If you have a blog, chances are, you’ve heard somewhere that you should be growing your email list. Long story short: you heard right. I’ve been talking a lot about this lately in The Blog Loft Facebook group because it really is a good blogging strategy. In fact, if you only ever do one thing to grow your blog, set up an email list and create an opt-in freebie.

But doesn’t that only work for people who blog about blogging or making money?

Nope. Case study coming at you here:

At the beginning of 2015, I started a blog about knitting. I only post about twice a month (sometimes less) and by creating a great opt-in, setting up a nice looking, attention getting opt-in form, grew my list to 3,000 email subscribers and only wrote 24 blog posts. As I write this, my list has grown to 3,518 and I’ve only written 3 posts this year (that’s 1 per month!)

You spend so much time on your blog- you need to see a serious return on that time investment, and it’s not as hard as you think it is.

Today, I’ve come up with 10 ideas for 5 popular blogging niches. Most of these are ideas you can create and start promoting today!

And since I know you’re super excited to get started on this whole list building thing, I’ve got 10 opt-in ideas right here (catchy headlines included!) for Beauty, Fashion, Lifestyle, Food, and Design bloggers. Pull out a piece of paper, and start writing down ideas (or just steal these!)

Not sure how to set up your email list? I’ve got a mini-course for you!

And even if your niche isn’t on this list– look at it closely. I bet you’ll have at least 10 ideas written down before you get to the bottom.


How to look amazing in 5 minutes or less- everyday

  • People love quick fixes. I don’t like wearing a lot of makeup- but I want to look good. Create a quick list of products I can use to look my best without spending a lot of time.

Take this quiz to find out which beauty routine best fits your personality!

  • Create the quiz on  https://www.onlinequizcreator.com or http://www.playbuzz.com/ and then send them the link to their quiz. Give them a result to their quiz, and create a beauty guide to go along with each result.
  • People love taking quizzes to learn about themselves.
  • This one is so great because you can create a new quiz every now and then and publish it along with a blog post! Your moisturizer review blog post just became an interactive, fun activity for your readers!

What Colors Go Best with Your Skin tone? Find out now!

  • Use your expert knowledge to give them advice on what colors work for them- and what colors don’t. Create pretty graphics to go along with the guide.

My list of the best all natural beauty products on the market

  • If you know all about all natural organic beauty products, or products that aren’t tested on animals, give your readers a quick list of products they should be using, and products they can avoid. Have you noticed how local, organic beauty products are finding their way onto our normal grocery store shelves? Organic, all natural products are a huge trend right now, and if you’ve got the knowledge- that’s a valuable asset that you can share with your readers. By sharing this knowledge- you’ve put yourself in a position of authority in a huge market that’s trending right now.

Create a video makeup tutorial

  • Videos are so 2016. People want to see exactly how you beauty bloggers do it! Create a video, upload it to Vimeo, and password protect it. (You can do this with their free plan). Send the password to your email subscribers, and viola! You’ve provided them with exclusive access, behind the scenes beauty advice.

Create a Private Beauty Video Channel

  • If you have a lot of video tutorials already- why not create a whole private channel on Vimeo, and share the password with your subscribers. By making some of your videos private, you’re creating a feeling of VIP membership and exclusive access. People love that.

Free Nail Tutorial: Learn How to Get This Look (photo with your awesome nails)

  • This is something that you might write blog posts about all the time. By offering it as an exclusive, free tutorial, again, this creates buzz. Change up the tutorials for every holiday to keep it topical and trendy.

Free Hair Tutorial: Learn How to Get This Look

  • Ok, kind of an almost exact replica of the last idea, but there’s just so much you could do with this! You probably provide free tutorials all the time on your blog, so turn that content into your opt-in. What’s the latest trend in hair? How do I do it? Show me! (But make me give you my email first).

Free Access to my Exclusive Beauty Tutorial Video Library 

  • Once you’ve created a few tutorials, you can make an entire library that your readers can access. Again, almost kind of a replica of the last 2 ideas- but not really. You’re going to want to up your game and create multiple opt-ins and a whole library of tutorials provides a TON of value compared to just 1 video! The more videos you make, the better you’ll get at figuring out what your audience wants to learn more about.

