Are you frustrated with how difficult it is to get readers to download your blog freebie?
You are not alone. I have been in your position and it is incredibly frustrating. I have spent countless hours trying to figure out how to make a blob freebie that somebody wanted.
One way to combat that is by bulking up your blog freebie. By that, I mean adding more to make it enticing to your readers.
I get how hard it is to create a product that will bring in the subscribers. When I was first starting out, I was super optimistic about my ability to make a freebie that people would want.
But it seemed like I was getting nowhere. Even when traffic to my first blog was growing.
With my first blog I had created about 10 different blog freebie and I was lucky to get 5 subscribers.
The freebies that did get me subscribers were those that had either a unique twist to them and were bulked up!
There were some big problems. My designs weren’t the best (I was still building my creative eye) and as a mom blogger, I had tons of competition.
But there were three BIG issues for why my blog freebies didn’t work.
Reason #1: I was all over the place.
I mean my freebies did connect with the central theme of my blog which was mom blog BUT there was nothing else to tie them together. Part of the problem was that I had not figured out my niche. That led me to have no real focus on my blog.
I talked about raising a baby and a toddler and being a working mom. While those topics should be able to go together, there was no general theme to connect them all.
In the blogging world today, a successful blog must have a niche, and usually, it needs to be a narrowed down niche.
I was trying to do everything. As I stated above, that doesn’t work. Because of that, I didn’t create a printable that I could interlink between multiple blog posts.
This is where having a focus on your niche or categories is important.
Reason #2: There was not enough information or tools.
Think about when you are looking to purchasing something for a project at home. Are you more likely to buy an item that has only one tool to it OR are you more likely to buy the bundle that has the tool you need and more? Both of these choices are the same price.
Most people will go for the bundle because more is considered to have more value.
Now I do know that not everyone thinks that but the idea that they are getting more is enticing. Especially when it is free.
So when I say that I did not have enough information or tools, I wasn’t providing a reason for the readers to choose me. Since we haven’t been able to build a relationship yet and for them to trust me, I needed to find a reason for them to take the leap for what I have to offer.
Here is an example of how I failed:
One of the first printables I created was a maternity hospital bag checklist. It was only two pages with a list of what pregnant women need to pack before going to the hospital.
Nothing else was a part of that printable. That was a big mistake on my part. With all the other mom bloggers out there, I did nothing really to stand apart from the crowd. Mind you, I didn’t truly understand this part of blogging at the time.
There was nothing to my freebie that let me stand out in a competitive market.
And that is where bulking up your blog freebie comes in. This one simple technique will allow you to stand out more.
I don’t want you to simply stand out. I want you to be LOUD and VIBRANT and BOLD so that people hear and see you from the other side of the digital world.
Reason #3: I was not thinking about my blog freebie correctly.
This last reason will tie in with the other two but I was only thinking about my freebies being useful for one singular blog post. Instead, I should have created freebies that expanded across several blog posts or around my blog categories.
With my printables being focused on specific blogs, I was now having to rely on those posts to get enough traffic. To build your subscriber list is all a numbers game. The more people you have come to your blog the higher chance you have of getting subscribers.
If only a few people are looking at your blog every day then your chances of finding the readers that want and need your freebie are significantly low.
Related Post: The Two Types of Freebies You Need On Your Blog
Why is Your Blog Freebie is Failing?
That is a loaded question and unfortunately not a simple answer. Or at least not as simple as we want it to be.
In general, I have created of potential reasons why your readers are not turning into subscribers.
- No unique twist
- Not enough information or parts to your freebie
- No pain point you are trying to solve
- Not marketing it enough
- Not including it in as many blog posts as possible
- Your freebies are all over the place
- Not visually appealing
- Not using the right words for CTA
- No landing pages
- You do not understand what your target reader needs
- Not enough traffic to your website
As you can see, there are quite a few reasons why your freebie is struggling and some of them take time to overcome. Like not getting enough traffic.
When you have only been blogging for a short period, you are still building both your authority and your audience.
But one of the easiest ways to overcome at least 5 of the issues list above is by bulking up your blog freebie. Everybody loves free stuff. Especially, when it seems like they are getting so much in exchange for so little.
How to bulk up your blog freebie?
