How To 10x Your List Building With Your Blog

It’s an epidemic for bloggers.
Once you discover just how important email subscribers are to your blog, your plans to monetize, and your feeling of success you become a miser for emails.

You start asking for emails everywhere you go.

At a dinner party? CTA to sign up for your email list.

Bump into an old friend? Ask them for their email address.

Checking out at the supermarket? Pitch the clerk your lead magnet.

Okay maybe you’re not that bad. 😉

But all kidding aside, growing an email list for a brand new blog is hard. Even though I’ve been working in content marketing for years, when I started Project Pivotal I was still a little intimidated to start from scratch.

Luckily, I have a few main techniques that I use when starting early on, that I was able to stick to for good results. I ended up getting 3000 subscribers in my first 3 months.

I’m sharing one of the main techniques that I used to do that with you, right here, right now.

That technique is using high converting blog posts to drive traffic, and huge injections of subscribers into your list at the same time.

Be sure to read this to the end, because I’ve put together a resource guide that will give you all of the tools that you need to implement this on your blog, right now. This includes training on my 3 favorite high converting traffic sources, and the exact tech that I use on my blog for awesome CTA’s.

It took a lot of testing for me to discover the perfect combination of a lead magnet, call to action and content that leads the reader to want to sign up for your email list from right within reading your post.

So don’t take this lightly! I’ve laid the groundwork, so you can go and replicate my techniques for similar results.

There are 3 Key Principles to this Technique

Keep this in mind and you’ll be successful when setting up your blog to convert.

Content Upgrades – You may have heard of them. It is what the smartest bloggers in the world are using right now to get high conversions on any blog post that they want. It is essentially an incentive to sign up to your email list that is very specific to your blog post.

For instance, my blog post might be 10 ways to get more traffic, and the content upgrade might be video training on how to implement the strategies, but you have to sign up to get access to it.

It’s so specific that every person that clicks on your blog post will at least be mildly interested in signing up for it.

But as I found out, using this alone won’t lead you to blogging success. You need to find a strategy to communicate the value of your content upgrade as well.

Here’s how to do that.

Ninja CTA’s – This is what you will use to make sure that all of your readers see your offer. I’ve also included a few examples of other successful bloggers using these CTA’s, to show that there are many different ways to use these techniques.

In all, there are 5 different CTA styles that I use to advertise my content upgrades:

  1. In content CTA – This is a link or image within your post that when clicked, triggers a popup to sign up for the content upgrade. In his post, “How to Get 3000 Email Subscribers in 2 Months”, Dmitry from Criminally Prolific has a great example of an in content CTA.Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 7.12.41 PM
  2. Scrollbox – This is a CTA that slides in on the bottom right of your screen, once you reach a certain point in the post. Here’s an example from Ryan Gum in his resource guide for startup marketers.Scrollbox CTA example
  3. Timed Popup – This one will trigger a popup in the middle of the screen once the user has been on page for a certain amount of time. Amanda Genther has a beautiful one in use on her site.Timed or exit popup example
  4. End of Post CTA – This one simply exists at the end of the post. The most engaged readers will make it to this point, and be able to sign up for your offer quickly and easily. Adam Connell of Blogging Wizard uses these pretty effectively.End of post CTA example
  5. Exit CTA – The last ditch effort to get a reader’s email address, this one appears as the reader’s mouse exits the frame. It looks the same as the timed popup, so new new example here 🙂

I know, you probably think CTA’s like this are pretty annoying when you see them. But as I’ll show you in my case studies, you can’t argue with their numbers. As much as people say they dislike many of these CTA’s, a whole lot of people sure sign up from them.

Now you just need one last thing to make a super high converting blog post.

A Compelling Case – Of all people who use content upgrades, I’ve seen very few people talk about this aspect of getting conversions.

You can actually weave triggers that make your readers want to sign up for your content upgrade, right within your post. As you walk them through whatever your posts topic is about, you can highlight a problem, tell them why they need to fix it, and have your content upgrade be the solution.

This comes down to adding in just a touch of copywriting skills into your blog posts.

The closest technique to this that I have seen written about, was by Devesh Khanal, in his post, The #1 Problem with Content Upgrades, where he talks about using a “cliffhanger” to preview what you next posts will be about, to get more people to sign up for your email list.

At any rate, using these three techniques in conjunction, will put you on the fast track to creating super high converting blog posts.

But instead of just giving you advice on what to do, I’m actually going to open up my blog stats, to show you how this works and how I discovered the best strategy.

This will help you walk through the process to get your own strategy figured out through trial and error.

After all, real results and statistics speak louder than simple advice on how to do this, right?

Here are my case studies on my journey to a blog posts that convert at 25%.

Case Studies

Udemy Course Content Upgrade – 5% Conversion Rate

This is one of the first posts on my blog, and I was first testing out the concept of using content upgrades on a brand new blog.

Sure, some of the bigger bloggers talk about the awesome results that they get using content upgrades, but most people are familiar with their brand, so could I really expect the same results with a brand new blog?

Here was my strategy to test this out.

I’d write a case study post that gives you enough information to implement my tactic. I would then pitch a 10 minute video training to give you the full scoop on everything you need to know.