How to Rock 2016 Beauty Trends

  • Point out some things that are popular now, and show people (don’t just tell them, include photos!) how they can rock that look. It’s even better if you can include a photo on your email opt-in form so they get a preview of what they’re getting. Beauty’s a very visual niche, so grab their attention with good photos.



20 minutes or less- your weeknight meal plan

  • Offering free recipes just isn’t enough anymore. It’s the internet- all recipes are free. But offering a meal plan? That takes a lot of work off my shoulders. And if it’s a meal plan for busy weeknights, even better.

Free Printable Meal Calendar

  • Something your readers can print out that will help them plan their meals. When you send them the free printable calendar, suggest some of your most popular recipes.

Cooking Basics Video Tutorial

  • Know a trick to chopping an onion, making a perfect one pot pasta dish, or baking the best cookies? Don’t just tell them- show them! I bet you pretend to have your own cooking show when you’re alone in the kitchen anyways (or is that just me?) Remember when the Food Network used to be awesome and actually teach people how to cook? That’s something we’re desperately missing, and again- video is so 2016.

How to cook Duck Breast (or something else that’s equally complicated)

  • This is a good one if you blog about more gourmet dishes which can be difficult to conquer. Show your readers with photo tutorials, or video how to prepare a delicacy that doesn’t normally find it’s way into the everyday kitchen.

5 Healthy Replacements for Unhealthy Ingredients (You Won’t Ever Notice The Difference)

  • 1 word of caution though- these have got to be good. Cauliflower does not taste like Alfredo sauce guys. It’s good- it just doesn’t taste like Alfredo. All I’m sayin. (Sorry- still feeling a little bitter about that one). But healthy replacement is a fantastic topic- people are always looking for ways to make the foods they love more healthy.

10 Quinoa (or insert healthy ingredient here) Recipes the Kids Will Love

  • Another way to add healthy recipes to your readers’ lives. If it’s good for you, and the kids will eat it, they will want to make it.

Get my Copycat (restaurant recipe) 

  • People (myself included) love a great copycat recipe!

Free Printable Recipe Cards

  • Even though it’s not directly related to your blog, creating nice looking cards your readers can print out and keep in their recipe box is something special. Create 5 cards that are already filled out for them with your 5 most popular recipes. (And put your website on the bottom so every time they look at the cards, they are reminded of you).

My Most Pinned Recipes Meal Plan

  • Look at your google analytics, or Pinterest analytics and find your most popular recipes. Create a meal plan out of them. By doing this, you’re taking all of the things that have already been popular with your readers, and making it even better!

Free Printable Calorie Tracking Goal Sheet

  • If you create recipes that have a calorie count, then give your readers something extra special to help them use your recipes to count their calories. Make sure there’s a place for them to set goals, and track their progress.



 The Ultimate Guide to Successful Thrift Store Shopping

  • If you’re an expert at thrift store hauls, that’s a skill not a lot of people have. People love great fashion on a budget. Give them a checklist and your best tips/tricks for a trip to the thrift.

How to style a button up shirt (or insert any other wardrobe basic here) 10 ways 

  • A great way that you can help your readers is to show them how they can use what they already have in their wardrobe in lots of different ways. That 1 button up shirt can stretch into lots of different outfits. Create a little look book with good photographs showing them how to style a piece that everyone has in their wardrobe.

Travel Packing Check List

  • You can switch this up seasonally, and create one for “going home for Christmas” or spring break, summer vacation, etc.

Take the Celeb Style Quiz

  • Pick 4 or 5 celebrities that each have a unique style (bohemian, classic, vintage, etc) and make a quiz for your readers on Online Quiz Creator or Playbuzz. Write up a style guide for each celeb, and link to it in their quiz results. Make them sign up in order to get their results

Which Fashion Week Designer Matches Your Personal Style Quiz?

  • Again- you can use your imagination to create lots of different quizzes. Fashion week is a huge time for fashion bloggers. Giving your readers an interactive quiz which allows them to think about themselves (their style, their style icon, etc) is a really cool way to get them involved, and make your blog a fun experience for them.

