June 2014 – Graywolf Survival
The Featured Website of the Month for June 2014 is Graywolf Survival. I’ve been linking to Graywolf Survival since Scott was writing articles from Afghanistan. Since getting state-side, Scott has been devoting more time to his in-depth articles. I’m sure you are going to enjoy reading Scott’s answers to the FWOTM questions.
Summarize the focus and purpose of your website. – The primary focus is basic prepper knowledge and survival skills, but I do occasionally go into more advanced topics.
The purpose of Graywolf Survival is to give preppers and those interested in survival skills some knowledge from the viewpoint of someone who’s spent decades in the military, law enforcement, and intelligence communities and has deployed to several nasty places around the world. I’m currently a Chief Warrant Officer in the US Army Reserves and a member of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Special Forces Posse.
I try to give rational information that can help people make intelligent and balanced decisions on what they can do to protect their family and how exactly to do it. Too many websites out there either repeat crap that others have said or they make things up without having any experience – and then others repeat it.
What made you decide to start a website? – I was lying in bed in Afghanistan last time and hearing the mortars, rockets, and alarms go off several nights a week. After a while, it starts to get to you, wondering what it would be like to be lying there one moment and be dragged out of a pile of rubble the next, or wake up a few days later in the medical center. I needed something to do to get my mind off things when I was in my bunk. I went through that in Iraq and it affected me more than pretty much anything else. I started watching a LOT of movies on my laptop I had hanging from the top bunk.
Then one day, I watched the movie the Bucket List and it gave me an idea about trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I spent several days analyzing my wants in life and grouped them together. I came across a site called Location 180 (mentioned below) and it all clicked:I needed to start a website about prepping and survival because there was a market for it, it was something I was very experienced in, and I enjoyed writing and researching about it. It also kept my mind busy when I was lying in bed, waiting to fall asleep.
If you’re interested in more on that, I’ve written a bio and some info on my About page.
How long have you run your website? – I started it around January of 2013.
How much time do you spend dedicated to your website? – It varies but each of my articles take about 5 hours of research and writing and I spend about 8-10 additional hours on related tasks such as onsite and offsite Search Engine Optimization (SEO), editing code, social media, and general research. In total, I probably spend about 45 hours per week that’s directly for Graywolf Survival and another 20-30 with related activities.
What is one thing you really like about your website? – The biggest thing is that I say it like it is. If I think something sucks, I say it. If I really like something, people know I really mean it and I say it. I write my articles based on facts and experience and if I deviate into conjecture then I say that.
I really like debunking myths and challenging the status quo. A perfect example is when I was reading several forum posts referring to articles people had written about how they would bury shipping containers. I couldn’t believe just how many people out there thought it was a good idea just because it sounded like one. It just didn’t seem right. After I spent a while researching the truth about the subject, I countered that with Underground bunkers shouldn’t be made from shipping containers!. It’s been, by far, the most viewed article on my website.
What is one thing that you want to change about your website? – I’d like to have a few other people who can contribute quality articles but I’ve had a hard time finding people who both know things from experience and can write well. Almost every single article people have sent me are short tidbits of a list of information that keep your mind busy for 30 seconds but at the end, you haven’t learned anything useful. If you’ve read my site, you know that my articles are much longer than most and are based on fact.
I am getting a few trickling in that I’m now starting to share but I’ve had to reject 95% of what most people have sent me. I now have a couple of writers who are very good and they’ll be posting soon.
Other than your site, what is your favorite non-preparedness websites to visit? – Sean Ogle’s Location 180. That site was a huge reason why I started a blog and why I now work from home, or wherever I feel like working. His whole idea is to create blogs around things that you want to do and have them support the lifestyle you want to live. I wanted a lifestyle that got me back into nature like I grew up so I started Graywolf Survival. I’ll be expanding out to other topics soon.
If you ever thought you wanted to start a blog or quit your job to work online so you can work from anywhere with an occasional internet connection, this is a great site to start with.
Do you have anything (projects, special posts, redesign) in store for the future of your website? – One thing that I’m already starting to change is I’m shifting off to write some fiction articles for a book. I was originally going to write a non-fiction but feedback overwhelmingly said I should write a fiction instead.
I need to write out scenes and figure out characters and their interactions and growth anyway and thought it was a perfect match to combine it with Graywolf Survival. By occasionally posting a rough scene (possible scene) from the book, I can smooth out my thoughts and get some great feedback from my core audience.
I wrote my first scene, about a group of children and an old combat vet who are walking through the woods and stop to make a camp for the night. In it, I give the readers some idea how to build a fire the right way without making it seem like it’s a lesson like my other articles are. I want them to learn by experiencing what the characters see and do and not realize they’re being taught.
The article was well-received by my readers. I’m definitely going to continue with more fiction.
What were the three books you last read? (Be honest) – I spend almost all my reading time on the Internet but I do occasionally read books on paper. Here are the most recent ones:
What Every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People – My career has been based on reading people to detect deception and to build rapport so I pretty much read this one for work. This book breaks it down scientifically. It’s very well-written and thorough. If you want to learn body language, this is one of the best out there.
How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It by J.W. Rawles. – I wanted to see what the hype was all about because I had never read any of his books. I was impressed. It’s a good read with great ideas and descriptions. It wasn’t what I was expecting.
Magic Bullets by Nick Savoy – to sharpen my “people skills” because it’s the best at breaking down human motivation, controlling conversations, and reading body language. It’s actually a book that explains how to pick up girls (PUA) but it explains ideas and skills that have been proven in the field. It’s the best book in the genre. Making a friend or developing a relationship with a person for a business transaction is 80% the same thing as what this book covers.
I’ve used this book now, and its ideas to train people how to develop rapport in real-life situations. And not just to pick up girls.
What would you like to say to readers at the Prepper Website? – Just want to say thanks, really. More and more of you come from Prepper Website each month to Graywolf Survival and share my site with your friends. I really appreciate it.