One might think this presumptive, giving advice about beginning a blog when I know so little about the technical aspects of the online blogdom. I don’t even have a smartphone, in this day and age. I know! So I am not exactly up to date on things, but it just goes to show that you don’t have to be, either. Let’s say you are a gardener, longtime or new to the game. You want to write and share and learn about gardening. You might have been reading garden blogs and feel like you have something to contribute. You want to join in the fun. I suggest you do what I did in December, 2007 and jump on in. What have you got to lose? It costs nothing but your time. Remember, life is too short. Onward!
Get started. Pick a unique to you name, make sure it has not already been used by someone else, or something very similar to it is already in use. Google it to find out. When choosing your blog host, Blogger, WordPress or others, first acquaint yourself with the themes they offer. It is free and their support can be very helpful with technical questions. If I could do it, anyone can. Trial and error is a good way to figure things out for yourself. I began blogging on Blogger and switched to WordPress after nine months. Both are good.
Write blog posts that you, yourself would want to read, regularly. Make it interesting and personal. Find your voice, like you are talking to a friend. Use proper spelling and grammar, google it if you are unsure. Use the latin names of plants, with the genus capitalized, the species lower case and the cultivar name in single quotes. Italicize the whole name. Do it every time. Look it up. Keep good records when you buy a new plant so you will know what you’ve got.
Get a digital camera or even use your phone if it takes decent shots. It is not necessary to take classes or have expensive equipment. It is necessary for you to learn how to read the light, know when is the best time to take pictures of your own garden. (I use a Canon Powershot AS720IS, a point and shoot, always on auto.) Make them as pretty as possible. Take hundreds or even thousands and delete the poor ones. Put your name, or blog name on the photos with some kind of photo program. I use Image Expert 2000 that came with an old Dell desktop to add text and make the contrast better, crop, etc. Practice makes you better at it. Shrink the size of your photos to help prevent stealing and allow you to load more shots without having to pay your platform for more space.
Visit and comment on other garden blogs. Always fill out the form to provide the link to your blog, that is one way to get new readers. Be generous with links to blogs that you enjoy. Add them to your blogroll on the sidebar and always provide a link to them if you are inspired by something you have read on their blog. Also, let them know when you link to them so they can come and read it and thank you. Watch out for spam. The spammers will leave links to whatever they are selling, posed in the form of a comment. Some spam has evolved to be very close to a real comment. Click on the link they use to be sure of what you are allowing to be linked on your blog.
Join in the garden blogdom. Add your blog to social media. Pin photos from your blog posts on Pinterest, be sure they link back to your blog. Particpate in things like Garden Blogger’s Bloom Day and other memes that interest you. You will meet some like minded folks that way and find blogs that appeal to you. Keep improving and learning all the time. Save your pennies and attend the yearly Garden Blogger Flings. So far they have been held in Austin, Texas in 2008, Chicago, Illinois in 2009, Buffalo, New York in 2010, Seattle, Washington in 2011 and this year’s, 2012 will be held in May in Asheville, North Carolina. We even attended one in Malvern, UK in 2010. The tentative location for 2013 is San Francisco, California. Meeting the people whose blogs you read, meeting people who also blog but you are not familiar with and those who have left comments on your blog is the BEST!
This is just a short list of ideas that came to me after one of my readers began her own blog. She accidentally deleted it, but will start again, I hope. Some of the attendees for the Asheville Fling 2012 are relatively new to blogging as well. I hope this helps some. Established bloggers out there, is there anything you would like to add to help out someone who is just beginning?
The photos were selected at random from the 763 posts that have previously appeared on Fairegarden. Once published, they can be reused without reloading again and again with a simple copy and paste.
For other posts written by Fairegarden, look for How To on the sidebar page listing or click here.