$7.3M, Kevin Espiritu, & Epic Gardening

Weekly #082 | The Epic Growth of Kevin Espiritu's Gardening Empire

Introducing Kevin Espiritu

Embark on a journey where ancient wisdom meets modern innovation. Kevin Espiritu, the mastermind behind Epic Gardening, has transformed his passion for the earth into a digital oasis, much like ancient gardeners cultivated their lands. Through leveraging modern technology and social media, Kevin has sown seeds of knowledge and community, growing a micro-empire that nurtures both plants and people. His story is a testament to the power of adapting timeless principles of growth and community to the fertile digital landscape of today. Join us as we delve into how this modern-day gardening guru has cultivated success from the ground up.1

📊 Biz Breakdown

Kevin's Epic Gardening started as a humble blog and grew into a brand with a revenue of $7.3 million by 2021, all while maintaining a lean operation.2 His journey from a $400/month niche site to an 8-figure brand is a testament to his strategic thinking and willingness to evolve. He built a diverse income stream, initially through affiliate earnings and later by selling physical products, which now constitutes over 90% of his revenue​​.3

Kevin Espiritu's Epic Gardening brand is a remarkable example of how diverse revenue streams and a savvy business model can propel a micropreneur into the multimillion-dollar sphere. The business is broken down into several key areas:

  1. Content Creation:

    • Website & Blog: Initially, Epic Gardening began as a blog, which still serves as a foundational revenue stream through affiliate marketing, sponsored content, and advertising. The website provides a wide array of gardening tips, product reviews, and guides, attracting millions of page views.

    • Social Media Platforms: Kevin has leveraged platforms like YouTube (2.69M followers), Instagram (1.1M followers), X (35.2K followers) and TikTok (2.8M followers) to expand his reach for Epic Gardening. Each platform not only serves as a tool for audience growth but also contributes to revenue through platform-specific monetization methods like YouTube ad revenue and brand partnerships​​. Notice that this is for his company brand, not his personal. His personal brand followings are a lot more modest.

  2. Physical Products:

    • After identifying a demand among his audience, Kevin began selling high-quality gardening products directly. Starting with raised metal garden beds sourced from Australia, he quickly saw this segment explode, with initial orders selling out before even arriving in the USA. This move to sell physical goods dramatically shifted his revenue composition, with product sales now making up over 90% of total income​​.6

  3. Digital Products and Services:

    • E-books and Courses: By packaging his extensive gardening knowledge, Kevin offers e-books and online courses, providing another stream of revenue and delivering value to his audience in a format that's accessible and convenient.

  4. Brand Partnerships and Sponsorships:

    • With a strong and engaged following, Epic Gardening has become an attractive partner for gardening and lifestyle brands. Kevin collaborates with these companies for sponsored content, product reviews, and affiliate marketing, creating a symbiotic relationship that boosts both visibility and income.7

  5. Consulting and Speaking Engagements:

    • Leveraging his expertise and status as a thought leader in the gardening space, Kevin also engages in consulting and speaking engagements, sharing his insights and experiences with a wider audience.

  6. Merchandising:

    • Epic Gardening also taps into merchandising, selling branded apparel and accessories. This not only provides an additional revenue stream but also strengthens brand identity and loyalty among his community.

Business Model Evolution 

Kevin's business model reflects a deep understanding of his audience and market dynamics. He’s successfully transitioned from relying primarily on content monetization to a more diversified model that significantly includes e-commerce. This shift was strategic, responding to audience demand and market opportunities, and resulted in substantial revenue growth. His ability to pivot and adapt is a lesson for any micropreneur looking to scale their venture.

By breaking down Kevin's business into these components, it's clear that his success is not due to a single revenue stream or strategy, but rather a combination of understanding his audience, leveraging technology, and diversifying his business model. His journey from a simple blog to a multifaceted online presence with a significant e-commerce operation is a testament to the potential that lies in combining passion with strategic thinking and execution.

🫂 Team Spotlight

By 2021, the Epic Gardening team was a lean squad of five, including a video editor, gardening assistant, executive assistant, and freelance writers.4 This small but mighty team has been instrumental in scaling the brand and content reach, driving growth through focused roles and shared vision​​. Something all micropreneurs can learn from.

