Thursday, 22 August 2013

How Hartley Botanic Built its Blog

Company blogs have been around now for many years. Ten years ago, when most businesses still got much of their work through Yellow Pages, to have a blog for your company was something new. It was something different. Today however, you can go online and within seconds, you’ll be able to find even the smallest company with a regularly updated blog.

When my company, Hartley Botanic, started its articles back in May 2005, we managed to catch the tail end of the surge for companies expressing their opinions, offers and business information to their users. Looking back, we had just one blog a month, which in the days of the mid-noughties, was perfectly acceptable.

It didn’t take long to realise, looking at the traffic we received just by posting articles on ‘buying your first garden equipment’ and ‘what to grow in June’, that having a business blog not only got us the search traffic that we wanted, but also the money that we needed. We are quite thankful to the fact that from the beginning, we wrote blogs that were interesting, helpful and educational to our audience, helping us quickly build a readership that remains with us to this day.

It is interesting, when you read other company blogs, that many of them still only write about ‘special offers’ and ‘discounts’. Not only are these terms of little interest to most people, but they are also seldom found entered into search engines.

It didn’t take long however, before we realised that we had to add something a little bit more special to our articles. At first we thought about competitions, but we quickly realised that people flocked to our pages not for the aforementioned special offers, but for help, advice and knowledge.

Before long, we began to add special writers to our pages. Regionally reputed gardeners that were known throughout their districts, giving expert and accurate information to budding gardeners. As expected, this considerably improved our readership, as our blog and company were able to expand to considerable heights. From there we added more, until the point where we were able to offer celebrity gardeners and horticulturalists special bi-monthly places within our pages. Today we have:

Lia Leendertz
Bob Flowerdew
Matthew Biggs
Jean Vernon
John Walker

Each and every one of our celebrity writers are able to add something different to their own sections of the blog. John Walker for example, writes regularly on renewable gardening, and Lia Leendertz writes about organic gardening, two areas that are not only popular today, but shall be even more popular tomorrow as the world becomes increasingly interested in health and the environment.

All in all, our blog has helped us grow into what we are as a company today, but challenges still lay ahead. Soon, it is expected that video blogs will become standard and from there, who knows.

Perhaps in ten years we shall have smell ‘o’ blogs. But I hope not.

For more information on Hartely Botanic and its award winning greenhouses and glasshouses, visit and for its blog, visit

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