If you’re reading this post, then chances are – you are trying to learn more about the content upgrade strategy.
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You may want to know what it is, how to use it, and more importantly who is using it.
Well, in this post, I am going to explain what content upgrade strategy you can use, by showing you nine different kinds of strategies.
What is a content upgrade? (in simple terms)
A content upgrade is a new list building method to attain the email addresses of your audience. It is contextual bonus content in one form or another that is provided to readers in exchange for their email address and/or other contact information – provided mostly within blog posts.
So, who were the initial users of content upgrades?
While I cannot put an exact name or date on the first use, there are a few veteran bloggers who have been successfully using content upgrades.
- Kim Roach at BuzzBlogger, has been using the content upgrade strategy for some time.
- Brian Dean at Backlinko, is also an original master of the strategy.
- And we cannot leave out Leadpages. who were one of the originators of content upgrade strategy.
Without further ado, here are the 10 Content Upgrade Strategies.
1: Using eBooks to build your email list
This is a key strategy that bloggers use; but not all these eBooks are created equal.
Some bloggers have made the mistake of providing a second rate eBook that can actually upset the recipient. Even though it is a “free eBook,” it needs to offer value, or the recipient may soon delete themselves off your email list.
If the content is great, they will stay on your list for more great information.
Make sure that your PDF ebook is formatted in such a way that it stays under 10MB. It works best to have 1 inch margins on all 4 sides, size 12 font that is easy to read (Georgia, Verdana and Gentium Book are all great choices), a title page, a table of contents and clear subheadings.
If you can have the cover professionally designed, that can be a huge plus.
Make sure your autoresponder and email service is setup correctly so the book is sent to your new sign up immediately. Also, you should always make sure your current subscribers receive the eBook before you promote it to new subscribers.
It also helps to share excerpts of your eBook in social media with a link to where they can attain it. Do make sure and end the eBook in such a way that you can make a 2nd volume at a later time that will pick up where you left off.
An example would be Michael Hyatt’s popular post, a detailed guide on the literary agents who represent Christian authors.
In fact, Michael Brito, a contributor to CMI, says in his book and his post that we as bloggers, need to think like a media company.
2: Content Upgrade Using A Checklist Strategy
I told you earlier about providing a strong call-to-action. One content upgrade strategy that has worked well with bloggers is a content upgrade, using a checklist strategy.
Essentially, you provide a checklist to your readers. They can print it out, and use it to ensure that they are following the system or program that you’ve educated them about.
Use infoboxes to call readers to download a checklist, using a lead-generation plugin like our Plugmatter Promo Box plugin. And use the checklist method throughout your blog post, so readers can subconsciously see what they will receive, when they provide you with their email.
Some bloggers who have had great results with the checklist method are the operators over at BlogVerve. Each post has a checklist in a simple infobox. Once clicked, the email of the reader must be given to attain the extra content.
Another live example is Brian Dean’s well-known post on the Skyscraper technique. He offers a checklist once in between the post, and then at the end.
Jesper at Me and You Marketing even shows how to make the checklist optin boxes without any HTML or CSS.
3: Resource List Content Upgrade
Another content upgrade system that you can use to kill two birds with one stone, is offering resource links.
Simply put, install boxes in which the reader can sign up to get links to sale items that directly relate to the blog post.
An example may be: you are writing a post about how to cook peach cobbler on a campfire. As you get to the area that explains the pan you cook it in, you offer the reader a list of the 8 best pans to cook that cobbler, and a range of other dishes.
They provide their email, and you send them the list that has these pans on Amazon with your affiliate link.
The writers over at authority hacker use this method on a regular basis. It doesn’t always have to be a sale item on Amazon. They gain subscribers just by offering resource links to authority sites that delve deeper into the subject matter.
4: Using Videos As Content Upgrades
Videos are one of the most popular pastimes, catching the attention of almost everyone. So why not use video as a content upgrade strategy?
You will want to test and change as you use this method until you find what works best for you, but these are several video content upgrade techniques:
- Add an annotation to your YouTube video sending the individual to an squeeze page where they give their email to receive more relevant videos and content.
- Use video in your newsletter email, and add a call to action to share the video having the annotation within the video.
- Upload video onto social media with a link to your optin page.
