You want your blog to be helpful, but you don’t want to give everything you know away for free. When I first started out blogging, I wanted to dump everything I knew about a subject into a single blog post. For one, this is totally overwhelming to your readers. For two, doing this hurts you because you’re giving, giving, giving without asking for anything in return. You do want to be helpful to your readers, but you also have to look out for yourself and be fair about what you give away for free.
One way to get compensated for your knowledge is to sell online courses or offer coaching services.
The other way is to have people sign up for your email list in exchange for some extra knowledge or a helpful resource. This is called a content upgrade and it is a great tool to grow your email list.
Content Upgrade Ideas
A content upgrade should go hand-in-hand with your blog post. If you’re a food blogger, maybe your upgrade could be a printable recipe and shopping list or access to a whole library of printable recipes. If you’re a finance blogger maybe you include a budget worksheet.
Here are a list of content upgrade ideas
- Cheat Sheet
- In-depth Guide
- Resource Library Access
- Free Podcast
- Video Tutorial
Where to Put Content Upgrades
Anytime you’re asking someone to join your email list you should be offering them some sort of incentive. Instead of simply saying “get our monthly newsletter”, give your readers something enticing like “get access to my free resource library”.
General content upgrades should be located above the fold (a newspaper term referring to the top of the page, but in website terms it means before you do any scrolling) on your website and then again in the footer (the very bottom of your site) , or at the end of a blog post, or in the sidebar. Offer them something like the free resource library access, your 10 most popular recipes, etc. It should be something that relates to your whole blog, not just a single post.
In each blog post you should have another content upgrade that is more specific to the post. If your post is about budgeting you can use that budget worksheet as the upgrade or a printable version of the recipe that the post is about. You should mention this in your post at least once and it’s great to have an image of the upgrade as well so the reader can see what they’ll get. (Of course you don’t want it so legible that they don’t need to subscribe to get it.)
If you have a content upgrade that makes sense for multiple posts, you can reuse it in more than one post (work smarter, not harder).
The email list checklist and infographic linked below will show you where to put your content upgrades.
The Technical Side of Content Upgrades
Many content upgrades are PDF files (cheat sheets, worksheets, guides) but they can also be audio files, links to a video, or access to a library of resources.
You’ll want to use Mailchimp or a similar service to have your readers subscribe. Within Mailchimp you can set up different lists. Within each list you can assign a series of emails that gets sent to them. Within those emails you can give your subscriber a password to a resource library you have on your site, a link to your video or audio file, or a download link for your PDF file. We’ll be writing an in-depth post on how to do this soon, so stay tuned!
Upgrade Your Content
Now it’s time for you to start putting content upgrades into action! If you already have a bunch of blog posts, don’t feel overwhelmed. You can start with using content upgrades on your most popular posts and have a general offer for your overall site (on your homepage). If you have some posts that cover similar topics you could use the same content upgrade for each one.
Have any questions? Post them in the comments below. We’re happy to help!