Follow my blog with BloglovinDo you need to create an Opt-in Freebie for your blog or website? You know you need a Content Upgrade or Lead Magnet to grow your list, but you don't know where to start! Click now to learn how to create your own Opt-in Freebie in Canva!

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Why you need an Opt-in Freebie

If you are here reading this then you probably already know the answer to this question, but let’s go over it one. last. time.

  1. You want to provide value to your readers.  This is first and foremost because it will lead to loyal followers who trust you and will instill confidence in them that you actually know what you are talking about.
  2. Grow your email list.  We all know by now that your email list is the bread and butter of your blog.  You need to nurture that list.  Having an email list means you have direct access to your groupies at any time.  That is priceless!

In order to fulfill those two main reasons, you need an Opt-in Freebie, Content Upgrade or Lead Magnet.

Call it what you will, YOU NEED IT.

Oh… Did I mention it can’t suck? Yes that is also important!

This leads us to our next topic…

What to consider before you create an Opt-in Freebie

Do your readers actually care about this topic?  How will it help them?

Does this Opt-in Freebie actually work with the overall niche of my blog?  You might have serveral smaller topics you cover but make sure what you are creating can atleast fit into several posts.  If it really only relates to one blog post, maybe consider doing an Opt-in that fits in better with a wider topic!

Alternatively, if it fits in with your entire overall blog niche, you can literally advertise it every where on your site for a much more dramatic increase in subscribers.

This kind of fits it with the one above.  Do you have enough knowledge or information on the freebie you are trying to create?  If you know enough about the topic, you will be able to create something of actual value to your readers.

Is your freebie easily digestible?  People typically don’t want 20 pages eBooks that will take them a few hours to make it through.  Make it short, sweet and actionable!

How to actually create an Opt-in Freebie in Canva

Step 1.

Open up Canva.  You will need to create a new free account if you do not already have one.

Once you are in, you will need to select “Create a new Design”.

You can then select the size you are looking for. In this case, we are going to create a worksheet that is US letter size, so 8.5 x 11 inches.

If you need a custom size, you can create it by selecting “create custom dimensions” in the top right corner.

Create a new Opt-in Freebie Design

Once you have selected the appropriate document size, this is what your new artboard will look like:

Opt-in Freebie - New Blank Design


Step. 2

Now that we have our blank canvas ready to go.  You need to take a minute and think about the look you want for your Opt-in Freebie.

I typically like to start with my graphic elements, in this case, we are going to create a pattern for the top and the bottom of our Opt-in Freebie.

We are also going to create a cover page as well so that we can make sure that people will remember your brand!

Go to “Search” and type in “Arrow Pattern”.  You will see a whole bunch of options come up.  You can choose which ever one you want, this is the one I chose.  Drag Drop it over to your Artboard.

Opt-in Freebie - Bordern Pattern

As you can see, the pattern is huge.  Select one of the corner dots to make the pattern smaller.

Then we will quickly decide which to colors we are going to use by changing the colors in the top left panel.

Next, we want to select the pattern and copy and paste it several times to make the pattern go all the way across the top like a border.

Make sure to Select All of the patterns and “Group” them together so you can easily copy and paste the same border for the bottom as well.

This video walks you through the steps:

Now duplicate the page by selecting the icon with the two pages so that we can have the same border for the cover page and the top of the actual checklist.

Opt-in Freebie - Duplicate Page


Step. 3

Now we will quickly finish up the cover page with some layering and text.

We are going to add to quick rectangles layered over each other and then some text to give your Checklist a name.  Also feel free at this point to move or re-size the rectangles around to add your logo as well.

Woo Hoo! Your Cover Page is done! Now on to the Next Step!


Step 4.

Now we can move onto the actual checklist! Let’s be honest, it’s what you came for!

Select the “Title” text from page one and then hit “Copy” or Ctrl C on a PC to copy the title to your clipboard.

Then scroll down to page 2 and paste it.  Make sure to scale down the size and change the color so you can read it on the white background.


Step 5.

It’s time to actually make this a checklist, very exciting!!

First, I need you to figure how many check boxes you need, write them down ahead of time to make it easier on yourself.

The nice part about Canva is that once you have create 1-2 checklist lines, it’s super easy to add the rest and make sure they are properly aligned.  Big win for auto-rulers!

Start by creating a small square, which will either be sold or outline.  If you are not sure which you want, then make sure to select the outlined square shape like I do in the example so you can easily change your mind!

Once you have the square, which will be your checkbox, we need to add the corresponding text.  See video below:


Step 6.

Now you get to decide if you want to keep your checklist as is or add in an extra space for text at the bottom of the checklist.  I’m going to add in the text space so I’m going to start with deleting the border at the bottom to make room.

Once, that is done, you can play around with the colors to make sure it’s perfect and take the time to make sure everything is the right size and aligned how you want it.


Step 7.

Time to make this an actual PDF that your readers can download and use!

Once you are happy with your overall design, we are going to download this as a Print Ready PDF document as we want it to be great quality if your readers decide to print it.

I’ll also quickly walk you through how to make the PDF interactive using Adobe Acrobat Pro if you want to go that route!

Keep in mind you might also want to save the pages at jpeg files (pictures) so you can use them as graphics to entice your readers to sign up for your Opt-in Freebie.

We actually give you a FREE, fully-editable in Canva, Blog Post Opt-in Freebie graphic when you sign up for our newsletter!  You can literally drag and drop the new Opt-in Freebie pictures you just created and start advertising!


Step 8. (Optional)

Open up the PDF you just downloaded in Adobe Acrobat Pro.

You must have the “Pro” version to be able to add editable fields.

Once it’s open, go to “Tools” and then “Prepare Form”.  You can then add a bunch of different Interactive Elements, in our case, we just need checkboxes and a “Multi-Line” Text Field.

See the video for the steps:


There you have it!  You have your very own Opt-in Freebie Checklist to start building your email list and offering great value to your readers and clients!

Don’t forget to check out our awesome Opt-in Freebie Templates in our Shop if you just want to skip right to adding your own colors and getting your Opt-in Freebie out to the world!

We also have a few other REALLY GREAT related posts that you might be interested in!

The Top Opt-in Freebie mistakes to avoid

The best Opt-in Freebie Ideas to Explode your list!

Tasha DaCosta