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5 Best Content Upgrade Ideas to Growth Hack Your Blog Email List

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content upgrade ideas

Growing an email list is a pain in the ass and rightfully so. It’s no longer enough to send out weekly newsletter as a way to get their attention. You need to go the extra mile to provide site visitors with immense value for them to sign up to your list.

Content upgrades provide the value that tips the scales to your favor. By giving them something in return immediately for signing up, you grab their attention and get them to subscribe to your list.

However, it’s not enough to offer just any content upgrade. You need to make sure that the incentive email contains actual useful information about the topic. If not, there’s a risk of your new subscribers to opt out from your list due to your poor content upgrade.

To help you make the most of your blog’s list building strategy, below are content upgrade ideas you can create for your blog so you can generate more subscribers for your list and help grow your traffic and sales.

Content upgrade ideas you need to use for your blog’s list

1. Cheat sheet

It’s difficult to cover everything about a topic in a single post. For example, if you’re writing a post on how to promote your blog the right way, you can’t break down the exact process of promoting your content on a social media platform. You can turn it into a post on its own so you can create more content on your blog.

Another alternative is by turning it into a cheat sheet that visitors can download from the post once they sign up to your list. The cheat sheet contains hacks about a specific topic depending on what the visitors wants to know.

Going back to the previous example, since the post is about promoting their blog, your content upgrade can be about growth-hack tactics for Pinterest blog promotions. You can details the exact steps on how you can effectively share your content and drive more traffic to your site using this image sharing social media site.

A downloadable cheat sheet about a related topic you weren’t able to cover on the post increases the chances of people signing up to your list. This way, you grow your list and they get their hands on the cheat sheet. It’s a win-win!

2. Checklist

checklist - content upgrade ideas

Your visitors want something quick and useful for their content upgrade. After reading a long and exhaustive post about a topic from your blog, for instance, they want to cleanse their pallet by downing the information you gave them into actionabl bits and pieces.

That’s why checklists are great content upgrades because they complement your long-form content by summarizing them into different points they need to check. For example, if you listed down the many SEO factors that bloggers need to observe, you can create a checklist for the factors that people can download. Therefore, instead of browsing your post to see the different factors, they can use refer to your handy checklist to find out which SEO factors to keep in mind.

To create checklists much easier, use tools like Checkli and Process Street to help you build downloadable lists to be used as content upgrades for your email list.

3. Report

If you want to establish clout in your industry, then you need to create signature content that will put you in the map. You can’t just churn out content that’s been done to death by your competitors. To stand out, you need to develop reports and use them as content upgrades.

report

Reports are extremely valuable because they are unique in the truest sense of the word. By putting in the hard work and interpreting the information from the data you collected, you can create content that stands head and shoulders from the pack.

A great report to create is running your own tests or doing a quick survey and giving them away as freebies. For example, Express Writers wrote a data-driven post about the most shareable blog topics. They presented the topics backed by research to help make their case. While they made it a post, you can use the same strategy to create your report and use it as a content upgrade.

Compared to other content upgrade ideas in the post, reports are very difficult to create. You need to be produce substantial proof to back up your claims and double-check your information so everything you say is true. However, the rewards are just as great. Creating a great report will help grow your email list faster than any type and catapult you influencer status.

4. Challenge

Some people need motivation to help them with their needs. For example, people struggle to write blog posts regularly. There are lots of factors that explain why they find it hard. However, you as a blogger are not responsible for explaining why. Your job is to show them how to generate posts for their blog like it’s second nature.

This is what Sark e-Media did with their 30-Day Blogging Challenge. For the next month after subscribing to their list, people will receive daily emails on how they can build a blogging habit and churn out excellent posts for their blog.

This example of a challenge content upgrade allows you to continuously engage with your subscribers over a period of time. As part of the challenge, you can invite them to your Facebook Group to discuss the posts they’ve written or sell them affiliate products they can use to help them blog better.

5. Worksheet

As a purveyor of knowledge, you can evangelize your visitors by handing out worksheet for them to fill out and answer. The worksheets will help them organize their thoughts so they have a clearer picture on what to do next. Worksheets essentially helps people overcome a hurdle in their lives or career. As a blogger, your worksheets are a godsend to them.

An example of a worksheet is a downloadable editorial calendar. To help people blog on time, they can fill out the calendar with the post they plan to write on that day. The worksheet can include other factors about the post such as target audience, keyword, question to answer, and others. By presenting the worksheets as a way to neatly plan their blogging schedule to a tee.

Which among the content upgrade ideas do you want to do?

Each of the content upgrade ideas above work best under certain circumstances. You can’t just choose at random and expect stellar results for your email list. You need to check what your audience needs first and how to present the content upgrades before settling on which type to create.

