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Remember the daily blogging checklist I posted last time? In order to make it that people could download and print the checklist, rather than just adding it as a normal photo, I had to go through a few extra steps. People love free resources, so adding printables like this to your blog can be a good way to attract new readers. Here I explain how to add a downloadable printable to your own blog posts!
This is an intermediate blogging tip, designed for those who are just figuring out how to build blog traffic.
How to add a downloadable printable to a blog post
Step 1: Create your document
First, make your printable. This could be anything: blogging resources, printable recipes, cooking resources, any form of art – whatever you think people might like to print out.
You can create your document in whatever program you like – I used a Mac application called Pages, but you could also use Microsoft Word, Open Office, Google Drive, or any other program that does what you want it to. Remember to make your document bold and colourful – nobody’s going to want to print out a whole page full of plain text.
It’s a good idea to include your blog’s URL somewhere on the document (preferably somewhere small and unobtrusive) – that way, if someone prints it out, they won’t forget where they got it from. They might check back in the future to see if you have any new printables!
Step 2: Save your document as a PDF
It’s worth saving your document as its default file type so that you can go back and edit it later if you need to, but in order to make it into a printable, you also need to save it as a PDF.
You should be able to do this directly from the program you’re using – it’s usually under File; Export rather than File; Save. Just select PDF, and save the file.
It will hopefully look something like this, but all programs are organised slightly differently so you might need to do a little digging:
Step 3: Upload your PDF to your blog
You now need to make sure your PDF is hosted somewhere on your blog. If you have a self-hosted WordPress blog, the easiest way to do this is to go directly through your blogging dashboard.
Open up your dashboard and go Media; Add new (see blue arrow below). Then just upload your PDF (see green arrow). It should appear below the upload box. Click Edit next to the file (see orange arrow… can you tell I got a bit carried away with the arrows?).
This will open up information about the file you just uploaded. Copy the file URL from the box on the right (red arrow). As a quick test, you can paste this URL into your browser, just to make sure that it takes you to the right PDF file.
If you’re on Blogger, you’ll need to use a separate application to upload your file. I won’t go into this here, but you can easily use Google Drive to upload your file and get the URL – this blog post seems to do a pretty good job of explaining it.
Step 4: Link to your PDF from your blog post
Now all that’s left to do is to link to your PDF from your blog post! You can either just add a text link (e.g. ‘download your free printable here’), or link to the PDF from an image – or both!
In the daily blogging checklist post I wrote last time, I did both types of link – I added a text link at the end of my post to remind people to get themselves the free printable, but I also linked to the PDF from a jpg version of itself (which I inserted in the usual way). This is a good idea because it provides a pinnable version of the printable so that people can pin it to Pinterest and help spread the word!
So, that’s all there is to it – it’s actually pretty simple, but people love free stuff, so any resource that you can provide for people can help to bring in visitors. If you have a go at making your own printables, make sure you let me know in the comments!
MORE BLOGGING TIPS:
How to reduce your bounce rate
How to find out how many times a blog post has been pinned
How to add titles and alt text to images
How to start a blog in 5 minutes
How to make a blogging media kit
How to set up a Facebook page for your blog
When to use ‘nofollow’ links
Should I use ‘CAPTCHA’ on my blog?
10 things to check before hitting ‘publish’
Common sidebar mistakes
5 simple SEO tips
Daily blogging checklist