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.
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.
How to Ride out Traffic Swings
Traffic swings occur for every single blogger who ever blogged.
Literally, nobody is immune from seeing traffic stats swing high, low, back, medium and all over, in between. How do you ride out these swings? Blog for the love of blogging and see traffic as an extra, a bonus, or some add on to your blogging campaign. Make the blogging work, the reward. See all else as extra, or a bonus, and you become totally chill in response to inevitable traffic swings. Way too many bloggers become obsessed with traffic stats. Even more make the foolish mistake of obsessing over traffic stats on a daily basis. Guys; this is nuts. How can you focus on daily traffic swings when you know all good, lasting things take time, energy and a willingness to have a vision? Relax. Slow down. Calm down. Trust in yourself. Trust in the blogging process. Good things take time and generous service.
Imagine if Jeff Bezos panicked over day to day traffic and sales numbers on founding Amazon over 2 decades ago? Imagine how doing so would have crippled his campaign? Everybody experiences swings – usually, wild swings – as a newbie entrepreneur and blogger because no growth is perfectly linear. Over time, with generous effort and a blanket trusting in the blogging process, you traffic increases month over month. But day to day analysis is a silly way to assess how you are doing. How in the heck can you honestly make a blanket assessment of your blog over a 24 hour period? It’s only 24 hours! We measure success in thousands and tens of thousands of hours…..not 24 hours. Come back down to earth. Get your head out of the clouds. Nothing of meaning, of lasting value, unfolds in 24 hours. Please be gentle with yourself and be even more gentle with your silly mind because the mind wants fast results but your heart knows; successful blogging is a long term gig.
Check Stats Infrequently
Do you have an absolute blast checking stats? If so, check stats monthly. Allow momentum to gain by generously helping people daily, over a monthly period. Observe your traffic stats to iron out any kinks and to not be swayed by the day to day fluctuations leveling most bloggers, creating a roller coaster wave of emotions in mind. I barely check metrics because if I love what I do, trust in the process and trust myself, the more generous service I put into blogging, the more blogging generously serves me. Simple equation here. Why in the heck would I assess my success based on 24 hour increments? Blogging success hinges on thousands of hours of generous service, not 24 hour blogs of work, right?
Pump your breaks guys. Get uber busy helping your readers by creating as much quality content as humanly possible. Be generous. Focus heavily on giving, not getting, to allow your daily stat checking obsession to dissolve just a wee bit. Blogging become uncomfortable here and there but does get easier and easier the more often you give freely of your time and talents. The challenge is not to panic when you resist checking stats for a few weeks as most folks go bonkers mad, ready to explode, once they try to detach from frequent stat checking.
Do you want to make more money blogging by managing my energy?
Buy my eBook:
How Much Traffic Do You Need to Make Money Blogging?
But I do know this; if you ask this question you think like employees. Bad mindset for a blogger. Employees think putting in set amounts of work or reaching some specific goal results in receiving income. 100% of the time, this is NOT true as a professional or amateur blogger. Nobody has any idea how your traffic behaves. Is it targeted, or general? How did you attract your readers? Drilling deeper, it is impossible to surmise that a specific amount of traffic leads to some set amount of income.
Traffic and blogging income are only related in that, if you drive titanic amounts of targeted traffic to your blog, you will make some coin. But other than driving monstrous amounts of traffic – and any blogger asking this question is 10,000 to 20,000 hours away from this type of traffic – you need to understand that making money blogging is about generously helping people, building bonds, creating value, trusting in the process and developing your money mindset diligently, vibing abundance.
Do you want to make money blogging? Stop looking at traffic stats. Nobody pays you like an employer if you register 100 visitors daily to your blog. Stop thinking like an employee. Begin thinking like an entrepreneur. Help people generously. Make friends. Trust in the blogging process. Trust yourself. Think abundantly. Keep helping people. Develop your money mindset. Open multiple streams of income. Money will flow your way if you focus less on traffic stats and things, and more on generously helping human beings. Help people generously, patiently and persistently. Make money. This is the secret to successful blogging. But most bloggers fall lost in a world of stats and employee-level thinking, falsely believing generating a specific number of daily blog visitors results in some blogging employer paying them a set salary, a paycheck, for a goal achieved.
