In this week’s episode of the Niche Pursuits podcast, host Jared is joined by Jason Wilson, Director of Search at Epic Gardening.
Jason originally worked with Spencer in banking before diving into online business with his own sites and working on Niche Pursuits.
Today he discusses a couple of his 6 to 7-figure site sales, his current role, and the entrepreneurial adventure that got him here.
It’s awesome, and Jason shares a ton of valuable advice you don’t want to miss.
But it hasn’t been a linear road to success. And he believes success doesn’t require you to leave your day job to become an entrepreneur.
He emphasizes the importance of finding a job you enjoy which also affords you the time to pursue your passions. This way, your salary can pay your bills and be used to invest in scaling your site’s content production.
He also recommends you set manageable goals, celebrate wins, and define success based on your own values and goals.
Jason’s approach to goal-setting and breaking down content needs into manageable daily targets has been key to his success.
And his latest venture, merging his gardening site with Epic Gardening and joining them as Director of Search, proves his process works.
Jason started All About Gardening after his big 7-figure exit. He chose gardening as a niche because it was a passion and hobby for him and his wife. He allocated a significant budget for content creation and hired experts in the gardening field to ensure high-quality content. And despite the competitive nature of the gardening niche, Jason was willing to bet his user-focused mindset would pay off.
And it worked. The site took off and quickly grew to generate several million page views per month.
The merger between Epic Gardening and All About Gardening was simply the next logical step, as their focuses were complementary – Epic Gardening on edibles and All About Gardening on ornamentals.
Soon the two sites will combine to become one of the biggest authorities in the gardening niche, continuing the strategies and guidance Jason shares in this excellent interview.
Hope you enjoy it!
Watch The Interview
Topics Jason Wilson Covers
- Jason’s corporate background
- Working for Niche Pursuits
- His ups and downs transitioning into online business
- Selling a site for multiple 6-figures in 2018
- Exiting a site for 7-figures
- Growing All About Gardening
- How he chooses a niche
- His topic selection process
- Hiring expert authors
- Setting manageable goals
- Tips for growing websites as a side hustle
- Using Indeed to hire part-time expert authors
- Content velocity
- Knowing when to update content
- How he grows his site authority
- Topical authority
- Why he decided to join Epic Gardening
- Advice for site builders
- And a whole lot more…
Links & Resources
Jared: All right. Welcome back to the niche pursuits podcast. My name is Jared Bauman. And today we are joined by Jason Wilson, who is the head of search at Epic gardening. Jason, welcome
Jason: to the podcast. Thank you very much, sir. Appreciate it. It can be a fun
Jared: one. I have known Jason personally for a good number of years.
I would call him a mentor, actually. I’m sure we’ll get into it. You have a long track record with niche pursuits as well, which we’ll get into. And now you’re with Epic Gardening, which we’ll get into. Lot of stuff to unpack. I don’t know how we’re going to get it all done in an hour here, but man, where should we start?
Let’s start with the origin story. Tell us about you and your, how you got into internet marketing and, and websites.
Jason: Yeah, for sure. So first off, thanks for having me on. It’s probably overdue just because Spencer and I, we go back a ways and he’s been bugging me about coming back onto the podcast for a while.
For those that don’t know me I met Spencer back in, oh boy, this was probably the mid 2000s. We were both in mortgage banking with Wells Fargo. We worked together as, at a branch and I met him there and we were, we were doing mortgages, residential mortgage loans, we were, we were selling them to consumers and he would always talk about how on the side he was going to start these websites on buffalo nickels and worm farms and all this fun stuff.
So he, I always, I enjoy talking to him just because he had these wild ideas and then fast forward, you know, I, a decade later, I’m still in mortgage banking. I had worked my way up in the corporate space and was running. Sales teams and and I ran back into Spencer again because he lived in the area.
We both lived in Arizona at the time and we ran into each other and I started following him on niche pursuits. I started listening to him and I was like, Hey, this is kind of cool. Like I wouldn’t mind doing what like he had fully like right around the time he had left corporate was when I was like really honed in on what he was doing.
And I was like, this would be awesome. I’d love to leave this grind. I was working like. You know, 80 hours a week in, in mortgage banking at the time. And I was like, I’d love to get back to like controlling my own time and, and you know, living my life on my terms. I started following him. Started building websites on the side as kind of just like an experimenting thing and, you know, God bless Spencer, he put up with my, you know, 50 million questions when I first started, like I didn’t even know what internet hosting was and he, he kind of, you know, nurtured me through some of that.
So this is probably back in like 2013. It’s about 10 years ago now, when I first started. I was just building sites on the side. It took me about a year to a year and a half to get one that was actually making any type of meaningful revenue. And then I sold a site for like, I sold two sites in like, I think it was like 2016 and that was what like got me hooked.
Wasn’t for a lot of, it wasn’t like life changing money for me at that time, but it was enough for me to be like, okay, like this is actually like, You know, this works like we can, we can do something like this. And then I started, I, I basically knuckled down at that point. So I’m going to focus on, on one site.
That’s all I’m going to do. I’m going to make this my priority. And so I started doing that and that was kind of like my springboard. It was enough to where. So it basically replaced my, it replaced my day job income. I still stayed working at the corporate day job just because it had great benefits.
And even though I was working a ton, I had progressed into a different position within the, the corporate mortgage banking organization and had a little bit more time. I was probably doing about 60 to 70 hours a week instead of 80. So I had a little bit more time back and I was, I was like, I’m just going to focus on this.
Build this site. That’s what I did. Eventually got to the point where it replaced my day job income, and then I jumped into Working for Spencer, and that’s probably around the time where a lot of people on on that have followed Spencer through the years may have remember Meeting me from was I started working for Spencer around it was 2017 or so I started working for Spencer full time, so I left the corporate job because my My primary site had replaced that income and then working for Spencer.
I just knew that moving into this industry full time the pay was going to be less because I was in corporate banking. You know, I was making a, a fairly decent corporate salary at that point. And I just said, Hey, I’ve got this site. This is, this is paying for my living expense. I can go work for Spencer and learn from him.
Watch how he runs successful businesses. And so I took a small pay cut jump, making that jump and, and started working from him for there.
Jared: That was when you and I met. I went back and looked it up. We met the summer of 2017. Yeah. And when you were working with niche pursuits and yeah. You know I won’t go into all that, but how long did you end up working for Niche?
’cause you were on the podcast many times. Yeah. You were part of a lot of the
Jason: projects. I wrote, I wrote some of the content that’s still on the site today, and I, I’ve got an article today about. Car flipping that’s still out there because I have flipped a few classic Mustangs in my day. Those were my My favorite cars because my first car was a, a 67 Mustang when I was 16.
So I, I flipped a couple and I even wrote an article about it on niche pursuits. It still ranks today. So yeah, so I, I worked for Spencer for about two years. I ran I co-ran niche pursuits. Insider was like a group of his, and that’s where, where you and I met you were in that group and we did some, some coaching calls.
And it was, it was great. I actually didn’t plan on, on leaving. Spencer at all. It just so happened that I ended up sorry, my dog is running after something. So you’re going to need to cut that. So I, I didn’t plan on leaving working for Spencer at all. I had planned on working for him for a while.
Just what ended up happening is a couple of years into, into working for Spencer. I, we got it into our crazy heads. We’d lived in Arizona our entire lives. We got it into our heads. We wanted to try something and moved to Tennessee where my wife has family. And so we were going to move to a farm in Tennessee and we were going to live out kind of this homestead lifestyle dream that we had.
