How To Increase Your Blog’s Optin Rate Without Creating Any New Content

What if you could double your email list signups simply by rearranging some of the content you already have – and not have to actually take the time to create anything new? Perhaps you can.

Been told you need to build your email list, but have a hard time pulling it off?

What if you could double your email list signups simply by rearranging some of the content you already have – and not have to actually take the time to create anything new?

I recently began doing this here at the Blog Marketing Academy and, so far, it looks like I’ve raised my average daily optins by 55%. I’m now getting 55% more opt-ins to my list every day and I didn’t create any new content.

Let’s go over how to do it. It is actually pretty simple.

The Least Effective Blog Opt-In Form Is…

The sidebar.

Now, I’m certainly not telling you to stop having an optin form in your sidebar. You need one there. But, as far as list building techniques, it isn’t among the most effective.

What works far better has been called the content upgrade.

I’m certainly not the only guy to talk about this. Brian Dean, from Backlinko, was among the first to talk about it, if I recall. But, I’ve also seen Brian Harris, from VideoFruit, talk about it. Pat Flynn. CrazyEgg. There are even Wordpress plug-ins specifically for this.

The idea is to create a custom lead magnet for each blog post, therefore having a tailored, targeted opt-in offer on every piece of content.

Now, that seems an awful lot like work. 🙂

Creating a whole new giveaway for EVERY blog post? Are you nuts?!

Well, those who succeed are the ones willing to do what others aren’t. That remains true.

But, let’s look for opportunities of LEVERAGE here. How can we incorporate this strategy without having to create a bunch of new stuff?

Here’s what I did…

The 80/20 Rule On Your Blog Archives

The Pareto Principle (known as the 80/20 rule) tells us that 80% of our results will come from 20% of our efforts.

So, it follows that 80% of our blog traffic is probably coming to 20% (or less) of our blog archives.

So, first item of business is to go into our web analytics and find out what our most popular posts are.

Go into Google Analytics (which, hopefully you’re using), go to Behavior -> Site Content -> All Pages… and pull up a list of your most trafficked pages.


Now, the image above is just for 30 days. You may want to go out to a bigger range to get a more long term sample. Also, you’ll probably want to tell it to show you more rows. It defaults to 10, but if you have a large archive and the traffic is spread around, you might want to increase it to 50 or 100 (or more) to get a good sample.

Next, I exported this data to a Google Spreadsheet.


Once it is in a spreadsheet, you can clean it up and get rid of everything other than the data table.

Now, what you’re looking for is the pages which comprise roughly 80% of your total traffic for this time period. As you go down the list, you’ll see the traffic numbers go down. It will form a curve that will likely drop somewhat quickly before it reaches a normal. So, what you want is to highlight those pages where the visitor counts add up to roughly 80% of your total traffic during this time period.

Now, of this list, go ahead and delete rows for any page which already has obvious calls to action. In my case, any URLs to the homepage, a squeeze page, an archive page… these pages are not candidates for a content upgrade. So, I remove them.

What I’m left with is my most popular blog posts.

These are the pages we will focus on.

Insert Content Upgrades (With Shortcuts)

First thing to do is take stock of what you could use as a lead magnet. Consider these…

  1. Any lead magnets you’ve already made – ever.
  2. Any videos you’ve ever created. They could be on your Youtube channel, Facebook, etc. Anything which is a piece of content that could be interesting to your target market.
  3. Any blog posts you’ve already written. Yes, you can take past blog posts that you think are particularly compelling and easily make a PDF out of it. This is a form of blog post “cross selling”.

Now, we’re going to start matching things up.

Go one by one, starting at the top with your most trafficked post, and let’s start matching things up to a targeted lead magnet.

I would recommend having the link to your lead magnet toward the top of the post and at the bottom. The top one could be something like “Before You Continue…” then invite them to grab it. And, the end could be “Before You Go…” or “Here’s Your Next Step…”.

For the actual link, I prefer just that… a link. A regular hyperlink. No big fancy buttons. Just a link because it fits into the blog post natively. So, I like to use a pop-up optin form. LeadBoxes is a great solution for this. You could also use Thrive Leads or something similar.

And what happens when they opt-in? What are they actually getting?

Well, I’d send them your lead magnet delivery email. And in that email, just link to your lead magnet.

  1. If it is a PDF lead magnet, just upload it to your Media Library in Wordpress and include a link to the file in your email.
  2. If it is a video, send them a link to the video on Youtube, or maybe create a landing page and embed it there.
  3. If it is one of your blog posts, you could either send them the link to the blog post or (better yet) send them a PDF version of that blog post.


An Example Of An Upgraded Post

I’m going to show you one particular post I upgraded because it was a complicated one to figure out. Perhaps my thought process and how I did it could help you.

We all have those posts we wrote in the past which, without even trying, seems to get good long-term traffic. Thing is, it is a blog post which doesn’t have much to do with your business so therefore it doesn’t seem to do your business much good.

For me, one of those posts is: How To Get A Big Whiteboard On A Small Budget.

This blog post doesn’t really have much to do with more core business. I just wrote it to put something interesting on the blog and, quite frankly, I was far less strategic with my blogging back then. But, to this day, that post gets about 85 visitors per day organically.

If somebody is looking for a whiteboard, are they interested in blogging, online business, or anything like that? It’s possible, but not likely.

So, how could I form a bridge between these 85 people per day who I have no idea what they’re interested in… and something I could provide that might weed out true prospects?

Well, if they’re interested in a budget whiteboard, they’re probably interested in their office. Maybe office hacks to increase productivity. Possibly by using a lead magnet centered around productivity (since that’s something I could bridge them over with), I could funnel off the more entrepreneurial people who come to this blog post.

So, I set up this CTA…


Click on those links pulls up a LeadBox…


Another thing to note…

In the text of the call to action, I use a little bit of copy to relate this lead magnet to the mindset of the person on the page.

Another example to show that is my post: How To Find And Hire Writers For Your Blog (The Complete Guide).

The person who would find this post has a blog, but I don’t know their intentions. But, I DO know they have a blog. And they probably want traffic. So, I offer them my Pre-Publish Checklist lead magnet using the follow copy…


If they’re going to hire writers, they want to get ROI from those writers. To do that, you’ll want a system for each of those writers to follow to prep their post… and that’s the checklist.

So, see how I used the text of the post to bridge whatever gap might be there between the reader of the post and the lead magnet I am offering?

Taking It Further…

As you get to the end of your post list, you’ll then have targeted calls to action on those blog posts which represent 80% of your blog’s traffic.

There’s almost no way this process will not result in a nice increase in your blog’s overall conversion rate.

But, you also want to look at the big picture here.

To make this list building actually generate money for you, you need to have a specific structure behind the scenes.

Your lead magnet should be positioned not just to get the opt-in, but also to properly position your new lead for a potential sale. The psychology of pulling that off is covered in the Action Plan called Creating An Effective Lead Magnet.

Then, what happens back there? Well, I call that the blog profit funnel, and the full step-by-step layout of building it is in the Action Plan called Building Your Blog Profit Funnel.

And then, of course, are the actual emails you’ll be sending them and how you structure your lists. That’s all covered in the Building Your Email Followup Engine Action Plan.

Good news is that you can get immediate access to all of 3 of these plans (and many more) by joining the Blog Monetization Lab. That’s where you’ll find them.

One Comment

  1. Hey David!

    I LOOOVE content upgrades 🙂

    I have a case study where I increased my overall blog conversion rate by 300% just by implementing a few content upgrades across a few most popular posts.

    Let me know if you want me to tweet you a link to this case study 😉

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