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What Are You Putting Off Doing Today that Could Significantly Improve Your Blog Tomorrow (And Beyond)?

Do you put off doing things on your blog that you know you really should invest time into?

I do.

Yesterday I was out walking and found myself thinking about my “I’ll do it one day” list. It struck me that there were a lot of things on that list, and that while some of them were just fanciful ideas, there are also items on the list that I know are potential profits that I’m just not earning.

One point on the list was updating the autoresponder sequence on my photography blog.

I’ve talked in the past about how I’ve structured my email strategy on my photography blog. It looks something like this:


For a full description of what all the elements are, have a look at this post. In short, people get weekly manually edited emails containing updates from the blog, along with a mix of bonus content (themed updates) and “promotions.”

The promotions are a mix of promotions of our own ebooks (discounted) as well as promotions of other people’s photography resources (affiliate promotions).

The weekly updates are all done manually but the “themed updates” and “promotions” are all done via an autoresponder. The autoresponder simply sends out these emails at predetermined intervals (around every 30 days). This means you’re doing mini-promotions every day, which creates long-term sustained income.

In many ways, when you add a promotional email into the sequence, you’re setting up a small passive income stream for as long as people keep subscribing to your newsletter.

The problem is that while I do have a number of these promotional emails in my sequence, I could have more. In fact, after you’ve been subscribed to my list for around 10 months the autoresponder sequence stops and you just get the weekly updates. Right now, more than 300,000 people have gone past that ten-month subscription duration—that’s a lot of people who I could be promoting quality products to.

So last night I decided to bite the bullet and create more emails for the autoresponder.

I added the first one last night—an affiliate promotion—and it’s already started to go out. All up the email probably took me a maximum of two hours to write and set up in Aweber.

The email will go out tonight to most of the people on the list on my list who’ve been long-term subscribers. It’ll then slow, to mail to just a few hundred people per day. As a result, we’ll see a nice big spike in sales tonight, and then it should slow down to a few sales per day.

Update (24 hours later)

The bulk of the list has now received the email, and we’ve had a good sales spike totalling around $14,000. Based upon open rates and sales generated, I estimate that, since long-term subscribers now have the email, this autoresponder should now generate around $50-$70 per day in income.

That’s not a massive amount when you think about it on a daily basis, but over a year it ads up to more than $18,000. Over the next five years, it’ll go past the six-figure mark—not bad for a single email, and a couple of hours’ work.

Key points

So the main points of this post are:

  • Firstly, I wanted to highlight a strategy that lets those who have email lists generate a longer term income stream from those lists. Keep in mind, we have hundreds of thousands of people on our list, so the amounts we’re talking about here might mot be achievable on smaller lists. However, the strategy will be the same. A simple email you write today that goes out on a daily basis to a segment of your list can generate daily or weekly sales for you over the long haul. And that’s income that you don’t need to do much work for after setting up the initial email.
  • The second reason for this post is to motivate those of you who, like me, like to put things in the “one day” basket. I could have created yesterday’s email 12 months ago. In that time I could have created 12 more of them that could already have been mailing to my list. Instead of an extra $50-$70 per day of income, those emails could have been generating 12 times that much for me by now.

So what are you putting off doing today that could be leading to a significant, long-term improvement to your blog and business?

Over the next two weeks, I’ll suggest something new each day that you could invest some time into, to generate this kind of long-term payoff (not all of them are financial payoffs). In the meantime, I’d love to hear what you’ve been putting off that you’re determined to get done now.

Articles in this series:

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Your site has so much good advice! I loved the video and will for sure be coming back here to get more tips. I am trying very hard to get my blog/website noticed and am going to implement what I have learned here.
    Thanks so much.

  2. Mine is definitely reaching out to new areas other than just my blog, and I plan to tackle those shortly.

    I’m talking about things like utilize YouTube, podcasts, more guest posts, etc. to really spread my writing, thoughts and brand, instead of just posting things on my own page.

  3. That’s so me. There so much things I need to do to promote my blog. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Thanks *so* much for this post, Darren. I’m just in the middle of really working hard on my e-mail lists for my two blogs, so this has been very, very timely for me!

    I have used autoresponders in the past, but I realise that the pattern you outlined above is something I can definitely take some tips from. Brilliant!

  5. Sigh.. I wish I had a list that would generate $14k in sales from one email.. but I get the point. We have some holidays here and I’ll put aside time to work on my blog. Thanks for the reminder Darren!

  6. Great advice! Too bad I only have around 80 weekly subscribes which is super small so I’m still trying to build up my list and do the promotion later. A good tip is probably to let new subscribers subscribe for some time before you throw them a promotion one perhaps? People might leave quickly if they think that they are just being “squeezed” to make money for you

  7. Oh, wondering where the name ‘ProBlogger’ came from. ;)

    I think my jaw dropped when you blew past the figures – though I have a passive income now, it’s not ‘quite’ that large (nor is my list). What are your top choices for creating such a sizable list?

    I have my theories (besides your great content), but if you were asked to boil it down, what would you say?

    Thanks, Darren, for reminding me about my to-do list, which does include updating my auto-responder.

    Off to read your DPS post about your list elements now.

  8. Your blog is one of the best on problogging. Great advice, really. I don´t have a mail strategy for my readers. Maybe I should think about that…Thanks for all your posts!

  9. Your post helped me face the fact that I’m a Procrastinator. I never thought of it as being related to loss of income.

  10. Personally I keep a hardback diary, and also have a ‘daily tasks’ sheet. The daily tasks contains regular upkeep such as emails, being active on social media, publishing regular blog posts etc. Then in my hardback diary is my planning for all development work. When you have stuff to do each day over a decent length of time you almost force yourself to do it because you don’t have time to go back and do it – it’s now or never. I’ve found it’s a very effective way of pushing myself to get jobs done rather then put them off.

  11. I think we all procrastinate at times, and the procrastination happens for various reasons. Sometimes the reasons are legitimate, and other times not so much.

    In my opinion, one of the worst reasons to procrastinate is fear — and it is a common reason for my own procrastination.

    The primary thing I’ve procrastinated on lately is guest blogging, and there is a fear element for me there because it is a new thing for me. Probably once I’ve done it a couple of times, the fear will dissipate, which makes pushing through the initial fear and procrastination even more important.

    Thanks, Darren, for getting me thinking about how my procrastination impacts my bottom line.

  12. Thanks for this great post. I’m 2 seconds into a new mind map and the ideas are just pouring out. More for my to-do list, but potentially great for my wallet :)

    As always, awesome and inspirational.

  13. Wow .. so simple yet so powerful. I have my mailing list on my mind a lot … and to often put it off on the next day – not today. Thank you!

  14. Thank you so much for putting this out there. I know your plan was to show how doing that one thing can make a difference, but actually seeing how you have your emails set up was very helpful as well. I don’t have near the mailing list that you do, but I do need to learn to market effectively to them.
    Thanks again!
    Why don’t you just DO what you are supposed to?

  15. Thanks a ton for this useful list. Helped me a lot and looking forward to fetch as much as i can….

  16. A very useful post indeed. You are damn right about the prospect of email marketing. Once successfully set up, it can results in thousands of dollars every month.

  17. How did you get so many subscribers to your email list?

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