Would you like to increase your blog’s subscriber base by leaps and bounds? Would you like to do it as soon as possible? I have two words for you my friend, “content upgrades.”
If you haven’t heard the buzz around content upgrades, you are missing out. If you don’t quite understand what it means, I’m going to break it down for you. Why? Because case study after case study has shown these small offerings can greatly increase email subscribers in a very short period of time. And, your content upgrades don’t have to be difficult, time-consuming or expensive. It’s simply a matter of matching the right offer to the right person to see massive results.
What Is a Content Upgrade?
A content upgrade is a little something extra you offer when a reader takes the step from reading a blog post to becoming a newsletter subscriber. In years past this was usually a short 7- to 9-page report that related to the blogger’s main topic. Many bloggers had just one offering and it was advertised in the sidebar along with an opt-in box. While it worked, it wasn’t perfect. And let’s not forget that many blog visitors today are coming to us on mobile devices. Your sidebar opt-in may not even be shown to most visitors!
Most bloggers have several topic categories under their main umbrella. While a visitor to my blog may be interested in working from home, they may have already found their calling. A general report outlining work from home ideas isn’t going to be too appealing to them, but a worksheet about one specific aspect of working at home might.
Today’s successful blogger can have several free offerings for newsletter subscribers, however. As an example, I have free content upgrades available for general work-from-home job seekers, bloggers and one specifically for those interested in offering virtual assistant services. Rather than being found in the sidebar, each of those freebies is offered below the blog posts of the corresponding topics and I also have dedicated landing pages for each that I can send people to when I am guest posting, being interviewed for a podcast or in my email signature or social media profile bios.
Today’s lead magnets, aka content upgrades, go beyond short reports as well. An upgrade may be a printable worksheet, video tutorial, transcript of an interview, a list of tools or even a printable version of a blog post. I have one of those available too for my list of 101 companies that hire for work from home. You wouldn’t think that’s something people would sign-up for a weekly newsletter in order to receive, but it is. Approximately 4% of the people that visit that post go on to opt-in for the download.
Do They Really Work?
I made my newsletter a priority in 2015 and have seen an average increase of 551 subscribers PER MONTH as a result of content upgrades, pop-up boxes and below the post opt-in boxes. Considering I had little over 551 subscribers to start with that’s some pretty stellar results. But don’t just take my word for it…
- Brian Dean from Backlinko saw a 785% increase in conversions after creating a post-specific upgrade.
- ValueWalk increased conversions over 200% in just one month.
- There are some pretty amazing numbers on CrazyEgg, too.
Lead Magnet Examples
- Short report offering further information on the topic
- Printable “Cheat Sheet”
- Tools or resource list
- Video tutorial
- Subscriber-only discount or free trial
- Print version of post
- Printable organizer or planner
- Swipe file or templates
- Webinar or podcast recording
- Case study
How Do I Offer Content Upgrades?
A lot of people use LeadPages for creating opt-in boxes and delivering their freebies though I wasn’t a fan when I used it. A lot of bloggers are also transferring to ConvertKit and singing its praises though I’m still holding off. Putting all of your eggs in one “early adopter” basket is a little too scary for me.
I personally use AWeber for my newsletter service and OptinMonster for my opt-in boxes and upgrade delivery. OptinMonster allows you to deliver your upgrade through either a redirect page or a link upon successfully subscribing. This prevents you from having to set up additional lists for every upgrade offering. Just make sure you remember to tag them when creating your opt-in box so you can track them down the road if necessary.
How Many Upgrades Do I Need?
That’s up to you! Some bloggers who only publish a few times per month are now creating an upgrade for every post. If you are publishing every day, however, that’s likely going to be too much to handle. For me, I have one for my main topics of discussion and may try to come up with a little something highly targeted for my most popular posts when applicable. I’d recommend starting with those popular posts or main categories and branching out from there. Don’t get yourself overwhelmed. Getting started is the hardest part.
What questions do you have about content upgrades?