How to Create a Newsletter and an Opt-in Form for your Blog

Click through to find out how to quickly create a newsletter and opt-in form for your blog. This is a detailed step-by-step guide to setting up your email newsletter with Convertkit. Blogging tips | Email list
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Click through to find out how to quickly create a newsletter and opt-in form for your blog. This is a detailed step-by-step guide to setting up your email newsletter with ConvertKit. Blogging tips | Email list

If you’re like me, you’ve waited for so long to create a newsletter. If you want to take your blog seriously, you need to start building your email list and sending out newsletters to your subscribers right now. Yes, it is great to have 10,000 followers on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. But did it ever occur to you that you could lose all of those followers overnight?

If Facebook decides to cut you off, there goes your followers! Suddenly, all the hard work you’ve put into growing your reach quickly evaporates into thin air. Same thing goes for why I recommend you get a WordPress self-hosted blog. Oh, let’s not even get into the algorithm changes on Facebook and just recently, Instagram.

 

Your email list is the only thing you have control over. You send an email, and it goes straight to your subscriber’s mailbox. It is not affected by any algorithm. Got a new post, update, or product? Simply send a news blast. No need trying to guess aimlessly about the best time to post. Your email list BELONGS TO YOU and it provides a direct path to connect with your readers on a more personal level.

 

Now that you know why you need an email list, I will work you through how to create a newsletter and an opt-in form using the email service provider I use and recommend, ConvertKit.

 

As an exclusive offer for my blog readers, you can try ConvertKit free for 30 days. Billing information is required but you will not be charged for the free month. You will not find this free trial anywhere else.

 

CLICK HERE TO TRY CONVERTKIT FREE FOR 30 DAYS


WHY CONVERTKIT?

When it finally dawned on me that I needed to build my email list, I, like many other bloggers instantly signed up for a Mailchimp account. The interface on Mailchimp was overwhelming and I couldn’t get my newsletter to look the way I wanted it to look. But it was free.

 

With the Free Mailchimp account, you could hit your 2,000 free subscriber count pretty quickly. Why? Mailchimp counts your subscriber limit anytime that subscriber signs up to be on any of your mailing lists. So for my blog, if someone wanted both my fashion and blogging tips newsletter, Mailchimp would count them twice! I needed to move… fast! After researching, I chose to go with ConvertKit. I am so glad I chose ConvertKit. Here’s why:

 

1. Simple and Clean

My new newsletter is simple and clean. I quickly created a custom form to make my newsletters match my brand and personality. The opt-in forms are visually appealing and almost everything can be customized. When you click on the “subscribe” button on my sidebar, a lovely popup shows up for you to enter your email. I love this because it keeps the reader on my blog rather than taking them away (like was the case with Mailchimp).

 

How to create a newsletter for your blog

 

2. One-Click Embed

On WordPress, you can embed ConvertKit into every post and page with just a click. So on my post on how to make money blogging, I simply select the opt-in form I want readers to see from within my WordPress dashboard. There is no need to mess around with html codes or copying and pasting every time I created a blog post (like I did with Mailchimp).

 

Quickly create an email opt-in form for your website

 

 

3. Built by Bloggers for Bloggers

One other reason why I love ConvertKit so much is that it was designed by bloggers who were frustrated with other email service providers. How cool is it that bloggers built ConvertKit for bloggers? It means that they know exactly what you and I need. I am not super tech-savvy and prefer to not spend my whole afternoon figuring out a boring tech stuff. ConvertKit solves this problem.

 

4. Awesome Email Sequence

When someone joins my email list for the first time, they automatically get added to a sequence. The sequence drips a series of emails to the subscriber to get to know me better. For a few days, they receive a fun, information-packed email directly from me. The best part? I only have to create the sequence once. This by far my favorite feature of ConvertKit.

 

Quickly create an email opt-in form for your website

 

 

5. One Subscriber = One Subscriber

ConvertKit counts each email address as one subscriber even if they opt-in on 1, 3, or 10 forms. On Mailchimp, that subscriber gets counted each time they opt in on a new form which means you’d be paying to host that subscriber’s information 1, 3, or 10 times!

