting information for articles or conducting any other business. Freelance Writer is not an employee of OrlandoInformer.com and is not entitled to any employee benefits. Freelance Writer shall be responsible for paying all income taxes and other taxes charged to Freelance Writer on amounts earned hereunder. All financial and other obligations associated with Freelance Writer’s business are the sole responsibility of Writer.

Special note for new contributors: Since our payment threshold is $200, we are effectively asking you to submit at least four articles before your first payment. This is done intentionally because we are looking for serious freelance writers who are interested in forging a long-term relationship with us. In other words, if you think you may just write two or three articles and then lose interest, this gig isn’t for you.

Submissions:

  • PLANNING: When you plan to write and submit a new article to us, it’s a good idea to present the topic to Dan Hatfield first via email. This is simply to ensure that you are not starting work on something that has already been published on our site or that we are already working on with another contributor. Of course, as a Freelance Writer, you can always write about anything you’d like — we just might not choose to publish it.
  • LENGTH: Remember, content you submit should be no less than 800 words and no more than 1250. If you feel that these guidelines do not fit for your specific topic, just let us know. Should you submit content that is less than 800 words without our approval, we will likely not publish it. Should you submit content that is more than 1250 words without our approval, compensation will be capped at $50.
  • TITLE: With each article submitted, please include a “catchy” title. Try to think of something that would catch your attention if you were browsing through Google search results. This is a bad example: “XYZ restaurant – review, photo gallery.” Here’s a better example: “XYZ restaurant: We just discovered the best sushi in town.”
  • BODY: This is the article itself.
  • PHOTOS: We ask that you submit 5 to 30 photos with each article. Photos are an important part to bringing the story to life. If you do not have photos for your particularly topic, please let us know, as we do have a huge archive. Nevertheless, we prefer new photos, because many of our readers will have already seen ours if we republish them with a new post.
  • Photos submitted should be at least 2000 pixels wide and landscape format, 16:9, and landscape-oriented. We ask that you do not submit photos in the portrait format, as photos like these do not fit well into the style of our site.
  • If you take multiple photos of the same subject, please choose the one you like best to upload with your post. While we appreciate the opportunity to look through your selections, it’s far easier if you choose your best photos for us.
  • Please name your photo files so they list in the order that you would like them to appear in your post. Example: 001-thisisafoodimage.jpg, 002-thisisarideimage.jpg, 003-thisisasouvenirimage.jpg, and so on. We usually pick two or three photos to insert into the post itself, and the rest of the photos will then appear at the bottom in a photo gallery. If there are specific images you want in specific places, please be sure to include this information in your article. However, do not actually embed the photos in your article.
  • Generally we use the same caption for all photos, which is the title of your post. If you have a specific caption request, please be sure to include the information.
  • You may submit photos you have used elsewhere. Likewise, after we publish your work, you can use the photos submitted as you please. The restrictions on original content only apply to what you’ve written. You may also submit photos from other sources as long as you cite them as such.
  • VIDEO: Embedding videos from your personal YouTube account is no problem at all. If you’d like to do this, just include the full YouTube URL in your submission, where you’d like the video to appear.

Receiving products/services gratis:

  • As a contributor to OrlandoInformer.com, you may be offered products or services free of charge. In return for this, you may be asked to promote the product or service via your connection with OrlandoInformer.com (by writing a review, introducing the product/service to us, etc.). Should this happen, you must communicate the arrangement to Dan Hatfield. Failure to do so will result in the termination of our relationship and any unpaid earnings will be forfeited.
  • Please remember: In your dealings with others, you must present yourself as a freelance writer who contributes to OrlandoInformer.com. It is imperative that you do not present yourself as an employee, partner, or representative of our site. Under no circumstance may you assume any obligation on behalf of Dan Hatfield, OrlandoInformer.com, or Visitus Media LLC.

 

Please know that we are definitely willing to discuss any of the guidelines written above if they do not fit well with your specific topic or project. No matter what, it is always important that you communicate with us about your concerns before you start working. Thank you for your help!


Submit an author bio

  • When I’ve answered any questions you might have and you send an email stating that you fully understand and accept our Contributor Terms, please also send your author bio (which will appear at the end of your submissions).
  • Your bio should be about three sentences, written in the third person, that tells where you’re from, what you’re passionate about, and most importantly, answers this question for our site visitors: Why should I want to read your articles? You may also include links to your own site or social networks. Please note that links have to be entered using HTML. If you don’t know how to do this, just let us know.
  • Attach an image for your site avatar to your email. The file you choose should be 150 x 150 pixels. We prefer a photo of yourself, as this will allow readers to connect with you better – when you read a fascinating article, don’t you want to know who wrote it? However, if you are concerned about privacy, you can send over anything you want. Just be sure to upload something!
  • A note about avatars: Try to choose an image that is pretty simple. The image that appears in the author box is 110 x 110 pixels – very small. Ultimately, if you can’t tell what’s in the image when you’re viewing it on your profile page, no one else is going to be able to either.

