How To Create Professional-Looking PDF Info Products

You can create your own information products (how-to guides, reports, etc), publish them as a PDF, and sell them online. However, do not create amateurish PDFs that look like they were simply banged together in Word. If you want your customers to look to you as the expert (and keep buying more of your info products) you need to present a professional image of yourself and your products.

It all starts with a template that lays your PDF out in a professional manner. Click here to download a pre-made template that works with Open Office Writer (a free PDF creator that I find superior to Word). This template package also includes templates for creating two types of worksheets and a checklist – great additions to a info product.

If you don’t have Open Office, click here to download the Open Office suite. It is free.

Download Open Office

After downloading Open Office, open your template file. It will open in Open Office. First thing to do is to edit the title in the header.

Edit Your PDF’s Front Page

Simply replace the placeholder text.

Editing Open Office template

Then, enter spaces until you have moved the page number within 3 spaces of the end.

diting Open Office template

Add your cover image. Select the placeholder text (1) and click “Insert” in the editor’s top menu bar (2).

diting Open Office template

From the “Insert” drop-down menu, select “Picture” and click on “From File”.

diting Open Office template

Click on the green edge points and drag to adjust your cover image to fill the page.

diting Open Office template

Replace the placeholder text with your copyright year (1) and your name (2).

diting Open Office template

You can (and should) create a clickable link to your main website, where satisfied customers can buy more of your info products. Select the “YourURL” placeholder text (1) and click the link icon in the menu bar (2).

diting Open Office template

In the dialogue box that pops up, click to select “Internet” (1). Then, enter the full URL of your website as the “Target” (2) and enter text that will show in the link in your footer (3). Click “Apply” (4) and then “Close” (5).

diting Open Office template

Enter spaces to move the link close to the end of the footer.

diting Open Office template

Edit Your PDF’s Title Page

On your PDF’s title page, you’ll have the title, sub-title, copyright notice, and disclaimer (all the stuff that makes your info product a professional piece of work). Select the “Guide Title” placeholder (1) and replace it with the title. Then, do the same for the “Guide Sub-Title” (2). And edit your copyright year and your name (3).

diting Open Office template

If you are using a cover image that requires attribution, you can attribute it here.

diting Open Office template

A boilerplate disclaimer is already created. You only need to replace the three instances of “ENTER TOPIC” with the topic of your info product.

NOTE: If you are creating a product that dispenses medical, financial, or legal advice, you may need a more robust disclaimer.

diting Open Office template

Edit Your PDF’s Message From The Author Page

The message from the author is a great way to establish your expertise and brand yourself with your customers. Replace the placeholder text with a write-up about yourself (highlighting what qualifies you to write this info product) and insert a friendly, smiling photo of yourself on the right.

diting Open Office template

Save Your Template & Your PDF

Before you go any further, save your template. Most of the edits you have made up to this point won’t change from product to product, so you’ll want this as your template. In the future, you’ll only need to edit the title, sub-title, cover image, and maybe the topic.

diting Open Office template

Next, save the PDF you are creating. Click “Save As”.

diting Open Office template

Give your info product a name that customers will recognize on their hard drive after they have downloaded your product.

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Edit Your PDF’s Content Pages

Skip the table of contents (you’ll edit it after all the content is entered) and go to the introduction page. Replace the “Body Text” placeholder with your guide’s introduction.

diting Open Office template

Insert Images

After entering text, add your images. As with the cover, select placeholder text or create a spot to place your cursor (1) and click “From File” in “Picture” in the “Insert” drop-down menu (2).

diting Open Office template

Under your image, enter a space if the text is too close to the image.

diting Open Office template

Insert Page Breaks

In my opinion, nothing looks much more amateur than leaving a heading or just one line of text hanging at the bottom of a page. Instead, insert a page break and move it to the top of the next page. Insert your cursor in front of the text to move to next page (1) and click “Insert” in the menu bar (2).

diting Open Office template

In the “Insert” drop-down menu, click on “Manual Break”.

diting Open Office template

On the pop-up, select “Page Break” (1) and click “OK” (2).

