Lead magnets are a blogger’s most powerful tool. A great content upgrade is what has your audience joining your email list which isn’t susceptible to algorithm changes. Keep your readers coming back for more, and grow that list with a killer opt-in!
Want our FREE Ebook (includes worksheet pages) for Canva OR InDesign? It’s available in our evergrowing Design Vault! Get that content upgrade made, out there, and growing your list!
As fellow bloggers, I think at this point, we can all agree on one thing: An email list matters!
Your email list is the foundation of your business.
It’s where you engage with your readers, build trust with them, and generate the majority of your income.
It’s absolutely the most important part of your business. This is the one aspect of blogging that you actually have control over. You don’t have control of social media algorithms tanking your traffic.
But your list? You own it. You can control your sales and your traffic just by nurturing that relationship. However, building your list can take time.
Especially if all you have to offer is “sign up to stay updated on our latest posts.”
Nope. I don’t want an RSS feed, and your audience doesn’t, either. RSS feeds are impersonal, and honestly? They can get annoying. If that’s not enough, they won’t build a relationship with your list.
Remember this post later! Pin it to your favorite Pinterest board! ⬇
And, you’re passing up on a big opportunity if you don’t have a decent lead magnet (or a few). When Simplifying DIY Design was born, we made content upgrades right from the get-go. In doing so, our first ten blog posts had a dedicated lead magnet.
- This will speed up the growth of your list immensely
- If you blog about several topics, you can target your readers based on their subject interest and segment your list so you can deliver content they really want
- It provides value to your reader and keeps them coming back for more
- It starts to build trust when your reader knows how much you’re willing to give to help solve their problems
The easiest way to grow your list is by adding a content upgrade to your posts (especially your top 10). Make sure it’s related to that particular blog post and something that your reader just can’t pass up.
If you need a little help with brainstorming the perfect content upgrade for your audience, here are 17 that are sure to keep your readers coming back for more.
You can put these together very quickly. You can even repurpose old blog content, a popular email, or blog series. Create a beautiful cover and attractive overall design to step it up a notch.
Related Post: 5 Ways to Build Your List by Repurposing Blog Content
Save it as a PDF and deliver it using automation with something like ConvertKit when your reader signs up for your freebie.
SIDE NOTE: We have an eBook Canva template available in our FREE Design Vault!
Just like creating an ebook is super easy, setting up your automated delivery using ConvertKit is even easier. We’ve been using ConvertKit since day 1 of our business, and we absolutely LOVE it!
This is super easy for any type of “list” post. If you spend 5 minutes on Pinterest, you’ll know that they’re VERY popular!
Have 40 ways to save money? Make it a checklist. Did you just post a delicious recipe on the blog? Make a grocery checklist.
Now’s a great time to mention we have a Pinterest design checklist in our FREE Design Vault. See? You can convert almost any topic into a checklist!
I’m a sucker for a great checklist because I love crossing stuff off! This adds value by giving your content a more “actionable” approach.
Nothing says action more than checking off a box that’s DONE!
Worksheets are so simple to design in Canva, and people love to have a walkthrough approach. Have a post on budgeting? Create a worksheet to walk them through the steps using our FREE Canva worksheet templates!
Help your audience actually implement your ideas and show them that you know what you’re talking about and can help them.
Related Post: 5 Easy Ways to Create Worksheets to Grow Your Blog
Worksheets have been such a game-changer for our audience that we decided to write a whole post on how they can really boost your blog growth!
If worksheets sound like your thing, don’t forget to grab our FREE Canva worksheet templates mentioned above!
4. PRINTABLE ART
This is especially a good one for any kind of motivational post. Or maybe it’s a “kick in the pants” kind of post that fires someone up with some tough love that they’re SO glad someone finally said it.
This is the style of email we love to send out, and I can’t tell you how many replies we get saying, “this is exactly what I needed to hear!”
