Be Everywhere: How to Convert a Blog Post into PDF in Under 60 Seconds

Be Everywhere: How to Convert a Blog Post into PDF in Under 60 Seconds

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Understanding the Pareto principle is no rocket science, if you think about it.

“For many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.”

In other words, most of the things we do on a daily basis to move our business forward don’t actually make an iota of a difference.

So why aren’t we focusing on the causes that DO bring about 80% of the desired effects?

Hey, I am no psychologist.

However, I’d like to share with you a quick traffic hack I learned not too long ago that will increase your traffic, build links, AND create an appearance of “being everywhere“.

All using what you already have: your existing blog content.

How to Convert a Blog Post into a PDF

The underlying principle here is getting the biggest bang for your buck, i.e. milking every post you spend blood, sweat, and tears writing, for all the traffic it can possibly get.

Just like we talked about in my Content Marketing Leverage System: How to Multiply Your Reach post.

Watch this quick video on how to quickly convert a blog post into a PDF; then we’ll talk some more.

Bite-Size Traffic Hacks newsletter

Video summary in a sentence: for those of you with a short attention span or working mothers, use PrintFriendly.com to quickly convert your blog posts into PDFs. You can also download PrintFriendly Chrome extension to save even more time.

For specific instructions on correctly editing the post before saving it as a PDF, you’ll just have to watch the video or learn from your own mistakes.

Why Convert Blog Posts into PDFs?

So you are telling me “I told you so” is not good enough?

Fine, you win.

Here’s why:

results convert blog post to pdf

This is a screenshot of my recent Slideshare submission: Best Affiliate Marketing Programs that Pay blog post converted to PDF and submitted to Slideshare.

About 2 minutes of work, lots of exposure, traffic, and quality backlinks.

Also, if you are thinking it works for me because I am Ana Hoffman, don’t even think about it.

Here’s a comment from Tony Adams, my Google+ bud:

tony's comment on how to convert post to pdf

To learn more about using Slideshare for your business, read:

Slideshare Traffic Case Study: From 0 to 243,000 Views in 30 Days

Plus, Slideshare is just one of the sites you can upload your PDFs to.

There are plenty others, like Scribd.com, etc. (see below)

PDF Directories

As you can imagine, there are plenty of free directories to submit your PDFs to.

However, just because the directories are plentiful, it doesn’t mean you can do PDF dumping (my term) to all of them, i.e. submit the same PDF everywhere.

Here’s a good round-up to get you started:

  • http://www.scribd.com/   PR8
  • http://www.slideshare.net/   PR8
  • http://issuu.com/   PR8
  • http://www.mediafire.com/   PR7
  • http://www.docstoc.com/   PR6
  • http://www.4shared.com/   PR6
  • http://www.authorstream.com/   PR6
  • http://www.esnips.com/   PR6
  • http://www.slideboom.com/   PR6
  • https://rapidshare.com/   PR6
  • http://en.calameo.com/   PR5
  • http://www.edocr.com/   PR5
  • http://slidesix.com/   PR5
  • http://www.wepapers.com/   PR5
  • http://www.myplick.com/   PR5
  • http://hotfile.com/   PR5
  • http://easy-share.com/   PR4
  • http://pdfcast.org/   PR4

Google and PDF Files at a Glance

Before I let you go, I want to touch on the subject of PDFs and SEO.

Did you know Google can do a whole lot more than simply read PDF documents?

It can even index and rank them in the search engine results.

1.   As long as any given PDF is textual (contains text), not password protected or encrypted, Google can read it and index it.

2.   It won’t read images in PDFs – as of right now.

3.   How does Google treat PDF links?

Pretty much the same as HTML links: they can pass PageRank and Google can follow them back to your site. Not that you would want to, but it’s currently impossible to nofollow links within a PDF file.

4.   What about duplicate content?

The same rules apply here as to article marketing: Google might not index your PDFs if they discover that the same content has been submitted elsewhere.

5.   How long does a PDF need to be?

The popular belief is that PDF documents should be long and drawn out; however, it’s just not the case as far as Google is concerned. Whether your PDF is 500 words or 5000, it’ll be indexed just the same.

Source for this Q&A: Google Webmaster Central blog.

SEO Traffic via PDFs

Can a PDF rank highly in Google search engine ranking results?

Definitely.

Only recently I started noticing exactly how many of them do rank for the searches I regularly perform; I just never paid attention to them in the past.

Here’s an example:

pdf search engine ranking

 

As you can see, the very first result is a PDF.

What ranking signals does Google use to rank PDFs?

  1.  Content itself (see the video below).
  2. Metadata within the file – all PDF directories will ask you for the title and description of your PDF. This is your chance to use your keywords; works very similarly to HTML on-page optimization.
  3. Links to PDF – just like with an article, the more links you build TO your PDF files, the better chance they have to rank.

