How to Create a Resource Library for Your Blog (for FREE)!

In this article, we are going to cover the quickest and easiest way to create an awesome resource library for your blog readers.

Get your scrolling thumb ready!

At the end of this step-by-step tutorial, you will have all of the tools that you need to create valuable freebies for your audience and store them in a resource library on your website.

Let’s get to it!

Organized desktop and laptop with text overlay - How to create a free resource library on your website Our blog posts contain affiliate links. These don’t cost you anything, but they allow us to continue running this site and providing free content for our readers. Full disclosure here.

WHAT IS A RESOURCE LIBRARY?


A resource library is a location on your website where you keep a collection of valuable tools for your audience.

Seriously, it’s as simple as that.

You can direct people to your library, and there, they can access various free tools and resources that you have gathered or created for them. Most resource libraries are made by creating a page on your website and adding that page to your website menu (step-by-step guide coming your way in just a minute).

This way, your readers can find and access the library very easily.

Please note: this tutorial will be most useful to bloggers that use self-hosted WordPress.org. If you are not yet on your own self-hosted website, please check out this article for a step-by-step guide to set that up (it’s cheap and easy to do, and it’s the only way to actually OWN your blogging biz).

WHY SHOULD YOU CREATE A RESOURCE LIBRARY?


Every blogger should create a resource library for their website.

Why?

I’ve got three good reasons for you!

Reason # 1


It’s a simple way to provide a ton of extra value for your readers and followers. In addition to your regular blog posts, your resource library gives your audience an extra dose of high-quality awesomeness. Easy to access, easy to download, awesomeness!

Readers LOVE when you solve their problems and fill their needs, without all the fluffy stuff. A resource library is a one-stop-shop where you’ll share your most valuable free content with select people (the people that really want and need what you’re offering)!

Reason # 2


It’s a great way to build up your email list and connect with your target audience. Most bloggers will use their resource library, and the freebies inside that library, as an incentive to connect with their target audience via email. Using a simple opt-in form through ConvertKit or MailerLite, you can invite your potential readers to access your resource library for free, while inviting them to join your mailing list at the same time.

Get a FREE TRIAL OF CONVERTKIT HERE.  

Get a FREE TRIAL OF MAILERLITE HERE.

Reason # 3


It brings potential readers and followers back to your website and keeps them there. As an example, let’s say you have a free printable planner in your resource library. When you’re chatting in Facebook groups or sharing content on your social media channels, you might mention this valuable freebie and invite people to check it out. If someone sees value in this free resource, they’ll follow your link and check out your resource library (which equals blog traffic for you). Yay!

Did I mention that it’s FREE?

Doesn’t cost you a dime to set up a free resource library, but it’s an awesome way to serve your readers and connect with your audience on a deeper level.

Win, Win.

HOW TO CREATE A RESOURCE LIBRARY


And now, we move on to the fun stuff: how to actually make this thing happen!

Creating a resource library is actually a pretty simple process. To complete the process, you will need a few things:

1) A valuable “resource” or freebie that will go in your library (free to create)

2) Access to Google Drive (free to setup and use)

3) A graphic image that you can link to your free resource (free to create and use)

4) A Resource Library page on your website menu (free to create with your self-hosted website)

Let’s work through these one at a time.

– CREATING A VALUABLE RESOURCE FOR YOUR LIBRARY


Before we do anything else, we need to come up with a valuable resource that our readers will likely enjoy or benefit from. This will depend entirely on your niche, your expertise, and your audience. You will have to decide what kind of valuable freebies your readers will like. And it might take a bit of testing.

Some examples: a one-page worksheet, a helpful checklist, an actionable workbook, a PDF guide, an e-book, free stock photos, a video tutorial, etc.

Keep in mind that your resource library is designed to provide free value to your current audience. This doesn’t mean that you have to give away all of your hard work and expertise for free. It just means that you are creating something helpful that will give your audience a taste of the value you provide!

Eventually, those free resources can help you lead potential buyers to your paid resources… and we’ll get into that another day.