Here's a closer look at the team members and their roles:

  1. Kevin Espiritu - Founder & Visionary:

    • Kevin is the heart and soul of Epic Gardening. He started the brand as a solo venture and has been the driving force behind its content and strategic direction. His roles include content creation, strategic planning, and overall brand management. As the face of Epic Gardening, he also takes the lead in public engagements and partnerships.

  2. Video Editor:

    • As Epic Gardening expanded into video content, particularly on YouTube, the demand for high-quality, engaging videos grew. The video editor plays a critical role in ensuring the content is not only visually appealing but also educational and engaging. This role involves editing video content, adding effects, and ensuring the final product aligns with the brand's quality and message.

  3. Gardening Assistant:

    • The gardening assistant supports Kevin in the practical aspects of gardening, helping maintain the gardens used for content creation and product testing. This role is crucial in ensuring the gardens are at their best, providing a real-life backdrop for the brand's content and ensuring authenticity and credibility in gardening advice.

  4. Executive Assistant:

    • The executive assistant helps streamline Kevin's workload, managing schedules, communications, and various administrative tasks. This role is vital for keeping the business operations smooth and allowing Kevin to focus more on content creation and strategic growth.

  5. Freelance Writing Team:

    • To keep up with the content demands of a growing blog and social media presence, Epic Gardening utilizes a team of freelance writers. These individuals bring a range of expertise and perspectives, contributing to the diverse and informative content that the audience values. They are responsible for researching, writing, and sometimes photographing for the various articles and posts that appear across Epic Gardening's platforms.

More recently, Kevin partnered up with Jason Wilson, so he could leverage Jason’s natural SEO mastery:

The above team, though small, is highly effective, with each member playing a critical role in the brand's growth and success. The structure allows for flexibility and adaptability, essential qualities in the fast-paced world of online content and e-commerce. As Epic Gardening continues to grow, the team's composition and roles may evolve, but the core of dedicated and skilled individuals will remain central to its success.

Google Trends search for “back to the land” shows increasing interest in the US

Kevin's story intersects with the growing "back to the land" movement, amplified by the pandemic's push towards self-sufficiency and home-based hobbies.5 His ability to tap into this trend, coupled with strategic content creation, positioned Epic Gardening at the forefront of a burgeoning global interest in gardening.

🔑 Key Insight

"Why sell my audience to brands when I can BE the brand for my audience?"

Kevin Espiritu

Kevin's approach is rooted in a blend of organic growth and digital savvy. He transformed his initial website into a multi-platform online presence, dominating the gardening niche with a mix of content and community engagement. His shift from content to commerce, selling direct to his audience, reflects a deep understanding of not just gardening, but also modern market dynamics.

🏰 Historical Connections

Qin Shi Huang’s monumental gardens

Kevin Espiritu's path from digital gambits to green thumbs resonates with the legacies of ancient horticultural luminaries. Like Epicurus (341–270 BC), who fostered a community in his Athenian garden, Kevin cultivates a global community of gardeners seeking simplicity and joy in their own backyards. His dedication to disseminating gardening wisdom mirrors that of Pliny the Elder (23–79 AD), whose comprehensive works laid foundational knowledge for future generations. Kevin's expansive vision and impact echo the grandeur of Emperor Qin Shi Huang's (259–210 BC) monumental gardens, demonstrating a transformative power that transcends mere physical space.

In the practical, hands-on advice that Kevin offers, one can see reflections of Cato the Elder (234–149 BC), whose pragmatic approach to agriculture advocated for thrift and labor. And finally, Kevin's exploratory and educational spirit draws parallels with Theophrastus (c. 371 – c. 287 BC), the ancient "Father of Botany," whose detailed observations and categorizations of plants have informed and enriched the understanding of natural life for centuries. Through Epic Gardening, Kevin channels these ancient spirits, cultivating growth, community, and knowledge in the modern world.

🫵 Actionable Tips

Micropreneurs can glean from Kevin's journey that understanding your audience deeply can unlock new revenue streams. Embrace modern tools like social media for organic growth, and don't be afraid to diversify into physical products if it aligns with your brand. Remember, sometimes the most fertile ground for growth lies just beneath the surface of your existing community.

Join the conversation

or to participate.