Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. There’s no such thing as a “perfect” website, and I won’t be recommending you directly copy this site by plagiarizing or even covering the same content.
In one of the few books I’ve actually read, Steal Like An Artist, Austin Kleon wrote, “What to copy is a little bit trickier. Don’t just steal the style, steal the thinking behind the style. You don’t want to look like your heroes, you want to see like your heroes.”
What I will be doing is explaining why this mystery URL is my favorite website to look at as the gold standard of what you, as a solo entrepreneur, should be doing to create a sustainable, profitable business. By seeing what someone is doing right, you have a real life example of what to mimick and ultimately turn into your own success that other people will eventually steal. This isn’t a bad thing. When you’re being copied, it means you won.
Like all of my articles, this one should be seen as a supplement to my Guide On How To Build A Profitable Website, particularly the first guide on how to nail the right idea first.
Let’s get into the site and how you can use its strategies to expedite growth and make more money.
Table of Contents
- So What Is The “Perfect” Website?
- Why I Consider EpicGardening To Be The Gold Standard
- How To Copy EpicGardening’s Success
So What Is The “Perfect” Website?
The site is EpicGardening.com, founded by Kevin Espiritu. It covers all things gardening with a goal to teach 10 million people to grow their own food through a variety of how-to articles and tutorials.
Simple enough, right? You might be looking at EpicGardening, scratching your head, and wondering if I’m on some sort of psychedelics to consider it the gold standard. But as we get into exactly what Kevin has built, you’ll hopefully begin to see how and why you should be striving toward the same.
Why I Consider EpicGardening To Be The Gold Standard
In a nutshell, EpicGardening is doing a whole lot of things very well. The diversity and broad yet cohesive approach to content is impressive but actually quite straightforward. Kevin has taken what was once a simple site about gardening and turned it into a media powerhouse, making millions of dollars every year.
I love EpicGardening as a case study because it’s a master class in scaling a simple idea.
Like I cover extensively in my creating content guide, Kevin’s gardening passion is evident when you go to the site. Granted, now he has multiple freelance writers, but originally, EpicGardening was simply a blog. That’s it… much like the one you’re on right now where it’s just me and my words.
I read a couple of interviews with Kevin that I’ll reference here because there are so many parallels with all of us.
When asked his origin story, it actually had nothing to do with gardening: “I came out of college and I was playing online poker to pay for school. And so I had already sort of known that I didn’t want a traditional job path, especially because I was coming out with an accounting degree and I was like, “I don’t want to be an accountant.” So unfortunately what that left me with after college was no direction on where to go if I had stopped playing poker. I had no idea what I wanted to do. And so the next best thing was to play video games because poker is a game and video games are also games. And so I was like, “I guess I’ll just play video games instead.”
It was only after his mom’s suggestion to get outside and do something different that he picked up gardening… and was instantly hooked. He was passionate and clearly didn’t want to live a traditional life handcuffed to a job. That’s also how I felt from a young age, and I assume you’re here because you feel similar.
What is your passion? What do you love? Kevin didn’t have a degree in botany or agriculture; he simply found a passion for gardening and took his motivation to avoid the traditional career route and turned it into a business.
He was one of the first people to make gardening approachable. His presentation – via tutorials and articles – was for the layperson, not the experienced gardener. In another interview, when asked how he turned a simple garden blog into a successful online business, he said:
“Without growing up as a gardener, there were two issues I noticed. All the terminology was only for gardeners — if you’re trying to learn, that’s not helpful — and the good information was buried in semi-inaccessible formats. I thought I’d write it in a blog format, which was the prevailing medium at the time.”
And it still is. This is why I love Kevin’s story – he took a simple passion and presented it in an approachable, easy to digest way.
When I launched Viral Nova, which ultimately made over $400,000 profit per month and sold twice for 7 figures, from an outside perspective, it looked like a guy got lucky and fell in the blessings of Facebook. But what it actually was, behind the scenes, was me scouring the Web for incredible artists and stories that were buried because their presentation sucked.
