Blog Outreach: Garden Bloggers Reach Audiences Beneficial to Related Small Businesses

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This is a guest post from Gardening Blogger and Master Gardener Stephanie Suesan Smith, author of “Preparing a Vegetable Garden From the Ground Up”.

Stephanie is the extremely talented blogger with specialized knowledge she shares in her garden blog, photography blog and woodworking blog.

Read Stephanie’s interview on MurrayNewlands because she is a role model for bloggers and businesses interested in reaching her audiences.

Garden Bloggers Reach a Broad Audience

Garden bloggers are becoming an increasingly important segment of the blogosphere.  However, they are virtually ignored by PR firms and companies that produce items for the lawn or garden.

When Victory Gardens are once more in vogue and even the White House has a kitchen garden, marketers are missing a golden opportunity to influence first time gardeners to purchase their products.

Who are garden bloggers? While some bloggers who blog about their family mention gardening, garden bloggers tend to have blogs that focus exclusively on gardening.  The Garden Writers Association (GWA) has over 1,800 professional communicators in the lawn and garden industry.  Many of those individuals have blogs dedicated to gardening.  In addition, there is a wide pool of garden bloggers who do not belong to GWA, but are master gardeners or other garden volunteers.  These blogs, like those of GWA members, tend to hold much information that is basic and applicable anywhere. However, because gardening is, by its’ nature, location specific, these blogs also hold a rich body of information that is applicable specifically to the area in which the blogger lives.   This means targeted local advertising opportunities for marketers.

Who reads garden blogs? Anyone from rank beginners to master gardeners.  Some blogs are deliberately geared toward the person who has just moved to a house with a lawn and does not know how to care for it.  Others target people who are beginning their first vegetable garden.  Still others target intermediate or advanced gardeners with niche interests.  You can find a blog on almost any horticultural subject.  Some blogs have small readerships due to their niche.  Others are read by hundreds or thousands of people.  Think Howard Garrett or Neil Sperry and remember they are garden bloggers.

Economic impact of gardening. The Garden Writers Association commissions a survey of gardeners every quarter.  The report is free to members and is available to nonmembers for a small fee.  The summer survey reports that the average consumer spends $600 a year on lawn and garden products.  Consumers do not, on average, expect to reduce this spending even though times are tough.  Just over one half of consumers grow vegetables, and this number is expected to rise.  Consumers are focused on saving money and obtaining fresher, healthier food by growing their own produce.

Need for targeted advertising. Currently, only 3% of purchases were made over the internet.  The vast majority were made at big box stores or nurseries.  If mail order companies expect to survive in this tough economic climate, they are going to have to advertise where the consumers are.  Garden blogs are an ideal place to spend scarce advertising dollars.  Further, through the use of coupon codes and affiliate links, it is possible to track which blogs are funneling consumers to your site and which are not.  Local businesses can advertise on blogs that target their areas.  Why waste money on an advertisement that is not reaching your target consumer?

How to find a garden blog to review your product or advertise on.  By now, you are probably wondering how to find a garden blogger that will review your product or sell you advertising.  I will discuss that in part two of this article to be published on Thursday as a post about Blogger Outreach on MurrayNewlands.

GARDENING BLOGGERS: Be sure to connect with Stephanie (Twitter) and GrowMap (Twitter) so they can send you more visitors from Social Media, link to and write about you and share income opportunities with you.

ADDED by Gail from GrowMap: Stephanie’s book “Preparing a Vegetable Garden From the Ground Up” is available in print at or Lulu and as an eBook.  We love to recommend alternative small businesses so instead of automatically going to Amazon, why not check out Lulu first? You might like it. Click the blue icon to go directly to Stephanie’s book there:   Pansies are more than winter color Widgets

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  1. Stevie Bo says:

    Id also put in my two cents and say that Id never buy live plants over the internet … theres just not viable options or safe ones to transport live plants via trucks, let alone planes (or they might be, but I just wouldnt trust those modes of transportation to do the job!)Plus … I would want to self pick out my plants … inspect it for health issues and such. The person working the warehouse most likely wouldnt care about that and would simply just fulfill the order online and ship out the plant …
    Stevie Bo would love you to read ..Modern Outdoor Furniture Selection TipsMy Profile

  2. After buying a small land recently, I started to follow a couple gardening blogs. I learnt a lot from (professional) gardeners. They even sent me some seeds by mail.

  3. I love reading gardening blogs, but I also love reading blogs that include both family life and gardening. I love seeing families do both!

  4. I wouldn’t buy plants over the internet (I like to look at the condition etc before I buy) but tools and other stuff like planters I always get online.

  5. Thanks for the info about gardening blogs. It validates why I’ve tried to do with my own green blog. Like I always say, just because you have a gardening blog doesn’t mean it has to be a garden-variety blog. :)

  6. I would like to let you know about the growing number of gardeners purchasing products from the Thompson Morgan gardening products website. Thompson and Morgan has seen a growing number of gardeners purchasing products via the internet. We have plans to setup a blog as we have seen an increase in the number of people buying products once they have viewed the grow your own pages.
    Thompson-Morgan makes it easy to buy mail order plants.

    Don’t want this to come across as spam I just think it is important to highlight that a lot of people are now ordering plants online and how the plants are sent.

  7. I’m currently on blogger, but the more I read about these ‘luv’ plugins the bigger the argument gets to switch to wordpress. Not ready to make the plunge yet, but it appears the day is coming.
    Atishay jain would love you to read ..Career as seoMy Profile

  8. Stephanie – I visit a number of different garden blogs frequently for some of the reasons you have listed above.

    I have never thought of using a garden blog to advertise on until now. It’s definitely a great strategy for a local business since the audience will be much more targeted and specific to their area of business.

