I know one of the big constraints many of you are having with your opt-in forms on your blog is your lack of coding skills.
So, what happens is you end up using the default opt-in forms you’re provided. Either that, or you use one of the pre-designed opt-in forms provided by your email manager. The problem is… most of them are downright corny. Even Aweber (my personal favorite email solution) offers a wide variety of pre-designed opt-in forms that I wouldn’t personally be caught dead using. 😉
So, without the HTML skills, how do you customize your opt-in forms? Here are some ideas…
Pay Somebody To Do It
This is, of course, the easiest way to go. It also goes without saying that it’ll cost you a little bit of money. How much money is completely dependent on who you hire.
Now, this isn’t likely anything new to many of you, but I’ll mention it anyway…
Fiverr. Pay somebody $5 to do things they’re willing to do. So, you can use the site to find somebody who is willing to spice up your opt-in form per your specs – for five bucks. You can either search the site for people who offer something like that (there are a LOT of people advertising HTML/CSS help), or you can use the “Request Gigs” thing in the right sidebar to directly ask for what you want.
Think you can afford five bucks? Of course you can. 🙂
Do It Yourself – The Easier Way
Another option is to use a “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) web design program. With these programs, you can create what you want and it’ll make the HTML for you. With these programs, you can get as fancy as you wish. Obviously, to really trick it out professionally, it is still best to know some HTML on your own, but there is a lot you can do without knowing much (if any) code.
If you don’t yet have a WYSIWYG editor set up on your computer, check out KompoZer, NetOBjects Fusion Essentials, or Amaya. Those are all free. Of course, there are also the paid solutions like Dreamweaver. These programs (like any software) will still come with a learning curve, but the idea is that they operate on a push-button approach (like a word processor).
Now, the question, then, is… how do you make that work with the supplied HTML given by your email list provider?
First of all, when you get your opt-in form HTML, make sure you get the unformatted version. With Aweber, it is the default form (with no styling). Get the “Raw HTML” code, and be sure to UNCHECK the “Include beautiful form styles” box. What you’ll get, then, is just the raw, unformatted HTML code for the form itself. That’s all you need because you’re going to make your own styling in your editor.
Copy that HTML into your editor (in HTML view), then go back to WYSIWYG view and format the look and feel as you see fit.
Here’s a video I put together kinda showing what I’m talking about:
To include the finished code on your site, you can either manually input it into your sidebar.php file of your theme (the geeky way), or you can use the text widget in Wordpress and copy/paste the HTML into that widget.
Now, please realize something… this can take a little time to get it right. Especially if techie stuff is usually foreign territory for you. Just don’t get frustrated and be patient.
OK, hope that helps. 🙂
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