Is Your Reader Magnet Magnetic Enough? 15 Red Flags that Indicate It’s Not Doing Its Job!

Feeling frustrated with your reader magnet?? Maybe no readers even looked at your post? Maybe they didn’t click through to see what it was? And maybe no one has signed up recently?!?!

You know what, you’re not alone!

Maybe you picked something at random because you felt pressured to have one. Or maybe, you wanted to follow what other authors were doing and chose what seemed to be working for them! Or maybe, you used the stories you wrote in college because that was all you had.

But now, you stare at lackluster results and grapple with the emotional turmoil of not being able to succeed at building your email list, it’s clear something isn’t right!

Take a deep breath! Please know it’s okay to feel discouraged and frustrated. The good news? It’s time to audit your current reader magnet to figure out what’s wrong with yours.

You can watch a video of the 15 red flags or continue reading!

How to Audit Your Freebie to Know if It’s Doing Its Job?

Are you scratching your head wondering why your reader magnet isn’t pulling in readers you hoped for?? You made this awesome freebie – a short story, or a Spotify playlist, or maybe a fun quiz – to get readers to sign up to your email list.

Regularly auditing your current freebie (aka reader magnet) is crucial for ensuring its effectiveness and maximizing its impact on your readers. By conducting regular audits, you can identify any areas of improvement, assess its relevance and alignment with your readers’ needs and ensure it continues to deliver value.

This process allows you to stay ahead of changing trends, preferences, and market dynamics, enabling you to refine and optimize your lead magnet to better attract, engage, and convert more readers. Additionally, auditing your reader upgrade regularly helps you maintain a competitive edge, enhance your brand’s reputation, and ultimate drive sustainable growth and success of your author business.

Please note: there are over a dozen terms for “reader magnet.” For fun, you’ll find each term used throughout this article enabling you to see how it’s used within content marketing.

Here are 15 reasons why you should take the time to audit your current freebie to find out if it’s doing its job!

1. Your Content Upgrade Isn’t Targeted Enough

Your content upgrade might not be working because it’s not targeted enough. Remember, your reader magnet should be designed to attract your ideal reader. Picking something that’s similar to what an author friend has picked may not be right for your readers!

If it’s too broad, or completely irrelevant, it won’t resonate with the readers you’re trying to attract.

2. Your Reader Upgrade Doesn’t Solve a Real Problem

Your reader upgrade should actually solve a problem that your readers are facing in relation to your book, characters and story.

If it doesn’t, they won’t see the value in it, they’ll think your freebie has no use to them, and they’ll scroll past, and not give you a second thought – all the while not signing up to your email list.

3. Your Reader Magnet Isn’t Valuable Enough

Even if your reader magnet is free, it still should be providing value to your readers in the form of solving a problem or issue they have.

If your readers don’t consider your freebie valuable, they won’t be willing to exchange their email address for it.

4. Your Lead Magnet Isn’t Promoted Enough

If no one knows you have a lead magnet, how will you build your email list?!?! If you’re not promoting your reader magnet, you’re not going to reach your readers. Just like you’d want to share a monumental news with just about everyone, you should want to share a significant piece of content with everyone.

Create a marketing campaign just for your reader magnet that shares it on your website, your social media platforms, your author blog. And share it often.

5. Your Content Magnet Isn’t Easy to Access

Your content magnet should be just a few clicks to access. If your readers have to jump through too many hoops to get it, they’ll most likely give up and move on.

It’s your job, as an authorpreneur, to build your author business. A part of that is to help your audience find and get what they need.

6. Your Content Opt-In Doesn’t Match Your Brand

Your content opt-in should align with your author brand. It should be connect to, related to, helpful about something related to your book, your characters, your story.

If it doesn’t, it will confuse your readers and make them less likely to trust you. Each piece of your content strategy has a purpose and should look similar enough to help readers recognize your content anywhere.

7. Your Opt-In Offer Is Outdated

If your offer is old and outdated, it isn’t gonna be effective. You can’t add a freebie and then just leave it. Times change, and readers are way more savvy now.

As an author who wants to run their own business, it’s up to you to regularly keep your reader magnet relevant and up-to-date by understanding the data behind your current one. Track down how many readers actually downloaded it. And then use that data to either update what your current one, or change it altogether.

8. Your Irresistible Offer Doesn’t Get Any ACTION!

Social media is like a giant megaphone for your offer! But if you’re not using it, it’s like whispering. Whispering doesn’t really get anyone’s attention.

You want your readers to interact with your social media posts. That’s kinda the point behind publishing your posts. But if you post graphics and videos that do not encourage any interaction, what are you doing.

Making a point to publish well-designed graphics within captivating campaigns to encourage interaction should be the purpose of behind every post you post!!

9. Your Content Offer Has No Clear Call-to-Action

Your content offer should have a clear and concise call-to-action encouraging readers to do something. People are lazy humans!! In the online marketing world, we all need to be told what to do. And your readers are just like everybody else out there!

