Content Upgrades – Make Your Blog Posts Irresistible

Content Upgrades

Did you know content upgrades could boost your email list with up to 30% more readers?1 This smart approach has changed how well we connect with our followers. A content upgrade is like a special gift, called a lead magnet, you offer in a blog. Readers get this for free by sharing their email. It makes your post even more valuable.1

We’ve shared this idea widely, and now many bloggers are using it with great results.1 Think about it – a reader deeply interested in your topic is the best person to have on your email list. By sharing a valuable extra, you’re not just educating further. You’re also building a stronger connection. It’s a great way to invite more subscribers who want more from you.1

Key Takeaways

  • Content upgrades can drive up to 30% of blog traffic to opt into email lists
  • Examples of successful content upgrades include pre-launch swipe files, strategy checklists, and slide decks
  • LeadBoxes® are opt-in forms that can be used to deliver content upgrades to readers
  • Content upgrades can significantly increase audience engagement and email list growth when tailored to readers’ needs
  • Offering content upgrades is a common practice to grow email lists

What Are Content Upgrades?

Many are curious when they first hear of content upgrades. They ask, “How can I make one for my blog?” This post will change that. We’ll show you 12 top content upgrades from this past year. Plus, we’ve prepared a treat for you. It’s a free download with 25 ideas for your next post’s content upgrade. It also tells you the best posts to use them with.

Lead Magnets vs Content Upgrades

Let’s talk about getting your content upgrade to your readers. Need to know how? You can use a LeadBox™. It’s an easy, customisable opt-in form for your site. Your readers can then get your upgrade by entering their email. This happens thanks to the LeadPages® lead-magnet system.2 To learn more, check out your membership options for unlimited LeadBoxes®.

Benefits of Using Content Upgrades

A content upgrade is like a special gift for your audience, given in exchange for their email. It’s similar to a lead magnet but more focused. While lead magnets are broad, content upgrades are topic-specific. Say you have an ebook available everywhere on your site, that’s a lead magnet. But, if you enhance a popular post with an extra, exclusive downloadable, that’s a content upgrade.2

Content UpgradeDescriptionKey Benefits
Free Email CoursesMulti-part email series to encourage new subscribers and provide value.Strengthen relationships, build trust, turn readers into leads.2
PDF GuidesDownloadable resources that offer more information on blog topics or e-books.Add value, provide convenience, give a tangible takeaway.2
Webinars or MasterclassesLive or recorded video workshops with valuable content.Prepare for product launches, establish credibility.2
Checklists or CheatsheetsPost-reading plans for readers to act on instantly.Quick, actionable value that produces fast results.2

PDF guides offer endless options for content upgrades. You could make a PDF of the post or something more intricate like a white paper. The Penny Hoarder, for example, took a blog on Medium writing and added a PDF guide for money improvement. This suits the readers’ goal of boosting their finances.

Sometimes, showing tips in a video is better than through text. That’s where webinars shine. They can be live or recorded and offer lots of value quickly. Before a product launch, your posts can get people excited. Then, your webinar upgrade turns the very interested into potential buyers.

Checklists can turn info from your post into an easy-to-follow plan. They’re quicker than more reading in a PDF. For example, Miranda Nahmias added a New Hire Checklist to her hiring blog. This combo helps her readers hire smarter.

Content Upgrades

A content upgrade is bonus content given to your audience for their email.3 It’s similar to a lead magnet but more focused. While lead magnets attract a wide range of people, content upgrades dive deep into a specific topic. For example, you might have a broad ebook about social media marketing. This is a lead magnet. But for a blog post about growing your Instagram following, you might offer a special guide with extra tips. This is a content upgrade.

Free Email Courses

There are many types of content upgrades, including PDF guides.4 They can range from simple blog post downloads to full white papers. For example, The Penny Hoarder included a PDF guide in their post about Medium writing. This guide helps readers wanting to boost their finances, making it useful and relevant.

