Interview with 'The Middle-Sized Garden'
We were lucky enough to interview author, journalist and blogger Alexandra Campbell from the successful blog 'The Middle-Sized Garden', to chat about why she started her blog, gardening tips and advice on starting your own blog! See what she says below!
About Alexandra Campbell...
Alexandra Campbell is an author, a journalist and a blogger.
She started her blog, 'The Middle-Sized Garden' to share tips and inspiration on how to create a gorgeous garden, while saving time and money. Her blog was an instant success, making it into the Vuelio Top 10 UK Garden Blogs just 6 months after starting! Find out what inspired Alexandra to create this blog plus some motivating gardening and blogging advice...
Question 1 - Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog?
I’ve always been a journalist (mainly on magazines such as Good Housekeeping or The Times Magazine) and an author (nine novels, nine books on interiors). I started gardening when we moved to Kent from London. We went from a courtyard garden to a ‘middle-sized’ one (a fifth of an acre). I discovered that gardens don’t stand still. You can decide when you want to paint a room and it won’t change until then. A garden just keeps on growing and gets out of control in a few weeks!
Question 2 - Why did you start the blog?
As a novelist, my publishers suggested I start blogging quite early on – probably around 2010. I soon discovered that no-one really knew much about blogging, so I set out to learn, mainly from successful US bloggers. People started asking my advice, so I set up workshops and classes, but at that stage, I no longer had a blog of my own. So I started the Middle-sized Garden to test out what I teach in my blogging workshops. And to further my love of gardening. Blogging takes time and is hard work, so it’s essential to be passionate about the subject you’re writing about.
Question 3 - What’s your best piece of gardening advice?
Be optimistic. If a favourite plant or tree dies, see it as an opportunity to change things. Gardening is unpredictable – even if you follow the rules, things can go wrong, but you also get lots of wonderful unexpected surprises too.
Question 4 - Did you anticipate for your blog to become this popular and successful?
I didn’t actually think about success when I started the blog. I was too interested in working on it. I was quite surprised when it first went into the Vuelio Top 10 UK Garden Blogs, as it was only six months after it started.
Question 5 - What do you see in the future for your blog?
I’ve started to take affiliate sales, which means that if people click through to buy from the blog I get a small percentage. However, it really is a very small percentage, so it won’t mean earning a living from the blog. Running a blog is time-consuming, so it is important to look at other ways of making money from it. I don’t want to take advertising as I think that can be quite irritating for readers.
Question 6 - Finally, what advice do you have for others wanting to start their own gardening blog?
Decide who you are writing the blog for and what they will get out of it. And decide why you want to write the blog, and what YOU will get out of it. There are lots of good reasons for writing blogs – to publicise your skills, to promote a cause, build your reputation or just to develop your creative voice and get more involved in the sector you are interested in. But it’s important to be clear about what your own particular reasons are, so that you can measure success. If you can measure success and failure, it’s much easier to improve and achieve goals. Otherwise, you are just drifting. You can find lots of great free information on blogging on the internet, and you can also pay for personal teaching. I do one-to-one blogging coaching in person or by Skype/email, so do contact me on email@example.com. Thank you Alexandra for letting us interview you. Check out her blog if you're looking for some excellent gardening tips and advice - The Middle-Sized Garden.