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Create A Challenge That Grows Your Email List & Business Income [Podcast Ep. 24]

Curious how to create a challenge that grows your email list as well as your blogging business income?

Then you’re in the right place because that is exactly what we’ll be covering in this episode of The Profitable Travel Blogger Podcast.

Specifically, you’ll learn:

  • A six-step framework for creating a free challenge
  • Specifics on how I recently set up a five-day email challenge
  • A strategy for increasing engagement during your challenge
  • How to monetize your challenge — even if you don’t have your own product (though if you need digital product ideas to sell online, here is a list!)
  • And more!

Basically, if you’re interested in hosting a challenge that grows and nurtures your target audience — and your blog’s revenue — this podcast episode has the answers you’re looking for.

Bonus: I also invite you to join my free list-building challenge to help really put what you learn in this episode into practice!

Note that this episode includes affiliate links to trusted partners!

Create A Challenge That Grows Your Email List & Income – Podcast Episode Audio

…or click the links below to tune in on your preferred audio platform:

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Free Travel Blogger Resource Library

To help you really jumpstart your blogging success, I’ve added 55+ blogging resources like printables, video tutorials, and workbooks into a FREE resource library for travel bloggers.

These resources are meant to help you grow your traffic, community, and income faster and with less overwhelm.

I’m all about implementation and I really want to make sure you don’t just listen to the episode and forget about it, but that you actually use what I share to make your blogging life easier. Inside the library, there are a number of printables and tutorials that will help you take what I share in this episode, and efficiently implement it.


Tools Mentioned In This Episode On Hosting A Challenge

The Beaver Builder plugin. This plugin allows you to intuitively create beautiful high-converting landing and sales pages. It makes it really easy to create columns and rows and drop in various modules like evergreen timers, dropdowns, pricing tables, buttons, and more.

ConvertPlus. This is the plugin I use to create smartbars, popups, and slide-ins. I really love how I can customize these assets, even in terms of who sees them. For instance, I can show different website visitors different popups based on what they’re reading.

ConvertKit. A feature-rich email marketing platform specifically for bloggers and content creators. That link gets you a free trial!

create a challenge

How To Make A Challenge (& Successfully Host It!) – Episode Transcript

One powerful way to grow your community and income is to create a challenge.

This could be an email challenge, an Instagram challenge, or another social media challenge — which, by the way, can also help you remember how to enjoy social media since challenges are fun. 

Really, though, the point is that it is free for people to take part and that by the end, participants have reached some kind of goal or transformation.

If this sounds overwhelming, stay tuned, because I’ll break down how to make hosting a challenge fun and effective so that you truly grow your blog!

Now free challenges can come in many forms and can be done for varying lengths of time on a variety of platforms focused on a variety of topics.


Step #1: When creating & hosting a free online challenge, think about a challenge topic and an end goal.

For instance, I recently hosted a 5-day list-building challenge. I had a few goals with this:

To grow my email list. In order to take part in the challenge, the person had to join my email list. If you’re familiar with opt-in freebies and lead magnets, this means the challenge itself was an opt-in offer. This guide can help you understand how to create freebies for your blog if this concept is new to you.

To gain affiliate marketing referrals. You can promote affiliate links in your challenge!

For my free challenge, I offered a free trial of ConvertKit, and offered a special bonus to anyone who signed up for it.

From there, I also offered one month of my Travel Blog Prosperity membership free to anyone who stayed a paying member of ConvertKit, which helped me increase my affiliate sales and grow my membership.

Additionally, I provided a free resources list that shared my recommended blogging tools — with affiliate links.

Here is another totally different example. I recently participated in a yoga challenge with one of my favorite YouTubers, Yoga With Kassandra, where she posted a 10-minute morning yoga video each day for 30 days. The tagline of the challenge was “Join the morning yoga movement.”

Now, I’m just speculating, you’d need to ask Kassandra to be sure, but I’d assume that a few goals Kassandra was able to meet through hosting this challenge were:

  • Gaining subscribers — particularly those who click the bell icon to get notified when the next video in the challenge published
  • Getting more people into a daily yoga practice, which could mean more returning viewers for her channel
  • Growing YouTube revenue as she increased her subscriber count and view time
  • Growing her authority on the topic of quick morning yoga flows for busy people

Step #2: Pinpoint the free challenge goal or transformation participants will reach.

While you’ll be working to meet your own blogging business goals, you should also have a goal for your free challenge participants.