Webinars or Masterclasses

Some content is better shared through video than in writing.4 This is where webinars come in. They can be live or recorded. Webinars are great for sharing a lot of valuable information quickly. They are perfect for launching new products, helping you engage more with your audience and drive sales.

Checklists or Cheatsheets

Checklists help turn a blog post into an actionable plan.4 They are better than more reading since they make it easy to put new knowledge into practice. For example, Miranda Nahmias uses a New Hire Checklist to support her blog about hiring. This combined approach helps her audience learn and apply important concepts.

Why Use Content Upgrades?

Content upgrades are a way to quickly make your email list grow bigger. By offering special content enhancements, your list can expand rapidly, up to ten times faster.5 These upgrades match what people are already interested in on your site. This makes them a natural next step after someone reads a blog post or listens to a podcast. The key is being spot-on with what you offer. The better it fits, the more folks will sign up.

Increase Email Subscribers

Imagine those who visit your site finding something extra valuable. This can be a detailed guide, checklist, or anything helpful. It’s given for free, but to get it, they need to share their email. The beauty of content upgrades is their variety. You’re not limited to just PDFs or templates. Feel free to get creative based on what you think your visitors will love most.

Provide Relevant Value

It’s not just for new people, though. Current subscribers can also benefit. They might sign up for more, showing a deeper interest, when you offer a fitting upgrade. It’s a sign they really enjoy what you share, more than someone who just grabs one or two things and fades away.

Engage Existing Subscribers

Keeping your current subscribers happy is important too. Like new people, they can gain a lot from a tailored upgrade. And choosing to get it can point to stronger loyalty. So, it’s a win for everyone involved.

Creating Compelling Content Upgrades

The first step to create effective content upgrades is finding your top blog posts. You can use Google Analytics or the MonsterInsights plugin for WordPress.6 Focus on posts with lists; they make adding extra value easy.6

Identify Popular Blog Posts

Start by picking out your best-performing posts. Then, develop upgrades that fit these posts.6 This way, your upgrades will be valuable to readers already liking your content.

Choose Relevant Upgrade Type

For upgrade types, you have lots of choices. You might pick from free courses, guides, webinars, and more.6 Try to match the upgrade with the blog post’s theme and style.7

Offer Upgrade via LeadBox

After making your upgrade, you need to share it with your audience. OptinMonster’s LeadBox is a great tool for this. It lets people get your content by sharing their email.7 This method helps you get more emails while offering something of value in return.

Content Upgrades


Content upgrades are a great way to grow your email list. They help keep your readers interested. By adding valuable bonuses to your top blogs, you can get more people to sign up for your emails.8 The trick is to know what content works best, choose the right kind of upgrade, and help readers get them easily. This could change your game.8

Using content upgrades shows you’re an expert and gets your name out there.8 They are cheaper than ads but can bring in great results. Make different kinds of upgrades for all parts of the buying process. Things like e-books, lists, videos, and more can really help.8

Good content upgrades look good and are user-friendly.8 Keep an eye on how well they do to get better over time. They could bring more life to your site and build trust with new customers.8


What is a content upgrade?

A content upgrade is a bonus piece of content, like a free guide. You get it when you sign up with your email on a blog. It makes the blog post better by adding more info or a new angle.

How do content upgrades differ from lead magnets?

Content upgrades are special because they’re made for one blog post. Unlike normal lead magnets, they focus tightly on a specific topic. This makes them more appealing to the readers of that post.

What are the benefits of using content upgrades?

Content upgrades can really boost your email list. They give your readers more relevant stuff they like. This keeps them interested and can make them fans.

What types of content upgrades can I create?

You can create lots of content upgrades. Try an email course, a downloadable guide or even a webinar. Checklists and cheat sheets are great too.

How do I create compelling content upgrades?

To make great content upgrades, look at your best blog posts. Then, pick a bonus that fits really well with them. Use something like LeadBox to offer it to your readers.

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