 

Use ConvertKit to create email newsletter

 

6. Automation Rules

Automation rule is a way to trigger certain actions on my list. So if someone signs up for a form, I can create a rule that adds them to a particular sequence, list, or even receive a course based on their interest. Automation rules allow me to organize my list by segments so that way I only email people who are interested in a particular subject.

 

 


 

Here’s a 5-minute demo video to show you the power of ConvertKit.

 

(SOURCE: used with permission)

 


 

HOW TO SET UP CONVERTKIT

Some of you have asked me how I create those amazing pop-up boxes on my blog and those sign up forms that you see at the end of all my blog posts. Keep reading to find out how to setup an opt-in form with ConvertKit.

 

You’ll need:

  • A blog – a way for visitors to sign up (follow this tutorial to create a blog)
  • Convertkit – an email service provider to send your newsletter. Click here to create a ConvertKit account and try it out FREE for 30 days. This is an exclusive offer for readers of my blog. You will not get this offer elsewhere. Click on “Pricing” and select the number of subscribers you have. You’ll need to enter your email address and a password.
  • An email address – this will be the email address that ConvertKit will use to send your newsletter to your subscribers.

 

How to setup ConvertKit for email opt-in

 

 


HOW TO CREATE AN OPT-IN FORM

After setting up your ConvertKit account, sign into ConvertKit and click on “forms” > “+ Create Form“. Here, you have the option of creating an opt-in form or a landing page. A landing page is different from an opt-in form in that it is page hosted by ConvertKit and its sole purpose is to capture email addresses.

How to create an opt-in form with convertkit

A form on the other hand, allows you to embed an opt-in option within your website in a post or page. Let’s create one together. For now, click on “A form.”

Creating a signup form with convertkit

 

Select the style you want from the three options. I love the style of the middle form so let’s go with that form. Click on the middle form to select it. The form will look like this:

Change color of convertkit form

 

Time to customize it. Add an image if you have one. Add a more compelling reason for someone to subscribe to your email list. I prefer to add my image in the text section. You can also add a URL, change font size, add an attachment and even do more advanced customization in HTML code.

 

To change the color of your button, click on the little magic wand at the top right corner next to “Save”. Any text in this form can me modified. Click on the text to modify it. Hit “Save” when you’re satisfied. My customized form looks like this:

 

How to make a customized opt-in form

 

Next, click on “SETTINGS

 

Name the form in this section so you can easily identify it in your dashboard. Your subscribers will not see the form name. Hit “Save Form” on the bottom of the page.

 

Then click on “Incentive Email”. This is where you add an opt-in freebie like an eBook or free PDF document. An opt-in freebie encourages visitors to join your email list. If you have a freebie, select “Incentive download” and “Upload a File” that your subscribers will get when they sign up. Hit “Save Form”.

 

Click on “Style” on the left navigation menu. Here, you can change the form style that you had originally selected in the beginning.

 

Under “Show this form as” you select how you want the form to be displayed. Choose:

Inline – to embed your form in your blog post. I usually put mine at the end of a post.

Modal – if you want it to appear as a pop up.

Slide in – Yup, to make the form slide in.

 

For this example, let’s go with “Inline”. Click “Save Form” at the bottom of the form.

 

Email service provider - convertkit

Next, click on “Embed” on the left navigation menu. If you use WordPress, install the ConvertKit plugin into your site to easily select the form from a drop down. If you do not have the plugin or you use Blogger, copy the JavaScript code and paste it into your blog post where you want the form to appear.

 

And you’re done.

 

Here’s an example of what the form will look like inside your blog post.

Convertkit inside blog post

 

You can follow the similar steps to create a landing page. At the end, you get a code (which also contains the URL) that you can share on your blog or on social media.

 


 

HOW TO CREATE A NEWSLETTER

Now that you have a few subscribers on your list, start nurturing the relationship by sending them frequent newsletters called Broadcasts in ConvertKit. A newsletter can be a recap of the previous week’s blog post, an important update, a sale, the launch of a product, anything you want.

 

Click on “Broadcasts” from the top menu bar. Select “+ New Broadcast” to get started.

