You probably love gardening. That’s a safe bet since you are reading this article. Another safe bet is that you are willing to share your enjoyment with others, telling them about what you are doing, how they can do some of the things you’ve done, and what to avoid. Finally, you might not be averse to making a little money while you share your experiences. One way to merge all of these together is to start your own gardening blog. First, let’s talk about some planning steps, then take a quick trip through the actual setup.
What’s it all about?
Sure, your blog is going to be about gardening, but try to be a little more specific. What are you going to talk about when talking about gardening? What’s your specialty, what have you done, and how do you like to communicate? Do you know all about okra? How to focus on conservation while gardening? Garden on your apartment balcony? Focus your topic down so you can stand out as an expert in your area.
Don’t go overboard; there’s a very small audience for apartment container gardens of okra in droughts. Let your blog reflect how you communicate; use a natural, conversational tone in your writing to draw readers in. Make it personal and unique. This is your little corner of the internet where you get to talk to your readers. They don’t want you to sound like a newspaper reporter, they want to make a personal connection.
What’s it called?
Now that you know what you will write about, you need to decide on a name. In fact, because of how the internet works, you really need to choose two names. One can be whatever you like, the other needs to be your web address, or domain. It’s best if they are the same, or nearly the same, and your web address will be the one with the most limitations. Making it short, with no numbers, spaces or special characters, which will help make it easy to remember and spell.
Mostly you will want it to end in (dot) com, because most people recognize those addresses. Two common tactics for your domain are keywords and branded. A keyword name will describe what the blog is about, while a branded name focuses less on topic and more on other things. Here are two examples: okragardentips.com and Joegrowsokra.com. Both mention what you are growing, but one describes the blog, while the other names the blogger as well as mentioning the topic. Once you’ve settled on a name, with a couple of alternates if the first one is taken, you can get into the setup process.
What’s the setup?
Now that you’ve made those basic decisions, you can set it up. You’ll get your name from a domain name provider, or as part of a package from your hosting service. A hosting service stores all the data that makes up your website, and makes it available for people to reach using your address. Many of these services offer a domain name as part of their package, either free or at a discount.
So pick one and sign up, request your name and you now have a website. I’d also recommend you install WordPress, as the vast majority of blogs use it as their platform, or basic software for putting the site together, and most hosting services have a fast install service for it. Then choose a look, known as a template, and start uploading your content. Things you should ultimately incorporate to make your blog distinct are things like logos, information about you, and interesting pictures to go with your posts. If you aren’t a photographer you can use free stock photos of nature to illustrate a wide variety of garden topics.
What’s the story?
Then you start putting your regular content in. That means blog posts and articles about your chosen topic told in your particular voice. You can add pictures to these, either ones you take of your actual projects or more professional pictures from different services. Talk about things you know: it will be easier to write naturally, and will help to enhance the reader’s trust and interest in your blog. Establish your credentials as someone who is honest and knows what they are talking about. Set a regular schedule, one you feel you can keep up while still writing high quality articles, and stick to it.
Come up with interesting titles to draw your readers in, and be sure to proofread anything before you post it. Longer articles are often very popular, as long as they aren’t fluff. If there is a lot to say on the topic, go ahead and say it. You could even have a series of articles to cover a single topic. Try to keep your articles longer than five hundred words, and shoot for over a thousand if you can.
Where’s the money?
You’ll do some of this work during your setup, but remember the emphasis is on having a good, informative, valuable blog. If people don’t want to come read your blog, then it doesn’t matter what methods you use to get money, because they are all based around traffic. There are lots of ways to make money from having people visit, known as monetizing your blog, and here are a few examples:
- Ads: This is the classic. Put ads on your site. Some pay you based on how many people visit, others pay based on how many people click on the ad.
- Affiliate programs: Sign up with a company who will pay you a commission on purchases of their products that come from your blog. Make it a company you can honestly recommend, then mention it in some of your articles with a link. Let your readers know you are in an affiliate program, and that these companies do pay you to sponsor their content, but that it won’t cost them anything extra.
- Sponsored Content: Write articles at the request of companies, reviewing or talking about their products.
- Open and Online Store: If you’ve written an ebook, or created some other product, physical or digital, you can sell it on your blog’s website.
As you can see, there are many ways to make money from your blog, and you can have a lot of fun sharing your experiences and expertise with your readers. Setting up your blog is actually even easier than it sounds, so what’s stopping you? Create your blog and tell the world about your love of gardening!