A guest post by Bradley Durham of Bradley Durham Design Studio.
You’ve taken all the advice you heard about having a giveaway product. You’ve worked long and hard to produce your ebook, report, or other creation.
There are a few options:
1. Upload it to your web hosting account and put the link into your email autoresponder.
2. Upload the file to something like Amazon S3 or E-Junkie (both are not free options).
3. Use Google Docs.
I won’t go into details of options one and two. There are plenty of people out there who have covered those options.
Why use Google Docs?
* It’s free.
* You can create the document within Google Docs.
* Upload and share documents you created with desktop software.
* Don’t have to worry about any bandwidth limits.
I don’t know about you, but I love free stuff. And free is even better when it works without much or any hassle.
I’ve had a gmail account for years now, and since I started my own website, I set up my domain email to use gmail and Google Docs too. Both options limit you somewhat–not very much but a little. The limits on Google Docs’ sizes are outlined here.
As you can see, documents have to be pretty sizable to exceed the limits.
Create a document with Google Docs
If you’re like me, you have a day job, but you’re able to sneak in some personal projects from time to time. Or perhaps you’re a mobile entrepreneur who works from exotic locals from several of your computers.
If you use Google Docs to create and edit your files, you can access them anywhere from any computer with an internet connection. No worries if you use a PC some of the time and a Mac some of the time. The documents will always be editable.
Google Docs are pretty robust too unless you’re trying to do something super powerful. If you’re just creating content to be read, there shouldn’t be any problems.
Upload Any Document to Share
You worked hard on your ebook, and now you need to get it ready to distribute. If you have a book for sale, this probably isn’t the best option for distributing it. I would try something like eJunkie instead. Using Google Docs is perfect for giveaway items though.
Any file type can be uploaded to Google Docs as long as the file size is under 1GB (pretty frickin’ huge file!). When uploading, make sure you uncheck the box that converts the file to Google Docs. Otherwise, your nice pdf will be converted to a Google Document. This isn’t necessarily bad, but some of the formatting may be lost in the conversion.
I Have the File Ready. Now What?
Once your file is uploaded or created, you can set the sharing properties from the Google Docs Dashboard. Just check the box beside the document you want to share, and click the Share Button. Select the “Get The Link To Share” option.
This will pop up a box where you can select your share level. Click on the tab labeled “Get a link for anyone“. Once inside that tab, check the box next to “Allow anyone with the link to view (no sign-in required)“. Make sure you don’t check the box below. That will allow anyone that has the link to edit your file.
A link should appear in the text field at the bottom of the pop up. You can embed that link in your autoresponder or share it any way you see fit. This is the link that will allow your subscribers to view or download the file. They don’t have to have a Google account or be signed in to view or download.
That’s it. Have fun creating and sharing!
To see an example in action, sign up for my newsletter.
Your Turn: Have another method of sharing your giveaway files?
Bradley Durham, owner of Bradley Durham Design Studio, creates dazzling websites when he isn’t bitching about politics or throwing the ball for his rambunctious dog. Check out his blog about everything related to web design, or find him on Twitter (@bradleydurham)