How to create a newsletter

 

Next, select “all” from the “Matching” dropdown menu to send to everyone on your email list or choose a filter to send to a specific group of people. Now click on “Next Step” to start composing your broadcast.

 

Convertkit Broadcast

Your progress will automatically be saved as you work. Preview the look of your broadcast in a new window or send preview to your email. Once you’re done, click “Next Step” to send your newsletter “immediately” or “schedule” it to be sent at a later time.

 

High five! You just created and sent your first ConvertKit broadcast.

 


Having a newsletter is absolutely necessary in this day and age. A large percentage of first time visitors to your blog never return. You need an email list to convert these first time visitors into returners. This is an area that I see many bloggers, particularly fashion and beauty bloggers like myself, overlooking.

I’ve grown my list using the tactics above from a under 100 subscribers to 4,000+ subscribers in 18 months. Readers are excited to get my weekly emails. And they have a closer relationship with me and conversion rate is amazing. I include these stats in my media kit and pitches to brands.

ConvertKit is very affordable at a price of $29/month for 1,000 subscribers and gives you all the features that a big blogger with 20,000 subscriberswould get. You get the same features that a brand with 20,0000 subscribers gets even if you have under 100 subscribers like I did.

 

Now if $29/month for ConvertKit is not within your budget and you are just starting out, you can try out ConvertKit free for 30 days (an exclusive offer for readers of my blog) to see if you like it. This will give you a feel for how the program works so you can decide if it is right for you. I am sure you’ll fall in love with it like I did.

I get it, ConvertKit is not for everyone. It was created by bloggers for bloggers because they know the struggles. If you decide that ConvertKit is not for you, you can cancel anytime. The interface makes it super easy to move your subscriber list to another newsletter platform.

 

The $29/month is definitely worth the cost for me to cultivate a relationship with m audience. You can add your list size to your media kit when you pitch yourself to brands. And if in the future you decide to create a product, you can easily promote it to your readers in a newsletter series with social media promotion as the cherry on top 😉.

I hope you found this tutorial on how to create a newsletter and opt-in form helpful.

 

CLICK HERE TO TRY CONVERTKIT FREE FOR 30 DAYS

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comment section below. Have you tried ConvertKit? Why or why not?

 

If you found this post helpful, you’d love these popular posts:

 

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Click through to find out how to quickly create a newsletter and opt-in form for your blog. This is a detailed step-by-step guide to setting up your email newsletter with Convertkit. Blogging tips | Email list

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53 Comments

  • Reply
    Alex
    May 28, 2018 at 5:56 am

    Thanks for the awesome post! We just started with Convertkit and DIVI WordPress for our new site, ryanandalex.com. I have some questions about newsletters.
    1) With Convertkit, do you have a “share” feature – perhaps an easy way to share with a friend via email or Facebook?
    2) Does Convertkit offer “view as webpage” feature?
    3) How do you archive your newsletters? Hosted by WordPress or can Convertkit host the archive – something I know MailChimp can do?

    Thanks so much!

    • Reply
      Louisa
      June 10, 2018 at 7:33 pm

      Hi Alex,
      I’m glad you love this post and I apologize for just getting back to you.
      1. Yes, ConvertKit has a “Share” feature. Once you’ve sent out your newsletter, there is a button that allows you to “Share” it with others.
      2. I just took a look at my newsletter and it does not contain the “view as webpage” feature. This does not mean that this feature is not available. Definitely worth checking ConvertKit Knowledge Base: https://help.convertkit.com/
      3. ConvertKit automatically archives and hosts them for you. Here’s a previous newsletter archived and hosted on ConvertKit: https://ckarchive.com/b/75u7h8hp6mmr
      Hope this helps! 🙂

  • Reply
    Amy
    February 4, 2018 at 10:40 am

    Thanks for sharing these help tips.

    http://www.amysfashionblog.com/blog-home/

    • Reply
      Louisa
      February 5, 2018 at 12:31 am

      My pleasure Amy!

  • Reply
    Jemma
    September 19, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Wow! This is so detailed! Thank you for taking the time to write this post, I’m a new blogger and this is exactly what I’ve been looking for to start my email subscribers list 🙂

    • Reply
      Louisa
      September 19, 2017 at 12:56 pm

      You are very welcome Jemma. I’m glad you found this post helpful 🙂

  • Reply
    Tachina
    June 5, 2017 at 10:12 am

    This was so helpful! Thanks a million!!

