One of the most important lessons you'll ever learn as a marketer is this:
Do more of what's working, and less of what's not.
On a very basic level, most of us are already doing this on our sites. We find our most popular posts (or a plugin does), and we highlight them—in our sidebar, on social media and elsewhere.
It's important to do this because our most popular posts are popular for a reason, and if they've struck a chord with our existing audience, it only makes sense to highlight these posts for new visitors who come to our site too.
But, unfortunately, that's as far as most of us take it. Not anymore.
In this post, I'll be sharing 10 things you can do with your most popular content that will make sure you extract all of that nutritious juice in that fruitful piece of content you've published.
“Most popular content” comes in different forms—posts that get the most traffic, posts that are the most commented, most shared, etc. Keep all of these in mind as you read these 10 specific strategies below.
1. Add an Opt-In Form Within Your Popular Posts
My opt-ins on that page increased by 446%, from 60 to 404 in a single month.
The reason this is sound advice is because our about pages are typically one of the most visited pages on our sites, and one that is great for building trust.
The same goes for our most popular posts too, so please—insert an opt-in form mid-post, and you will see your subscriber count grow.
Yes, you may already include an opportunity to subscribe at the end of your popular posts, but you are more than welcome to ask more than once, especially if you place the opt-in forms in an area that makes sense within the post, like before a new major section starts.
2. Add “Upgraded Content”
In SPI Podcast Session #119 with Clay Collins, co-founder of LeadPages, he mentioned that a major reason why LeadPages has grown so much over the past couple of years is because in most of their blog posts, they offer a related lead magnet—a free download about that specific topic that is accessible only after entering an email address. [Full Disclosure: I am a compensated advisor and an affiliate for Leadpages.]
He suggests that as much as possible, we should all do the same. We may already have site-wide lead magnets for our subscribers, but when you give away something specific related to a post your audience has just read, you will drastically increase your opt-in rates into your email list.
This sort of thing has become known as “upgraded content”, and several people have been using this to explode their growth. Brian Dean from Backlinko.com, for example, published an awesome case study about how upgraded content helped him increase his conversions overnight by 785%!
I've experimented with this myself too in SPI Podcast Session #115, which was an interview with Jessica, my executive assistant who came on board to help me crush my email inbox and take it from nearly 10k unread emails, to now inbox zero almost daily.
At the end of this podcast and post, I share a unique resource, which is simply a PDF file that lists 5 of my favorite email inbox crushing tools. Of course, an email address is required to get this. This podcast episode, which isn't even one of the most popular, has become one of the highest converting episodes in terms of converting new subscribers.
Why? Because of the upgraded content.
So, take your most popular posts, and create unique content upgrades for them. They can simply be a PDF of the post that is more organized, worksheets that are related to your instruction, a quick-start guide, check lists, or even an audio file related to that written post. You can be as creative as you'd like here, but there's a huge opportunity and even if you were to do this with just one of your most popular posts, you will see the results come in almost instantly.
3. Add the Post Onto Your Resource Page
You have a resource page, right?
I hope so, because for me, my resource page is one of the most popular, and the most profitable page on my site.
Your resource page is simply a hub for all of the tools, resources, and links that are completely helpful to your audience—ideally ones that you've mentioned elsewhere on your site before. And yes, it definitely gets added to over time.
Categorized for easy scanning, the resource page becomes an extremely valuable and helpful tool for your audience since it has all of these amazing resources in one place. As a result, if some of those items are tied to an affiliate program, you're likely to make sales.
Include a section for your most popular posts as well. They are resources and have totally earned the right to be highlighted again here on this “take action” page. In other words, the people who come to the resource page are looking to get things done, and your most popular posts are there to help too.
4. Hook Them Up to Your AutoResponder Series
Easy enough, include an email or two within your autoresponder series that subscribers will get a couple of months down the road after they opt-in to your list, which mention or highlight one of your most popular posts.
It's always good to re-surface your best stuff, and in many cases people who subscribe to your list will have missed this important piece of content. And even if people have already seen it, if it's that good, people will be reminded to either take action on it if they haven't yet already, or even share it with those who might find it useful.
5. Create a Part 2
So you have a popular post. Awesome! You've just validated that topic as one that your audience is extremely interested in. Follow up that initial post with another on the same topic.
Obviously, you don't want to just re-post the same thing, but use this as an opportunity to mention and re-surface that older post, but also include updates, more stories, more case studies, more examples and more calls to actions to add a second layer to the first.
