How to Build Raving Fans And Make Money… Without Blogging

I’m very excited about today’s lesson.  

It outlines a simple process for growing your readership, increasing page views and, yes, making more money… without lifting a finger.

I know… that sounds spammy, sleazy and too good to be true.

But it’s none of those things… if you do it right.

You will need a few things for this lesson. After you read it, set aside an hour to do your assignment. I guarantee you it will be the most valuable hour you ever spent on your blog.

In fact, I’ll bet you never look at your blog the same way again.

Let’s get started…

Introducing the Most Underused and Underrated Tool in the Travel Bloggers Arsenal…

I’m talking, of course, about the trusty autoresponder. In case you haven’t used one before, an autoresponder lets you automatically send emails to your subscribers at pre-determined intervals.

For example, let’s say you write an email series on “How to Save Money While Traveling Through Europe.” You could break the guide up into five emails and have them sent to your subscribers every day for five days. Or once every three days. Or five. It’s up to you.

Here’s where it gets interesting.

Say Alfred signs up on day one. He gets the first email. Then on day two Brianna signs up. She gets the first email and Alfred gets the second automatically.

You can write as many emails as you want, then schedule them for weeks, months… even years in advance.

I once had a newsletter with 23,000 subscribers, and they received valuable emails for months without any work on my part.

Autoresponders get a bad rap. Spammers use them to send thinly veiled sales pitches in every single email (which is pretty lame, in my opinion).

Instead, use autoresponders to “drip feed” valuable content to your subscribers. By sending a series of emails, you maintain focus on a specific topic (e.g. “How to Save Money in Europe”) and your readers learn to trust your content. That way, when you do recommend a product or service (that you created and/or use yourself) your readers will purchase it.

SUPER IMPORTANT: Do not bombard your readers with offers. Sprinkle them in occasionally (we’ll get to exact numbers in a minute).

Step #1: Create a bribe

Before you set up an autoresponder you need a bribe. Don’t worry, it’s not a bad thing… you just need to create a series of emails your readers would enjoy reading. It has to be valuable in order for them to give you their email address.

An example would be this 24 part course on travel blogging… since you’re reading this, I guess it worked  😉

Do you write about snowboarding? Write a ten part email series on the best snowboarding spots around the world. Or how about “ten ways to save money on your next snowboarding trip”? Either of these topics would be a great bribe.

Step #2: Write the subject lines

Open a spreadsheet. Excel or Google Docs work well for this.

Create two columns:

  • Subject line of email
  • The number of days a reader will receive this email after they’ve subscribed

For example, if you have a three emails which go out every five days the spreadsheet would look like this:

  • “Email #1 subject”, 5
  • “Email #2 subject”, 10
  • “Email #3 subject”, 15

Note: This is an IMPORTANT step. Do NOT skip this and start writing emails. Just write the headlines. In fact, write five times more headlines than you’ll need… and choose the best ones.

This is easier than it sounds. Here’s 101 templates to choose from.

Step #3 Map out your strategy

Now that you’ve got a ton of subject lines, organize them in a logical progression. For example, if you’ve got three subject headlines about food, put them together in the series. That way your reader will make connections from one email to the next.

It also gets you thinking about products. If your readers love those food articles, create products about how to cook, or find the best restaurants in an area (e.g. a mobile app would be great for this).

Step #4 Write the emails

Use your spreadsheet and write an in-depth email based on the first headline. Don’t hold back - these are for people who gave your their private email address. They want to hear what you’ve got to say… so for god’s sake GIVE IT TO THEM.

How many should you write? At least 5-10… but more if you can. If your readers dig what you write, keep adding to your autoresponder. Over time, you could build a series of twenty or thirty emails to keep them coming back for more.

Step #5. Add emails to your autoresponder

There are many autoresponders on the market:

  • Aweber
  • Get Response
  • Campaign Monitor
  • Mail Chimp

I personally use Aweber (have for years) but if you’re just starting out I’d recommend Mail Chimp. They currently have a free option for small accounts.

Step #6 Listen

As people sign up for your autoresponder, listen very closely to their responses. What questions do they have? Problems? Fears? All of these give you key insights as to how you can help - and get paid well for it.

For example, let’s say you run a budget travel blog. And every day, your subscribers ask for help finding the best deals on flights.  Why not create a guide around that? Better still… why not create the guide and include an eBook on finding hotel deals as a bonus?

If you’ve already delivered valuable content in your emails, your readers will gladly pay you for it.

And once you’re created your product, add it into your autoresponder. It will continue to sell for you - on autopilot - for years to come.

OK. Enough talk.

Here’s what you need to do right now:

  • Open a spreadsheet.
  • Open this list of headlines. Use different formulas to craft 30 headlines.
  • Choose the ten best headlines.
  • Organize them by theme. If they don’t overlap… try again until they do. You want to maintain FOCUS in your newsletter.
  • Write emails for each headline.
  • Add them to your autoresponder.

That’s it! This shouldn’t take you longer than a week. And as your travel blog grows, it will faithfully deliver these messages whether you’re scaling mountains in Switzerland, meditating in India or rafting down the Amazon.

Now get to work!

To your successful travel blog,

Adam Costa

Editor in Chief, Travel Blogger Academy

P.S. This is part of a 24 part course on travel blogging. If you haven’t already, sign up for it now.

About adamcosta

Adam Costa is co-founder and Editor in Chief of both and TravelBloggerAcademy. He currently lives... um... somewhere.


  1. Adam,
    Your TBA has been invaluable! Wow…I’ve been doing a newsletter (pre-blog) for ages with little subscriber feedback and growth. This is a great new tool.
    Thank you!

  2. Well if i could only get people to subscribe it would work like magic… Great advice and for a lazy person like me this seems perfect…