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9 Content Upgrade Strategies to Skyrocket Your Email List Building

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If you’re reading this post, then chances are – you are trying to learn more about the content upgrade strategy.

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.

But first..

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

1.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.

2.Check list strategyEssentially, 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.

3. Resource list

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

4. Video content upgrade

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.

5: Bonuses

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.

5.bonus

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. a)guides CU

7. b)guide 2

7. C)guide 3

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.

 

8. Chwat sheetThis 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.

9.audio

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.

  1. Specific

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.

  1. Noticeable

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.

  1. 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.

  1. Repeat

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.

  1. Pop-ups

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.

PROMO BOXTo conclude:

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.

My name is Foxy, and my job is to sniff out the good guest bloggers from the ones who aren't. This post was written by a contributing author to Blogging Tips. If you would like to learn more about becoming a writer (not one-time guest blogging) for BloggingTips.com, please contact us.

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Blogging

Why Does It Take Time to Be a Successful Blogger?

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Successful bloggers implore you: it takes time to succeed.

I advise following your fun, helping people generously, trusting the process and seeing the blogging journey through. I mention in my eBook how time saving tips make your journey easier.  But in the same regard, this journey takes time. Impatient bloggers weed themselves out. Generous, patient, persistent bloggers succeed. Sometimes, successful bloggers realize not the time element and how it works, and never explain in detail why it takes time to succeed. Why do you need to be patient? Why does it take time to succeed? I uncovered 3 reasons why it takes time to be a successful blogger.

1: It Takes Time to Practice a Skill So You Become Really Good At It

Today, I can write 10 to 20 blog posts daily if I so desired. I could easily create 20 videos daily.

10 years ago, I could write 1 blog post weekly and feared doing videos, to where, I never recorded videos as a newbie blogger.

Generous practice plus time made me prolific. Nobody gains skills in 1 day. Humans gain skills practicing 1 craft daily for months, then years. I love basketball. A handful of NBA players disclose how terrible they played after picking up a ball for the first time, 5 or 10 years, prior. Patient, persistent practice and time polished their skills to the point they became successful enough to go pro. Blogging is no different. Successful bloggers practice daily for years before being skilled enough to become a pro.

2: It Takes Time to Gain Big Exposure

Gaining big exposure for success takes time. Every creative act expands your presence a little bit more but those little bits add up over time. New bloggers blind themselves to this concept, believing 1 day and 1 blog post gives them successful exposure enough to make money and gain clout. Nope. Time reveals persistently generous bloggers because getting massive exposure requires months to years of generous, patient, persistent service.

No human can begin blogging at 8 AM as a new blogger and land a Forbes appearance by 12 noon. Nobody knows you. You have no exposure. Humans require time to create and connect in enough spots to gain success promoting exposure. Relax. You are on the way. But allow for time and generosity to leverage your presence. Time is required to be seen in many places.

3: It Takes Time to Uncover and Feel and Release Fears

Do you want to know why I wrote this post? I uncovered this reason a few moments ago. I noticed one income stream yield lesser amounts over the 2 days prior and felt a tiny but palpable surge of fear. Aha! I got you. Feeling fear, I released it and proceeded. I blogged for 10 years. I still feel tiny fears if an income stream yields less money, day to day, based on my expectations. But I needed to face this fear to make more money. New bloggers generally have deep fears concerning money, success and freedom. It takes time to feel and release fears concerning making more than $1 a day until you vibe at the $100, $1000 or $10,000 monthly – or more – level of blogging income.

Time unearths fears for feeling and releasing, to reach the next level of blogging success.

Be patient.

Time is a great blogging ally.

All you need flows to you over time.

Generously create, connect, follow your fun and nudge into fears.

Success is yours.

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Blogging

What Does Your Blogging Network Look Like?

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I do nothing on my own.

Everything is a team effort.

As I teach in my blogger networking eBook, the way to increased, ever-expanding blogging success is to look for, grow and tap into a huge, loyal network of blogging friends through the power of generosity. Be generous. Help people. Shout out fellow bloggers. Release expectations. Get super connected. Most of us understand this is how to succeed online; be generous and get connected because 100 is better than 1. 100 friend efforts are far better than your effort alone.

One basic problem arises for most new or struggling bloggers: overcoming the deep fear of networking. For odd reasons, humans cling to pulsating fears concerning reaching out to other human beings. Bloggers fear being rejected, failing, being criticized or giving up credit for their blogging success. Honor that fear. See how far you get on your own steam. Not only that, the agony of micro-managing makes you sick, broke and quite dumb, if you are honest with yourself. How silly of you! Why do everything on your own today? Why not comment genuinely on a few blogs, retweet a few blogger blog posts and mention a few bloggers on your blog? Begin networking. Build a network. Succeed online.