And that in theory sounds wonderful but it wasn’t. We had a bit of a, a real estate nightmare. We bought a home that I thought I was going to be working from home remotely on my farm all day long with my family. Well, it turns out the home, the internet that the home got wasn’t enough to support me working from home.
And this is before, like, High speed internet was more available. It was, you know, I would have had to have satellite would have been the only option. It was just a really, really bad decision on the, the, on that. Looking back on it now, I can say it was a bad decision at the time, but it’s actually a good decision because all the things that have happened since then wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t had to, to go through that.
But yeah, so we moved to Tennessee and we were there for, 10 days and decided this is not for us. We literally left all of our stuff in our, in our packed trailer and just said we’re going straight back, turn around and, and literally my mom was out of town and here I am in my, my mid thirties crashing at my mom’s place for a few weeks.
So we try and figure out like how we’re putting our lives back together. So it was a. It was a, a wild time so that was kind of what led me to like no longer working for Spencer. I loved working for Spencer. It wasn’t anything to do with that. It was, you know, that was supposed to be at the time, like the springboard to, I’m going to work for Spencer as long as I can.
My website that I have is eventually going to pay for living expenses and plus so I can scale it. But instead there were other plans for us and we ended up where we were kind of fishing around at at rock bottom trying to piece our lives back together. So. I remember, I
Jared: remember, you know, just being friends messaging you and you were like yeah, I’m back in Arizona again.
I’m like, wait, you just moved to Tennessee. It’s, I think I was checking in with you on how the move went. You’re back in Arizona. It was a mess.
Jason: It was a huge mess. You know, my loving wife, bless her heart. Like she, you know. It was really hard on her because we’ve been in the same house for, you know, it was eight, nine years.
And, you know, she, it wasn’t that we didn’t like where we lived, we did. She had her, her friends and we had, you know, people we knew. We just wanted to try this kind of like ideal, you know, idealistic dream in Tennessee and try something different. So it was, it was a rough time for sure. And that actually led me back.
So I left Spencer. I went back into corporate banking for. About a year. I did that because, you know, just monetarily pay wise, we needed to do it to kind of fix, you know, I’ve got four kids. We had to kind of fix what had gone wrong in our lives at that point financially. So I took the job to get us back in a house that was in a, in a, you know, in the neighborhood that we had had left to try and get some sort of normalcy.
To our, to our lives at that point. And that was when I sold, so I decided to sell, I decided to sell the site that had been doing well at that point. So the site that was going to be my springboard, I ended up having to sell it to basically fix this house. We took a massive loss on, on the home, like six figures loss between down payment and what we had to pay to get out from underneath it and all that.
It was, it was a huge mess. So we sold, sold the site for a. A multiple six figure amount. That was in 2000 and what, 2000 and this would’ve been 2018? Yeah, 2018. So we sold that 2018. That was like my first big sale where in the midst of all the chaos, I was like, Hey, like this sucks. But this thing is still, still, like, there, there’s still this potential out there.
It sucks that I had to de, you know, go through what I went through. To, to, you know, sacrifice it, so to speak. But again, things ended up working out later on. So yeah, so that, that was like that, that big sale. Where I, first big, like, big sale, multiple six figures. Where I was like, okay, like, yeah.
Luckily, we were able to fix all the garbage that happened in our life and, and still kind of reset, so to speak. It just, you know, wasn’t, wasn’t ideal the way it all worked out. We’re going to focus
Jared: today’s interview on your most recent website, but I mean, you’ve had a history of being able to, I’ll say grow sites quickly and then sell them on.
And then start a new project and grow it pretty quickly. Maybe just so we can kind of get into the meat and potatoes of the specific site. Maybe just catch us up to, from where we, where you left off with selling this site and kind of disastrous situation to now where we’re at. Cause you have some things that happen in between there that are pretty noteworthy.
Jason: Yeah. Yeah. So I’ll, I’ll fast forward a bit. So we basically kind of hit that rock bottom point. And then. We were still, we moved back into the, the old neighborhood that we were in and I, I, we were there and we’re just kind of like, man, this just doesn’t feel right. We feel like we, you know, kind of like tried to put the toothpaste back into the tube a bit.
And we just got it in our, on our minds that we wanted to try it again. So crazy enough, I got a job offer in 2019 to relocate to Tennessee to move to Nashville area, working for a company called Better Collective. They are a aggregator. They run. A bunch of sites in the sports fantasy sports space and sports betting space.
And I, you know, again, I was exiting corporate banking again because I was like, I don’t like, I just got to get out of this. This is not where I want to be for the rest of my life. So I, again, took another massive pay cut to get back into SEO, but I wanted to do the sports betting thing because I knew just from my time in the industry that was like.
It was like the push of my ethical boundaries, like, that was right around where, like, I wasn’t willing to go into any other, like, niches that didn’t align with, like, you know, my thoughts morally. So, I, I decided, I want to get into this because it’s really hard. Sports betting and sports gaming is, like, one of the hardest places that you can be in SEO if you’re going to be in it for a career, and I was like, I want to do the hardest stuff I possibly can.
To, like, prep myself. So we did that I took the job. We relocated, again, from Arizona all the way back out to Tennessee. It was 2019, pre COVID. And then, four months here four months prior to us moving, a few months prior to us moving, I started another, another site. I had, I had taken a little bit of the money from that multiple six figure sale as kind of like a seed fund and said, I’m going to use this to start the next site.
Used it to jumpstart a site. Was building that during our transition back out here. We move here pre covid covid hits all of a sudden for the next year and a half. I have the, you know, we’re remote. So my commute from where I live to Nashville, it kills my commute. I know I’ve got like two and a half hours back in my day where I can just grind.
And so I worked on that from 2019 to 2021. And just basically all my time outside of my day job was spent on, on that side hustle. Can’t talk about the, the niche that it was in. But I exited that site that was a seven figure exit and that was in late 2021. So that was like kind of like the, you know, the big moment of like all this crazy stuff that happened to us for years.
We kind of went through the cycle of just like feeling. Pretty dang beat up. And then we had the, the seven figure exit, which was great. That was pretty much the big, like, financial reset for us. And it, it goes fast. Like, you know, you got taxes, you’ve got, you’ve got broker fees, you’ve got all, you know, the, the, the, we had taken on debt.
So again, I’d made some stupid financial decisions. I guess it wasn’t stupid, it was actually smart looking back at it, but other people would have looked at us like we were crazy, like we moved out here to Tennessee with nothing. I think we had like 20 or 30 grand in our bank accounts, which I shouldn’t say is nothing, that’s a lot of money for some people, but for us, when you got a family of six moving across country, like it was scary.
We had nothing in our pocket, put most of our money on this down payment, started working at this company, went into debt to build this other business, and then it just ended up where it worked out, and we ended up being able to sell it for seven figures. So. So, that kind of like reset the whole table and that kind of brings us to where we’re at, where we’re at more or less today.
So I used that sale took 20% of it and set it aside and just said, we’re going to use this as what I did the last time. You know there are multiple people in the SEO space who focus, you can kind of do, you know, there’s lots of different ways to skin the SEO cat, so to speak. Some people like to build a big portfolio, use that to replace their day job income and then just stay working for themselves forever.
