Create Valuable Gated Content Upgrade

Posted August 22, 2019

The truth is, it’s getting harder and harder to get people to subscribe to your email list. People don’t just want to give away their personal information – you need to offer them something to entice them, offer something in exchange for the emails that they’ll provide. This is where gated content upgrades come in. 

Gated Content – The Basics

What exactly is “gated content”? Gated content is the type of content that your visitors access only after providing their information. In most cases, this means an email address, but it can also mean a subscription or social media likes and shares. The controversy behind gated content is where you should draw the line. What kind of content should require a subscription and what kind of content should be up as regular blog posts, for example? How much content should you put behind “the gate”? Before we go into it, we need to clarify what gated content is not: it’s not content that your audience need to pay for. Gated content works because it incentivizes lead generation. If you want to generate money, that’s another step entirely on the content funnel, but don’t cheat yourself out of a fresh stream of leads that gated content can get you just for a quick buck. 

So, what kind of content upgrades can you offer your subscribers? We’ve compiled a list of ideas to help get you started:

  1. PDF Blog Post

Save your final draft as a PDF and provide it as an upgrade – it’s really as simple as that! If you are providing your readers with truly valuable content, they’ll want to save it to be able to keep coming back to it whenever they want. This works especially well with extra-long blog posts, as sometimes they’re easier to skim on the go and save to read in-depth later.

2) Checklists

A downloadable, printable checklist is very easy to create, and people love them. You can make a checklist from a step-by-step printable list, a set of materials needed for a project, or even a larger “how-to” article you cut down into more digestible chunks of information. 

3) Master List of Resources

Let’s say, for example, you make an article about how to apply for project loans or grants. Creating a master list that links directly to the application forms on each website means your readers won’t have to search out each one of them on their own, saving them a ton of time.  

4) Video or Audio Recordings

In this fast-paced, a lot of people don’t have the patience to read a long blog post and prefer to watch YouTube videos or listen to a podcast with the same information. Although we are not suggesting that you ditch your written articles (they are great for SEO, after all), offering them as an audio recording can be very appealing, especially for people who are short on time or simply digest information better that way. This idea also works great if you host live lectures or webinars, as you can offer the video or audio recording as a bonus, allowing people to access them in the future. You can even expand on this idea by offering the transcript of the talk as well. 

5) Guides

Whether it’s a quick guide or a full guide, people love it when you take them by the hand and guide them through every step of a process that might seem complicated to them. For example, if your post is about how to start an e-commerce business, the guide could break down every step in a comprehensible way.

6) Printables

Printables are especially appealing to all audiences because even though we live in a digital era, we still love to be able to hold stuff in our hands. Printables can be anything your readers can download, print and put up on their walls or paste on their journals. This could be related to your blog, like diagrams, printable recipes, motivational quotes, lists, calendars, etc.

7) Challenges

Challenges are a great idea for gated content because people love to feel like a part of a community, and this works great for you because it also boosts your engagement and reach. For example, if you have a healthy-living blog, encouraging people to join a smoothie or exercise challenge and use an IG and TW hashtag to share their progress, will provide you with a fresh stream of leads and will help grow your community immensely. 

8) Templates and Scripts

Templates are attractive because they make people’s lives easier. A template is also very easy to create, and you have so much to choose from! Email templates, budget templates, business card templates, etc. Scripts are like templates for when your readers are stumped for what to say. For example,  if your site is geared towards journalists, you can create a script of how to pitch a story to a magazine and offer it as a content upgrade. 

9) Free Trials or Product Teasers

If you sell a product, or a service that offers paid subscriptions, a free trial or sample can be greatly enticing for your readers. Although it isn’t necessarily content itself, it’s an amazing bonus that’s guaranteed to get you tons of leads that actually convert.

10) Free Course

If you want to be thought of as an expert in your field, consider offering a truly valuable course for free. This could be a series of videos, an email course, or an ebook; all of the options have their pros and cons. For example, an ebook can be enticing because they can download it right away, but an email course or series will keep your audience engaged for longer, amplifying the chances to convert. 

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Libia RM

Libia has several years of experience creating content for marketing, advertising, and PR.