Content upgrades are an awesome tool to grow your email list. But here’s the thing: if you’re not sharing helpful content in those upgrades, the people who download your content upgrade are likely going to unsubscribe from your email list and stop reading your blog.
So, how can you take your content upgrades up a notch? It’s actually not as hard as it sounds. Here are six ways you can do it today.
Keep your content upgrades consistent
Honesty time: it’s unlikely that I’ll read / fill out a content upgrade immediately after I download it. I’ve got a folder on my computer full of worksheets and ebooks to work on as time allows. And you know which ones stand out to me? The ones that are consistent.
If a ton of content upgrades have similar title pages, similar fonts, similar graphics, and similar colors, it’s likely they’re from the same place. If I see a to of content upgrades that are clearly from the same blog in my “to do” folder, you know what that tells me?
That blog has good shit.
If I’m downloading five content upgrades from the same blog within a month, I know that blogger is giving out amazing content that is relevant to me. And therefore I’m likely to spend more time there.
Make yourself a template in InDesign that you’ll use every time you create a content upgrade. That way you’ve got the same fonts, same placement, same graphics, same everything. Consistency is key, and creating an InDesign template makes it super easy to accomplish.
Bonus: Consistent file names
Assuming I’m not the only one with a “to do” folder on my computer (I’m not), you’ll get bonus points if your content upgrades have similar file names.
Let’s say you’ve downloaded three content upgrades from my blog, and they’ve all ended up in your “to do” folder. Now let’s say the file names all start with “APD” for And Possibly Dinosaurs. Not only will they be at (or near) the top of your folder thanks to the A, but they’ll also be grouped together.
This is especially helpful if the upgrades are part of an course or a series. You’ll want the files to stay together on your computer.Are people not interested in your content upgrades? Here's how to take them up a notch!Click To Tweet
Ask specific questions
I’ve downloaded so many content upgrades that I’ve had high hopes for, only to have them dashed by vagueness.
If you’re promising a worksheet that helps you create blogging consistency, be more productive, or create a capsule wardrobe, you better deliver on that promise. Ask me real questions that I can answer to guide me through my problem and your solution.
If your content upgrade is about scheduling better, don’t simply have me list out the things I need to do, and then have me put them in my calendar. Those are things I can do without your help.
Instead, ask me questions that will prompt me to reconsider my way of doing things. Ask me to list out the 5 things I consider to be top-priority projects. Then have me think about how each of those projects could change my life if I finished them. Then ask me which of those 5 scenarios would impact my life the most.
See the difference? One is organizing my schedule, the other is improving my productivity. Guide me through what you’re promising to show me you know what you’re talking about and actually want to help me.
Keep them on topic
It’s super confusing to be reading a blog post and get offered a content upgrade that has nothing to do with the blog post topic. If I’ve found your blog post and decided to read it, it’s most likely because the blog topic has intrigued me. So offer me something that goes along with that same topic!
If I’m reading a blog post about a capsule wardrobe, don’t offer me a content upgrade about spring cleaning. Sure, they both have to do with simplifying and getting rid of stuff, but they aren’t really the same topic.
Instead, tailor it really tightly to the topic you’re writing your blog post about. So, take the idea of spring cleaning, but tailor it to your blog post topic of capsule wardrobes. Offer a worksheet that walks me through the process of spring cleaning my wardrobe to ease the transition to a capsule wardrobe.
Similarly, you won’t see me write a blog post about InDesign, and share a content upgrade about Photoshop. The content upgrade needs to be very specifically tied to the topic of the blog post. Sure, both InDesign and Photoshop are Adobe programs used for graphic design, but just because you use one doesn’t mean you use the other.
Add some fill-in-the-blanks
Speaking of InDesign, let’s talk about the actual makeup of your content upgrade. Now that you’re asking some specific questions to lead the reader through their problem, let’s make it easier for them to fill it out.
When I was working full time, I had easy (and free) access to a printer. I was printing out content upgrades left and right.
Once I left my job, my only printer was a tiny desktop printer we had from college, and suddenly I had to pay for all of the paper and ink.
Guess what I did. Stopped printing out content upgrades.
But just because someone doesn’t print out your content upgrades doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to easily fill it out, amirite? That’s where InDesign comes in.
When you’re building a PDF in InDesign, you can super easily create interactive elements that allow you to fill in your answers right on the screen, no printing required.
Not only does it help your audience be environmentally friendly, it also helps them save money and time because they no longer have to print it out every time they want to answer your questions!
Throw in some checklists
I’m super Type A, so checklists are my jam. If your content upgrade has got a checklist on it, I’ll download it.
And, like we talked about before, bonus points if you make them interactive. In InDesign, you can make checkboxes just like you can make forms. There’s nothing more satisfying than checking off an item on a to do list, whether I do so virtually or on paper.
Plus, including a checklist is a great way to really help out your audience. Show them all of the steps that need to take to accomplish their problem. Whether that’s pieces of clothing to get rid of, rooms to clean, or daily tasks to accomplish, including a checklist will really help your audience understand what you want them to do to solve their problem.
Link them up!
Every single one of my content upgrades have a link on them. If you click on the And Possibly Dinosaurs logo on the bottom of the PDF, you’ll be taken to my blog’s homepage.
This is an awesome tool to take advantage of, both in terms of brand recognition and in terms of promoting old content.
In some of my content upgrades, I reference an old blog post they should read to work through a problem. Rather than having to copy and paste the URL, though, I create a hyperlink so they can click right on the PDF and be taken to the post they need to read.
One less step for them = them appreciating you more.
So now that you know what to include in your content upgrades, go out there and make them!
Interested in creating your content upgrades in InDesign but not sure how? Well, good news!
The InDesign Adventure Guide is now open for enrollment, and I walk you through all of the steps you need to take to create awesome, interactive content upgrades.
Oh, and as you’re taking the course, you’ll actually be making a content upgrade that you can immediately begin using on your blog! Pretty sweet, eh?
So what are you waiting for? Sign up below!