There’s people like me, which I didn’t set out to be like someone who, who buys, builds and sells. It’s just kind of happened that way where, you know, I’m, I’m a few years in and I’ve been able to sell. And so there’s, there’s lots of ways. I still have a portfolio. I still have sites that, you know, I’ve held that, that have made revenue.
But this was the, the big one in 2021 where I just said, look, this is going to level set us. We exited and then. We set aside that kind of seed fund to start all about gardening which was the the most recent one that was that I had That was acquired
Jared: I mean I will say as someone who’s been a part of your life and you know Like you and I are friends on a level where I know about a lot of your sites and we talk about How to grow stuff and you know a lot of us we talk about websites in this community But we don’t necessarily share the exact specifics and stuff But I can say publicly that You have a knack for being able to take a site and grow it quickly and then exit.
And I think it’s admirable because you continuously do it. And you stick to it. A lot of us get shiny object syndrome and we’re like, Cool, like I did this well, let me now go try something different. But you really understand where your strengths are, and you seem to continually replicate it, so,
Seven figure exit, and then you kind of replicated that in a different space when it comes to all about gardening.
I don’t actually know the financials of that transaction, but growing a site quickly, getting it to a point, and then exiting it. It’s just, it’s really emblematic, because it’s hard to do in a couple years, which you continually
Jason: seem to do. Yeah. So I’ll say this, like it’s, you know, a lot of people, there are people out there who specifically start websites with the, the thought of exiting.
When I started that site that, that, which ended up being the seven figure exit, I didn’t think I was going to exit it at all. I started it because I was passionate about the space and I wanted to actually stay in the space. It just so happened that we, you know, 2021, this was like peak of when, you know, website valuations were kind of at the top.
And if things were good and I was like, Hey, this just makes sense for us to do. So we’d actually planned on, on holding that one. And it’s funny because I still know the, the owners the site’s still performing very well. It’s one of those things where if I’m going to let something go, I want to make sure that the next owner that has that business has an asset that they can hold and will still perform for them.
Obviously none of us know what the future is going to bring, but it was set up about as well as it could be set up. So I think that to answer, I guess to chime off on what you said, part of the reason why I think I’ve been able to replicate success in the SEO space is because when I start something, I don’t necessarily say I’m going to exit it.
Like I usually start it with the mindset, like I want to keep it and hold it for a long time. There’s an exit strategy there that I can take if it makes sense to do so. But that’s not necessarily the goal when I started. I think that’s what actually helps is like. Knowing that I’m getting into both, both the bigger exits, so to speak, have been insights were like, if you told me I was going to work in that space for the next 10 years, I’d be like, dude, that’s great.
Like I’m fine working in that space and, you know, just, just running there because I enjoy it. So I think that’s, that’s key, you know, and, and you don’t have to do it that way. There are a lot of people who have sites in, in. Niches that they don’t you know, they don’t love so to speak. And that’s fine, but for me, I just, if I’m going to be working on something, I want to enjoy what I’m working on or, or understand about the topic, if that makes sense.
Jared: use that as a springboard. It’s late 2021, you’ve exited a seven figure exit and for some crazy reason, you don’t want to take any time off. You want to dive right back in and start another website. No, I’m being sarcastic. I mean, I can see why after a large exit and you have a formula, there’s all the reason in the world not to go out and try to do it again.
Let’s talk about what you dove into. It’s, it, the site is all about gardening. How did you, I mean, From the outset, that strikes me as a fairly competitive niche, not that that scares you. It also strikes me as something that you know, like, how much experience did you have in it? Like, let’s talk about niche selection, let’s talk about how you picked, and let’s talk about how you got
Jason: that site off the ground.
Yeah, so niche selection, I just said. What’s what’s a what’s a passion? What’s a hobby? And once we moved to Tennessee, we started gardening just as a as a hobby because we’re in a place where we get lots of rain now. So we actually can garden. So we’ve been doing that since we moved here. Get, you know, just dabbling at first, but then getting a little bit more serious once we’ve been here for a year and a half.
And so when I exited in 2021, I was just like, it just made it freezing for me. It was like, this just makes sense because I enjoy it. I’m going to be outside doing it anyway, so I can take pictures. Yeah. You know, if I wanted to do video, I kind of thought about that at one point, but I was like, Hey, like we can do things because we live in a place where the environment allows it.
And then I started doing some, some, you know, niche research, the typical SEO research that someone might do where you’re looking at keywords, like, you know, looking at, Intent, like are people, are the articles that are ranking in this, in this space, truly answering what the person is searching and saying that, no, like a lot of times you would see these like massive guides that were ranking for like certain keywords that were not targeting what the user might be looking for.
And so I just found that plus a lot of sites that were like, you know, newer that were ranking well, and I was like, this is, there’s just. It was just so broad and that’s the that’s I think a key with niche selection, right? You want to make sure that you’re not limiting yourself Like I probably wouldn’t have like started a site like just on hydrangeas or something like that Although they’re out there and they do you know, I’m sure I think there’s sites out there that do and they do well But I would I didn’t want to limit myself to like just something so specific I wanted to give myself broad opportunity.
And again, it was just something that I was passionate about. I actually consider gardening the, the first time around when I had the multiple six figure exit it was on the board of like, I thought about doing it in 2018 and said, okay, we’re gonna, you know, shelve this one because the other one I went to, I just had an opportunity that I had to jump on.
So it was already teed up. And so really that’s what it started with was, well, you know, Hey, I enjoy it. This is something we can do. It’s, you know, something my wife and I are passionate about and living in Tennessee just gave us a perfect opportunity to, to jump in and, and do that. The competition didn’t scare me, I think, to your question, because I’ve been doing this for long enough now and seeing, having been able to work at, at BC and Better Collective and work in the sports industry and dealing with the competition that’s there I, the competition just didn’t, didn’t scare me because I’ve seen some of the.
The, some of the more aggressive stuff that you can get into in the gaming space and surprisingly that, you know, where I came from at Better Collective, they’re very white hat everything is like, you know, they’re all brand properties, very focused on brand, PR, making sure you’ve got really great writers, editorial, like different than you would think a traditional like gaming company would be, but it helped me like view it like that job was fantastic.
I met some great people there and it really helped me. Yeah. To like view building a website as not building a website, but building it as a business, like seeing it as like, it’s, it’s editorial and publishing. And so that’s the way I approached all about gardening when I, when I built it, I said, I want to be, you know, I want to be the next gardening know how.
How do I do that? And the, the answer was you gotta, you gotta have a big budget. So that’s why I took 20% of that, that sale and said, we’re just going to start throwing stuff at the wall and see what sticks. And set aside a big budget for that. And then I went out and I started. Finding people who like I was a hobby gardener, but I was nowhere near an expert and I was like I knew I was gonna need to get experts.
So I hiring was critical and I know we’ll probably talk about that a little bit But that was where I started immediately with my budget I said we’re gonna we’re gonna take the budget Content and hiring is gonna be like prior number one why and
Jared: I asked why more to get in the nuances Is it like, I’m going to start dropping a bunch of SEO terms on you, but yeah, it’s fine.
Is it because of EEAT? Is it because you didn’t have expertise that was documented and you wanted it? Is it because you wanted to scale content writing faster than you could produce on your own? And so you hired people like all of the above. Like why did you carve out so much budget and why did you make choices?
