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10 Tools to Drive Traffic to Your Blogs Using Content Upgrades

October 26, 2014

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content upgrades

Selling Combs to Bald Men.. eh?

If you are here after reading my guest post on content upgrades at Daily Blog Tips, then I am sure you know what I meant with the above question. If you haven’t yet read my guest post, then I will recommend that you read it first.

Okay. So, you have a content upgrade strategy ready for your blog. But how do you put all of that together and implement it. You would obviously need some handy little tools for your blogs… in other words plugins for your blogs.

So this post is about 7 such tools that will help you implement the strategy. We will looking at tools that will –

  • Help you provide your visitors and upgrade in return for their email address thus building your list
  • Help your posts go viral by enticing your readers to share your posts in return for a content upgrade.

You might have read about these tools or, might even have been using them. But all this while you never bothered to use them for this particular strategy and probably that is why you are here. So I would recommend that you read on..

Don’t Forget to Spot that Golden Nugget that is hidden somewhere in the post.. 🙂

Building Your List by Offering a Content Upgrade

Most optin pop-up plugins these days have the ability to create optin forms for posts and pages in addition to the lightbox popups. But if your plugin does not give you the option of building multiple such optin boxes, then it is no good.

So, the most important criteria to select an optin popup plugin is that it gives you the flexibility to create multiple optin boxes and embed that on your posts. If it also gives you the flexibility of embedding it anywhere on the posts, then it the most ideal one.

The following plugins give you all of these features and hence are the most recommended ones.

Hybrid Connect ($67)

hybrid connect

Hybrid Connect is by far the best plugin that I have come across. In addition to the fact that the customization and designing options that Hybrid Connect offers you is the best amongst all such plugins.

HC can create as many optin forms as you want and you can embed them anywhere. Some of the features of HC are –

  • You can embed your optin forms using shortcodes
  • The widget option is great for sidebar widgets. You can use this as well for your posts and customize them to display only for specific posts.
  • The Lightbox option is very easy to configure and simple. It also gives you a slide-in option
  • You can even create squeeze pages

HC also has an option of doing A/B testing which is also great if you want to test out different call to actions, headers, designs etc. In addition to this, you also have an option to use their Facebook integration which is a good way to capture email address of visitors who are logged into their Facebook account.

I haven’t yet seen another plugin that gives you so many features. And the kind of flexibility that HC offers, it is the most suited for our Content Upgrade strategy.

Ninja Popups for WordPress ($20)

Ninja Popups

This is another nice little wordpress plugin that, I am sure not too many people might be aware of. It gives you a ton of options and flexibility to display different popups for different posts and pages.

The designs are beautiful and gives your pop-up a nice and professional look. This is something that I was a little dissatisfied with in Hybrid Connect but, if you can spend some time customizing their designs, those also looked real good.

Ninja Popups also has an option of A/B Testing which actually is a welcome feature if you are interested in testing out different aspects of your optin forms.

The additional features include readymade presets, an excellent support team, a nice looking analytics dashboard, support for mobile devices etc. Readymade presents means you don’t have to spend time configuring anything. Just pick one of these and you are good to go.

Most of the popup plugins do not support mobile device. So that is another aspect that the Ninja Popups stands out on from the rest of the crowd.

You can check out Ninja Popups here.

Icegram (FREE)


Okay! I agree this should have been the first one. But the problem with most of us is that, when you see something for “FREE”, you have that tendency to just outrightly reject it considering it worthless. Or, many a times it just sits there in your Hard Drive after you have downloaded it.

But, yes the fact is that this plugin with almost all of the above basic features is absolutely FREE. If you want additional features, you might want to buy the add-ons.

Icegram supports multiple optin forms and has an option of targeting on a post level. So that serves you purpose of using it to provide a content upgrade.

Additional Features include –

  • Mobile Friendly
  • Embed forms using shortcodes
  • Create multiple forms
  • You can Create floating action bars, messengers etc.

You can add a lot more features to it by buying the many add-ons that are available.

Optin Skin ($67)


Optin Skin is from one of my favorite bloggers, Glen Allsopp from Viperchill.

