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This article is a great place to learn the strategy of a gardening blog. If you want step-by-step instructions on how to start your own gardening blog, check out our free blogging course.
What Is Your Blog About?
You are here, reading this article, which means you have a pretty good idea of what you want your blog to be about - gardening! But you will need to dig a little deeper to determine what exactly you want your blog to accomplish. Are you writing a gardening blog for kids? A vegetable gardening blog? A blog about growing garlic?
You need to clarify what you want your blog to be about so you can set your tone and plan your future content.
There’s a quote that fits this situation perfectly:
"If you try to be everything for everybody, you will be nothing to no one."
Establish Your Niche
When creating a new blog, you need to find your niche. This is the corner of the market that you have the most knowledge about, the place you can establish yourself as an absolute authority. If you try to take on the Gardening Channel all at once, you will probably wind up making little headway and may quit in frustration.
Your goal should be to find a niche that you can stand out in, but that also gives you enough to write about over the long-term. “Gardening” is too broad - you may never differentiate yourself in it. “Growing arugula” is likely too narrow - you will run out of things to say or find your audience never gets big enough to sustain your blog.
Some examples of niche gardening blogs are:
Name Your Blog
Once you’ve found your niche, it’s a great time to start brainstorming a name for your blog. You’ll want to pick a name that’s brandable and available. Use our domain name tool to check if your name is available. If it is, scoop it up before someone else gets to it first.
Brand Your Blog
The strongest and most memorable businesses are built on a solid brand. When developing your brand, think about what your business stands for. Customers and clients are looking for companies that have a compelling brand, as much as they are shopping for high-quality products and services.
Creating a logo for your business is vital for increasing brand awareness. You can design your own unique logo using our Free Logo Generator. Our free tool will help you brand your business with a unique logo to make your business stand out.
Finding Your Audience
Having a good sense of who is going to be reading your blog is one of the best ways to know what type of content to create, how to shape it, and, ultimately, how to grow your following. With a clear understanding of your niche, understanding your audience should come more naturally.
Finding your target audience - the people you want hanging out on your blog - isn’t only statistics and demographics. It requires a deeper understanding of who these people are and what they want. Your target audience is the people you’re writing to when you write your blog.
Are you writing to an audience that has decades of gardening experience, or an audience that has never gotten their hands dirty? Regardless of what your content is about, you need to know your audience so you can speak to them in a video that will resonate with them.
Create a Persona
One way to understand your audience is to create a persona of your perfect target audience member. This essentially means creating a mock-up of the ideal person you hope to reach with your blog.
Here is an example of a target audience persona:
Having a persona for your perfect audience member helps you to visualize and understand who you are writing for and provides important direction to your content.
Be Your Own Persona
Another popular way to find your perfect target audience is to be your own persona. Many of the best products and services come from scratching your own itch. It’s possible you’ve searched for the perfect gardening blog to read, came up short, and decided to create it yourself. This makes you the perfect audience member for your own blog.
This can be a great strategy for creating highly effective content. If you’ve noticed a meaningful omission in blog content, chances are you are not alone. By writing personally satisfying content you are likely to reach an audience in search of the same things.
Where Is Your Audience Hanging Out?
No web content exists in a vacuum. While you should strive to create uniquely entertaining content for your blog, your target audience is almost certainly already out there reading other blogs, engaging on specialized forums, and using social media. Finding the sites where your audience already mingles is a great way to discover what topics they are most interested in, what language they are using, and what valuable content you can add to that mix.
Some examples for your gardening blog may include:
Visiting these sites is also a great way to begin engaging with your audience before your blog has even gone live. Jump into conversations on forums and in comments sections and get to know the people you’ll be writing for. This is a great, organic way to build relationships and direct people to your blog in its early days. Sharing your passion with like-minded people will make them more excited and passionate about supporting you in your blogging endeavor.
How Will You Present Your Work?
Traditionally, when most people think about a blog they picture written content on a page. However, there are several different ways to present your ideas on your blog, depending on your subject matter and target audience. Every blog will thrive with different formats, so it’s important to think carefully about how to best showcase your content before you start.
There are several effective methods of presenting the material on your gardening blog. They include:
As the name suggests, evergreen articles are composed of content that lasts. These articles are designed to have a long shelf life and continue drawing readers to your blog over time. They are typically long-form, text-based articles that delve more deeply into a particular topic.
A great option for evergreen content on a gardening blog is how-to articles on gardening basics. While technology may improve things from time to time, the basics of gardening tend to remain constant year after year. When you write articles that cover these basics, you build a strong foundation for your blog. The articles will be useful to readers far into the future and are unlikely to need much updating as time goes on.