    Thanks for sharing, and I’m looking forward to reading part two of this article.
    John would love you to read ..Options To Remove Your Moles And WartsMy Profile

  9. Stephanie – Nice post. Do you recall Early on it was one of the highest visibility e-commerce sites. My guess is that they failed due to trying to offer too many products (please correct me if wrong). I think a lesson to be learned may be that success as a garden product seller may be easier to obtain if a suitable niche within the category is targetted.
    Randy Pickard would love you to read ..Why PPC Advertising Is So ExpensiveMy Profile

    • I never used They may have been ahead of the curve. I think doing one thing well is much better than doing a lot of things so-so. Too many sites sell furniture, bird houses, tacky garden statues, and a few seeds or plants, and call themselves garden shops. They forget that the plants and seeds have to come first, then the other stuff follows. Nobody buys furniture to sit in a pile of weeds.
      stephaniesuesansmith would love you to read ..Where do you get your garden suppliesMy Profile

  10. Stephanie
    In the UK gardening is big big business.
    We all have our small patch of lawn, a couple of roses, assorted shrubs – we adore gardening.

    I used to be a member of the RHS and I actually knew a few Latin names, imagine that!

    Perhaps I should think of starting up a gardening blog – got to be money in that.
    Keith Davis would love you to read ..Look for the Shining EyesMy Profile

    • I remember that from visiting there once. Everyone proudly showed us their allotment and we ate produce straight from the garden. I got to eat raspberries I helped pick, which don’t grow well here in my corner of Texas because of the heat. I was very impressed.
      stephaniesuesansmith would love you to read ..Tree in SnowMy Profile

  11. Many people or businesses don’t yet understand the full extent internet has over the population and how can this spread help them with their business.
    And especially those that deal with gardening. Most just have a small store that sell seeds and some related things, like tools for caring for your garden.

    I think, if you really want advertisers to know about this blogs and their importance, some lobby is required. Maybe even some meetings with some nicely drawn charts, hey even email might do.
    Alex would love you to read ..Dadaca NellyMy Profile

    • The person approach works for local businesses, true. But articles such as this can help PR people and large businesses see what they should be doing, too. It can be hard to find a person to talk to in such large businesses that has the authority to take action. For example, spends thousands annually on Mommy Bloggers to advertise their appliances, but spends nothing on garden bloggers to advertise their garden implements and other outdoor products. They are overlooking a major resource with such neglect. They are not the only big company to do this.
      Stephanie Suesan Smith would love you to read ..Where do you get your garden suppliesMy Profile

  12. Dennis Edell says:

    Excellent write up. Garden blogging/info products have been around for years and a huge market.

    I have nothing for it per se, but this is some good advice for niches in general.
    Dennis Edell would love you to read ..I Was Hoping to Never Have to Publish This…My Profile


    I believe more and more gardeners will be buying online. The advertisers need to act now.

  14. Excellent post. This is the first article i am reading about Garden blogging. i would like to know more about it.
    pavithra would love you to read ..Voice Search Chrome Extensions – Search using Your VoiceMy Profile

    • Garden blogging is just what it sounds like, blogging on gardening topics. Trot on over to my blog and you can see what one looks like. I discuss how to garden and various topics that people need to know to be successful in growing their vegetables. Other people discuss mainly ornamental vegetation. Some discuss both.
      Stephanie Suesan Smith would love you to read ..Growing CauliflowerMy Profile

  15. That’s a good example of what quality content can bring in terms of success.
    Good content is king.
    Alexis would love you to read ..Affiliate Marketing Business- A Modern Day PhenomenonMy Profile

  16. A small piece of lot can turn into a garden haven with the help of gardening bloggers. You can have great tips from all over the world through blogs. I also like the way gardeners exchange ideas and tips. It’s surely a great help. :)

  17. I would agree the market for garden products is a great fit for bloggers as pretty much everyone goes to the internet for research whether that is how to grow basil in your kitchen or how to switch to organic farming on a large scale farm – especially these days when people are looking to save money any way possible. And since as you say only 3% of purchases were made on the internet the market is wide open to turn those researchers into buyers.
    Chris would love you to read ..Fair Trade Handmade Gift Basket with Organic Coffee and ChocolatesMy Profile

    • Yes, I was shocked at how little gardeners are purchasing over the internet. Partly it is because shipping plants is a pain and unless you trust the merchant you may be hesitant to take a plant sight unseen. But a lot of it is marketing. The two groups — PR and gardener, are not having much of a conversation right now.
      Stephanie Suesan Smith would love you to read ..Tree in SnowMy Profile

  18. I am regular visitor of these blogs. Garden blogger always present unique contents about the gardening. I have learn a lot from this blog.

  19. Hi Stephanie

    As you know I always enjoy your gardening posts. You have made some good points on how to get the gardening blogs out there and how to monetize them.

    With more people turning to organic produce and many opting to have a small veggie patch of their own, there is so much scope. I hope you get lots of visitors to this post. Especially those with a gardening blog. Off to RT and thanks for sharing.

    Patricia Perth Australia
    Patricia would love you to read ..Are Your Goals Attainable In 2011My Profile

  20. I deal in wholesale stone, and I like to know what my potential clients may be using my stone for. I’ve seen a huge increase in demand from people looking to decorate their garden with natural stone, all thanks to a specific targeted online ad campaign on garden blogs. As this part of my business grows, I think I’ll look into several of the resources you mentioned to see if there are any further business opportunities to be had.

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