Jan 23, 2012
Garden Bloggers on the Road
After the drama surrounding being falsely accused of creating a boycott of the GWA by a group of writers and bloggers in Fern Richardson’s secret Facebook group I was contacted by the ANLA Clinic to see if I was interested in participating in their event. At first I wasn’t sure that I had anything worthwhile to contribute, but then the more I started thinking about it, the more sense it made. Plant rants and raves, squabbles, and full-on drama within the garden blogging niche is able to pull people into our orbit and read about things they normally wouldn’t care about. I have e-friends who are not bloggers or gardeners who are fascinated by the inside baseball stuff we post about.
I’ll be participating in the event with two very short presentations that I‘ll be giving during what they call “speed rounds.” The first, “The Rising Influence of Garden Bloggers in Consumer Marketing,” in which I’ll draw from examples of gardeners and brands connecting, sometimes with disastrous results, and how garden bloggers are now a part of marketing to consumers.
The second, “Garden Bloggers: Rise of the New Garden Columnist” will be about how what started out as digital garden journaling is in many cases turning into citizen journalism. I’ll be using the term journalism very loosely just to get the point across. I don’t think many of us garden blogging have journalistic training, but you get the idea. Remember how back in the day when you opened up your Email account for the day you had Emails from real people, and now when you open up your Email account you have a lot of PR pitches and people asking you to help out by promoting a cause or event? Well, guess what? You’re now the local garden columnist. Nobody informed you of it but that’s what you are now. Unfortunately, you have to get your own coffee in the mornings as the position doesn’t come with interns.
In between those micro presentations I’m assigned to the Marketing & Outreach Solution Lab where attendees of the clinic can stop by and get advice on social media and garden blogging. I feel like Lucy van Pelt in the Peanuts comic strip, but it should be fun because I have a lot of opinions and I believe everyone is entitled to them.
Since I’m the D-List presenter a workshop on how-to garden blog for business and professionals is scheduled for Saturday morning. I don’t know if anyone will show up for that but if anyone does I will make sure to send them home with more information about setting up and running a blog than they care to imagine.
If you’ll be at the ANLA Clinic this week stop by and see me. I can’t teach you how to Dougie but I can show you how to tweet and butter up some garden bloggers so they write about your product. You can follow long on Twitter where I'll probably be tweeting up a storm with the #ANLAClinic
Disclosure: The American Nursery & Landscape Association is footing the bill for travel expenses.