- Use a video on your landing page. This method has been proven to raise sign ups
These are just a few methods to use video as a content upgrade. Amy Porterfield the popular social media expert, does this really well with her content upgrade.
Bloggers have discovered how to get an overwhelming subscription rate just by offering contextual bonuses to their content. And you can do the same.
It is as simple as this: go through each blog post you have written. Create a simple bonus item that will be sent when the reader provides their email.
As an example, you write a post about the most prevalent plants that grow in your area.
Now you have an infobox that states if the reader provides their email, you will send a PDF of pictures of the 10 most medicinal home-grown plants available in their vicinity.
Bloggers have watched their email list grow rapidly using this simple method. For example, DeveshDesign.com on his post about ecommerce marketing, write on how to create product bonuses, and shows his results after using this strategy.
6: Guides As Content Upgrades
When a person is trying to do something they have never done before, they love having step-by-step instructions.
If you are educating people about a complicated project in your blog, you can get your reader’s emails by offering a guide that will lead them through the process. You can look back at the ebook setup process and follow that basic system to develop a guide.
I found these bloggers using the guide technique:
7: Download the Post
Neil Patel has mastered his content upgrade strategy to get reader’s email addresses. If you write a long and in-depth blog post that has amazing pictures, infographics and other great visual content, readers will be enticed to download the blog post in exchange for their email address.
This way they will share the post with friends and family even if they do not have an internet connection.
I suggest you just install each blog post you will do this with into a PDF file. You then tell those who want to download the post that it will be ad free.
8. Audio Content Upgrade
Offering audio content upgrades has turned into a popular content upgrade strategy. One of the main methods is the podcast. You have a basic summary of the podcast that may be an interview with an expert, or a live broadcast of some event. Whatever your imagination can develop can be used in audio content upgrades.
You can have people give their email to listen to your podcast or download an MP3 file. Just like video content upgrades, audio content .upgrades have become very popular.
Rob Cubbon has mastered this audio system where he offers readers audio versions of his eBooks at the end of his posts.
5 tips for using a content upgrade strategy to build your list:
While using any of the strategies mentioned here, keep these tips at the front of your mind.
Content upgrades always work best when they are specific to the blog post you have written. If your blog post is about SEO, but your content upgrade is on WordPress themes, you may not get the amount of sign ups as you would if the content upgrade related directly to SEO techniques.
Content upgrades work best when they are in a stand alone box that is separated from the text. It need not be “flashy,” but it should be noticeable.
- Call to action
The call to action needs to be clearly defined. Tell the readers what to do, and what they will receive when doing it.
People often need to see the message more than once to decide. Successful content upgrade methods repeat the offer 2, or even 3 times throughout the blog post.
Pop-ups, if used properly can lead to an amazing rate of sign ups. Leadpages’ Leadboxes have pop-up templates that have been tested and proven successful with content upgrades. Also, our Plugmatter Promo Box plugin uses Leadpages Leadboxes, and is a fantastic method to promote content upgrades.
As you can plainly see, many of these top bloggers have huge email lists and have content upgrades as one of their top techniques.
Apart from using innovative content upgrade strategies what I these bloggers do with their list building is – test, test and test some more.
They keep track of their results and try various methods until they find the content upgrade strategy that works best for them.
No matter if you are a blogger who is getting thousands of visitors daily, or a smaller operation that receives less readers, you can easily grow your subscribers and readership by using one or more of these content upgrade strategies.
Who Do You Surround Yourself with in Your Blogger Network?
Some bloggers cannot see the forest for the trees, like the beautiful, lush, thriving national park I visited in New Jersey recently.
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The masses tend to be caught up in fear, pain and struggle because they cannot see the big picture.
Birds of a feather flock together.
You have heard that one, right?
I circle the globe and change time zones like most folks breathe. Would I be wise to surround myself with people who tremble at leaving their home town or home neighborhood? Nope. Such people would teach me the world makes for a scary, dangerous place. I would get advice like play it safe, be comfortable, get a job, buy a home and take it easy, from such folks. Such folks also live a bland life because if you rarely or never leave your comfort zone, you cannot:
- face your fears
- serve humanity
- be a bright light for people to follow
- live your deepest, wildest dreams
Obviously, I chose to surround myself with bloggers who happily circled the globe as successful bloggers. I also surrounded myself with happy, successful, home body bloggers too; to learn the basics of building a rocking blog effectively. I learned how to succeed from my blogger friend network, sponging up their knowledge, inspiration and insight.
