Why, hello there!

If you’re new to Stray Curls, here’s a quick introduction:

My name is Angela Vaz; I’m a 31-year-old Illustrator and Blogger living in Bangalore, India, with my partner and 2 glorious girl labradors.

Stray Curls Banner including Angela and her 2 dogs Chloe and Maria

I run multiple websites (a kawaii blog, a personal development & relationships blog, and a hair blog) simultaneously with this one.

Stray Curls is all about building a profitable blog no matter where you live and what skills you possess.

I’ve received a lot of questions regarding how to get more blog traffic.

I will also link to more posts about getting blog traffic below!

Now, Google traffic becomes more unstable with each update in the algorithm.

SEO isn’t like before.

Every single month, it gets harder to rank for keywords and get blog traffic.

Things are changing at lightning speed.

Now that AI is taking over and people are mass-producing tons of content, email has become more critical than ever.

I cannot stress it enough – have an email list.

Tomorrow, if anything happens to your website traffic or your website, you can relocate and email your list telling them you’ve moved.

You can also start a brand new business and then let people know where to find you – it’s one of the most valuable assets you can have as a Blogger – believe me.

If you have a dedicated email list, you can:

  • Send them weekly newsletters (this boosts your blog traffic tremendously)
  • Market to them in the future (make digital product sales and affiliate marketing sales)
  • Build a beautiful audience (if you ever have to relocate your business or build a similar business like a YouTube channel in the same niche)

The benefits are tenfold.

Stray Curls hardly gets 10K pageviews a month.

This website still manages to make $3-5K every single month—only because of my email list. I have around 10K subscribers, and I prune my list every six months.

My email list is precious.

An email list is more valuable than social media because you own your email list.

I also started building an email list on the drawing blog.

You can upgrade to paid versions, but it’s a bonus; you don’t need to unless you want more assets or more functions.

I’ll teach you step-by-step how to do this.

Let’s dive in.

But before that, really quick, please join my SEO email course so you get the briefing on SEO today:

This post includes affiliate links to products I truly (from the bottom of my heart) recommend, meaning at no extra cost to you, I may earn a small percentage which I will use to buy my poor dogs some yummy numnums.

The money earned from affiliate links are used to feed my poor, hungry dogs.

How to create a free opt-in in Convertkit

In this post, I will walk you through how to build an email list by connecting an opt-in form to Convertkit. This is what you’ll learn to create by the end of this post:

  • How to create a freebie
  • How to create a pretty form in Convertkit
  • How to connect it to your website

– and I promise you, it will take less than 30 minutes:

Or an hour if you’re not tech-savvy.

None of the tools are paid – everything is free.

1. Think of a freebie you can offer

The general principle is this: You want people to sign up for your blog newsletter.

But if you create a generic form and say, “Sign up for free updates,” nobody will sign up.


It sounds generic – everybody does this.

Do you honestly sign up for every blog you read?

Of course not.

The freebie must be reeeeeally good to sign up with your email address.

People value their email inboxes – They don’t want spam because it’s annoying and a huge time waste.

So, you will need a freebie.

Here are some freebies ideas you can make and deliver to someone.

  • A quick template
  • A mini eBook
  • A small workbook
  • A printable (be careful with this because a lot of people just want free printables and never end up opening the emails you send)

Here are some ideas of digital products you can create and even sell. 

You need to make sure that the freebie you give is:

  • Very similar to your niche (that way, people downloading your freebie will open your email newsletters because it’s related!)
  • Quick, easy-to-consume and neat
  • Valuable

Another great idea is to convert one of your best blog posts into a PDF file.

Take some time and make it pretty. Add some nice stock photos to ensure the PDF reads like a small eBook.

It’s your content.

It’s fine!

And now deliver it as a freebie.

This is what I did with Mind Space Cafe.

2. Create the Freebie + Opt-in Image (using Canva Pro)

You can use any software like Picmonkey, Photoshop, or Canva Pro

Please note that you can use free templates if you have a free subscription to Canva, but the options are limited, so I prefer Canva Pro.

When you have the Pro version of Canva, you will get access to more options. But you can use any template.

Now, I’ll customize the front cover and copy-paste my in-depth blog post into an ebook template:

customize the template

And I’m done!

I’ve created a nice mini-eBook in 15 minutes.

I’m going to download:

  • The whole PDF to my computer (this will be the file people get when they sign up)
  • The front cover as a PNG file (I’ll need it to show people what they’re getting).

Now, we need to create the form so that people can sign up for my blog!

We will need one more image, so I will search for “download image.”

I like this one!

create a download image

I’ll just customize it and upload the eBook cover I just downloaded.

I’ll also change the text to reflect my freebie, and I’m done!

make the download image in canva


Now, we’ve finished creating the freebie and the freebie opt-in image.

Next, we need to create the form!

3. How to create a form in Convertkit

Sign up for Convertkit for free using this link.

It’s free till you accumulate 1K subscribers – so that will last you a long time.

You can upgrade to the paid version now or use it for a while and then upgrade.

Either way, it’s the only email marketing platform I’ve used since 2018, and I use it for all my blogs.

If you aren’t happy, you can always download your subscribers in a CSV file and upload it to another email marketing software later. For now, I’m showing you how to do this for free.

Now, go to “Grow.”

And click on “Landing Pages and Forms.” Next, click on “Create a form.”

create a form in convertkit

Next, click on “Inline form” and then click on the Charlotte template. I like how clean and straightforward this form is.

click on the charlotte form template

Now, customize the text to whatever you want it to be. Click on the image and replace it with the freebie image you’ve just made – you’ll get something like this:


Customize the form

Next, go to “Settings” in the top right-hand corner and edit the “Success message.”

Someone who signs up for this form on your website will see this success message. So, you must assure them that the download is coming to their inbox.

edit the success message

Next, click “Incentive” and upload your PDF file or digital product.

incentive download

Voila! You’re done!

You’ve successfully created a form in Convertkit and attached your digital product to it.

Now, whenever someone signs up for the form, they’ll receive the download and be added to your email list.

But you have to put the form on your website.

You can copy-paste the shortcode into every page or set it as a default form.

Let me teach you how to do that.

4. Put the form in your blog posts

I want you to go to your WordPress Dashboard and click “Plugins.”

Then, click on “Add new” and search for Convertkit.

This is the one you’ll want to download:

download the convertkit plugin in wordpress

Install and activate it.

Then go to the settings:

Sign in to Convertkit on a separate tab in your browser and find your Convertkit API key and secret key.

Copy and paste it into the Settings here on your Convertkit WordPress Plugin:

copy paste your convertkit key

In “Default Form (Posts),” select the form you just created—it will appear in this dropdown.

And now, your form will display on every single post at the bottom!

form will display on every post

I did this for my drawing website too (I offered a small drawing worksheet), and here’s how it looks:

you can create so many types of forms with convertkit


Isn’t it cute?

You can do all of this for free by getting the free plan of Convertkit. 

Now, you’ll get email subscribers every single day for free.

Make sure you email them every week to keep in touch.

If you don’t know what to write, write a small introduction and then link to 3-4 blog posts related to the topic you chose for that week.

That’s it.

Remember to clean your list every 6 months – this will keep the dead weight off!


I hope this post helped you understand how to get email subscribers for free and helped you see how easy it is to start an email list.

If you have any questions or want to say hi, comment below. I will reply as soon as possible.

Don’t forget to sign up for my 7-day free email challenge to learn how to get more blog traffic to your blog!

Learn how to grow your blog traffic and get traffic that actually converts into sales and customers!

Here are some more posts you may find helpful: