Home, Write Ups — March 28, 2016 at 9:29 pm

So You Want To Start A Hunting Website?

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For an avid outdoorsmen, a job in the hunting industry is probably the ultimate goal, but getting there can be a real struggle. I have seen a lot of “How To Get A Job In The Industry” posts lately and they pretty much all have the same theme: start entry level and work your way up. For those of us that already have a decent job with a family and a home, starting entry level might not be an option. This is where starting a Facebook page/group, blog, Youtube channel, etc usually comes into play.

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“We’re just a group of average guys with jobs who hunt hard in our spare time.” No way! You are? What a new concept! Unfortunately, you and 95% of the other self filming groups out there are too. I’m guilty of having the same novel concept when I started this blog two years ago. You must set yourself apart and that is becoming increasingly hard to do. Everyone and their brother has a Facebook page or blog…talk about a saturated market! Makes me wonder why I do it…

The best way to break down my own findings and that of some others that I have talked to is a simple Pros and Cons list. I think we will start with the Cons just so we can end on a positive note with the Pros.

Cons:

  • Start up fees – About the only way you can avoid this is by simply using free social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Blogs require a web address and a computer. Youtube requires a video camera of some sort, computer, and potentially some editing software.
  • Time – In a world that seems to spin faster and faster by the week, it can be very difficult to not only find the time to create and post continuous content, but also to do it consistently. If you have a full time job and a family, dedicating extra time to something like this may not come freely. I am very impressed with a few guys I know personally who work full time and run full time blogs, podcasts, and/or Youtube channels. Maybe my wife just likes spending time with me too much?
  • Consistency – Touching on the above point, growing your audience corresponds with consistently posting new material. I’ll openly admit this is my main struggle. It’s not a matter of not having ideas or videos, its a matter of week in and week out consistently writing and editing video regardless of what else is going on in life.
  • Negative Feedback – Let’s face it, the internet can be a cruel place. Not everyone is going to be happy with what you post. Make sure you have thick enough skin to take negative feedback while having the self control to not get into online arguments.
  • No Return On Investment – While some of you may want to do this as just a hobby, the majority of us are most likely looking for some sort of return for our efforts. That return could be as simple as recognition or free gear or all the way to full time employment with financial compensation. Regardless of your long term goals, be prepared to put your time in and be ready when opportunity comes knocking.

Pros:

  • Positive Feedback – Receiving praise from your audience makes all the difference in the world! The more I pour my heart into a blog post or the more hours I spend shooting and editing a video, the more excited but nervous I am to post it. It makes it all worth it when your viewers love it and you can tell how well it resonates with them.
  • Job Opportunities – If you’re lucky, you work hard and network well, employment in the outdoor industry may come your way. Knowing someone that can get you a foot in the door with a company will expedite this process. Just six months after I started Hybrid-Outdoors I received an offer to start filming as a second cameraman. With hard work and a little luck an opportunity is bound to come your way.
  • Gear – When you put yourself out there, companies are going to see it. Maybe you won’t get a brand new bow or get decked out in new camo, but you can probably get some decent discounts from a few companies. I recommend not signing on with any sponsor just to be “sponsored”. Your audience will see right through that. I’m a firm believer in only supporting the products you truly believe in.
  • Memories – As long as the internet doesn’t go away you’ve basically created an online album full of memories. This can be great to share with your kids some day. Hunts and fishing trips you’ve filmed and photographed will be very appealing to share with your children.
  • Being Part Of Something Bigger – Whether it’s blogging, film making, or even running a Facebook group, you’re invested more into the outdoors than just participating in the activity you love to do. You’re sharing your success and failures with everyone. This creates learning opportunities for others and can shorten their learning curve and ultimately help them be more successful in their pursuits.

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My Thoughts (for what they are worth)

Trying to handle the workload of writing and posting on your own will obviously require the most time. If you can find others to share this workload, make sure you have the same general goals and want to move in the same direction. Be open-minded about taking your concept in new directions. You’re not going to reinvent the wheel so you must separate yourself from the pack by doing something else unique.

I started Hybrid-Outdoors with a “let’s see what happens” attitude. Having a defined direction and another blogger would have been smart. I’ve had some opportunities come my way and for my own reasons had to turn them down. There is a direct correlation between how much content I’ve put out and the amount of opportunities that have come my way. Learn from my mistakes, blaze your own trail, and make sure the juice is worth the squeeze!

For more information follow me on Facebook or Instagram. Any questions, feel free to send them my way.

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