Last week I shared 4 amazing ways that you can jumpstart your email list growth right now. You may have noticed that I skipped one growth strategy that everyone else seems to be talking about: resource libraries. If you look around at your favorite bloggers it seems like almost everyone has one of these, but I’ll surprise you in saying that I don’t actually recommend you use one to grow your email list.
Before we go any further, if you’re not sure what a resource library is, let’s cover that right now! A resource library is essentially a digital library of downloads that you offer to your audience in exchange for their email address. You’ll primarily see PDFs in these libraries, but many people introduce other things like desktop wallpapers as well. They’ve been wildly popular for many bloggers out there, but the truth is simple: they’re not great for the long term.
Because I know how important email lists are and that growth is required, I wanted to talk about how your resource library might actually be hurting you and holding you back from seeing the serious type of growth for your list that you really can.
You’re not asking people to read your posts
Go take a look at your library right now. Do you have only the links to download your PDFs or whatever it is you’re offering for download? If so, don’t freak out. Most people who have resource libraries only include their downloadables as part of the library. This is holding you back because you’re not encouraging your subscribers to actually go over and read the blog post that the download went with.
By not getting your subscribers to go back and read your blog posts, you’re missing the opportunity to keep showing you’re an expert in your niche as well as truly help people with your valuable content. Yes, your downloads might be great, but many times someone needs to see that blog post to fully understand how the download can help them. You’re also likely missing out on the chance to keep growing your pageviews by keeping people on your site and reading your content.
How to fix it: Depending on what plugin, if any, you’re using to run your resource library, this might be sort of difficult. However, it’s still important to try to link your downloadables to your blog posts unless they’re totally exclusive content. If you can’t share a specific link below the mockup or graphic of your download, you should at least mention the name of the blog post it works with so people can go look for it on your site. If you do have room to add an extra link, make sure you include the link to the blog post.If you have a resource library, it might be doing more harm than good in growing your list.Click To Tweet
You’re not regularly updating your library
I logged into the resource library for a bigger blogger recently, and to no surprise I saw that she hadn’t updated their resource library in months. I knew the PDFs she was offering for download were truly helping her audience, so seeing that she wasn’t regularly offering new content was just downright frustrating.
The problem with having a resource library in addition to your blog and everything else you’re doing is that it’s hard to keep up with creating new content for everything. Something will always fall flat and for most people it starts with things like the resource library. While you don’t have to be adding new downloads every single day, it’s important to keep creating and adding content to your library so you can get people to keep coming back for more because this will encourage them to share how awesome it is with their audience, thus driving more subscribers to your list.
How to fix it: If you haven’t uploaded anything to your library lately, I want you to set aside some time to do that in the next week. If you have any content upgrades that you’ve been offering, start by uploading those. Don’t forget that you can create totally exclusive content for your library as well, so don’t be afraid to create something totally unique for your subscribers. After you get a few things uploaded, make it a monthly goal to add at least 2-3 new downloads.Have a resource library? Don't let these three things hold you back from seeing success with it!Click To Tweet
You’re didn’t make it exclusive to subscribers
The number one step to creating a resource library for your subscribers is almost always to create a password protected page on your blog and put your library there. In theory, that’s the best way to do it, but in reality that’s just the easiest and cheapest way to do it. When you do this, you’re also really trusting that no one shares that password with anyone else.
On top of not knowing who (if anyone) is sharing the password for your resource library, you’re likely still letting people still have access to your library even though they may have unsubscribed from your email list. While it’s perfectly fine to believe that most people engaging with your content are honest enough (or forgetful enough) to not remember the password and keep going back for more even though they’ve unsubscribed, you will almost always have at least a few people who do this or even just share the password for your library with their friends.
How to fix it: If you’re really serious about having a resource library and you want to make it truly exclusive to your subscribers, the best thing you can do is to download a membership plugin and let it work with your email list. This is what most people use when they host a course on their site. While people can obviously still share their login information with their friends, they’ll be much less likely to since you’re setting up your library to be more secure.
So, how well is your resource library working for you?
I want to hear about how your resource library is working for you – whether it needs some work or if you’re on top of taking care of it regularly. Be sure to let me know in the comments so we can keep the conversation going!
Need more help with your email list?
I’m so happy to say that enrollment for Kickstart Your List is finally open again, and this time for good! I’ve made lots of great updates to the content, and I added a few new bonuses for those who enroll. When you invest in the course, you’ll get –
- 7 step-by-step in-depth and intentional modules where I teach you everything from A-Z from figuring out what to email your list, growing your number of subscribers, and what to do afterwards, all in specific ways.
- Plenty of videos in the tech training guide, where I walk you through doing all of the technical aspects of growing your list and using the popular email marketing platforms
- List building tips from 10 amazing ladies in the creative industry
- Answers, feedback, secrets, and fellow students who want to celebrate your success with you in the Student Hangout Facebook group
If you’re interested in checking out more details about the course, click that image above or the link below! I hope to see you in the course! :)