Of Writing Contracts and Rights – Ask Anne The Pro Writer

by Anne Wayman

Questions about freelance writingHi Anne,

I was contacted today by a man who has a blog. Among other things he wants to offer informative legal articles (posts), and he would like me to write them. Great! I would love to do this, but I am new to this world. I’m used to doing writing for attorneys who pay by the hour.

So, my questions:

1. Is there usually a written agreement between a company (aka person who owns the blog) and the freelance writer? Would be be an insult for me to ask for one if that is not the norm?

2. Would the posts be his property alone or mine since I wrote it?

I’m sure other questions will come to mind, but those are the initial ones.

Thank you,

K

Hi K,

Good questions. I can see your legal mind working.

I think there must be a written agreement between you and the fellow with the blog. I wrote Elements Of My Contracts or Letters of Agreement with ghostwriting in mind, but when I look at it I realize it also works for most other kinds of writing too. Oh you may want to shorten things a bit, but make sure everything there is covered.

As you’ll see, in the Ownership/Copyright section I’ve assumed the author I’m writing for will own everything. That’s almost always true in ghostwriting books; it’s not always true in blogging. Chances are your client will want to own the copyright, but it is negotiable.

Congratulations on finding a client who may want to hire you as a blogger. When it’s up come on back and tell us about it.

[askanne] [sig]

Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

SpikeTheLobster June 1, 2009 at 5:38 pm

If I may make another couple of suggestions for questions (as someone who’s done a couple of blogging gigs), it would probably be worth asking whether he wants completely original content (i.e. not previously used elsewhere and won’t be used again) and whether he expects posting at weekends.

Those are both things that have come up for me (as well as the questions you already answered, Anne!). Oh, and if it’s his copyright and original content, make sure he’s paying appropriately. ;)

That “Elements” post is wonderful, Anne. Incredibly useful checklist for almost any purpose. Thanks!

SpikeTheLobster’s last blog post..8 More Stupid Spelling Mistakes

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