Jason: You made absolutely all of the above. But also because I wanted to test. Some things and, and you need to have a little bit of money to test some things too. I wanted to test some things socially and I wanted to test some things you know, just different types of content that just didn’t have any like search intent at all.
Nothing like not SEO focused at all just to see if it’s something that could, that could stick or that readers would enjoy. But I guess really to answer your question was. I stopped, you know, this happened with the previous site, I did the same thing there. I stopped thinking of it as like, I know this sounds so corny and there are going to be some people be like, Oh, who, you know, I don’t want to hear you say this, but truth be told, I started thinking from a user perspective, I started thinking of if I landed on a page that was going to teach me how to grow Dahlias, who did I want to learn it from?
I wanted to learn it from someone who grew Dahlias and someone who maybe had some type of certification in that space. So, I stopped thinking about it so much from an SEO perspective and started thinking about it from a user perspective of what does the user want when they actually land on the page. I can tell you right now if I’m going to read about Dahlias, I’m going to go to a page that’s a big publisher and if it’s not written by someone who I can see has credible expertise in that space, I’m probably going to bounce and I’m going to go find someone who has credible expertise in that space and has some unique pictures and can tell me exactly how to do what I’m looking to do.
And so I just really, again, I, I used the same approach when I built the prior seven figure exit was very similar. I don’t think I was thinking about it in like a It was still like thinking about it from like an SEO and like a blog perspective, but the exp, the EAT was, was, or EAT now, it was EAT back then, was still important for, for me in the prior site, but it just became more important to me because I was like, look, I want to do this and I’m going to do it the right way and I’m going to make sure that these people know what they’re talking about.
It also was from, you know, we mentioned outsourcing, I wanted a bunch of content early on. Like I wanted to just like start blasting a site with content immediately. High quality, really well written content and getting experts who know what they’re talking about saves you a whole lot of time on the editing side.
And that was, that was a big deal for me because I was essentially like, you know, in the early days I was the acting managing editor. I had to, you know, proof all these pieces I had to read. Every single piece to make sure, you know, I, yeah, I use Grammarly and tools to help like refine and make sure the content like read appropriately to pick up like grammatical errors and stuff.
But hiring experts really, really cuts down on your editing time because they know what the heck they’re talking about. And so that was, you know, it was important that I had a budget set aside. It was important to hire experts and I knew that was just going to cost a little bit more. It was going to cost more to hire them because.
You know, hiring experts isn’t cheap and so that was, that was the goal from day one was to find people who were more, people who had more knowledge than I did in this space. I had hobby gardener level knowledge, but I wanted to find people who were certified master gardeners, horticulturalists people who have horticulture degrees, people who just really knew who had experience in the plant space and that was very important to me.
I always like to
Jared: ask this. I think now’s a good time and then we’ll get back into the degree of how you grew it, but people always like to hear. Where it’s at. And I know that you have a transition that you went through in joining Epic Gardening, which we’ll get into. So I’d like to keep people interested, right?
But yeah maybe talk about where all about gardening is today at time of, at time of transition and that sort of thing. So people know how big it is, and then we’ll get back into some of the nitty gritty, because I have some more questions about how you started
Jason: this site. Yeah, so I would say like it’s, it’s doing very well still today.
It’s doing, it was, you know, during peak season, it was doing several million page views a month. I don’t know the exact number but probably, you know, around four million page views all in during, during peak season. That’s a combination, it’s not just all organic, that’s everywhere, organic, social, all the above.
So it was, it was doing well. And you know, I’ll give you, you know, we’ll get into the, like the, the joining Epic Gardening and I’ll, I’ll kind of talk about like why and when, but it, you know, it’s still doing well. You know, we could talk a little bit, why don’t we talk a little bit about how I, how I grew it.
Like I think maybe that makes sense to touch on how, like it was maybe talk about how we integrated the writers and how we scaled that up because that was a challenge in the beginning.
Jared: I just want people to get a perspective growing a site to say 4 million page views. Yeah. Across social and organic in two years, I want people to hear.
So now when we talk about the scale you went for and you hit, they hear about the depths that you went into with how you integrated writers and that sort of thing, I think it’ll have a bigger impact because when I hear about the level of or the depth that you go through with your writing team, I think that sounds like a lot of work.
But then when I hear that you’re getting 4 million page views, I start to say, well, maybe it’s worth it. But you know, I want people to understand like that tug and pull because you’ve got a lot of people out there who are going the opposite way, right? Almost back to where your first site was, where you write all the content yourself.
You have a very limited budget until the site starts making money. And I, I just love the different perspective that you’ve been able to bring as you’ve kind of matured in your site building over the years.
Jason: Yeah. Yeah. So that’s so great feedback. And what I would say is. I definitely approached All About Gardening differently.
I, like, and this is what I would advise. Anybody that is, like, starting out, like, still writing content for their site, if you’re getting, if you’re just in the early stages of, like, you’re getting, your site’s generating revenue, don’t quit your day job. Like, you know, when I went into All About Gardening, I had, you know, a nice chunk set aside to start investing right away, and I basically said, you know, no risk it, no biscuit.
Like, I’m gonna, I’m gonna put my money where my mouth is, and I knew, I basically said, Looked at my wife straight in the face. I was like, I may never get any of this money back and we’re just gonna have to be okay with that. If you are, if you are building a site and it’s getting to the point where it’s earning some revenue, stay at your day job as long as you can and take that revenue that you’re earning and reinvest it back into, into duplicating content or find out how you can replicate yourself so you can write more content and just get more out.
Like at the end of the day, it’s a numbers game and that doesn’t mean To churn out like just garbage content. That’s not, that’s not going to work. It’s not going to propel anybody forward, especially in today’s day and age. It may have worked, you know, five years ago or even three years ago to some extent, but today’s day and age, Google is just getting better and better at reading what’s good and what’s not.
You’ve got to have great content, whether it’s you or hiring. The best advice I could give would be to, if you are looking to build a site that has job replacing income, keep your bills paid as much as you can with your day job income and take every penny you’re making and reinvest it into, to growth within, within reason.
Or if you, you’re in a place where, you know, you have a job and maybe you got an annual bonus or something like that, and you’ve got 15 to 20 grand to just start sinking. Just start to play. Just go out, hire writers, you know, do your keyword research and just invest right away and know that you’re not going to get that return back.
It could be a year. It could be a year and a half. But I felt fairly confident having gone through that first seven figure exit, you know, in my skill set to say, look, I may never see this money again, but it’s, I’m probably going to based on my track record. But as with any business venture, there was risk.
So I just immediately started plowing that in. And I think by month three, we were doing 60 to 90 articles a month by month three after launching. And I just basically did a, you know, I, you know, I had a spreadsheet that I had given out to a bunch of people a while back. I think maybe even the niche pursuits audience had access to it.
A bunch of people had access to it. Anyway. It was it. Content planning spreadsheet and it just came down to math like, yes, you’re going to need to have backlinks at some point because you have, you know, content that you’re promoting and that’s a signal to Google that your site is real and that you’re going to start, you know, that you’re that you’re credible.
It’s, it’s the vouchers of authority. So to speak, you’re going to, you’re going to need links. But links don’t matter if you don’t have content, you got to have a great base of content to start. And so I just said, look, I want to have a thousand articles at the end of this year, and if I’m going to do that, here’s the math to get there.
