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5 Reasons Why You Should Use A Free Course To Turn Your Blog Subscribers Into Customers

login optin

From stranger to email subscriber to loyal customer…

It’s an exciting process to nail down, especially if you’re looking for new ways to optimize your blog website and turn it into a more profitable endeavor.

But here’s the thing:

There are so many ways to start monetizing your blog that it can be frustrating to find the “right fit” for your own site. Onsite ads, affiliate links, and ecommerce sales are all players to be considered.

Unfortunately, as the ease (and popularity) of setting up an online business increases, most bloggers are also experiencing an increased need to really stand out in the minds of their readers and subscribers.

And your typical “strategies” don’t always pull through.

But that is exactly why the Login Optin™ list building strategy is gaining such momentum among bloggers (and online entrepreneurs) alike…

A Straightforward Strategy for Bloggers

Essentially, here’s how it works:

Instead of simply offering a one-click download for your email list opt-in offer, you present access to a robust (free) online course. A full-fledged online course that gives your readers a real glimpse of your passion and expertise.

This course is housed inside the a members-only area on your website that’s password protected (which can be easily done with a single plugin, if you’re a WordPress user!)

As soon as they sign up, each new subscriber receives a unique own login, along with an invitation to view their course material.

Here’s the catch:

Since online courses take much longer to consume and digest than your average download, your subscribers must also return to day after day to access their free content. In turn, they’ll become increasingly invested in your mission.

For a more detailed explanation on how this can be set up, read The Login Optin™ Strategy: Build Your List With A Free Course (Or Many).

The workflow itself is pretty straightforward and easy to implement… but the effectiveness of this Login Optin™ strategy goes much deeper.

Here are 5 specific reasons why the Login Optin™ isn’t just a great list building tool… it’s also a way to turn your blog subscribers into paying customers:

Reason 1: Your Subscribers Become Invested In Your Mission

The typical one-click free opt-in offers that most bloggers use for their email list building have one thing in common: they’re easily consumed and then forgotten.

This is a bit counterproductive, since people sign up and stay subscribed to lists out of a desire to be a part of something big. Something relevant.

When offering a free course, on the other hand, you’re presenting a much higher-value product.

You become an expert in the eyes of your blog subscribers.

The free course material also provides an opportunity for your subscribers to grow leaps and bounds in knowledge. Far more than they’re able to when compared with what other bloggers are offering at the entry-level.

Sure, the info you’re providing in the course is all free… but you’re building a relationship with each new subscriber. They’re asked to invest time and attention into returning to your website if they want to keep accessing the content.

This creates a bond that strengthens over time, making it more likely that they’ll stick with you for the long haul.

Reason 2: You Retain Total Control Over Your Presentation

The Login Optin™ strategy is fairly unique to WordPress users especially. This is simply by virtue of the ability and flexibility of the WordPress plugins available on the market.

When you’ve built your blog on WordPress, you have total control over its design and capability.

So naturally, there are so many ways to increase the impact of your free course… one of which is by creating a natural “upsell” to a paid online course (if you’re a course-building machine!), or even to your books and other paid content.

In other words, once your blog subscribers are fully invested, you can choose the best way to maximize the upsell process to other income-generating endeavors.

One great method you can use is to create a dashboard that displays all the courses together…

The “intrigue” is generated naturally by graying out the icons of any content that your subscribers don’t have access to yet:

Since this is the first thing your subscribers see when they login to access their (free) course, the array of “what else is out there” naturally builds curiosity over time.

Just link each icon to the corresponding sales page, and anyone who’s interested can quickly see what it’s about – and purchase when they want to gain access.

This customization ability, of course, varies depending on which plugin (or web developer) you decide to use!

Reason 3: It’s A Unique Experience For Each Subscriber

The benefit of a free membership site course using the Login Optin™ strategy is that you can go a step farther and make it a unique experience for each subscriber.

One way to do this is by adding cool features like progress tracking, checklists, and quizzes to your free course with a good LMS WordPress plugin. (The ProgressAlly plugin works well for this purpose, but there are others, too!)

Another way to really personalize your new blog subscriber’s experience is by utilizing the capabilities of tag-based CRMs. (ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, etc.)

Tagging automations might seem a bit complex, especially if you haven’t spent a lot of time using them for your blogging, but they can really help you to fine-tune and personalize your message.

Tag-based activity within a membership (or password-protected) site is also known as smart content syncing. And there are innumerable ways to make it work.

Reason 4: It Can Be Totally, 100% Automated

Speaking of those tag-based CRM systems…

Choose your membership site plugin wisely, and it will be able to integrate with your CRM system. The benefit of this integration is that your Login Optin™ sequence – from initial opt-in to paying customer and loyal blog follower – can be totally automated.

Essentially, here’s how the sequence runs:

  1. User Signs Up
  2. Tag applied and sequence begins
  3. Login info sent to new subscriber via email
  4. User purchases a paid course
  5. Tag applied automatically, granting access

Here’s a sneak peak of how such a sequence would run in Infusionsoft to direct the access and flow of your membership site:

Reason 5: The Opportunity For Growth Is Unlimited

The room for growth is unlimited when you use the Login Optin™ Strategy as a way to increase your blog subscribers and loyal fans.