Either way, take a quote- make it super pretty in Canva, and offer it as an opt-in for people to print and hang on their wall.
Related Post: The Easy Way to Create and Sell Printable Products
An added bonus is that they’ll think of you and your blog every time they look at it.
We even created mobile wallpaper art with motivational quotes in our Complete Bloggers Template Toolkit. That’s how popular this style of content upgrade is!
5. RESOURCE LISTS
Another very easy-to-design opt-in that provides massive value to your readers is a resource list. Resource lists are essentially PDFs of your favorite resources about a specific topic and go into short detail about each one.
Give it an attractive spin like, “The resources I used to pay off 40K in debt in just 2 years,” and you’ll be amazed at how well it converts.
We’re actually in the process of creating this exact content upgrade for our blog post of blogging tools we used to go from $0 to $3k in 3 months!
You can easily create a template or any kind of “editable” design if you have Canva Pro. This can work for any niche and be a HUGE list builder (since people usually pay for things like this).
We grew our list to over 20k subscribers using our Canva design templates. What’s even better is that our paid products (also Canva templates) consistently bring in 5 figures a month!
If you’re new to Canva and want to create your own design templates as a content upgrade (or even paid products), we DEFINITELY recommend you check out our Confidently Canva course AND get $20 OFF!
I’m convinced that adulthood is just about Googling things that we don’t know how to do. But I’m a visual learner, so if an article offers a video tutorial or demo, I’m in!
These can bring your content to the next level (hence the term ‘content upgrade’) and help connect with your reader as well. YouTube is the second most popular search engine (under Google) for a reason!
This will be a GREAT content upgrade to accompany a blog series. Promote the next “step” or tutorial with each video for an effortless transition. Simplicity is key!
Not sure what we’re talking about? Check out our Blog Graphics That Convert: Video Series to see this particular content upgrade in action.
This step-by-step plan helps your readers put your content into action. Honestly, people like to be told what to do (or “guided”). They usually have some kind of problem they need solving (which is likely how they found your site in the first place). A guide makes a perfect addition to your bank of content upgrades.
9. MINI WORKBOOKS
Turn your post into a mini workbook. These are similar to “guides,” but when you design it, make your reader step it out through lots of fill-in-the-blanks, charts, graphs, questions they need to answer, etc.
As you’re designing, one thing to keep in mind is befriending white space.
I’ve seen a lot of color-heavy guides and mini workbooks that look beautiful on screen but are NOT printer-friendly. I know our particular audience loves printables, so we make sure to use lots of white space for quick and easy prints.
These mini workbooks can efficiently be designed in Canva and turned into a PDF for your reader to print and fill out.
Don’t forget to make an editable version for those that prefer to keep their documents digital!
10. WEBINARS (OR FILES FROM ONE)
Have a blog post that relates to a product you sell? That’s great because they make evergreening your product super simple!
This is a great chance to offer a webinar as a content upgrade if you don’t have time for live webinars all the time (let’s be honest, who does?); you can offer the recorded file of your last webinar as your content upgrade instead.
We just signed up and watched a recorded file of a webinar (they had multiple viewings per day) and still thought it was great nonetheless.
Webinars were something we knew we wanted to tackle in the early stages of our business to overcome the dreaded stage freight with a minimal audience, of course!
Related Post: 6 Key Elements to an Amazing Webinar That Converts
We took a ton of notes to help us improve our conversions and make the most out of our webinars.
If you have a podcast that you also work on (kind of like a radio talk show but for blogs), you can offer your best episode as a content upgrade.
For example, I was reading a blog post about building your email list, and the content upgrade was a podcast episode full of ahhmazing info with Clay (founder of Leadpages).
Because here’s the thing. They can tell you where to go to listen, and depending on their podcast host; you may have to download an app. It sounds like a lot of work to hear something, doesn’t it?
By offering it as a content upgrade, the episode is delivered straight to my inbox in a format where I can hear it regardless of mobile device or computer.
