Why every landscape designer needs a blog

Growing up, I always wanted to be a writer. I read voraciously as a kid and I always envisioned myself locked in a cabin somewhere, with just a typewriter and a dog for company, grinding out the next great novel. While that hasn’t happened (yet), I’ve managed to parlay that love of writing into a blog with over 570 posts. This blog, started as a marketing tool, has had some unexpected results that should have every landscape designer out there blogging.

Understanding your clients better

“True love, Max! He said true love!”

The bane of writers everywhere is the blank page. “What am I going to write about?” Luckily, I just have to think about the questions I’m asked in the course of my work. Every question is a potential post topic. How do I plant for privacy? What would a reading garden design look like? Is dyed mulch safe? Coming up with post topics helps me see what I do from my clients’ point of view.

Becoming a better communicator

Blogging is, by its nature, a bit constraining. No one really goes to Google looking for a 15,000 word dissertation on drainage myths. We have to learn how to identify the question and answer it as directly and succinctly, yet thoroughly, as possible. Getting better at doing this in writing helps one become better at doing it verbally, in person. That greatly reduces the number of times I’m explaining something to a client and have to watch their eyes glaze over.

More speaking opportunities

I love walking into a room full of landscape and garden enthusiasts and getting them excited about a particular topic. As my blog grew, and more people started reading it, I began to get offers to come speak to different groups. While most of those talks haven’t led to new business, they have – once again – helped me get better at communicating with people. If, like me, you run your company from a teaching perspective, this is a wonderful side effect. You can learn more about hiring me for your group or event here

Deeper curiosity

I’ve always been a naturally curious person. Growing up in the days before the Wikipedia rabbit hole, I would spend hours in the reference section of the library and fall down old school, analog rabbit holes. Why yes I was a very cool child, why do you ask?

still cooler than I was

Blogging has encouraged me to take nothing about landscape design at face value. Everything I come across is a potential blog topic, which makes it a potential topic I can teach people about. Since I can’t teach about it until I understand it, it’s time to dive in.

So if you’re a landscape designer and you’re not blogging, why the heck not? It’s fun, it’s not all that hard, and you’ll get way more out of it than what you put in. A few years ago I created a list of 7 landscape and garden blogs worth following. Let me know who I need to add for this year’s update!

 

Dave Marciniak is a landscape designer and speaker. He lives in Culpeper, Virginia and can be found via his website and on Twitter.

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