5 Content Upgrades Web Copywriters Can Use to Generate More Leads

Have you ever received a free upgrade for seats on a flight? An upgraded hotel room? Upgraded rental car? Upgraded tickets to an event?

It’s exciting. It makes you feel special. It makes your experience better.

If you generate leads for your web-copywriting business by producing content that attracts and engages your ideal client, you can offer your audience that same kind of upgraded experience… and boost your results at the same time.

The upgrade I’m talking about is a content upgrade.

Pat Flynn has a great definition of this lead-generation tactic. He says:

“A content upgrade is simply bonus content that people can get access to in exchange for their email address. Unlike traditional site-wide lead magnets, however, content upgrades are unique to the specific content that people are already reading or listening to on your site.”

This bonus content can be a deeper dive into your topic. Or, it can be something related to your topic that helps your audience take action. It should be useful and give value to your audience, so they’ll eagerly give you their email address in exchange for this gift.

Types of successful content upgrades include:

  • Checklists
  • Worksheets
  • Planning guides
  • Blueprints
  • Flow charts
  • Recipes
  • Comparison guides
  • Templates
  • Resource guides
  • Anything else your audience would want as a bonus or next step

Content upgrades can be offered within blog posts and articles, videos, social media content, live-streaming video, podcasts… or just about any type of content you’re producing.

The important thing to remember is that it’s an extension of the content your audience is already consuming. It should enhance their experience with your content and move them closer to doing business with you.

5 Content Upgrade Examples for Web Copywriters

As a web copywriter, if you’re doing a Facebook Live video on the importance of carefully defining a specific target audience for a landing page, you might offer a free Customer Avatar Worksheet as a content upgrade.

If you’ve written a blog article about why a small business owner should consider outsourcing, you might offer a checklist of 10 Questions to Ask a Web Copywriter.

Say you’ve produced a series of videos on the crucial elements of an effective website… you might offer a Website Mini-Audit worksheet.

If your content is about why consistency is important among the various elements of online marketing campaigns, your audience might find a Funnel Flow Chart useful.

Perhaps you’ve created social media content encouraging your audience to plan ahead with a content calendar. Offering a Content Calendar Template is a valuable bonus.

All of these are natural extensions of the content, and your audience will gladly give you their email address in exchange for them.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Creating a Content Upgrade

The five content upgrade examples I just gave you were the tip of the iceberg. The possibilities are endless, especially for a web copywriter.

When creating your own content upgrades, borrow these questions that I ask myself:

  1. After reading this article/watching this video/seeing this social post, what will my audience be inspired to do?
  2. What can I provide to help them take that inspired action? (Checklist, worksheet, planning guide, template, etc.)
  3. What is the logical next step I can offer AFTER they receive this content upgrade?

The third question is important. Remember, the goal is to build a list of interested prospects you can cultivate a relationship with and nurture along the path to doing business with you.

So, keep in mind the next step. Plan ahead and set the stage for the offer you’ll be making in your follow-up emails.

Once you have an idea for your content upgrade, make sure you can answer “yes” to the following validation questions:

  • Will my audience find this useful?
  • Is it something they will want?
  • Does it further illustrate a concept or help with implementation?
  • Is it easily deliverable? (A 1- or 2-page PDF is usually best.)
  • Does it move them closer to doing business with me?
  • Is it valuable on its own… even if they don’t end up doing business with me?

Content Upgrades Produce Real Results

Content upgrades have been proven to produce real results for many online marketers. I’ve achieved success with them in my own web-copywriting business.

For example, I offer my audience the opportunity to download my “Customer Avatar Worksheet” in blog articles, social media posts, and videos appropriate to it. I currently have a 59% opt-in rate for this content upgrade.

The “10 Questions to Ask…” content upgrade I created for a client is getting a 48% opt-in rate, while my own “Pre-Publish Checklist” has a 45% opt-in rate.

Compare those numbers to the 33% opt-in rate my best site-wide lead magnet — a “3 Tools for Automated Lead Generation and Follow-Up” resource guide — achieved.

Of course, 33% is great. But 48% and 59% are better.

And, that’s why I’m continuing to create and offer more content upgrades to go with the content I produce both for myself and for my clients.

What about you?

Have you experimented with content upgrades? If so, I’d love to hear what’s working for you in a comment below.

If you haven’t yet but are ready to start, tell me what type of content upgrade you’re inspired to try first. I look forward to hearing from you!


Michele Peterson

Michele Peterson is a direct response web copywriter, online marketing strategist, speaker, and coach. She draws on 20+ years of sales and marketing experience to help her clients tell their stories, engage their audience, and make more money. On a personal note, she’s the wife of a winemaker, baseball mom, back pain survivor, SF Giants fan, former cheerleader, gardener, master networker, tech geek, avid reader, and fan of all things Disney.

One Comment

  • Good article, Michele. I’d take it a step farther. If you’re writing blog content for a client, offer to create a content upgrade and raise your value to your client. You can get paid extra in a couple of different ways for doing so. You’ll get paid extra for the content upgrade itself. Then, if the client doesn’t already have an appropriate autoresponder sequence for the content, you can get paid to write that. Turn a $150 blog post into a $500+ project — and provide tremendous value for the client.

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