The Growing Role of Outdoor Freelance Writers | Outdoor Industry Jobs
Graphic By: Deanna Riley – Web & Graphic Specialist
Article By: Weston Schrank – Content Strategist and Manager
Outdoor industry jobs in freelance writing, or hunting/fishing freelance writers are professionals of a dying art. Would you agree or disagree…really is it?
I would like to start off this article with an excerpt from one of our most recent blogs.
“Depending on your passion, you waited for that hunting and fishing magazine each and every month. You would reserve a spot in the calendar, even a chunk of time after dinner but before bed, a time for just you and the latest hunting and fishing articles…This pull and addiction was mastered by print writers, as we know to have been very successful at evoking emotional connection to the story and topic through detailed descriptions, delicate vocabulary, and well-formed article structure” – Hunting and Fishing Marketing | Appealing to Google and the Customer with Multimedia
I remember as a kid (I’m young so I know you remember) reading magazine article after magazine article, diving into adventures that I knew I may never come across in my life. However, that didn’t mean I didn’t experience it! Through the writers account, and flowing river of text, I was placed into that moment, whether it was a high elevation sheep hunt, salty deep sea fishing trip, or thrilling encounter with a grizzly while camping in the backcountry. The writer’s ability to pull and addict the reader to the content was undoubtedly an art form possessed by a handful of skilled outdoorsmen that secured their roles as a key in outdoor industry jobs.
There is no doubt that the world we live in today is going digital, nearly every piece on our blog has reiterated this old news. But will print, our coveted magazines, suffer? The bigger question for any readers diving into this topic and article is, regardless if print suffers, “what is the new role being developed into for outdoor industry freelance writers?” Now wait for it…the even larger question trumping your concerns is, “how the industry, and outdoor industry jobs will incorporate these hunting and fishing freelance writers moving in the current direction it is?”
The first and basic answer to any of these question is the general response. The direction of the outdoor industry, the hunting industry, and the fishing industry is and will continue to be content marketing. It always has been, from the magazines to the TV shows, but this movement is catching up to the outside world of digital content marketing. Again we have been repeating this over and over again in each one of our blogs, so whether you are a brand or company, or a content creator/freelance writer, it is time to take notice and learn what and how to change!
Opportunities for Outdoor Industry Freelance Writers
A popular question of the outdoor industry world of hunting and fishing, is how to get a job in the outdoor industry. While countless “regurgitated” articles and blogs will tell you to “start a hunting or fishing show” or “become a pro staff member” in order to obtain outdoor industry jobs, they are all missing the point of what the outdoor industry companies, brands, and potential employers need…real, authentic, authoritative content that doesn’t sell the product, just gives the reader and consumer what he/she wants!
Outdoor freelance writers again have mastered this, it is evident in any magazine article, and the problem however, is transitioning to the changing industry. If you are a skilled writer and an outdoorsmen with the passion and know how you are in luck! Now what I am about to reveal is key, this is why there is such a big opportunity present, and it is knocking on your door! The outdoor industry currently does not know how to value a freelance writer…do you know why that statement is true? Because the majority of the industry doesn’t know how to use the content they produce or currently hold.
“The world and this industry has gone digital, the most significant sentence of this article is this. “Your customer will seek you out online, so you need to give them exactly what they are searching for.” It is the premise behind the BE SEEN. BE FOUND. BE DIFFERENT of Stone Road Media. Customers will educate themselves before the buy, whether that buy is online or in the store. Those businesses and brands that give the information, detail, expert opinion, enjoyment, and influential piece on the subjects and topics related to their goals and objectives will beat out the competition… Newly created content will eventually create an authoritative content gap for a business that dives into and employs content creators. This will stack the content as the top results for every search a consumer types, related to your business. Those top results will place your expert content in front of the competitions, causing a free fall for the competition.” – Outdoor Industry Content Marketing | The Authoritative Content Gap
In a nut shell, as the outdoor industry recognizes the need for custom, fresh, informative, interesting, but optimized content, they will turn to content creators, and the first ones targeted will be freelance writers! This will be a massive opening for outdoor industry jobs and a big opportunity for anyone looking into how to get a job in the outdoor industry. Knowing that freelance writers possess the skills to bring a story, a “how to”, a “tips and tactics” basically anything a reader would search for and desire, will make it easy for business and brands in the industry to snatch them up.
Now this is not all good news, in fact it’s the opposite. If you are already an established freelance writer for many magazines, and are currently or about to dive into online articles and blogs for hunting and fishing websites, then your career and opportunity at seizing any of these outdoor industry jobs could be at risk.