I’m going to have to do, you know, 60 a month to 90 a month to get there, and I just broke it down into lowest common denominator and said, is this achievable? Can I even do this? You know, if you’re just starting out writing right now, it may seem like a grind to do four articles a week. How can you get to, to five articles a week, to seven articles a week, to 30 a month?
Can you do it on your own? Are you going to have to hire? Like it comes, it gets a lot easier. When you break it down into the daily goals versus looking at it from a year perspective a thousand articles for a year sounds like A crap ton and it is but at the same time when you break it down to you know Well, that’s a hundred articles in a month Okay If that’s a hundred articles a month how many articles that you know You’re talking 25 articles a week if that’s 25 articles a week now, you’re at three to four a day How do you get to three or four a day?
Probably not gonna be able to do it yourself if you’re working full time But if you’re employing people you might if you’ve got several contractors, you can probably get there so setting goals early on was, was really, really important.
Jared: What does a typical article look like when you’re working with an expert?
Like what kind of structure do you put into it? One side says, Hey, if I hired a doctor for my website, they’re a doctor. They don’t know how to write an article that’s going to rank. So I got to give them a lot of article like a brief or something like that. The other side says, Hey, they’re an expert.
They better be able to figure it out. Actually hiring an expert allows me to kind of take my foot off of having to be as involved. How did you get involved with each expert that you were working with? What did a typical article structure look like?
Jason: It’s, it’s a happy medium. So I think you can be a happy medium in there.
You find people who can fit that happy medium mold where I can say, Hey, I’m not going to give you an article brief on every single topic because that’s, if I’m going to do that, I may as well just write the article myself and have you do a fact check. Cause it’s easier at that point. So what I did was I came out with just style guides for specific types of content, whether it was a question and answer type article.
List based piece or, or something like that, you know, whatever it is, whatever type of content is in, because not all niches are going to be the same, right? Like, you know, if you’re in, if you’re in the sports gaming space, you’re going to have a lot of like individual reviews or, or top 10 comparisons, same thing with a lot of Amazon affiliate sites.
Like, you know, my. First, you know, multi six figure X that I sold in, in 2018 was a primarily an Amazon affiliate site. And so there were a lot of like best of and review guides, just take those templates and give it to you. Just make a generic template that says you need to hit X, Y, and Z. You give your writer the topic and you give them that template and say, this is what it needs to look like.
And if you have competent writers, they should be able to replicate that kind. And so really you’re, you’re carving out your articles based on. Like intent is really what it comes down to because a product review is different than a than a roundup review or an informational guide or a List based article like they’ve all got they’ve all got different, you know types of Approaches to how you’re gonna how you’re gonna write that content, but most of them are gonna fall into that that general wheelhouse So just break it up if you’ve got seven or eight pieces of content there’s seven or eight General types of content on your site just create style guides for those and let your writers go nuts Where’d you
Jared: find master certified gardeners?
I’m guessing they’re not hanging out in the ProBlogger,
Jason: Facebook group. Surprisingly, I did find a couple of them early on in, in ProBlogger but it’s been like the, since then, I haven’t had to go back to that, that resource. There’s lots of different places you can do, I mean, honestly, the best thing to do is just to go out to a, you know, LinkedIn or a job board and post a job and post it as hourly.
A lot of people are still doing like, you know, per word, which is fine. That’s going to, you’ll get people who write in the, who do more industry specific writing who are used to do like, used to being paid per word. You can find a lot of people who, you know, just maybe want to write part time. If you just throw a job out there from an hourly perspective.
So I’d say Indeed, Indeed. com, go out to Indeed, post a job there for hourly. LinkedIn. You know, make sure you’ve got a company page, post it, hourly job on, on LinkedIn and, and put it out in front of, of real people. The nice thing is once you start to get organic traffic, people will ask if they can write for you.
Another thing that we did that had some success was when we started growing our social media presence and we were on Facebook, we would just put, we would just put out a, a post and say, if you’re interested in writing, fill, fill out this form here and people will come to your site. And once you’ve got a little bit of traffic and a little bit of credibility, You can attract people that come and write.
Now being part of Epic Gardening, like, we’ve got no shortage of writers. People, tons of people in the space want to write for us. It’s great. It’s a, it’s a managing editor slash… SEO professionals dream to have lots of qualified people and we have no shortage of that.
Jared: So you were publishing 60 to 90 articles a month.
Was that for the whole two years? Did you back off on that? Like how big of a deal is content velocity? How do you manage that? And how big of a role did it play in this
Jason: site’s success? That’s a great question. And I may be, I may be exaggerating a little bit. I think we, so we did 60 and 90, but it may have been month six that we got there.
I wanted to wait until we saw some. I wanted to see some dents in search console saying like, yeah, what you’re doing is working rather than just dumping money down the drain. So I think the first six months we were doing more like 30 to 60 a month. And then once I saw the, once I started to see that hockey stick, I was like, okay, now we’re ramping up to 90 a month.
So it’s probably closer to month six and then it was 90 to 110. I shouldn’t say a hundred. It was like 6 62. Like a, I think the best month was like a hundred pieces of content. 110 ish may have been like the max. All real organic, written, certified writers, like no AI assistance, like real good homegrown content for like literally 16 months.
I do think content velocity is important. It’s hard to say like, you know, I’m not, I’m, I don’t write Google’s algorithms. I can only tell people what works and it’s crazy. Like I’ve learned to like, I try not to get into SEO theory crafting too much anymore because everybody’s got a different opinion and someone’s going to listen to this and be like, Oh, he’s full of crap.
Look, backlinks matter. Content matters. I don’t build links. If anybody wants to ask that question, we’ll get that out of the way right now. Come on, that’s like next to my list. You blew it. You gotta, when you have a DR71 site on, on, on Epic Gardening, you don’t have to build links. So we don’t build links there.
We get mentioned enough in the press now. We don’t build links. When I first started All About Gardening we did PR. We, we promoted the site PR wise. But that, you know, that was, that was really it. We did some acquisition. I bought a site that was live out there in the space that had some traffic that was closely related in the gardening space.
That was a, we assumed that but it had a great link profile. So, but I, you know, we assumed it because it had some traffic and it had some great content around a topic that we wanted to cover. And so it was like, it was an assumption. It wasn’t like a purely SEO link building tactic. It was a, Hey, we’re going to buy this business because it makes sense for us to do so.
We’re acquiring them. We’re acquiring their traffic. And we’re, we’re building it in much like Epic is doing with All About Gardening. They, you know, they acquired me and, you know, we’re, we’re in the process of All About Gardening will become Epic Gardening. Like that’s the, it’s, it’s, it’s the exact same strategy.
So you know, to answer your question, it all matters. Content velocity matters because if Google sees you’re not updating, you know, again, people are going to, are going to disagree with me on here. If you’re in an evergreen space, you can have a site and you can never touch it and it does fine. I would say that’s, there may be that circumstance out there, but in my experience, I have not seen very many sites that aren’t getting actively worked on that, that do well.
And I’m sure there’s going to be the anecdotal, you know, people are going to say, here’s a site that does well, that never gets touched maybe. But I think content velocity and showing Google that there is somebody in there. Cranking out content on that site, whether it’s updates, bringing new content in, you know, seeing, seeing activity on your site map, like Google algorithms love consistency, seeing a site that publishes 40 articles in a week and then doesn’t do anything for six months is far different than seeing a site that’s publishing two or three a day every single day for six to eight months.