I covered them in a way that packed a punch and gave the reader an emotional high, just hammering home the important parts that matter. While not entirely the same, Kevin started writing gardening articles for beginners. And there are a lot more people who WANT to garden than ACTUALLY garden.
We’re in 2022, and I’d make the argument that website content has never been worse. You have thousands of people trying to take a shortcut and create easy, cheap content that just doesn’t answer the reader’s question, solve a problem, or satisfy anybody. It’s prime season to put yourself out there and be better.
Be sure to read my content guide, but in a nutshell, you need to thoroughly and clearly cover your topic better than everyone else is covering it.
In addition to really nailing the content in all the right ways, where Kevin truly took EpicGardening to another level is he didn’t get complacent and reliant on one traffic source. I’m guilty of this in the past where I’m getting ridiculous Facebook traffic, so I continuously focus on it and forget Google, Pinterest, email, and other sources.
Kevin expanded EpicGardening from a simple blog about gardening to a gardening empire on the site, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tiktok.
Oh, and a podcast, a shop, and Tiktok.
His Facebook group, as of this writing, has 40,000 members. His YouTube has 1.86 million subscribers, IG with 648,000 followers, Tiktok at 1.9 million, and Twitter over 29,000.
I’m not sure I know any operation, outside of VC funded companies, that so successfully diversified across all platforms. Kevin is future proofing his business and his life by taking his simple approach to content and positioning it correctly for each platform.
Never get addicted to one source of traffic.
As mentioned above, Kevin started EpicGardening on his own around a decade ago. He wrote all of the guides and articles himself. In one interview, he said, “I was writing probably 12 hours a day for months to get the blog up and running. At a certain point, I had enough stuff on the blog, which wasn’t the best use of my time.”
When the time comes that your time isn’t best spent writing articles, you start to hire freelancers. While I can’t cover the details here, there’s a skill to ensuring your hired writer will be around 80% as good as you. It took me a long time to finally let go and accept that everyone, especially those getting paid by the word, can’t be as detailed and passionate as I am about my content, but if you can achieve around 80% of that, it’s a win.
Kevin hired his first writer and trained her to update the blog so he could move over to promoting the site. When promoting the site became an ineffective use of his time, he moved on to starting the YouTube channel. In the same interview linked above, Kevin said:
“I was bad at YouTube and I don’t really consider myself a YouTuber. The blog existed already and I asked, “What are the most popular blog articles that I have on a search traffic basis?” Then I made videos to better illustrate those concepts. Next, I started to make videos specifically for that audience.”
This is exactly how you expand to other platforms. You take what’s working on your current medium (likely a website) and apply all of the stuff that worked the best to the new platform. It’s basically a headstart because you have the data that already says it worked – it just needs to be applied to the new platform.
Scaling vertically and horizontally isn’t necessary and some people will enjoy their $10,000/mo, one-person operation for years. There’s nothing wrong with that, but Kevin has perfectly illustrated how to take what’s working to another level.
How To Copy EpicGardening’s Success
So, how exactly do you apply EpicGardening’s strategies to your own business?
It all starts with two forms of passion: 1. the topic your business covers and 2. your refusal to fall into the rat race and live a cookie cutter life. If you have both of these deeply rooted into your soul, you can do exactly what Kevin did by channeling that passion into a never-settle, always-expanding business. Constantly keep these questions in your mind:
- How can my content be even better?
- Where else can my content be?
- Is my content actually better than others covering the same topic?
- What’s a new way to present the same content?
- Am I spending my time wisely? What am I doing that can be automated?
Use EpicGardening.com as a real life guide. Go to the site and read some of the articles, even if you hate gardening. The style and approachability can be applied to your own content.
At the end of the day, people want the information they’re seeking given to them in the easiest, most understandable way possible. Give them that in all of the available ways, and the money will follow.
Soak in all that EpicGardening is, and you’ll come away with a much clearer understanding of content and how to position it for maximum profit.