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 Amazon.com 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

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