Saturday, June 20, 2009

Writers: How to Break into the Green Industry

By Shireen Qudosi

The green industry is one of the hottest industries to work in these days. But contrary to the antiquated perception of green, working in the industry doesn't really mean working in the fields. The concept that green businesses literally toil away is hilarious, but it’s a very real misconception of the past.

It wasn't until Hollywood emphasized green living, that eco-consciousness really took off. Fortunately, with that many industries also realized the importance of going green. Realizing it would save them money and serve as great PR, today's green business are some of the most competitive businesses that offer some of the best products or services.

Just about any profession can find their niche in the green workforce. However, some of us have it tougher than others. For writers, the first thing you have to do is educate yourself on your subject. Give yourself enough time to check out all the different resources there are for green living. This includes green blogs, green businesses, green ideas, green policies...the wealth of resources are unlimited. With there being so much out there, it's important to have an idea about what type of green writing you want to do? Do you want to focus more on urban living, home ideas, businesses, etc? Once you have a clearer idea, you can streamline your search.

Whatever specific subcategory you choose to focus on, make sure you become an expert in the field. Go to events and conferences, borrow or purchase some books on the subject. The more you know about your subject, the better you can write about it.

What You Can't Do

Just as with any other job, you can't just waltz into a company, whether figuratively or literally, and demand a writing job. You have to show you have experience in the field; you have to demonstrate a skill. Writers have it toughest in this regard. While other careers translate well across the board, writers tend to work in a very specific niche and usually adapt to a very specific style of writing. So while you may be a great writer in one area, you may not necessarily translate well to a green industry. Writing for this industry can be different from writing for other industry, and to survive in the green business you've got to start learning to adapt your voice and writing style.

Here again we go back to the subcategory you want to work in. If you want to be a part policy changes, or business services, your writing has to be more technical. If anything else, is has to be more conversational and friendly, yet informative. This is why it's best to do the research and test out the field.

The Perks

A career in environmental conservation writing has a great number of perks. One of the biggest perks is that it can be done from anymore. Many writers are able to telecommute, a trend that’s been made even more popular with the recent events. The recession has made it cheaper for many employers to contact writers and have them work from home, which allows them to save on administrative overhead. Additionally, the decline of print media has finally gotten publishers to pay attention to the vast resource of internet media. With these trends, there no longer a need to drive to work, clock in and clock out. These days, your corner coffee shop is as effective an office as the corner desk.

There's also a great deal of flexibility with a green writing career. As mentioned there are a number of different sub categories. Your expertise in one specific green area can be expanded up and used in another area. If one editor is slow for a week or so, you can start networking with other business and publications. With a green writing career, there's always something to learn - and someone to writer for.

How You Can Get Started

Find a pitch - whether it's green energy, air quality trends, anything in health, technology, or latest green news. Once you start looking into the specific subjects, you'll see how much coverage there is for eco-friendly lifestyles in both the personal and business sector.

No matter what you choose to write about, be sure to always cite your sources, use only stock free, approved, or public images, and link to higher quality publications such as .edu and .gov, which tend to have higher rankings. If writing for online content, be sure to brush up on SEO keywords. And remember, the average piece shouldn't be more than 900 words, and your pitch to me should be 50-200 words max.

Most publications will be happy to feature well-written quality content, out of which you get a piece for your portfolio, and a byline. But before you clickety-click away, send me a quick pitch and let's see if we can guide you in the right direction.

However, if you choose to go on it your own, then take in the advice here and give it your best shot.

Shireen Qudosi is a green expert working with Air Conditioner Home. A premier online retailer of residential/commercial cooling, Air Conditioner Home is dedicated to raising consumer awareness on green issues & promoting both air purification and eco-friendly cooling.

Duke and French Company Plan Nuke Plant in Ohio

Duke Energy and French nuclear reactor manufacturer Areva are studying whether to build a reactor in southern Ohio at a uranium enrichment plant. The Portsmouth plant, in Piketon, Ohio is owned by the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC), which is trying to develop a new kind of centrifuge to enrich uranium for use in nuclear power plants.

The plant would be built as a regulated generator, not a merchant generator, and state approvals could allow the company to begin collecting money before it is finished. The plant would provide 4,000 to 5,000 construction jobs and 500 to 700 permanent jobs. The reactor would be one of a series of plants planned by Unistar, a joint venture to build Areva plants, formed by Constellation Energy and Electricite de France. (NYT-Green,Inc, 6/18/09, Photo: AP)