• Content Creation
  • Convert Your Blog Posts into Effective PDF Leads


    First of all, what’s a lead? In marketing, a lead is a way of generating customer interest in your product by offering free products or downloads and is often called ‘lead generation’. The lead is served by ways of a lead magnet which is usually an eye catching ‘bribe’ offering something in exchange for the customer’s email address. One of the most common leads is to offer a free downloadable PDF or eBook on your blog, landing page or social media platform.

    Generally, the purpose of a lead magnet is to collect an email address in order to build a membership database. You might have noticed if you’ve entered your email address to get some free goodies like an ebook, that you receive additional marketing emails afterwards. This is because the company has identified you as a potential customer for a paid product, so they are slowly enticing you with other excellent content to make you trust them and eventually buy their products or services.

    You can completely automate these services with some cool tools available in mail server clients like MailChimp, but the first piece of the puzzle is the lead magnet. You can create a lead magnet out of content you already have on your website. Anything can become a lead magnet.

    Although this SOP instructs on how to convert your blog post into a PDF, you can offer a whole host of things such as a video, free software trial, product discount, quiz or questionnaire.  

    The PDF or eBook doesn’t need to be long, or time consuming for the customer to read. Ideally the product should be quickly actionable and solve a problem your customers might have. Stay away from long video courses and a novel-sized eBook, as these things can be sold further down the funnel.

    If you keep the content of your lead general and simple, the more downloads or signups you’re likely to get, which will in turn increase the amount of potential customers on your newsletter list. Also bear in mind that you should be clear about what you’re offering your users so that they know what ‘problem’ your PDF or eBook will solve.

    Before you create your lead magnet you should probably do some research about your potential customers. These users are known as an avatar and you should define who these people are before you begin to market your products to them. Avatars should be very specific, down to where they live, whether they are married and what their pastimes are. You may have several avatars, and once you have narrowed them down, marketing to each will become much easier. Failing to carry out research on your avatar may result in wasted time and resources on a product that no one really wants.

    Once you’ve narrowed down your avatar, it will be easier to learn what ‘problems’ your users have. You might find out what they need help with by asking them to complete questionnaires, from comments and feedback on your blog, searches on your site and by using Google to find a specific keyword or a gap in the market that you’re able to fill. For example, if your customers are searching for an ‘avatar template’ then this may be the free PDF that you can offer them.  

    You should make sure that your lead magnet clearly tells your customers that ‘this product will solve this issue’ such as ‘Find out who your ideal customers are with this free avatar template’. If your lead magnets are on your blog posts, then you should consider keeping the ‘bribe’ as general as possible, so that more visitors will signup. Even if these people are not your ideal customer, you may be able to serve them with alternative products in the future. One of the great benefits of mail server clients such as MailChimp, is that you can place your customers into narrow ‘segments’ based on the leads that they download, how they behave on your site, or the links they click in your newsletters. You can use these segments to your advantage for targeting specific customers with products and services further down the line.

    You want to create a digital product that is different from the content your users can get online. Most of this is just about packaging the content in a tidy little format. Often, an eBook is just made up of blog posts put together in a neat and orderly way with a table of contents and a flow that makes it easier to read. Checklists and cheat sheets make it more convenient for the user to complete tasks if they’re in a downloadable PDF.

    People love eBooks and PDFs, because they can take them offline and read them on their eReaders. Reading content offline is a different experience to reading a blog post online, which are often just skimmed for the main ideas. People often read eBooks away from their laptop in a more leisurely manner giving them time to soak in the information you are providing them with, making it more valuable. 

    You want to make sure that when you’re making your lead magnet you use high quality graphics for your image as these will convey value and content. Hiring a freelancer designer on a site like Fiverr will greatly enhance the quality of your lead magnet and will be more likely to entice people to input their email addresses. 

    Talking of value, even though your PDF or eBook is free, you don’t need to make it seem ‘free’. You can easily emphasise its value, by adding a ‘worth $xx’, so that your customers feel they are getting a great deal.

    The SOP that you can download above, will instruct you on how to make a PDF from one of your blog posts and then turn it into a lead for your blog.

  • Design

    If you want to be an author, or if you’re a business wanting to attract potential customers by offering something of value to collect emails, writing an ebook is a great way to get your content out there. Whether you are a budding fiction writer or you trying to generate leads for your online business, creating an ebook can be a great stepping stone accomplishing your goals.

    The phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover” is frankly complete nonsense when taken literally because most people will certainly judge the quality and value of your ebook based on the design that you have on the cover.


    If you’re not sure where to start with the design of your ebook cover, you should look at similar books that are in your genre. Carefully consider colors, images and even blank space.

    Another element that you should definitely take into consideration is the typography that you use on the cover. This tends to account for the largest portion of the design. The typography will instantly convey a meaning to your potential customer.

    If you’re hiring a freelance designer, they should already understand the basics of typography and will choose a style which matches with the type of book.

    As Hollie mentioned, the blank space also makes a difference in the ebook cover because more and more users surf the web on mobile devices. These users will likely see a smaller image of your ebook. This means that if you utilize every pixel of the design with detailing and text that your overall message will be muddled and confusing to the user. As most designs for mobile, keeping it simple is the best strategy to communicate a clear message.


    Depending on the genre of your ebook, the cover should also invoke some emotional response from your customer. You’ve all seen books or novels, especially romantic novels, that have been turned into motion pictures. The books often have an image from the movie because the movie provokes an emotional response from the viewer. You’re probably not writing a romance novel, but the principal still rings true for other genres of books.

    Color is often also an important factor when choosing your design. Certain colors tend to evoke certain emotions. Also adding a small picture or icon to the ebook cover can be a great way to make a connection with your audience.

    Statistics show us that people are more interested in clicking on things with human faces on them as opposed to abstract designs or plain text. While creating the cover for your ebook is often one of the last steps before publishing your ebook, it should not be thrown together thoughtlessly. This is the not the part of your project that you should save money on. In many cases, it is the most important factor when it comes to attracting your audience.

    You don’t want to spend so much time and effort on your content only to chase people away with a crappy or cheap-looking book cover. In the past it was more common to show an ebook cover as a 3D image, making it look like a physical book.

    That same design style today often looks outdated and cheesy. It’s important to be aware of the current design trends when creating your cover. So take a look at Amazon or wherever you might purchase ebooks and scan over some of the hottest selling books in your genre. This will give you a general feel for how your cover should look.


    The format of the cover should also be considered when creating the design. Different e-readers have different specifications in regards to the size of your ebook cover. For example, the dimensions for an ebook in Amazon Kindle may be different from books offered in iTunes.

    The SOP above describes all the design constraints in more detail. You can use it yourself or pass it to your designer when they are creating your ebook cover.