Delivering Your E-Book Using PDF Document Download

One of the most important aspects of building a contact list is what you will offer your Website visitors in return for their name and email address. This may be as simple as taking one of your instructional blog posts and formatting it into a downloadable PDF file. PDF files are permanent document files that cannot be edited or copied. This is most often used for transferring legal contracts to others, training materials, and eBooks since they are all larger documents that you do not want corrupted or modified from their original form.

There are a few ways to set the ability for people to download PDF files on your Website. In this post, I will discuss how to do this for your smaller eBooks or files that you want to allow people to download via a PDF document. Please see the post entitled, “Using Zip Files to Decrease Bandwidth and Data Transfer Costs Associated with eBooks” to learn how to set up a large downloadable file using compression technology, sometimes referred to as ‘Zip” files.

Like I said, the best way to transfer PDF files to your Website visitors is using a ZIP file for the sake of saving on bandwidth and data transfer costs; however it requires a little more work than most would like to do. I would recommend that once you get the hang of setting up PDF file download links using the following tutorial that you take a little time and familiarize yourself with using Zip files in order to save you some money on bandwidth and data transfer costs.  

The following tutorial will help you get yourself up and running in about 20 minutes if you have no experience at all in doing ‘technical stuff’ – but if you are like me, a techno idiot (that’s why my programming staff gets paid the big bucks), it may take you about 30 minutes your first time through.

1) Save the file (your eBook or Report) that you want to offer as a PDF file. Prior to doing it, make sure you have double checked it for spelling, grammar, and layout. Ask yourself the question, “IF I were to download this file, would I think that it was professionally done and that the person I was downloading it from knew what they were doing?”

2) Upload the PDF that you want to allow others to download to your Web server. This is where you have your Website files (your file repository on your hosting account).

3) Confirm that the URL for its location works. This means making sure that you know where the file is in your Websites files. Test the full URL in your browser window to confirm that you can get to it through the folder location that you placed it in. It would look something like this in your root directory: /documents/ebook_title1.pdf.

4) Go to the page in your page editor where you want the link to be available. It will be the ‘landing page’ for your offer where you might have a short video thank you for opting in, with some instructions (both in the video and written underneath) on what to do next.

5) Once you determine where you want the link to be, add add a standard anchor link to the document. It might look something like this:

Download Your Free Copy of this Ebook by Clicking here!

6) Add the instructions for how to download that tells your readers what to do next. An example might be something like:

“Here are the steps to download your free book!
Please right click the link in order to download your book,
then choose the ‘Save Link As’ options to save this
document to your computer.”

OK! That is really all there is to setting up a link to deliver your eBook using a PDF file. I recommend that you offer PDF download links through only hidden pages on your Website, and if you use a membership and/or subscriber plugin or tool, to consider making the opt-in offering a part of a membership registration so that only those who opt in can find and download the eBook you want to offer. WordPress has more than a few plugins that are ideal for this sort of need that you can downlaod for free from the back office of your WordPress blog control panel.

In some instances, there may be individuals who are like most of our clients – technically challenged. If you need help or assistance in setting up any technical aspect of your Website or WordPress blog, please do not hesistate to contact us at either coachme (at) sdward.com or visit our sister company ITfamilyGroup.com. ITfamilyGroup can provide you with competitive rates on all of your design, programming, implementation, and Website administration needs.

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25 Thoughts to “Delivering Your E-Book Using PDF Document Download”

  1. Gregory Townsend

    I think I have this, but one question. Do I add the full URL for the destination or location for the pdf file in root directory. Your example only shows the location with no actual address. Where would I actually point the link to?

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