Creating Your First Content Upgrade From Scratch

By now you realize that content upgrades help you get more subscribers to your list by providing extra value to your audience. A content upgrade is content that goes deeper into the information or provides a simple way to organize the information you provide your audience when they download the gated content from your blog post or website. But, how do you create your first content upgrade from scratch?
Step #1: Start with Your Most Popular Blog Post
The most effective opt-in will be on pages that get a lot of views. Because the page already gets a lot of views, the content is already popular. Your best course is to find out which post is your top post now. If you want to, you can pick the top three posts, go over them, update them if needed. While you’re at it, look for ways that you can add to or expand on the information in the post.
Example: if you wrote a blog post about How to Start Your Own Digital Retail Business there may be places in the post where you go over basic information and is a spot where you can go much deeper. Maybe you can provide a resource list with your views and recommendations on the best software to use. You could also create a checklist of steps taking your readers from A to Z on starting a digital retail store (or whatever your how-to is about).
Step #2: Decide the Best Way to Offer a Gated Opt-in… Depending on Your Audience
Every audience is slightly different, and you know yours best. Will they prefer a PDF file or a video? Will they be fine with providing more than a name and email address to get it? Consider this: often, the less information you collect, the more people who will grab the freebie and sign up for your email list.
Step #3: Create the Opt-in
Once you know what you need to create, make an outline for it and create it. It’s likely you have information you will use to create the opt-in already. It can be private label rights information, or you can create the information from scratch to match the blog post better. It’s totally up to you. But get something created. Keep it short and simple for this first one, such as an additional “how to” video, a checklist, cheat sheet or resource list.
Step #4: Create an Autoresponder List for The Audience That Downloads the Freebie
Don’t skip this step. The way you create your list depend greatly on your system. Some systems you create an entirely new list, for others, you can tag the people who grab this freebie to send them to a specific list. You may need to learn more about your system to get specific instructions.
Create between seven andten emails for the autoresponder series that recipients of your download will receive and then load them into your system. Consider what your goal is for creating the freebie and publishing the blog post in the first place. What do you, ultimately, want the audience to do?

Step#5: Create a Form or Landing Page for the Freebie
Depending again, on the technology you’re using you’ll do this slightly different. You may need to create a landing page, or you may be able to do it all through your landing page or email software. But you need a place to collect the email addresses.
Normally this will require you to either copy the code from your email software and paste into your website, or you’ll integrate your landing page software with your email software to accomplish this. When your audience clicks on the in-content link, they will be taken to this page where they will sign up for your email list and only then receive the freebie.

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Step #6: Create a Download Page for the Lead Magnet
Next, you need a place for your audience to download their freebie after they provide the information. Again, what this looks like and how this is accomplished depends on your technology. With some technology, your subscribers can be sent directly to the freebie after signing up.
In other situations, subscribers may need to opt-in to the subscription before the system sends a thank you note with the link to the download page. Either way, you will need to create a download page that is for your freebie. You can upload the freebie directly to your website server or you can use a system such as Amazon S3 to host the freebie for you.
Some autoresponder services permit the freebie to be uploaded to their server. How you do this depends on the technology you have, and on how much traffic you believe you’ll get. It’s usually advisable to host it on a third party that can handle high levels of traffic.
Step #7: Add Your Freebie to the Download Page
Once you’ve created the infrastructure for your freebie, now you can add the freebie to your download page. Remember that your download page is also valuable real-estate to market other paid products or affiliate products that people who are getting this item might also want. You can put that right below the download button for the freebie.
Step #8: Add the Link to The Freebie within the Content of the Blog Post
Once you have everything set up, now you can grab the link to the landing page you created for your freebie (or form page) and just add the link to some anchor text on the blog post. It is advisable to create something that will make it more visible. You might want to use an image with text that stands out for the freebie. Pointing out the freebie is the best way to ensure people find it and subscribe. If your call to action is not clear people may not click the link if it’s just on top of the text. So, do what you can to highlight and call attention to the offer.
These steps will stay the same. You might need to adjust them depending on the technology you use. For example, if you use technology from or for your landing page some of your steps will be different as these types of systems helps you create the pages for the freebie all at one time. Otherwise, you create each page separately on your system in a manual way.
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