Writer, Author . . . Animal Lover
You’re a wordsmith, someone who can effectively write to persuade, educate, and get people thinking and talking. What you’d probably like to know is how to turn those skills into a writing career – specifically, a career writing about animals or the environment.
If you’re like other writers, you may have started your journey with book and magazine markets. These are still feasible options, but are just one path to consider.
Different types of writing jobs exist that you may not even have considered . . . including those listed below. Note that these titles are generic and can be called something different depending on the organization or company.
If you support animal welfare causes, you’ve probably received fundraising letters in the mail from nonprofits. Maybe even a couple compelled you to donate money – or at least want to learn more about the organization. These appeal letters are the equivalent of the direct mail you receive from businesses selling products and services; except that fundraising writers craft prose that compel people to donate money.
Copywriting isn’t limited to writing appeal letters. A few other pieces you may be tasked with writing include newsletters, welcome kits, emails, and social media posts.
As a grantwriter, you need to be able to write persuasively, but also with great accuracy and attention to detail. If you want to do this type of work, you’ll need to understand the intricacies of writing a grant, be able to follow directions, and converse articulately with donors.
Nonprofits typically look for writers who have written successful grants. If you don’t have any to show potential clients, you can offer to write a grant proposal for a small organization on a volunteer basis. Do good while getting a valuable clip!
Book or ebook author
Technology has turned authorship from dream into reality for many a writer. Success depends largely on your ability to research a marketable niche, and willingness to promote and market your work.
If you don’t mind not seeing your name in print, you may also want to consider being a ghostwriter for a publisher.
Dozens of animal and eco-centered magazines are on the market (both in print and online), and are dependent on well-written stories – Birdwatching, Rescue Me, Audubon, and Wildlife Conservation, to name a few. Don’t limit yourself to animal niche markets; some health, women’s, and other markets also publish animal and pet-themed content.
Consumer magazines aren’t the only publications in need of writers. Think of trade magazines that may need well-written articles, such as those serving veterinarians.
Education supplements writer
If you enjoy academics and have at least a Bachelor’s degree, consider writing college textbook supplement materials for educational publishers. Examples of these include study guides, test questions, and lecture outlines. Are there any college textbook publishers who can use your expertise in fields such as biology, wildlife conservation, or zoology?
Whichever niche – or combination of niches – you choose, realize that it takes time, hard work, and patience to become established. Connect with other writers and professionals, read all you can about the business – some of the resources below may help you get started with this (Please note that some of these are affiliate links). Above all, if you want to write, keep writing – it’s as simple (and as hard) as that.
As of this writing, I’m a member of the Freelance Writers Den and can attest to its value (affiliate link). For $25.00 a month, you get access to all the writing bootcamps, weekly phone calls (past calls have even included editors from popular magazines), access to a professionally-moderated forum, and a junk-free job board. The Den is not always open to new members, so if you’re even remotely interested in joining, I’d suggest signing up to be on their waiting list.
For more information about working in a fundraising capacity, check out my article, “Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees: Help Raise Funds for Animal Nonprofits”.
If you’d like to freelance for an animal or environmental organization, consider those with larger budgets, as they’ll be more likely to afford your services. Charity Navigator is one good place to research a nonprofit group’s financials.
To get an idea of the myriad possibilities available to writers, I recommend a book called 102 Ways to Earn Money Writing 1,500 Words or Less.(affiliate link)
Writer’s Digest Shop is a solid place for Freelance Writing Books, including Writer’s Market, one of the most complete reference book for finding paying markets. I prefer subscribing to the online version of Writer’s Market, simply because it’s updated more frequently. (affiliate link)
If you’d like to learn more about writing educational supplements, John Soares, who has experience in this field, has an ebook available for sale on Productive Writers.