    • Reply
      Louisa
      June 5, 2017 at 3:37 pm

      I’m glad you found it helpful Tachina 🙂

  • Reply
    alexandra @ my urban family
    April 14, 2017 at 9:30 am

    This is a great walk through – thanks! I really should focus more on my email list

  • Reply
    Alexandra
    April 14, 2017 at 9:20 am

    As a new blogger, I was trying to decide which route to go. Pinned this and will be exploring it in depth this weekend. Thanks!!

    • Reply
      Louisa
      April 16, 2017 at 2:29 pm

      Anytime Alexandra! 🙂

  • Reply
    Chloe
    April 14, 2017 at 6:17 am

    I SOOOO needed this! Thank you!
    http://beyondblessedblog.com/

  • Reply
    Sincerely Miss J
    April 14, 2017 at 4:43 am

    Love this! I will have to try out ConcertKit. 🙂

    Sincerely Miss J
    http://www.sincerelymissj.com

  • Reply
    Maky
    November 20, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    This got me.Now I need to start building my email list. Thanks for sharing.

    http://makychurchill.blogspot.ca

    • Reply
      Louisa
      November 20, 2016 at 10:43 pm

      My pleasure. You’re off to a great start Maky!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    October 22, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Such a neat post! I am looking to start doing a newsletter soon, so this will come in handy.

    xo, Elizabeth | txelizabeth.com

    • Reply
      Louisa
      October 29, 2016 at 7:44 pm

      Thanks lady! Glad this will come in handy and good luck on your newsletter.

  • Reply
    Sammy Blackmore
    October 16, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    “Yes, it is great to have 10,000 followers on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. But did it ever occur to you that you could lose all of those followers overnight?” — Spot on! Several people today still don’t understand the value of building an email list. They think that their social media accounts and pages won’t disappear, but it can be suspended or even hacked. So what’s the best way to re-connect with your followers? Through your email list. Thanks Louisa for sharing this!

    • Reply
      Louisa
      October 19, 2016 at 7:32 pm

      Absolutely! My only regret is that I wished I had started earlier. Thanks for reiterating the point.

  • Reply
    Emily
    September 9, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    I am just starting out with my blog and am using MailChimp and I am SO LOST!! I can’t wait for the day when I can switch to Converkit!!!
    I will be saving this on Pinterest until then…
    Thank you!!! 🙂

    • Reply
      Louisa
      September 10, 2016 at 4:24 pm

      You are very welcome Emily! I’m so glad I switched 🙂

  • Reply
    Sara Kate Styling
    August 17, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Such a great round up!! I REALLLY need to get on the email train. Thank you so much for the breakdown. Mailchimp has always been my go-to for marketing but this is one I’ve never heard of. Great post.

    xo,
    Sara Kate Styling

  • Reply
    Bre | Maintaining Me
    August 16, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought mailchimp was a pain! It might be time to bite the bullet and get convert kit.

    • Reply
      Louisa
      August 16, 2016 at 11:15 pm

      Bre, you’re going to have no regrets that you moved. Let me know if you have any questions when you move. I’ll be happy to help. Plus the folks at Convertkit reply their emails within two hours of contacting them. It’s crazy awesome!

  • Reply
    Heather Denniston
    August 16, 2016 at 7:16 am

    I am seeing this whole convert kit thing EVERYWHERE. I am still in love with MADMIMI so I will be staying but good to see someone else is challenging Mail Chimp.

    • Reply
      Louisa
      August 16, 2016 at 11:24 pm

      ConvertKit is amazing! There’s definitely no need to switch if a particular email provider meets your needs. Thanks for stopping by Heather 🙂

  • Reply
    Ivana J
    August 16, 2016 at 2:18 am

    Thanks for sharing this, i always wanted to do this, but did not know how, so this will help a lot xoxo

    http://www.theninebyivana.blogspot.com

    • Reply
      Louisa
      August 16, 2016 at 11:25 pm

      My pleasure Ivana. I’m glad you found this helpful.