While the video format is not new, the explosive growth of YouTube and the advent of new and innovative video-based tech like Snapchat and TikTok have shown the true power of video as an online medium. While you may think that creating video is much more difficult and expensive than writing your content, you have access to all the technology you need to make high-quality video content right on your smartphone.
How-to videos are a sure win for a gardening blog. You have probably already written some how-to articles for your evergreen content. Now, you can take those same ideas and use them as the outline for your video content. Some things are easier to learn by watching, and some in your audience will prefer video instructions to written instructions. Dive right in and start making videos, because your audience will love them and you will improve your video making skills by making more and more videos.
News articles or other “announcement” type content can be a great way to gather new readers. One benefit of news content is the short-term but powerful increase in search volume during an event. While this bump may be temporary, it can be a great tool for grabbing new readers who end up coming back for more.
Writing about current events or new happenings also means there will typically be less competition for readers. Other blogs and media sources are all getting the information as it develops. Since the base of knowledge available is smaller, this gives you a good opportunity to add your own flavor to the article.
The downside to news-type articles is that they tend to lose popularity much more quickly than evergreen content. While the interest for an event may be very large one day, the next day people may already be moving on to the next shiny object.
You probably run across gardening news in your niche regularly, particularly when you are doing research in your niche for new blog posts. When you discover a piece of news that you find interesting or that you think your audience will enjoy, write a short blog post about it. Just make sure you get your post written and up on the blog as soon as possible. If you wait very long, the benefits of a news-type post - attracting a lot of initial traffic - won’t materialize.
While most people expect to be reading when they visit a blog, image-heavy content can be very appealing and break up your text-focused posts to keep people’s attention. Depending on the topic of your post, displaying multiple images per page on a single subject can give your audience a better sense of what you are trying to convey.
While some topics may take to images very easily, like a car blog or a celebrity gossip site, others may require some deeper thinking to make this strategy work.
Gardening blogs lend themselves to image-heavy content. You are probably writing about topics where visuals will be helpful and inspiring, so you have to deliver them to your audience. You can find images online, take your own photos, or both.
Many gardening bloggers start paying more attention to photography when they get into blogging and wind up taking many of their own photos. The advantage of taking your own photos is that you do not have to pay for any photos from others, and you get a lot more control over how your blog looks. Don't worry too much if you are not a great photographer. You will get better as you take more and more photos, especially if you do some studying about how to take gardening photos and/or take a class on the subject.
Mix and Match
Your blog needs a mix of content delivery styles to reach the biggest possible audience. You may have a type of content you prefer creating - most people do. But you will benefit from stretching yourself to learn new types of content creation. It may be challenging at first, but in the end, you will gain skills that will help you be a better blogger. You will probably find that you enjoy some of those styles, too. Maybe you will love making videos, taking photos, or something else. You will never know until you try!
How To Make Money From A Gardening Blog
One of the main reasons people start blogs is to generate some sort of profit. Whether you’re looking for a few hundred dollars per month or a job-replacing income, blogging is still an excellent way to make those dreams a reality.
There are a few great ways to make money from a gardening blog:
Display Ad Networks
Display ads are the simplest way for websites to generate any sort of income. Ad networks, like Google Adsense, are fairly simple to be accepted into, and implementation onto your site is streamlined and clean. If you’re just beginning to see some traffic to your blog and want to turn this into dollars, display ads are where most people start.
There are a few downsides to display ads, however. The first is that some feel they detract from the user experience on your blog. Most people have been to a site where large ads pop up and block the content in the middle of reading. This can be distracting, frustrating, and even drive people away from your blog. While it’s possible to clean up and control the type of ads you use, it can be a constant battle to balance effective ad placement with aesthetics and readability.
The other main downside is that they don’t pay a lot. These networks generally use a pay-per-click (PPC) model which, depending on the niche, can pay anywhere from $0.01 to $1.50 per click, most on the lower end.
While display ads are a great way to make your first dollars, you’ll want to make sure any negatives they bring are worth the profits they provide. Once you develop a solid following, you can consider moving on to more lucrative and effective profit-making options.
Affiliate marketing programs like Amazon Affiliate have become much more popular over the past few years, as they take the payment model from pay-per-click to cost-per-acquisition (CPA). This means you can refer as many users to an advertiser’s product as you want, but will only get paid when the user makes a purchase.
Both advertisers and publishers benefit from an affiliate marketing setup. The advertiser pays nothing until a sale is made and the publisher enjoys much higher commissions than the pay-per-click model.
