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11+ Content Locking Ideas: What Kinds Of Content Should I Lock?

Content locking is responsible for over 90% of our email subscribers. I would go so far as to say that content locking is one of the best ways to grow your email list! Make sure you read our “Ultimate Guide to Growing Your Email List with Content Locking!

If you have no idea what content locking is or want to learn the basics first, make sure you read our article “What Is Content Locking?

Great, you love content locking too, but which content should you lock? That’s the thing, you can’t, and shouldn’t lock just any old thing!

You need to be strategic about what you lock! But how?

In this article, we’re going to talk about the kinds of content you can lock. Make sure you read to the end because that’s where I’ll share my secret tip for locking content!

Best of all: it’s probably the simplest to do as well.

In the spirit of providing great examples, I’ve locked a few different parts of this article as an illustration. Ordinarily, I would only suggest using one content locker per article. Enjoy!

Downloadable Resources

Downloadable resources are high-value. These are often referred to as “content upgrades” because they complement and “upgrade” the article your visitor is reading. There are many ways to do this, but we’ll discuss a few here.

Downloadable Article

It might seem weird, but I’ve had a lot of success with this. If your article is long, actionable, includes steps, or is just a top 50 list of some sort, you can probably do it easily. Any kind of article that someone might need to reference. Print that article to PDF, then literally offer that as your content locker.

No, this isn’t a joke. People find it valuable that they can easily download your article for future reference. Most browsers support printing to PDF, but if you’re not sure how then there is a cool service that does this for you called “Print Friendly.” It’s a free service and very simple to use. You just put your article URL into it, select any elements you want to delete, and then download it. Very simple!

Cheat Sheets

This is especially useful if your article is a tutorial of some sort. The “cheat sheet” can be a quick reference of keyboard shortcuts or a simplified version of the steps your article talks about. You can create this in a tool like Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel, then print it to PDF.

If you want to go the extra mile, you can make a beautiful “cheat sheet” inside free tools like Canva. These are typically one-page long and are very simple to create.

Guides and eBooks

This takes a bit more effort, but if you want to blow away your visitors with value, then this might be perfect. Type up a guide or eBook in Google Docs or Microsoft Word, then save it to PDF.

This can work for basically any kind of content. All you need to do is go more in-depth on the guide or eBook and BAM! Instant value!

Another way to do this is by taking a long article and turning it into a shorter, easy-to-use guide, almost like a quick-reference.


Often, your visitors want to know exactly how you do things. Instead of giving away the whole plot in the article, tell them how to do something, but don’t tell them what you use! Save that for a “toolkit” downloadable that covers all of the tools you use to get something done.

For example: if you’re a social media marketer, you can tell your visitors how to publish a bunch of social media posts quickly but don’t reveal which tools and resources you use to do that. Then, in your downloadable, explain that you use Buffer as your social media scheduler, Canva as your image-maker, Unsplash as the site where you get your free images, and BrainyQuote as the place you get your amazing quotes.

Hiding Interesting Content

What I mean by this is there are lots of types of content you can add to your article, especially embeddable content like YouTube videos, Tweets, and more. If you tell the story correctly, you can make any of these ordinary things interesting enough to lock.

YouTube Videos

You can lock up interesting YouTube videos. For example, the video just below is considered one of the most important videos on the internet. It’s only 18-seconds long, but it has over 100 million views.

Unlock the Video:

Why is this silly video so important? Because it was the first-ever video uploaded to YouTube by the creator of YouTube himself. This is what started everything with YouTube. But, you see how that worked?

This is a popular video, freely available to anyone who knows what to look for, and it’s been viewed over 100 million times, yet you still wanted to see it. You didn’t know about it, and you didn’t know how to find it. That’s the value that I brought with this content locker.

Amazing right?

Curious how I locked my content that way? I did it using Thrive Leads:

Twitter Tweets

You can do the same thing with other embeddable content like tweets. Such as this Tweet which ended up saving a 10-year-old kid’s life:

Unlock the Tweet

This content locking stuff doesn’t have to be difficult at all. You just need to create intrigue and lock the right things.

Any kind of content you can embed is content you could potentially lock, assuming you build enough interest and intrigue.

Hiding Article or Page Text

You have to be careful with this one because there are a few drawbacks. Firstly, depending on what you’re using to lock your content, search engines like Google may not be able to see the locked content. If the paragraph(s) you hide contains essential information, it may hurt you in the search engines.

