Kate on Conservation

How to turn a wildlife blog into a career

Kate-on-conservation-near-house-of-lords-Westminster

Have you thought about starting a blog? Have you wondered how a wildlife blog or conservation blog could make a difference in building a career in wildlife conservation or science communication?

My personal experience is that blogging is a fantastic way to build a professional network, gain writing experience and learn about a wealth of issues in depth and in ‘real-time’; as you read and research an abundance of topics to become an expert in your field.

Kate on Conservation blogging from home, this scene is the making of my Cecil the lion and his legacy: Taking the lions’ share blog post

My blog has not only given me the chance to meet and interview many of my wildlife heroes, it’s been a prime topic of conversation in my job interviews for both National Geographic Kids and Discovery Communications, and it’s helped me to come into contact with the right people to become a trustee of my favourite wildlife charity, Born Free Foundation.

Hear my chat on the Conservation Careers Podcast

This week I was delighted to be featured on Conservation Careers Podcast, tracing back my career path to date and how my blogging journey has run alongside it. You can listen on the player below…

As I explain on the Conservation Careers podcast, I began my Kate on Conservation blog nine years ago as part of my degree in English Language and Communications with Journalism and Media Cultures, which included the modules: Online Journalism; Web Publishing and Internet Communications.

The Online Journalism module involved setting up a platform to write online news and engage with an online audience, while learning how to optimise text to make it discoverable on Search Engines, like Google. 

Kate on Conservation as a student, presenting some of the learnings from my blog

Although this opportunity gave me the initial push and confidence I needed to sign-up to WordPress and start writing; most of my blogging knowledge I acquired in the years following, from just doing it, and learning ‘on the job’.

I’m happy to have been able to share some of these insights on the Conservation Careers podcast featured above, in which I trace my career path to date and the lessons I’ve learned along the way. 

For anyone looking for easy-to-use, straight forward tips on running a wildlife blog, I’ve shared a list of Top 10 tips for emerging nature and wildlife bloggers Here.

My blog has been the recipient of a number of awards, including being named one of the UK’s top 10 blogs by Market Inspector

Career development and support with Conservation Careers

So what’s next? Many of my social media followers will know that I left full-time media work in January to go freelance as a blogger, writer and speaker, but the current situation with Covid-19 has pretty much changed all my career plans for 2020.

Leaving my job and former life in London behind at the beginning of this year to relocate with my family to Norfolk was a huge deal for me, but things were off to a great start at the end of January, my story ‘Saint Lucia: The Birds and the Baby‘ was announced as the Judges First Runner-Up in the Terra Incognita Travel Blogger of the Year Competition.

terra incognita travel blogger of the year 2020 Runner-Up certificate

I’m sure I’m not alone in finding that the Covid-19 outbreak put a stop to a number of exciting plans, freelance contracts and career progressions – and as such, I don’t feel like the uncertainty of the freelance world is right for our family anymore.

Fortunately, one of my prizes from the Travel Blogger of the Year Competition was a free place on the Conservation Careers Kick-Starter program — and lockdown seems like the perfect time to get stuck in!

So, with much excitement and optimism; I’m embarking on a long-held dream — to make my first steps from the media sector to the conservation sector. This comes about a year or so ahead of schedule; but always something I hoped to achieve one day.

Setting a Career Compass

Even though I’ve been incredibly happy with my career to date, I haven’t really evaluated my career path, the direction I’m going in, the causes that matter to me and the things I want to achieve in my daily life since… choosing my A Levels?!

Hopefully now is the right time for some reflection, self-development and personal growth, and through the Kick Starter online course, I’ve been setting my ‘career compass’.

I’m excited to be considering myself a ‘career switcher’ from educational content creator and writer to “something” in the conservation sector. What that “something” will be remains to be seen, but setting a career compass through plenty of analysis and self-reflection has filled me with a lot of ideas, motivation and inspiration.

For many reasons, I’m becoming ever more the optimist, and having the chance to take part in this course right now during lockdown feels like it was meant to be. For a limited time only, there’s also a chance to gain free access to the Conservation Careers ‘How to Get a Conservation Job‘ video training sessions, which can be accessed here, or by clicking the image below.

I have no idea what the job landscape will look like over the next few months; but I’m hopeful that that this period will allow me to comfortably work through this course and figure out my transferrable skills as a ‘career switcher’.

I’m looking forward to seeing where this journey takes me. Hopefully it’s a good time to learn and prepare – and to get my CV in order. Plus I’ve remembered how much I really do love learning.

kate on conservation wildlife blog logo

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12 thoughts on “How to turn a wildlife blog into a career

    1. Thank you, I’m so glad that it helped! My top tip would be to be a ‘yes’ person early on, as you never know where it may lead!

  1. I really enjoyed this post! I completely agree that blogging can help to get your foot in the door.

    I studied Biology and Conservation at university, but started blogging while taking a year out to travel as I missed writing and research, and also wanted a space to write about positive conservation news as I found that the constant stream of bad news was really affecting my mental health.

    I didn’t ever plan to end up in conservation communications, but I enjoyed designing and working on my blog so much that I ended up applying for comms jobs, and being able to talk about my blog was definitely a factor in me being successful.

    I think blogging gives you a chance to talk about all of the skills you have learnt, but starting your own blog because you want to and not because you had to also shows a passion and commitment.

    Good luck with the job change! I’m really intrigued to see where you end up – I’m sure you won’t be short of offers after all of your amazing work so far 🙂 (this comment ended up a little more rambley than planned!)

    Danielle
    http://www.naturesgoodnews.com

    1. Thanks Danielle! It’s so important to have positive stories and voices in the nature and conservation world — it can all get pretty heavy some times. It sounds like your blog is something we could all do with a little more of (I’ve subscribed!).

      I’m looking at a few Comms jobs myself, as my ‘career compass’ certainly points that way. I’m intrigued to see where I end up too. x

    1. Thank you so much for the great support Tolga. I’m hoping it encourages more people feel there is a way into conservation that isn’t necessarily from a STEM background. Conservation needs lots of different people from lots of different fields.

  2. This is a great post thank you! I’ve also been using time off during lockdown to think about my future career and what I want to do with my environmental blog. I’m really interested in moving more into science communication within wildlife conservation and I hope my blog will be able to help me with that. I will definitely check out that course!

    Wild-and-green.blog

  3. Hi Kate,
    Great interview and your passion shone throughout. It was good to learn more about you and your history, All the best,
    Lori from SavingWIld

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