Growing an email list is a pain in the ass and rightfully so. It’s no longer enough to send out weekly newsletter as a way to get their attention. You need to go the extra mile to provide site visitors with immense value for them to sign up to your list.
Content upgrades provide the value that tips the scales to your favor. By giving them something in return immediately for signing up, you grab their attention and get them to subscribe to your list.
However, it’s not enough to offer just any content upgrade. You need to make sure that the incentive email contains actual useful information about the topic. If not, there’s a risk of your new subscribers to opt out from your list due to your poor content upgrade.
To help you make the most of your blog’s list building strategy, below are content upgrade ideas you can create for your blog so you can generate more subscribers for your list and help grow your traffic and sales.
Content upgrade ideas you need to use for your blog’s list
1. Cheat sheet
It’s difficult to cover everything about a topic in a single post. For example, if you’re writing a post on how to promote your blog the right way, you can’t break down the exact process of promoting your content on a social media platform. You can turn it into a post on its own so you can create more content on your blog.
Another alternative is by turning it into a cheat sheet that visitors can download from the post once they sign up to your list. The cheat sheet contains hacks about a specific topic depending on what the visitors wants to know.
Going back to the previous example, since the post is about promoting their blog, your content upgrade can be about growth-hack tactics for Pinterest blog promotions. You can details the exact steps on how you can effectively share your content and drive more traffic to your site using this image sharing social media site.
A downloadable cheat sheet about a related topic you weren’t able to cover on the post increases the chances of people signing up to your list. This way, you grow your list and they get their hands on the cheat sheet. It’s a win-win!
Your visitors want something quick and useful for their content upgrade. After reading a long and exhaustive post about a topic from your blog, for instance, they want to cleanse their pallet by downing the information you gave them into actionabl bits and pieces.
That’s why checklists are great content upgrades because they complement your long-form content by summarizing them into different points they need to check. For example, if you listed down the many SEO factors that bloggers need to observe, you can create a checklist for the factors that people can download. Therefore, instead of browsing your post to see the different factors, they can use refer to your handy checklist to find out which SEO factors to keep in mind.
If you want to establish clout in your industry, then you need to create signature content that will put you in the map. You can’t just churn out content that’s been done to death by your competitors. To stand out, you need to develop reports and use them as content upgrades.
Reports are extremely valuable because they are unique in the truest sense of the word. By putting in the hard work and interpreting the information from the data you collected, you can create content that stands head and shoulders from the pack.
A great report to create is running your own tests or doing a quick survey and giving them away as freebies. For example, Express Writers wrote a data-driven post about the most shareable blog topics. They presented the topics backed by research to help make their case. While they made it a post, you can use the same strategy to create your report and use it as a content upgrade.
Compared to other content upgrade ideas in the post, reports are very difficult to create. You need to be produce substantial proof to back up your claims and double-check your information so everything you say is true. However, the rewards are just as great. Creating a great report will help grow your email list faster than any type and catapult you influencer status.
Some people need motivation to help them with their needs. For example, people struggle to write blog posts regularly. There are lots of factors that explain why they find it hard. However, you as a blogger are not responsible for explaining why. Your job is to show them how to generate posts for their blog like it’s second nature.
This is what Sark e-Media did with their 30-Day Blogging Challenge. For the next month after subscribing to their list, people will receive daily emails on how they can build a blogging habit and churn out excellent posts for their blog.
This example of a challenge content upgrade allows you to continuously engage with your subscribers over a period of time. As part of the challenge, you can invite them to your Facebook Group to discuss the posts they’ve written or sell them affiliate products they can use to help them blog better.
As a purveyor of knowledge, you can evangelize your visitors by handing out worksheet for them to fill out and answer. The worksheets will help them organize their thoughts so they have a clearer picture on what to do next. Worksheets essentially helps people overcome a hurdle in their lives or career. As a blogger, your worksheets are a godsend to them.
An example of a worksheet is a downloadable editorial calendar. To help people blog on time, they can fill out the calendar with the post they plan to write on that day. The worksheet can include other factors about the post such as target audience, keyword, question to answer, and others. By presenting the worksheets as a way to neatly plan their blogging schedule to a tee.
Which among the content upgrade ideas do you want to do?
Each of the content upgrade ideas above work best under certain circumstances. You can’t just choose at random and expect stellar results for your email list. You need to check what your audience needs first and how to present the content upgrades before settling on which type to create.
However, you can enjoy more sign-ups to your blog email list if you use the content upgrade ideas correctly. If your blog is dying for email subscribing, then any of the ones above will make your email rain with sign-ups!
How to View the Relationship Between Your Blog and Social Media
Alonzo Pichardo says it best.
“Buy your own domain and hosting and make that your own main hub. Social media is a branch of the marketing tree. That’s all.”