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Now, your sub-section starts cleanly at the top of a new page.

diting Open Office template

Add Links

Whether you’ve made a call to go to one of your other products or an affiliate product, you’ll want to create a clickable link in your guidee.

Note: When linking to affiliate products, or other sites which your have no control over, I recommend using redirecting links in your guide. That way, any changes that occur can easily be changed in the redirect file on your own hosting, and your links will still work. You can get a special file you can use for redirecting, and directions on using it, in the popular Clockwork Recipe For Mini Affiliate Cash Sites

To make your text clickable, select the text (1) and click the link icon in the menu bar (2).

diting Open Office template

As with the URL in your footer, set to “Internet (1) and enter the full URL (2). The text is already selected (3) from your guide. Click “Apply” (4) and “Close” (5).

Edit your template

Edit Your PDF’s Resource Page

At the back of your template, there is a resource page. Here, enter the title of resources (1) and the full URL (2). Hit your “Enter” key and the URL will be made into a clickable link.

Edit your PDF template

Edit Your PDF’s Table Of Contents

Now that all your content is entered, you can create a clickable table of contents. First, you need to create bookmarks throughout your guide, to mark where a reader will be taken when they click an item in your TOC.

Record (in Notepad or other simple text editor) the heading and page number (1). Place your cursor at the top of the page (2). In the “Insert” drop-down menu, click on “Bookmark” (3).

Edit your PDF template

Enter the heading (1) and click “OK” (2). Repeat for all your headings.

Edit your PDF template

Back on the table of contents page, enter the headings (1) and the corresponding page numbers (2). Then, select a heading (3) and click the link icon (4).

Edit your PDF template

This time, select “Document” (1) and click the target button (2).

Edit your PDF template

In the target pop-up, click the “+” beside “Bookmarks” (1).

Edit your PDF template

Then, click on the heading (2) and click “Apply” (3).

Edit your PDF template

It has been added to the hyperlink target. Click “Apply”. Now, repeat the above for each item on the TOC page.

Edit your PDF template

Create Your PDF File

When finished, click the PDF icon in the menu bar.

Edit your PDF template

Now, your Open Offie file will be saved as a PDF that can be read on any computer. It’s ready to be placed in a ZIP file (along with any worksheets and/or checklists) and sold online.

Edit your PDF template

 

8 Responses to How To Create Professional-Looking PDF Info Products

  1. Katie says:

    Kevin, this is an excellent tutorial, consistent with your usual great content and wonderful teaching style. Thanks for the work in putting this together!

  2. Brian McLeod says:

    Nice work, Kevin.

    Now, literally no one has any excuse anymore.

    The software is free. It works on Macs or PC’s.

    The instructions are explicit and simple.

    Ball’s in your court now…

    I’ll be sharing this.

    Best,

    Brian

    • Kevin Riley says:

      Yes. I use Open Office on both Mac and Windows. Rieko even uses it with Japanese. It is a truly universal program.

  3. Ted says:

    Hi Kevin,

    Thank you for generously sharing this valuable template showing the step by step process for creating a quality PDF info product. Your products are always top notch and you are one of the most trusted and “looked up to” names in the business.

    Thanks again.

    Ted Coulton

  4. JP says:

    Thank for your time in providing this excellent tutorial. The detailed images that go with your words make this process crystal clear. Those included templates are valuable, THANKS! Appreciate also the pointing out of the Open Office programs, sure seem to be very powerful and professional. Thanks again for your time and the tools/resources you have provided!

  5. You’re the bomb, Kevin! This is awesome – thank you! 🙂

  6. Hi Kevin thank you for this valuable report. There are so many “shoddy” reports out there I am grateful to have found this resource to make consistently professional looking reports. I am a part of JV Focus and found your post and like there. I have never used Open Office so this will be one more tool in my arsenal. Thanks for taking the time to share.

  7. Angela Chen Shui says:

    Kevin, this is practically the entire content of one of your primary product creation reports! Implement quickly, blog readers and if you haven’t yet bought his entire series, it would be smart to do so if you’re serious about fattening your wallet.. 😉

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