Running is to Marketing is to Gardening is to…FUN GARDEN FLAGS
I started a weight-loss/running blog in May of 2020 without a clear direction/strategy, although I had several goals:
- write/tell stories
- learn more about digital marketing
- help people that were trying to get healthier
- eventually monetize off the blog
It was one of the first steps in putting myself “out there” publicly. Sharing my story of how I lost weight and what works for me was a big step. It felt great to help people, whether directly talking about experiences, or knowing that something I wrote made some sort of impact.
Here’s what I learned when writing the blog (from a marketing standpoint):
- I had several ideas already “baked” in my head before I wrote. That made the first few posts “easy” to write, I knew the stories, I just didn’t have them out on paper.
- The habits that sustain my healthy lifestyle are extremely boring.
- I don’t eat with much variety.
- I don’t do special diets.
- I don’t like running in races.
- I don’t like running with people.
- I’m not really putting forth effort to improve my running, just want to continue it forever.
- I don’t think everyone needs to run to lose weight.
- I still drink wine.
- I’m not trying that hard to lose weight anymore.
- I’m particular about my running gear, so I’m not interested in trying new products for affiliate type sales.
It takes a lot of time and effort to create stuff (blogs, website, graphics, etc.). I ran out of ideas.
In July 2020, 2 months after I started the blog, I read Melanie Deziel’s Book, “The Content Fuel Framework.” In this book, she explores how to generate unlimited content ideas. You need unlimited content because that is (digitally) how people find you. Every time you post something, it drives traffic to your site. She lays out a plan of how to generate that content through stories, infographics, people, history, etc.
A week after I read the book, I bought the companion workbook, printed it out and got to work.
The first question is “why are you creating content?” That shouldn’t have stumped me, but it did. Why was I creating content? Ummmm….
As I started to fill out the rest of the workbook, I felt more stumped. I didn’t have enough focus. Weight-Loss, Running, and what? What was my differentiator? I know why, but can I portray that in a weight loss blog?
Since I read Melanie’s book, I’ve struggled with how to apply this theory of continuous content creation. That was a strong indicator that my “brand” was off. What I learned is that you need to be able to talk about something ALL THE TIME. Passionately.
I couldn't commit to posting daily pictures of myself working out to drive traffic.
I don’t consistently have any new tips or tricks: If I did an Instagram food diary, it would be an egg on toast literally EVERY DAY for breakfast.
The goal was to eventually monetize off the blog. In 9 months, I couldn’t figure out a way that felt comfortable or sustainable to continue.
So now I’m selling FUN GARDEN FLAGS!!!!!
Seems like it came out of left field, but it’s been stewing in my head for a while.
In October of 2020, I was adding some plants to our backyard garden. I have other non-living adornments in the garden: plastic flamingos, a gnome, a spinny-bird wind chaser thing. But, I don’t have a garden flag.
I went to look for one online, nothing good. Went to the big box stores, nothing good.
All of the phrases were lame:
“Friends gather here”
“Welcome to my garden”
“Flowers are friends”
I’ve got plastic flamingos... those boring flags were NOT my garden’s vibe. I needed something edgy, new, fresh… I needed a fun garden flag!
I sat on the idea for months. I finally bought the domain on Feb 22. Got Shopify on Feb 27.
March 1st the site went live. One week in business and I’ve done better with this venture than any other side-hustle in the past 20 years. Also, I’m having a blast.
I will still be writing/blogging, but on a broader range of lifestyle topics. I have so much to talk about that’s not related to weight loss. Now I feel like I can weave it all together. I’ll also be making memes, jokes, ridiculous videos, and any other content I can think of that is entertaining.
I have nothing else to say about weight loss and running unless I tie it to other aspects of my life.
Marketing is just like Running - You have to consistently do it. Week after week, month after month, year after year.
Gardening is just like Marketing - that’s why nurture streams in Marketo are indicated by a plant emoji. You have to water your flowers if you want them to grow.