Meanwhile, if you surround yourself with new, struggling or failing bloggers you will get advice on how to struggle, fail, or flounder through your blogging day.
Do bloggers around you complain about losing $50 on blogging? Lose these zero’s immediately and surround yourself with bloggers who invest thousands of dollars on their blogs. High rollers teach you to succeed. Broke jokes teach you how to fail.
Do bloggers around you see making $25 as being a huge amount of money? You better lose the low-aiming crowd to surround yourself with bloggers who see $1000 and $10,000 and more as making coin.
Do bloggers around you circle the globe as swash buckling travelers? Check out this photo from my trip to Vietnam. Kong: Skull Island was filmed here.
Time to ditch the comfort zone crowd to hang with adventurous types.
Don’t get me wrong; I celebrate every cent I make online. But if you think I’m placing a sponsored post for less than $1000, you are insane. Like a famous super model who said she didn’t get out of bed for anything less than $10,000 a day, you need to develop a prosperity consciousness that demands big money and ignores appearance of poverty, lack, limitation and fear.
Who Do You Hang With?
Who do you count as blogging buddies? Happy, highly successful, prospering bloggers? You better, to increase your success.
For example, observe my blogging paperback on profiting. The aftermarket price is $45 USD. If most or all bloggers in your network would feel uncomfortable receiving $45 in royalties for a paperback, you better lose that network and surround yourself with bloggers who believe in abundance. I know John Chow feels comfortable receiving $45 for anything he offers online. Who cares? It is just money. It is only money.
Surround yourself only with bloggers who:
- have posture
- have authority
- charge top dollar
- profit freely
- prosper freely
- exude confidence
- have a highly developed prosperity consciousness
You learn from the best, gain inspiration from the best and become the best by surrounding yourself with the best bloggers on earth.
But you need to be honest in who you choose to hang with in your blogging circles. Be clear. Be truthful with yourself. Maybe you feel comfortable trading comments with struggling bloggers you befriended 10 years ago but nothing spectacular happens for you if you surround yourself with struggling bloggers, being firmly fixed in your comfort zone.
Release all bloggers who are not happy and prospering.
Fill your blogger friend network with empowered, inspired, happy, successful, prospering bloggers.
Just your blogging success at stake.
Are You Chasing the Flavor of the Month?
My first fundamental of successful blogging focuses you on being present.
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All of our power resides in the moment.
None of our power resides in the future or past because neither exists.
Time is illusion.
Only Now is real.
Look at that brilliant featured image. I snapped it from the front porch during our trip to Fiji. Sweet things happen when you are in the moment, focusing all power on the present.
This marks my 796th blog post on Blogging Tips. I feel grateful to Zac for the opportunity to serve you. Plus I feel grateful for all success that flowed to me through these guest posts.
How in the heck did I write and publish nearly 800 guest posts on one blog?
I am in the moment, mostly. I am present. Plus I never, never, ever chase the flavor of the month.
Bruce Lee and Blogging
Being patient, persistent and present helps you tap into immense powers, including the power of being creative *and* prolific. See my 800 blog posts on Blogging Tips as evidence of such power. Toss in my 2,008 articles (between posts and pages) on Blogging From Paradise and you understand: focusing on one core task, or core purpose, in the present, leads to amazing things.
Bruce Lee spoke of fearing not the man who practiced 10,000 kicks once, but he did fear the man who practiced one kick 10,000 times. He embodied this mindset in his genius, Renaissance Man type ways.
Lee’s wisdom and physical prowess are both timeless because he understood and lived this great truth: do 1 thing so frequently, with a focused energy, being in the moment, that you do it incredibly well. He understood the truth of how I live my life: where your attention and energy goes, grows.
The Flavor of the Month
Most bloggers struggle because they practice 10,000 kicks once, chasing hot niches, running after trends, and choosing to blog today, and podcast tomorrow, because everybody runs a podcast these days. Wait a second; live video reigns supreme? Time to become a live video expert. Meanwhile, as you jump from niche to niche, and from blogging to podcasting to live videos, I just wrote and published 800 posts on Blogging Tips alone. Plus I wrote and published 1,000 more guest posts on other blogs.
