Let me tell you about my life before adding a resource library to my blog. I had different freebies that a reader could download on almost every blog post. When they signed up I would have to send them a specific email depending on which freebie it was (huge headache). Then there was the problem of always trying to figure out which freebie to keep on my homepage. I was constantly swapping them to see what worked best. On top of that, my reader would only get a single freebie unless they wanted to sign up again for something else. Trust me on this, nobody wants to enter their email for every freebie they’re after. This was all just a huge pain in my rear end.
All of those pain points have gone away now that I’m using a resource library. I would have driven myself insane if I didn’t change things up!
WHAT IS A RESOURCE LIBRARY AND WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE ONE
A resource library is just a collection of, you guessed it, resources! Instead of offering a single item in exchange for someone’s email, you offer them access to a whole collection of things. Resources can be anything you want. Checklists, workbooks, stock photos, ebooks, tutorials, templates and much more. I mean, I could go on forever here. Get creative! Think of things people in your niche might find valuable.
What are the benefits of having a resource library, you ask?
The big one is perceived value. Think about this for a second. You land on a blog and once you finish reading an interesting post about healthy smoothies you’re offered a single smoothie recipe. That’s not bad. You may or may not choose to give up your email in exchange for that recipe. Now imagine you go and read the same post but you’re offered free access to a library full of recipes, guides on how to keep your blender clean and much more. Would you not be more compelled to enter your email address for the second one? The library sounds like a lot better value than the single recipe. This is extremely powerful.
Ease-of-use is another big benefit of resource libraries. You set it up once (I’ll be teaching this to you below) and then just add to it whenever you create something new. No need to set up a new email, opt-in form or anything like that. It’s also simple for the user. They get a password from you via email and can access the page with the resources. All they have to do is select and download the one(s) they want. It’s all very easy.
Alright, let’s get to it!
All you have to do is follow the steps below and you’ll learn how to set up a resource library on your WordPress blog for free.
PART 1- INSTALL PLUGIN ON YOUR WORDPRESS SITE (OPTIONAL)
I’ve listed this step as optional because you don’t NEED to do it. Ok, that sounds silly, I just defined what “optional” meant. Anyways, if you want to make your resource library look a little cleaner and more professional I recommend you take this step. It’s going to allow you to have multiple resources per line rather than just one.
The plugin I use in this example is called Genesis Columns Advanced. It’s completely free, and don’t worry, it’s easy to use despite having “advanced” in the name.
Go ahead and install and activate that plugin on your site.
If you’ve signed up to get access to my Free Resource Library, you’ll notice that it looks different from the one I’m creating in this example. On my own site, I use a plugin called Essential Grid. I’m using Genesis Columns Advanced in this guide because I want to show you how to set up a resource library for free.
PART 2 – CREATE A PASSWORD PROTECTED PAGE
In your WordPress dashboard go to your Pages section and Add New.
Once you’re on the new page editor click the “Edit” button in the Visibility section.
Next, you click “Password Protected” and insert the password you want to use in the text box and click “OK”.
Congrats! You now have a password protected page on your site. I hope your password is a cool as the one I use in my library!
PART 3 – UPLOAD YOUR FREE RESOURCES TO WORDPRESS
You’re now ready to add your resources to your site.
Click the Media section in your WordPress dashboard and Add New.
Next, select and upload your resources.
That part was easy, wasn’t it?
PART 4 – ADD PREVIEWS & LINKS TO YOUR PASSWORD PROTECTED RESOURCE LIBRARY PAGE
Now that you’ve uploaded your resources to WordPress you have to create a preview and/or links to them.
1. If you’ve installed the Genesis Columns Advanced plugin from Part 1 you should see an icon for columns in your toolbar. Click that icon and select the number of columns you’d like (how many resources per line). I used 3 on my example page and it seemed to look decent, right?
After you select how many columns you want you’re going to see some shortcodes that look similar to this (they vary depending on your selection).
2. Now you insert your preview images (if you have them) and titles. Insert a single preview image and title between each set of shortcodes. Here’s an example of what it looks like when I insert my preview and title. It looks a little strange but comes out fine when you preview it.
3. The next step is to get the links to your resources. You can find these in your Media Library.
4. Once you’re in your Media Library find the resource you’re linking to. Once you select it you’ll see the URL come up on the right side. Copy that URL (make sure you get the whole thing).
5. Then you go back to your resource library page and select your preview image (if you have one). Once selected click the Hyperlink button.
It will then pop open a box where you can paste your copied link.
6. Next, highlight your title and repeat the above step with the hyperlink button.
7. Repeat step 2-6 for each of your resources.
8. Depending on the number of resources you have in your library you may have to add more lines. To do this you simply have to go to the end of your last shortcode and enter down to a new line and click to create a new set of columns. Then you repeat the above steps.
Once you’re done your resource library should look similar to the example I created below. Each preview image and title should link to your free resource (make sure to test each of them).
That’s it that’s all!
Let me know in the comments section if you have a resource library of your own and how it’s working for you.