You can solve so many issues with your product with this one single element…bulking it up. When I say “bulk up” what comes to mind? For me, what comes to mind are the bodybuilders trying to gain more muscle.
And that is exactly what I want you to do to your freebie. I want you to give it more muscle.
People love free stuff and that is why it is a great incentive to use to build your email list. But if your freebie does not have enough to make you stand out from the rest, then more than likely people will skip it.
So to bulk up your freebie, look at how much information you are providing. Does another problem come to mind when you look at what you are trying to solve? Can your freebie be integrated into multiple pages and posts?
But the biggest question you need to answer is does it stand out from your competition.
For new bloggers, we are having to find ways to be noticed while maintaining what is unique about us. And blogging is crowded (in the best of ways of course).
To do that, you need to have a wealth of information that makes your offer more enticing compared to another blogger’s offer.
Now I am not saying you need to give them everything. That is lots of time and energy on your part and if you want to do that, I would change it into a paid product.
What I am saying is that a simple checklist or worksheet isn’t enough anymore.
Want an idea of how to “bulk up” your freebie? Here is an example:
Let’s say you are a finance blogger who focuses on budgeting for families. You created a budget worksheet as your freebie. But there are is quite a large variety of budgeting worksheets out there.
So to set yourself apart from the rest, you could create a budgeting worksheet that is available on multiple platforms (printable, Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets). This allows you to catch the families who do well with printed and those who prefer the computer. It is also a way for your reader to figure out which method works best for them.
Speaking from experience in the budgeting worksheet. I tried to use the paper copy but found that actually using an Excel worksheet was 10X more effective in keeping me consistent with budgeting.
Remember, people are protective of their email and want something special before handing it to you. They are cautious of everything they see on the internet and that is for good reason.
So with that mindset, you need to provide them a big incentive. Take a moment and consider what made you download another blogger’s freebie? What made you choose that one over someone else’s. What about it called to you?
Three easy ways to bulk up your blog freebie.
Just like in real like when bulking up one’s body, there are multiple ways that you can do this to your freebie. It all depends on the type of freebies you are using and how much content is in one single freebie.
Method #1: Combine multiple single page freebies you already made into a bundle.
This method is for bloggers who have already created a variety of freebies. It works by taking many of the 1-2 pages freebies that are considered “slim” (meaning there is not of content in them) and see if you can combine them into one single freebie or bundle.
Make sure that the freebies you want to combine work together. You don’t want to take two altogether different topics and mix them.
I mean would you download a freebie that was for diaper bag essentials AND a how-to guide for gardening. Probably not. Maybe there is someone out there who would (because you never know) but the majority won’t.
This method is wonderful because it doesn’t require you to do more if you already did or only a little if you decide you want to add more.
Method #2: Take a single freebie idea and expand on it.
For this method I want you to take the problem you are trying to solve and find multiple ways to solve it OR various problems that are associated with it. This is my favorite method to bulk up. This is similar to researching a blog post.
For example, when I was on the first version of Printables Restart, I initially focused on shortcuts to making printables. Which led me to put together a guide of the best graphic design tools. Eventually (after many more alterations to my ideas), I got to the point where I figured out that the best way to help my readers was to teach them how to rethink how their printables.
Thus Printables Restart was born. My idea of making your freebie actually work for you changed when I realized what went wrong with my first blog. And I took those ideas and implemented them here.
For Printables Restart, I went through five versions of my freebie product before I finally figured out the winning combination.
By expanding on your idea, you are allowing yourself to consider your audience’s needs in different ways and solve problems they may not have thought about.
To make it easy again, start with one single freebie idea, and then expand on it to make it more valuable.
Method #3: Make a freebie that you can tie into your most popular blog.
In this method, you are going to use the blog posts that get the most traffic. Google Analytics or Pinterest Analytics is the best way to figure this out.
From there, look at the internal links of that blog post. See what is connected to it.
Now have a brainstorming session. Figure out all the problems you are trying to solve in those blog posts and then write down how you can be even more specific. It could be special tidbits that are only allowed for those who are apart of your subscriber community.
Remember, nothing is truly for free but giving your subscribers more for being committed to your blog is how you created the beginnings of a good relationship. They are coming to you for help and that is what you are doing.
