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You might be on some lists where the sender references their resource library. Or, you might be in a group where people talk about the libraries they have on their blog.

If you haven’t ever used one or set one up, it can be a tad overwhelming.

Let’s put that to rest!  By the time you get to the end of this post you will not only know what a resource library is and why you might want one, you will also get the steps sharng how to set one up on your site (and even an example as to how they look).

 

 

 

What is a blog resource library?

A resource library is a password protected page on your site where all your lead magnets or opt-in printables are housed.

Yep. That’s it!

Rather than send a reader a single download once they sign up,  you direct them to the library. They will find not only the item they signed up to receive but also every other printable you offer for free!

 

What can you put in a resource library?

Anything you like!  If you can offer it to your reader to make them sign up, it can go inside your library.

Some ideas include:

  • Budget forms
  • Planners
  • Recipes
  • Templates
  • Tips & Guides
  • Coloring Sheets

If you can dream it, it can be added to your library.

 

Why should you create one?

When you have several printables on your site, a library makes it easier for your readers to access everything in one place.

For example, if you offer six different printables, do you want to make them sign up six different times to get each of them?  And, does your reader want to do that?

Perhaps not.

The library is a simple way to make things simpler for your reader.  They only need to sign up one time and get access to everything in an easy, organized format.

Not only that, but you can copy forms with the settings again and again to use each time you create a new opt-in.  No uploading and attaching a new file with each new form you make.  Edit some text and the image, and you are on your way!

Your subscribers will return to your library time and again to check out the new downloads they can use.

 

When should you set up your library?

If you only have one or two items, you certainly do not want to set up a library. There won’t be much there.

Before you think abut the library offer a collection of at least six items.

Why six?

It will flow nicely onto two rows of content in the library and have value for the user. If they go to a library with three forms, it seems like there is not as much value there.  However, when you have two rows of three printables, there is more you have to offer.

Of course, you can always set up a library for your subscribers when you wish. However, make sure that there is enough there that it seems worth the reader’s time to sign up.

 

How do you create a resource library in WordPress?

There are different methods you can use to set up your library.  While you can use a plugin, I would not recommend using that method – it is just one more thing that can slow down your site and potentially leave it vulnerable to hackers.  You’ll find two simple ways below to create your library.

There are two options I recommend:  page builder or manually coded.

Note: If you are not using WordPress, I recommend migrating your site to a self-hosted platform for more control and customization.

Page Builder

A page builder is what it sounds like – an application that helps you create a page with the look you want.  You can customize it easily with text, columns, images, and buttons.

Some themes, such as Divi or Avada, have page builders installed within them. If your theme does not include a page builder by default, you can download Elementor for free to create the layout you want.

Page builders use drag and drop technology to get columns, buttons, and more to create the page you want. If you look at this sample page, it was built using the page builder in Avada.

Page builders are a simple way to create a professional-looking page without a need for manual coding or manipulation.

Manually code the columns with buttons and images

If you do not have a page builder or do not want to add one to your site, you can easily add code to your site to get the same look.  You can learn how to do them whether you use the Classic Editor or Gutenberg in WordPress.

Classic Editor

If you are using the Classic Editor plugin on WordPress, it is easy to add columns to your site — and no plugin is required!  You will navigate to the page and select the TEXT tab from the dashboard.

To add three columns to your page and have a button for them to click to download the content, navigate where they are to begin and enter this code:

<div class=”one-third first”>
INSERT YOUR IMAGE HERE

INSERT YOUR PRINTABLE TITLE HERE
DESCRIBE YOUR PRINTABLE
<a class=”button” href=”ENTER THE LINK WHERE YOUR PRINTABLE IS HOUSED HERE“>DOWNLOAD</a></p>

</div>
<div class=”one-third” style=”text-align: center;”>
INSERT YOUR IMAGE HERE

INSERT YOUR PRINTABLE TITLE HERE
DESCRIBE YOUR PRINTABLE
<a class=”button” href=”ENTER THE LINK WHERE YOUR PRINTABLE IS HOUSED HERE“>DOWNLOAD</a></p>

</div>
<div class=”one-third” style=”text-align: center;”>INSERT YOUR IMAGE HERE

INSERT YOUR PRINTABLE TITLE HERE
DESCRIBE YOUR PRINTABLE
<a class=”button” href=”ENTER THE LINK WHERE YOUR PRINTABLE IS HOUSED HERE“>DOWNLOAD</a></p>

</div>

If you want for this to be a four-column layout change “one-third” to “one-fourth” and then add the next two sections you see three times instead.

If your theme does not read the button code (most should), you may need to create a button image in Canva or PicMonkey and upload and link it.

 

Gutenberg

You may be using the Gutenberg blocks to create your posts.  You can add columns easily by putting them to work for you.

Access the page where you need to enter the content, and within the blocks builder, search for columns.

