Welcome to Seed's Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), where we answer a host of questions you are sure to ask before you ask them. Most everything about joining and submitting content to Seed is easy; we designed it that way. But, as with any new relationship, there is a lot of ground to cover up front in order for it to flourish and grow.
So, give this section a thorough read. Please also refer to our Contributor Guidelines and understand our Publishing Agreement.
We are here to surface your work, help you be heard, and pay you for doing it. We rely on you for original content, so we want to make sure you’re comfortable with how we work.
If you still have questions, we invite you to ask us. We’re interested in a long and successful relationship with you, so we’re happy to hear your feedback and provide answers.
Let’s get started:
PARTICIPATION IN SEED PROGRAM
Can anyone submit content?
I am an AOL employee. Can I participate in Seed?
I am already contracted to write for one or more of AOL’s premium sites. Can I join the Seed program?
How do I submit my content?
What types of content can I submit to Seed?
How do I choose topics to write about?
Can an assignment be claimed only once, or can it be claimed by multiple contributors?
What happens when I submit content?
Does submitting content mean I'll automatically receive payment?
How often does my Dashboard data update?
What are Seed's guidelines for submitted content?
Who will see my content?
Where will my work appear?
Does Seed own my content?
Can I submit content to Seed that I’ve already published somewhere else?
Can I publish my content elsewhere once I have submitted it to Seed?
Is there a limit to how much content I can submit?
Can I use a pen name, or pseudonym?
How long does it take for my work to appear on an AOL site?
How much will my work be edited?
Can I edit my work once it is submitted?
Can I remove my content once I've submitted it to Seed?
Any other resources I should check out in addition to the Contributor Guidelines?
Seed Content Requests
Seed Open Submissions
What payment methods are offered?
I don't use PayPal. Is there another way to get paid?
How is my pay calculated?
What about taxes?
How long does it take to see payment once my work is published?
Why are the amounts shown on my Dashboard and the 'Getting Paid' page different?
I tried signing up but never received a confirmation email.
I still have a question. Who do I contact?
Where can I ask questions about the Terms of Service, Payment Terms, etc.?
Where do I go for technical help?
PARTICIPATION IN SEED PROGRAM
Can anyone submit content?We created Seed so that as many qualified writers and photographers as possible can connect with AOL’s large audience and earn money in the process. We only require that you be a U.S. resident and are 18 or older. When you join Seed, in order to claim any earnings your content has generated, you’ll need to provide a valid U.S. tax ID number and you’ll also be asked to complete a Form W-9.
I am an AOL employee. Can I participate in Seed?Sorry, but you can’t participate in Seed if you are an AOL employee.
I am already contracted to write for one or more of AOL’s premium sites. Can I join the Seed program?Absolutely! We realize that many journalists and photographers already enjoy submitting expert content to our premium sites, but you also may want to join Seed to write or otherwise connect with large audiences about your other areas of expertise.
How do I submit my content?Submitting your content to Seed is easy. Once you create your account, you can view and submit content (articles, reviews, photographs, etc.) to Seed through your Dashboard. No need to download any additional software or plug-ins. Simply accept an assignment and you’ll be prompted to enter your content into the text box, add a photo, preview and then submit your work.
What types of content can I submit to Seed?The easiest way to submit content is to review and accept one of our many listed assignments.
How do I choose topics to write about?This is the fun part! Simply view our list of varied assignments across multiple categories and choose what interests you. Based on the interests you list on your profile page and articles you write, we’ll help target and share related assignments further inspiration and earnings.
Can an assignment be claimed only once, or can it be claimed by multiple contributors?Multiple contributors can submit against the same assignment (up until the due date) and it is up to each Seed editor's discretion if they choose to purchase a single submission or multiple submissions from the same assignment.
What happens when I submit content?Our professional editors will review your content within five (5) business days of the assignment due date and decide to:
1) Accept and publish it on AOL’s network or third-party sites (exclusive license),
2) Accept and publish it on AOL’s network only (limited exclusive license),
3) Reject and not publish your content because it does not meet our quality standards or publishing terms.