Here’s the breakdown

Lead Magnet Used:

10 minute, video training

2 CTA’s used

End of post opt inUdemy CTA example

Displayed at the end of the post for the engaged readers who made it all the way to the end of the post.

Exit Popup

Udemy course content upgrade example

Triggered as the reader was about to leave the site.


5% total conversion rate

These results are definitely decent, considering some blogs that I’ve worked with have trouble converting at 0.5%, but there was definitely some room for improvement.

Twitter Marketing Video Walkthrough – 3% Conversion Rate

In this case, I used the same quick video training as I did in the Udemy post.

I also used the exact same CTA’s and general offer.

But it got slightly less conversions.

My conclusion here?

My lead magnet was not compelling enough, and I did not sell it throughout the post. Don’t make the mistake of making a low value lead magnet.

How to Get Blog Traffic: 13 Steps to Thousands of Readers – 10% Conversion Rate

In this post I decided to take my learning from my last posts that used content upgrades, and drastically make some changes to see how much better results I could get.

So what I did was create a super epic post (7000+ words) and break it up into 13 steps. The main benefits that I was going for in this epic value post were:

1. Epic content get’s a lot of exposure – I would focus on promoting it to get a lot of traffic and shares from influencers

2. I would build trust with my readers from them reading the awesome content itself, which would result in them naturally wanting to sign up for my lead magnet even more.

I also created an epic value lead magnet that had a more in depth explanation for each step that was in the post. It included multiple video walkthroughs, a social media sharing calendar, as well as in depth explanations of concepts that I talked about in the original post.

In other words, this post and content upgrade combo took a HUGE time investment. It resulted in 10% conversions, which was a huge victory for me. A blog post that can convert in the double digits is pretty dang good!

But obviously there’s always room for improvement. Here’s the breakdown of what I used in this post:

CTA’s used: Scrollbox, In content CTA’s, Exit Popup

Lead magnet used:

Epic value lead magnet – A lead magnet that offers an insane amount of value and aims to blow your reader’s mind.

3 Types of CTA’s Used

In content CTAIn content CTA example

I used these pretty much after every one of the 13 steps. The idea was that for every reader, there would be a CTA that resonated with them.

The ones earlier on in the post did better, as they get more eyeballs on them before the most reader’s bounced.


Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 3.05.53 PM

This CTA showed after the reader got 30% down the page on the bottom right.

Exit Popup

Exit popup example

This showed right as the reader’s mouse exited the frame.

All of these things working together resulted in a 10% conversion rate for this post, which got about 1500 visitors in its first couple of months and resulted in a little more than 150 new subscribers.

2 Steps to 10X Better Results from Your Website – 25% Conversion Rate

25% conversions from a blog post is awesome!

Now this is finally seeing some of the conversion rates that the big guys see, so it is totally possible. In this post, I finally found the 1-2 punch combination that makes readers want to ravingly sign up for what you’re offering.

Here’s the breakdown of what I used:

Lead Magnet:

The lead magnet that I used for this post was the “High Converting Website Cheat Sheet.”

This lead magnet promised a short and to the point solution for my readers problem.

This type of “shortcut” lead magnet has been interesting lately, because there is so much information out there and it cuts to the chase – which readers seem to like. These has been performing well in FB ads in recent times as well, but I can’t get to that in this post.

Here are the CTA’s that I used in my highest converting blog post ever.

CTA’s Used

Prominent in Content CTA:prominent in content CTA

I put this after the first couple of paragraphs in the post, to make sure that most readers would see it, even if they didn’t end up reading the whole post.


Scrollbox example

This triggered at 40% down the page. So pretty much right when you’re getting past the first in content CTA.

End of Post CTA

End of post CTA example

This showed right after I spent the last paragraph talking about how important it is to the reader to solve the problem that I was talking about.


This one starts with offering great value within the post. Check out the post here, and use it as an example to model for your blog growth efforts.

This is the one secret weapon that you could be using right now to increase your conversions across all of your content.

In this post, I told a story and made a compelling case within the post. I highlighted a HUGE problem in the post, and talked a little bit about how hard it is to actually solve that problem.

In the middle of all of that, I offered my lead magnet, which solved the exact problem I spent the post talking about.

And that is the anatomy of a blog post that converts readers at 25%.

How you can replicate these results

Here is a quick action plan for you to replicate these results

  • Start using the Mailmunch plugin in wordpress. It’s free, has display rules (so you can show specific CTA’s on specific pages) and works with all major autoresponders so you can setup your content upgrades
  • Create content upgrades for your posts – It’s not that hard. In some cases, it will take you an extra 20 minutes. You’re already creating content anyway, might as well make it convert.
  • Advertise the content upgrades using the different types of CTA’s in your post
  • Drive targeted traffic

Once you have the fundamentals of your high converting blog post in place, your success will depend on how much high converting traffic you can drive.

In the resource guide that I created in for this post I cover my 3 favorite traffic sources for high converting traffic, and have put together a list of my favorite tools to use for increasing your blog post conversions. So be sure to sign up here for instant access.

Now get out there are start pulling in a ton of subscribers from your blog posts!