SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

Yahoo Contributor Network provides an audience for your voice and perspectives on some of the world’s most popular websites. We value, above all, your unique insights and expertise.

Before you start submitting articles, videos, and slideshows, please read our Submission Guidelines. They describe the kinds of content our editors will accept (and perhaps even feature!) on Yahoo or a partner website.

These guidelines apply to all content submitted to Yahoo Contributor Network (except when an assignment or submission template specifies otherwise). Yahoo editors may decline your submission if it does not follow all guidelines. You can always contact us if you’re unclear about any guidelines or communication you receive from us, but guidelines are interpreted at editors' discretion.

Jump To: General Guidelines | Formatting Text | Upfront Payment Guidelines | Image Guidelines | News Guidelines

General Guidelines

Do...

Submit original content. We love content that you create especially for us. We also allow you to submit content you have already published elsewhere, as long as the byline matches your name and you own the copyright. However, republished content is ineligible to appear on most Yahoo websites. In every case, all submissions must be content you created.

Be yourself: authentic and unique. It should always be clear that your content comes from YOU, and that no one else in the world could have created it. Find your voice. Submit content on topics that you’re passionate, knowledgeable, and insightful about. Use the first-person voice when appropriate, and make clear in your content how your personal experiences inform your statements and topic choices. Always offer unique insight that differentiates your content from other pieces on the Web.

Be relevant, informative, useful, and engaging. Imagine that you are a reader browsing for information on your intended topic. What information do you need to be not only satisfied, but thrilled with the resource you chose? Make sure that each piece of content is written to thoroughly inform and/or delight its intended audience.

Be succinct. Online attention spans are short. For most topics, the ideal article length is 350 to 500 words. Construct your articles by beginning with a few key points and expanding upon them, using only as many words as are necessary to convey essential information. Use page formatting (e.g., bolded sub-headings) to guide your readers to your most important points. (Too much to say? Break your topic into more-specific chunks that can each stand alone as useful articles.)

Proofread. Proofread. Proofread. We require correct grammar, structure, spelling, and punctuation. Follow our formatting guidelines.

Write strong, descriptive headlines. A strong headline summarizes your content succinctly, and leads with the critically important information that a reader will use either to find your content through search engines or to choose to click your piece from among a list of stories on a landing page. Tell readers why they should view your story, and do so in your first 65 characters (only 65 characters of your headline will appear on most search engine results pages). Avoid clever headlines that hint at a topic without explaining it—humor can be a great asset, but it belongs in the body of the article.

Be accurate, and cite your sources. Any information you provide that is neither common knowledge nor clearly established as something you've personally experienced must be drawn from a credible, cited source. In the text, immediately attribute any specific facts and quotes to their source, and link to the specific page that verifies your assertion. At the end of your content, list any authoritative sources that informed your content as a whole, using a format that allows any reader to easily access each source. Acceptable authorities include government agencies, scientific studies, established online or print publications, and articles by credentialed professionals. Do not use Wikipedia articles or other forms of user-generated content as authoritative sources.

Provide full disclosure. When you submit a review or commentary, you must disclose any special relationship or material connection to your subject. (If the business you’re discussing is owned by your brother-in-law, disclose it. If you received free tickets to a movie you’re reviewing, disclose it. When in doubt, disclose.) You can use our built-in disclosure tool, available in our review template, or make the disclosure in the body of your content. In many cases, disclosure is not only a Yahoo guideline, it’s the law. Read more about the FTC’s guidelines around disclosure of material connection.

Represent yourself accurately to others. Describe yourself to third parties (e.g., interviewees, sources, and fans) as "a freelance writer submitting content for possible publication on Yahoo sites." If sources have questions about Yahoo Contributor Network, please feel free to contact us for help answering them.

CC us if you're asking for privileged access. If you'll be using your publishing history as a Yahoo contributor to request any kind of press credential or event access, you must CC contributor-community@yahoo-inc.com on all correspondence with publicists or other credentialing authorities. No need to do this if you're only using your own name, but if you'll be yodeling about Yahoo in your credentialing conversations, we need to be in the loop.