You can usually create a nice-looking freebie using a free site like Canva. I love Canva because they have easy-to-use templates for all of your needs. If you want to create a free workbook, you can use the “US Letter Document” as your template. Add text, images, check boxes, and anything else you need to make your workbook or freebie complete. Then save it as a PDF and hit Download! It’ll look like this:

The digital file will download to your computer. After it downloads, we’ll need to make the document shareable so that your readers have access to it.

– ACCESS TO GOOGLE DRIVE


If you already have a gmail account, just login and then head over to THIS URL. Google Drive is an awesome free resource that allows you to upload documents for safe keeping and share those documents with selective people.

Go into your Google Drive account and upload that document that you just created in Canva. Once the file has been uploaded to your Google Drive account, you can right click on the file and select “Get Shareable Link.” It looks like this:

Save that shareable link somewhere safe, because we’re going to need it in just a minute. This is the link we’re going to share with our audience in our Resource Library.

– A GRAPHIC IMAGE THAT YOU CAN LINK TO YOUR FREEBIE


Now, you have your freebie uploaded to Google Drive and ready to share. We just need to create a nice graphic that will represent that freebie in our resource library. This graphic image will be a clickable image that leads to your freebie.

Here is a snapshot of the (4) graphic images I currently have in my Resource Library – I like clean and simple!

As a quick alternative, you could also just link your freebie using TEXT in your resource library. Instead of adding graphic images, you could just write something like: {{ Download your freebie HERE }} And turn that into a clickable link.

But, it’s generally a good idea to use every opportunity for extra branding with a graphic image that has your website name, brand fonts, colors, etc.

Keep in mind that you don’t HAVE TO create this graphic image to build a successful resource library. It’s just a nice touch if you have a visual audience (most readers do appreciate visuals, so this is worth the work, in my opinion).

Go back into Canva and choose one of the horizontal templates, like the Presentation template or the Twitter template. Then create a nice-looking, branded graphic image and download that image on your computer.

– A RESOURCE LIBRARY PAGE ON YOUR WEBSITE


Now, we have everything ready and we just need to create the resource library page on our website! To do this, you’ll go into your WordPress dashboard, click on Pages, then click on Add New. It looks like this:

 

Enter a title for your new page. This title will be visible on your website menu, so choose something like “Library”, “Free Resources”, “Freebies”, or “Resource Library.”

After choosing your title, hit Publish. You now have a published resource page, woot woot!

Before adding this page to your menu, you’ll need to place your freebie graphic and the accompanying shareable link from Google Drive on that page. This way, when the page actually goes live on your menu, your readers will be able to click on those links and download their freebies.

So go into the editor section of your resource library page and click on “Add Media.”

Here, you will upload the graphic freebie that you just created in Canva. During the upload process, you will have the option to add a custom URL to this image, so grab that shareable link from your Google Drive file and paste it into the URL box. It looks like this:

 

Insert your image and the attached link by clicking the blue “Insert Into Post” button.

Hit save on your WordPress page!

Now, you have a clickable image inside your resource library that leads to the freebie that you created.

HOW TO USE YOUR RESOURCE LIBRARY TO GROW AN EMAIL LIST


If you prefer to reserve this library for select people, like your email subscribers, you can make the page private, and require people to use a password to access the page.

This is the option that I highly recommend.

To make this page private, you will go into your page editor and WordPress, find the Visibility tab on the left side of your screen, and click EDIT.

Select the option “password protected” and type in the password you want to use. Don’t forget to save!

To give your readers access, you’ll want to set up an automated email that is delivered to their inbox with the password to your resource library. That’s what your free ConvertKit or MailerLite trial is for 🙂

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER


I hope this article has been helpful! Now you have the tools to create a password-protected page on your website, a valuable freebie to offer your readers, and an easy way to connect with your audience and grow your email list … all for free.

And FREE is awesome…especially if it helps your readers and helps your blogging biz!

Want more free stuff? You got it, babe. ⬇⬇⬇⬇⬇

FREE access to the Tailwind scheduling tool.