However, you can enjoy more sign-ups to your blog email list if you use the content upgrade ideas correctly. If your blog is dying for email subscribing, then any of the ones above will make your email rain with sign-ups!

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Christopher Jan Benitez is a freelance writer for hire who provides actionable and useful web content to small businesses and startups. In his spare time, he religiously watches professional wrestling and finds solace in listening to '80s speed metal.

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1 Comment

  1. Ryan Biddulph

    September 20, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    Checklists and reports are both awesome list builders Christopher. You cannot go wrong with either option.

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Blogging

Are You Afraid to Color Outside of the Blogging Lines?

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I am coloring with my 2 year old niece now.

Blog post idea; after 2 photo snaps and a quick analogy realization I figured coloring with a 2 year old conveys a blogging success lesson to you.

My niece does not fear coloring outside of the lines. She is smart as a whip but has yet to master the concept of coloring inside of the lines. Few 2 year olds get this idea.

Scribbling like mad, her work consists of zags, hard lines, zigs, and you better believe she colors almost exclusively outside of the lines. She is as happy as a lark to break the rules, to just be coloring. Coloring is fun to her. Who cares if she stays in the lines?

I instantly thought of my blogging career.

I retired to a life of island hopping through smart blogging by coloring outside of the blogging lines, choosing to do what feels fun to me versus doing what bloggers said I should do.. No email list at Blogging From Paradise. Not much search traffic either because I don’t do the SEO thing. I publish up to 4 blog posts daily. No doubt; I follow certain rules and do color inside of the lines sometimes but largely succeeded because I blog outside of the box, following my fun, pursuing my passion.

You may look at me and wonder how in the heck I do it? You follow all common blogging rules diligently. Yet you may struggle. What gives?

Blogging is an energy game. If you do what feels fun to you, you will succeed wildly. Even if you break rules in the process.

Even though I promote 1 blogging eBook above all else I still wrote 126 eBooks. Big time rule breaker guys. Most bloggers only write 1 eBook and promote the stuffing out of it before moving on to the next eBook. Nothing wrong with that but this is usually a scarcity mindset in action. I preferred to think abundantly and wrote my rear end off. Coloring outside of the lines. Blogging outside of the box.

Follow Some Blogging Rules But Break a Bunch

Nobody becomes wildly successful or lives a dream life through blogging by following all the rules. Rule breakers stand out from the crowd.

Breaking some blogging rules is just like coloring outside of the lines. Some bloggers believe your blog looks a bit sloppy, or disorderly, or that you are doing things wrong, if you color outside of the blogging lines. But these bloggers are usually totally obsessed with doing things perfectly, struggling like heck because nobody is perfect and when you try to be perfect you will fail. Perfection is the fear of failure and the fear of criticism, combined. Don’t let bloggers who color inside of the lines fool you.

How to Succeed by Coloring Outside of the Blogging Lines

Follow your intuition guys.

Listen to the small, still voice.

Trust your gut.

Do what feels most fun to you; not what bloggers say you should do.

I do not build an email list. This is coloring outside of the blogging lines.

Yet I live a life few bloggers live, spending months in Fiji, Bali, Thailand and Costa Rica among other tropical paradises.

No SEO on Blogging From Paradise because I do not want to depend on search traffic. Yet I have circled the globe for the past 7 years as a full time digital nomad.

Break some rules guys.

Do freeing, fun and highly uncomfortable things. Even if doing so pulls you away from the blogging herd.

Color outside of the blogging lines guys.

Live your wildest dreams.

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How Do I Teach Bloggers if I Am a New Blogger?

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I see that question popping around in your head.

The same question danced around in my head 10 years ago. How could I teach people how to blog if I did not know how to blog? Plus I had no connections. No skills either. Big time problem.

Here is how to solve your problem:

  • learn how to blog from top pros
  • write 500 words daily offline
  • publish 1-2 posts weekly, turning around and teaching what you learned
  • continue to learn both about blogging and your blogging niche

Learn then teach.

Or absorb then teach.

Jan Verhoeff published this post yesterday:

5 Ways to Broaden Your Blogging Tips for Expansion and Depth

She led off the post explaining how she watched one of my Facebook Live Broadcasts recently and delved deeper into the topic I discussed, said topic being blogging overlap.

Jan is a seasoned veteran blogger but she and I both use this concept of learning or absorbing then immediately teaching the concept to our readers. Knowledge ain’t getting stale in our brain boxes.

Newbie bloggers; I get it. You may feel intimidated to learn, then to teach. But being a blogging student is hands down your most important role as a new blogger because learning and studying gives you confidence to turn around and teach your new found knowledge quickly.

Check out my guest post on Janice Wald’s Mostly Blogging:

8 Ways to Become a Student of Blogging

Janice regularly shares this post and noted it still drives blog traffic.

Why?

