So I have had a ton of people interested in how I make money gardening.
I LOVE to garden, it’s just what I do. So for a few years I have searched for good ways to make money doing it. I am a stay at home farm wife, with four young kids, and I help out on the farm a fair amount. So finding ways to bring in a substantial amount of income is …… well …. hard.
If you would like to see my complete list of 53 ways to make money gardening that’s not selling your fresh produce CLICK HERE.
Now I don’t want to confuse you, I DO sell my fresh produce, but I wanted people to know there are other options too.
But of everything I have tried in the last 8 years of living on the farm, blogging has brought the most money in the shortest amount of time, and I get to do it on my own hours.
I have been blogging for three shorts months now and it’s already brought in hundreds of dollars. My blog is growing by leaps and bounds, and its potential makes me so excited that I want to share it with other people like me. But my favorite part about this whole thing is that it gives new meaning to the phrase “work smarter, not harder”. Blogging is the epitome of that saying. If you do it correctly, writing a blog has the potential to bring in tens of thousands of dollars every month. Someone putting in the same amount of work hours as you, could be making nothing, if they aren’t being smart about it.
I am already gardening. I already write things down and take pictures. And I have years of experience doing something that I love and something that I am good at. Blogging about it has just added a step to my normal routine. I could have just as easily entitled this post
because that is essentially what I am doing. I garden, I write it down, I add pictures, and I share it with other people.
So if you are here reading this post, it probably means you have considered, or are considering, doing the same thing.
If you are here to learn about the technical side of starting a blog, your in the wrong place. I am the farthest thing from a techie you could ever find, except maybe your 65 year old dad who still writes letters as his primary form of communication…. No offense to the letter writers out there! I’m just saying that’s about where I am at on a technical level. My 6 year old son knows more about computers than I do, and we didn’t even have a computer at our house until two years ago. If you need to know the computer part of blogging go to pinterest.com and search “How to start a blog” and you will have more then enough information to get you going. So ya …. now that you know a little more about me, let’s continue!
What I do feel qualified to talk to you about is the OTHER side of starting a blog. The work it requires, and the “smart part”, not the “hard part” of blogging.
When I first considered starting a blog, I had a few different motives.
- One was that I wanted a place to be able to write down what my family and I were doing. I think journals are important and I needed a better way to keep myself doing that.
2. Another one was that I wanted to bring in a little more substantial “extra money”. I have a whole bunch of other side hustles that bring in extra cash, but nothing that makes more than a thousand or two a year. Upon researching a little, I discovered some people making hundreds of thousands a year blogging. Well, where do I sign up??? right!!!
3. And the third reason was that I have all this gardening and homesteading knowledge that I really really love to talk to people about, and I didn’t have a good way to share it. I truly believe that anyone can grow a garden if they are willing to learn. I also believe that there are people out there who want to know what it’s like to live on a farm. And I KNOW there are other’s out there with questions about gardening, homesteading, farming, homeschooling, and self sufficient living that I know the answer to. So I wanted to find a good way to share the secrets, tips, and strategies that I know, with people who actually want to know them.
It turns out, blogging has satisfied all three of those wants. And it all happened in a very short amount of time. Blogging has quickly turned into
So where do you start if you want to start a gardening blog? Well, in your garden! The best way to prepare yourself to blog about gardening is to start writing everything down and taking pictures when you do it.
People are smart. They know when your full of crap and they know when your pretending. The best advice I can give is to write about things you KNOW and things you DO.
The rule I made for myself when I started blogging was that I would only write about things I had done myself and knew to work. If you follow that rule, the things you write down will be authentic and full of emotion and passion. Your readers will love what you write because you will be sharing things that truly help them and are interesting to read about. No one wants to invest time in reading a blog where someone just regurgitated what they looked up online.
You might feel like your not enough of an expert on anything to create a blog about it, but you are! You just have to find out what that thing is. Maybe it’s not gardening, maybe it’s raising horses, maybe it’s coaching soccer, or maybe it’s doing laundry. Whatever it is, your readers want REAL stuff.
That’s actually one of the reasons I named my blog The Real Farmhouse. I wanted people to know that it’s not sugar coated, and I don’t write about things that didn’t REALLY happen to me. I write things I know a heck of a lot about.
Like my tomato academy. I have grown and sold tomatoes for long enough that I knew I had something to share that other people would want to know. I have tried a bunch of different varieties, all kinds of growing methods, fertilizers, cages, watering approaches, and anything else you can think of. And then on top of that, I found a way to sell them that makes me good money and doesn’t require a bunch of time. Now would I really have been able to write an 8 day e-course detailing all of that information if I hadn’t ever done it? Not a good one that’s for sure!