This literally might be the first time this information has been presented online for our industry, I’ll just go ahead and claim that it is in confidence…”hunting and fishing print/magazine articles and the freelance writers that create them are not online worthy alone.”…Now let’s just agree to wait for the dust to settle on that bomb. It just blew up the strategy behind many “authority” sites in this industry. It is the same principle behind why you just can’t upload TV videos and content online and expect them to be found and reach the customers.
The reason behind why a freelance writer or an article that has been created for print/magazine cannot just be slapped onto a site and expected to be effective is that it does not meet all the criteria to be so. While a great opportunity is present and in front of both outdoor industry jobs, industry brands and outdoor industry freelance writers, it cannot be grasped without knowing the criteria for effective online content.
How to Develop Your Content and Yourself to Be Effective Online
The time is now to train and make yourself and your content into an effective asset for outdoor industry brands. If you are asking the question, “how to get a job in the outdoor industry”, this advice would be key to focus on. In doing this, a freelance writer in the hunting and fishing industry will have to recognize the differences between print content and digital content. Mastering this will concrete your ability to grasp these openings and these outdoor industry jobs.
While the magazine brought your text and images to the readers, you will be responsible for attracting and engaging customers. Sure whatever company or brand in the industry has a wide and numerous audience and social media platform, but that only takes content so far. The other half of the battle in creating web content is optimizing it for organic growth and appeal to google! Now how is this different than print, well it starts with the title. While a print or magazine title would be dramatic, fun, or extremely clever, your online content title will need to be informative and to the point! Tell google and the consumer what it is. This is just the start of optimization. You will need to dive into more content marketing strategy and basics, but to put it lightly, you need to optimize your title, header, meta data, target a keyword, target search terms, insert relative and helpful links, write the correct length and density for all mentioned above and then, and only then write the content around those pieces. Sound confusing and hard? It is and isn’t, but once you get the hang of it you are very valuable to the Outdoor Industry!
One piece of print and magazine content creation that should stick with you is being an authority on the subject. If you can’t write an authoritative, top notch piece on a subject you have no business writing it or being featured in the magazine. Think of google as the magazine editor, they will know whether or not you are an authority by either what the content is composed of, or by the consumer or reader’s reaction. Knowing what you are talking about and presenting extremely valuable, informative, and interesting content is the first step before writing or optimizing. If your content is spot on, useful, and engaging and optimized well, you and the outdoor industry employer will be rewarded with a top rank and organic traffic.
How to Write for Outdoor Industry Companies and Businesses
The real trick of the trade for outdoor industry freelance writers to master and understand is generating valuable content. Sure you have to be pleasing to google and the customer, but that is something that should already be under an online writer’s belt. The real struggle for this growing prospect is producing something valuable to the business or company. What are your goals with each and every piece of content? Each piece should not only be interesting and informative, but it should drive people to the site and online “shop”, “store”, and ecommerce sites, be appealing to google for organic traffic, and be substantial enough to tell consumers to come often. While these goals might seem simple, it can be very easy for outdoor industry freelance writers to get lost along the way. There is a fine line between producing valuable content to google and the consumer, even the slightest lean to one of those goals skews the results negatively. Adding in the task to be valuable and impactful for the business or company creates a very small target. Writing a very well thought out and created piece of content that is optimized, interesting, well written, but valuable to the promotion and sale of a business in the outdoor industry is an art!
While it might seem outdoor industry freelance writers are employed in a dying career, it is the exact opposite. Unfortunately grasping the newly found opportunities when it comes to how to get a job in the outdoor industry, and outdoor industry jobs for writers, means adjusting and adapting the writing for online use. Once this difficult mission is harnessed however, the outdoor freelance writer becomes an indispensable tool. Outdoor content marketing will be, and is developing, as the future and focal point of the outdoor industry. If you are an outdoor freelance writer that possess the skills to produce unique, informative, but online worthy content and are looking for growing opportunities then consider Stone Road Media.
We are looking for these capable outdoor freelance writers that eat, sleep, and breathe hunting, fishing, and shooting/tactical to join our team at Stone Road Media. If you are interested in joining SRM’s front running digital media assistance and multi-faceted team that has harnessed content production, management, and marketing, contact us today, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graphic: Deanna Riley grew up in western PA with a love for the outdoors, which lead to her drive to capture the essence of what’s around us in her nature photography and design work. She holds a BFA in Graphic Design, and is excellent at web, logo, and print design as well as social media.
Article: Weston Schrank is Stone Road Media’s Digital Content Manager. He has turned the obsession of outdoors and hunting, expertise in wildlife and land management, and understanding of specialized content creation and SEO into an excelling and devoted career as a content manager and strategist, benefitting the company’s many outdoor industry partners, and outdoor freelance writers.