Follow editorial instructions
. Editors' specific instructions can override any of the above. If you receive an assignment or a direct instruction from an editor that seems to conflict with the general Submission Guidelines, the editor's instructions take priority. Email us if you need clarification.

Don't...

Don’t rehash. You must provide a fresh and unique angle on every story. Do not reword or rehash information from other sources and call it your own. This rule applies even when you cite your sources; if you’re not creating a unique and original piece of content, don’t submit to us. Sources should inform your content, and not be cobbled together to form the majority of your content.

Don't stuff your content with keywords. We encourage you to optimize your content for search-engine discovery, but not at the expense of readability. Keyword phrases must be used naturally.

Don’t generalize excessively. People search the Web for specific information. Content that covers an overly broad topic tends to be pedestrian and unsatisfying. Your topics should usually be highly specific (“Frugal Summer Bohemian Fashion Tips” over “Fashion Tips”).

Don’t yodel about Yahoo or other contributors. We love hearing what you think of Yahoo, including Yahoo Contributor Network, but please refrain from using this publishing platform to review or comment on Yahoo or any Yahoo site or service. (If you wish to publish a helpful and unique tutorial to help other contributors use our platform successfully, please contact us for approval before you write.) Visit the Contributor Forum to discuss our platform with other contributors. Contact us with feedback, including complaints, suggestions, and compliments. Use our flagging tools to report inappropriate behavior.

Don't go "there." Examples of content we won't publish or link to: Anything pornographic, threatening, obscene, defamatory, or abusive; hate speech; anything that encourages illegal or discriminatory conduct; anything containing potentially offensive generalizations about a group of people; anything that promotes online gambling sites; anything that infringes on the rights of a third party; anything that constitutes or encourages cyber-bullying. This list is not exhaustive. (We recognize that many of these descriptors are necessarily subjective, but in order to maintain a library of great content that’s safe for all Web readers, we will apply these standards at our sole discretion, as necessary.)

Don’t rant. We welcome your authentic personal perspective, but we ask you to avoid using an extremely negative tone. Criticism should be thoughtful and measured, should make clear distinctions between opinion and fact, and should cite sources when appropriate. If you just need to vent, your personal blog is a more suitable venue. Never let frustration lead you to factually misrepresent any individual, product, business, service, or other entity.

Don't over-link. We encourage relevant links that make your content more valuable and informative. Avoid excessive hyperlinking that compromises readability. Links to external sites must be relevant to the content and must not lead readers to any content forbidden by these guidelines. Please use the hyperlink tool in our text editor to link a word or phrase from your text to the website address (URL).

Don’t over-promote. We welcome your genuine enthusiasm for the things you love, but if your content reads more like an advertisement or press release than thoughtful firsthand insight, it’s not for us. And although our platform is a great way to find an audience for your expertise and build your personal brand, we don't publish content that is primarily intended to sell something, build backlinks, or drive traffic to other websites (including your own). Highly relevant links to personal websites are appropriate if, and only if, they add to the usefulness and authority of your content and do not come across as jarring self-promotion. Affiliate links (links that result in compensation to you or an affiliated party in the form of sales, clicks, memberships, visits, etc.) are prohibited. Never accept payment from a third party to publish on Yahoo Contributor Network.

Don’t fake it. Don’t choose a topic merely because it’s trending and you think it's likely to bring in lots of search traffic. Don’t claim assignments unless you are uniquely qualified to fulfill them. Your unique knowledge, experience, and passion should be evident in every piece of content you create. If you don’t have something valuable, compelling, and personal to add, avoid the subject.

Important: Every submission guideline must be adhered to unless you receive different instruction in a specific assignment or submission template. We will decline any submission or remove published content that violates these guidelines. Repeated violations may result in the closure of your account. At our sole discretion, serious violations (such as plagiarism or the publication of spam) may result in the immediate closure of your account. If you have questions about any of these guidelines, please contact us or try posing your question to the Contributor Forum.


Please read on for more information about formatting your articles, submitting for Upfront Payment and creating particular types of content.

