How to create a freebies resource library on your blog

How to create a freebies resource library on your blog

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There’s so many ways to serve your audience on your blog and one of the best ones is to provide extra value with freebies or resources for them to download, print or read online.

It’s super easy to add an optin popup or form to your posts to allow your readers to opt in to receive a freebie that is relevant to the particular past they are reading.

Perhaps you have a checklist, a planner or an ebook that you’re offering for free on a particular subject? 

Once you’ve created a handful of freebies or opt-ins for your readers it’s a really great idea to pop these all in one central repository. One place where your subscribers can go and download till their heart’s content! 

It’s also a super idea to have it centralised in your blog menu so that potential subscribers can easily see what you have to offer and subscribe to your blog to gain access. It’s a great way to grow your email list and generate leads! 

Creating a freebies resource library is super easy! So, don’t be put off by the technical aspect of it. I’ll walk you through the steps below. 

Disclaimer: This post contains links, that if clicked, and you make a purchase, or start a trial, I may make a small commission, at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I 🧡

How to create a resource library on your blog 

1. Create valuable resources

First off you need something to give away! You want to create a small collection of resources that are applicable to your niche. Things that are highly valuable for your readers that they’ll want to grab!

Types of great freebies to offer as downloads on your blog

  • checklists
  • calendars
  • printable to do lists
  • recipe set
  • ebooks on a particular topic
  • downloadable guides
  • stock images
  • mini digital courses
  • meal planners
  • journal prompts
  • graphics
  • how to’s  
  • workout plan
  • design templates
  • habit trackers

I use Canva Pro to make all my digital freebies and downloads. You can easily create stunning resources, then download as PDF in Canva. It’s truly magic! 

Make sure your offerings are high value for your particular audience… Ie: that they’ll want to part with their email address in order to receive your download. Check out some other fab freebie ideas here.

You might also be interested in:

Everything you need to know about Canva Pro and why it’s worth the upgrade

2. Add your PDFs to Google Drive

So, in order for your peeps to be able to download your files you’re going to have to put them somewhere that they can obtain a clickable link.

Create yourself a folder in your Google Drive for all of your freebies. Then, once you’ve downloaded them from your Canva account, upload them to your Google Drive folder. 

You can easily drag the files from the bottom of your screen into your Google Folders. 

Now, you have a folder of PDFs that will have unique, associated links. 

3. Create covers for your PDF files

I like to create covers for my PDF files in Canva. I then save these as JPG files (so they are not too large for my site). 

The downloads that are simple one page freebies are easy to convert to JPGs. Simply download them as JPGs from Canva.

The ones that are more than one page require you to make a copy of them in Canva. Then, delete the additional pages after page one. Now, download this cover page as a PNG or JPG.

Once you have made all your covers in Canva and downloaded them, upload them to your Google Folder. 

You now have all your downloadable PDF files and your freebie covers in your Google Drive folder.

4. Create a new page on your blog 

You’re going to want to create a new page on your WordPress blog where your downloads will live. 

Head to your WordPress dashboard and locate Pages on the right hand sidebar.

Click Add New 

add new page to wordpress blog

Enter a name for your new page and start creating the layout.

5. Create your layout 

I use a layout plugin called Genesis Easy Columns to help me create the layout for my downloads landing page. It’s super easy to use and helpful for creating landing pages.

You can also use a layout template. I use the Genesis Blocks plugin for this. It gives you options for multiple landing pages layouts. Superrr useful. 

layouts template for landing pages
layouts template for landing pages

For my current freebie library page I used the easy columns plugin only. 

columns plugin for blog landing pages

I used the three columns option.

columns plugin for blog landing pages

5. Add your cover images to your page 

Now, go ahead and select all of your cover images and add them to your page. 

upload images to your columns

6. Add link URLS to your images

Now, we need to add link URLs to your images so that when someone clicks on a freebie they like the look of, they can be directed to download the PDF. 

To find your freebie link, head to your Google Drive folder. Right click on your PDF download and click get link. 

how to find a link in Google drive files

Click copy link. And make sure that you have the file set to anyone can view who has link. 

copy link from Google Drive

Now head back to your draft library page in WordPress.

And, add the link to your cover image. 

Add any additional text and info you want to your page. 

7. Make the page a protected page 

You’re now going to want to make sure the page is a password protected page. This way only your subscribers can see the page with a password. And others will have to subscribe to your mailing list in order to gain access.

Go to the right hand side of your editor and click Status & visibility. Change to password protected and create yourself a password. This needn’t be tricky as it’s simply for your page, not your site. 

how to change a blog page to password protected

Now when anyone tries to go to the link for your library they will be greeted with a sign in form asking for their password.

I recommend adding your password to your weekly or monthly emails so your current subscribers don’t have to ask for it. 

8. Add a signup form to your password page

Now, this bit is a weee bit trickier. If you want to make sure that non subscribers can easily access your page, you’ll have to change the message on your password login page and add a signup form to it.

I use a plugin called Change Password Protected Message to do this. Be warned though. This will change all messages to the same thing on your password protected pages and posts. So make it generic if you have more than one protected page. There is no doubt other ways to do this with CSS.

Once you’ve downloaded the plugin head to the plugin settings on your WordPress dashboard.

You can now change the message in the box at the bottom of the page.

This is my new message

change password protected message

To add your sign up form. Head over to your email provider – I use (and love) Convertkit. Create a simple form… grab the shortcode and enter the shortcode into your message. 

Your password protected page will now look something like this.

password protected login page on WordPress

Now, anyone without a password is prompted to sign up to your mailing list 🙂 

9. Create a destination page once their email is confirmed 

In Convertkit I also changed the after confirmation redirect to a custom landing page where I show the password. This page is hidden on my site’s nav. So it’s not findable unless you know the URL.

This means once a subscriber confirms their email- they will be directed to the password page on my blog. 

after confirmation redirection for form on blog

Set up your password landing page as a very simple page and hide it from your nav. 

password landing page for freebies library

You might also find this article helpful:

How to hide a page in WordPress

10. Add your new freebies library page to your main menu nav 

Once you’ve published your page you want people to be able to find it! So, add it to your main menu nav. It’s super useful for people to be able to see your freebies in your top nav. This is great lead gen!

add a freebies tab to your nav bar on your blog

Voila! You’ve successfully created yourself a password protected freebies library on your blog! Whoopie!

Now go promote it! 

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