Many times, when I mention the idea of creating content upgrades to a client, I get a little pushback right off the bat.

They love the idea of getting more leads, being able to segment their list by interest, and even providing more value to their readers…

…but what they don’t love is the idea of how much extra time and effort they think it will take.

The thing that I always want to help them understand, is how much value those content upgrades will provide for their business — not just their readers.

1. Increase the ROI of your blog

First and foremost, we have to look at your return on investment for a blog post or content upgrade. In other words, is it actually worth the time and effort you put into it?

I’ve talked before about the ROI of a blog post. The first step in understanding this is knowing how much an email address or lead is worth to your business, and there’s a simple formula to figure this out:

revenue ÷ email addresses = value per lead

If you take your total revenue and divide it by the number of email addresses you have on your list, you come up with an average value of each email address.

From there, you can look at how many email opt-ins a particular post got and multiply that by your value per lead. Ba-da-boom: you’ve just calculated the value of that blog post for your business.

We’ve already ascertained that a content upgrade can increase the number of opt-ins you get for any given post by an average of 300% — so by adding a content upgrade, that blog post suddenly becomes 3 times as valuable to your business.

When you can attach a dollar figure to your email addresses, suddenly the value of a content upgrade is no longer abstract, but very tangible.

A content upgrade means more revenue for your business.

2. Drive new traffic

In my book, I rant about the fact that many websites act as though traffic is the ultimate goal of any content marketing campaign.

Spoiler alert: It’s not.

But if you don’t have any traffic, no one will ever see your content, and therefore it will never drive sales.

traffic → lead generation → sales

So you have to find a balance between driving traffic and knowing what to do with it after you’ve got it.

Content upgrades tend to solve both of those problems at once.

If you’re offering a valuable freebie on a post, you can promote and advertise that freebie, which will drive traffic to your website and drive opt-ins for that freebie.

I’m not a Facebook ads expert, but what I’ve read suggests that while ads that try to sell something directly don’t work very well, ads that lead to a valuable blog post or free download tend to work extremely well.

I know from experience that when I decided on a whim to do a round up of my most popular downloads at the beginning of 2016, it was one of my most highly shared and trafficked posts ever. Plus, it brought in hundreds of new opt-ins. Win/win.

Using your content upgrades to drive traffic is a smart way to get them to do double duty.

3. Create products

Finally, something many business owners don’t realize, is that if you’re providing true value with those content upgrades, then you’re already 9/10ths of the way to creating a valuable new product.

Studies have shown that people are willing to pay for a product that presents information in an organized, well thought out way — even if they can get all the same information for free.

That means that if you organize all your content downloads into a workbook, ebook, ecourse, library, or other paid product, people will be happy to pay for it rather than going through and downloading each one at a time.

(Of course, there will be a few people who would rather take the time to download everything for free, but they will be the exception rather than the rule.)

One of my favorite ideas for coaches and similar entrepreneurs is to create journal pages or worksheets with thought-provoking questions as content upgrades — and then compile them into a nicely designed journal that they can sell.