Jump To: General Guidelines | Formatting Text | Upfront Payment Guidelines | Image Guidelines | News Guidelines

Formatting Text

Please use these guidelines to format the content you submit to Yahoo Contributor Network.

  • Use double-spacing between paragraphs.
  • Use line breaks only at the end of paragraphs. The text that you copy and paste into our system should fill the width of the screen, unless you're writing poetry, creating a numbered list, or creating a bulleted list.
  • All text should be left-justified.
  • Limit use of bold and italicized words to section headers or highlighting of key points. Underlining should only be used for links.
  • Avoid excessive capitalization. In general, only proper nouns, the first letter of each sentence, and acronyms should be capitalized. TEXT WRITTEN IN ALL CAPS (like that) is considered shouting on the Internet – use your inside voice.
  • Do not use line breaks in the "interesting/fun fact" or "takeaway" field.
  • Do not type your pen name into your submissions; all published content will link to your profile page. Don't include a bio or "about me" in articles, either; your profile should contain that information.
  • Place the headline of your article in the title field only.
  • All images attached to an article must be relevant to the content, and abide by all of the image guidelines noted below.
  • Do not embed images or videos within the body of articles.

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Upfront Payment Guidelines

In order to be accepted by an editor, all content must comply with the general guidelines outlined above. If you’re submitting articles for Upfront Payment consideration, keep the following guidelines in mind as well.

In general, we offer Upfront Payment for content that is high quality, unique, useful, highly specific, and likely to be relevant for a long time to come.

There are certain types of content that are not eligible for Upfront Payment, unless you receive a specific assignment:

  • Humor 
  • Creative writing (including poetry, short stories, or any form of fiction) 
  • Memoirs 
  • Essays (including historical, psychological, and research-based articles) 
  • Movie, music, television, or video game reviews 
  • Opinion/editorial pieces 
  • Recipes 
  • Product reviews (exception: Upfront Payments are considered for in-depth product comparisons, guides, and lists) 
  • Local reviews (exception: Upfront Payments are considered for in-depth local guides) 
  • News 

This is not an exhaustive list, but these are some common reasons a piece of content will not be offered an Upfront Payment:

  • Content that is too common, too broad, or too similar to existing content online. Even if you follow the general guideline about giving your content a unique spin, it may not be differentiated enough from other online content to qualify for Upfront Payment. 

  • Content that has a short shelf-life. Some subjects, such as breaking news or sports coverage, may be hot for a day or two but then don't attract search traffic again. We can typically offer Upfront Payment only for content that will stay relevant for weeks, months, and even years. 

  • Content that was published elsewhere before it was submitted to Yahoo Contributor Network.

Jump To: General Guidelines | Formatting Text | Upfront Payment Guidelines | Image Guidelines | News Guidelines

Image Guidelines

Yahoo Contributor Network allows images to be attached to articles for certain sites. We encourage you to use images for Yahoo Voices content. When claiming assignments for other sites, please check the Assignment Details to find out whether or not you should upload or attach an image.

You must follow the guidelines below when uploading any images to Yahoo Contributor Network.

Notwithstanding any of the following guidelines, publishing infringing images may lead to a lifetime ban from Yahoo Contributor Network.

Quality and Review Process

Submitted images are not necessarily reviewed by staff before publication. It is solely your responsibility to ensure you have all necessary rights to publish any image with Yahoo Contributor Network pursuant to our guidelines. Blurry or irrelevant images (including author portraits) or images from unapproved sources may be deleted without notification.

Please do not embed images (or videos) in the text field of a submission unless you have been specifically instructed and assisted by an editor in order to do so. Image files must be in JPEG or GIF format and under 1 MB.

Approved Sources

The following are the only sources from which the Yahoo Contributor Network allows you to obtain and publish images. No exceptions. Remember, these are only guidelines for using images at Yahoo Contributor Network. Knowing whether or not you have the legal right to use an image is solely your responsibility. If in doubt, do not submit the image, even if it otherwise appears to meet our guidelines. Please be sure to always follow the terms of use of each respective website, and to abide by the license grant with respect to the particular image.