For instance, your challenge might be part of a larger product launch marketing plan or even a tripwire sales funnel focused on increasing sales.

Similar to a blog series, the daily content should build on each other — as I did with my list-building challenge — or come together to create a valuable content collection, like Kassandra did with her yoga challenge.

The point, though, is that the person doing the challenge should experience a positive change — such as learning how to grow their email list, making daily morning yoga a habit, or something else.

A few travel challenge examples could be packing with a carry-on, creating a cohesive travel feed on Instagram, creating an entertaining travel video with their phone, booking more sustainable trips, or learning how to hack their next trip.


Step #3: Lay out the format of your free challenge.

As I said before, creating a free challenge can be done in really any format that helps you meet your goals.

If your goal is to grow your Instagram, host it there. If your goal is to grow your email list, host it via email. If you’re looking for website traffic, create travel blog content for the challenge.

You can also combine platforms. A few ways I’ve done this in the past:

Sending daily email lessons and also hosting a live Q&A on YouTube on one day of the challenge.

I usually say something like “Follow me on YouTube and hit the bell icon so you get notified when I go live.”

This also allows me to make sure that nobody is left in the dark about the challenge topic.

Sending daily email lessons and having daily accountability threads on Instagram.

This basically means having people share takeaways from and ask questions about the day’s lesson on that day’s Instagram share.

Additionally, to help encourage engagement, I like to offer a bonus to everyone who posts on the threads daily.

Feel free to get creative with this!


Step #4: Prepare the free challenge content and schedule it in advance.

During the challenge, you don’t want to have to worry about what to say in your emails, videos, or social shares.

Instead, you want to be able to put energy into engaging with participants, answering their questions, and responding to emails and comments.

You also never know what tech issues will arise or if the internet will go out or something like that, so having everything scheduled in advance alleviates potential last-minute tech setbacks.


Step #5: Create a challenge landing page.

No matter where you host your challenge, it’s smart to have a landing page that includes all of the challenge details — like what people will get out of it, how it works, and when it takes place.

Pro tip:

Consider writing your transformation statement right at the top, above the signup button. For instance, you could say something like “Learn to pack carry-on-only in five days” or “Transform your Instagram feed in four days.”

Personally, I love the Beaver Builder plugin for creating beautiful, high-converting landing pages. The plugin allows you to break up any page into rows, and you can determine how many columns you want in each row and what the background of each section looks like. From there, drag-and-drop modules like photos, videos, text, countdown timers, buttons, dropdown menus, and more where you’d like.


Step #6: Promote your free challenge landing page like crazy.

Now that you’ve created your page, share it everywhere! A few ideas:

  • In your social media bios
  • In a smartbar at the top on your website
  • In a popup — I actually use ConvertPlus to create smartbars and popups
  • In your email signature
  • Through Pinterest marketing
  • In a Facebook Ad or other type of social media ad
  • In relevant and popular blog posts
  • In Facebook groups in sharing threads
  • Ask other bloggers in your niche to share your event and offer to share something for them in exchange
  • In social media shares

Pro tip when sharing about your free challenge on social media:

Don’t just announce your challenge, but use email storytelling to share why you’re hosting it in the first place and how what you’ll be sharing has changed your life

Feel free to think outside the box in terms of how you can promote the challenge.


Now I hope you enjoyed this episode on creating a free challenge that grows your blogging business.

I hope you feel inspired and empowered to get blog followers and nurture your community by hosting your own challenge.

Don’t forget to grab access to the free travel blogging resource library that I’ve linked here. There are a ton of resources in there on growing your community and increasing your blogging profits.

And of course, make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss future episodes sharing these bite-sized strategies for bloggers who want to turn their blogs into profitable full-time businesses.

Happy blogging!


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Grow Your Blog With These Helpful Past Episodes:

A Proven Step-By-Step Strategy For Growing Your Email List (For Free)

How To Grow Your Blog Fast With 12 Clever Strategies

9 Clever Ways To Increase Blog Traffic (Beyond SEO)

How To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing As A Travel Blogger

How To Map Out (& Crush!) Your Blogging Goals

Monetize Your Email List With 4 Smart Strategies

How To Grow Your Travel Blogging Income With A Tripwire Funnel

10 Ways To Monetize A Travel Blog

How To Create A Free Resource Library That Grows Your Email List

How To Create A Pinterest Strategy For Bloggers That Grows Your Traffic

How One Woman Quit Her Job To Do Full-Time Blogging

What tips would you add on how to create a challenge to grow your email list & increase your business income?

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