Does submitting content mean I'll automatically receive payment for it?No. After you submit an article (or photo) in response to a content request, Seed editors review your submission. If your submission is accepted (based on fit and quality), at that point you will be eligible for payment.
How often does my Dashboard data update?Your content's traffic and earnings data updates hourly. Your earnings data is updated every 24 hours.
What are Seed's guidelines for submitted content?Please read our Contributor Guidelines, Photography Guidelines and Publishing Agreement for details. The two most important factors are that your work should be in English, and 100% your own.
We also don’t allow libelous material, hate speech, sexually explicit material or promotional material of any sort. We also can’t allow advice recommending specific financial instruments, or specific legal, medical or investment professional advice.
It’s really quite simple: We invite you to leverage our platform to submit your own quality, original content, following standard ethical conduct and common sense. If you’re selling something or have something hateful to say, we won’t be a good match for you.
Who will see my content?If you are published, your content may be read by AOL’s audience of more than 100 million people around the world each month.
Where will my work appear?Your content will appear on one of the over 80 sites within the AOL network. If you submit work in response to an AOL assignment request, and your work is selected by an AOL editor for an exclusive license, then your work will appear on one of our content vertical sites, and possibly be distributed outside of the AOL network. Or, it’s possible that if your content does not meet our quality standards or publishing terms, then we won’t publish your content at all. You can track the status of your assignments on your Dashboard once you sign up.
Does Seed own my content?If Seed accepts your content, we will obtain one of the following licenses to your work, but Seed will not own it:
1) An exclusive license, where it can appear on AOL or third-party sites and you will receive a flat fee, or
2) A limited exclusive license, where it would live only on AOL network sites and you will be paid an earnings share
Can I submit content to Seed that I’ve already published somewhere else?For now, we are only interested in publishing content created originally and only for Seed. Therefore, we are not accepting any non-exclusive content.
Can I publish my content elsewhere once I have submitted it to Seed?AOL editors have five days after an assignment's due date to review and determine whether to publish your content or not. You may not publish your content elsewhere during this timeframe. After such timeframe, you may not publish your content elsewhere unless AOL elects not to publish it. Patience is a virtue. It hopefully will pay off when we accept your article and pay you for it. You can check to see if AOL has elected to publish (or not publish) your work by referring to your Dashboard.
Is there a limit to how much content I can submit?Not at all. Feel free to write and submit as many articles as you’d like. The sky’s the limit!
However, if your articles are repeatedly not accepted or published, that will be your cue to dial back on quantity and focus on quality -- as quality content is what our priority is at AOL. Take time to review our Contributor Guidelines, Photography Guidelines and Publishing Agreement, and be sure to review our writing tutorials and tips in Seed Academy.
Can I use a pen name, or pseudonym?No. We at Seed are committed to producing the highest quality content for the Web. As such, we believe that using real names in our bylines allows us to maintain journalistic integrity and public trust that is important to us.
Besides, we view Seed as a community, so we want to get to know the real you -- not a pen name! It also benefits you to use your real name for your byline, allowing you to build your brand and enjoy the exposure you'll receive by being published on our highly trafficked AOL network.
If you still feel strongly about using a pen name, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to ensure that your working relationship with Seed ultimately works for both of us, so we're available to discuss it and help create workable solutions.
How long does it take for my work to appear on an AOL site?It depends. After our review period (within five days after an assignment's due date), your content could appear on our network, where you could earn an earnings share based on advertising and page views. If we decide to pay you a flat fee to publish your content on an AOL site under an exclusive license, the publish date may be a bit more variable and less immediate.
How much will my work be edited?Our editors hope that you make our job easy by not having to heavily edit your work. If we find that we must repeatedly edit your work, this will most likely result in a short relationship. However, if we need to make some minor edits to your article title or make small grammatical or style fixes, we may do so.
Can I edit my work once it is submitted?Once you submit an article, no, you will not be able to edit it. We ask that you only submit the highest quality content. You will have the option of saving your work and returning to it for self-editing. It is only when you submit the article that you can no longer edit it.
