Let me preface this by saying I'm not currently hiring...just looking for advice. I don't want this thread to get pulled :)
I am coming to grips with the reality that the long list of demands on my time leave me unable to write the content needed to expand my site. I wish it wasn't that way but alas it is. I'm seriously considering outsourcing these writing projects but I'm trying to figure out how to do this.
Initially there would be a list of topics but if it becomes a long term deal, this person would likely have some flexibility to write on topics of their choosing. For example, I need someone who can write on the topic of cheese making (recipes, how-to information, etc.). There would be an initial set of recipes and articles but after that, I can probably be flexible.
So my questions...
--I'm assuming this would be a private contractor set up and I'd need a contract. Is there a place to find a good contract that would allow my company to retain ownership of the articles, etc? I'm happy to give the author credit on most of the articles at least (some might end up being anonymous) so they can take credit for them, but I need to retain the rights to them. I'd really rather not pay a lawyer to write something up if I don't have to.
--What's standard pay for this kind of work. I truly have no idea where to start on that. Is it by the hour (and what's reasonable in terms of time and money) or is is by the article?
--Is there anything else I need to know?
Mama to DS (6/07) , DD (6/09) , and DD (07/12) ..
Is your content in the form of blog posts? When I've written blog posts, I've always negotiated a flat rate per post. For longer or more free-form projects I prefer hourly, but with a blog post, both the writer and the employer have a good idea what the product looks like and how long it should take to write, so it doesn't make sense to pay by the hour (or by the word--you don't want to encourage anyone to write extra words).
I've charged between $35 and $55 for blog posts in the past. With that said, I've written articles for far less, but I don't put much care or creativity into the badly-paying, low-quality search-engine-optimization articles I've written for content mills. You are probably looking for something much better than content mill quality.
Maybe someone can has a contract they can share with you. I've done some projects very informally and others with very strict contracts. They key phrase you might look for in a contract is "work-for-hire". Some contracts also have nondisclosure agreements included.