Like that’s, there’s consistency and algorithms love consistency. So again, content velocity matters. Yeah. You know, I would say if you can only start off doing one a day, that’s great. That’s better than most people are doing. So just set, set the goal, but it does matter. It’s, it all, it all matters.
All the things matter. Okay. I have like five questions from
Jared: that rant there. Yeah. Go ahead. Number one, I know your opinion on this and I want you to maybe explain it more. I’ve got a hundred articles to publish this month. Publish them all at once at the first of the month or drip them over the 30 days.
Jason: Drip over 30 days, 3 a day, do, you know, 3 a day, 30 days, 90, published. There you go. You’re strongly opinionated on that. Why? It comes back to, I believe, algorithms like consistency. In, in every way, shape and form. And so again, I don’t, I don’t write Google’s algorithm. I don’t have any scientific proof in any of this stuff.
I can only tell you that this is what I’ve been doing and it works for me. Now could I see the same success pushing out a hundred all at once versus and just leaving it for the end of the month? Maybe it’s possible. I prefer not to do that because I look at it from, just look at it from an editorial publishing perspective.
If you were on the New York post. Does the New York Post push out 100 articles and then sit on their thumbs for the month? No, they publish 50 articles in a day and then they publish another 50 articles the next day. So when you think about it from what makes sense from an editorial perspective, that’s what makes sense to me.
If I’m building an editorial publication, I need content and I need to publish a lot of it. So that’s my. You know, perspective, people can disagree. Hey, do you, if you want to go out and do 100 and it works for you, more power to you. That’s just not how I do it and it’s not how I will ever do it.
Jared: At two years in on this site, where do you start looking at updating articles versus continuing to just push new content and
Jason: how do you evaluate that?
That’s a wonderful question and I would say it’s now. I actually. Started building a content update process that I was going to roll out at like 18 months. But that was around the time that, that Kevin and I started having some conversations. And so I was like, you know what, like let’s just keep jamming on new content because this whole strategy may look different six months from now.
But I started building that and so we have a plan there. Even Epic’s got some older content that we need to, to refine. I think everybody, like. Look, once you’ve got a thousand articles on site, it’s time to start updating your content. That’s really what I would say. If you’ve got 350 articles on your site and it’s something that like, information in your industry is rapidly changing, now may be a wonderful time to start updating.
It’s going to be different for everybody. But I think in, in a fairly evergreen space like gardening, you know, for us, you know, yeah, you want to update it once every, you know, year and a half or so to make sure you’re still within best practices because, You know, different things change, new products come to market, you know, things in the gardening space that people can use, like, you know, some of the raised garden, like Kevin’s beds, the the, the Birdie’s beds, like they’re amazing, but they didn’t exist a few years ago, they existed in the form of gardeners like me were going out and, and when I first started, I was building them out of two by fours, but they didn’t exist in the fact that they came like in ready made kits.
So stuff happens in every industry, you know, if you, I’m sure people who listen to this podcast are in You know, I used to be a gamer, I used to be a PC gamer and build my own PCs and I, I love that stuff and things change rapidly there, you know, you’re, you’re not going to do an article on the best graphics, graphics units today and have it still be relevant, relevant nine months from now.
So it’s going to change by industry, but you know, it really is again, long story short, you need to update content. It will change based on your industry. I would say, look at what other sites around you are doing that are in the top 10 that are ranking well. And, and mirror that if you’ve got sites that are ranking well and aren’t updating content in an industry that’s rapidly changing, the good news is for you.
If you update frequently, you could find ways to beat them because you’re, you’re, you’ve got more up to date information than they do.
Jared: You said backlinks matter. You said
Jason: you don’t have backlinks. Yes. Yes.
Jared: I didn’t check all about gardening, but it looks pretty authoritative from a backlink standpoint.
How’d you, how’d you, how’d you manage to get there? Because if backlinks matter, you don’t build them, but you get them, there’s something there.
Jason: Yeah, there was a an acquisition that we made on a, on a site that was all about a specific flower type. And so we acquired them plus their traffic. That helped build some authority there.
But really after that, it was we did some, some studies. I did some specific plant based studies that were unique that got picked up on, you know, that we promoted via PR and got picked up in multiple publications, which helped. But I will also say that hiring experts really helped us too, because one of our writers was credentialed and published in university publications.
And when we started publishing, she started getting picked up in more university publications and they were linking back. So there’s, there’s, look, there’s lots of ways to skin the backlink. Cat, so to speak. I remember when, you know, back in the day when Spencer had PBNs, you know, PBN discussions and those were all the rage and like, you know, there’s, there’s lots of ways to do, to do that, to do the backlink discussion.
I still feel like the easiest way to do it is just to set yourself up as a brand, create content that’s shareworthy and I know that sounds stupid and so many people are gonna be like, you need to just go and buy backlinks or pay for them. Look, Maybe in certain spaces you need to go and do that but coming from sports betting and seeing that we were The best links that we got were from publishing these incredible studies or or really funny Studies that would get picked up on like, you know The drunkest fans or something like that for a specific city would get picked up and go viral in these locations They get picked up and read it.
They get picked up other places like Creating something that’s truly shareworthy is always going to be your best bet because you’re never going to be able to replicate viral links unless you’ve got a massive budget. So, I, truly, to this day, I don’t, I don’t build links, I haven’t built links, I haven’t even done, like, I haven’t built links in years to be honest with you.
Like, like, we did some PR early days of All About Gardening to establish ourselves. But that was, that was really it. And so I’m just a firm believer in, you’ll pick them up as you go, content is definitely more important. If you’re finding that you’re publishing a lot of content and you’re not getting the movement that you need then it comes down to like who can we reach out to to start, you know, maybe doing some studies and promoting some of the stuff that we do from a PR perspective.
I think those are some of the better links that you can get. And again, I know people are going to disagree with me. That’s fine. You can still get. You know, you could definitely do outreach for industry based links. I’m sure stuff like that helps, but it’s just not a, it’s not a major focus of mine anymore.
Jared: Don’t worry. The more people that disagree, the more comments we get on YouTube, the better our
Jason: engagement. Totally fine. Have at it, people.
Jared: Last question for you before we move on to the epic gardening transition. Very open ended. Topical authority. And as it relates to all about gardening, I mean, we talk, topical authority is all the rage these days.
What it, like, talk about it. I’m going to leave it very open ended for you. We’ve talked about links. We’ve talked about having expert writers and expert contributors. We’ve talked about backlinks. All these things, like, where does topical authority fit in to the success of all about all about
Yeah, it matters. You know, when we had one of our houseplant authors go viral and get mentioned in multiple publications you know, that helps especially when you’ve got a lot of, you know, when you’ve got a segment on a certain topic like we do on houseplants. So that, that matters. But what I would say from a content perspective, I think, you know, you want to start, and this is, this has been echoed.
There are a lot of people who would preach the same thing. You want to start broad, a broad space for your niche. And zero in on something that you can produce a lot of content around before moving outside of that. So, you know, if you’re, if you’re starting off in, you know, if you’re building a website about the NFL, start about, start with your favorite team.
You know, start with the, the, for me, it’s my whole family is originally from Minnesota. We like the Vikings. So if I was going to start a website on the NFL and do a sports website, I’d start a site on the NFL, but I would start with the Minnesota Vikings. And I would have evergreen content about the Minnesota Vikings and I would have news articles about the Minnesota Vikings.
