Liz Wilcox
Single mom Liz Wilcox left teaching for blogging. She discovered a talent for email marketing and built a passive income business with low-cost memberships and "bite-sized" content. Twitter / Gia Worthy ❤️🖤💚 @classicallygia

A 36-year-old single mum spills the beans on how she transformed her mad email skills into a $40,000-a-month business.

Liz Wilcox has always been passionate about education and fostering learning. While her background isn't in traditional classroom teaching, she holds a bachelor's degree in education and a master's in educational leadership.

When she switched from teaching to blogging in 2016, Wilcox told Business Insider that she had to Google the word entrepreneur. "That's how ignorant I was," the 36-year-old single mom admitted. "I'm definitely an entrepreneur at heart. I just never had the word for it."

The career change emerged soon after Wilcox had her daughter. She embarked on a new venture after realising the traditional public school teacher path no longer suited her. Wilcox decided to explore the potential of income generation through blogging.

Inspired by the concept, she launched an RV travel blog, reflecting her lifestyle at the time. In addition to providing financial stability, the blog unearthed a hidden talent: Wilcox possessed an exceptional ability to craft compelling email content that garnered high open rates.

This aspect of digital marketing resonated deeply with her, as she often remarked, "I love email marketing. I always say, no one is more passionate than me about electronic mail." After three and a half years, Wilcox successfully sold her RV travel blog for $30,000.

She leveraged the profits from her blog sale to provide the initial capital to launch her email marketing business. "I tried to be pretty conservative with it, especially since it wasn't this giant sum, but it definitely helped me pay for software, pay for a small job from an outside contractor — any little things that I needed," she said.

Leveraging Her Educational Expertise

With a background in education, Wilcox naturally gravitated towards a beginner-friendly approach. "I have an education background. I'm used to working with beginners. I actually love beginners and love explaining this email thing," she said.

Furthermore, her market research revealed a resource gap catering to this specific audience. Wilcox observed a surge in online businesses during the pandemic era.

Consequently, the demand for her expertise in building email lists, retaining subscribers, and ultimately guiding them towards product sales mirrored this upward trend. This market shift led to the proliferation of "high-ticket, big online courses — 10 or 20 modules, 22 hours of content."

In contrast, Wilcox opted for a minimalist approach. "I said, I'm only going to give you so much content every single week; you don't need any of the other stuff — and I'm going to charge $9. That was almost unheard of, but I really stole that price tag from Netflix. Back in the day, Netflix used to only be $9."

The initial six to nine months following the launch of her coaching subscription proved to be a period of steady growth. While Wilcox possessed unwavering confidence in her product, the true sales confirmation, in a commercial sense, arrived in 2021, specifically during the Black Friday weekend sales period.

Wilcox devised a strategic sales tactic titled "the annual pass," offering a discounted year-long subscription with exclusive bonuses. She crafted a captivating email subject line: "I'm Only Selling 100 of These." While unsure of the outcome, Wilcox aimed to generate a sense of urgency and encourage immediate purchases.

Originally planned for a 48-hour window, the offer surprisingly sold out within two hours, generating a staggering $13,000 in revenue. This pivotal moment served as a turning point for Wilcox, solidifying her belief in the immense potential of her business model.

Riding high on the overwhelming success, Wilcox strategically reintroduced the "annual pass" sale just two weeks later, attracting an additional 225 members. The financial impact was undeniable, generating more revenue within a fortnight than most individuals earn in a year.

This pivotal moment marked a turning point for Wilcox's business. She had previously balanced her subscription model with individual client work. However, the overwhelming success of the second annual pass sale solidified her decision to dedicate her focus solely to the subscription service, effectively closing the door on individual client work.

Wilcox's business has flourished, reaching a membership base of 4,500 as of June 2024. This translates to a monthly subscription revenue stream of $40,500, translating to nearly half a million dollars annually.

Affiliate marketing, live workshops, and strategic partnerships further bolster her income. Business Insider verified her sales figures, which peaked at six during high-performance months like November's Black Friday period.

The Mompreneur Who Conquered Email

Wilcox has achieved a remarkable level of passivity within her business model. She estimates dedicating only "10 hours in the last 30 days" to its operation. As of June, Wilcox has meticulously crafted all the content required for the remainder of 2024. However, achieving this level of passivity necessitated years of dedicated effort upfront.

"The first two years of the membership, it wasn't overwhelming but it definitely wasn't passive. I worked every single week on creating the content, coming up with ideas, finding customers. Things like that used to take quite a bit of time," she said.

Wilcox also invested significant time establishing "evergreen marketing" strategies, such as guest podcast appearances. "The beauty of podcasts," she explained, "is their longevity. An interview recorded today has the potential to reach new listeners and convert them into members a year from now, or even further down the line."

Wilcox attributes the passive nature of her business to two key factors: her low pricing model and the strategic delivery of content in "bite-sized chunks."

"Everyone talks about passive income, but they keep growing. They say, 'I'll add this and I'll raise the price. I'll do this and I'll raise the price.' But to me, I never want to raise the price," she said. "It's a very low-responsibility type of membership, which lends itself to be able to be passive."

While Wilcox prioritises accessibility through her low pricing model, similar to Arizona Iced Tea CEO's commitment to keeping their cans at 99 cents, her business thrives on a system designed for long-term, passive income generation.

The entrepreneurship landscape is demonstrably changing, with women like Liz Wilcox and Russia's wealthiest woman, Tatyana Bakalchuk, proving success is attainable regardless of initial investment. Bakalchuk, for example, launched her billion-dollar e-commerce empire with a mere $700.