Do not fall prey to this common blogging mindset error in error. Money flows to you based on your generous service and based on your trust in the blogging process. Money can and will arrive but only after you relax, detach, help folks and give little or no thought to money, traffic and other blogging outcomes. The less you think about making money through your blog, the more you help people. The more you help people, the more money you eventually make. Successful blogging and making money is simply about helping tons of people for free to increase your blogging skills and exposure. Open multiple streams of income through which to prosper. Eventually, money flows to you.
Do not get distracted by ideas consistent with the blog post title question. Do not get caught up in blogging money and traffic outcomes. Stop looking for your blogging pay day and get busy helping people freely to learn the secret of effective blog monetizing. Money finds generous servants and money sprints away from bloggers routinely obsessed with making money. Sure you want to promote yourself at every turn. Goodness knows, I am always promoting my 100 plus eBooks and 2 blogging courses in all I do. Plus I promote my audio books and paperbacks, too. But my intent is mostly about helping as many bloggers as possible through guest posting, posting to my blog and via podcasting and broadcasting live. Prospering grows easier the more I help folks freely.
How to Develop Super Human Confidence in Your Blog
Baby steps, my Young Blogging Padawans.
New bloggers, baby step your way to being super human confident in your blog. Being wracked by doubt, with a little wild excitement mixed in, you cannot gain unreal confidence in your blog today. But slowly and steadily gaining clarity gives you the foundation upon which to become a highly successful blogger who feels bold, knowing your blog rocks.
I am about super human confident in my blog. I am developing the same level of confidence in my eBooks and courses, too. Why? Believing in my blog and premium offerings helps me to help more people and I also make more money too, which is neat, considering I live a worldly life.
Follow these tips.
1: Feel and Release Fears-Doubts Aligned with Your Blog
Before you become confident, you need to purge any lack of confidence. I know this feels bad but tis a necessary step to become super duper confident in your blog and in your premium offerings, too. Sit with doubts, those nasty traitors. Be with your fears about self, your writing ability and your blog presentation. Feel these unpleasant energies. Clear the energies. Proceed from a clearer, more confident, space. Confidence is borne of clearing a lack of confidence. Do messy energy work to become uber confident in your blog and in your blogging abilities.
2: Surround Yourself with Loving Bloggers
Loving, caring, compassionate bloggers see brilliance in you when you cannot seem to see it in yourself. Although all confidence issues flow inside-out, you need a network of supportive people around you who believe in you, versus being around haters or negative nellies. Never, ever, ever surround yourself with poverty conscious, failure conscious bloggers. Are you running a cyber charity? Are you a therapist? No! Negative people stuck in fear and failure throw negative cross currents into your being, shaking your already fragile confidence in your blog.
Hang with folks who believe in you and who believe in your blog. Pros share where and how you can improve but they always believe in someone who follows their dreams, and will instill that faith in you, and in your blog, too.
3: Write Your Butt Off and Publish Content Like the Dickens
Writing and publishing content is like breathing to me. I do not lose confidence in my ability to breathe because this is an automatic, auto-pilot, process. I just breathe without thinking about it. Ditto for writing and blogging. I wrote and blogged for 20,000 to 30,000 hours so now it is an automatic, easy process I have super human confidence in. I do not even think about it because I do it routinely, automatically, on a type of auto-pilot borne of making writing and blogging a habit.
If someone criticizes my blog, it is like someone criticizing my breathing; sounds weird, or funny, but it stirs me not, because I have equal confidence in each.
4: Do Energy Work
I do not play around; 3-4 hours of energy work daily allowed me to face, feel and release blog doubts, to become the clear, confident blogger I am today. Consider meditating, or doing yin yoga, or doing Kriya yoga, and power walking. Or do it all. I spend 3-4 hours doing each – collectively – daily, to expand my awareness so I can feel and clear doubts and so I can blog mainly from an abundant, generous, relaxed, detached vibe.
Be confident guys. Believe in your blog. Follow these 4 tips to succeed and to become super human confident in your blog.
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