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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

3 Tips for Bonding with Blogging Influencers

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Forget traditional influencer marketing. We want to go deeper.

Bloggers teach influencer marketing from a less genuine space sometimes. Imagine learning how to try to get someone to do something for you. Manipulation marketing. Fear-based marketing. Problems arise; spam folders become your landing spot. I observe a decent percentage of influencer marketing emails in my spam folder because fear-pitches get labeled as spam and become spam, 100% of the time.

What is the solution? Learn how to bond with blogging influencers.

I remember people who befriend me. I admire people who endorse me or promote me. I appreciate people who buy my course or eBooks. I love people who generously help me for months. Guess what? Bonding with established bloggers influences the influencers. I do stuff for dear blogging friends I do not do for anybody else. If a friend sends me a guest post and their writing is tight, I place it. Even if said post spans 1000 words or more – my minimum count is 600 – I place it without hesitating. Friends found my heart. Friends influenced me through kindness and generosity. I am largely putty in their blogging hands.

Instead of trying to manipulate a successful stranger, bond with a friend. Change your approach to influencer marketing. Make friends. Help without asking. In time, blogging bonds form organically. If you practice writing, the world becomes your oyster because influencers take you to new levels of success, without you even asking.

Follow these tips to bond with influencers.

1: Buy a Resource

The best way to bond with an influencer is to get inside their heads.

Influential bloggers had to influence influential bloggers on the way up to become influential. Invest in a resource like my influential blogger eBook to learn how influencers do it. Speak their language. Connect. Take their viewpoint. Learn how to be influential yourself.

When you discover how to be influential through my resource you in essence, learn how to influence, influencers, by bonding with these pros.

2: Spend a Few Months Giving Not Asking

Bloggers I remember, then befriend, spend at least a few months giving and not asking. Someone buys my course, publishes 10 comments on my blog, and retweets my posts 10 or 20 times during a 3 month period. These people pop up on my radar screen because they gave and asked for nothing. Bonds form. Friendships develop.

Retweet fellow bloggers. Help them. Feature fellow bloggers. Open your blog to guest posting. Guest post on other blogs. Comment genuinely on blogs. Buy products.

Ask for nothing, for at least 3-4 months. Allow friendships to form organically. Blogging friends help each other because blogging friends trust each other. Influential bloggers fall into this helping lot too, as you generously serve them, ask for nothing and polish your writing skills. I gained more endorsements from pros by being generous than through any other method. Help influential bloggers. Ask for nothing. Influential bloggers help you without you asking for a darn thing.

3: Never Rush the Process

Some blogger friend requested me on Facebook a few moments ago. I scanned my messages to see his business pitch in the “other” folder. He simply rushed the process of pitching an established blogger. I appreciate the friend request but pitching your business before generously helping me ensures I ignore all future messages. He rushed the process so I let him go.

Perhaps he smartens up and begins helping me generously without asking for anything. After a few months of helping me and asking for nothing, we bond. We become friends. From there, the opportunities are limitless. Even if I do not use his service, if he has skills and a reputable business model I can share his services with my readers.

Good things take some time. Never rush the bonding process.

Allow bonds to form organically to do influencer marketing right.

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Blogging

How Do Blogging and Fitness Relate?

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I spend 3 hours daily honing my mental and physical fitness.

In truth, you can and will succeed online following simple fundamentals from a generous, detached energy. No need to be fit to go full time blogging. But if you feel bad because your body feels bad and your mind fears losing it all, have you succeeded? I do not believe so.

I wrote an eBook sharing my daily regimen to explain what many of you readers want to know: how do I do it all? I am no blogging god. I am just human. But I write and connect quite a bit. People wish to know how I wrote 100 plus eBooks in addition to all the other stuff I do while circling the globe. Well, blogging and fitness are 2 peas in a pod for me. Both play a big role if you desiring leveling up and feeling good predominantly as you enjoy the ride.

Blogging and Fitness

Let’s say you wake up on a Monday morning as a full time employee who blogs part time. Feeling terrible and dreading work, why write and publish a post? Too busy. Do it later. Put off the post until tonight. But you feel too tired that night. Repeat this cycle for 3 months. 90 days passed. Still no blog post. Why? You filled your mind with fear and pain. Manifesting as blogging loss, backburnering the post for 3 months indicates fear in mind. Why fear? 100% of the time, fear dominates minds of people who spend zero time on mental fitness, never meditating or doing deep yin yoga or observing their thoughts and feelings. Most of the time, these same folks dominated by their own fears never commit seriously to being physically fit through exercising.

