Staff Writer Agreement

This agreement was prepared by Milli Thornton. Last updated 3/11/14.

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The Commitment You’re Agreeing To

You agree to supply Milliver’s Travels with ‘X’ number of travel stories per year. You’ll be the one to designate what that number will be. The minimum is one travel story per year.

The Purpose of Being a Staff Writer for Milliver’s Travels

If you’ve come this far in the process, by now you’re very aware that Milliver’s Travels is about having fun. As long as you’re having fun and we’re mutually happy on this adventure, this opportunity will be right for you.

Participate Enthusiastically

Please take an interest in your stories after they’ve been published. Brag to friends and ask for comments. Tweet or Facebook your posts. Reply individually to your commenters. Anything you do to bring more visitors will be beneficial to everyone. The more successful Milliver’s Travels is, the more readers we can reach with our message of fun.

Stay abreast of the latest stories. Support your fellow staff writers by leaving comments or tweeting/Facebooking their posts. Subscribe to and read the staff newsletter.

Help spread the news too! Tell people you’re a staff writer for a travel blog. You never know what story opportunities this can lead to.

Your Story Index

You’ll find your story index by clicking on your name at the top of any of your articles. Bookmark this index and use it to help you expose your stories to new readers. You can also use that link to show editors your line-up of stories.

Site Policies, Travel Writer Freebies and Comps

Some of this will sound ominous, but it’s really all just commonsense. If you can follow commonsense, and if you keep me informed when relevant, there won’t be any problems.

Because I never want to be put out of business by a lawsuit (and this does happen to regular site owners), my site policies are long and comprehensive and you’re expected to comply with them. It’s a lot of legalese and maybe you don’t want to read all that. Whether or not you choose to read the policies, it will be up to you to not break the rules.

Exactly which rules am I talking about? Standard ones like copyright (don’t submit anything that wasn’t produced by you or that you don’t have express permission to use), privacy (don’t give out any private info from people you interview, for example), and FTC compliance (fair advertising, which could become relevant if you write a review of any kind for this site).

If you write a review for which you receive any gifts or compensation, we will need to disclose that at the end of your article. You can see an example of these kinds of disclosures by visiting staff writer Vicki Lathom’s review: Chico the Boat Dog Tests Critter’s Inflatable Life Jacket.

If you receive any kind of favors or compensation while doing stories for Milliver’s Travels, you need to tell me. Not because there’s anything to be ashamed of, but because my site has a clear policy of disclosure.

Here’s the link to the site policies for Milliver’s Travels: SITE POLICIES

MT’s Policy on Positive vs. Negative Reviews

After researching what I needed for my site policies, and after seeing this article about a blogger who was jailed for libel, I choose not to do negative reviews. Mind you, that jailed blogger lives in Taiwan, where clearly the laws are more Draconian than here in the USA, but sometimes it’s good to take heed from an extreme example.

On the other hand, I don’t want us to be whitewashing anything either. So, here’s the rule of thumb: If you enjoyed the product, service or experience, it will make a great review. But be sure to mention any negatives, too, because this gives a balanced report—the kind that wins the reader’s trust. For an example of how to do it with a light touch, read my story Swimming with Dolphins at Dolphin Discovery, Cozumel.

Rights and Reprints

By allowing me to print your articles, you’re giving me First Worldwide Internet Rights and Perpetual Rights. (The second one means that your story remains in the site’s archives forever and may periodically be displayed on the front page.)

If you ever decide you want to get one of your Milliver’s stories published elsewhere, take a close look at the publication you’re targeting to find out what rights they’ll expect. Unless it’s a print publication (and they often are not interested in something that’s been published first on the Web), Reprint Rights are what you’d be offering. (Here’s an article to help you decipher the language of rights: Rights: What They Mean and Why They’re Important.)

If you’re pitching an article idea to me and you’ve already had that article published elsewhere you need to let me know. I’m not at liberty to reprint your stories without first checking on the Reprint Rights.

(I actually prefer NEVER to use reprints . . . let’s continue to keep Milliver’s fresh with all new content.)

Monetizing the Site

Your articles may at times be associated with advertising—perhaps visual ads in the sidebar or text links within your text. This is done tastefully, but if you feel uncomfortable about this, or if you fear I’ll be exploiting you, please don’t sign the agreement.

Updates or Changes to This Agreement

Whenever I make updates or changes I will (a) change the date at the top of this page and (b) contact every staff member telling you what I’ve added or changed. If you disagree with my changes, you can discuss it with me.

Thanks for your patience in reading this document! ~ Milli