I would have all sorts of content within that context of that niche. And once I started to see myself get some traffic in that space, I would say, okay, what’s next? Now I’m going to go within the NFC North, which is in the same division. So now I’m going to do Green Bay, Detroit, and Chicago. Those are the three teams that are in the Minnesota’s division.
I’m trying to think if there’s a better analogy to this because there might be a lot of people who don’t like football. But my point is. Stay within your hub to start. You know, it could be, it could be anything, you know, like look, look at niche pursuits. It could be, it could be Spencer’s got it, you know, he’s got his blog that’s all about digital marketing.
Well, he’s got a certain subset about how to make money online, but within how to make money online, there is affiliates, there is e commerce, there is SEO. And so you’re going to have these little hubs, so to speak, of content that you’re going to want to focus on. And I would say, build out those hubs.
And a lot of people are going to use the term silos or clusters, whatever you want to call it. I don’t care. Just start in your lane first before you start to get some traffic and then move on to the next one. Once you start seeing some success, that’s, that’s how I would do it. That’s how I am doing it.
I’m starting, I’m starting a new site. I’ve been working on it for, for a few months. I’m not going fast, but I’m starting on a new site and, and it’s one that we had owned for a while. That’s been sitting out there on the sidelines that my wife wanted to get into that. And now I’m just like, Hey.
You know, we might toy around with that at some point, but it’s not a priority. But it’s how I’m going to build that out and how I’d recommend anybody starting from scratch. Start within your lane and grow big. I don’t like the term silos clustering. I guess if you want to use that term, that’s fine.
But I don’t believe the term, like I don’t believe in like strict siloing or anything like that. Like if you’ve got, you know, if you’re going to link to, if you’re going to like build internal links, link where it makes sense. You know, that’s a whole, like we could go into the SEO weeds, like that’s a whole other.
Topical discussion, but at the end of the day, I believe just link where it makes sense. Yes, if you’ve got a you know, if you’ve got Spencer’s Content hub about SEO It’s going to make more sense to interlink to other topics on SEO than it is to link to e commerce or other things But don’t let that limit you like you could still link to other things if it makes sense for the reader so you know very loose on how internal links go, but as far as content is concerned That’s how I would start.
Hopefully that that makes sense. No, totally.
Jared: Well, we’ve had Kevin on the show recently on the podcast So it’s quite apropos that now we have you on Because you’re part of Kevin’s team so epic gardening and all about gardening are now under the same umbrella How the heck did that come to be?
Jason: So this was, we started talking a while ago.
We started talking sometime last year and he had put out a like a, a message in the authority hacker pro group and said, Hey, I’m looking to hire a director of search. And I was still in the sports space that time I’d had the site and I’d had all about gardening that was doing well. And I was like, it was, this was around the time where I was like, I’m going to, like, I knew that like, I knew that I was going to need to branch out to different types of content.
We started dabbling in YouTube, doing some things and I was like, I’m just not comfortable enough there yet. And I’m just an SEO guy. Like that’s, I’m a, I’m a publisher. Like I love, I love to, I love to publish. I love working in the SEO space. That’s what I do. And I just made the decision look like I’m probably never going to be a YouTuber.
I’m never going to be an Instagrammer. I’m never going to do all those things. So what’s, what’s that look like for me? What’s next step of progression? Kevin posted his job and he was looking for a director of search. I had been in the sports industry for three and a half years. And I was like, look, it probably makes sense.
Like I love, I loved where I was at, at Better Collective. They were a great company, great benefits, great people made a lot of really great contacts there. But it was just time, like, you know, I was ready to move on to something different and, and try something else. Perfect timing. He was there and I just reached out and we had been in, we have been in that group together for a couple of years.
We didn’t really know each other directly. But indirectly we did have a lot of the same friends, we chime in on a lot of the same conversations on Facebook or wherever. And so I just messaged him and said, Hey, this is my site, like, would love for us to chat. And, and he said, yeah, this makes sense. Let’s, you know, we should chat sometime.
Then like a couple of months went by and we really just, both of us got busy. We didn’t chat and finally I was like, Hey, like we just need to talk. And so I sent him a screenshot of Ahrefs saying, Hey, like this is my site. I’m interested in your direct search director role. It doesn’t look like you guys have hired yet.
If you want to talk, let’s, let’s talk. And he saw it and he was like, yeah, he’s like, we’ve been growing rapidly. This makes sense. Let’s get a discussion. And so it was literally a week later, me, him and his interim COO at the time had a chat and then. Things just came together from there I think something I, I want to talk about is like people will probably ask, like, why if your site’s doing so well, why wouldn’t you just jump from your, your day job to being on your own?
In fact, that was a question Kevin asked me when we were first talking is like, why not just be on your own? And it’s, it’s, you know, there’s multiple prongs to this, but the, the first thing that came to mind was what I just mentioned. I knew I wasn’t going to be a YouTuber. I was not going to go into an area where I.
Felt like were not my strengths looking at at epic They had been growing the blog but with limited resources because other channels were more profitable for them So they talked about
Jared: that on the podcast. Yeah,
Jason: they just it didn’t it didn’t make sense for them to invest a lot Well, I could show him from day one that my site was doing really well and there was this I mean he knew there was opportunity but he had kind of felt like I think that they hadn’t put enough attention on the blog like they should have.
And this was an opportunity for him to not only like increase reach overall for his brand, but bring somebody in who’s, who literally has tripled traffic from his site that he had for six years and did it in under, under two years on a different domain to bring somebody in who has this, this kind of expertise and, and to run it for him.
And so it, it just really was like, I knew I wasn’t going to go, go social media side. I knew I wasn’t going to turn all about gardening into this, like the, into an e commerce brand, but I saw everything Kevin was doing and I was like, this just makes too much sense for me to still be able to focus on all my strengths and him to do what he’s doing and, and bring all this stuff together.
Another, another piece of this too, was he has, he has really great systems and systems in place for his teams. And, and I did too. On the editorial side, he does it for, you know, he has great teams and teams in place for the e commerce side. So it’s really, again, just like natural transition of like, I got all these amazing writers that I can, you know, that just were kind of like, hey, we get to write for a different publication.
Like, it’s just, it just really worked out. And then I got, you know, like in, in my space now, something that I was thinking about all about gardening. We didn’t have like a horticulturalist or a botanist, like I knew we were going to need. either a horticulturalist or a botanist to really go back through and, and revisal content and make sure like a lot of the scientific names of the plants were, you know, because the scientific names of plants can change.
Readers on, or listeners of the blog or podcast probably won’t know that, but they can. Plants change as they get updated, they get reclassified. And I knew I was gonna need either a botanist or a horticulturalist to come on to All About Gardening and do some work. Kevin’s got one and she’s amazing. And so like that, like already right away, I was like, This is great.
This solves the need for me. And so when we start to like do this merge, like we’ve got all these things built in that I was just like, this is awesome. So yeah, so we, we started talking. It took us a few months to hammer out all the details, but I left Better Collective in March and haven’t looked back and it’s been, it’s been great.
So we’re still publishing on, on both domains. Epic Gardening is getting, you know, it’s gotten a facelift. We did a, we did a redesign. We took the theme that all about gardening had and we revamped it and applied epic branding and so epics got the the new blog theme which I know he tweeted out a while ago that we had a new new theme That’s where that came from as we took the AAG theme and reskinned it because it just worked well And so I mean just a lot of a lot of things that synchronize that are that are going well And so now we’re all team epic and it’s you know, we’re It’s great.