Feel good by caring for your mind and body. Vibe higher than fears crippling most bloggers. Imagine the above scenario with one difference: you devote 1-2 hours daily exercising and raising your energy via mindset training. Devote 30 minutes to power walking and 30 minutes to deep yin yoga. On waking that Monday morning, either a blog post idea finds you and you write the post, or after a few uncomfortable moments and feelings, the idea flows to you and you write the post.

I cannot explain this process logically because it flows 100% emotionally, feelings-wise. Visualize yourself in moments you feel really good. All seems possible. Ideas flow to you. Opportunities flow to you. Why? Feeling good magnetizes you to freeing, success-promoting ideas. Being fit mentally and physically is the easiest way to feel good most of the time. Plus in those moments you feel bad mentally and physically, you face, feel and release the bad feelings, quickly, because you feel mentally and physically fit, predominantly.

Gratitude

Being fit naturally alerts you to the success-promoting idea of gratitude. Gratitude builds blogging success because seeing every penny of income, every blog comment and all interest in your blogging courses feels awesome to you. Feeling awesome inspires you to blog for years generously. Blogging generously for years makes you successful.

Corey at the Good Oil Marketing retweeted my blogging course recently. I feel grateful he spread the word for me considering he is a successful, high level marketer. I feel these feelings and build on my success because I feel grateful. I feel grateful because I trained my mind and body to feel good, through being fit daily, in order to tune into appreciation easily.

Get fit.

Don’t quit.

Be a successful blogger by being mentally and physically fit.

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Blogging

Why Doing this Works Better than Asking for Business Referrals

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After I released my flagship eBook – How to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging – I noticed something neat. My sales increased 12 fold the day I published a guest post for a highly successful blogger.

Seeing this spike clued me in to the quickest, easiest way to increase business: help people for free. Being generous improves skills, increases exposure and expands your business. Greater traffic and profits follow generous bloggers because helping people for free helps you be skilled and see, two qualities in every prospering blogger who reaps sweet blogging profits.

A large set of bloggers goes in another direction. Some ask for business referrals from trusted blogging buddies to drum up business. Feel free to take this route but know referral fishing is an ineffective way to drive profits because of two clear reasons:

  • referral-seeking seems to be time-wasting
  • referral-seeking rarely inspires trusted bloggers to take clear, business-building action, for you

I know 20 plus web developers. A few trusted blogging web developer buddies have reached out to me, seeking referrals. Two issues arise:

  • the referral seeker has no idea if I know bloggers needing web development; non-targeted campaign
  • I already know 20 plus developers, trusted buddies all, so I could never choose one to refer to someone if 20 seem qualified

Top Bloggers Become Ruthlessly Effective with their Time

Versus seeking referral business by asking blogging buddies if they know someone requiring your service, spend 20 minutes to write and publish a quality guest post for a blogger in your business niche. Instead of pitching 1 human, show off your web development skills for free, via a guest post, for 1,000 people. Do you see what I mean? Leverage. Do not ask for business. Serve for business. Although time needs pass and generosity needs inclusion in blogging business-building, helping for free is the quickest, simplest way to increase blogging business because you reach large, targeted audiences of clients with your attention and energy versus asking 1 person for business in non-targeted, ineffective fashion.

12 Times Daily Sales

I recall the day vividly, 5 years ago. I created and launched Blogging From Paradise. Before writing 100 plus eBooks, I wrote one. I did drive some sales through my blog but guest posting woke me up; why not leverage my presence and grow business by helping people for free, via different platforms? Eye-opener for me. Instead of asking, I gave. How easy? Giving freely is the easiest way to get freely. I observed a 12 times daily sales eBook increase for good reason that day: helping people generously through sites other than your blog is a simple way to grow your blogging business.

The simplest, direct, effective way to grow your business is to help people for free. Asking for referrals leads to a client or customer here and there, but full time bloggers are not in the “here and there” business as far as growing your venture. Pro bloggers drive steady profits through their blog by being generous on their blog and on other platforms.

Be helpful for free. Publish posts. Submit guest posts. Run a podcast. Broadcast live on Facebook. Help people for free to help people for pay. Versus untargeted referral-seeking, this is the effective way to grow your blogging business from a generous, genuine energy.

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