Why, hello there!

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

My name is Angela Vaz, I’m a 30-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 4 websites (a drawing 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 it gets harder to 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 important 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 keep pruning my list every 6 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 food.

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 am going to 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

Now, 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 is going to sign up.


It sounds generic – everybody does this.

Do you honestly sign up for every blog you read?

Of course not.

The freebie has to be reeeeeally good in order 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.

Now, here are some ideas of freebies 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. 

Basically, 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 take one of your best blog posts, and just convert it 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 or Photoshop or Canva Pro

I personally love Canva Pro because I use it almost every day for:

  • Stock photos – Canva has millions of stock photos (in any niche) that you can use on your website for free (cheaper than any other platform)
  • Pin templates (I create multiple Pins using their Pin templates
  • eBooks and social media images (I create all my freebies on Canva Pro)

So, Canva Pro is very cheap.

I usually get the annual plan because it’s so inexpensive and you can use all the Premium features for free!

Check out Canva Pro here

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

I’m just going to use a nice eBook template:

use an ebook guide template

There are multiple Pro and Free templates you can choose one.

When you have the Pro version of Canva, you just 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 this 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 the front cover to show people what they’re getting) You have this option in Canva Pro to download t

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

We will need one more image, so I’m going to 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 make it 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 been using since 2018 and I’m using it for all 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 really like how clean and simple this form is.

click on the charlotte form template

Now, customize the text to whatever you want it to be and 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” on the top right-hand corner and edit the “Success message.”

When someone signs up to this form on your website, they will see this success message. So, you just have to assure them that the download is on its way to their inbox.

edit the success message

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

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 to the form, they’ll get 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 you can just set it up 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 on “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 that you just created – it will show up 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?

And 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, just write a small introduction and then link to 3-4 blog posts that are related to the topic you chose for that week.

That’s it.

Remember to clean your list every 6 months or so – 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 just want to say hi, leave a comment below. I will reply asap.

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: