What You Need to Know to Get Published on SCA’s Blog
Thank you for your interest in blogging for SCA. Your experience and the work you do as a conservationist is what SCA is all about. Here are some tips that will help you put that experience into words. Follow them, and you just might find your story posted to SCA’s website!
- This is your story. Your thoughts, views, and experiences in conservation. Make the blog yours by writing in your style.
- Use authentic language, and let your energy, personality, and enthusiasm shine through in your words.
- Describe experiences that demonstrate how you are growing as a person and what you are discovering about the world and your role in conserving it.
- Stories thrive on tension. Create it by triggering curiosity and slowly satisfying it (start with a question and gradually reveal the answer), or by setting up a conflict or an obstacle and journeying toward triumph or resolution.
- Transport the reader to your location by describing the site, scene, working conditions and more. What do you see? Hear? Feel? Details like this are important.
- Stand on your soapbox. Make it clear that you care deeply about conservation, and appeal to the reader’s conscience.
- Try to work in some of your personal context. What forces, events, and experiences shaped you as a conservationist? Is what you’re experiencing through SCA new to you, or familiar? Did you grow up in the city? The country? The suburbs?
- Your blog post should address some of the following questions:
- How does the experience or project you’re writing about fit into the broader context of conservation?
- How is the work you’re doing meaningful or important, both to you personally, and to the world at large?
- What have you gained from this experience? Has it, for example, made you a better conservationist? Has it left you feeling more confident in your ability to take on challenges? More open to differing perspectives? More deeply connected with nature? More altruistic? Why is this stuff important to you?
- How did your experience with SCA strengthen your sense of purpose, or otherwise change the way you think about your future?
- Where do you hope the SCA experience will lead you?
- Give enough background on the issue, project or situation to bring the reader up to speed.
- Limit technical terms to what is necessary in order to understand the situation but make sure the reader has enough background to grasp the big picture.
- Remember SCA is about conservation, so understanding the environmental context of an issue as well as your intended outcomes is often important.
Great visuals are key. Here are some tips for getting great photos.
- Focus on faces. When you’re photographing your crew members hard at work, get their faces in the shot. Try asking them to look up from what they’re doing and smile for a quick pic. Avoid shots of people with their backs turned.
- Get close. While it’s nice to have photos from a variety of distances, as a general rule, stepping closer to your subject (or zooming if you have the capability) will result in a more compelling, informative shot.
- Try shooting from a variety of heights and angles. Kneel down, stand up, and move around to find the angle and the background that work best. If your subject is a person or an animal, an eye-level shot often works best.
- Pay attention to lighting. Make sure that your subject is well-lit, not obscured by shade and shadow. Use natural light whenever you can. Employ flash only as a last resort.
- Pay attention to background. Go for backdrops that are beautiful or at least pleasant, but not too busy or distracting. If your background is ugly, drab, or too busy, try stepping close to let your subject fill the frame.
- Follow the Rule of Thirds for more eye-pleasing compositions. Click here for some great examples of photos that follow the Rule of Thirds.
- For landscapes, shoot just after dawn or right around dusk to capture the softly glowing hues of what photographers call the “golden hours”.
General blog guidelines
- Only post things that you would want everyone to know and read. Remember this is public.
- Consider your audience and the perspectives they may bring to the story. Your project is important to you, but what does it mean to the reader?
- Remember that you’re representing SCA. All posts must be appropriate and respectful. SCA staff will remove any inappropriate posts and may edit posts for grammar.
- Only post information that you can verify is true. If you are writing your opinion on an issue, please make that clear.
- Anytime you use media from another source, be sure to properly cite the creator of the original work.
- When including photos or videos of people, make sure you have their consent. We cannot post photos of children without parental consent.
- SCA maintains editorial control over the content of the blogs. This means we can choose to not publish a post or remove certain content from the post. We attempt to make only minor edits to the blog posts and keep the content in your voice.
Good blog posts are around 3-6 paragraphs, include photos , a recap of your work, and your thoughts on your experience.