He shared my video on Instagram. Video registered 3,926 views. Here it is:
I filmed the video because I spent 20 minutes clicking profile links of folks who Liked my updates. I found a few self-hosted WordPress blogs, read and commented on these blogs. Relationships established. But most Instagram users:
- had no blog to speak of
- linked to YouTube
- linked to Facebook
For the heck of it, I spent a good 3 minutes looking for one user’s blog. I found an obituary (he was young and alive but shared a common name) and a collection of spammy “look up his information sites.” He claimed to be a blogger via his Instagram bio but he is no more a blogger than I am a werewolf.
Think about Alonzo’s advice; the blog is your main hub, or root, or base of your tree, and social media acts like branches. Offshoots, nothing more.
Instagram owns Instagram. Instagram:
- can kick that kid off of Instagram for 1 of a billion reasons, in a heartbeat
- WILL change their algorithm, soon enough, forcing the kid to change his strategy, uprooting his online world
- forces the kid to make his brand, Instagram’s brand
Not investing is a domain and hosting is about the biggest mistake you can make online because not owning your site hands your power, your decision making, your branding potential and your monetizing potential to someone else.
Social media is a branch. Spend most of your time daily working on your blog and networking with other bloggers who own their self-hosted, WordPress blogs. Unless they change their values or quit blogging, this is the most sound, intelligent approach to blogging.
Use social media for a little bit daily to:
- tag bloggers you mention on your blog
- help bloggers in groups related to your niche
- share your blog posts
- share other blogger’s blog posts
You are a blogger. Not an Instagrammer. You are a blogger. Not a Facebook-er. Spend most of your day on blogs. Not social media.
Marios Tofarides runs an authority blog on eBooks. Not in a billion years could he make his social media profiles look anything like his branded, self-hosted blog. Paula at Contented Traveler runs a first class travel blog. She could never re-create her blog’s branding, style and voice on social media. Sarah Arrow built a well known brand and thriving business by making her blog stand out, through creating, through connecting and through smart blog branding. Impossible to do this, through social media alone.
Pay Up to Play Up
I can mention your blog on Blogging From Paradise, a DA 47 blog read by many influencers.
I can mention your blog on Blogging Tips, a DA 48 blog read by many blogging influencers.
But I never link to free platform blogs because no influencer or experienced reader trusts information on free platforms. If you cannot invest $3 a month, you carry too much of a fear-lack-poverty conscious energy, that seasoned readers and top bloggers know to avoid.
I never link to a social media profile because….social media is not a blog!
Pay up to play up.
Invest in a domain and hosting. Move up in blogging circles. See social media as branches, using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as secondary or even tertiary means for helping people. Spend most of your time on your self-hosted, WordPress blog and networking on other self-hosted, WordPress blogs.
1 Failure Conscious Tendency That Makes Blogging Tougher
Some bloggers cannot accept a good thing when they get it.
I have linked to tens of thousands of bloggers over my decade online. I love my friends. I take care of my friends.
99.999999% of bloggers are beyond grateful to get a backlink from an established, pro blogger like myself for many reasons:
- Blogging From Paradise has a DA of 47; that’s some backlink juice!
- Blogging Tips has an even higher DA; 48 I believe, meaning more backlink juice
- you bond more deeply with me, and forming a deeper friendship allows me to open doors for you, via guest posts, more backlink mentions, interviews, prospering partnerships
- greater blog traffic through exposure
- greater blog profits through exposure
- greater brand awareness through exposure, and also, your blog and brand aligns with Virgin, Forbes and Fox News, sites I have appeared on, creating greater trust
I could go on for 45 minutes. The list of benefits are endless. There are absolutely no downsides to being mentioned by me, on my blog or via guest post. Yet, some folks, because of their own fears, cannot accept these gifts freely and gratefully. Hey guys; I luv ya’s. This is not a rant, but a lesson in seeing good (versus fear/downside), expressing genuine gratitude and learning how to move up in blogging circles, by being fully grateful to receive the above gifts and by purging any fears or lack of gratitude you feel, when a world renowned blogger links to you.
Virtually all bloggers are grateful for receiving the above list of benefits. Donna Merrill is a blogging high roller and she responds to virtually all my tags and mentions. I would never expect her to do so because we are great friends, and she is so busy, but that is heart-filled blogging.
But a few bloggers clinging to deep fears have responded to my generous backlinks a few different ways:
- some fear the linking structure is not neat and orderly
- some fear they are not getting enough link juice via Google, and ask me to log into search console and make changes or whatever
- some fear they are not getting enough links to a specific site or permalink, and ask me to edit the post, to change the link
All above motivators are fear, and fear is not real, so if you honor these fears and react-respond in the above fashion, you judge things or make a request from an illusory, untrue, false, totally not real energy of loss, lack, limitation.
