How to create a quick + easy email challenge

Next week I’m hosting my first email challenge, Blog Out Knock Out, so I thought I’d share a peek behind the scenes with some tips on starting your own email challenge! Let’s break it down, step by step, shall we?

How to create a quick + easy email challenge from

Step 1: What do you need to get done?

The idea for Blog Out Knock Out simply came from something I needed to get done myself: Knock out some blog posts. As I was drawing up plans to update my ecourse this summer, I realized that to have the time and energy to work on that content, I needed to not be blogging regularly.

But I’ve done the blog break thing before, and it didn’t feel right this time. I enjoy blogging. I like the blogging schedule I have going on right now. And I didn’t want to lose the momentum I feel has been building in this little community.

What if I could get ahead on posting instead? What if I could build up a backlog of posts to carry me through the summer so I could focus my daily writing efforts on my other content? And why do it alone? With upcoming summer vacations, I knew I wasn’t the only one feeling the need to get ahead on blogging. So that was the first step of my challenge: Identifying something I needed to get done that I could invite others to join me in.

Step 2: Write down what you need to do to get it done and break it down into steps.

Once I knew what I wanted to do, creating the challenge was pretty straightforward — I just created the tools I needed to get the work done. Then I broke it down into steps for each day of the challenge.

A word of advice: Remember this is supposed to be fun. All you’re doing is bringing people together to get stuff done, and giving them — and yourself! — a little accountability along the way.

Step 3: Set it up

You don’t have to get too fancy with the setup. Create a new email list, copy the HTML for your sign up form, and put it up on a new page on your website with a little information about what you’re doing. Schedule your emails in advance, and when it’s time to start the challenge, you can enjoy it as a participant too!

I have to admit, when I have an idea, my brain goes into overdrive, and I start making things bigger — and more complicated — than they need to be. But if you’re creating a challenge for yourself, the point is to get the work done — inviting people to join you is just an added bonus. You can always improve the challenge in the future and turn it into a marketing tool for your business. But start with solving a problem for yourself first — after all, your problems aren’t unique.

So far this has been a really fun process for me, and I hope you’ll join us next week in the Blog Out Knock Out challenge. Let me know in the comments if you’re planning  your own email challenge!


  1. Danielle wrote:

    Such a simple, but great, idea! Plus it’s great that it helps both parties (the blogger and those joining). Now I’m brainstorming what I could start an email challenge for. Hmmm…

    Posted 6.4.15
    • I’ve always seen challenges and wondered what I could do — it wasn’t until I actually had something specific I needed to do myself, that I knew my readers would also need too, before I could create a challenge of my own!

      Posted 6.22.15
  2. I’m really getting excited about this challenge, and it’s great to get a sneak peek behind the scenes. I like the idea of integrating a public challenge into something that you were doing anyway – it makes it seem like (a little bit) less work!

    Posted 6.4.15
    • I think overall it took me 3 hours more than it would have if I had just done the work myself. But I think I accomplished more by turning it into a challenge, knowing that I had other people working on it with me.

      Posted 6.22.15
  3. Tessa wrote:

    I really wish I could’ve discovered your website earlier this summer 🙁 I would have loved to complete this challenge with you. It is definitely an awesome idea!

    Posted 10.13.15

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