• EDUCATION •
How to Start a Gardening Blog in 7 Steps
Plant the seeds for a fruitful writing future.
January 1st every year makes for an obvious and convenient time to make those new year’s resolutions, but really, who are we kidding? The very beginning of winter might very well be the most difficult time of year to commit to all of those things that will surely make us better, wiser, happier and healthier. To do those things, what we really need to have in place isn’t three months of coming cold, but instead the dual prospects of sunshine and the outdoors. Hope isn’t always about what is right before our very eyes, but what is coming soon. Which makes April 1st seem a lot more like an accurate date to set our own personal new year’s clock.
If you are a gardener, you have already taken some mental steps in this direction and can visualize the fresh colors littering the landscape. With your annual plan and nursery connection securely in place, this might be the year to try something new, to deepen that connection, have a little more fun, and start your gardening blog.
We are all at different stages within our various pursuits, whether expert or beginner, and there is a great market of readers out there just waiting to identify with your particular spot. And the fact that blog entries tend to be written far more frequent than, say, magazine articles, we stand to gain a far greater range of insight into what it means to be a ‘day-in, day-out’ gardener.
We don’t want to forget one of the main reasons why many of us come to writing in the first place – it offers us the personal satisfaction of expressing ourselves and challenges us to learn more about the things we love to do. A blog entry can take many forms. Like life itself, one day it might humorous and idiosyncratic, the next day informative, swaying on serious. Writing that first blog post carries with it some of the same fears as laying down those first seeds and is surprisingly similar in its results. In both we come to see that it is in the process that we find the joy.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a little quick-start guide to help you get your gardening blog set up and up-and-running.
How to start a gardening blog: A quick guide
1| Find your center
There are other gardening blogs out there, but we know that you have something special to write about. Maybe you want to talk about how gardening runs in your family. Or, maybe you specialize in organic gardening. Figure out what your niche is and let that be your guiding light.
2| Get familiar with search engine optimization (SEO)
If you’re just starting your blog for fun or for your personal use, you can skip this step. However, if you think you’ll eventually like to try to make some money off of it, we recommend you read on.
It’s easy to grasp the basics of SEO. Let’s get started.
What is SEO?
SEO “is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website in a web search engine’s unpaid results.” These unpaid results are often called “organic” search results.
What are keywords?
Keywords are the words you want your blog to show up for in search results.
How do I pick keywords?
There are many tools available online to help you search for keywords. A low-maintenance option is searchvolume.io. Keywords should be specific enough so that you don’t get buried by your competition, but general enough that there is a decent number of people searching that keyword.
For instance, “gardening” has 22,000 search volume per month — that’s great. But, since it’s so general, it will probably have high competition. Alternatively, “gardening blog” has 320 searches per month. That’s still a good number of eyeballs on your blog each year, but isn’t too general.
3| Pick a domain
Your domain is your main website URL, or a few defining words that go between “www.” and “.com.” For instance, our domain is, http://www.yaharawritingservices.com. It’s simple and tells you right away what we do. GoDaddy is a popular website to buy a domain — we recommend searching a few ideas and comparing pricing before you pick a domain!
4| Plan a content calendar
Setting up a content calendar will help keep you accountable and ensure you update your blog regularly. This is the point when you determine who you’re writing for, and, with the help of your newly acquired SEO and keyword research knowledge, figure out what kinds of questions they have that you could answer. For example, you may be starting an organic gardening blog for young moms. Here are some potential topics:
- Wild Tubers in the Midwest: a How-To Guide
- 10 Ways to Get Kids Interested in Gardening
- Weeknight Dinner Ideas Straight from the Garden
Once you have a list of topics, plot them out in a calendar. Timeliness is good too, so consider which topics make more sense in certain seasons. Match your topics up with keywords, and you’re ready for the next step.
A note about content calendars. Sometimes you’ll want to blog about something happening in the moment that you did not plan to write about – that’s okay! In fact, that’s the beauty of a blog. The content calendar is just there for you as a tool to give you ideas so you never feel like you have nothing to write. If your goal is to grow your blog so it can be found by others on search engines, keywords will have high importance, but if you’re blogging for fun or for friends and family, your content calendar can be as simple as just deciding which days you’ll write and post new content.
5| Choose a content management system (CMS)
A content management system is where your website/blog will live on the internet and how you’ll be able to add and edit content within it. There are several options to choose from, but our recommendation is WordPress. WordPress is popular because it offers robust tools for beginners as well as free tools, themes, and plugins.
6| Start writing, keep writing
It’s time to start writing! Don’t worry about everything being perfect. After all, blogs are living, breathing, digital documents that can be refined as you see fit, whenever you want!
7| Cash in
Now that you’ve planted the seeds of your gardening blog and you regularly tend to it via new content, you might start wondering if you can monetize it. The easiest way to make money from your gardening blog is to sell ad space as you grow in popularity. Google AdSense is a popular option that you can get started with in just four easy steps.
There are a few things that make the gardening blog a great compliment to your hobby or passion – it’s a great way to personalize the process and then share your insights. Gardens are beautiful and useful in their own right, but it’s fascinating to hear the voices that go into making them. So we encourage you to give this a try!
Want more tips for helping budding blogs grow? Make sure to check out other articles on our blog that will help you keep up with your writing goals. Need a little more guidance? We offer one-on-one mentoring services for those looking for some more personalized help with writing projects. Learn more here.