Please contact Dan Hatfield with any questions, comments, or feedback. Thank you.

 

 

How to submit an article

Write your article and save it to a Microsoft Word compatible file. (Of course, using Microsoft Word is the easiest way to do this.) Each article needs to have:

  • Title (80 characters or less)
  • Body (between 800 and 1250 words)
  • Placeholders where you want your images to appear
  • Links for all citations and borrowed images

Save your article with the title as the filename. Please do not embed photos in your document. As mentioned above, if you would like an image to appear in a particular place, type in the image’s filename as a placeholder. Also, please use as little formatting in your document as possible — preferably none.

Next, collect your photos. With possibly one or two exceptions, all photos submitted should be landscape-oriented and 16:9. Here are “right” and “wrong” examples:

Visiting Diagon Alley for the first time again.

RIGHT (landscape-oriented and 16:9).

14 unique ways to enjoy Busch Gardens Tampa.

Wrong (should be 16:9, not 4:3).

The Florida Aquarium - Tampa, FL.

Wrong (should be landscape-oriented).

For informational articles, remember to name your photo files so they list in the order that you would like them to appear in your post. Example: 001-thisisafoodimage.jpg, 002-thisisarideimage.jpg, 003-thisisasouvenirimage.jpg, and so on. For trip reports and venue/event reviews, your photo files should be named so that they are listed in the sequence of when they were taken (oldest to newest).

VERY IMPORTANT: Before you proceed with uploading your material, it is imperative that you proof your article thoroughly. In fact, we recommend having a second person proof it as well. We want articles to tell a personal story and keep their momentum through to the end. Please know that we expect you to send us a final draft of an article, not a “rough draft” that requires us to polish it before we can publish it on the site.

Has your new article been proofed by at least two people? Good. Let’s continue…

Now it is time to upload your material to Dropbox. We use this service so our email boxes don’t get clogged up with huge image files. If you don’t already have a Dropbox account, you can register for free simply by visiting their homepage and clicking Sign up. Please note that Dropbox will remain completely free for you to use for the purposes of sending in your material.

Next, you should have been sent an invitation to join our Dropbox shared OI contributor – for new submissions only folder as part of your OI account setup process (if you weren’t, please contact me). Follow the instructions in the email to join our shared folder.

Now we’re ready to upload to Dropbox. Follow these steps –

First, go to Dropbox.com and sign in (remember, you can click any of the images below to see the full-size version):

Dropbox step 1.

Dropbox step 1.

Once you are signed in, your screen will look something like this (your folders will look different, but you should see one for OI contributor – for new submissions only):

Dropbox step 2.

Dropbox step 2.

Click the OI contributor – for new submissions only folder link to open that folder. Now you will be viewing the live contents of the folder.

Next, click the new folder icon, where this arrow is pointing:

Dropbox step 3.

Dropbox step 3.

When you click the new folder icon, you will create a new folder and be prompted to enter a name. Enter your name and the short version of your article’s title.

When your done, your screen should look like this:

Dropbox step 4.

Dropbox step 4.

Now click your new folder to open it. The next step is to upload your material.

Because everything is going to Dropbox, you don’t have to worry about creating a ZIP file or anything. Just click the upload icon, select your image and document files from your computer, and upload:

Dropbox step 5.

Dropbox step 5.

Once all of your files are uploaded, the final step is to send me an email. The subject of the email should be the title of your submission. In the body, just let me know your files are uploaded, and be sure to include any notes I might need.

Please DO NOT use the OI contributor Dropbox folder to store your material long-term. The OI contributor Dropbox folder is for waiting-to-be-published material only. Once an article is published, I will delete the folder you created and all of its contents. (If you’d like, you can set up your own private Dropbox folder for storing your material, or you can keep it locally on your own computer.)

Special note about using the Dropbox desktop uploader: You also have the option to install the Dropbox desktop application. This will give you access to your own Dropbox account and the OI contributor – for new submissions only folder directly from any computer’s desktop where the application is installed. You are welcome to submit content via the desktop application if you’d like. However, just be aware that the program will keep your desktop folder synced at all times with the full contents of the OI contributor – for new submissions only folder (that’s what Dropbox does), so anyone’s material uploaded to the contributor folder will be downloaded to the OI contributor – for new submissions only folder installed on your computer. If this doesn’t make any sense, just skip the desktop application and upload via the website, as documented above.

I really appreciate your help with sending in properly formatted submission. It makes my work easier and quicker, so that I can continue to post as many contributor submissions as possible and pay you!

 

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