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How To Create Freebies, Printables, and Opt-ins To Grow Your Email List.
Would you like to learn a new superpower today? Wouldn’t it be great to know how to do something that most new bloggers struggle with for months, or even years?
Not only can you use this skill to grow your blog tremendously, but you can also turn around and make money with it, today! Seriously. If you love this stuff, and you’re really good at it, then do it momma!
I may be giving away too many of my secrets here. This may not be the smartest move on my part. But honestly, I want to help as many moms as I can change their lives.
Blogging has been completely transformational for me. Over the past two years I’ve been able to grow from making $0 per month to making over $30,000 per month with this little blog.
How did I do it? Hard work. Consistent effort. Late nights. Early mornings. Blood, sweat and tears. Is it worth it? Absolutely! What would I do differently? I wish I started earlier.
But let’s not get off track, let’s get right into this magical skill that you can learn today and change your blogging game.
At the end of the post I’ll share my best example of using this technique! So keep reading, this post is going to be a game changer for you!
How to Grow Your Email List with Printables and Freebies
Let’s get into it! One of the easiest ways to passively grow your email list is through printables. Printables are also known as freebies or opt-ins when they are used to grow your email list, and I’ll be using these three terms interchangeably throughout the post.
When blogging started, it was fine just to have a “sign up to my newsletter” box and increase your email list that way. But since blogs are a bit more popular today, you have to offer an incentive for someone to sign up.
Think of it like buying someone a drink at the bar before asking for their number 😉 You can’t just go up to them and ask for their number, you have to give them a small gift first. I got this reference by watching movies, I’m not a big partier – you’re much more likely to find me in Starbucks drinking Americano’s than a bar drinking a beer.
I’ve been able to grow my email list to over 30,000 subscribers by just offering freebies or printables on my blog. I would strategically place these above blog posts, in the middle of a post, at the bottom of a post, or as a popup.
Your Email List has Amazing Traffic Potential
But back up, why is growing your email list so important? Because the people who sign up to your email list will one day become your future customers. These are the people that are much more likely to purchase through your affiliate links and recommendations. They will share your articles, comment on your posts and be the first to purchase your new ebook or course!
Every time you email your list you’ll get a flood of readers on your blog eager to learn more. It’s recurring traffic.
Sometimes I think of my email list like a huge dam. Whenever I email them I am opening the floodgates and I have the power to direct that rush of water where ever I need it to go. Do you need traffic to a new sponsored post? Email it to your list. Do you need to do market research and need responses to a survey? Share it with your list. Is one of your affiliate’s running a big sale and you want to help promote it? Send the deal to your email list.
Why Do You Need an Email List?
- Direct access to your readers.
- Increase sales everytime you share an amazing offer or product.
- Better ideas from readers.
- Great personal connections you can’t accomplish using social media.
- Help and support when you need it.
- Grow expertise by helping your readers one on one.
Additionally, if you nurture and educate your email list well, you can predict about $1 per email subscriber per month. It’s a rough estimate of your monthly blog income if you work hard at it. So if you have a warm email list of 3,000 subscribers, you can expect to make about $3,000 and pay the mortgage with your blog!
How to Create Printables – Step by Step Video
In this step by step video below I’ll show you how I create printables fast! With three little kids, I don’t have hours and hours of time to blog, so I need to be as efficient as possible with my time. This video will show you all my shortcuts and strategies.
The full video that additionally shows how you can create printables using free online software can be watched here.
After watching this video you’ll know how to create and design freebies. If you love doing this and you’re good at it you could make money right now by selling your own printables or creating printables for others. Isn’t that a neat idea?
There are 3 Different Ways You Can Use Freebies, Opt-ins, or Printables
- Create printables for other bloggers as a service
- Sell printables on your blog
- Grow your email list with freebies, opt-ins, or printables
Freebies are great because readers will refer back to them. They will print them out and hang them on their wall or put them on their fridge. This will serve as a constant little reminder of how amazing you are! And every time they open their fridge with your printable on it, they’ll think, “Gosh, I love Suzi’s printables, maybe I should go check out her blog again today!” Or I guess that’s what I hope happens.
