Ill.: Taweesak Chansawawirot, Pixabay & clipartwiki.com
Another year is coming to an end and I’ve yet again managed to produce one gardening blog a day throughout the year. Okay, there have been some cases where I accidentally published two blogs one day and nothing the next day, but the total is the same: 365 blogs published in 2019. There are now more than 1,900 articles on the Laidback Gardener site covering a wide range of horticultural topics.
And the blog is more and more popular: over 1.5 million views in 2019 (actually, 1,517,111). And over 1 million visits from all over the world. It makes me feel I’m actually accomplishing something.
How It Works
Behind the blog is one single person: Larry Hodgson, a 65-year-old garden writer from Québec City, Canada. I’ve gardened since I was a child and first started writing about plants in elementary school (well, sort of: I started writing a science fiction novel that never got beyond the third page, called “The Plant People of Cauldron Valley”), but really began seriously writing about plants and gardening when I was in my early 20s and started joining garden clubs … ones with newsletters. Everyone, it seems, needed free articles, and I loved to write about plants: it was a perfect match! By the time I was 30, I’d quit my day job and was writing about gardening full time. I even launched a few gardening magazines, although none still survive.
Over the years, I’ve written for over 30 magazines, newspapers and websites, hosted shows on TV and radio, written 53 books, led hundreds of garden tours, given over 1,000 lectures and, now, posted nearly 2,000 articles on the Laidback Gardener blog.
I do have help, though. My son, Mathieu, helped set up the blog four years ago, although I haven’t had to consult him on anything this last year, while my wife, Marie Falardeau, takes care of “finances,” something I’m horrible at. She doesn’t want me to pay her for her time, but instead, take her out to dinner every now and then. And yes, there are occasional guest bloggers and I am very grateful for their assistance.
And then I have you, my faithful readers, whose interest and participation keep me going.
How I Fund the Blog
The Laidback Gardener blog was totally non-profit at first. I started it for the challenge of doing so (who else writes a daily gardening blog?!), as well as the pleasure of sharing my passion for gardening with others. But now that the blog has grown, ads have been put in that bring in a modest income. Like about $4 an hour at this point: not even minimum wage! If I were rich enough to do so, I’d take all the ads off the blog. However, I feel it is legitimate to try and recuperate the cost of preparing the blog, which is why you’ve been seeing ads appear on the blog for the last two years. Every time you open the blog, a little money comes in. Less than a cent. In fact, much less than a cent.
About Those Ads
No, I don’t choose the ads. They’re “targeted advertising,” chosen by a computer somewhere far away and based on your age, your sex, your on-line habits and purchases and more. So, the ads you see aren’t the same that others see. Hopefully, they correspond to your needs. If not, change your on-line habits and they’ll change too. If I spend half a day looking at seed catalogs on-line (which does happen), guess what ads show up the next day?
Keep Up Your Support
Obviously, readers can help make the blog financially sound. How?
First, click on the blog every day if possible. Or at least several times a week. If you prefer to save them up and go through a week’s worth on Saturday mornings, that’s fine too. Don’t just look at the subject, smile and skip the blog for that day. Always click, even if you don’t read it at the time (although I do hope you will at some point!). Every visit counts, even if it’s just a click.
The same goes if the blog comes to you through another platform (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), as it does for many of you. Don’t just admire the lead photo or illustration and the first few words: click! Otherwise, I get … nada!
And tell your gardening friends about the blog. The more readers, the merrier!
If you’re new to the blog, you can easily “subscribe” (and it costs you nothing). Just push the “Follow” button at the bottom of the page. It couldn’t be simpler.
Have a great 2020 … and keep up your support!
The Laidback Gardener