And if those readers don’t know what to do next, they won’t take any action at all. If you want someone to do something, you’ve gotta tell them using clear, concise language. Don’t rely on a wimpy “sign up” button. Use strong powerwords like “download now” or “get your free guide now” to make it clear what you want them to do.

10. Your Freebie is Well….. Boring!

Imagine this: your reader is stalking your Instagram feed, they see your post, but instead of liking it, or commenting, this reader scrolls on past. Not a good look, right?

If your freebie is, well, boring, readers won’t stop. If they don’t think your freebie isn’t interesting enough, they won’t continue to check you out. And if they don’t think that opt-in was relevant enough, they’ll definitely won’t sign up.

You, as an author, must make sure this reader magnet is full of fresh ideas, helps your readers solve their problems, and maybe is something fun to have.

11. Your Sign-Up Incentive Is Confusing

Imagine you’re in a maze, all set to have some fun! But then you realize that there’s no way out. This is not unlike how a confusing landing page and sign up form feels.

The page where readers sign up for your freebie should be clear, concise, and easy to understand. Using well-formatted graphics, with optimized headlines, and even bullet points are all practices of a well-thought out content strategy.

As Donald Miller says from the “Building a Story Brand”, “the key to success of any plan is to alleviate confusion for our customers.” It should be a part of your strategy to help to alleviate any confusion your readers might have.

12. Your Reader Magnet is too Generic

Are you trying to “sell” your freebie to every single reader out there?? I certainly hope not! Just like your book is NOT meant for every romance reader out there, neither is your reader magnet. If your reader magnet is too generic it won’t appeal to anyone. If it doesn’t appeal to anyone, you’re not going to get any sign ups.

Your reader magnet must speak directly to the ideal reader that will read your book. This is where you’ll use words (language) that this ideal reader would understand and care about.

13. Your Freebie Breaks Every Promise

Did you promise extra content, sneak peeks, or even juicy news, and then never followed through?? Not cool! Your readers are human being too, and they expect you to follow through and live up to the promises you promised when they signed up.

If you break even one promise, it will take you a whole lot longer to rebuild that and get readers to trust you again.

14. Your Irresistible Freebie Feels Like a Fake Friend

Picture that friend that only talks about themselves. You don’t like hanging out with him and nobody else does either.

When you only talk about yourself, you appear self-centered and egotistical. Yes, your marketing should be about you and your book, but it’s not FOR you. Each piece of marketing content you publish online should be with your reader in mind – what they want, what they’re looking for.

15. Your Reader Magnet Is Not Followed Up with a Nurture Sequence

Your reader magnet is a part of a larger whole. Within that you’ll need compelling graphics to “sell” your freebie, AND you’ll need an email sequence that nurtures your readers after they’ve signed up.

If you’re not following up your irresistible freebie with a nurture sequence that continues the conversation, you’re missing out on a key opportunity to build trust and loyalty aka a two-sided relationship with your readers.


Recognizing the 15 red flags that signal it’s time to audit your reader magnet is just the first step in ensuring its continued effectiveness. Keep in mind, regular audits are essential for staying ahead of the curve, refining your approach, and maintaining a strong connection with your readers.

Now, armed with this knowledge, it’s time to take action and address the concerns of your readers. And you can do that easily by providing relevant, useful, and valuable content that solves their problems.

When you do this, you elevate your reader magnet to new heights and ensure that it continues to attract and engage readers effectively. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and embark on a journey to creating the type of content that’ll resonate with your readers and drive meaningful results for your author business.

Solve Your Readers’ Problems

Authors, it’s time to start solving your readers’ problems. No, I’m not talking about how to help readers get into a more comfortable position, or how to tackle their TBR list. What I’m talking about are the problems readers have attached to your book and possibly your marketing!

Whether you’re a seasoned author or just getting started, when you understand the importance of offering a reader magnet that your readers actually want, you’ll succeed in your marketing.

This can be done when you offer relevant, useful and valuable content to your readers.

Relevant Content

First and foremost, your freebie needs to be relevant to your readers’ needs, interests, and preferences. Think about what resonates with your readers, what keeps them up at night, what they’re passionate about.

Here are just a few ideas you can offer your readers that are directly relevant to your story book:

Useful Content

In addition to being relevant, some of your content will be useful. Meaning this type of content will help your readers in some way to solve a problem, address a need, offer tips, or guide them in some way.

Here are a few ideas that are useful to your readers:

Valuable Content

And finally, some of your content should be considered valuable to your readers. It needs to add something meaningful to your readers’ lives beyond just entertainment. By giving your readers exclusive content that enriches their reading experience and strengthens their connection with your story and your characters.

Here are some ideas you could offer:

What’s Next…

Looking to have your content made for you? Contact me anytime via email.

Dive deep into the Ultimate Guide to Mastering your Online Content to know how to update and optimize your content.

You can Master Your Content with content kits available.