One of the limitations to this plugin is that it does not have an option of a popup, because Glen is not in favor of intrusive pop-ups. But one of the best things about this plugin is it has an option to embed forms in five different positions –

  • At the bottom of blog posts
  • after the first paragraph
  • at the top of blog posts
  • floated at the right hand side of the second paragraph
  • and a custom location such as a widget, or in a post or page using a short code.

It supports A/B Testing and has an analytics dashboard that provides a better and more accurate statistics because it counts a form impression only when the form is seen and not when the page is loaded.

While it lacks a lot of features, it is still a good plugin for our purpose of building a list using content upgrades.

Subscribers Magnet ($37)

Subscribers Magnet is a very simple to configure plugin and gives you a lot of options as well. You can display your optin forms at multiple locations –

  • Pop ups,
  • Inside blog posts
  • In sidebars
  • In the comment area
  • In exit popups
  • In footer bars
  • In header notification bars, and more

Subscribers Magnet support Facebook Connect and is optimized for mobile devices. It can be displayed on specific posts and pages and you can create multiple optin forms.

Viral Sharing by offering Content Upgrades

This is one of my favorite ways of making a content go viral. It is pretty easy and doesn’t require more than just typing in a few words. There are multiple plugins that offer you a lot of features, but I prefer going in for the one with minimal features. This is because, I don’t want to be spending additional time to configure and place the lockers on the page.

These are some of my favorites. But in case you know and use one that is not here, feel free to tell us about it so that we can add that as well to this list.

Social Locker for WordPress

social locker

You might have seen one of these on a few of my posts. The basic version of this plugin is FREE, but the pro is a paid version. It is a very simple plugin.

You can lock any portion of your content. A locker bar will be shown on top of this piece of content. Unless the readers click on one of the social share buttons and share them on the social network, the content is not revealed.

A minimalist plugin, Social Locker is my favorite one.

Facebook Viral Content Locker

fb content locker

The best part about this plugin is its “Facebook Connect” feature which helps you collect email address of users who click on the connect button.

You can lock any part of your content (Text, Videos, Images etc.) and once the readers connects their Facebook account by clicking the button, the content is revealed.

Facebook Viral content locker is a two in one plugin since it also helps you build your email list.

Share Locker

It is very similar to Social Locker. What I like about both these plugins is the clean and neat looks of the content locker. While social locker did not slow down my page, I found that Share Locker has a slight impact on the page load times.

But otherwise the plugin is a decent one and has all the features that I look for in a content locker.

Social Video Locker

social video locker

Social video locker does the same thing as all the above plugin albeit with a little difference that it locks your videos for sharing. So your video is revealed only when someone share it on a social network. Click here for Social Video Locker

Handy Tip: I use this quite a lot. If you are wary of creating content upgrades for your posts, the easiest and the best thing to do is to create a nice little video about the exact same post. People love watching videos. In fact they prefer videos to long text posts. You can then offer this as a content upgrade and lock it under a social locker.



Finally on to my favorite one. SumoMe is a plugin that I keep talking about a lot primarily because of the many features that it offers. Best of all it is FREE. You cannot be asking for more.

SumoMe has a nice little feature called as leads. Leads can convert any content into a PDF file using its leads wizard and then offer them to your visitors in exchange for their email address. The only drawback is that the leads are captures in a CSV format and doesn’t integrate it with any autoresponder.

But having said that, there is no denying the fact that SumoMe Leads is the best plugin if you want to bundle the entire process of list building with content upgrade into one simple script.

So that sums up out tools for content upgrades.

If you liked the post, don’t forget to share it by clicking one of the social buttons on the left side of the post. You can comment below on your thoughts about our selection and also let us know about plugins that you think does a similar job.

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About the author 

Dilip Kumar  -  

My name is Dilip. I am a fan of the internet and love the many opportunities that the world wide web provides. If used constructively , the internet can give you an opportunity to lead a life free of the 9-5 treadmill and will be able to give more time to your family members.
Read about internet entrepreneurship at my blog.

My name is Dilip. I am a fan of the internet and love the many opportunities that the world wide web provides. If used constructively , the internet can give you an opportunity to lead a life free of the 9-5 treadmill and will be able to give more time to your family members. Read about internet entrepreneurship at my blog.

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