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September 8, 2016

How to turn your health blog readers into subscribers


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Sounds to good to be true, but I’m not kidding you – there is!

What is this magical method I refer to?



In a nutshell, a content upgrade is a piece of valuable content that elaborates on a blog post topic.

The content upgrade is offered within a blog post, but in order to access the content upgrade, the reader must pass a gateway (an email subscribe field). The upgrade itself is usually in PDF or video format.

While the reader gets access to high-quality resources for free, the blogger gets to welcome a new subscriber to their email gang – a subscriber, who down the line, may become a customer. The situation is a win-win for both.

why use content upgrades?

With so many resources out there, how can you be sure what the Next Blogging Method you should try is?

You may have heard of the content upgrade before, and maybe even seen other bloggers using the technique. But perhaps you haven’t understood why they were doing it or the value it could bring to your business.

Well, I can assure you that this particular blogging method is one you should try. As you know, your profit potential lies in the number of people on your email list (and more importantly, the relationship you have with those peeps). 

Conversion rates on content upgrades are high, because they present an offer for an immediate download, which is a compelling incentive for a reader to take action on. This is far more effective than a generic ‘Subscribe to my weekly newsletter for lots of juicy inspiration’ message in your side bar, because 1. You’re offering something of immediate value to your reader, and 2. Content upgrades interact with blog post content, making them easier to find and engage with than sidebar newsletter fields, and even above the fold (website header) fields.

By offering valuable content that’s gated, you’re going to increase your conversion rates substantially.

But I can’t afford Leadpages

Typically, content upgrades are delivered through a program called LeadPages. While LeadPages is excellent and I certainly recommend it (I used it extensively in 2015), for a new blogger or a blogger who’s yet to make money from blogging, the investment in LeadPages (starts at $25USD per month) can be somewhat of a cost barrier.

However, that’s precisely why I’ve created the ‘Subscriber Boost’ video demo. Inside, I walk you through the step-by-step process I personally use to create content upgrades that convert readers to subscribers of my blog – including Mailchimp integration – and I don’t pay for LeadPages at all.


How do I create a content upgrade?

To create a successful content upgrade, I recommend the following:

  • Have a defined niche, so readers know what to expect from your blog. There’s no point offering a content upgrade with a list of yummy raw vegan desserts if you offer a coaching service helping people transition into Paleo! It’s an extreme example but I hope it helps you get the gist – you don’t want to attract the wrong kind of people to your email list.
  • Blog in three umbrella categories, so you can recycle content upgrades in similar blog posts. For example, if you’re a Paleo coach, perhaps the three overarching topics your blog posts fit into include: Intro to Paleo, Paleo Lifestyle and Paleo Recipes. You could then create bonus content for each of those categories, and place the upgrade gateways in relevant blog posts according to their category
  • Think about the next step. What else could your reader possibly need to know about the topic you’ve blogged? That’s what you should create – content that elaborates on or supports the topic you’ve blogged about. For example: ‘A step-by-step kitchen checklist for Paleo newbies,’ ’20 questions to print and take to your doctor when you’ve been diagnosed with MS,’ or ‘Meditation for anxiety recording’.
  • Embed CU’s 3x throughout your blog posts. This gives your reader multiple opportunities take up the offer of the upgrade. Some people might be in from the beginning, while others might decide the upgrade is for them once they’ve reached the end.
  • Send traffic directly to landing pages. It’s also ok to send people straight to a landing page where they can download and access the content upgrade (after subscribing on the landing page) without having read the blog post first. This can be really effective when using targeted Facebook ads.

Watch me set up a content upgrade on video >>

Stuck for content upgrade ideas?

Here’s some suggestions for you to use as inspiration for your own health blog:

  • 7 day detox plan
  • Self-love journalling questions
  • (Beautifully designed) Manifesto
  • Daily health affirmations
  • Batch Cooking prep checklist
  • 10 minute workout guide
  • Short intro guide to a specific health condition you treat

The sky’s the limit when it comes to content upgrades. If it’s useful to your audience and you can package it up into something more in-depth than a blog post (e.g. a ‘How to’ guide) or a worksheet with question and answer fields, try creating it as an addition to add throughout your blog posts.

Quality is king

As with everything in blogging and business, quality is king. Always approach your content upgrades from a value-first perspective, considering the logical next step in learning for your reader, and what they would really find useful.

If that’s always your goal, you’ll not only grow your email list, you’ll form a community of people who can feel that you care, and return the sentiment by developing an affinity or loyalty to you and your brand. Awwww.

How to create content upgrades


A free video to help you grow your subscribers.

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Any q’s about conten upgrades?

Feel free to leave them in the comments.




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