Ruthie
content upgrades right for you blog header

Just because something works for one person, doesn’t mean it will work for everyone. When it comes to content upgrades, they are popular because they get results.

The most important thing you can do for your online business is build your list, and in some cases, content upgrades appear to work far better than ‘traditional’ list building.

But, are they right for you? Only you can answer that, but before you make your decision consider you should take the time to consider the pros and ons of using content upgrades in your business.

On the positive side…

Content upgrades have higher than average conversion rates.

This is because they are focused on the topic at hand. Because they are relevant at the exact moment the reader sees them, conversion rates can be very high.

They help to build your image as a leader in your field.

The more free, value-rich resources you offer your readers, more you appear as an expert in your readers’ eyes.

They can also be easily reused and repurposed.

They can be sold as e-books, combined together to create a resource library, added to PDF sharing sites, and used in your autoresponder email sequences. That just for starters! Once you have built these pieces of content, you can use them in as many ways as you can think up.

Want to learn more about content upgrades? Be sure to check out the Amp Up Your Business Summer Workshop Series! I’m doing the first workshop in the series and it’s all about list-building with content upgrades.

And they are easy to create.

Simple checklists make great upgrades. Any blog post or other piece of content you have lying around can be saved as a PDF and offered as a content upgrade as long as it’s short and actionable. (I’ll explain why in Part 3 of this series.) Other examples of content upgrades that work and are easy to create are cheat sheets, beginners guides, transcripts, resource lists and quick start guides.

If you buy a lot of done-for-you content, this is an excellent way to use up some of your stash too!

Still on the fence? Try this exercise and see what you think…

Visualize yourself looking at two nearly identical sites. The first site offers the same opt-in bribe on every page and post. The second site (yours) delivers a different opt-in incentive on each page, which is targeted to the topic discussed there.

Which website appears more authoritative? Your site, and your reputation, both benefit greatly from creating page-specific content upgrades.

My colleague Karon Thackston at Marketing Words is a master at adding content upgrades to her posts. Take a look at one of her blog posts and you can see how she weaves the content upgrade* right into the content.

So if content upgrades sound so great, what’s the downside?

The biggest “negative” to content upgrades is the time it takes to create them. Since you are building topic-relevant pieces of content to match what you are discussing on different web pages and blog posts, there is a lot of content to create. However, they are so powerful for building your list and boosting the perception that you are a leader in your field, the extra time spent creating them is more than worth the benefits you receive.

The other negative aspect is that in order for them to work really well you need to have at least a basic sales funnel in place on the back end. In this way they work the same as a traditional site-wide opt-in. It’s no good to have an amazing upgrade that gets opt-ins every day, if you have no new content, products or services to share with your new list.

That being said, if you’re willing to do the work (or have a team to do the work for you), content upgrades are an excellent tool for improving both your list-building efforts and your income.

Do you use content upgrades? Leave a comment and let me know!

This is part 2 of a 5 part series on Using Content Upgrades

  1. List Building: Why It’s a Lot Like Fishing 
  2. Content Upgrades: Are they right for you? (this post)
  3. How Long Should Your Content Upgrades Be?
  4. Resource Pages: Easy Access to Your Content Upgrades
  5. 5 Ways to Use Social Media to Promote Your Content Upgrades

*Note: This post includes affiliate links, for which I will receive a small commission should you make a purchase.

About the Author

Ruth is self-styled creative soulpreneur who loves that she gets to play with words and pictures for a living. She started her first email newsletter in 1997 and has never looked back. Between creating printables and courses, she publishes a daily newsletter, loves to golf and walk on the beach and is teaching herself how to do hand-lettering and doodle art.

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