Additionally, if the locked content isn’t special, people may leave your page and go looking elsewhere for the answer. For example: if you have a chocolate chip cookie recipe and give the ingredients, but lock the baking instructions, people will probably just find a different cookie recipe elsewhere.

So, what kind of article text can you lock? I’m glad you asked!

Original Research

If you’ve done any original research to support your article, you can lock that content. Examples of original research could be surveying your followers, or aggregating and examining publicly available data. You can lock up all of the data and results, or just lock up the results.

Story Endings

If you have a personal story or a hard-to-find story, you can lock its ending. It’s a bit heavy-handed, but it can be done. If someone has invested their time reading your story, then it’s likely that they’ll want to know how it ends, right?

I wouldn’t suggest this for an artistic work like a fictional story. I can’t imagine how badly this would kill your story’s mood and cadence by stopping at the end and forcing someone to do something to know how it ends.

However, I could see this working well if the story is a smaller part of your overall article, such as a parable to explain something. Here’s an example:

A massive ship engine failed, and the shipowners didn’t know what to do. They brought in many experts who were utterly baffled.

Finally, an expert came in and said, “I think I know what to do.” Excitedly, the shipowners had him examine the motor. After a few minutes, the expert took out a tiny hobby hammer and gave two swift taps to a part of the engine. They started the engine, and it came roaring back to life.

A few days went by, and the shipowners received their bill in the mail for $10,000. They were furious and called the expert. “We demand an itemized bill. You were in here for 10 minutes! How can you charge us $10,000!” The expert agreed and sent them an itemized bill.

A few days later, they received the itemized bill and understood what had happened.

On it, the bill simply said:

Tapping with a hammer………………………………$ 2.00

30-years experience to know where to tap…. $ 9,998.00

They realized their ship was functioning, making money, and without his expertise, they’d probably still be shut down. So, they paid their bill and made sure he was the first person to call if they ever had a problem again.

Case Studies

If you have an interesting case study, you can lock that text. Case studies are precious, and often unique because it’s probably your data! Alternatively, you could provide the case study, but lock up any identifying information. For example, if you are a marketer and have a case study about a great landing page you made for a client, you could provide the case study and lock the link of the landing page.

People are naturally curious and will probably want to see this magical landing page that you created.

Locking a Top Item

Have you ever seen those “Top X Best” style articles? You know, articles like:

  • Top 10 Highest-Paid Celebrities
  • Top 5 Luxury Cars
  • The 10 Best Places to Vacation

Well, what piece of information is most interesting to your visitors? They’re most interested in the #1 result, of course! That sounds like the perfect piece of content for you to lock! This might seem devious, but it’s also effective!

Pricing Information

This might seem silly to some, but this happens often. Have you ever been to a website and see a “request a quote” page? This is a spin on that idea. Instead of being so blatant about it, though, you can be more strategic.

There’s a better alternative to putting your pricing information out for the world to see. Instead, have a button that says “click to reveal the pricing,” then it can open up the email opt-in form, then reveal the price after submitting.

In my opinion, this is superior to “request a quote” pages because those seem high-pressure, right? I mean, do I need to talk to someone to find out the pricing?

You get the best of both worlds. The visitor gets to see the pricing right away, and you get their contact information so you can follow up with them.

My Top-Secret #1 Favorite Content to Lock

Below, I reveal my #1 favorite kind of content to lock.

My favorite kinds of content to lock are “secrets.” This is because people can’t get your secrets anywhere else. People are naturally curious about secrets, and it worked on you, didn’t it? You wanted to know my secret, favorite content to lock, and this is it: secrets.

They could be tips, tricks, hacks, thoughts, opinions: it doesn’t matter. As long as it is valuable, and it’s specifically yours, or not quickly found, it doesn’t matter. Secrets are intriguing, scarcity (it only being available from you) is tantalizing, and people will want to read it.

Almost no one gets to know what my favorite content is to lock because it’s mine, and I’m not giving it away to just anybody: just the special, few people who were willing to go the extra mile to unlock this secret. If you’re reading this, then congrats! You’ve proven that you’re motivated, and now, you know something that many others don’t.

I hope it serves you well.

Content Locking Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this article. In it, we covered many of my favorite content locking ideas, and a few solid examples to demonstrate how well they work. Make sure to read my article “How To Add A Content Locker To Your Website” if you need help with that. If you enjoyed this article, then consider sharing it on social media. I’d appreciate it.

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