Why a blog?

Blog posts are a great way to share the work you are doing with the world and to spread #ConservationOptimism. Blogs help us amplify your voice and promote your stories within the wider Conservation Optimism community.

Anyone can write a blog, whether you are a student, a conservation practitioner, a ConservationNOW member or none of these!  You are also welcome to submit a blog in any language.

What to blog about?

We are currently looking for blogs under the following categories! Those categories are quite broad so you can write about almost anything as long as it complies to our mission and guidelines. We are always happy to receive submissions or to discuss ideas.

 Reasons For Optimism

Do you have a conservation project that is delivering results for people and wildlife? Share your work with the world, tell us about the ingredients of your success, and inspire your audience with an uplifting story. These blog posts are a chance to showcase what you do, where you work, and the methods you use. Give a balanced and reflective account of your work in which you celebrate your impact and draw learning lessons from your failures.

 Humans of Conservation

Working with the environment and nature conservation can be an interesting but sometimes challenging experience. We want to hear about your moments of joy and sorrow, hardships and successes and overall experiences in the world of conservation. Tell us about your or someone else from your team’s enchanting field tales, a mishap and what you learned from it, your most memorable conservation moment, why you are a conservationist or just your story! This project was started by the India Regional Hub.

 Creative Conservation

We believe that everyone can be a conservationist and that artists play an important role in spreading conservation messages to diverse audiences. Are you an artist inspired by nature? Do you use your work to raise awareness of conservation issues? We would love to hear from you! Share with us what you are working on and where you draw your inspiration from.

Plant Optimism

In 2019 we started a new blog series focusing on plant species. We are looking for inspiring plant enthusiasts to share their love of the plant world with us. Do you know an inspiring plant conservationist that you’d like to put a spotlight on? Have you heard of optimistic stories about plant species that our community should know about? Send us your blog!

Conservation & Wellbeing

Do you have a resource to share related to wellbeing in conservation? Perhaps an interesting article, paper, app, online learning course or event? Write it up, share relevant links and let the rest of the world know about it!

Regional Hubs

Are you thinking of setting-up your own Conservation Optimism hub to reframe the conservation narrative away from doom-and-gloom? Or have you already embarked on this mission? Let us know how you are getting on, what works well and what you have learned. Sharing experiences and lessons inspires us all!

Dos:

  • Start with a story as a hook or use a personal anecdote to get readers curious about your blog (see below* for some ideas on how to build your intro)
  • Highlight the challenges you/your organisation/a certain species face but spend most of the blog on the solutions;
  • Include short inspirational stories from your workplace;
  • Accentuate your ideas with vivid photographs, videos, infographics or other creative media (minimum dimensions: 960 × 540 pixels);
  • Make sure to mention what is making you optimistic about the story you’re sharing;
  • Avoid using jargon and technical words. Not everyone will be as much of an expert on the topic as you are;
  • Write in the language that you feel most comfortable with;

Don’ts:

  • Copy and paste from existing sources, like websites, without giving due credit;
  • Copy and paste the mission statement of your organisation. We want the blogs to be engaging and embedded in storytelling.
  • Stress on negative connotations – we aim to spread positivity and hope;
  • Indulge too much into details, the idea is to get a broader picture of what you do
  • Use photos without providing us with the credits for them. Certains images are only shareable under certain circumstances so be mindful when you source photos;
  • Write more than 800 words.

Starting your blog

There is nothing scarier than a blank page! We would like our blogs to have a storytelling focus that will draw in the reader, and not all stories or blogs should start at the beginning (e.g. XX Foundation was founded by so-and-so in 2000) but rather start with a story, and the background can come later. Here are some ideas to get the ideas flowing:

  • Description: set the scene for the reader. Go straight into the best part of your story, whether it was spotting an interesting animal or an encounter with the local community. E.g. Just an hour away from the capital, there is a glade which you might easily drive by if you didn’t know better. At first glance, it is just a patch of untended grass. But if you were to park your car, and go for a walk, you would see some extraordinary flowers which you can hardly find anywhere else.
  • Question: bring the reader into your story by asking a question and diving into your account. E.g. How do you prepare for a trip to Vietnam? Perhaps with a little history, I thought, so I watched Platoon and read Chickenhawk by Robert Mason. Both well worthwhile, but as I was to learn, of no relevance for my trip (the movie was filmed in the Philippines). I would have been better prepared if I had practiced eating rice with chopsticks.
  • In medias res: you can start your story in the middle of the action, even using dialogue e.g. “Did you see it?” I did. A ghost of a bird — too pale for a marsh harrier, clearly the wrong shape for a gull … Could it have been the mythical ‘skydancer’? No, no, I was assured. A pale marsh harrier maybe, but not the bird I’ve only ever seen stamped on profile pictures across Twitter — a male hen harrier.”

We are also very happy to cross-post blogs from other websites so just get in touch with us and we will make it happen! We will, of course, always credit the original source of the post.

Help us amplify your voice and get your stories out there!

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Happy blogging!

Imran and Mirjam​