What’s It Look Like?

Be honest, my blogging sweet robbins. What does your network look like? Is it even there? Do you even have a network? Many bloggers publish a post, share it to Twitter and Facebook and sit there, dumbfounded. Do you honestly believe your network just materializes out of thin air? Nope. But if you buy my eBook, follow my 13 steps and build your blogger buddy network by being generous, you can land on famous blogs, earn coin and drive traffic to your blog, too. Everything hinges on your honesty. Admit having only 1, 3 or zero blogging buddies. Truths set you free to network generously and successfully.

How to Grow Your Network

Simple. Be generous. Begin now. Publish a thoughtful, personalized comment below. Be seen. I cannot read all comments but the thousands of people who read blogging tips tend to read comments. Somebody eventually reads your blog comment if you comment genuinely and generously every day on Blogging Tips after reading posts. Someone clicks your link because they love your comment and want to meet you. One visit to your blog later, you may have a blogging buddy, or even a client or customer. Or maybe you have a loyal reader. This is networking 101; be generous, engage people and you build your network.

But do not stop after commenting on Blogging Tips. Branch out. Go wide. Read and comment genuinely on other blogs in your niche. Make more friends. Life gets easier and easier if you have more blogging friends in your corner because these folks inspire you to keep going, plus your friends amplify your presence exponentially.

Be generous and genuine. Reach out to more bloggers every day. Networking is a bit uncomfortable sometimes if you look for immediate returns but gliding through these temporary feelings helps you tap into something special with your blog. Connected bloggers have no issues growing their blogging business because 100 is better than 1. Remember that they next time you try to go lone wolf with your blogging campaign.

 

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Blogging

Are You Leveling Up with Your Blog?

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Play up.

Every time I reach a new level with my blog, I notice another level invites me. I do not work harder. I never work longer. I love what I do and keep generously helping people but think of how to go wide as I level up. Think of that one for a moment: consider how to go wide, and what it means.

I write and publish multiple posts to my blog. Each post gains views. Going wide. 4 quality posts beats 1 quality post. But I go even wider by writing and publishing multiple guest posts daily. I speak to 2 or 3 or more different blogging audiences, going wider and wider, increasing my exposure and expanding my presence online. But I go even wider as I level up; I contribute on Quora and on the Warrior Forum daily. Leveling up is uncomfortable sometimes but always freeing. Leveling up helps you see greater success versus hitting blogging ceilings.

Be More Generous to Make More Money and to Avoid Lulls

I speak to bloggers who suffer lulls. One client signed up 4 months ago but no clients signed up since. The appearance of a 4 month client drought, or lull, simply indicates a lack of leveling up and a lack of generosity. Even if no clients signed up during your 4 months of leveling up, your eBook sales would triple. Audio book sales would jump, too. Plus you would open 2 new income streams. This just happens. Be generous and blogging will be generous to you.

Being more generous by helping more folks across multiple platforms feels uncomfortable sometimes. Who wants to go wide when doing so means leaving your comfort zone on a daily basis? I love blogging. But I feel uncomfortable writing my third post on a  train ride to Connecticut. I will go super wide when I reach the destination though, publishing a combo of posts and guest posts to level up effectively, reaching more people in less time.

Most Bloggers Never Level Up

Most bloggers write and publish a post to their blog weekly. Struggles ensue because they never level up after publishing weekly for 3-6 months. Be more. Serve people generously. Go wide. Publish blog posts and guest posts more frequently to expand your reach. Increase blogging traffic and profits.

Why do you think most bloggers never make $100 during their careers? Few bloggers regularly level up, playing small to be comfortable, dodging their fears. Of course, their fears manifest as 0 dollars and 6 blog visitors daily for the next 12 months UNTIL they level up, go wide, be generous, leave their comfort zones and face their fears. This is not a fluffy, pleasant process but we all pay a fear tax to level up and to become successful bloggers.

Pay Up to Level Up and to Play Up

Pay up by spending time and generous energy reaching as many people as possible through blogging. Guest post. Publish more frequently to your blog. See increased blogging responsibility as more fun and freedom and service. I enjoy freedom offline because I level up online. I pay up, level up and play up in higher blogging circles because all top bloggers paid the same dues to reach the top. Why do top bloggers hobnob with one another? Top bloggers respect how other top bloggers pay their dues on this blogging journey and connect deeply with one another, co-promoting each other’s success.

The fun and freedom you experience through blogging is well worth the effort and discomfort of leveling up.

If you need a guide for facing blogging fears, grab my blogging mindset eBook on the way out.

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