Soooo…last summer I wrote a blog about my Pop’s Carpenter Bee Traps that he made for me (because they were driving me CRAZY on the farm — and eating holes in my cabin!) I helped build them. Well, mostly I got in Pop’s way and made him stop repeatedly so I could take photos for my blog. You know me, I wanted to help my blog readers who might ALSO have this problem. I wanted a good, step-by-step DIY guide to help them figure out how build one for themselves!
This week, that year-old blog went viral and — suddenly — I had requests from readers to see if I would either 1.) Loan out Pops (not happening, folks) or 2.) See if he would make one, or two for them.
I called him and asked if he would make a few for my readers. To shorten the story, he agreed to make a batch of 25. The Honey Badger set up a shopping cart on my blog so my readers could order and pay for their Carpenter Bee Traps. They were so popular we had to go back three times and ask Pops if he would be willing to make more. We had to cut it off at 100 (which sold in under 12 hours!!!) Pops was worried about promising more than that many at once!
I now have a waiting list of nearly 50 people who have taken the time to call and write me to ask me to convince Pops to make more. That number is growing and some are writing to plead their case directly with Pops to see if he would be willing to make “just one more.” It’s kinda awesome. My Pops has kind of become a hero to my readers. (He’s ALWAYS been my hero!) He’s also an old softy and I expect to be opening up the orders page in a couple of days once he catches his breath to help out the readers who really want and need a trap of their own, but don’t have the cool Pops Shop to make them.
On my side, I have a blog post that has nearly 300 comments 36 hours after the first request came in… and he’s just completed the first batch of 25 for packing to ship on Monday. I have readers sharing photos of the traps they have built using my blog. I’m riding a marketing high… all organic, viral marketing for a product niche developed (on the fly) to meet a defined need.
Steve has been wonderful in helping me to change and update the site to handle the traffic, to tweak the shopping cart, and to help people get their orders placed (and to encourage Pop’s to make more each time we sold out of the batch of 25 he just agreed to make). Mom has helped me juggle the names as they have come in and has been Pop’s shop helper while I’ve been answering questions, encouraging those who are using the blog to build their own, and having a great time interacting with my readership! I’ve even put a short video of Pops’ work on YouTube (which made him groan, when I informed him). 😀
What a cool week in my life! And THAT is how a viral blog post can turn into cash — and one heck of an ADVENTURE — if you can respond quickly enough to meet the needs of your readership!