Step By Step Guide to Creating a Free Downloads Library

Do you ever feel that burn in your butt muscles the day after a REALLY great workout?

Yeah…pretty sure my brain muscles are going to be feeling that way tomorrow morning.  I spent all day fixing a problem that BOTH you and I have been having for a few days now.  The problem?

Shit. Ton. Of. Emails.

Alright…so I haven’t TOTALLY fixed the problem for you, but your inbox will look a TAD better tomorrow!  🙂  Originally, the way I had my emails set up, was a separate email trail for each opt-in I have on the blog.  (If you don’t know what an opt-in is, or my process for creating one…check out this post!)

That meant, if you wanted more than just one of my fabulous freebies…you might be receiving a shit ton of emails.  I SWEAR…I don’t want to spam you!!  SO, I spent ALL DAY fixing it…and now, every free download Uncork Your Dork offers is an a library with ONE sign up!  WOOOT!!!

So…how did I do it?  I got to thinking, and seeing as how my last post was all about CREATING freebies, I thought maybe this one should be all about ORGANIZING them!

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 9.19.13 PM

What You’ll Need: 

  • An Email client.  (I recommend GetResponse.  They are SUPER easy to use.)
  • Access to Canva, InDesign or Photoshop.
  • A site through  (I recommend going through SiteGround. I will NEVER look back at some of those slimey hosts I’ve given money to in the past!  Rat bastards…)
  • Opt In WP Plugin – A free plugin for WordPress that puts an opt-in area on EVERY post automatically.
  • PopupAlly – A free plugin for WordPress that allows you to install customized opt-ins on your sites.


Step 1: Install the two plugins above and make sure they are connected with whichever email client you’ve chosen to use.  Directions for installation are included with the downloads and pretty easy to follow!

Step 2: In you WordPress Dashboard, create a new PAGE…not post…PAGE. Change the slug of your page to read something easy to remember…like

Step 3: In the settings area of the page…to the right, you’ll see the option to change your page’s settings from “public” to “password protected”.  Select this, and choose a FUN password for your readers!!  (The page title will say “protected” in front of it…your customer CAN see that, but I wouldn’t worry about it…).

This is the first of two ways of getting your download page up!  

Step 4: The Free Method:  Assuming you have already created a few downloads, you’re going to want to click on the “add media” tab above the post area.  Once in there, upload the jpg’s that represent the covers of your downloads.  Instead of inserting them one by one into the page, you’ll select “Create Gallery” the left hand side and click all of the images you want to be added to your page.

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 9.26.56 PM


Step 4: The PAID Method: The plugin “Essential Grid WordPress” will create an AMAZING download area for these badboys!!  It’s $26, as of the writing of this post, easy to install and gorgeous!  It will add an awesome value to your library.

Related Posts:   Join Our Uncork Your Dork Small Business Facebook Group

Step 5: In your preferred mail client, start your email list!  Create a welcome email that (in this order):

  • Gives the readers their link to your password protected library.
  • Gives readers the password to your password protected library.
  • Tells your readers who you are.
  • Tell the story of why you do what you do.
  • Tell them what to expect.  When will you be sending your next and weekly emails? What topic will they be on?
  • Where to find you on two different social medias.
  • A short paragraph on one of your mid-level products OR a link to your best blog blog content!

(Here’s a newsletter tip…keep your newsletters PRIMARILY text, with ONLY 2-3 links and 1-2 images! Any more than that, and Gmail might flag them as spam or Promotion.  Sign up for my newsletter to see an example! *wink* *wink*) 

Step 6: Attach this list to your Opt-In Plugin as well your PopupAlly Plugin.   For the above plugins, you should be able to follow directions to connect a specific list within your email account.

Step 7: I also recommend heading over to Canva (or your preferred design program) to create an image for your sidebar! Make it pop with color! For the sidebar image, you’ll want to use the email hosted url.  Your email client will say something very similar to the below.  🙂

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 9.44.16 PM

Step 8: Upload the image you want to use in your sidebar to your media gallery.  Once it’s there, copy the image’s URL.

Step 9: Head to the “widget” area of your WordPress Dashboard to and click the “Image” widget. You’ll find your widget’s under “Appearance” > “Widgets”. If your Jetpack has been activated, you’ll see the “Image” widget on the left hand side of the screen. This is the EASY way to upload your image to the sidebar. From there, you’ll just need to paste the URL that you previously copied to your clipboard, to the “Image URL” area of the widget.


If you don’t (and don’t want to) have your Jetpack activated, you’ll need to use the “text” widget and copy and page your image’s code with the clickable URL instead. It’s a little more complicated…but still pretty damned easy. 🙂

Step 10: Towards the bottom of the widget, you’ll see the area to plug in the link for the sign up form hosted by your email client.  Plug that URL in there and hit save! When you head back to the front page of your website, you’ll see your shiny new image in the sidebar.

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 9.52.59 PM

Whew!! I think that’s just about it!!  I still recommend that you put individual freebies in related posts, but overall, this method is SUPER enticing to readers, keeps you accountable for the quality of the content you are creating, and helps to keep your newsletters and email collection MUCH more streamlined!!


If you guys have any questions or comments…drop ’em below!

If you have a small library of free downloads, & have been meaning to do a bit of consolidation and spring cleaning, read the newest post from Uncork Your Dork!  Click the image for step by step instructions on how to create your password protected media library!