3 Quick Tips on Creating Printables and Freebies
- Lists or calendars work well!
- Make sure you offer a quick solution in your freebie. What pain point are you solving?
- Put your blog name at the bottom so they know where it comes from.
- Include your freebie on your home page and at the top of your blog posts.
Create Freebies Using Powerpoint (shown in the video)
- I love using Powerpoint to create my freebies. The first thing I do is to setup a custom slide size by going to the Design tab and clicking on custom size.
- SmartArt makes creating printables super easy! I can toggle between different designs to find the perfect layout for my freebie.
- You can copy and paste your content into the SmartArt input box or type it out.
- You can change the color and design of your freebie super easily. PowerPoint allows you to toggle and preview different layouts and colors without having to recreate your freebie.
“ I use PowerPoint for work ALL the time and never would’ve guessed what a useful tool it would be for blogging. You totally changed my world.” – Haylee
How to Create a Preview of Your Freebie in Your Post
I normally add my freebie to my post through a Convertkit subscription box. I add a preview of the freebie in the form of a small image to further entice new readers to sign up. This gives them a clear idea of what they will be receiving once they opt in to my email list.
- You can use any screen capturing software you like to create the preview image. I like Snagit from TechSmith because it is super fast and just overall fantastic. If you are serious about clippings and screencast, I highly recommend them.
- You can snap the picture and copy it and go back to PowerPoint and paste your image there.
- Once you have the image in PowerPoint, you can open a new slide and take the image and add a shadow around your image. That will make the image pop.
- Add a little arrow with the preview image to direct the reader to the subscription box that you’ll add later.
- Make sure you save your freebie or printable as a PDF. That is what your readers will download and what you will connect in the backend of Convertkit.
- Add a new blog post and upload your freebie preview image to it.
How to Connect Your Freebie or Printable to Convertkit
Okay great! You’ve created your printable and have your little preview image. Now how do you connect it all so when someone visits your blog they can submit their email address to your list and receive your amazing freebie? Here are the quick steps below.
- Make sure you have an account with Convertkit. I’ve been using them for years! Convertkit is simple to use and has a powerful automation side for creating high converting funnels.
- In Convertkit you will create a new form for your new freebie. The embed code from the form is what you’ll use to have your readers sign up for your freebies.
- You can either create a landing page or a form that will go directly on your blog post. A landing page is great if you don’t have a complete post yet to share your freebie and you’re low on time and need to get it out quickly.
- On the submission button, change your wording and don’t say subscribe. It’s a bit boring. Make it more enticing. Use more engaging phrases such as “Download now”, “Get access”, or “Start now”. Make it a little more interesting than sign up now or subscribe.
- Studies have shown that people like blue. Blue is a calming color. But if you want people to click on the button you’ll need to change the color to red or a warm color. People are more likely to click on a button if it is red because it stands out!
- In the form settings you’ll be able to set up the incentive email, this is the email sent to a new subscriber when they sign up to that specific form. In this email they will get the link to download the freebie.
- On the incentive email make sure you change the message and the subject line to something they will recognize.
- In the form settings you can either upload your PDF file directly or link to it if you’ve uploaded it to your blog.
How to Connect Your Freebie, Printable, or Opt-in to Your Blog
Fantastic! You’ve created your freebie. You’ve created your form in Convertkit. Now how do you connect all of this together and add it to your blog? The steps are below!
- Go into the form settings in Covertkit and copy the embedded code.
- Add this code to the text side of your blog post. A lot of people get a little stuck on this part. They will put it at the bottom of their post on the visual side. Make sure you click on the Text tab.
- Don’t worry if you don’t see it on the backend of WordPress. Once you publish or preview your blog post, it will show up.
“I created a freebie opt-in the week before Christmas and went from 100 subscribers to 620 in less than 3 weeks!! Learned everything I know about blogging from Suzi!!” – Shanna
How to Create a Freebie Using Canva
As you may already tell, I absolutely love using PowerPoint to create my optins and freebies. But if you’re not a Microsoft person, there are other options!
