Pitching Content to the NOLS Blog

By NOLS

Jan 1, 2015

A student smiles while writing in the Adirondacks
Photo by Kirk Rasmussen

Thank you for thinking of the NOLS Blog for your post content. The NOLS Blog exists to educate and engage students—past, present, and future attendees of expeditions, wilderness medicine courses, and/or risk services organizational experiences—as well as members of the NOLS extended community (parents, donors, industry members, and outdoor enthusiasts).

Every blog post contains an instructional component to help readers when they’re in the backcountry, in the frontcountry, and/or in life. Similar to a NOLS course, the NOLS Blog participates in good expedition behavior: each post goes an extra step beyond the content you will find on other sites. The NOLS Blog emboldens readers to step forward.

The Details

You have a great idea, and we want to know about it!

Technicalities

Pitches should be no more than a paragraph. A few sentences about your topic, the preferred format of your post, resources and/or interviews you plan to include, and a brief explanation for why this post belongs specifically on the NOLS Blog.

All pitches should be sent to blog@nols.edu and the subject line should begin "NOLS Blog Pitch:" After the colon, give your pitch a name.

Do you have more than one pitch idea? Please submit it in a separate email with a different pitch name.

We know you would rather be on an adventure than indoors writing about one, so please wait to write your post until after we get back to you. We make content decisions at our monthly blog content meetings, usually around the 15th of the month.

Topics

We’re interested in topics that align with NOLS’ content areas, such as expeditions, wilderness medicine, custom education, risk services experiences, leadership, and Leave No Trace, among others.

We’re interested in topics that are instructional. We assume, similar to a NOLS course, our readers can be learning all the time, even when something isn't being demonstrated. This doesn’t mean every post needs to be a how-to post (though you can certainly write in that format), but rather that a reader can find an opportunity for growth in the content of every post.

We’re interested in topics that are inclusive, diverse, and equitable.

NOLS Blog readers tend to be outdoor savvy and interested in 201-level knowledge (e.g. readers are looking for the pros and cons of different tent types, not learning what a tent is). Our readers can be anywhere from 14 to 104 years old. They’re high school and college students. They’re adults who have been on backpacking adventures since they could first tie their hiking boots. They’re adults who have never been in a canoe but are looking for inspiration to finally get into a boat. They’re industry professionals, parents, NOLS donors, EMTs, outdoor industry members, and professionals at organizations in need of risk management services.

We’re okay with posts that have similar content to other posts on the NOLS Blog, but not the same content. We’re excited to learn more about familiar topics, as well as topics not yet covered.

Still not sure as to if your topic is the right fit for a NOLS Blog post? Pitch it, and we can go from there.

Format

NOLS Blog posts should have an internal organizational structure. Would your content work best with steps, numbered lists, topic subheadings, quiz questions, checklists, myth busting, Q&As, etc.? Whatever you decide, be sure to note this structure in your pitch.

We like images because readers like them, too. Each post must have at least two visual elements and no more than four. Exceptions can be made, but you’ll need to give us a strong reason. Images are usually photographs, but they also can be illustrations or videos. Have an idea for an illustration but aren’t an artist? We have a few artists on staff, so pitch your idea for artwork, if applicable. Regardless of the style, tell us about the visual elements you plan to use in your pitch.

NOLS Blog posts are 800 to 1,000 words in length. We can work with shorter and longer posts, but we strongly prefer posts in this range. Again, if you have a compelling reason for a shorter or longer post, tell us about it in your pitch.

Things to Know Before You Send Us Your Pitch

The blog post content you’ll be producing is exclusively for NOLS, and the copyright belongs to NOLS after you submit it. This means you can link to the post, but you can’t reproduce it without written permission from NOLS.

Content provided to the NOLS Blog cannot have been previously published (online or in print) any place other than a NOLS publication.

Unless properly attributed, content for the NOLS Blog cannot be plagiarized from another person or publication (online or in print). Ideas and content must be original. Stealing other people’s ideas and words violates the platinum rule to treat others the way they want to be treated; it’s also illegal.

If you submit a pitch to the NOLS Blog, you are agreeing to these guidelines.

We’re excited to hear from you!

Make your pitch to blog@nols.edu

Last updated: April 2020

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NOLS

NOLS is a nonprofit global wilderness school that seeks to help you step forward boldly as a leader.