…. and FREE access to MailerLite email service.

FREE access to my Resource Library and blogging tools.

…. and FREE access to Teachable course creation platform.

If you found this article helpful, please pin it for later!


OTHER ARTICLES YOU MIGHT ENJOY:

How I Made $2,285.15 From My Blog in One Weekend

5 Simple Ways to Legally Protect Your Blog

How to Make More Passive Income from Your Blog

The Best High-Paying Affiliate Programs for Bloggers

32 Comments

  1. Courtney

    January 5, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    I am a new blogger and had never heard of doing a resource library. This is now on my list, such an awesome idea!! Thank you for sharing. Saving this in my PINs to come back to 🙂

    1. Cate

      January 5, 2019 at 8:42 pm

      Definitely a good idea to get this in place during your early days, I wish I had done so sooner! Thanks for reading and pinning, I appreciate you so much!

  2. Laura

    January 5, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    I’m definitely bookmarking this page! Very helpful information! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Alli

    January 5, 2019 at 9:24 pm

    This is fantastic -thank you!

  4. Madi Dearson

    January 5, 2019 at 10:08 pm

    Thank you for this! I am just starting to think on ideas of freebies and the concept of resource library is fantastic.

  5. Cara @ The Financially Free Life

    January 6, 2019 at 12:36 am

    This is a good idea for me to start! Thanks for sharing how to do it so clearly!

  6. Ashley B

    January 6, 2019 at 1:12 am

    This is a great article! I have my free resource library all set up on my blog and it has brought in more subscribers. I enjoy creating and adding new freebies for my list.

  7. Kristin

    January 6, 2019 at 3:17 am

    OK – This is seriously perfect timing. Creating a resource library is something that i have been thinking about recently since I have so many freebies now. How awesome that I found your post! I am saving this for later! Thanks Cate!

    1. Cate

      January 8, 2019 at 8:59 pm

      You’re so welcome, I’m glad it was helpful!

  8. Keshia Richmond

    January 6, 2019 at 4:36 am

    What a resourceful post. I need to work on this for my audience. I have saved this post so I can refer to it later.

    1. Cate

      January 8, 2019 at 8:58 pm

      I’m glad it was helpful!

  9. emy bel

    January 6, 2019 at 11:43 am

    Hi Cate , thank you so much for this post i learned so much from it . i was looking for this kind of posts . That’s really amazing ^_^ . Keep up
    From | “My life’s journey ” blog |

    1. Cate

      January 8, 2019 at 8:56 pm

      Thank you for reading! I’m glad it was helpful 🙂

    2. Taylor

      July 15, 2019 at 3:11 pm

      Hi Cate!
      I love this article and you explained it great!
      As soon as I finished reading I was ready to implement and upon doing a bit more research some bloggers mention that people will unsubscribe but still keep logging in to access your resources and that they had a hard time later selling to their list because it wasn’t segmented. I’m still planning on creating a library but would love to know your thoughts on this. Thanks so much!

      1. Cate

        July 24, 2019 at 12:07 am

        Yes, this is something to consider. But in my personal opinion, if people just want to view my free stuff and they don’t ever intend to open my emails or read my blog, then I don’t really want them on my list anyway… yes, they get to access my stuff that is supposed to be just for subscribers, but that’s not really hurting me in any way. If they unsubscribed, they probably aren’t interested in what I’m offering or saying, so I don’t see them spending too much time accessing my resources. And, when it comes to segmenting: you can still segment your list pretty well by creating different groups for different freebie opt-ins. Even though they eventually all have access to the free resource library, they are still organized into groups based on what they signed up for! That’s how I do it anyway, and it’s worked well for me.

  10. Abbie Gatherum

    January 19, 2019 at 6:54 am

    Ohh I will definitely be implementing this onto my blog soon!!

  11. Missy Diaz

    February 10, 2019 at 9:50 pm

    Hi Cate:
    What plugin are you using for the sharing is caring social button at the end of your posts?