1. You

You may use images you created. However, you must have obtained permission for property or people depicted in the image, if any. Please enter your name (or penname if you have one) in the credit and copyright fields at during the submission process. Please note that putting your penname in the copyright field may create confusion as to ownership. Accordingly, we recommend you use your real name.

You may not simply take a photo of another party’s copyrighted material and submit it credited to yourself. The previous sentence is applicable even if you believe the photo falls under “fair use” guidelines. Our guidelines for the images we are willing to publish supersede fair use doctrine for content published with us.

2. Online Press Kits

You may use images from online promotional press kits, provided that they allow free distribution. You must follow the guidelines and restrictions exactly as directed by the terms and conditions set forth by the copyright holder. Unless otherwise noted at the respective website, please enter the name of the artist or photographer in the credit field and "website name/Press Kit" in the copyright field during the submission process. If the name of the artist or photographer is not available, please enter the name of the website.

Examples of press kits are:

www.thecoca-colacompany.com/presscenter/imagegallery.html

www.mtvpress.com/2007/show.php

3. www.sxc.hu

Review their terms of use by clicking here. Please enter the sxc.hu user's name in the credit field during the submission processand "sxc.hu/user's name" in the copyright field.

4. www.morguefile.com

Review their terms of use by clicking here. Please enter the MorgueFile user's name in the credit field during the submission process and "moruguefile.com/user's name" in the copyright field.

5. www.commons.wikimedia.org

You must view the description page for each image (by clicking on the image) to determine whether you can reuse it. For a tutorial on usage conditions at Wikimedia Commons click here. Please enter the photographer or artist's name in the credit field during the submission process and "Wikimedia Commons" in the copyright field.

Beware: Images that require the same Creative Commons license to be applied when reused may not be used at the Yahoo Contributor Network.

6. www.istockphoto.com

Review their license agreement by clicking here. Please enter the iStockphoto user's name in the credit field during the submission process and enter "istockphoto.com/user's name" in the copyright field.

You must purchase images from istockphoto.com - you cannot simply right-click and save the image to your computer. It will be watermarked, and publishing of that image will violate the image owner's copyrights. Instead, create an account, pay for the image and download it using their system. Purchased photos should not be added to the public library.

7. Flickr.com

You may only use images from Flickr that are public, and are designated with the Creative Commons Attribution (a.k.a. BY) license or with Attribution-NoDerivs (a.k.a. BY =). Flickr images with the Non-Commercial or Share-Alike attributes are not permitted by Yahoo Contributor Network. Review information about Creative Commons licensing on Flickr by clicking here.

Click here for a screenshot showing search terms to use in Flickr's advanced search to find these images. You must respect all licensing terms on Flickr. Please enter the photographer’s username in the “credit” field and the URL for the photographer’s Flickr page (flickr.com/photos/accounturl) in the “copyright” field.

8. The U.S. Federal Government

In general, U.S. government authored or produced images that are clearly marked as being in the U.S. public domain are acceptable. Note: While the content of most federal government web pages is in the U.S. public domain, some photographs, images, and/or graphics that appear on federal government websites are used with permission from the copyright holder. It is your sole responsibility to determine whether an image is in the public domain.

Please enter the photographer or artist's name in the credit field during the submission process and enter the name of government website the image came from in the copyright field.

9. The Public Gallery

The public gallery is a resource that allows users to share the images they upload with other contributors. Images are not reviewed by Yahoo Contributor Network before they are added to the public gallery. The presence of an image in the public gallery does not necessarily mean that you may use the image. If an image is not from an approved source, or does not have appropriate credit and copyright details, please do not attach that image to your content.

You are not liable for copyright violations or other violations of these guidelines by the original uploader of a public gallery image. However, if you add an image to your article that is not in compliance with these guidelines, it may be removed from your content without notice. The original uploader may face other consequences, up to and including account closure.

You may also choose to add your own images to the public gallery. To add an image to the public gallery, click the “Public” option during the upload process. You, and you alone, are responsible for ensuring that the images you add to the public gallery adhere to our Image Submission Guidelines, and for ensuring that you have the right to distribute those images for others’ use.

