Content Upgrades – A Smarter Way to Build Your Lists

Just this week I came across an authority site that managed to increase subscribers from it’s blog posts by 8x just by using a rather clever yet simple method.

I also saw that Devesh Khanal, founder of Growthrock, used this method to increase conversions on a blog post by a huge 492%, providing a massive increase to their email list

James Scherrer from Wishpond found that blog posts using this simple method convert their blog readers  to their email list 575% better compared to the blog posts that don’t feature one, turning readers into email subscribers.

Casjam’s Brian Casel states that this one method was responsible for increasing his email list subscribers form a few hundred to over 7000 in less than 2 years.

This “method” or “hack” is so smart on so many levels, I just wish I had come across it sooner (or even thought of it myself). Especially as I have a perfect tool to make it all happen. Anyway…

Content Upgrades – What Are They?

Here is how it works…

You write a great post for your blog. Something that gives the reader real value. A good format for a suitable post may be the “X ways to do Y” type. So, for example, “12 Killer SEO Hacks That Work In 2020”.

When you have your content written, it is pretty easy to make an “upgrade”. Don’t think of this as creating an ebook or report. We are not going to do that for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, unless the ebook is a downloadable copy of a very long blog post it is not completely congruent.

Secondly, who the hell wants yet another bloody ebook or report they will probably never read clogging their hard drive?

Thirdly (bonus reason), writing reports is a ball-ache. Too much work!

Here is what people will want (and is quick and easy to make)…

The upgrade will be a simple way to help and enable the reader to accomplish what is in the content. Hence the name – A “Content Upgrade”

Here are some examples…

  1. An action checklist for each of the 12 points. Checklists are very easy to put together and is the perfect logical next step for the reader.
  2. A workbook that the user can print off to help them with the 12 points – that is just a case of asking questions and having spaces for them to write their answers (these are good for webinar handouts too, btw)
  3.  A resources cheatsheet with links to authority sites, affiliate offers and videos. Not quite as sexy as the other examples but, it depends on the blog post content.
  4. An infographic or a mind map that visually simplifies a complex or long blog post

The point is, you make the content upgrade best match for the blog post. You will know what that is when you have written it.

Think of the blog post and the content upgrade as two halves of the same content. If you have one, it makes sense to have the other for free too.  They will be getting massive extra value. This will give you a far higher conversion rate.

But, although the upgrade is free – they will have to subscribe to your email list to get it

Here’s another tip – include some bonus material in the content upgrade as well. So it would be pitched like this Free – Get your full downloadable action checklist for each of these 12 ideas PLUS two more secret bonus hacks included .

This will turn almost any simple blog post into a highly targeted lead gathering machine that will build your email lists with subscribers that are actually interested in your content and want to take action.

How Do We make Readers Aware Of The Upgrade?

In the past, when I have done something similar, I have used a slide in box that appears when the reader has scrolled through a percentage of a long article.

But there is a much simpler, better way of doing it.

For maximum results,  the content upgrade should be offered right inside the content

This is ideal for two reasons…

  1. It isn’t an annoying pop up or distraction that needs to be closed
  2. It is logical that it would be there. It is congruent.

In fact, here is an example of how it would look (yes, there is a free content upgrade to this blog post)

Here’s another tip that is worth taking notice of…

Don’t put a form on your in-content box advertising the content upgrade. People just scroll past forms. Always make it a two-step process so people click on the button and then see the form.

This will increase conversions for this type of ad.

Imagine having a dozen blog posts all with a content upgrade! In fact, you should have a content upgrade in mind whenever you start writing your content!

So, there we have it. Content Upgrades – A simple but brilliant way to attract more subscribers and grow your email lists. 

Let me know in the comments what you think and, if you have been using something similar,  how it went for you. 

And do grab the free content upgrade workbook and checklist (it is real) as the bonus content in there includes me creating and setting up the content upgrade so you can see just how simple it can be.

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