How to Build an Email List For Your Blog

How to Build an Email List For Free

Build email list with convertkit

Your blog has been launched to much fanfare I’m sure. You are producing content and promoting in equal measure. 

The time to start building your email list is NOW! There is absolutely no need to wait for a few months before building your list. 

It is understandable that as a new blogger you might feel a bit insecure and wonder why anyone will want to subscribe to your list since you just got here.

No! You don’t need to wait until you are established to start building that email list. Start seeing the email list as your potential audience. If they willingly give you their email addresses, it means they want to hear what you have to say.

Now You Are Ready To Build Your Email List,What Are You Offering in Return?

That sad little “sign up for our newsletter” at the bottom of the homepage doesn’t work anymore. Building your email list is very transactional now.

You may have written a very helpful post about a topic that resonated with the readers. If they want to consume more of your content, they can make their way back to your blog without giving you their email address.

That helpful post needs to come with a freebie or something to make them part with their email address. If you have written a tutorial on how to start your own bloghow about you include a downloadable checklist of the steps as explained in the post.

A freebie could be anything you have made available for free in return for the email address so if you are looking for how to build a massive email list, well this is a start.

Here is proof

I posted an educational craft called Alphabet Spinners and I included a printable template as a freebie. In just over one month, from one freebie, I had 266 subscribers to my email list. Imagine the explosive growth  of your email list when you add an opt-in freebie to every post.

build email list with optin freebies

Your option freebies could be anything as long as they are relevant to the needs of your defined audience. 

10 Opt-in Freebie To Build Your Email List.

  1. E-books
  2. Checklist
  3. Worksheets
  4. Cheat sheets
  5. Quizzes
  6. Printables
  7. Email courses
  8. Resource list
  9. Resource library
  10. Case study

Building Your Email List with ConvertKit.

ConvertKit was designed with bloggers in mind. It is one of the reason why I switched from MailChimp. As you can see, the subscriber report I posted above is from MailChimp.

In fact, I had just completed my switch to ConvertKit prior to writing this tutorial.

While MailChimp had a lot of features that would suit beginner bloggers looking to build their list, it was not easy to set up.

Compared to MailChimp, convertkit has cleaner templates and straightforward automations.

How To Build Your Email List with ConvertKit

Sign up for a ConvertKit account.

Answer some basic questions, enter your email address and your chosen password. You have just created your ConvertKit account.

Create your form.

To capture email addresses using freebies, you need to create sign up forms that will be embedded on your blog post or page. With ConvertKit, you can create as many sign up for s as you want.

Click on Landing pages and Forms at the top menu > Create New. You will be asked “How do you want to gather subscribers?” Choose Forms. You can also use a landing page to collect emails should you choose

convertkit signup form

How do you want to display the forms on your blog.

Inline –  Everything on a single line

Modal – Box like. Similar to the typical sign up forms

Slide in – Self explanatory

Stick bar – Sticks to the top and doesn’t move.

Select the format you want and it will take you to the template page. Choose the template you want and then you can begin customising the look of your sign up form.


  Customising your Sign up Forms

  • Give your form a name. Click on the pencil icon on the top right hand corner.
  • Edit the Title and Description as you would want it when displayed on the blog page or post. Although, it doesn’t look editable, simply click your mouse and edit away.
  • Add further custom fields ie First name. Most of the templates come with just the email address field. To add custom field, click on the plus icon in the middle of the box.
  • Change the background colour to suit your  blog colour theme.

customise sign up form

  • As pictured, click on the mail or envelope icon and edit the confirmation message that will be sent when users subscribe to your list. Here is a standard message. You might want to edit it to reflect your brand.

  • The next thing to do is to upload your freebie. If your freebie is hosted on your website, click URL and  add the address. You can send your freebie as an attachment. Simply the download button and add the file. customise sign up form.

The above steps will ensure that you capture the email address and it is confirmed by the subscriber before they receive the freebie.

Click Save. 

Embed the sign up form on your blog

  • At the top, click embed.

  • Copy the javascript code and paste it exactly where you want it. It will only show when you paste in the text version and not the visual version of the page.

That’s it! You have created your first form.

Softwares to use in Creating Opt- in Freebies

Creating your Opt-in Freebies need not be complicated or expensive. You can use most of the softwares you already have installed don your computer or free online graphic design applications.

I especially recommend Canva and Picmonkey. They are easy to use, barely any learning curves and you can download your freebies in different formats and sizes.

Where to Host Your Freebie?

  • It is very common to host your freebie on the email marketing service you are using. Since the freebie are sent after subscriber confirmation. It also saves web space that will be used up by content that has to be hosted on the blog.
  • Cloud based storage like Google drive, Amazon drive, Dropbox can also be used to host freebies. Just remember to make the freebie available for public sharing.
  • Your own site could be the host of all your freebies especially if you have a resource library. This is basically a library of your freebies and resources on page that is password protected. Access is then given when a user signs up to your email list.

Checklist needed to build your email list

In summary…

  1. Sign up for an email marketing account. ie CovertKit
  2. After producing content on your blog, decide what you want to offer your readers.
  3. Create a freebie relevant to the blog content 
  4. Decide where you want to host your freebie
  5. Create a sign up form and attach the freebie
  6. Embed the sign up form on your blog post or page. (Create as many as you need)

Download the FREE pdf checklist below to help you through the email list building process.












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