New and seasoned blogging veterans alike know deep down we are all perpetual students. Plus we know that in order to teach we must first learn, being open and willing students.

Newbie bloggers; you better become a voracious reader of blogging tips and tips aligned with your niche. Learn to gain confidence and clarity. Then you better practice writing like crazy. Pen 500 words daily offline to become a confident writer.

Being armed with knowledge and improving writing skills sets the foundation to learn, then to teach.

Iconic Marketer

10 years ago when I was a new blogger I read a post on Ray Higdon Dot Com.

This iconic network marketer introduced me to the simple concept of how you can teach folks how to succeed in your niche, even as a newbie. Learn. Teach.

Allow little time to elapse between learning and teaching. Teaching does not require 10,000 word blog posts or 45 minute long videos or eBooks or courses.

Practical Examples of Teaching

Peep these examples of how you can learn a concept and teach as a new blogger:

  • record and upload a 1 minute long video on YouTube
  • write and publish a 600 word post on your blog
  • record and upload a 5 minute long podcast

The idea is to learn a concept and to be comfortable teaching the concept without being an expert. Fraud energies may arise guys. Fears attempt to shame you into remaining quiet.  Don’t trust these fears. Don’t believe these lies.

If you want to become a blogger you better get comfortable with being a teacher because blogging is teaching. If you want to become a teacher you better be a hungry student, learning the in’s and out’s of blogging and your niche and practicing your writing to more easily convey your blogging message.

Learn.

Teach.

Hit the ground running as a new blogger.

Nobody begins blogging as an experienced blogger.

Nobody begins blogging with blogging skills.

We need to learn and practice persistently as a new blogger to become a successful blogger.

Just don’t hesitate to turn around and teach what you have learned immediately, to drive traffic to your blog.

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Blogging

Do I Look Lucky to You?

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Many people believe me to be lucky.

Folks think I am so lucky to travel the world.

Like a magic fairy alighted on my shoulder, tapped me with a magic wand, and sent me to that location in Bali you see in the featured image.

As if I lucked out to circle around the globe for the past 7 years.

Not quite guys.

Luck does not exist.

Smart, generous work helped me retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.

Peep this link:

583 Ryan Biddulph Blog Posts on Blogging Tips

Does that sound lucky? Was I lucky to write and publish 583 guest posts on Blogging Tips alone? Am I lucky to have written and published thousands of blog posts during the past decade I spent online?

Have I been lucky to work hundreds of thousands of hours during my life, in order to retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging?

Did luck make me a full time digital nomad? Have I been lucky to write and self-publish 126 eBooks?

Luck does not exist.

Smart, energized, years of work, this brings blogging success.

Convenience Store Luck

Back in New Jersey for a bit.

After spending a few moments at the local convenience store I saw no less than 5 people buy lottery tickets.

Folks spend money on a wing and a prayer, hoping, praying, begging to make money through a game of chance.

Forget building a sustainable online business. Forget rendering service to become successful with your blog. Don’t even bother investing money in solid vehicles.

Leave your life to chance. See if you get lucky.

Terrible mindset to have guys.

Luck does not exist. No magical fairy blesses some folks and curses other folks. Nobody suffers from bad luck. Chance does not exist.

Smart, intelligent service, persistently applied, exists. Learning and practicing the skill of blogging for 2-4 years of your life exists. Spending 10 years writing and publishing thousands of posts exists. Commenting on 50,000 blogs exists. Being generous exists. Helping folks for months before making a dime exists.

Luck does not exist.

Luck Is a Jailer

If you believe successful bloggers are lucky, that limiting belief jails you. Since you believe you are not lucky you naturally will always struggle and fail. Not a good belief to cling to guys.

Many bloggers think I am:

  • lucky
  • blessed
  • gifted
  • talented
  • a natural

but I am not. I just spent years of my life learning, practicing and mastering the skill of blogging. I wrote almost 600 guest posts on Blogging Tips alone. Does that sound like luck, or chance, or like a blessing? Smart, persistent work guys. I committed fully to blogging so blogging committed fully to me. Simple equation but goodness does this journey feel uncomfortable at times.

Early Friday evening, here I am writing this guest post as my 2 year old niece hangs all over me, bopping me on the head. Hardly a crazy challenge but still a bit of a challenge. Try thinking through a post and writing it while a hyper 2 year old does all in her power to grab your attention.

I am not writing this post because Lady Luck sent me the idea. I am writing this post because I have written 2 million plus words during the past decade of my life, so words flow easily for me.

  • Creating, connecting and polishing my blogging skills by patiently writing and broadcasting live videos daily helped me craft a neat life for me and for my readers.
  • Generously commenting on other blogs and promoting other bloggers helped me become a pro blogger.
  • Persisting through thick and thin created my blogging success.

The next time you explain someone’s success as a simple matter of luck, think again.

Luck does not exist.

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