There are a variety of gardening affiliate programs out there, so you can pick and choose the ones that make the most sense for you and your audience.
Gardeners.com is a big online store for gardening supplies, selling everything from gardening tools to seeds and more. You get 8% commissions for any sale that you facilitate. While not a huge commission, it can add up when readers buy more expensive items and/or make larger purchases.
BloomingBulb is another major online retailer that offers an affiliate program for gardening bloggers. The company has been selling bulbs and perennial plants since 1991 and will ship products across the globe. The program offers a 15% commission rate.
When working with affiliate programs, it is important to try different tactics for your blog, because some will work better than others. Just try to avoid recommending things that you have trouble feeling good about. The trust you build with your audience is your most valuable long-term asset.
Sell Digital Products
Digital products are an online entrepreneur's dream. You create the item once, then sell it as many times as you can, with little to no cost of reproduction. This means that you can scale your business to infinity.
Examples of digital products are:
- Ebooks - A piece of writing, generally in PDF format. These can contain literally anything that your audience would want. They can either be true book-length all the way down to a few pages of content. Depending on your niche, audience, and subject, these can run from $1 to $100 per sale fairly easily.
- Gated Content - This is content that is served on your website just like any other article, except that is behind a “paywall”. If you are creating content that you don’t want to be released to anyone but your true followers, you have them sign up for an account on your site and charge them a subscription fee for access. Generally, authors charge anywhere from $5 to $200 per month for access to gated content.
- Online Courses - If you can teach a skill that your audience wants to learn, you can create an online course to sell to them. These courses can be formatted in whatever way makes the most sense to you, but most nowadays are video courses. Online courses can sell from $10 to well over $10,000 per course, obviously depending on the subject matter and audience.
A great example of a digital product that you could create as a gardening blogger is an online course for a type of gardening in your niche. If you write about vegetable gardening, you could create a course that teaches your audience how to fight pests naturally. You can even ask your audience what topics they want to cover most in the course and design it based on the feedback you get. A well-produced course in this niche could sell for $100 or more.
Sell Physical Products
Selling physical products is the original money-making strategy. You gather an audience that is hungry for something, you sell it to them, and everyone wins. You don’t have to be an inventor, designer, or manufacturer to sell products. Sites like Alibaba and AliExpress import already-made items into the United States and sell them for a markup.
The two main methods for the distribution of these items are: dropshipping and self-fulfilled.
Dropshipping is a method where you advertise a product on your site that you do not own. Once you make the sale, you inform the manufacturer, who will handle the shipping and handling to the end-user. While this is simple because you don’t have to worry about storing or shipping any items yourself, you’ll find that the margins can be quite slim.
Self-fulfilled sales are much more of a hands-on approach to sales. You buy the item from the manufacturer, store it, then ship it to the end-user once you have made the sale. While there is much more work involved, you’ll find that the margins per sale are much higher.
Product sales through a gardening blog may seem difficult, but they don’t have to be. You just need to know what your audience is most interested in buying from you - which may take a little trial and error. Many bloggers start small with branded products like apparel, journals, and so on, which can be bought for a few dollars a piece and marked up significantly. Once you become more popular, you can potentially partner with companies that you like to design gardening products specifically for your audience.
While it can be very profitable when done well, selling products is not generally recommended for the beginner blogger. It’s best to secure an audience that you know will be receptive to the product before making a large investment in product development or acquisition.
Create A Service
Providing a service is another very basic money-making plan. If you can provide a service that you know your audience needs, you have a viable business on your hands.
Whether this service is delivered through one-on-one interaction with the user, through a piece of software that you develop, or by directly completing a task for the user, this is a great way to monetize your skillset and your blog.
If your gardening blog focuses on garden design, you could offer consulting services and design services to clients in your area. If you focus on teaching about maintaining fruit trees, you could offer in-person consultations. If you teach on different topics through your blog, you could offer group seminars. What you offer will all depend on your skills, interests, and niche.
It can be easy to overcommit yourself when you start offering services - something you should strive to avoid. Your blog is what drives your business and is what you need to focus on most heavily. Without your blog, you won’t have as many people requesting your services. Learning to balance blogging and offering services can take some practice, but you can do it!
Next Steps To Get Your Gardening Blog Started
Now that you have the strategies in place to build and grow your own blog, check out our free course: How To Start A Blog.
This course includes all the essentials on how to get your blog out of your head and onto its own website. Starting a blog is simple and inexpensive, so there’s no reason that you shouldn’t start today!
Free Course: How To Start A Blog
Free Course: How To Start A Blog
Get your blog up and running today with our step-by-step course.