(And yes, when built right, you’ll definitely be grateful to have room to grow!)

Earlier, I mentioned the fact that you can upsell (or cross-sell) products and courses from within the members-only area on your blog… but maybe you don’t have anything else created yet. That’s just fine!

Start with a free course and a simple membership plugin (many are free). Then, as you start offering a paid product or two (maybe that’s a Kindle book or another online course), you can just add them to the same members-only area.

Many bloggers who have used this strategy in the past to build up their blog subscribers have reported even needing to upgrade hosting providers from the sheer volume of new traffic.

The growth flexibility is such good news for those who are starting out with smaller blogs, but have a huge vision for expanding it into a business. (Word of warning here: not all membership site plugins will integrate with every CRM. Do your due diligence and choose your tools wisely!)

Bonus Reason 6: There Are Professionals Who Can Help You Every Step of the Way

Good news for WordPress users!

There are so many amazing professionals who have the skills and savvy to help make your blog (and membership site dreams) a success.

You can start out here with Kikolani’s own list of blogging resources.

Then, start looking for professionals who specialize in the systems you want to use to help your blog grow.

If you’re using a specific plugin or CRM system, for example, you might check their sites for certified specialists who can help set things up quickly.

There’s always someone out there with the knowledge you might need to grow!

Will the Login Optin™ Strategy Help Your Blog To Grow? The Choice is Up To You…

The moral of the story is that when you invest wholeheartedly in the journey of “putting it all out there” for your blog readers, you’ll reap the benefits.

The Login Optin™ Strategy is unique and can be extremely effective, but it’s main power lies in the fact that you’re willing to give your subscribers something of value. Something that other bloggers (or business owners) would refuse to offer up for free.

It doesn’t mean you have to put all your cards on the table when you’re creating your free course!  Instead, include enough value to make it totally worth your new subscriber’s time, and withhold just enough so that they’re hungry to seek out more of what you have to offer.

Ultimately, by turning your new email list subscribers into raving fans, you’re also paving the way to create a truly profitable sequence for your blog.

By Maria Myre

Maria Myre is a copywriter & content strategist. She helps businesses develop an unforgettable brand voice, so they can connect with their audience on a deeper level. Maria also loves Italian espresso, fall weather, and horseback riding.

22 replies on “5 Reasons Why You Should Use A Free Course To Turn Your Blog Subscribers Into Customers”

This is a super smart strategy. I think you’re right that reader becomes much more invested in your blog and likes/trusts you more. It’s some more work up front, but once it’s done, it keeps giving over and over again. Thanks for sharing this wonderful idea.

Hey there! We use PopupAlly Pro for the optin/lead generation, and AccessAlly for the membership site side of things. Both are WordPress plugins and can be found at AmbitionAlly.com!

(Sorry for the late response – I had a baby in May and have been lying low the past couple months!)

Hey, Rich! Sorry for the late reply (I just had a baby and have been lying low for the past 2 months!). For the Login Optin, we use PopupAlly Pro for the optin and AccessAlly for the membership site. Both can be found on AmbitionAlly.com! But yes, Icegram would also work as a lead generation option.

That’s something I need to implement as soon as. I’ve been trying to grow my subscribers’ list but it’s been a slow process. Thanks for sharing such useful information. The idea of having them coming back for more is brilliant.

I was reading your article when I realized that there is also another hidden opportunity here. Once someone has access to some online course content, you can also push forward paid courses and other material. I am keen and will soon try this approach. BTW, could you tell me what WordPress plugin (or group of plugins) will work best for this. Thanks in advance 🙂

Hey Maria,

Lead generation is very important for every website owner (or blogger) and there are countless ways to get them innovatively.

Login optin seems like a great tool to make it happen. I’ll try it out.

Have a great rest of the week.

-Swadhin

Great post. Totally agree with you. Many times after I downloaded a “cool” free ebook, I never opened it. But when it comes to a free course, I would think about it before signing up. And once signed up, I did not just let it pass my fingers.

Hey maria, Thanks for writing down this article regarding list building strategy. This is very useful to get genuine subscribers . I’d like to share these tips to my design team to implement these features in my business blog.

Maria,

Very nice information you delivery. It’s awsome that we in our business or blog can offer more to our costumers, even if we are not selling them something, but empowering them by give some good solutions to their problems or helping them to achieve dreams.

I learned a lot with your article. Thank you very much.

This method for capturing your daily visitors’ details and converting them into healthy customers is an amazing way to grow your blog! I’m going to try this method on my membership site blog, too! Appreciate your work.

Interesting, it’s a concept that I have never thought of implementing on a blog. But I can see how many opportunities and doors it could open. WOW.

I liked how you referenced visitors becoming “invested” and “part of something”, because that’s really where you can then connect with them isn’t it?

This is great info and something that I need to see how we can fit into one or more of our websites!

Thank you!

very informative post. I will use the suggestions discussing here for optimizing my new blog site.This post will be very helpful for the begaineer SEO worker who are new in this field.
Keep posting this type of helpful post.
With best wishes.

Hey Maria, that’s a pretty good strategy for gaining and retaining subs. I don’t know what’s worse, no email list or an email list which is disengaged. ProgressAll looks good. I’ll check it out.

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