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How a Resource Library Improved My Email List in Powerful Ways

by | Jan 25, 2019 | Business, Productivity

13 min read

What the heck is a resource library for your blog? What benefits does a resource library have? Should I create one for my blog? How do I even set one up? I answer all these questions in the post and walk you through how to set one up on WordPress for your blog!

I had all of these questions before I started my resource library on my blog as well.
Luckily, I had a few great blogger friends that helped me out with this – and now it’s one of my favorite assets for my blog!

Ah – that sigh is a sigh of relief and one more burden and load off the shoulders of this blogger.
You’ll feel the same way if you find that the resource library is something you want to create for your blog!

It makes things so much easier:
I don’t have to worry about separating each opt-in, making sure every lead magnets links are working in my email service provider – or finding the right lead magnet to email someone when they lost theirs.
Plus, my audience can tell me what they find most valuable based on downloads, and I can simply direct them to the resource library to get anything I’ve ever created for them!
Along with multiple other benefits, a resource library is a fantastic tool in your blogging toolbox.

We will go deeper into in this post!

Keep reading to see if this ‘resource library thingy’ is a good fit for your blog – and if it is, I’ll show you how to set one up! Consider this your ultimate guide to resource libraries for bloggers!

Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. This goes to help support and run The Success Mountain website and keep the free information flowing!

What is a resource library?

Vaults, lead magnet bundles, resource library – all of these are places that bloggers can collect their lead magnets to provide their email subscribers access to all of the free products in one place.

Have you ever gone to a blog and signed up for a freebie, only to see another one that you want and have to sign up for that one, too?

Sometimes you get two email sequences, and it ends up being more of a hassle to grab that second lead magnet instead of just going into a resource library and seeing everything available!

 

Who needs a resource library?

Bloggers and anyone who offers freebies, email opt-ins, lead magnets, etc!

 

But why should I have a resource library for my blog?

  • It makes it so much simpler for email marketing
  • It speeds up your workflow
  • Your customers get more information – which means more downloads on their pc, which means more marketing touch points for you
  • It shows new subscribers more information about what you’re all about and what you offer
  • It keeps people subscribed for more stuff
  • It’s easier for your customers to see everything you offer – just like the second lead magnet example above

 

Resource library full of colorful books on a bookshelf - How to create a resource library to improve your blog and email list
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How do you set up a resource library?

**NOTE: This tutorial is based on WordPress websites.**

 

First, decide on a name for your resource library

If you’re feeling creative, it would be fun to come up with a name for your resource library! Instead of calling it ‘resource library’, you could call it ‘freebie toolbox’ or some other creative name.

I called mine The Vault, because I was feeling creative and wanted to associate The Success Mountain to a mountainous vault full of hidden gems!
I know, it’s probably a little corny, but hey, we were having an imaginary moment!
Also, my newsletter is called The Hidden Gem!

Sadly I have realized that The Vault is way too overused 🙁 But I’m not going to change it, it matches my brand!

Next, create a new password protected page

After naming your resource library if you chose to, you’ll need to create a new page in WordPress. On the right-hand side, you can select “password protected.”
Choose an easy password to remember – so that when someone asks you what it is, you can tell it to them.

Don’t choose anything that’s capitalized, no special characters, no numbers. There will be some people who email you saying they can’t get in if it’s too complicated. Plus it saves everyone’s time to have an easy password!

Then, create the library itself

Now we will have to design the page. Once the user logs in, they should see a list of your freebies. You can create different categories for them, you can have images of each product, you can have just the links, etc.

It’s all up to how elaborate you want to make your resource library.

I don’t recommend going crazy on the design of this page, especially when you’re first starting out. Once you’ve been set up for a while you could probably spruce up the design – but for now, the important thing is to get it up and going!

Some people download a grid plugin to help them with this, called the Essential Grid plugin.

I use the Divi theme which doesn’t require me to use the plugin – and I’d argue that you don’t need to have the grid plugin, either (although this does depend on your theme).

I’ll tell you why.

I recommend just using text links to lead to your downloads – with no images. 
When setting up my library, Jennifer Maker, a fellow blogger in my Elite Blog Academy course, had a good point: you might not need an image for the product.

You want as many people to download your products as possible because then they have more of your products on their PC.

At the time of this post, I don’t currently use images for most of my products. I did at one point, but it’s a lot faster to just type in the title, and link it to the download each time I have a new opt-in available.

Here’s a snapshot of what my resource library looks like inside:

Resource Library Design Example | Are you curious about how to design a resource library for your blog to grow your audience? Don't miss this article that will give you tips and ideas on how to design your free resource library! #tutorial #bloggers #resourcelibrary
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Simple, right?

Upload your first lead magnets

Now you’re ready to upload your lead magnets!

I recommend having at least 5 lead magnets or email opt-in freebies to put into your library, so it doesn’t look sparse!

