When I first started blogging, I didn’t understand the need for an email list. My blog was just a hobby, and I didn’t really care if I made any money of it.
Well, I still moderately feel that way (I don’t want to have any ads on my site, for example), but I’ve changed my outlook on email lists.
After all, one of my main goals with my blog is to help make the intimidating aspects of blogging and design easy to digest. If I’m not getting my content out there… I’m not really helping anyone, am I?
I set to work on growing my email list using popups, subscription forms in my sidebar, you name it.
But my email list wasn’t growing.
What’s a girl to do? Easy: content upgrades.
What are content upgrades?
So, what are content upgrades? Great question!
They’re an extension of your blog post that adds value to (or upgrades) your content.Not sure what to create a content upgrade about? Here are 100+ ideas for you!Click To Tweet
There are a lot of different types of content upgrades. I’ve done worksheets in the past. Other bloggers do small ebooks and email-based courses. I’ve seen others do things like desktop backgrounds and printable quotes as well. So the sky really is the limit in terms of what you can give away as a content upgrade. But one thing really should remain consistent…
You should only be giving your content upgrades away in exchange for your reader’s email address.
Why? Well, in addition to giving out amazing content to your readers, your main goal for your content upgrades should be growing your email list. And it’s kinda hard to do that without actually getting your readers’ email addresses.
P.S. Need a way to track all of these awesome content upgrades you’re about to make? Download the tracking sheet now!
Why do bloggers need content upgrades?
The main benefit of content upgrades, as previously stated, is to grow your email list. But why does it grow your email list?
When I first started growing my email list, I was doing it all wrong. I was asking people to subscribe to my email list. But guess what? People don’t want to subscribe to email lists unless they get something out of it.
Content upgrades are an awesome incentive to get them to join your email list. It’s answering the age-old question of “what’s in it for me?” You’re providing something that helps them do what they want to do. You’re making it easier on them. What’s not to love?
But growing your email list isn’t the only benefit of content upgrades.
If you’re interested in selling products or services with your blog, you want your audience to see you as an expert in your field. Otherwise, they’re not going to trust you enough to give you their hard-earned money, right?
By giving away free content first, you’re showing them your expertise. You’re building trust with your audience, which enables them to see you as a valuable resource.
And by adding them to your email list, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to promote your products and services to them after they’ve begun to trust you.
It’s really a win-win!
P.S. Don’t forget track all your content upgrades! Download the tracking sheet below!
What should my content upgrade be about?
Now that we know what content upgrades are and why you should be sending them out, let’s talk about what you should include in your content upgrade!
There are many possibilities for content upgrades. I love to make worksheets in InDesign, but (as you can see with this post), I’m also a big fan of tracking spreadsheets as well.
Here are some different content upgrade ideas for a ton of different niches!
- Your go-to makeup purchases / brands
- A list of drug store dupes
- Your go-to makeup look video tutorial
- A beauty product budget spreadsheet
- Contouring how-to illustrations
- Glossary of makeup types
- Your favorite DIY beauty hacks (with illustrations or photos)
- Your favorite beauty resources (like other bloggers, YouTube channels, etc)
- A video tutorial that isn’t live on your YouTube channel
- A list of different hairstyles (with illustrations)
- Your favorite WordPress plugins
- Blogging investments that are worth it
- A guest post tracking spreadsheet
- A blogging budget spreadsheet
- A blog post brainstorming worksheet
- Glossary of blogging terms
- A list of blogging resources (other blogs, shops, courses, etc)
- A list of social media image dimensions
- Sales funnel template
- Blog post headline swipes
- Desktop / phone backgrounds backgrounds
- Your favorite design tools
- Pin it / social share buttons
- Blog post / social media image templates
- Glossary of design terms
- Infographic template
- Your favorite typefaces
- A typeface you’ve designed
- Freelancing client tracking spreadsheet
- Comparison of different design software programs
- Brand identity template
- Your favorite hobby stores
- Your tutorial in video form, allowing them to follow along with you
- The best time of year to buy certain supplies
- Which craft stores have the best coupons
- Your must-have DIY tools
- Printable versions of your tutorials
- Your favorite DIY life hacks
- Your favorite DIY bloggers
- Non-craft stores with awesome DIY supplies
- Various color combinations for each season
- Your favorite brands
- Eco-friendly / fair-trade brands
- DIY clothing video not available on your site
- Glossary of different articles of clothing (with illustrations to hang in your closet!)