    1. Cate

      February 14, 2019 at 6:57 pm

      I’m using Shareaholic

  12. Tara @ TheBlessedAndBusyFamily

    February 14, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    Cate, definitely helpful. I’d considered adding a resource library but the password protected version only for email subscribers is genius. Thank you for the step by step!

  13. Chada Johnson

    February 19, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    This has been on my to do list. I have a resources page, but want to create a private more valuable library. Thank you for the clear instructions!

  14. Rhonda Fore

    March 7, 2019 at 11:19 am

    I’ve been working on my resource library for quite sometime now. I’ve haven’t been giving the freebies in it out as a whole library, just separately, but will be giving it out as an library as soon as I’m satisfied with it.

  15. Kat

    March 20, 2019 at 7:28 pm

    I’m in the beginning stages of creating a resource library for my site. I like your easy to follow guide 🙂
    I have a question though: Do I need to use google drive or could I just upload the pdf to my website’s media library?
    thank you 🙂

    1. Cate

      March 22, 2019 at 8:08 am

      You don’t need to use Google Drive. I prefer to keep my docs there because it keeps the media content down on my site 🙂

  16. Jules

    April 14, 2019 at 3:09 pm

    Thanks so much for this article, Cate! I’m getting ready to create a library on my blog and this is exactly what I’m looking for. I also love that you recommend the files are actually hosted on GDrive to prevent being able to bypass the password and finding what’s in the library. Genius!

    1. Cate

      April 23, 2019 at 4:44 am

      I’m so glad it was helpful!

  17. Ashley

    June 14, 2019 at 4:05 am

    I am in the processes of adding a resource page, but some things on mine are different than yours, or I am just not sure where to find them lol. I can not figure out how to add media to my page. I have a media tab and the image that I created is in there, but I am not sure how to add it to the page. I also can not figure out how to attach the link to the image.

    1. Cate

      June 17, 2019 at 1:05 am

      If you’re on wordpress, the ‘add media’ button will be above the blog post editor on the left side. You’ll hit that button and then you’ll be able to upload photos by selecting the photo and hitting add. There is a link option on the menu bar in your blog post editor too, it looks like a little link chain. Feel free to send me an email if you need screenshots! cate@sweetandsimplelife.com

  18. Rebecca | rebeccaspianokeys.com

    June 25, 2019 at 11:43 pm

    Hi Cate!
    I already have a resource library set up on my site, and I have 2 questions:
    1)How did you make the “lockscreen” (where people have to input the password) on your website so pretty? The built-in customization options for this on WordPress are functional, but very limited. I can’t add pictures or move blocks around or anything to customize it as I would with a regular page.
    2) I have my freebies simply loaded directly to my media files in WordPress, and when people click the images to download the freebie, they download it directly from my website. Is there a benefit to storing the freebies on my Google Drive instead?

    1. Cate

      June 27, 2019 at 7:00 pm

      Thanks for reaching out! Honestly, I didn’t do anything to make my password protected page look pretty, that’s just the way it turned out when I locked the page. Even when the page is password protected, you should still have full customization options on the page itself when you’re in your page editor. And yes, you can have people download freebies from your website directly if you want, nothing wrong with that. I personally like to keep any extra files off my website if possible, to avoid slowing down my site.

      1. Rebecca | rebeccaspianokeys.com

        August 11, 2019 at 12:01 am

        I’m starting to consider moving my freebie files over to my Google Drive, so I’ve come back with one more question. I just want to confirm… If I share them using the shareable link, like you outlined in this post, my readers can only access that one file, right? They can’t access anything else in my Google Drive?
        (PS- It must be your theme that gives you such a pretty password protected page. Mine is definitely ugly. And I had to get a plugin just to be able to even edit the text at all. I have full design control over the actual page, but essentially zero control over the preliminary lock page where people have to enter the password.)

        1. Cate

          August 15, 2019 at 7:26 am

          Yes, exactly. They can only see that ONE file that you shared with them, nothing else. Thanks for reading!

  19. Lijana

    September 14, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    Thank you, Cate! Super helpful actionable steps. It’s time to create my own free library 🙂

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