How To Build Your Email List Fast With Content Upgrades

Content Upgrades

wordpress imageBuilding your email list should be your number one focus if you want to grow your business.

Regardless of if you’re a full time blogger like me or you’re just creating strategic content for the purpose to run paid ads to build your list, you should be implementing content upgrades into your business.

I will be the first to admit that when I heard about content upgrades from other bloggers I didn’t pay attention because:

1).  It takes more work    2). I like simplicity

95% of the people who read this post will most likely do exactly what I did and say no thanks.  That takes work, but I’m going to urge you to implement this strategy immediately in your business and you can thank me later.

With a typical squeeze page(one page website) you can get 30% + optin rates.  With your average blog and a sidebar optin people are happy with 2-3% optin rates.

My best optin rates have been from pop up’s, but the problem with pop up’s is that they’re a bit off-putting to regular readers.  So when I started seeing people talk about optin rates of 25% + for their blog posts I decided to put my ego aside and give it a shot.

My very first try at a content upgrade I got 35% optin rate.  In my head I was just thinking, why did I not do this earlier.  Anyway, I wasn’t quite knowledgeable at that time.  Just too bad.  You will notice I have a main optin course on my homepage and sidebars, but my best optin rates on my blog are from content upgrades and they average 20-60% optin rates depending on the post and content upgrade.

 So What Is A Content Upgrade?

A content upgrade is a strategic optin freebie that you offer to your readers in return for their email.  Content upgrades are usually additional content or a guide to accompany your blog post or enhance the topic your reader digested and is interested in.

If someone spent the time to watch the video they’re going to want to learn how to implement what I just taught them. So instead of offering my generic optin which doesn’t align with the topic they just showed interest in, I created a short PDF showing them how to implement the steps.

 Ideas For Content Upgrades

Content upgrades don’t have to be hard.  Below are some of my favorite ways to create content upgrades.

1).  Make a downloadable PDF version of the blog post.

This is by far one of the easiest ways to create a content upgrade.  Now you might be thinking to yourself why would someone want to download your blog post and who would be willing to exchange their email for that?

A lot actually!

  • By letting someone download a PDF version on your desktop you’re making it easier for them to implement what you taught them and you’re staying on top of their minds every time they refer back to that PDF.
  • The other reason to offer a PDF download of your blog post is because a downloadable PDF has higher perceived value than a blog post.


2.) Video Tutorial Going Over The Blog Post And How To Do What You Just Taught.

This content upgrade has the highest perceived value of all the methods listed here.  I personally love doing videos and it makes teaching an advanced concept much easier. Most people would rather watch a 30 minute video instead of reading a blog post that will take an hour to digest.

With this content upgrade I create a 10-30 minute video going over all the steps of what I talked about in the blog post and how to implement what they just learned.

How to create your video:

1). Outline your video 

Before I ever record a video I outline 3-5 key points I will talk about.  Look through your blog post and pull out the 3-5 points you want to go in detail on or demonstrate.

Example of what I would cover in the video:

Video Topic: Creating your content upgrade

  • Pick which type of content upgrade you will create.
  • The tools you will need to setup your content upgrade.
  • Designing your graphic for the content upgrade.
  • Hooking up your content upgrade to your autoresponder.

 2).  Record your video

I use Debut Video Capture to record all of my video screen shares.  I’m also a fan of Camtasia as well, which is a fantastic desktop video recording software.  Another good option is Screenflow for Mac.  If you need help learning how to use Camtasia they have a Youtube channel with free tutorials here.  For Debut Video Capture Software you can Click Here for a free tutorial.  If you need help with Screenflow then go to Youtube and type in “Screenflow tutorial”.

How I record my videos:

When I record my videos I don’t go for perfection. This is a free giveaway and I’m focused on speed of implementation and providing good content for my readers.

Don’t let yourself spend hours putting together a video because it will never be perfect.  I record my videos in one go and even if they have a few mis-pronounced words, (English being not my native language) I simply keep going.  Once you get done recording the video,  export it and upload to Youtube.

Then place the video on a custom landing page to deliver your content upgrade. I use Clickfunnels to do this.  You will get a full understanding of how powerful Clickfunnels is.  But in case you need additional assistance, you can always email me.  Many times, personal tutoring is more powerful that the general tutoring provided by the companies themselves.

Audio Matters:

One thing that can be very annoying to your audience is when watching a video and they can barely hear the person talking.  You can have mediocre video and people won’t complain, but if the audio is bad they will leave fast.

A cheap alternative is to use earphones that come with your smartphone.  I suggest investing a little cash when you have it available to pickup a Blue Yeti podcasting microphone. One of the best investments for your business you will make.


3). Swipe File 

Another great giveaway is a swipe file.

Depending on your industry this may not be useful, but in the past I’ve given away swipe files of my best email sequences, social media content and I’ve also allowed people to copy my landing pages designs and my readers love it.

Examples in a few industries:

Marketing – Copies of your email campaign.
Cooking – Recipe with ingredients to the tutorial you just taught.
Fitness- Copy of your meal plan or workout plan you use at the gym.

People love being able to pretty much copy and paste what you’re teaching them. When I offered my email templates I gave them the ability to use them exactly how they are to tweak them for their own use.

This has high perceived value because one of my coaching students took the same templates and tweaked them for his use and made 9 sales at $997.

Anytime you can give away something that can help someone get a desired result they’re after, they will gladly exchange their email for it.  Usually, to deliver the swipe files I would create a secure page on my wordpress website where the visitor will have a platform to create a username and password.  From there they will access the swipe files which can be downloaded directly to their desktop.


4).  Scripts You Use

When I started sharing the processes I was using in my business I started getting a lot of common questions.  When I started teaching my formula for video marketing I got a lot of people telling me they want to do video, but the thing stopping them was what to say.

I also got the same objections when I started teaching people to do video ads.  So in order to help people get over their fear stopping them from taking action I gave them my scripts I use to make videos.


5).  PDF Download

The fifth and final method I use is a PDF download.  This is different and requires you to create a PDF Ebook to go with your blog post.  For this blog post I created a PDF that teaches you step by Step how to setup and integrate a content upgrade with your email autoresponder.  I also created 10 ideas for content upgrades for inspiration to create your first content upgrade for your business.

When I create PDF’s I usually break things down into steps and include images and screenshots to demonstrate how to implement what I just taught.  I create the content upgrades in Google docs or word processing.  Once I get done creating the Word Doc I export to PDF and upload to Amazon S3 or WordPress.

Ok guys, I don’t want to drag on anymore on this post in case it gets too long for your concentration.  If this was helpful to you,  I would appreciate if you would leave me a comment below and share on Facebook.


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