Your list of 10 places to sell your used clothes, and your tips for successfully selling used clothing

  • If you sell some of your own wardrobe pieces on apps like Poshmark or Vinted, telling your readers how they can do the same is a great way to get signups. People love to learn fun new ways they can make an extra buck!

Access to a Free Facebook Group for Fashionistas

  • Why not create a Facebook group where your subscribers can get style advice, post selfies of their latest outfits, and talk about style? Running a Facebook group does take a little up-keep, but it provides a lot of value for your readers, and sets you up as an authority. Facebook groups get a lot more engagement than Facebook pages, and since your group members are coming from your email list, they will already be engaged with your content- and you’ve set yourself up as the leader, or expert in the group. You can have a lot of fun with this, and set up themed days, like “On Wednesdays We Wear Pink” and only allow members who are wearing pink to post their outfit photos. OMG I want to join a group like this, please someone create it?

5 Ways to Find Out if Your Clothes were Ethically Made (and How to Find Ethically Made Clothing on a Budget)

  • People are becoming more conscious about ethically made clothing. But it can be hard to find the right information. If this is a topic you know about, help your readers shop ethically by creating a guide for them to find brands that create clothing ethically.

5 Outfit Ideas for a First Date, Second date, and Third Date

  • Not only are you helping them out in the wardrobe department, but now your’e helping their love lives.

10 Alternatives to the Little Black Dress this Spring (Fall, Winter, Whatever)

  • Everyone’s familiar with the LBD. Come at it from a different angle and show them how to be creative with their style by picking things that they can wear instead. You can arrange it by event or category, for example, a cocktail party, a date night, a cook out, etc.



How to Pair Fonts Perfectly: A Professional Designer’s Guide

  • Pairing fonts can be the most frustrating part of design- so you’re saving your readers a lot of time, and positioning yourself as a design expert with this one.

Basic Blog Design Checklist: 10 Design Elements Every Blog Needs

  • As a designer, you want to showcase your design skills here, so make a pretty one or two page design cheat sheet for your readers to use in reference to their blog design.

The 2016 Blog Design Cheat Sheet

  • Show them how to implement the latest design trends into their blog. Again- this is a chance to showcase your skills- so make it pretty!

Live Photoshop or Canva Training Webinar

  • Webinars are huge right now. (Did I mention I’m doing a live webinar on Saturday about growing your email list? I’d love to see you there!) Live trainings are an amazing way to give your readers great content- and it gives your readers access to you live

Get (insert awesome graphics you designed here) for Free- Sign Up for Access

  • Design something cool you think your readers would love, and let them have it for the price of their email. Know your reader, and know what they need most. It’s not a bad idea to ask your followers on Social Media what they would like to have designed

Get Access to my Free Library of Graphic Design Resources- Created Just for You

  • If you want to provide TONS of value- why not create a password protected page on your site where your subscribers can download free graphics and graphic design tutorials you made for them? It’s a lot of work- but if you’re looking for clients, this is a great way to gather a lot of leads because again- you’re providing so much value that opting in is a no-brainer.

Get Access to my FREE library of Graphic Design Tutorials

  • Same idea as above- giving your readers access to an exclusive library where they can learn a skill? No brainer! Don’t worry that you’re giving too much away here. You’re the expert- and you’re teaching them something very valuable. If you plan to create an e-course eventually, a library of video tutorials is a fantastic way of generating leads for people who would be interested in a design course. You can get feedback from your members- asking them what they want to learn. By the time you’ve finished your design tutorial library- you’ll have a clear vision of what your audience wants to learn so that you can create the best content for your course. But even if you’re looking to get graphic design clients on your blog, it’s really hard to give too much away. I give away tons of information on this blog and still have plenty left over to create my own products. Your tutorials can be something really simple like how to overlay a watercolor texture onto text, or how to cut text out of a photo. These are really cool effects that are simple for a designer- but an amazing new skill for the average blogger to learn.

