If you're like most businesses, you will have a blog on your website. (And if you don’t, you really should.)
There are many great reasons to have a blog, but one of the best is lead generation. This usually consists of a form at the end of each post that encourages the reader to leave their email address in return for a free report, a newsletter, blog updates, etc.
If you’re doing this, fantastic: your blog is an effective place to generate sign-ups.
People are reading the content because they find it valuable in some way, and that means there's a chance they will want to sign up for more of the same.
But there's a problem.
What if you only have one free report?
Let's say you run a marketing agency and your free report is about using retargeting to drive more sales. That sounds like a suitable topic. But what if the post your visitor is reading is on the topic of driving more traffic to their website using SEO?
You offer both services, and there's a good chance the reader will be interested in retargeting as well as SEO. But maybe not.
What you know is that they are interested in SEO because that is what they are reading about on your blog. So wouldn't it make more sense to provide them with a report on little-known SEO techniques for beginners or a free SEO review?
This is where content upgrades become useful.
Provide More of What the Reader Wants
A content upgrade could be any type of content that relates to the topic of a specific blog post.
The idea is that you offer the blog reader the option of accessing this bonus content in return for leaving their email address.
Because the content upgrade relates directly to the blog post – and often expands on the topic – there's more chance that readers will be interested in it than a generic report.
And that means more sign-ups for you.
Ideas for Content Upgrades
So what exactly can content upgrades look like? Here are a few you can try.
The most common content upgrade I see is the PDF download, perhaps because it is the easiest.
This is where you simply offer the reader the blog in PDF format so they can download it and read it later. It's quick to create, and there's a good chance at least some readers will want a PDF version of the blog.
Another quick content upgrade to create is the checklist. If your blog post covers numerous points, create a 10-point checklist to download. This is useful for the reader, and it is once again easy for you to create.
Let's say you have a blog looking at the 5 top ways to make your WordPress website faster. You could then create a content upgrade with 3 extra bonus tips for the reader.
If the value of the original blog is high, there's a good chance the reader will be happy to sign up for more.
If you have a case study that is directly related to the topic of the blog, consider making it into a content upgrade.
If the reader is in your target audience, they might well be interested to see how you solved a problem for a client that relates to the topic.
Another idea is to simply read out the blog and offer it as an MP3 download. Alternatively, if your blog contains an audio recording, offer the script as an upgrade.
List of Resources
If you can provide value by creating a list of resources and tools that relate to the blog, provide this as a content upgrade.
If your blog is on a complicated topic, a quick and simple guide to get started can provide value to the reader.
You could always just offer another free report, but this time make sure the report is directly related to the topic of the blog post.
If you have a selection of topics that you write on regularly, you might want to create four or five reports and then offer them as content upgrades whenever you write on the topic.
These are just a few ideas to get you thinking, but you could create a content upgrade on anything. OptinMonster has a great resource packed full of more ideas if you need some more inspiration.
Don't Hold Back Crucial Information
The content upgrade should not be something the reader should feel they have to download. So don't hold back vital information and leave them on a cliff-hanger.
'And the answer to all of this is … sign up to find out!'
That will only leave readers feeling cheated and it will create bad feelings, which is not what you want.
Instead, make sure it adds value – the sort of thing someone might want to download but doesn't have to.
Try It Yourself
Content upgrades are a simple idea that can make a big difference to your lead generation from blog posts.
They take more time to create, especially if you create a separate content upgrade for each post, but they don't have to involve a lot more work on your part.
For example, you don't have to start out by creating a new content upgrade for each post. Instead, check your analytics and find out which blog post is getting the most regular traffic, then create a content upgrade for that post.
If time is short, focus on smaller upgrades like checklists and PDF downloads to get started, and save the larger upgrades for more detailed posts.
Sure, it will involve more work than standard blogging. But if you generate more leads because of it, surely creating content upgrades will be worth the effort.