Important Notes

Copyright Law Warning: Copyright Law with respect to images is very complicated. Ignorantia juris non excusat or ignorance of the law is not an excuse. While Yahoo Contributor Network posts general guidelines to assist you, as a Yahoo contributor, you are solely responsible to educate yourself thoroughly on the legal issues surrounding the publication of images, as well as for any damages that result in publishing infringing images. To learn more about copyright law and the Internet, the following links may be helpful:

www.copyright.gov

fairuse.stanford.edu/web_resources/index.html

fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyright_and_Fair_Use_Overview/chapter6/6-a.html

www.chillingeffects.org/copyright

On Fair Use: “Fair use” is a legal doctrine, not part of Yahoo Contributor Network’s policies. Although some items prohibited in these guidelines are permitted under generally accepted legal fair use guidelines, our image submission guidelines must be followed closely when publishing with us. Publishing images that do not adhere to these guidelines may lead to account suspension or closure, even if the images are permissible legally under the doctrine of fair use.

Other Notes: Regardless of the foregoing guidelines, the use of images from the foregoing sites must comply with the terms and conditions of that site as it relates to that image, as well as to any relevant copyright laws.

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News Guidelines

Yahoo Contributor Network often assigns breaking-news stories and perspectives based on your interests, expertise, backgrounds, and locations. While we do not accept unsolicited news coverage, you can often find a variety of writing opportunities in your Assignment Desk.

Depending on timeliness and subject matter, stories submitted through news assignments are generally reviewed in a 24-hour timeframe and usually much sooner. Your content may be published on a variety of Yahoo sites to expand your audience.

While the guidelines below don’t encompass the depth and breadth of news-writing requirements, they’re a good place to start. Follow the specific requirements in an assignment, but always keep these general guidelines in mind.

Be original

Don't just rewrite news that others have written -- even if you link to them. As with most stories published via Yahoo Contributor Network, we don't allow contributors to rewrite or regurgitate what others have written. You should rely on a bevy of reliable sources, but you should create an original angle, structure and voice. We’re especially fond of primary sources (i.e., non-media sources) when they’re readily available.

Be timely

What you write should be timely now. Importantly, this means you should focus on the timeliest developments in a story -- not just the subject matter of the story. Sometimes even 24 hours is too old. Writers who best tackle timeliness are the ones who understand the tension of story vs. development. Beware the “timely” story: Even if it’s still in the news, a story as a whole may not be timely. Look inside the story at the newest developments.

Be detailed

Writing detailed content is an art, and for news stories, details mostly accomplish two things: (1) They give readers the necessary and important who/what/when/where/why information, and (2) they paint a vivid and colorful picture for readers. Great contributors seamlessly incorporate necessary -- and specific -- facts, figures and quotes that support their assertions. Don't overload your submission with gratuitous facts, but don't skimp on necessary details either. In short, if you make a claim, back it up!

Be transparent

Tell readers where you’re getting your information. Sometimes just linking is OK. But much of the time, you need to explicitly indicate the source of your information by name. Familiarize yourself with our sourcing and attribution guidelines here.

Be fair

We do not allow contributors to rant, cheerlead, mislead, name-call, gratuitously attack or otherwise write unfair content. Some assignments will ask for your take on a timely news development, but your perspective should be grounded in facts, clearly attributed and, above all, thoughtful.

Need more in-depth explanations? Check out our news-writing requirements here. We cover commentary writing, attributing sources, factboxes and more.


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General Guidelines | Formatting Text | Upfront Payment Guidelines | Image Guidelines | News Guidelines


Important:
Every submission guideline must be adhered to unless you receive different instruction in a specific assignment or submission template. We will decline any submission or remove published content that violates these guidelines. Repeated violations may result in the closure of your account. At our sole discretion, serious violations (such as plagiarism or the publication of spam) may result in the immediate closure of your account. If you have questions about any of these guidelines, please contact us or try posing your question to the Contributor Forum.

Thank you for using Yahoo Contributor Network to share your voice with our global audience! We thank you.