People love challenges because they need to know they can do it, right?
You can run a challenge through your email newsletter or your Facebook Group (if you have one). These convert incredibly well around holiday seasons, which is fantastic because you can add in upsells to boost your Q4 sales!
Need ideas? Check these out.
- “Build Your Christmas Fund Challenge”
- “New Years Organizational Challenge: Get Organized and Rock the New Year”
- “New Year, New You 30-Day Get Fit Challenge”
There are SO many ways you can incorporate a challenge into your blog, no matter the season!
13. MASTERMIND/FACEBOOK GROUP
Offer access to your mastermind or Facebook Group as a content upgrade.
Make sure to add a question to your Facebook Group application that allows the person to put in their email address so you can double-check that they’ve signed up for your email list.
This also funnels people from Facebook to your email list if they find you on Facebook first and want to join your group but see that they need to subscribe first.
We get quite a few requests to join our Facebook Group each week that found us through Facebook suggestions which is always lovely.
These can be a gold mine and tank your stats across the board, so be careful with this one.
The key is to make the giveaway item something related to your content and blog. This should not be like a “swag bag,” gift card, or some other vanity item that someone signs up for and then never opens another email from you ever again because they just wanted that free thing.
Instant open and conversation rate killer!
So, if you have a coaching service, maybe you can run a giveaway for a complimentary session. Or, if you talk about starting a blog, offer a giveaway for a blogging course or ebook.
As I said, giveaways can be great a content upgrade if done right.
15. FREE CONSULTS
This is great for bloggers that offer coaching services. Free 15-minute sessions can give your reader a great look into your knowledge and what you can do for them. This will build your email list, but it will convert that new subscriber to a customer really quickly.
Before we retired our design consulting service, we offered this exact content upgrade and were always signing new clients during the free session!
You can offer a PDF transcript as a content upgrade if you post video content. This converts surprisingly well and is very quick and easy to put together. Make a killer header in Canva to dress it up because whether we like it or not, presentation matters!
Many people consume content better in video form (hello reels!), so offering a video to go along with your blog post can be a great content upgrade and help build a relationship with your reader.
I remember landing on a blog post from Google about something I was itching to learn more about. A few seconds in, a pop-up appeared promoting the accompanying video.
That was pure genius because I of COURSE wanted to watch the video. Instant email sign-up!
This type of content upgrade is skyrocketing in popularity for obvious reasons so definitely take advantage of them.
Don’t underestimate the power of an awesome opt-in.
Don’t cheap out by thinking you don’t need an awesome and Pinterest pretty content upgrade just because it’s free for the reader. Not that they cost a ton to make; you can create almost any content upgrade for FREE!
Your email list will make you money when it comes to blogging, so make it count as easy as you can.
You can always offer a more advanced version of your content upgrade as a tripwire or repurpose it into a course or other product. I know plenty of bloggers who have an ebook as an opt-in and sell it on Amazon for money.
Nowadays, it takes a lot for a person to give up their email, so make your content upgrade worth it. Workbooks, checklists, templates, ebooks, consulting, etc. These are all things that offer your readers real value.
Once they’re on your list, shower them with more content upgrades and start nurturing that relationship. Digital products are how you’re going to get them, keep them, and turn them into customers. Don’t underestimate that power!
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS POST:
- FREE Design Vault
- 5 Ways to Build Your List by Repurposing Blog Content
- FREE Pinterest design checklist
- 5 Easy Ways to Create Worksheets to Grow Your Blog
- The Easy Way to Create and Sell Printable Products
- FREE Blog Graphics That Convert: Video Series
- The Easy Way to Create Editable Printables for Your Readers
Don’t forget to grab your FREE Ebook template (that includes worksheet pages)! It’s the PERFECT jumping-off point to any paid product (or even lead magnets!) that you can customize to fit your brand and use to start making that passive income.
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