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Make Your Passion Work for You !

My passions are gardening and travel. Three years ago after resigning as Director of a publishing company, I decided that my priority was to do something first and foremeost that I enjoyed doing and at the same time not have to play all the bureaucratic office politics or commute silly hours.

I saw the web as the future medium for publishing but although I have marketing, sales and publishing experience, I neither have the patience to trawl through detailed handbooks on computer languages or the ability to understand let alone write computer codings – I just wanted to publish on the web.

I found Seven Software Developments  while looking for a user friendly content management system on the web. I filled out a request for a demonstration of 7 Soft – then Global, and within 30 seconds of hitting “send”, the phone went and half an hour later I had everything I could possibly need to make not just some, but all of my ideas a reality and in hindsight a lot more.

Three years on my passion is now working for me and I am Editor of the recognised leading UK Gardening Website – THE Gardening WEBSITE The software is simplicity itself and yet extremely powerful and so I quickly and easily started to build – and have enjoyed every minute of it.

THE Gardening WEBSITE is now a massive 14,000+ page "search engine optimised" website receiving well over one million hits per month and was recently confirmed to us by an Advertising Agency who monitor the effectiveness of some 500 + "gardening" websites that we are indeed the UK's No. 1 site for gardening. Of course we knew that by studying Google Anlaytics, but there is no substitute for a client telling you!

We are viewed by 91 countries worldwide and the number of unique visitors as well as number of page views is galloping ahead and so is our rise to the top of all the major search engines for an ever increasing number of garden related searches. And because the guys from 7 Soft also have their own websites, and the shared experiences of 7 Soft clients, there is never any shortage of ideas, enthusiasm and new ways of making the software do even more to continually improve search engine rankings.

We are now “found” by the major search engines for over 40,000 gardening and horticultural related search terms and search strings which means we deliver for our clients by pulling them - through us - to the top positions across all the major search engines. That means they are found on the web by people they want to be found by, to buy their gardening product or service.

£100 million a week is spent on Gardening. AND more people visit gardens than attend football matches – it’s big business.

We have some 300 + garden designers, 400 + landscape contractors, 700 + Garden Nurseries, 650 National Plant Collection Holders, all National Trust properties in England and Wales which have gardens to visit, 2,500 Garden Centres on THE Gardening WEBSITE. In addition we also have the full spectrum of garden products, sculpture, ornaments and pots, garden buildings, garden machinery, mail order and online garden centres and are currently in negotiation with all the major Garden Centre chains to expand their presence on THE Gardening WEBSITE.

Lorna Vestey in the Property Section of the Daily Telegraph referenced us as the website to look out for when selling property. Of course we put the garden first with "Gardens and Homes FOR SALE" . We are working with Savills, International Property Consultants, to develop this aspect of the website as part of the overall strategic plan to provide more and more "gardening" related terms for which we top the search engines.

With the enormous popularity of “British Gardens to Visit” we are also working with Alistair Sawday to form a strategic partnership based around their portfolio which includes " Bed and Breakfast for Garden Lovers" Alistair Sawday again provides a very substantial opportunity to drive more and more traffic to our site. His publishing business has exploded with “Special Places to Stay” in the UK, and now Europe, Asia and world-wide.

The most exciting things about the web are the limitless opportunities that exist and that coupled with simple but very powerful software allows us to not just take advantage of the opportunities but find ways of doings things more easily and quickly than expected. In short, that means that in publishing terms, I can do more than I could ever think of doing as a Director of a paper based publishing company – AND I don’t have the costs or hassle of staffing, paper, reproduction, distribution or the difficulties of precisely measuring what I can offer and what I deliver – it’s all there.

Last December I launched THE Travel WEBSITE – my other passion. The Co-Editor is a friend and South Africa’s leading photographer, Roger de la Harpe. Roger spends most of his life on photographic assignments and expeditions throughout South Africa, Africa with assignments worldwide. Roger can upload content to THE Travel WEBSITE from his laptop, sitting in a tent in the Okavango Delta – need I say more !

Invest in the right software and choose a subject which you really enjoy - anything then becomes possible - make your passion work for you and make it local, national or a global e-commerce business – and have fun – it’s what you always promised yourself a job should be.  Yes it can be very hard work – but what are you doing now?

Robert Hale


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