How I'd grow ChooseYourPlant

March 18, 2020

ChooseYourPlant is a website dedicated to houseplants.

It helps people find the ideal plants for their house, and learn how to take care of them.

The ultimate goal is to create a community of houseplant lovers.

You can discover plants you like on the homepage, and learn how to take care of them. This is the main benefit and should be in the header.

You can search & filter to specify your needs. Once you find it, you’ll be given a lot of useful information about your plant.

The website may be new, but it’s easy to use and well designed. ATM, it’s basically an aggregator of user-generated content from other sources.

In the long term, they should focus on creating more unique and proprietary content to add more value.

The community is not developed yet. They should start an email list as the community MVP. Successful communities like PH started this way.

This’d also solve the biggest problem the website is facing: people read, but leave without taking action. It’s just wasted traffic.

Their newsletter should cover topics relevant to members. E.g. basics, but also advanced tips on watering, trimming, etc.

And once the list reaches enough people, the founder can pivot it into a full-fledged community.

ChooseYourPlant should also start thinking about monetization. If the community part stays free, affiliate marketing is the best way to monetize.

Each plant page should have an affiliate link to eCommerce partners. Members could buy from them and support the project.

The first thing I’d start leveraging for traffic is their “Favorite Blogs” section for influencer marketing.

I’d reach out to the blog owners, and let them know they’re getting valuable backlinks. Then, I’d explain the project and ask them to help get the word out.

The best way to get new visitors would be focusing on SEO. It’s a topic with a lot of queries.

I’d start with long-tail KWs by optimizing auto-generated pages for different filter combinations. E.g. “low light plant for bathroom”, “small plants safe for cats”, etc.

This could quickly generate unique pages for different combinations hyper-targeted to people interested in plants.

Each page will intercept only a low number of monthly searches, but since they are casting a super wide net, the total will be big.

They’re trying to do this right now - the pages have custom URLs, but they’re not well optimized for search engines.

They lack basics such as page titles. Also, it’d be great to add at least a paragraph of unique content.

Launching a blog to target informational keywords would be a great move.

The content strategy should cover all the topics outside of the filters. E.g. “Tips to take care of an indoor ficus”, or “How to best irrigate an indoor plant”.

I’d also push Instagram hard. It has a thriving community of indoor plant lovers - just look at all the hashtags!

Since ChooseYourPlant wants to become a community, user-generated content is a great solution, and a win-win for founders and creators.

They should curate their IG feed by reposting the best images with captions that spark discussions.

The key to growing IG following is appearing in the Explore tab. This happens easily when you have a themed account with great photos that get a lot of engagement.

Reach out to content creators and ask for permission to repost. In addition to this being a requirement, you can also build great relationships.

If the founder does this right, creators could mention and tag ChooseYourPlant in their posts, driving further exposure.

Once the product starts generating revenue, the founder should consider short YouTube videos.

YT is the 2nd most important search engine after Google, and not a lot of competitors use video - it’s a powerful competitive advantage.

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Every month I pick a new website and write a marketing case study explaining exactly how I’d grow it