Like Canva! There are pros and cons of using Canva. The pro is that it’s free and online! The con is that you have to use their designs and the software is a bit slow. Because you have to copy and paste your content into each section, it will take longer to create your printable. Once you’ve created your freebie in Canva, you can download it as a PNG to use as the little preview image and as a PDF to upload directly into Convertkit.
How To Create a Freebie Using Google Slides
Second best to PowerPoint is Google slides. Super bonus, Google slides is easy to use, free and more and more features are being added to it every day!
- Go to your Google drive and click new Google Slides.
- This will look very familiar to the PowerPoint slides.
- Go to page setup and select custom. You can customize your size of your freebie or printable.
- Add your title and don’t forget your blog name at the bottom.
- Every couple of months I discover new features in Google docs – I really can’t believe it’s free!
- Google Slides has a lightweight Smart Art feature. If you go to insert and select diagrams that’s where you’ll find it. It’s pretty neat. But they do only have a limited number of variations, unlike PowerPoint.
- Google Slides gives you the best of both worlds between Canva and PowerPoint because it will give you ideas like Canva, but has the flexibility to be creative like PowerPoint.
- You can use a screen capture to create your mini preview image or download the slide as a JPEG.
- Then for your freebie, download it as a PDF and upload it to your form on Convertkit.
How to Make Your Printables Unique
I recently discovered a bank of icons I can use in my printables! For only $40 a year I can download hundreds of different icons to customize my printables. It’s called NounProject and it integrates with both Google Docs and Office.
You can search for a topic and there will be so many cute icons to choose from. You can even add your own brand colors to them.
“I watched this video a few days ago and it was so helpful. I am going back to it for reference now. Thank you so much for taking the time to teach this to us.” – Mary
Do Freebies and Printables Really Work?
Not all of your freebies will grow your email list. Some will be duds and that is okay. You will learn what your audience doesn’t like and what they do like. It will take time and experimenting to grow your list.
I have had, what I thought, were awesome freebies, that I thought people would love and then sadly, nobody did. That’s okay too. I learned from those freebies. I learned what I shouldn’t do. I learned what my audience doesn’t like and I improved upon that and created something new.
I am not promising you creating freebies will grow your list to 20,000 by tomorrow. It will take some time, testing, and tweaking. But the more you create, the more you’ll learn and grow!
Ideas for Printables and Freebies to Grow Your Email List
Optins and freebies do not just have to be printable PDF documents. Growing your email list can be done in many different ways. If you’re giving away great advice or tips, you can test out different forms of content types and see what resonates best with your audience.
- List of tips
- How to videos
- Short ebook
- Cheat sheets
- Free stock images
- Prompts/ fill in the blank templates
- Free course
“I’m a mother with 2 kids and all this is just so overwhelming, but you make it seem to much not overwhelming.” – Ashley
How to Promote Your Freebies
Here are a few ways you can promote your printables! Below are a few of my favorite methods.
- Sign up boxes on your blog
- Sharing a landing page to your optin on social media
- Popups (I use Bloom and Convertkit)
- Run a giveaway
- Create landing page
- Add a call to action in the banner of your Facebook blog page or group
- Use Pinterest to promote your freebie
- Promote your freebie on Facebook promo days
- Do a Facebook live
- Write a guest post and direct people back to your landing page
- Add an optin on your About me page
Congratulations, You Have a New Superpower
Goodness! That was a lot! If you’ve completed all those steps, I am super proud of you! Congrats!! I hope you’ve discovered that not only can you create printables to grow your own email list, but if you really love creating them, you can offer it as a service or sell your work! Once you master the skills of creating beautiful and helpful printables, you’ll have a new superpower!
And as promised, here is my highest converting printable that I’ve created. It did so well, I turned it into a free mini course, called The Blog Plan!
Now that you know how to create gorgeous printables and freebies, please share your success stories below in the comments! Have you made money off printables? How much have you grown you list? Let’s celebrate each other’s successes!!
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