How I added an Optin to my WordPress site

Well, it was all supposed to be soooo easy.  All the websites promised that I could just create a form using the easy Mailchimp interface, simply copy and paste the embed code into a text widget on my site and hey jiminee it is done before my toenail polish has even had a chance to dry.

However, anyone who read my blog about creating a blog in twenty minutes will know that 20 minutes when you are a technical whiz is often more like 3 hours and a partial breakdown to any normal sensitive creative like myself.  I sat down at 8 this morning after a sleepless night thinking about social media, blog stats, god, the universe and lions and tigers and bears – oh my!  My morning coffee had kicked in, the kids were in bed because it is a public holiday in Otago (the area of NZ where I live).  I had watched the video, read the Mailchimp tutorial, written my notes and I was GOOD TO GO….

Or so I thought.  Look I followed the instructions about creating the form.  I even managed pretty painlessly to upload the pdf of the Workbook that I had decided to give away.  I was rockin and rollin.  Until…. deep breath….. until… I tried to paste the embed code into a text widget on my sidebar over at WordPress.

“It’s so easy”, drawled the gorgeous and technically savvy superwoman on the video I watched, “just paste in the code and hit save.  Now go to your website and you will see your optin box”   No.  No. Nooooo.  I did not see an optin box.  What I actually saw was a long pile of gobbledegook code purporting to be an optin box.

But surely I had done something wrong, I thought.  So I went through the whole thing again.  And again…. and …. again.  Well, by this time it is 11 am.  I haven’t slept all night, my last coffee was years ago, the children had risen…..  Suffice to say that a mini nervous break was required.  Tears aflowed.  Self admonishment was flying left, right and centre.  I was over this whole stupid internet lark thing.  Who did I think I was anyway?  Why was I so stupid?    Well you get the idea.

Back to the laptop.  This time, I think to myself “OK what do you know how to do?”

  • Make a link to another place on the web from my site
  • Upload an image into my media library.
  • Get the URL for my signup form from Mailchimp.

And that is when it happened.  Hallelujah, clouds parting, shining ray of light…. I created my very own widget.  You heard that right!!!  I (little me of the non tech tribe!) created her very own widget.  And here is


  1.  I dragged an Image widget into my sidebar.
  2. I uploaded the cover image of my workbook into my Media Library.
  3. I copied the URL called “File URL” from the side of the media library called “Save” into the box on the Image widget where it said “Image URL”
  4. At the bottom of the Image widget box, I pasted a link to my Sign Up form that I had made on Mailchimp earlier. (I got that URL by asking Mailchimp for a “Sign Up Link Code” or something like that underneath the For Your Website heading on your dashboard.
  5. Click save.
  6. Go to website and refresh
  7. Dance like a crazy woman when there appears on my sidebar, a picture of my workbook.  Woop woop.  Click the image and get taken to my sign up form.  MARRRRVELLOUS

So there we have it.  The roundabout way to creating an optin widget using Mailchimp.  ‘Cept the thing is, my little Workbook image looks much better than the dull old sign up box that Mailchimp were offering.  So you know, despite the fact that I now have tension coarsing through my veins instead of blood, not a bad morning really.

Despite all that I do want to add some social media links to the Sign up at some point so I am going to try these suggestions from Marvellous Meg at Bloom Online . It all seems so simple when someone else is doing it but, you know, I’m game…just Not Today, ok?

Why not check it out over at the site and let me know what you think?  I think that creating widgets like this is a fun way of building up your list and Mailchimp also store mp3s so I may even create some other links to meditations and short trance sessions.  Sometime. Maybe… possibly… perhaps.

Your actionable step is to sign up for my Free workbook obviously. You can do that HERE. ( Only if you want to though, no pressure, don’t feel that you have to bla bla bla…) But do it anyway, because you are such a nice person. I also think that today is the perfect day to create your own Optin gift for your website.  Mailchimp is alright really, and its free.

Let me know how you get on with that and show me what Optin goodies you have offered out to the Universe.

Done for the day.  This internet stuff is exhausting with a capital A.




What Should my OptIn gift be?

In this blog, I am going to get down to the nitty gritty of creating an optin gift which I will generously give away on my website in exchange only for an email address. OPTIN WHAT? I have to admit that when I first starting trying to get my head round this whole online  I didn’t know my optin from my Mailchimp, or my AWS from my elbow. An optin offering is something for free. They “optin” to hearing more scintillating stuff about you and your product and you give them a gift.

By God, I hear you cry… why would you commit such death by generosity? Shouldn’t you make the suckers pay for something before you start giving away the farm? Well first of all, dear reader – yes you with the dollar sign in your eyes… that’s right… you! Shame on you. Remember that we love our blog readers. They are the people that we want to befriend and form a connection with. And because we like them and we appreciate that they wouldn’t just dole out their email address to any Tom, Dick or Harry that asked, we are more than happy to give them a little something in return. Because it is all about give and give. They give us their email and then we give them a gift to say ‘Thank you. You’re super swell. Have this as a symbol of my appreciation” Simple as that.

So, what can I give away for free and how does it tie into marketing my book?

Well my book is about self-hypnosis and is in the form of a 28 day programme for inner change. I have created a workbook which goes with the programme but this has run into 30 pages and I am beginning to think of this as the book’s little sister who might be able to find a little market for herself also. Because the book is about self-hypnosis, I want to give away something related and relevant which will be of value. What I don’t want to do is to churn out some pdf written in a font so large that it is the optin equivalent of childish bubble writing and of about the same quality. What I don’t want is to give people a file so large that they won’t read it and it will still be lurking away in their downloads folder in the year 2020.

So here’s what I do want:

  • An optin that provides value to my readers and helps them to get to know me a little better.
  • An optin that is not going to take longer than 3 hours to create.
  • An optin that I can send from Mailchimp and that doesn’t require any extra bells and whistles.
  • An optin that my reader can use/ read in about 20-30 minutes.

Some ideas for optins are:

An mp3

An inspirational poster or manifesto

A book/ pdf on a specific topic

A series of videos

A chance to enter into a draw to win a copy of the book.

All sound good so I should filter these options through my Achieveability Filter (aka the Goggles of Realism) which leads me to…..

Basically, I have what I see as two options:

I can create a 20 minute hypnosis recording

Or: I can give the reader a some of the worksheets from the workbook….

ORRRR: Both.

And this is my genius idea, peeps. I will create an optin box for the site tomorrow which has a 10 minute Release Your Fears mp3. But I will also create a free resources page on which I will invite the reader to download worksheets in exchange for an email address. I presume that I can send them to a link on my Mailchimp account via the main body of the text…. Further investigation required on this.

Ok so “actionable step” time:

  1. Create a 10 minute Release Your Fears MP3
  2. Create an optin box for the website and put it in the side bar
  3. Create a separate pdf for each worksheet that I am giving away and create links to the sign up form from my freebies page.
  4. Oh so I guess create a freebies page too.
  5. Write about what a fun time I had doing all this tomorrow….

Lots to do. I am out of here! Any other ideas for optins or tips etc, please reply below. All ideas gratefully received…