Gardening Know How

Peggy Doyle, CEO

Ohio, USA
Gardening Know How Gardening Know How
Planting the seeds for success

Since its inception in 2007, has become a gardener's guide to everything green, reaching over 180 million plant parents and gardening enthusiasts annually. "Our founder likes to call it a hobby that got out of hand," says Peggy Doyle, Gardening Know How's CEO. Founder Heather Rhoades wanted a business that could combine her digital marketing skills with her passion for gardening, and that same desire to pursue one's passion attracted Peggy to the CEO job in 2018. With a team of 12 full-time employees and 16 part-timers and freelancers, Heather and Peggy have built the business into one of the largest online gardening resources.

Turning the whole world into gardeners
Turning the whole world into gardeners

"Since I joined, I wanted to build on Heather's strong foundation," shares Peggy. To deliver on that, one area of focus has been "optimizing ad opportunities and finding ways to improve user experience." The Gardening Know How site started using AdSense to earn ad revenue. "We built our business with Google and chose to use AdSense to help us earn money from the site," Peggy explains. "As we grew, we decided to partner with Freestar, a Google Certified Publishing Partner, to manage the ad side of the business while our teams focused on creating valuable content."

Growing the community

Though the site experienced tremendous success, like most businesses at the start of the pandemic, Peggy and her team weren't sure what the future would hold. "Despite that uncertainty, we stuck to our mission to help everyone in the world become a gardener," she shares. "During this time, a lot of people turned to the restorative nature of gardening and kicked off projects to create a backyard haven, or grow their own food, or just create something green and beautiful."

The explosion of interest in gardening during the pandemic, plus the efforts of more than a decade of great content, led to nearly 180 million unique visitors to Gardening Know How in 2021 to explore their 14,000 articles and thousands of questions answered by experts. "We were happy to welcome in these new gardeners to our community and help them – it was a nice silver lining to a challenging year," says Peggy.

The Gardening Know How team.
The Gardening Know How team.
Helping the business flourish

While the team spent their time uplifting the gardening community, Freestar helped the business keep growing. "Between the partnership with Freestar and the surge of interest during the pandemic, we've seen almost an 80% increase in our traffic and over 126% increase in ad revenue."

As a business supported by ad revenue, Gardening Know How has the resources to build and invest in their business. "Steady ad revenue has enabled so many aspects of our business growth," Peggy highlights. "We've expanded our team, published over 14,000 articles, and built more community engagement. And we're kick-starting our growth this year with a big expansion of our YouTube channel and the launch of an exciting new venture, Gardening Know How's Learning Channel offering expert-guided courses, workshops, and events in a fun, community-based setting."

It also helps the Gardening Know How team continue their mission offering a wide range of content and a welcoming community to every type of gardening enthusiast. "99% of what we do is make gardening more available to people, so for us, ad revenue is the best business model to help achieve our mission," says Peggy. "Being free and ad-based is the most natural fit for the kind of content we create and the audience we want to connect with."

“Ad revenue has provided a steady opportunity to grow for the past 10 years - that's what has enabled us to hire our team, get to 14,000 articles, and expand into new areas. It has enabled all aspects of business growth – in terms of what content we're able to create and how we build our community.”
Growing for the long term

The Gardening Know How Team has seen first hand how open access to content can make a real difference in people's lives. "Our most popular article is about scientific insights into how there are microbes in dirt that can have the same impact on your body as antidepressants," shares Peggy. "It's been an honor to help people discover the joy and restorative power gardening can bring into their lives."

With a strong body of content and a thriving community, Gardening Know How sees lots of opportunities blossoming in the future. "We've been more of a well-kept secret," says Peggy. "People may think a home and garden site couldn't have a big reach, but we debuted this summer in ComScore and were #12 in the lifestyle - home category, putting us in the mix with some large media properties. It made our team super proud to see ourselves next to other publishing businesses we respect, but also made us want to do more to raise awareness that we're a resource, a community, and something people can get involved in. I'm so excited to see what's next for us."

About the Publisher

Peggy Doyle is the CEO of Gardening Know How, a digital media platform visited by more than 180 million gardening enthusiasts annually. Since joining the team in 2018, Peggy has been instrumental in positioning Gardening Know How as a leader in the green space. The site is ranked #12 in ComScore's Lifestyle/Home category and #1 globally in the Gardening category on SimilarWeb. Top brands and advertisers rely on the company to connect with their core customers. With a strong commitment to giving back, Peggy freely shares her time and expertise with other women entrepreneurs and non-profits. She is on the Board of Advisors of A Fresh Chapter, a non-profit whose mission is to help people navigate the adversity of cancer and provide them with the tools, support, and community to thrive. And she is the Co-Founder of WHAT NOW WHAT NEXT, a social venture that helps level the playing field for women entrepreneurs by offering them free resources to launch and grow their businesses.
Peggy Doyle