 

You can choose one of the layouts shown or create your own.  For the sake of this lesson, we are using the three-column format.

Select the “+” button on each column to add the image, text, and buttons as needed.  Drag to reorder the columns as you wish.

There is no need to spend money to create a custom page when Gutenberg makes it super easy for you!

 

Where do you save the printables for them to download?

You can save your downloads either to Google Drive or add them to your media library.  Either way will work, so you can choose the one that is best for you.

Adding downloads to your media library

It is one less site to use and maintain.  Navigate to Media and add the PDF as an image.

Open the image to get the URL. That is what you link to in the text or the buttons for the download.  You can use this in your emails as well as the library as needed.

 

How do you share the library?

Once you have it created, you need to share it with your subscribers.  The way you set it up will vary based on your email provider’s options.  Below I show you how to do this both on ConvertKit and Mailerlite.  If you use another provider, find the confirmation email settings, and update accordingly.

Sharing the library through ConvertKit

If you use ConvertKit as your email provider, you will navigate to Landing Pages & Forms.  Scroll through the list to find the sign-up form you are connecting to the library.

Next, select the Settings from the top menu.

 

Select Incentive from the sidebar and then, beneath “After confirming redirect to” paste the URL for your library.

 

Next, select “Edit Email Contents,” which will open the window where you can update the subject line and content sent to the reader as soon as they enter their name and email into your form.

Update the email and thank them and remind them that they can get your subscriber offer by confirming.  Include the password details and give them some insight t know what is inside the library to encourage them to confirm.

Here is sample wording you can use:

Thanks for signing up! Just one more step and you’ll get your Amazon checklist. Click the button below to confirm your subscription and get instant access to your FREE gift!!!

Once you do that, you will be directed to the resources library where you’ll find every free printable download offered ont he site!  You’ll not only get your “insert awesome form name here”, but also “form 1, form 2, and form 3”.  When you get there, enter the password _________ to get in.

Changed your mind?  No problem!  Do nothing and I’ll not email you again.  Have a great day!

Now you’ll have the reader directed to your page with the information they need to get all they want to download.

 

Mailerlite

You can also set this up using Mailerlite.  Log into your account and navigate to Forms.  Find the form you want to update and click the EDIT button.

Next, select Success Page at the top of the menu.

Next, select Settings and check the Custom Success Page.  Then scroll down a bit further and paste the URL to the library.

Click on the text that says, “THANK YOU!” and update to put your content.  You can use the sample wording shared above.

Save your changes, and you are set!

 

The tricks to preventing non-subscriber access

You only want people on your list to get access to the library. After all, it is part of the offer you give to your subscribers, right? There are two things you want to do to ensure people do not get to the library if they should not:

1 – Password protect the page

2 – Disable social sharing icons

Add a password

By adding a password, even if someone lands on the page, they need the key to unlock the content. You can prevent people who are not on the list from seeing the forms by adding a password.

If you use the Classic Editor, look in the Publish box in the dashboard of the post.  Under Visibility, select edit and then Password.  Enter the password here, and it will be locked.

 

If you happen to use Gutenberg, you can do the same thing very quickly.  Select the gear icon at the top of the page, and you will see Visibility listed.  Click “Publish” and select Password.  Enter the password you want to use.

Now, when people land on the page, they will see something like this:

 

Remove social sharing icons

The last thing you want is for someone to share this page on social media or Pinterest.  You want to disable those icons on the page, if possible.

I say, if possible, as some free social sharing plugins do not allow you to do this. You may need to pay for the upgraded version to enable or disable sharing on the page.

 

Resource Library Example

Of course! Most libraries are a single page without sidebars or ads.  You will add images and link buttons readers can click on to download what they see.  Here is an example:

You can see here that the reader can download one, two, or all three of the guides listed here—no need for them to sign up to get each one individually.  The library is a collection of the downloads they will need – all in one place.

 

Following GDPR and the Resource Library

Allow me to preface this next section by stating I am not a lawyer, and this is not to be taken as legal advice. If you are unsure as to what you should do, please seek legal counsel.

One thing that hangs up many bloggers is GDPR, General Data Protection Regulation.  The EU law went into effect in 2018 that stated users did not need to sign up for your list to deliver a freebie.  They needed to get access to it without that. That means they need to be able to download the freebie without needing to subscribe.

How, then, do you use a resource library while being compliant?

You can consider access to yours to be a gift. Advise them that if they want to access your vast library, you offer that as a gift for your subscribers. It is a “subscriber offer.”  That way, they can decide if they want the library or not. It is not a single form.  It is all of the forms.

Once they confirm, they get access to everything. You can review this post from Thrive Themes to see it explained in more detail.

 

Creating a resource library can make accessing your download forms quick and easy for your readers and makes it simple to maintain and update.

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