Making $140K/mo with a travel deals website
This is an archive of the Starter Story newsletter, which is read by 126K people every week.
In each issue, we share the biggest business ideas that are working today, along with case studies of founders who are making millions every month. Sign up today ➜
Making $140K/mo with a travel deals website
Garth is the founder of I Know The Pilot, they send out airfare and accommodation deals every day. While other travel deal sites rely on paid subscriptions, they have been 100% free from day 1.
What started as a flight comparison site, they were forced to pivot once Skyscanner and Kayak expanded to Australia. Happy to move away from depending on SEO, created an MVP in two weeks for just $400 and linked it to a Mailchimp account with the determination of creating a big database of users that wanted those travel deals delivered.
At its height, it had over 780,000 email subscribers, and a traffic of over a million visits a month.
He clearly knows something about acquiring users and customers, throughout the story he emphasizes the importance of marketing. Love this quote from him: “Don’t just build it. They won’t come”.
Once you’ve read Garth’s interview, I’d like to recommend you these 3 links so that you can continue to explore the subject in more depth:
(1) TheTravelSecret is a $30K/mo membership platform where you can book hotels, cars, cruises, flights, vacation rentals, homes, activities and even travel insurance at a discount. Their biggest channel? Facebook ads.
(2) As you know, there are deals websites of other products. A very successful business that we’ve interviewed is Secret an $18K/mo platform with exclusive deals on services and software for startups. His co-founder Jean-Loup shares their 6 user acquisition channels rated from best to worst. Don’t miss this.
(3) Whether you’re working on a deals website or simply want to step up your email marketing game, we’ve created a guide on how to write a great special offer subject line with 120+ examples and 5 pro tips.
The Netflix of WordPress themes and plugins
This story honestly blew my mind. I can’t believe I haven’t heard of anything similar before. Martin is the creator of Festinger Vault, which is like Themeforest but 10x better (his words) and way cheaper. In short, you get access to 5000+ premium themes and plugins for just $9/month.
Currently, there are 2700+ members in the club. You’ve probably done the math already and figured that we’re talking about a $24K/mo business.
In one of our previous newsletters, we already talked about people making serious money with WordPress plugins.
Leveraging a big platform can be a great advantage. Even though it’s not ideal to rely on a third party, addressing a pool of users that are easy to target and may experience the same problems is way easier than starting from scratch and spending a fortune on ads.
These are some great stories from starters that had a leg up by building on top of a popular platform:
- Shopify: Preetam and Sankalp developed a $29K/mo WhatsApp plugin
- WordPress: Laura runs a $7K/mo lightweight project management tool for WordPress
- Gmail: Ajay is the founder of GMass a $300K/mo extension that makes it easy to send email campaigns using Gmail
- macOS: Alex and the team of Gikken build their whole $18K/mo business around extensions
Bonus: Check this guide on how to create your own WordPress plugin business.
Quote of the week
“Understand that things will go wrong and that is okay. Flexibility is key as your product may have to adapt and change to fit the market needs.”
Mohammed Khonizi, Founder - Panda Wish
The $100K/year no-code AMP email marketing tool
Mailmodo is an email marketing software that enables marketers to send app-like interactive emails designed to improve email conversions, increase engagement and help businesses grow.
They launched in January 2021 and have accelerated to $100K+ ARR in just five months. Great product and an awesome story full of learnings.
Bonus: If you want to expand your knowledge on email marketing, check our Beginner's Guide To Building A Successful Email Marketing Campaign.
Bonus II: Ollie, the co-founder of MindJournal, wrote an amazing post on How To Drive Sales With Email Marketing Campaigns.
This Police Lieutenant started a $3.5K/mo side business
Ryan is a Police Lieutenant for a large agency in Arizona. He started an online education business called Arrest Your Debt which is geared to help first responders get out of debt and start building wealth on any income. He offers personal finance advice to help people take control of their debt and to stop living paycheck to paycheck.
It started two and a half years ago and has slowly built it up to bring in about $3,500 a month and growing. He also travels to other police departments to offer in-person financial wellness training.
Whether you're a former police officer or currently working in the field and looking for a side hustle, there are plenty of lucrative business opportunities for you. Like the ones in this list with 15 lucrative side hustles & business opportunities for Police Officers.
- Tomedes (translation services company) - Translators
- Panda Whish (On-demand beauty & wellness platform) - Marketer
- The Locksmith Agency (Website development and SEO) - Website designer
- Mailmodo (Email marketing software) Sales Manager (US), Senior Software Engineer (Frontend and Backend), and UX Designer.
NEW! Find more opportunities from fellow starters in our new job board.
Thanks for reading!
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
Get our 5-minute email newsletter packed with business ideas and money-making opportunities, backed by real-life case studies.
I'm Pat Walls and I created Starter Story - a website dedicated to helping people start businesses. We interview entrepreneurs from around the world about how they started and grew their businesses.