  • Reply
    Angela
    August 15, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    I really need to work on this. I need to get a real newsletter out, not just blog updates. Hopefully, I will have more time to devote to this soon. It’s so important!

    • Reply
      Louisa
      August 15, 2016 at 9:16 pm

      It is truly important.

  • Reply
    thesocialbeing721
    August 15, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    Thank you for all the great info! I needed this 🙂

    • Reply
      Louisa
      August 15, 2016 at 9:15 pm

      I’m happy to help 🙂

  • Reply
    rennee
    August 15, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Good suggestions. I’m not at the point of offering a newsletter yet, but will certainly return to this once I am.

    • Reply
      Louisa
      August 15, 2016 at 5:43 pm

      That’s a good idea Rennee.

  • Reply
    Rachel
    August 15, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Creating an email list has been on my to-do list for a while. Saving this handy reference!

    • Reply
      Louisa
      August 15, 2016 at 5:45 pm

      Good idea Rachel! Let me know if you have any questions 🙂

  • Reply
    Kristen Kavan
    August 15, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Oh my gosh, I really needed this! I have been wanting to create a newsletter forever but was having a hard time finding a step by step tutorial! I’m pinning this for this weekend! Thanks!

    • Reply
      Louisa
      August 15, 2016 at 5:46 pm

      My pleasure Kristen. Good luck!

  • Reply
    Chrissa - Physical Kitchness
    August 15, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    You have NO idea how helpful this is!!! I’m saving this for later. This is the part of creating products and furthering my blog that I’m SO dumb with. You rock!

    • Reply
      Louisa
      August 16, 2016 at 11:28 pm

      Aww Chrissa, I’m happy to help fellow bloggers. It can be a little overwhelming trying to figure out which email provider to use. ConvertKit is both user-friendly and packaged full with a lot of amazing features for bloggers.

  • Reply
    Keala
    August 15, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Great advice and awesoem tutorial for someone new to the blogging world. I’m bookmarking This.

    • Reply
      Louisa
      August 15, 2016 at 5:48 pm

      Thanks Keala!

  • Reply
    Lauren
    August 15, 2016 at 10:25 am

    I have heard so much about the benefits of both mailchimp and converkit and this was an awesome explainer of the latter! I need to get started on my newsletter!

    • Reply
      Louisa
      August 15, 2016 at 5:50 pm

      I’m glad I was able to explain the benefits of ConvertKit Lauren. Let me know if you have any questions when you get started.

  • Reply
    linda spiker
    August 15, 2016 at 6:48 am

    Love the step by step instructions! You make it easy!

    • Reply
      Louisa
      August 15, 2016 at 9:59 am

      Thanks Linda!

  • Reply
    Lindsay
    August 15, 2016 at 5:37 am

    Oh my gosh, I SO SO SO need this!!!! I have been trying to figure out MailChimp for a year with no success. Am I understanding correctly that you can automatically email a new blog post to subscribers by clicking a button in your WordPress post?

    • Reply
      Louisa
      August 16, 2016 at 11:35 pm

      Hello Lindsay, MailChimp was equally very confusing for me and my open rate wasn’t near what it is now on ConvertKit. Yes, you can add your RSS link into ConvertKit which will automatically email your subscribers when you publish a new post.

  • Reply
    Alexis @ Chemistry Cachet
    August 15, 2016 at 2:47 am

    This is a great post! I just ran out of my free option for mailchimp since I have so many subscribers now, so I want to switch to convertkit. I keep hearing it is so good too use!

    • Reply
      Louisa
      August 15, 2016 at 10:01 am

      I’m glad you found this helpful Alexis. Convertkit is very easy to use. I love it! Let me know if you have any questions when you move to Convertkit. I’ll be happy to help.

  • Reply
    Tina Pik
    August 14, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    This is great – super easy to follow and informative. Looks like I need to get off MailChimp and onto ConvertKit. How’s the process of transferring your subscribers from over?

    • Reply
      Louisa
      August 15, 2016 at 10:05 am

      Thanks Tina! It was very easy. You export (download) your list from Mailchimp to your computer and simply import (upload) it to Converkit. Took me less than 5 minutes.

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