Okay back to the brainstorming session. Choose at least 3 ideas from the list you came up with. Choose the ones that work well together and that you can add to various blog posts. The more people see it, the more likely they are going to want it.
But what makes a good blog freebie?
While blog freebies do tend to differ between blogs and the niche you are writing for, there are two important questions every freebie needs to answer. If you can answer each of these questions, then you have a good blog freebie.
Question #1: Does it solve a pain point?
This is one point that you will hear constantly in my blog and that’s because it is essential to crafting an irresistible freebie. If you don’t know what problem you are trying to solve, then neither will your readers.
What is a pain point?
Pain points are a specific problem that your audience is experiencing. Your freebie needs to be the one to solve their issue. It could be simple or complex.
You can also focus your freebie on one specific issue of a much bigger problem and then funnel your audience into purchasing products for the other parts. There’s something for you to ponder when creating your freebie.
Question #2: Does it solve the problem quickly?
Freebies need to solve something relatively fast. If your readers are not able to see a solution quickly, then they are less likely to invest in what you have to offer later.
Now, what is a good time frame for a freebie? I would say you can present a solution to your reader within a week.
For example, with my Printables Restart, I created a 3-day email series that focuses on helping bloggers rethink their blog freebies from start to finish.
For each email, the subscriber will either be can complete a section that they can them implement for their own blog or have the tools to use when they are ready for them.
5 Tips to Bulk Up Your Blog Freebie.
Tip #1: Look at the competition.
Do a quick Pinterest and Google search to see what is already being offered. Follow with a brainstorming session (can you tell that I like those) to come up with ways that you can solve your audience’s problem in a way the did not consider before.
I can bet that bloggers everywhere are taking ideas that someone did and then adding their own twist to improve on it. Now don’t steal their ideas (that is not kosher at all). If you are afraid of imposter syndrome, then try these two methods.
Method #1: Do a quick rough draft of your idea. This will make sure what you made was not stolen from other parties.
I also use this method as a way to write my blog posts without being influenced by other sources. This way I have all my original thoughts first and then can support it with research.
Method #2: Use the Rule of 3’s. By this I mean take one aspect from three different inspirations and add it to yours.
Tip #2: Make it versatile on multiple platforms.
A freebie that can be used as a printed product or on their phone is one detail that people love. Consider all the times you downloaded a checklist and looked at it on your phone.
Take the opportunity to elevate your freebie. My favorite for adding checkmarks and text is PDFescape. It is a free tool that makes editable PDFs.
Tip #3: Use different elements to create different aspects of your freebie.
This means you don’t have to use a printable. You could use excel spreadsheets, video, audio, email series, etc. Don’t limit yourself to one method.
Tip #4: Use different graphic design tools to create different parts of your freebie.
Not all graphic design tools are created the same. Some excel in one area compared to others. For example, I don’t like to create checklists in Canva but prefer to use instead of Google Slides or PowerPoint.
Related Post: 6 Google Slide Tools for Creating Printables
Tip #5: Be open to changing to your original idea.
I find the best blog freebies are those that had to be redesigned multiple times. In fact, I re-did this blog’s big freebie 5 times. That’s right. The one you see today is my fifth version. I didn’t start out with an email video series.
At first, it was only supposed to be a simple toolkit with design shortcuts. But as I kept changing designs or got new ideas it led me to what you see today and I LOVE my end product.
Don’t’ be afraid or upset if it turning away from your original idea. Embrace it and see where it goes. You can always go back if you want to.
And that’s it to bulking up your freebie!
Adding more muscle to your freebie is the best way to stand out in a saturated market and there are so many in the blogging world. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try something new.
As you grow your subscriber list, use them to help update your freebie and future products into something people need so badly that word spreads like a wildfire.
What are your thoughts?
Did this post help you generate ideas to update your current freebies or new ones to create? What do you think of my bulking up printables strategy?
Tell me about it in the comments below!
Happy Days –
Hi, I’m CaitieJ. I’m a quirky lady married to the love of her life and raising two wonderful little boys. I’m also the nerd who loves everything about creating printables and opt-in freebies. This blog is all about helping fellow bloggers learn how to create unique freebies that will grow an incredible email list. Check out more about me and my blog right here!