Believe or not, my first published article – and one of the first things I ever had published – was about gardening. There’s a good demand for garden-related bits…. grow your own is back in fashion…. and it’s not too technical, so it’s a good place to get started. Here are a few tips to help you.
This is the most important thing you need to know: You don’t necessarily need to be that green-fingered to write about gardening. What a lot of gardeners are looking for is ideas and inspiration. And little tips, tricks and secrets that can help them improve their garden without spending a lot of money.
If you’ve done, or are planning, a garden project – like a pond, decking or landscaping for example – you could use that as your starting point. Write up a step-by-step guide to what you did. Include a ‘shopping list’ of items that are required for the project, with estimated costs. Things like this make a project seem more achievable and boost your credibility.
Or, if you know say tomatoes or petunias inside out put some of your own secret tips together. Things that readers are unlikely discover from a regular gardening book. For example, do you have a particular fertiliser that you’ve found works really well? Or do you know a little-known, organic way to get rid of green fly?
Whatever you do, try and make your writing tightly focussed to the subject and aim to put a personal twist on it. This will add real power to your writing:
So who buys garden writing? As well as gardening magazines try general interest magazines and newspapers too. Some women’s magazines buy garden writing, as do magazines aimed at the over-60s. Try gardening websites.
Consider setting up your own gardening blog as a way to promote your services.
Photos are a great way of adding interest to your garden writing and can even earn you extra money. Try to focus your photos closely on what you are writing about rather than just having general garden scenes. If you’re writing about a project as I suggested above create a photo ‘how to’ guide with a pic of each main step.
One last thing, remember that gardening is seasonal in most countries so plan ahead. It’s too late to be thinking about writing on summer gardening themes in the middle of the summer. Think about writing on autumn and winter gardening topics instead, and vice versa.