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Want to Wow Your Readers or Promote Your Biz? 9 Tips to Create Kickass PDFs

how to create beautiful PDFs

This is a guest post by Karen Gunton of build a little biz. Karen is the GENIUS { yes, in capitals!} behind my eBook cover designs and has graciously agreed to share her insider tips on creating seriously amazing PDFs that YOU can then, use to share with your readers, promote your business or get mor clients for your work-at-home biz.

Over to Karen:

There are many benefits to turning some of your blog or business content into an ebook, workbook, worksheet, checklist, guide, or printable. No matter what you create and what you call it, these PDF documents can work as an additional income stream, a freebie for your email list, a way to establish your expertise, or a way to be helpful and be of service to your customers.

And they are really very easy to create on your own, using free tools. If you don’t have word processing software already installed on your computer (such as word or pages), open office is an excellent, versatile option. All you need to do is write your content, save it as a PDF, load it to your website, and you have a downloadable document ready to share or sell.

However, if you really wish to make an impact with your PDF documents, you will want them to look professional and represent your business well. Thankfully it is quite easy to turn your basic text document into something that looks pro, is branded to match your business, and will wow your customers.

Here are a few basic elements you can add to your documents right now to turn them into kickass PDFs:

1. Cover image. If you have a document that is more than a couple of pages long, you should consider making the first page a full cover page – even if it is a very simple cover image containing your title, business name, and author name. This is the first thing people see when they download your PDF, so you want it to catch interest!

2. Header. It is not necessary to have a header on every page of your document – ebooks often do not. But if you are creating worksheets, checklists, or a short guide, a header can be a nice way to add some colour and style to your pages. And if you don’t have a cover image, you definitely want a nice header on the first page.

3. Footer. A footer is a great place to put the title, author, & business name again, as well as the page number (very handy especially if people print out all or part of your document).

4. Sider. For a bit of a change you could add a sidebar banner instead of a header or footer – this offers a slightly different look, and can make your document really stand out, plus could be a better fit for the page depending on your content.

5. Headings & Subheadings. Use a different font, font size, and font colour to make any headings stand out. You can even try using borders & background colours to really make these pop.


how to create PDFs

6. Callouts. You can draw attention to portions of important text by turning it them into callouts (such as they do in glossy magazines). Not only do these add emphasis where you need it, but they can break up text heavy pages. Again you can adjust the font and add a background colour or border.

 7. Shapes. Most word processing programs will let you insert a shape onto your page, as well as adjust its colour and appearance. Adding shapes can be a fun way to draw attention to certain things; for instance: an arrow pointing to a chunk of text, a thought bubble with a quote, or stars highlighting each item of a bulleted list.

8. Photos. Text-heavy documents can feel really boring and plain, which unfortunately can make them not very memorable. Try inserting relevant stock photos, or even creating your own quote images to add some visual interest to your pages.

9. White space. This may seem obvious, but it is better to spread your content out and include room to breath in your text. Use a fairly large font size, include space between lines, paragraphs, and text sections, and don’t crowd your design elements in!

Handy Hint: most word processing programs include ready-to-go styles that you can add to your text with the click of a button. Look for heading/subheading styles, footer/header styles, cover image styles and more. You can even customize these styles: those one that you like the look of and then modify it to use your exact brand colours, your favourite font, etc.

There you have it!

9 things you can add to your PDF document to make it look professional, give it some “wow” factor, and brand it to match your business.

If you have never created a PDF for your biz, now is a perfect time to try it. Take your most popular blog post and turn it into a quick guide, or take your most frequently asked questions and create a helpful checklist or tip sheet.

Add some of the design elements mentioned above to make it look pro & then save it as a PDF. It is a great way to add a new marketing strategy to your work-at-home biz or your blog!

Would you love to learn MORE about creating your own PDFs or other images that you can use to prettify your blog or to promote your work-at-home business? Be a part of the visual marketing DIY workshop… it’s time to get creative & have fun with your marketing!  

About Karen Gunton: karen gunton is a blogger, teacher, and creative designer. her passions are helping women in biz get unstuck and brainstorming awesome ideas for little businesses. she developed the online workshop visual marketing DIY to teach people how to easily create their own images for marketing their business in a way that will stand out from the crowd.


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  1. Hey Perna,
    I am on your site a lot as I get your email updates. I thank you for all your wonderful information. I was wondering if by chance you can set it up to where your readers could print out your articles on your website such as the one above on creating fabulous PDF’s. Also, using the word “KICKASS” is not very professional in my opinion. As there are a lot of Christian readers. I almost didn’t look at the article because of that. And I normally don’t. But I did this time, not sure why. But I would love to be able to print your articles to look at later as I can. I do a lot of printing PDF with my free software to do that.
    Again, thank you for your great information.

    • The Mom Writes says:

      Hi Leslie! Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words! I’ll definitely have the “Print This” option added to my posts.. Have emailed my tech team for it already:-) Also, apologize if I hurt or offended you or any of the other readers unintentionally with my choice of words. It is a valid point and I shall keep it in mind for future posts. Thank you so much once again!

  2. HI Prerna,

    I only came by because of the word kickass. So it all really depends on your target audience. I don’t judge people and most certainly believe that words are for expression. I don’t believe there is a such thing as “bad words” it’s all about context…

    Just wanted you to know I enjoyed this kickass post!

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