How to Start a Gardening Blog
1) Finding your Niche
A niche is a specialized area of knowledge within a general area of interest. The topic of gardening is open-ended, but creating topiary is specialized. In order to capture the attention of an audience, it’s better to stay focused on a niche that attracts like-minded people.
Odds are, you are far from the only one interested in your more-specific topic–and they are likely looking for blogs like yours. Need help deciding what that topic should be? Close your eyes and think of a huge garden that contains every type of flower, plant, edibles, landscaping, etc. Now picture yourself running toward the first thing you want to see. There’s your niche.
Now that you know what it is, do some research. Decide what you want to write about in your blog. Is it something you can write about for a long time without running out of ideas? Consider your passion. If you’re passionate about organic gardening, write about that. Obsessed with growing the perfect roses? Write about them.
2) Think of a unique blog name and create your website
Now comes the fun part, creating your blog name. We suggest a name that’s short, sweet and is relevant to your audience. Some names for a gardening blog could be: Green Thumb/Warm Heart, The Zucchini Chronicles or if you’re still stuck try using our blog name generator for some inspiration.
Once you have a blog name in mind, it’s time to get your website set up. Don’t worry, this is much easier than it sounds and can be easily done in less than an hour! Check out our full guide on the best and easiest way to set up a WordPress blog here.
3) Get the essentials
Let’s be honest, blogging isn’t just about blogging. It’s writing, posting, taking photos/videos and editing them, setting up social media pages, monitoring them and using them to drive traffic to your blog. Facebook Pages, Twitter accounts, Instagram, and Pinterest are some of the major sites you want to be using. Your presence there (or lack of one) will be noted by potential followers.
If you plan to video blog (or vlog), you’ll want a good camera. For tips on selecting the best camera for your needs, see TechRadar.com’s article on the “Best camera for vlogging 2018.”
Also, make sure that you have the items or tools you need for your type of blog. Let’s use my earlier example–in order to show people the best ways to create topiary, you’ll need to be able to show the necessary tools. These may include topiary forms and training and pruning tools.
What content do gardening bloggers create?
Gardening bloggers generally offer advice and tips to their fellow gardeners. Many want others to learn from their mistakes and successes.
Your content may include:
- how-to guides
- tips and advice
- reviews (books, magazines, TV shows, new products, old products, etc.)
- tours of gardens (local, regional, around the world)
Create engaging and relevant content
No matter what the topic, the best bloggers focus on posting unique content. While this may sound daunting, it’s definitely doable.
When it comes to getting people’s attention, it all boils down to quality. You may be writing about something other people already have (it’s almost impossible not to!), but if you do it in a way that is unique to you, people will want to read it. Steven Snell’s “13 Ways to Create Unique, Original Blog Content” is a great resource on how to do this. He recommends not just knowing your subject but “digging deeper” into it. He also says planning ahead is very important. The digging deeper part fits right into developing your niche.
An important thing for you to keep in mind is your audience. If your gardening blog audience wants to learn all about topiary, you don’t want to spend five posts in a row talking about the best mowers for Kikuyu grass. Know your audience. And don’t just keep them in mind, ask them what they want to know. They’ll tell you in the comments section.
Yes, it’s true. Bloggers can make money, even the newer ones. As a new blogger will you make a lot of money? Probably not, but you can make some. The easiest way is to become an affiliate. A great place to start is the Amazon Associates program. After signing up for the program, you will be able to add links to your site that go directly to relevant products you choose. When someone on your site clicks through and buys one of these products on Amazon, you’ll receive a percentage of that item’s cost.
Check out these affiliate programs directly related to gardening and what they offer:
- SeedsNow.com – 25% commission per qualified purchase
- Gardners Supply Company – up to 8% of qualifying sales
- DealYard – 8% commission (they also note that an “average” sale is $125)
What products should you choose? That depends on your niche. If it’s topiary, you might link to wire forms, pruning or hedge shears, and protective gloves. Select products that are necessary for your area of expertise or items that may be hard to find.
Other potential revenue streams for your blog are:
- Google AdSense advertising
- Sponsorships or advertising from businesses in your niche (learn how Little Miss Momma scored her early advertisers)
- Sponsored posts (someone pays you for the opportunity to post on your blog).
As your blog’s audience grows, so will your influence on your niche. You’ll be seen as an expert in your field and a resource for others. This often leads to more advertising on your blog as well as swag (free related products/services to try out and review), event invitations, etc.
Top #3 Gardening Bloggers
#1 The Urban Veg Patch
The Urban Veg Patch was started in 2008 by founded by Caro Shrives (London), a writer, professional gardener, and photographer. She started the blog “to share the food growing progress of the original York Rise Growers.” She has a degree in Graphic Design and Illustration from Central St Martins (which is now University of the Arts London). Eventually, she got her training for a Level 3 Diploma in Garden Design at Capel Manor in Enfield.
After Caro began managing a community garden (she didn’t let living in the city keep her from gardening), she decided to start her blog. She can also be found on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.
The focus of her blog is urban gardening, and it’s been named one of the “Best Blogs to Follow” by Gardener’s World Magazine (2017), Garden Media Guild “Blog of the Year award finalist (2015), and others. Caro was also featured in The Telegraph in “The Gardening Bloggers You Should Be Following” (2016).
Be sure to read Caro’s history of her community in York Rise. She was contacted a while back by the granddaughter of one of the neighborhood’s original families – she talks about her uncle and his “little patch” and how happy the family was to be in a place with “indoor loos and proper bathrooms.”
#2 Urban Jungle Bloggers
Igor Josifovic and Judith de Graaff founded Urban Jungle Bloggers in 2013. They call it “a global community of plant lovers.” They have also published their first “Urban Jungle” book, so they have hopped from their blog to the big sites like Amazon.
Igor also has Happy Interior Blog, and Judith has JOELIX.com. They say UJB is the result of their “mutual passion for plants” and “is all about living with plants – in your home, in other interiors, in public spaces.”
The blog has a 729k reach with an average of 10k likes per post. You can find them on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
UJB has had many collaborators since 2013. Some of them include IKEA, Pinterest, Urban Outfitters, Marie Claire Maison, Luster, Bloomifique, Human Empire, and Evian. They also work with a growing community of bloggers, varying from the subjects of herbs and plants to home design and decor.
#3 Becky’s Farmhouse
Becky Cunningham’s site Becky’s Farmhouse is part blog and part store. She’s a proud mom and wife who loves taking on DIY projects with her husband on their hobby farm in Louisiana. She’s taken her passion and made it into a lifestyle blog that ranges from gardening, cooking and full home decor.
Her blog has a 120k reach with an average of nearly 1,000 likes and 80 comments per post. You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Becky’s Farmhouse has been featured in many magazines including Country Living, Somerset Life, Prairie Style Magazine, and more.