How to upload your lead magnets to your resource library

To upload your lead magnets locally to WordPress, you will:
  1. Upload them directly to your media library in WordPress
  2. Click into the opt-in and grab the link that WordPress assigned to it when you uploaded
  3. Go to your resource library page and type in the title of your opt-in
  4. Enter text in the library linking to the download. Make sure it’s set to open in a new tab
To upload your lead magnets using Google Drive or Dropbox, you will:
  1. Upload your lead magnet to Google Drive or Dropbox
  2. Make sure the sharing settings are set to public or “anybody who has this link” and that it’s set to view only, NOT edit
  3. Go to your resource library page and type in the title of your opt-in
  4. Create a link on that text or another text or button that says “Click here to download”. Make sure it’s set to open in a new tab

I personally find that uploading documents to WordPress is okay for me right now. I might change this later, but for now it’s how I prefer to set things up.

How do I track how many downloads each freebie has?

One tip I read online was to use a Bit.ly link in order to track how many downloads you are getting. This can give you valuable audience insight to see what your audience is craving – it tells you what to create more of!

The other method of tracking your downloads is to use the Downloads plugin.

How to set up your email funnels to give your subscribers access to your resource library

Now that you’ve uploaded some freebies to your library, you’ll want to connect it to your email service provider by setting up your funnel in your email service provider to give the password.

There are a few different ways you can do this, and it depends entirely on your own preference.

1 – You can set up your funnel in your email service to give the password as soon as they hit the ‘confirm’ button on your opt-in form. Make sure to change any existing email funnels with downloads in them in your email service provider, and link to the resource library. Give them the link upon hitting “subscribe” or “confirm”, as well as any email you send them in your funnel. Seriously – every email.

2 – Or, you can send it in the very first email to them (your double confirmation email or the “welcome’ email in your sequence).

My fellow blogger Jennifer Maker again says she is very generous with her resource library password – she recommends you give it away as much as possible. The goal is to market your products and give away your things as much as possible to spread the word about your site to your readers!

So don’t be stingy with your password – it’s doing all the marketing for you!

Also, be sure to include the password and the link to your resource library at the bottom of every single email.

 

Are you curious about how to design a resource library for your blog to grow your audience? Don't miss this article that will give you tips and ideas on how to design your free resource library! #tutorial #bloggers #resourcelibrary
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How to promote your resource library

Create a blog post for it

You want to have a blog post promoting every opt-in you have, and it’s not any different for your resource library! You should also write a post on what you offer there.

This is my blog post talking about resource libraries – shameless plug, lol!

I’m adding value to you as the reader, as you are reading this because you’re curious on how to set up a resource library for your blog, or what it’s for! So my post is providing value, but it’s also a good opportunity for you to see how my resource library is set up and designed!

Create a landing page, pins, and an opt-in form

Just as you want to write a blog post about it, it’s so much easier on yourself if your library has it’s own opt-in form and landing page.

When you want to give someone a link to the library, it’s a lot easier to just give them the landing page link rather than having them read the blog post and finding the form. Make it as easy as possible for you, and your subscribers!

Also, create pins and pin them! Add them into your rotation on Pinterest, or other social platforms you’re using.

 

Tips and frequently asked questions about resource libraries

  • To avoid multiple emails asking for the password: Add the link and the login password to the bottom of every single email.
  • Don’t worry about people subscribing and unsubscribing: The number of people that will do this won’t matter in the long game. Each person that downloads your information and saves it to your PC still has a touch point connected to every document they download.
    So you’re just spreading your brand around to those users PC’s – and maybe some of them will come back! There’s no way to know for sure, but at some point, they may remember the value you gave them after running into that PDF you created, and come sign up again to see what else you have to offer.
  • Don’t worry about emails asking for the password even if you aren’t sure they’re on your list: This will rarely happen – and they’d still get your information for free. If they end up getting your information and still like it – they’ll probably sign up eventually (if they were ever your customer, to begin with).

 

Creating a library of resources for your opt-ins, lead magnets, freebies, and other ‘goodies’ you’ve created for your list is a fantastic way to see what’s working with your audience!

It also eliminates the confusion of multiple funnels with a variety of download links – just lead your audience directly to your resource library where they will be more than happy to download multiple products you’ve created!

This gives you more touch points with your customers, less headaches in your email marketing platform, and more time to work on your business!

All I do now when I create a new opt-in is go into the library and put a link to it. No worrying about if the funnel is properly set up (I just copy the funnel in my email service provider)!

And no more worrying if my reader didn’t get the right opt-in, because they’re all in the same place!

In this post I showed you the who, what, when, where, and why – and even the how on setting up a resource library for your blog. 

If you have any questions on how to set this up or if you need help – please let me know in the comments below!
Also, if you enjoyed this post or found it helpful – would you share with another blogger who could use the help or on your favorite social media platform?

Thank you so much for reading!

Want to save this for later? Pin it to your favorite Pinterest board!

 

Are you curious about how to design a resource library for your blog to grow your audience? Don't miss this article that will give you tips and ideas on how to design your free resource library! #tutorial #bloggers #resourcelibrary
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Are you curious about how to design a resource library for your blog to grow your audience? Don't miss this article that will give you tips and ideas on how to design your free resource library! #tutorial #bloggers #resourcelibrary
  • Facebook
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Are you curious about how to design a resource library for your blog to grow your audience? Don't miss this article that will give you tips and ideas on how to design your free resource library! #tutorial #bloggers #resourcelibrary
  • Facebook
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Stop using BLAH looking opt-ins!

Grab the free and beautifully styled CANVA lead magnet template to grow your list when you sign up for The Vault + newsletter!

Woot! It's on the way!

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