How To Create A Resource Library Using WordPress!

What Is A Resources Library?

You know when you create freebies, courses, PDFs or any kind of content upgrade to get people to sign up to your email list? Well it’s kinda annoying that you can only offer one at a time, and people only get one when they enter their email address! This can put people off signing up, or they can’t decide which one they want and don’t do it at all. And that’s the last thing you want…

A resources library is basically a place you create where people can access ALL your freebies in one go. They don’t need to enter their email address in all your different forms, which might not actually give them access to each download. All they need to do is sign up once, and BAM! Access to your entire library of content, without any effort. Sounds good right?!

Don’t You Need To Pay For That Kind Of Feature?

When I was first thinking about creating a resources library, I researched it quite a lot, and wrote a lot of notes about what, where, when and how. A lot of the information I found contained paying for a plugin that would create the library for you.

I’m all about doing things for free if I can… aren’t we all?!

So I had a little think about what I would need to do. And I managed to create the FREE to access AIMH Blogging Resource Library, without spending a penny! And I know that this sounds good, doesn’t it?

We all want to be able to offer our readers more content, more value, and more support. It’s the reason I started blogging! I knew there was things I wanted to share with people, to inspire and help them, and what better way than writing a blog?!

Working out how to do this for free was an amazing thing for my business and I’ve already seen more than a 10% increase in my sign ups!

If you need help setting up with an email list, I created a post dedicated to using GetResponse to do just that! They’re my favourite email service provider [ESP].

If you’re interested in signing up for the AIMH Blogging Resources Library, all you need to do is enter your email address!

Not only will you get your free plugins guide, but you’ll be emailed your password and can get stuck to the AIMH Blogging Resources Library right away!

A step by step guide on how to create a resource library in WP without paying for a plugin!
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So, Where Do I Start In Creating A Resources Library For My Site For Free?

First things first, I would advise creating your documents. That means using Canva, or Google Docs, or whatever medium you use to create graphics, PDFs and documents, and making those resources! I wouldn’t launch your library with less than 5 things inside it – it’s a library not a shelf 😉

Take your time and make sure that the resources you are creating give value to your readers. Think about the things that you write about and what content your readers will be looking for. You want to be giving them things that are worth them giving you their email address for.

Do you write solely about beauty? You could have a library full of tutorials, shopping guides, or skin care tips.

Do you focus only on travel? Your library could have travel guides, maps, best restaurants, or bucket list examples.

It doesn’t matter what you write about; there’s always space for you to create your very own resources library for your blog. Just think about it as a vault of private information that people will WANT access to, and create your content around that.

Okay, I’ve Got My Content – Now What?

Images/Photography

Once you’re happy that you’ve got enough content and you’re ready, the next thing you need to do is take screenshots of each document, or create a graphic for each one. This will be the image that is inside your library, and is what the members will be clicking on.

Personally I used my snipping tool, and minimised the front page of each resource. I cut the image and used that as the ‘thumbnail’ image for each of my resources.

Just make it something that will stand out and help each member know what it is they’re looking at!

Creating The Page

Now you are ready to begin actually creating the resource library itself. I am going to be explaining how I created the AIMH Blogging Resource Library using WordPress. If you are using WordPress, then great! If not, there would be a different method to achieving it – and I cannot comment on what that would be unfortunately. I use WordPress myself and it’s what I know about!

Let’s get started on creating your very own resource library!

  1. Go to your WordPress dashboard
  2. Click Add New Page
  3. Title your page something that relates what you are creating – mine is called Resource Library! Obviously 😉

This is where it gets a little more complicated! At this point, you would be using your paid for plugin to create the visual element of your library, including the links to view/download each resource. Well, we’re going to completely bypass that and do it manually, for FREE. YAY!

How To Create Your Resource Library

Inside your page, you want to write a header and a brief description of your resources. What are you offering? What will the member find inside your library? Will you be adding to it at certain intervals?

You need to give people a rough idea of what they will be getting for their email address!

Once you’ve done that, then we need to add in your resources. It’s entirely up to you how you style your library. I have my images in the middle of the screen with titles above each, so that it’s very clear what each individual resource is. Of course, it’s your site and you want it to fit in with your own theme and branding! Think about the colours you usually use and the style of your posts and go from there.

How To Add In A Resource

Underneath your brief introduction, click Add Media and upload the image that you have decided on for your resource, and add it into the page.

Once you’ve placed it where you want it go, click Add Media again and upload the PDF or document to your media library. However, at this point, you want to copy the URL link for this file.

Don’t insert the PDF into the page, simply copy the URL and exit out of the Add Media screen. By uploading your PDF or file into your media library it becomes ‘hosted’ by your site. This means that you create a URL for it that people can use to access just that file. They won’t be directed to your media library!

Now, just click on the image, and click the Edit button, which is a pencil icon.

You will see this screen:

All you have to do to add in your resource as a viewable and downloadable item, is to click the Link To drop down menu and change it to Custom URL.

Then insert the PDF URL you copied earlier, into the box for the Custom URL.

Click Update. And there you have it! A resource that can be clicked on by your members and lead to a viewable, downloadable resource within your own site. FOR FREE.

Rinse And Repeat

Follow this process to add in all the resources that you want to include in your library. Like I mentioned, I have mine in the middle of the page, with large titles above each one. It just helps anyone who goes into my library be able to see what each item is!

Once you are happy with your library – then it’s up to you which option you go with for how people will gain access to it.

What Are My Options?

  1. You can have it as an open, free page on your website
  2. It can be a password protected page on your website, which people need to subscribe to get access to
  3. You can create it as a password protected page on your website, which people need to pay to get access to

It’s your website and it’s your decision on what you want to do.

If you want to leave it open, simply publish your page like normal and it’ll be there for anyone to access!

Personally I have created mine with the intention of growing my email list, and reaching out to potential clients for other aspects of my business. As that is why I created it, mine is password protected, and people have to subscribe to my email list to get the password. I just included the password in my welcome email, and it’s as simple as that!

Setting The Page As Password Protected

At the top righthand side of your editing page, where you preview or publish the post, you will see these options:

Click the Edit button next to the Visibility option, and choose Password Protected. It will give you a box to type in the password. Don’t forget to write it down!!

You can then include it in whatever format you like to give to your readers. It could be them subscribing to your email list, liking a post, or following you on social media!

What If I Want To Charge People For Access?

You will need to decide whether you are going to charge a monthly subscription service or a one-off cost. This entirely depends upon you and what you want to do for your business.

You can use MemberPress, a WordPress plugin to set this up, although I am yet to try this out myself! It’s worth having a little research and finding out what would work best for you 🙂

I hope that this post has given you some inspiration, and has also given you the confidence that you can create a fully functioning resource library for yourself if you wanted to do so!

If you have any questions about getting set up, please feel free to comment below, or connect with me on Twitter or Instagram!

Laura

 

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