Of course, there’s no reason why you can’t host PDFs on your own blog, build links to them, and get them ranked. Even better that way – bringing SEO traffic to your site vs a third party web property.

PDF over a Web Page?

Under what conditions would Google rank a PDF over a regular HTML web page?

It all comes down to how Google works and what it finds more relevant.

I’ll let Matt Cutts elaborate:

Marketing Takeaway

Make it a habit to convert your newly published blog posts into PDFs and submitting them to various document sharing sites.

Just like you share each post on Facebook or Twitter or Google+.

 

Off to create a PDF of this post,

traffic generation cafe convert blog post to pdf

traffic generation cafe comment below

Google+ Comments

55 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

  1. Nigel

    Hi Ana, I really like the idea of syndicating content as pdfs and your post is a really great. Do you know if google will give duplicate content penalties for the same content (words) but in a different format (pdf) on another site or sites?
    Thanks!

    • Ana Hoffman

      There are no duplicate content penalties for posting the same content on several sites, Nigel – what would happen at best is Google would index only one version. So go ahead and repurpose your content for traffic.

  2. Thanks Ana. Wonderful idea. Just transformed my latest article into a nice, shiny PDF and emailed it to all my clients. The response was amazing. One must never stop learning.

  3. Hi Ana,

    Heard about this post through Kevin Duncan. I learned about Print Friendly not to long ago when I was crafting a post similar about converting a post for SlideShare. My method is more for creating slides though.

    I have to say I had no idea that PDF’s were so valuable beyond just posting to content. With Print Friendly only taking 2 minutes or less to create the PDF, it makes sense to add that to your marketing strategy. Time and money is not a factor with this option :)

    Thanks for enlightening me on this topic as it goes far deeper than I realized. Great share!

    Have a good week!

    • Ana Hoffman

      This is indeed one of those very easy to implement strategies that are worth a few minutes, Steven.

      Thanks for coming by (and thanks to Kevin for a referral!).

  4. Hi Ana, Thank you for the tip. I tried this and it was SO easy, except my links on the slide share do not work. In the print friendly pdf they do…

    • Ana Hoffman

      You are very welcome, Katie.

      Not sure why your links didn’t work; mine do. Slideshare is known to have bugs though; it might be just fine next time you post a PDF. Just make sure it doesn’t have too many links in it.

  5. I know this is an older post, but somehow I missed it. This is such a great idea Ana – I love it! Every time I visit your blog, I pick up a new way to convert content. I’m off to give this one a try!

    • Ana Hoffman

      You are so very welcome, Rebekah – thanks for sharing it on G+, by the way; for some reason, your shares always fly off the shelves. lol

  6. I guess it is good to say that we often do away with the importance of PDF. Or, put in another way, the value of the PDF is often underutilized!

    From this post, we are reminded of how to use this format to increase traffic shares. The tutorial is easy and it is very resourceful knowing some of the types of vital online file directories to share this post!

  7. Don’t know how I missed this post. Short as it is, it offers a great tip, which goes to show that it is not about the length of the post as some – SEO gurus especially – would have us believe. Another take is the importance of interlinking, which is said to be good for SEO, as this is how I got here (and stayed on site a little longer than I would otherwise have which too is good for SEO).

    But what I particularly love is that you gave us a link for creating PDFs that allows you some control, as in ability to clean out some stuff. I have been using pdfmyurl.com, which is fast but does not offer the option to delete some stuff (at least not with the free version).

    • Ana Hoffman

      Thanks for the compliment of spending some time at Traffic Generation Café, David.

      And yes, that’s precisely why I love this tool so much – it gives you a lot of control as to what the final output would be.

  8. Alex

    that’s not what I’ve heard ;)

    OK be serious Alex.

    This was awesome Ana – genuine bite sized brilliance!
    Thanks for sharing – definitely going to be visiting printfriendly and leveraging the crap out of every article my clients has ever had written :)

  9. Hi Anna,

    Haven’t tried to submit my blogs to pdf sites because I am afraid Google will outranked my contents but then, thanks for your advices here. You give me courage. I will keep you posted by the results.

  10. Jennifer Cunningham

    Hi Ana,
    Thanks for the post on a PDF. It’s something I’ve got to try. You’re right. It does seem simple. I have the ability in my word program. That would be easy enough. It’s setting up the group to send it to on email. Again, thank you.

  11. I think this is a great idea. Who would have thought of something like this. I am going to try converting it into pdf and submit to slide share and see how it converts. Thanks for this idea and the list of places for submission.

  12. Lee

    Hi Ana
    I have never converted a file of any sort to another format before. But looks quite straight forward. You have mentioned scribd and slide share are they the main two or are ther several other useful ones to use. ??????