While most bloggers chase hot trends, profitable niches and the latest game changing opportunity, guys like Alonzo and I thrive by doing one thing alone so we do it incredibly well.
Success is yours, but success is not an overnight or week-long endeavor.
Stop chasing hot niches. Visualize your dreams in detail. Focus on your blogging wins. Invest in coaching and courses from top bloggers. Surround yourself with positive vibes and positive people.
Write, publish and connect with top bloggers by helping top bloggers.
Success Finds Specialists
I took a nap this afternoon. A calm, peaceful breeze kisses my face right now as I write and enjoy the day.
Imagine if you could work from home every day? Visualize that fun and freedom.
Specialists are the only folks who work from home full time. People who do 1 thing persistently, practicing this skill, so they become super skilled in a single, specialized niche.
I gave all of my professional energy to being a blogger for the past 10 years. I became really skilled at blogging because I never chased the flavor of the month.
Avoid program hopping, niche hopping and all forms of flavor-chasing.
Do one thing. Do it well.
What Is the Incredibly Easiest Way to Drive Blog Traffic?
Drive traffic to other blogs.
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Give what you want.
Help people get what they want and people help you get what you want.
I have found this to be the easiest way to drive traffic to my blog because friends I made through cross-promotion promote me around the clock, 24-7, 365. Easy peasy.
I checked my Twitter a few moments ago. During the past 3 hours I noticed 11 mentions, engagements and retweets collectively. 3 hours, 11 engagements, more blog traffic.
I drive a heavy amount of traffic to my blog by driving a heavy amount of traffic to fellow bloggers who drive a heavy amount of traffic to Blogging From Paradise every day, all day long.
The more you give, the more you get.
The hardest way to drive blog traffic is to try to do it solo. Imagine publishing one post and hitting social share buttons. Even if I do a fine job writing the post, gaining traction solo is tough because successful bloggers know: 1000 is better than 1. 1000 blogging buddies promoting you 24-7, 365 beats you promoting yourself or you trying to write and publish 5 to 10 or more posts daily.
I used to publish 60 posts daily between 2 blogs. Short videos and short posts created the bulk of the content. I had a difficult time succeeding because you can only do so much solo. I published 60 posts in a cyber cave. Nobody listened to me because I did not listen to anybody. But making friends by driving traffic to other blogs made blogging easier and easier for me.
My blogging buddies – who appreciate me promoting them – freely:
- link to me on their blogs
- retweet my posts
- share my posts on Facebook
- share my posts on LinkedIn
- send my blog posts to their email list
That my friends is a lot of traffic flowing to my blog easily, freely and exponentially.
Every time a blogging buddy promotes you to their tribe you gain exposure to one more large, targeted audience. Imagine when you gain exposure in front of 10, 50, 100 and 1,000 or more audiences daily? This is serious traffic! Plus it is easy traffic because your prime duties of reading posts and tapping social share buttons, or, linking to fellow bloggers on your blog, are quite easy.
How to Drive Traffic to other Blogs
I spent a fair chunk of today driving traffic to other blogs.
I promoted some of my blog posts linking to my blogging buddies. I also retweeted and Facebook shared posts from other bloggers.
Each share lays the foundation for new blogging friendships and fortifies old blogging friendships. Every time I promote Donna Merrill or Alonzo Pichardo, we bond more deeply. Easy way to keep friendships strong and to grow your blog traffic exponentially.
You Will Run out of Time Solo But You Never Run out of Friends
Eventually, I ran out of time each day trying to do it all by myself. No human is super human. No human can be in a billion places at once, by their own steam.
But you never run out of friends if you are generous. During a reasonable lifetime, no blogger will befriend all 7 billion humans. You will however keep meeting friends every day if you drive traffic to other blogs every day.
As more folks befriend you, more folks promote you. What an easy way to increase traffic to your blog. Your ever expanding friend network does much of the legwork for you and also drives traffic to your blog:
- when you sleep
- when you travel
- when you spend time offline with family and friends
Sounds sweet, right?
Drive traffic to your blog easily.
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