One thing you can use as a free gift for your opt in form can be a Short Report, but how do you create one?
Don’t panic, it is easier than you think, before I created my first one I admit I did panic and think “I can’t do that!” but then I sat down and came up with a plan and do you know it WAS so much easier than I thought it would be.
So how to start creating your report?
Start by collecting 5 to 10 articles or even good blog posts that you’ve written. You want them to be topically related. What do I mean by that? Let’s look at some examples.
1 If you are in the parenting niche, you could create a short report on potty training by finding a few of the articles or blog posts you’ve written over the years on potty training a toddler.
2 If you are in the weightloss niche, you may want to find a few exercise articles or posts you’ve written or those around a particular weightloss program.
3 If you are in the IM niche, you may want to create a short report on how to write and submit articles and find content around that topic.
I would look for content that is closely related and focus on teaching your readers to solve a particular problem. If you have any artilcles that you have published then look through those and see which ones you can use, you can also look through any blogs you have and repurpose the content there.
You spend all this time writing quality content, you might as well make the most of it!
The next thing you want to do is take your articles and copy and paste them into a document. If you have Microsoft Office, use MS Word. If not, I recommend you download and install Open Office at: www.OpenOffice.org It’s a free software package similar to MS Word.
Next, grab each article, copy and paste in into a notepad file. This will remove any weird formatting or coding from the article. If you are using articles you’ve submitted to an article directory, delete the resource box, then paste the article from your notepad file into the Word document.
Repeat this for every article you want to include into the short report. I recommend you go ahead and paste them in there in some sort of logical order.
Next you want to write a short little introduction to the report. Tell them what they can expect to find in the report. If you’d like, you can also tell your readers a little bit about yourself. This doesn’t have to be much, just a paragraph or two will do.
Adding a picture of you and a signature image is a nice touch, but not entirely necessary.
After that’s done, I like to go through the rest of the document, editing the articles as needed and adding transitions to make sure everything flows nicely.
Transitions can be a simple as “now that you know how to do x…let me show you how you can also do y”
Now that your report is starting to look pretty, let’s quickly talk about monetization. Your main goal may be to use the report to grow your list, but there’s nothing wrong with making some money at the same time. If there is an opportunity within the content of your report to mention an affiliate product or a product of your own that might be helpful, by all means, include it with a link.
I also like to add a little resource section at the end of my report with a list of products.
A word of caution: Don’t go overboard and don’t get too pushy with these offers, just list them. Your readers will find them and if they are interested, they’ll click on them and buy.
Last but not least, let’s talk about how to turn your Word or Open Office document into a PDF. Save your document and then:
- In MS Word, go to File –> Save As –> PDF
- In Open Office, go to File –> Export As PDF
Take a look at your finished PDF file and make sure everything looks OK and the links are clickable. If everything looks fine, it’s time to upload your report to your web server.
Upload the PDF file via your favorite FTP program (I recommend Filezilla) and link to it either a download page or directly via email.
If I’m using the free report to build a list, I link to it from the thank you page that my subscribers land on after they confirm their email subscription.
That’s all there is to it. Just following these simple steps and you can put together your own short report in just an hour or two. Put it on your to-do list for today (or at the very least for this week) and create your first free report!
Have you created a report yet? if you have has it been successful for you? or have you been thinking about creating one and have not done anything about it yet? I would love to hear from you so please leave your comment below and share your thoughts.
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To your success
Thanks for reading
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