Content Upgrades. Answering what, why, and how to make them!

Content Upgrades. Answering what, why, and how to make them!

If you want to grow your email list and a following then you need to create content upgrades. What are content upgrades? I'll show you.

When I first started blogging I was writing posts that were informative and helpful but I wasn’t seeing a significant increase in pageviews. What’s worse, my email list growth was stagnant. It wasn’t until I started creating content upgrades that my pageviews and email list grew dramatically.


What is a content upgrade, you ask?

Well, I’m sure you’ve seen them and you call them downloads. That’s right, a content upgrade is nothing more than downloadable content in exchange for an email address.

A content upgrade is an extension of a blog post. Bloggers add downloadable content into their posts as further reading on a particular topic. It’s a super smart marketing strategy. Let’s break it down:


A prime example:

Nesha, of is the best at creating content upgrades in my opinion. In her post, How to Set Up Weekly Batch Days she explains how batch days can be a game changer for freelancers and bloggers. (I love this idea and her post!) Then she adds more value by including free batch day templates! To get the free templates readers give an email address and voila, the templates arrive in their inbox. Those templates are a content upgrade my friends.

Nesha not only gave her readers great advice, she further helped them by creating the templates. In the eyes of the reader she's establishing herself as an expert. For Nesha that marketing tactic just landed her a new lead and potential client.

So where should you start?

First, take a look at this amazing list of 18 types of content upgrades from Sarah, of Her list is so detailed and sure to get you thinking. I’d add two more types to Sarah’s list:

Guides are a great content upgrade. For example, I created a guide to go along with my blog post on How to Choose Fonts for Your Logo and Brand. In the post I highlighted a few great fonts to consider for a logo. Then I went one step further and created a font pairing guide that shows fonts that pair really well together. It’s my most successful content upgrade thus far.

As a graphic designer I use templates all the time. So when I create templates that I think my readers would use I add them as content upgrades. [Related posts: How to Create An Inspiration Board in 3 Easy Steps , 3 Social Media Images You Should Be Creating With Every Blog Post]

Sarah’s list also includes ideas on how to create and share your upgrades. Convertkit and Mailchimp’s automation campaigns are two great options for delivering your content via email. But what about a free option?


Use Mailchimp’s ‘forever free’ plan!

That’s right, I’ve got a totally free option to deliver your content upgrade. If you’re just starting out this is the way to go. MailChimp offers a ‘forever free’ plan, which allows you to send 12,000 emails per month with a maximum of 2,000 subscribers. Pretty fair if you ask me. On this free plan you can send your content upgrade in your "welcome email" when someone subscribes to your email list.

Learn how to send your content upgrade for free with my step-by-step tutorial. Part 1 of the tutorial includes how to build your signup form and send your content upgrade. To get the tutorial all you need to do is subscribe to my free resource library. My library is filled with worksheets, printables, guides, and templates designed specifically for bloggers and creative entrepreneurs!

Content Upgrade Tutorial

If you plan on regularly creating content upgrades (which is what I do) than you’ll need to create a resource library as well. A resource library is a password protected landing page on your website specifically designed to house your content upgrades. [Stay tuned for next weeks related post: Part 2: How to create a resource library]. So, what are you waiting for?

Content upgrades are a marketing strategy that’s here to stay. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the thought of creating an upgrade or multiple upgrades I can help. I’ve created e-books, guides and worksheets for clients to use as content upgrades. I’ve also worked with VA’s and copywriters to produce content. I’d be happy to chat with you about your ideas!

So, if you want to grow your email list and position yourself as an expert in your field it’s time to create some download worthy content. You can do it!

Tell me, are content upgrades part of your marketing strategy? If not, what’s holding you back?