Over the course of 2015, I decided to try experimenting with content upgrades — that is, actionable free content marketing worksheets that go along with the content or topic of a blog post, and are accessed via a download.
The results? AMAZING!
Content upgrades were the biggest driver for my email opt-ins in 2015, and I earned myself not just a lot of new sign-ups, but a lot of true fans, who have written to tell me how useful the worksheets are.
So, in case you’re new, or you may have missed a few of these goodies, I thought I’d round up my 13 most popular free content marketing worksheets for you here:
There are a few questions I believe every business blogger must know the answer to before she can get serious about content marketing. Answer these questions and you’ll be well on your way to creating a blog strategy that will work hard to support your business — whether that means increasing email signups, driving likes and follows, or supporting sales. (KA-CHING!)
OK, so there’s no such thing as a “perfect” blog post — because all blog posts look a little different! But if you find yourself stuck whenever you open up a new document and just can’t seem to get started writing, a template like this one can help you get the ball rolling.
I developed this template for myself, and I’ve used it with many of my six- and seven-figure business clients for whom I ghostblog.
If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, this list offers 66 blog post ideas anyone can write for any business or niche. They’re also conveniently broken down into the AIDA categories — so if you’re having a hard time visualizing what an interest post is or what topic might generate desire, this list is a good place to start.
The end of one year and the beginning of another is a perfect time to conduct a blog content audit. This worksheet walks you through how to find out what content did well for you last year — and helps you figure out how to interpret that information and put it to use while you’re crafting your strategy for this year!
Sounds a little silly, doesn’t it? But understanding the idea that different readers are coming to you for different things will help you create content, opt-ins, freebies, and products that resonate with different segments of your audience. This worksheet helps you brainstorm ideas to reach all five types of people, as defined by the different love languages.
If you’re completely stuck for what you should blog about — especially — if you have a product-based business, this worksheet and concept are for you. The idea is that you don’t want to just blog about your products, you need to think sideways and blog about ideas, issues, concepts, and topics that your ideal customer is also interested in. This worksheet helps you think sideways and figure out what other topics you could write about in addition to your products or services.
We all know that creating content is only part of the equation. You’ve probably heard that as much as 90 percent of what you share on social media should be other people’s content (leaving only 10 percent self-promotional). But where do you find all that additional content, and how on earth do you keep track of it all? This worksheet lays out my system for easy, quick, and efficient social media curation.
I’m betting you’ve heard it before: write epic content. But what does that even mean? In an attempt to work it out for myself, I came up with a checklist of what I believe epic content should contain. If you’re writing a post and it ticks all or most of these criteria, you’ve got something truly epic on your hands.
Often, epic content ends up being cornerstone content: the kind of evergreen content you’ll promote, refer to, and link back to often. But what should your topic be? This worksheet helps you work out what your cornerstone topics are, whether or not you’ve already written them, and then how to proceed. Here’s a tip: When you get ready to write that cornerstone content post, be sure it ticks all the Epic Content boxes from list number 8!
So, what do you do with all that epic content once you’ve created it? One good idea is to repurpose it into a product that you can sell. This worksheet offers some ideas for how to turn a piece of really, truly, epic content into a product that can start generating income for you — with very little additional effort on your part.
I mentioned for the 5 love languages that different readers want different things from you, but it’s also true that different readers may be at different stages of their journey with you. Some people have just discovered that they have a problem, and need to be educated about the problem — and the solutions. Some are comparing different solutions (including yours). And still others are already raving fans of yours, and just need to be told that you are offering a solution.
But the key here is that people at different stages of awareness need different content messages. This worksheet will help you visualize the different stages of customer awareness as well as the types of content you should be creating for each.
Once you’ve got a great post, you’re going to want to create some microcontent — that is, social media posts, images, short videos, etc. — that you can share to continue to drive traffic to the post. This worksheet will help you plan out your microcontent for each post. Download and save it so that you can use it each time you write a big post.
And finally, no one will see your epic awesomeness if you don’t spend some time and effort promoting your blog. This checklist lists 40 places you might choose to promote. Remember: you don’t have to promote to all 40 places. Some won’t be appropriate for your topic or niche. But go through the list and see how many you can incorporate into your weekly blog posting & promoting routine.
Have you downloaded and used any of these worksheets yet? Which is your favorite? Which are you most looking forward to using? I’d love to get your feedback in the comments below to help direct my content upgrade strategy for 2016!
And if you downloaded and used one of these worksheets, won’t you tweet about it to your friends and followers? Share the wealth!