Get a Free Website/Branding Review

  • If working 1-1 with clients is your goal- this is another great way to really provide them with real value and service. (Getting tired of me saying “provide value” yet? Sorry- I’m really trying to drill it in with this post!) Now this particular opt-involves a lot of work on your part. This is an idea for the budding designer, who doesn’t have a lot of traffic or recognition yet. You might have to monitor the amount of signups you’re getting, because you can’t do a thousand reviews a month. Also- if you plan to offer a website/brand review, don’t get too salesy with it. It’s ok to talk about what you do for your clients, but they probably know you’re a designer. If you help them out- they’re going to remember that. (As a designer, I’ve actually done this. I even taught my sign-ups how to do some things on their own- and I did end up getting clients from it because I already worked with them 1 on 1, so I was to go-to girl when they needed something.)

How to Set up A Blog

  • If you’re marketing to people who need websites, give them a step-by-step guide to setting up their hosting, installing WordPress, and give them tips to getting started, best blogging practices, etc.

Blog Design Tips Facebook Group 

  • Don’t actually name it “Blog Design Tips Facebook Group,” come up with a catchier name. Running a Facebook group is work- but you’re not only going to get email subscribers, you’re also able to engage in real time with your members. The important thing is that you limit self-promotion in your group. Make it a place where your readers can come to get advice and support. Be active, and helpful to them in the group. (I’ve also done this one. When I had my graphic design biz, I’d help people out, mention my services in The Blog Loft FB group, and got a couple of clients just by being helpful).



Note: There is so much that can be considered “lifestyle”. These are just a few ideas. If I missed something- let me know in the comments!

6 weeks- 6 new Good Habits

  • Send a weekly email prompting them to start a new good habit every week. Make every week something doable like “Walk for 20 minutes per day” or  “Wait an hour after you wake up to check your email “. Give them a goal tracking checklist or worksheet so they can track their progress

5 Ways You Can Be Happier Today

  • We all forget the basics of being happy in our day to day lives. Inspire them to think of things they’re thankful for, notice negative self-talk, compliment your partner etc. Everybody wants a quick reminder of how to be put into a good mood! (In fact just writing this idea out just made me stop, pause, and smile because I remembered to be grateful. Very cool.)

10 Ways to Cut Down on Stress Every Week

  • Again- anything that can give people a little help to be happier in everyday life. What are things that work for you that reduce stress? For me, simply doing the dishes in the morning and making the bed make me feel ready for the day.

How to Save $100 every month

  • If you’re good with money- share the wealth (of knowledge). Money is always on peoples’ minds. Put a dollar amount on it, and come up with a simple plan that’s doable for most families to execute. Again- create a goal tracker or check list worksheet so that they will stay on top of their goals and be able to see the results you want them to see.

How to Make an Extra $100 every month

  • It’s kind of like a reverse of the last one. If you’re good at coming up with quick ways to make an extra buck, share those tips with your audience.

Make This! DIY Video Tutorial (or video library of tutorials)

  • Look at your google analytics/most pinned DIY post and create a similar exclusive video tutorial on how to create that thing. (You can password-protect your videos for free on Vimeo.)
  • Or- get really serious and create a few videos, and give access to a whole library of DIY projects. You can keep adding to and updating the library as your list grows.

Your 15 Minute a Day Workout Routine

  • If you talk about fitness, wouldn’t it be great to get your readers moving and motivated with an easy workout? Once again- make sure you include a goal sheet, and progress tracker to keep them interested.

The Top 10 apps and Websites I use to Organize My Life and Reach My Goals

  • You’d be amazed how many people haven’t heard of the online tools and apps you use every day to simplify your life. When I told my friends about Trello they literally looked at me like I was some sort of Wizard Sorcerer Witch Doctor.

How to Take Time for Yourself Everyday as a Stay at Home Mom

  • I’m not a mom myself, but I know this is something my mom friends struggle with. Maybe you could even create a free-printable activity book they can give the kids to do while they’re taking this time for themselves! You’ve now solved 2 of their problems: Taking time for themselves, and keeping the kids entertained while they do so.

Grab My Free Printable Calendar for Seriously Busy People

  • Include room for meal plans, grocery lists, daily tasks, etc. Create something that helps them simplify, and get everything they need to do in 1 place. Don’t forget to include your website on the top or bottom of the page.


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