Can I remove my content once it's been submitted to Seed?No. Once you submit your content and AOL acquires a license to it, you won’t have the right to remove your content from Seed.
Any other resources I should check out in addition to the Contributor Guidelines?We recommend that you review the Code of Ethics posted by the Society of Professional Journalists. It's a great resource that outlines best practices for journalists, and our Seed contributors should also abide by them.
Also visit our Contributor Resources page for 'best of the web' links to helpful writing and related sites.
How can you get paid for what you create? Actually, there are a couple of ways that what you produce can also produce earnings:
Seed Content Requests
When Seed posts a Seed and you make a submission, you can get paid in one of two ways:
1) AOL acquires an exclusive license to your work for publication on one of our network sites or a third-party site and pays the AOL price (price listed with the request you responded to).
2) AOL acquires a limited exclusive license to your work for publication on one of our network sites and pays you an earnings share based on the profit it generates (determined by advertising and page views). Each day when you log onto Seed, you can see if what you’ve sent in has been used, and keep a rolling total of the earnings your work generates when it appears on our network.
What payment methods are offered?We offer payment using PayPal, direct deposit (EFT), and paper check. For more details, please review our Payment Terms.
How is my pay calculated?Flat-Fee Payment for work submitted in response to a Seed request is determined by AOL editors, guided by AOL's pricing technologies and communicated along with the suggested topic as the AOL Price. Calculated earnings share payments are calculated based on a combination of advertising and page views for the pages where your article or photo lives. (Note: Seed currently only pays Flat-Fee Payments. Calculated earnings share payments will be introduced in coming months.)
What about taxes?As a Seed contributor, you are an independent contractor, so you are responsible for handling your own taxes. Once amounts owed to you reach $600 (or another amount required by law) on an annual basis, AOL will file a 1099 form for you with the IRS.
Why are the amounts shown on my Dashboard and the Getting Paid page different?The 'Earnings' shown on your Dashboard is 'unverified' and may take several days before it gets reviewed and is shown as a 'Current Earnings' on your Getting Paid page.
How often does Seed process payments?Seed processes payments weekly on each Thursday. Please see below information for how -- and how often -- you can request your earnings, and when you can expect to receive payment.
How do I request my earnings?Seed determines whether your Flat-Fee Payment exceeds the minimum payment threshold for your preferred payment method and, if so, a green PAY ME NOW button will appear automatically on your Getting Paid page (until then, it appears as a gray CAN’T PAY YET button). Once you have submitted your payment and tax information, all you have to do is click it, and your payment will be processed. PLEASE NOTE: The platform will not allow you to request another payment until your current payment request is disbursed.
How often can I request payment?When you have reached your minimum payment threshold (and you've submitted your payment and tax information), the Seed platform will activate your PAY ME NOW button on your Getting Paid page, allowing you to request payment. You can request payment as often as you meet these criteria. Remember that you can only request one payment at a time (see How do I request my earnings? above).
When can I expect to receive my payment once I’ve requested it?Once you have requested payment (by clicking the PAY ME NOW button on your Getting Paid page), you will receive your payment per the below schedule:
Payment Request Submitted
PayPal Payment Received By
EFT Payment Received By
Paper Check Payment Received By
By 10am ET Tuesdays
Check mailed Friday from Virginia; receipt subject to USPS delivery timing to your area
After 10am ET Tuesday cutoff
Your payment will be processed one week later, per the above schedule.
In plain terms, if you request payment on Monday or Tuesday before our weekly cutoff (10am ET on Tuesday), you could receive payment as quickly as 2-3 days (PayPal) or as long as 6-10 days (paper check). EFT payments would be received within this date range.
If you miss the Tuesday cutoff (10am ET), you would receive PayPal payments as long as 9-10 days (if, for example, you submit your request at 11:15am ET). Paper checks would take up to two weeks for delivery, and EFT payments would fall within that 9- to 14-day range.
Billing Note: Paper check and EFT payments will not be handled the last seven (7) business days of each calendar month. Any check/EFT payment requests made during this time will be processed the first day of the following month. PayPal accounts are not affected by this and are eligible to be processed weekly.