Here is my first progress report on Vicarious Florist. I’m planning to do these quarterly. Not much happened in the first three months as I was just getting started (and I didn’t think about compiling these stats until now), so this post covers the first six months of the blog: July – Dec 2022. My first Vicarious Florist post was on July 17, and I made 35 more posts by the end of 2022 (27 journals and nine articles). It should have been more because I only made two posts in December (one journal and one article – see Wreath-a-Thon for an explanation). Those 36 posts received 8,815 views in 2022. That’s a bunch of numbers (there are more to come). Are they good numbers? Well, I’m just getting started.
In addition to the blog, I began an email list. Subscribers get access to additional and exclusive content plus special offers (coming soon.) I haven’t made a big effort to build the list yet. But, I did a few things. I put sign up forms on the blog and I made two email magnets – private content in exchange for signing up. For the people on my list, I sent five email campaigns last year running (roughly) bi-weekly starting on October 7. There was good engagement – over 50% open rate – but the overall numbers are small so far (more on that below). Again, it’s a start.
Last, and least of my digital creation efforts, I made three Vicarious Florist branded videos in the last half year. They accompanied and were embedded in articles. Though the views of the videos were discouragingly low, I think the content is pretty good – especially for a florist with no video training. They are at least watchable, and I think entertaining. One has dogs, a cat, a rabbit and a turtle with flowers! How can that not go viral? I think the videos make my storytelling more dynamic. They help you know me and my business. I am not detoured. In fact, I’m planning more videos.
So, how’s it going? It’s going OK. I was excited with my progress, especially in the Fall, probably because it was new – the honeymoon stage. I was encouraged by the response however small. But, it is a lot of work. Trying to figure out how to generate some revenue from all this effort started to feel daunting. I definitely didn’t want this to become a slog (a blog slog) and promise paying customers content on a schedule like a newsletter. Especially, if I become overwhelmed at the Flo like I did in December when I hardly posted any new content on VF. But, I am starting to figure out my voice here, and have some ideas for regular content creation, promotion, building my email list, creating digital products and generating revenue. These check-ins will help keep me on track.
Most Viewed Posts
Poop Wedding and Other Disasters was, by far, my most read post. The title really catches the eye. I knew I had something with that post when I was writing it, so I turned it into a magnet for building my email list. I gave away the first three disaster stories and requested emails for the full article. (Email subscribers got the full article plus two more bonus disasters in their in-box.) It was my first magnet and there are some technical difficulties I’m still working out. I tried to recapture the magic of Poop Wedding with my John Waters story. It got some interest. I think these posts are going to be the closest I get to going viral. Options for the film rights are still available – call me. Here were the top five most viewed posts from 2022:
- Poop Wedding and Other Disasters
- Probably John Waters Hates Me
- Killing Frost
- Minimal Viable Product
- Deciding What to Do
Where in the World are My Readers
This was a really cool stat. I had readers of the blog from 47 different countries! Most were single views, but I was excited to see the reach my content has. My brick-and-mortar flower business is hyper local, and I didn’t ever really think about customers outside of my neighborhood until the blog. My husband calls me Mrs. World-Wide. Don’t stop the party! (#IYKYK.) Here were the top five highest views by country in 2022:
Did You Even Know I Make Videos
As I mentioned, I recorded three videos last year. They all seem to be in a race for last place.
The number of subscribers in my email list is my most important statistic. I had 325 contacts sign up last year. These are my true fans. I am grateful for these subscribers especially that I did not have much content available on the blog for most of the year. These early adopters were also getting the first, somewhat sporadic, emails campaigns where I am still developing an experience to deliver. Building this number will be the primary way I plan on generating future revenue from Vicarious Florist.
Just for fun, here are the countries where my last email campaign was read ordered by highest number of opens:
I’m excited and reinvigorated about developing Vicarious Florist. I really am trying to transition from a florist to a digital creator focusing on flowers and the business of being a florist. As I do more with Vicarious Florist, I am doing less at the Flo. If I’m going to be successful, I have to get serious. Here are the plans for the next quarter. Let’s go!
Content Creation – I’m going to continue to post on VF: a few journals each week (new focus) and an article twice a month. I am going to start using a content calendar to plan topics in advance, and get some content pre-written for the hopper. I can then schedule out publishing dates so I don’t have another two-post December.
Email List – Now that I have some content on this blog, I am going to focus on building my email list. I am taking a class, List to Launch, from my online digital marketing mentor Jenna Kutcher. Using the lessons I am learning from Jenna, I suspect I will have a big jump in subscribers at my next check-in.
Email Campaigns – I am planning to start sending weekly emails in February. Subscribers can look forward to reliably finding additional and exclusive entertaining and informative VF content from me in their inboxes on the same day each week. Subs will also get special offers on my digital products (in development). Join now if you aren’t on the list.
Generating Revenue – This is a profit deal. Well, not yet. But, I have plans. I will start to develop digital products for purchase. Right now I have ideas for two classes. I hope to finish one (maybe both) in the next quarter. I have also started to work on affiliate marketing and advertising. It’s all about getting my views and email list numbers up.
Marketing – I was fortunate to win a marketing grant this year. I’m finally hiring some professional help! This is exciting.
So, that’s how it is going. I did some stuff. I’ve got some plans. Can’t wait for what’s next!
Ellen, You are still so Awesome! I am enjoying you newest venture!
I am still looking for Peonies from the Maryland region, those beautiful flowers thrive in that B’more heat! I believe they will do well in Georgia.
Any chance of growing bulb growing tips for those who were a little late getting them in the ground??😕
Where in Georgia are you? You should definitely check out Three Porch Farm in Georgia! They’re the best! They grow amazing flowers! As for bulbs, you might have to wait until the Fall to plant for next spring. Check out Dr. Allan Armitage in Athens for so many tips for growing in Georgia. https://www.allanarmitage.net/