So when you are trying to decide what to write about, keep that in mind. And also remember that “it’s not about the quantity, it’s about the quality”. Man, I am full of all sorts of quotes today aren’t I?
Would you rather read a blog that has 100 posts with pretty good information, or 10 posts with “knock your socks off” information? Ya …. that’s what I thought.
Once you figure out what to write about, and you start writing down what your doing and taking good quality pictures of it, then you can start creating your vision for your blog.
- What do you want it to look like?
- What do you want your readers to get out of it?
- Do you want to make money from it?
- How much time do you want to spend on it?
- What are your long term goals for it?
I found it really helpful to write things on paper, and actually draw pictures of what I wanted things to look like. That’s probably because of my general lack of know how when it comes to computers, but it really helped me make a plan. Then when it came time to create my site, I had a good idea of what I wanted to do, what categories I would have, and how I wanted things to look.
However you decide to do it, make a plan. It will save you time, headaches, and money.
Now I am also going to assume that you want to make some money with your blog.
There are a lot of conflicting opinions about this part. Some people think everything should cost money, some think nothing should cost money, and some people don’t really care.
First, let me tell you my thoughts, and then you can decide how you feel about it. I felt like with a gardening blog, it was better to offer all of the information for free. I didn’t feel like the people looking at my stuff were people that would want to pay big money learning how to grow a tomato. In general, gardeners are of a more frugal nature, and therefore are not going to be too excited to pay money for gardening information.
Also, I am happy to offer the information that I have for free, because I wanted a dedicated following that would come to me for all of their gardening needs. One of my original purposes of the blog was to share my knowledge remember??
That being said, there are other topics that would be more suited to charge for the information. It’s entirely up to you to decide whether or not you will charge for some of the stuff you write or not.
On The Real Farmhouse, all subscriptions and information will always be completely free.
So now you are wondering
The short answer is ads. When I launched my blog, I simply signed up with adsense, which is an ad agency. I put a few ads on my blog and then every time someone looks at my blog or clicks on an ad, I get paid. Like this ….
It’s an excellent way to make money and be able to offer all of your information for free.
The negative part about ads is that you have to have enough traffic coming to your blog or your never going to make anything. Which is why what you write is so important. See, we are circling back around now …. If you write really great stuff, more people read your blog. The more people read your blog, the more you get paid. See how that works?
Another way I am starting to make money is through affiliate ads. Again, this is awesome because you aren’t hurting your followers at all. You are in fact helping them by telling them what things are worth their money. When you have a product that you use and love, you write about it. Then you put a link on your page allowing your followers to click on the product that you are recommending, and you get paid a tiny percentage of the sale because your “the salesman” that sold it.
I only promote a few things because I want my readers to know which products are the most valuable to me. If I put a thousand affiliate links on my blog, it would become obvious real fast that I was just trying to get them to buy things. Remember how smart people are? Yep, they will figure it out. So another rule to always follow is never sell something to your audience that you don’t absolutely love and would recommend to your best friend.
There are many other ways to make money with your gardening blog but remember, I only write about things I KNOW. And the two ways that I know are through ads and affiliates.
The last thing I want to tell you in this forever long blog post is how to get your stuff out there. You can’t just start with no following and expect people to come find you. But I will say that if you do it the “smart way”, not the “hard way”, that it doesn’t have to take years for your following to grow.
I use one thing to spread my information, and one thing only. And that is pinterest.
If you write quality information that people like, and then create pictures that are nice to look at, then people will spread your information for you.
I am sure there are other platforms that would work just as well, but pinterest is the only thing that I have used, and my blog has exploded with growth because
- I never publish anything that I am not super happy with and that I know will help people
- I write a title that grabs peoples attention
- I take my own pictures and make them look incredible so people want to share them
That’s it. The internet will do the work for you if you can get the ball rolling.
So after all that, do you still want to start a gardening blog?
I can honestly tell you that I have loved blogging. If I didn’t have to deal with the technical part of it, I would love it even more. But hey, everyone has their strengths and weaknesses right?
If this was helpful to you and you would like to know more about garden blogging please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me. I would be happy to write more blog posts about it if it was of interest to you.
Also, if you are interested in my area of expertise the Tomato Academy, then CLICK HERE to read The Tomato Freaks Guide to choosing, growing, and selling “high end” tomatoes.
Good luck with your new blog!