- Your favorite fashion apps
- Your favorite fashion bloggers
- Capsule wardrobe template
- How to Create a Capsule Wardrobe workbook
- Calendar of the best sales each year
- Your go-to outfit combinations
- Workout printables that can be hung in workout areas
- Workout tutorial videos that aren’t on your YouTube channel
- Your favorite fitness / nutrition blogs
- Healthy smoothie recipes to hang in the kitchen
- Illustrations of different basic workout moves
- Daily / weekly / monthly workout schedules
- Your must-have workout equipment / outfits for each season
- A checklist of all of the gear a beginner should get
- A fitness bucket list (different classes / workouts everyone should try)
- Workout tutorials for those without equipment
- Illustrated food recipe printables for the kitchen
- Illustrated cocktail recipe printables for the kitchen / bar area
- Your must-buy kitchen essentials
- Glossary of different types of diets (paleo, GF, etc)
- Your favorite brands of spices, utensils, etc.
- Your favorite food bloggers
- Meal planning worksheet / spreadsheet
- Grocery list template
- Glossary of different styles of cooking from around the world
- A list of [insert ingredient here] to always have on hand (spices, condiments, etc)
- Recipe card templates
- A list of every product you’ve purchased for a particular room in your house
- A list of activities to do in your city (with different price ranges?)
- The apps you’re always using (on your phone, for your blog, etc)
- Gift basket combinations for different people in your life (and where to buy them)
- Inspirational quote printables
- Seasonal bucket list printable / checklist
- Your favorite Instagram filter combination(s)
- Must-have products for the season
- College budget spreadsheet
- Bucket list template
- Back-to-School Checklist
- Summer Bucket List for your kids
- Chore chart
- Questions to ask your new school / day care provider / etc
- Scavenger hunt ideas
- Coloring pages for your kids
- DIY paper craft printables
- Your favorite relaxation tips
- A family calendar printable
- Emergency contact list
- Printable versions of your city guides
- Travel checklist
- Template of what to include in your carry-on (how many shirts, dresses, etc.)
- Travel map to color in places your reader has been
- Your most recommended places to go
- The best brands to go with (at various price ranges) for air travel, hotels, etc.
- The best restaurants to go to (in various genres) in your city (or whatever city you’re writing about)
- A travel budget spreadsheet
- A timeline of how much to save each week / month / etc. to afford a specific vacation
- An itinerary template
- Ways to save money on your wedding
- Questions to ask your vendors (photographer, caterer, etc.)
- Your favorite DIY solutions for wedding decor
- An illustrated guide to different wedding dress styles
- A worksheet to fill out to decide your color palette
- A wedding budget spreadsheet
- A spreadsheet to keep track of all of your vendors and contacts
- A worksheet to help you decide who to include in your wedding party
- The 10 Commandments of Wedding Etiquette
- Seating chart templates
- Wedding to-do list / calendar
- Invitation / Save the Date templates
- The best places to register (and why)
Did these suggestions get your gears turning? Don’t feel like you should only be reading the suggestions for your niche—you never know where inspiration will strike!
What content upgrade are you going to make first? Let me know in the comments!
P.S. One more time—download the tracking sheet now!
Ams | DahliaJuly.com says
YESSSS!! This is EXACTLY the kind of post I’ve been looking for! Everyone has their “something about content upgrades”, but finding specific examples outside the “blogging blogger” and “mommy blogs” has been hard for me. Lifestyle/DIY is where I sit and this was extremely helpful to get my gears turning for FINALLY creating my opt-in. Thank you SO much!
Caitlin Honard says
I’m so glad I could help! 🙂