    Await reply great heads up thanks lee

  13. Hi Ana, seems like you have added Social Locker plugin and it would be great if you can share your experience in using it. Coming to this article, thanks for sharing the plugin and I’m using Scribd for a long time. Indeed its a really good idea to get traffic from a purely new source like document sharing sites. Thank you.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I am actually using WP Sharely, but it’s pretty much the same thing.

      I am loving it so far – no complaints and good social sharing results.

  14. Ana, Thanks for sharing those awesome, easy-to-follow, tips! Too many online videos take up time without delivering value and seem to be there because everyone says, “you have to do video.” This is a great example of a perfect use of the medium because it removes any intimidation we might have about taking action. Watching over your shoulder as you do the steps live is the perfect proof of how easy it is to turn a blog post into a PDF. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Also love how you locked the content to force a social share, very clever! How did you do that?

  15. Chirag Dodiya

    This was a great post as always with quality information especially on the SliderShare..

    I have been using Scribd and it is getting me quite a traffic..

    Thanks and keep up the good work

  16. Hamza

    Thanks for sharing this plugin Ana. Just now converted my first blog post using Print friendly and uploaded to scribd. Was looking for a similar solution

  17. Ana Jackson

    hey Ana,
    i have read your article about Blog post in PDF.I have already read your many articles like 15 backlinks from twitter.But I want to Know that if you have some knowledge about Coupons that how we can increase our traffic for Coupons Site

    • Ana Hoffman

      A coupon site is no different from any other site, Ana, generally speaking. Most of the traffic generation strategies I talk about here will work.

  18. vikram

    Thanks for this video.I have never thought about promoting my posts turning them into pdfs and putting on Doc sharing sites.I think this idea will give huge traffic to our blogs .Thanks alot.

  19. Very nice spin on the idea of re purposing content. I’ve only made PDFs from my original Word doc but using PrintFriendly gives you live links and pics too.

    Which is way better.

    Great hack!

    Alex

    • Ana Hoffman

      Definitely, simple and quick, Alex; almost leaves us with no excuse not to do it. lol

  20. Ron

    Ana:
    I totally love your site. Came across it today looking for an alternative to Alismet and found your GASP article. Then started reading all your other stuff.

    Than you for all your work. Your info and site are awesome!
    Ron

  21. Hi Ana,

    Yet another great post! I really like the idea of taking content that you’ve already created and repurposing it. That’s a most effective way of significantly increasing the leverage from work you’ve already done.

    I know that was one of your goals for this year and you look like you’re making excellent progress. I hope it continues to work out well for you.

    Also, I wanted to say that based on some of your other posts and chats we’ve had, I’ve noticed the slight change in the tone of your emails. I like it! I think you’re definitely moving in the right direction and I hope that, too, works out for you. You certainly deserve it!

    I hope you have a truly outstanding end to the week and I hope to chat with you again soon!

    ~Barry

    • Ana Hoffman

      Much appreciated, Barry, and yes, I’ve been doing pretty well with content leveraging. Probably could do a lot better if I hired someone to help me with it. :)

  22. Chetan

    Hi Ana- Hope you are having a wonderful day.

    I think it’s a good idea, however there is bit of risk in this strategy as Google might eventually consider it as duplicate content (same doc on several docsharing sites). I am not sure how much link juice will flow back to our sites by doing this. I know Googlebot can read pdf files now, so I am a bit hesitant to go with your strategy.

    Regards,

    Chetan

    • Ana Hoffman

      Don’t be hesitant, Chetan; just take a look at the duplicate content post I mentioned in the post.

  23. Slideshare looks interesting but also seems like a little more work than I have time for. It’s on my to do list.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I know what you mean, Tom, and you can imagine my schedule.

      However, I’ve been using it for about a month now and found that it’s definitely worth my time; from because of traffic and links.

  24. Hi, Ana!

    This is a wonderful idea, thank you so much for it!

    I was just thinking, what about putting together several blog posts that have a central theme into one PDF? Can PrintFriendly.com do something like that, as well?

    • Ana Hoffman

      It’s been a while, Delena; welcome back.

      PrintFriendly can’t bundle several posts. I’ve been trying to find a free and effective way to do it.

      There’s a plugin called Anthologize, but it was too buggy for me.

      Another alternative is Zinepal.com, but the free option is not acceptable; otherwise, it’s $5 per post.

  25. This is good timing, I’ve just started doing this but only been submitting the pdfs to Scribd. Will submit them to the others now too including Slideshare.

    Thanks!

  26. That sounds a great idea, Ana. Converting a blog post into PDF and submitting it to other document sharing sites does help, surely. What about short posts? I mean It won’t be enough to impress people If the converted post is less 1500 words, isn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing the information,

    Ehsan U.

    • Ana Hoffman

      I don’t think it’s a problem, Ehsan; there’s a reader for content of any length.