That fear has 100% to do with you, and nothing to do with me. I will keep being generous with my blogging buddies, but I seek out loving buddies, not those weighed down a bit too heavy by fear, so fear-bloggers gotta go, along with their links, going forward. Nothing personal, as I love and respect these folks. Just an energy thing.
We See the World as We See Ourselves
You see the world, you see other bloggers and you see their linking strategies as you see yourself.
If someone fears they won’t get enough traffic or clicks or Google juice through my linking strategy, that has nothing to do with the guy featured on billionaires’s blogs, and living his dream, circling the globe. That has to do 100% with you, your fear of loss, your fear of not enough, your trust issues, and other deep, fear based energies, begging to be unearthed and felt.
I am the mirror. You are the source. You are cause, and effect.
Picture break! Me during my trip to Fiji with my friend Olivia.
My dear friend Alonzo Pichardo sent me a Message months ago. He was deeply grateful I had linked to him 50 plus times on Blogging Tips alone. He is grateful! Does it surprise you that the guy runs a highly prospering business and leads a huge, loyal following?
David Boozer routinely sends me Messages sharing how grateful he is for my eBooks, courses, content and mentions, writing from the heart. More gratitude! Does it surprise you that one of his YouTube channels has registered millions of plays, alone?
Alonzo and David do not ask me to change links or put stuff into Google console or to change my linking style; they know a gift when they see it.
Vishwajeet Kumar feels incredibly grateful for each backlink I give to his helpful blogging resource, and expresses his gratitude on social media.
This is how you move higher in blogging circles, to see more success, versus moving lower, through fear-based lack of gratitude, and, losing link mentions.
Guys; see the blessing in a coveted backlink. Be grateful. See the good. Move up in the blog-0-sphere. Experience increased blogging success.
Connect to Get Connected
Do you want to know how I became a connected travel blogger?
I patiently read posts from a brilliant group run by Mapping Megan, published genuine comments and promoted my fellow bloggers.
That is it. I put in serious work. I also published helpful content on my blog, too.
Bloggers mistakenly believe in “getting connected”. Like being connected is a passive act, that just happens. By luck, or by lame pitches.
Do you want to get connected enough where you get featured on world famous blogs? Invest in my Teachable course. I teach you how to do it without pitching anybody.
I created the course after bloggers emailed me asking if I can feature them on Forbes, or asking how much it costs to get a link on Forbes. All these bloggers made the critical error of believing asking someone for a favor or feature – quite a passive, lazy, mindless act – is how you “get connected.” If this were true, 30,000,000 bloggers would be featured on Forbes, Forbes’ reputation sinks into the sewer and nobody would want to get featured on Forbes anymore.
Do you see how foolish and silly strategies like asking people to get featured on world famous blogs waste your time? Like me asking the NY Knicks for a try out, after I only had skills good enough to be a junior college basketball player. Foolish.
Passive Versus Active
Getting connected is passive. Not gonna work.
You EARN connections by connecting yourself to human beings, and you connect yourself by featuring skilled bloggers on your blog, by mentioning them and sharing their content on social media and by expecting nothing in return. I mention Paula Pins the Planet because she’s a first class travel blogger. I connect myself to her. Friendship forms. I connect myself to Rhonda Albom by linking to her on my blog and by tweeting her posts. As more and more friendships form, blossom and grow, my friends:
- promote me
- endorse me
- help me
- inspire me
- buy my eBooks
- hire me
People then say, “Hey, Ryan is a connected blogger! He knows everybody.” Fools believe me being connected just….happened. Passively. Lost folks believe I am lucky to be connected. The blogging brain dead believe I began blogging from a connected, influential space, when I knew more cats than bloggers 10 years ago, a lost blogging soul who did not know what a blog, was.
I spent 10 years of my life connecting myself to bloggers by promoting them without asking for anything in return. I help skilled bloggers because skilled bloggers provide you with helpful resources. Naturally, this level of generosity and calm, cool detachment helped me pop up on the radar screen of high profile brands. Kinda happens, when an army of influential blogging buddies endorses you, promotes you and vouches for you.
Connecting yourself to successful bloggers requires:
You pay a specific tuition for being connected; helping influencers without giving thought to your own needs. Then, over months, then years, you become incredibly connected, powerful and influential, based on your generosity and willingness to shine the spotlight on other bloggers, like Moss Clement. Peep his generosity. This is how to get connected. Be a tireless supporter of other bloggers, like how David Boozer and Alonzo Pichardo do it. These guys are generous! David promoted me more than I promoted me. That’s saying something. Then, Alonzo and a bunch of folks found me through David, and these blogging pros generously promoted me. I keep promoting them too, returning the generosity these folks have shown me.
Do you want to know my secret for being hyper connected?
Take care of your friends!
Think little of your own needs. Friends will help take care of you.
Connect yourself to people. Promote them. Expect nothing. Be super connected.
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