An example of this was related to a popular post that I published back in 2010 called The Backlinking Strategy that Works. In 2014, a newer version of that post was published called The Backlinking Strategy that Works – 2014 and Beyond Edition, which was, in fact, a guest post by Brian Dean himself here on SPI.
Do this, and don't forget to link to part 2 in part 1, and vice versa. You'll get some nice inter-linking within your blog as well, which always makes people (and Google) happy.
6. Share Success Stories Related to Your Most Popular Content
Along the same lines as #5, you'll want to, more specifically, share how people have used the content in your most popular posts. Find success stories of people who have taken that content and put it to good use.
Take that story, and share it in its own blog post, or perhaps in a longer-form status update on Facebook, or as a guest post on another blog or content platform.
When you share success stories, they are incredibly inspiring. When they happen to be related to something you've already published, they are also great for social proof for you and your brand, and it will increase your authority and build even more trust with your audience.
How do you find these success stories if they aren't coming in already?
Reach out, personally, to commenters on your most popular post, and ask them—”what have the results been like since reading this post?”
You have their email address from the comment—reach out to them and ask for those success stories. Then, highlight them, and yourself.
7. Make a YouTube Video Related to Those Posts
Your popular posts will likely help you out even more organically through Google search, but there's a whole other search engine you should be taking advantage of related to the topic of your post—YouTube.
It doesn't have to be very long, but you can repurpose your most popular content in the form of a video that you post onto YouTube, and you can even cross promote the video with the post to get even more out of it too.
The production quality doesn't have to be Hollywood, but even a simple Screenflow (Full Disclosure: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through this link.] or Camtasia Studio recording of your computer going through a slideshow presentation would work.
That, or even a couple of minutes on camera using your phone or webcam to explain the topic, almost teasing the blog post, will do you a lot of good.
8. Create an Infographic or Slideshare Presentation to Visually Show Your Most Popular Content
Similar to #7, you could create an infographic or utilize Slideshare to present your popular content in a primarily visual way.
Infographics, if properly done, get shared fairly widely and would be another way to have your audience spread the message in your post even more. Plus, you can potentially gain momentum on other underutilized platforms using infographics, such as Pinterest.
Here's a great post from Neil Patel on Quicksprout about creating popular infographics.
A lot of people are also utilizing Slideshare for lead and traffic generation. If your most popular post is a list post, this becomes even easier for you, where one item in your list would equal one slide.
You could hire others to do this for you, or on the cheap, you can totally do this all by yourself using a tool like Canva, or perhaps simply exporting a simple keynote or powerpoint presentation you create.
Here's a recent article on Social Media Examiner about using Slideshare for lead gen that will help.
9. Insert Offers Related to Your Most Popular Posts
Within your popular content—perhaps at the end of those posts—you could add in additional content related to offers for products that you own, or products to promote as an affiliate.
For example, at the end of my post over at PodcastingTutorial.com – a free resource that has been used thousands of times to help people start their own podcasts, I recently added a section about The Smart Podcast Player, my new software solution for podcasters, and I included a discount code in there as well.
It's obviously a product that's related to that specific post, and the interesting thing was that no more than 5 minutes after I updated that post with the new offer, a sale came in who used that coupon code.
Think about your most popular posts and what products, tools and resources are out there related to those things. Pick one, and put it there.
10. Use Your Most Popular Posts as Seeds for a Potential Product of Your Own
Continuing the idea from #9, if you don't yet have a product of your own, your most popular posts may be hinting at exactly what you could create a product about.
Instead of a quick content upgrade, as we talked about in #2, here, you're creating an entire course or product out of it. Before you trek into product creation mode, however, you should validate a product idea first before moving on.
We talked about product and idea validation in SPI Podcast Session #146, but essentially you want to collect either emails—or even better—actual payments for a product you may potentially create, and you do this to make sure this is something your audience will buy before dedicating more time and money to it.
Create a landing page, and make sure to be honest with your audience about it. It's not a product that exists, but it's one you're thinking of creating and you want to see how many people are interested. Share how many people you'll need to get to green-light this project, and mention that as a champion user or early adopter, they'll get special pricing and influence on the future of the product.
What's Your Most Popular Post? Share it Below!
I hope you got as much out of this post as I did writing it, because it has come clear that I'm leaving a lot of opportunities on the table as well.
In the comment section below, please feel free to share a link to one of your most popular posts. You have my permission to share a link (one link only) if and only if you also share how you're going to enhance it using at least one of the strategies mentioned in this post.
This will be fun! Share away, and take action—cheers!