Selling a Comb to a Bald Man is Old Marketing Strategy!


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Picture this. You visit a blog post on “How to drive traffic to your blogs” that sounded very interesting. You are enjoying the read and spent about 5 minutes reading the post. Suddenly a pop-up appears and looks straight into your face, offering you a course that teaches you how to make money with affiliate marketing.

How would you feel?

Okay! Let me tell you my emotions. I will be absolutely annoyed. I will click the cross button as fast as I could and then just browse away unless there is something compelling that keeps me at the blog.

The Result – a lost subscriber, a lost lead, and a lost prospective loyal reader

Now let us change the setup here. The same blog, the same content, the same situation. About 5 minutes into reading the post, the pop-up appears. It says, “Learn about the 7 easy to tap traffic sources that nobody is using to drive traffic to your blog”. What would you do?

The answer is obvious. All our answers will be the same unless you are a search engine bot.. 🙂

I will happily enter my name and email address and subscribe.

The Result – a subscriber, a lead and a loyal reader. The bonus to all this is that you have already started a bond between you and the reader which will help you in the long term when you market to this lead.

Building a list using Content Upgrade

Content Upgrades involves presenting your visitors with an upgrade of whatever they came to you website for.

Almost all sales pages do this. When you are about to browse away without buying they present you with something that is related to the product they are selling.

But not too many blogs use this method. Most of the blogs that I visit use a simple pop-up that offers some kind of free tips or, courses and just hope that the reader signs up.

The question is why? Why would you treat somebody suffering from a flu with a tablet for stomach-ache?

Content upgrade is a nice little way of offering your readers something extra. And we all love extras. Create something that builds on whatever topic your post is covering, even if it is a couple of pages and offer that in exchange for their email address and they will be more than happy to share that with you.

Content upgrades can take different sizes and shapes. I experimented with 2 different styles on 2 of my blogs and they worked real well.

Content Upgrade Method – 1

If you write a lot of list-posts or, how-to posts, then it makes real sense to give your visitors a handbook that they can readily refer to whenever they need.

You can create a pdf document of your post and put that under a share-locker for people to share it. Once they share it, they get access to it.

You could also do that with an Optin. Give you visitors a copy of the post in the form of a pdf in exchange for their email address.

This method works real well if you have written a good and informative post and want it to go viral. People do not mind sharing such posts and just because all that it involves is a simple click of one of those share buttons and in return for that they can get access to a decent guide which they can refer to, they will happily do it.

Though their effectiveness in getting email optins is less as compared to the 2nd method discussed below, but it still works.

Content Upgrade Method – 2

This method works well for almost all kind of posts.

You can create a few simple 5-7 pager handbooks on about 10 different broad topics. Most blog posts cover one of the topics like traffic, content, social media, list building etc. So these handbooks should do well with pretty much all the different topics. If you can get hold of a few good PLR eBooks and get it re-written, then nothing like it.

You can then use this handbook as your bait. Create an optin box specifically for the post and offer the handbook in exchange for their email address.
The psychology behind this method is simple. We tend to take action when something comes as a flow. This is the exact same psychology behind putting all those related posts that show up just after your post.

When you offer something that looks like an extension of something I am reading and that too a topic I am interested in reading, I will obviously be inclined to continue with my reading. This prompts me to enter my email address into the optin box so that I can get hold of the addendum.

Hence your visitors will be more than willing to share their email address with you. As a bonus, you are sure to gain a nice follower and loyal reader for your blog.

Try these techniques and let me know how it works for you. If you are interested in knowing about some of the tools that helped execute this method, you can read my post on the 7 tools that help you with your content upgrade strategy.

About the author: This post is written by DK who is an internet marketer, a social media enthusiast and a Blogger who writes about internet marketing, social media marketing and general blogging tips at

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3 Responses to “Selling a Comb to a Bald Man is Old Marketing Strategy!”

  • Ryan Biddulph

    Hi DK,

    I dig the handbook idea. Offering up value, a bit longer than the average post, can reel in people.

    Marketing is offering something useful to people who need it.

    Handbooks are useful, thorough, yet not too overwhelming pieces of content that people can use, to their benefit.

    I charge for mine, but they are a bit longer….well, a ton longer, than 5 to 7 pages. But the idea rings similar: give folks something they can reference, again and again, to drill home the points you make through your blog posts.

    Thanks DK!

    Tweeting from Bali.


    • DK

      Hi Ryan,
      That is also a nice idea. More so because your visitors are already sold with your post and then selling something will be easier. The only decision to make is, Do you want to charge them in monetary terms or, by getting some more circulation for your posts.


  • Matt Banner

    Terrific post, DK! I completely agree with the initial scenarios that you wrote about initially. If a pop-up comes up that is irrelevant to what I’m reading (after all, the reason I even came to visit the site was BECAUSE of the article that I’m now reading) I would immediately X it out.

    But if a pop-up came up that offered me additional, and potentially exclusive information not offered somewhere else (or pitched that way), I would definitely strongly consider submitting my contact information.

    I appreciate your article and the concept of “content upgrades”.

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