Like, I just, we’ve been expanding further. I just hired a managing editor a week ago. She just, she just started this week, and so she’s gonna be in charge of day to day publications, and that’s gonna let me kind of zoom out, and I’m still gonna be heavily involved on SEO with the blog, but I’m gonna be doing more of a broad focus on you know, we own Botanical Interests, which is a seed brand that he owns that he recently acquired late last year.
So I’ll be doing some e commerce SEO there with Shopify, and You know, with the, the epic shop, like there’s just, there’s so much opportunity out there. And so yeah, for me, so again, just to kind of wrap up this rant, it’s just, it just made, there were too many levels that it made sense for us not to, to join forces.
And now, it’s just, it’s going to be a force to be reckoned with in the gardening space. It’s great. We’re all, we’re all on the same page, so. The burning SEO
Jared: question is, are you going to merge the domains or keep them
Jason: separate? We will be merging. And so we will all be epic at one point. And I think that Kevin’s even come out and basically said that in his, in his tweets that he’s pushed out.
So this isn’t like, you know, some, some state secret that, that we’re doing. Because when we do that, we are. When we merge the two of those, we should be the second or third most trafficked gardening domain in the entire industry at that point. So, and we will go, we’ll go from, you know, 13 or 1400 pieces of content on both sides to, you know, 28, 2900 pieces of content overnight when we do it shouldn’t be overnight.
We’re probably going to migrate into stages, but we’re going to, we’re going to have a lot of content. So it’s going to be a fun, fun activity. Just
Jared: for people listening, because, you know, at different levels and at different stages, probably different every website owner runs into this conversation at some point.
Why what would be the use case for not merging the two
Jason: brands? I think the use case for that would be like Better Collective. They had they had, you know, multiple sites out there that they ran in their portfolio. I think. If you’re going to go different levels topically, it makes sense. You know, like if you’re going to do fantasy sports on one site and sports betting on another, that makes a lot of sense to differentiate.
For us, for Epic and All About Gardening, I think it makes sense to join because Kevin’s largely focused on edibles. Edible content. So, you know, gardening with tomatoes, cucumbers, et cetera. That’s been their, their primary focus where we’ve been focused a lot more ornamentals. And so that’s been a big focus for us.
Like I’m a, I have loved Dahlias. Dahlias are my favorite flower. I’ve grown them for a few years and I’ve got like 60 different cultivars out in my, my garden this season that I absolutely love. So we, you know, we’re going to have the opportunity to take like. Two sites that really only have like 15 to 20% overlap and merge them.
I would say if you have two sites that have a lot of overlap, it may not make sense to do that because you’re going to be eating away at the traffic. You’re going to be taking pages where you’re just going to be redirecting the two of them together. And then I would say the only benefit in really doing that is if you’ve got like two, two pages that are ranked seven and eight, maybe you can merge the two of them and now you’re getting to ranked two or three.
And so you’re going to get a bigger share of the traffic being in. Positions 3 might make sense to do that but if you’re in a position where you’ve got two sites, same niche, and you’ve got position 1 and you’ve got position 4, probably not going to be really worth it to merge the two of those it just depends on how you’re playing, how you’re playing the game for us, because we are playing in a way where we have content that only has a 20% overlap, it’s going to make sense for us to create just one massive resource for gardeners of all types.
Jared: That was, that was all, that was so much information. And I’ll say a couple of things. First off, you were right. We have been working on this interview for years, probably it’s long overdue. Yeah. And congratulations on, on the merger the, you know, the, the new, the new horizons and everything.
I mean like I think a lot of us have followed along Kevin’s journey for a while. And so it’s just really cool to see, you know, the growth and see these cool opportunities coming up and
Jason: congrats on it. Thanks, man. He’s got a, he’s got a great team. We’re, it’s, we’re still growing and so we’re expanding.
So, you know, for all of those listeners out there, if you’ve got some plant experience and you’re in the digital marketing space, if we’re hiring at some point, feel free to reach out to me because it’s a growing, growing space. Something I, I do want to just, you know, say kind of my, my parting thought, if you don’t mind.
It’s so funny for the longest time, Spencer’s listeners may get tied up into this too. Like I felt like. I needed to like do the thing that would like replace my day job income and make the jump to like be my own person and be my own entrepreneur. And that’s awesome. Like there are a lot of people who want to do that and that’s for them.
But there’s also a lot of like, I, I thought that way for a long time. And then when this opportunity came up, I, I, you know, reflecting now being here for a few months and people are probably going to say, Oh, he’s going to say that because he’s only been there for a few months, but it’s, it’s legit. Like.
When you’re doing something you really enjoy and you’re doing it with people that you enjoy being around, that makes more of a difference than anything. And so for me, like yeah, being on my own at some point, maybe down the road. I’m not, I’m so focused on Epic right now. Like I said, I have a new project that I’m working on that’s going to be down the line.
Something that I’ll, that I’ll kind of toy with, but like success isn’t linear. Like it doesn’t all have to go like, you know, you start, you’re working this day job. And you’re, you’re building this thing that has to replace your day job income so you can be on your own. Doesn’t always have to be like that.
My advice is if you, if you’re in a day job that you hate and you want this thing to like liberate you, just find a different day job that you like and keep doing this thing on the side that can help, you know, fund your, your hobbies or whatever it is that you want to do. And if it someday replaces your day job income, that’s great.
And you can go as, as, as hard or as light as you want into that. But just, I guess the, the parting thought is like, don’t feel like if you know, you’re not out there on your own doing your own thing, that it’s, it’s not a success. You can, it doesn’t all have to just go one way. There are lots of different ways you can take a, a, Digital marketing career, and I am absolute proof of that.
Jared: I couldn’t piggyback more on it. I mean, I have no aspirations, at least at this stage, of taking my websites full time. But you know, I don’t have a job where I work for someone, but I have an agency that I run on the day, on the, you know, on the full time, and this is my side hustle. So, you know, there’s so many different ways to go about it, right?
And success can be a lot more defined by what you value than by what maybe you think the ultimate goal
Jason: is. It’s funny. Spencer’s been beating that into my head too. Like, you know, when I, when I say, Hey, like, you know, you guys, this is funny. Like when I had my first seven figure exit and I was just like, someday I’ll be like you guys were, you know, we have this big exit and I’m still on my own.
And Spencer was like, dude, you just had like this massive exit just to enjoy it a little bit. And he’s right. Like it doesn’t, it doesn’t look the same for everybody. So celebrate the wins when you have them. And that’s it. That’s all I got man. The
Jared: website’s epic gardening. com. Where can people get in touch with you if they want to reach
Yeah I don’t tweet, but I’m on Twitter at income jar. It’s at income jar That was my domain that I was gonna start a blog at some point in my life And maybe I still will I have no idea, but I don’t do anything with it yet But you can hit me up there on Twitter I consume a lot on Twitter because I follow every SEO account you can you can imagine and I try and stay up to date on trends just because that’s a great place to do that, so you can reach me there.
You can also reach me at jwilson at epicgardening. com, either one of those places if anybody wants to stay in touch.
Jared: Well Jason, it’s been long overdue, thank you for coming on, that hour plus flew by and hey, much continued success, and you know, look forward to
Jason: catching up with you again soon.
Thank you sir, appreciate it, great chatting.