The Easy Way to Share Your Giveaway Product

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.

Now what?

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

Create Using 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-buttonUpload 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.

Upload a document

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.

Share a document

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)

Image Credit

39 Responses to The Easy Way to Share Your Giveaway Product

  1. rob white July 21, 2010 at 9:12 am #

    Thats a good one. I was never sure of exactly what google docs does. I can definitely put it to use now. Great presentation, Bradley.
    rob white recently posted..How to Take Command of the Mind

  2. Bradley July 21, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    Thanks Rob.

    I think that is the issue for a lot of people. They know Google Docs exists, but they aren’t sure what they can do with it.
    Bradley recently posted..You Should Use Mail Chimp for Your Newsletter!

    • Jean Sarauer July 21, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

      Count me in as one of those people, Brad! I’ve been collaborating/sharing pages with people for projects lately on Google Docs, and that’s really been helpful.

  3. Evelyn July 21, 2010 at 9:29 am #

    Hi Bradley!

    I’ve used Google Docs before, but never thought of using it this way. I currently working on a few projects. This is a tremendous help!

    Evelyn recently posted..Finding the Time for Blogging

  4. Angela Artemis July 21, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    Thanks Rob,
    This is just what I needed to learn. I’m going to write an ebook – if it kills me – but, I didn’t have a clue about what to with it to get it onto to my website.

    Thank you!

    • Bradley July 21, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

      There are lots of options for hosting your ebook. This option has the best up-time and bandwidth possible.

      A big thanks to Google!
      Bradley recently posted..You Should Use Mail Chimp for Your Newsletter!

    • Jean Sarauer July 21, 2010 at 4:07 pm #

      Well, I hope it doesn’t kill you, Angela :) I plan to do the same (write an ebook, not expire) so this post was right up my alley!

  5. Blog Angel a.k.a. Joella July 21, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    What a novel way to use Google Docs. You know I use a similar service called Zoho. I bet I could do this with their service to, since they offer the ability to share your documents online too.

    Brilliant idea, I tip my hat to you yet again, Great Lady.
    Blog Angel a.k.a. Joella recently posted..My Comments Are Not Showing Up Because Akismet Is Blocking Me

    • Bradley July 21, 2010 at 7:22 pm #

      I haven’t researched Zoho, but I bet you probably could.

      Have you tried Google Docs? I was wondering how it differed from Zoho. I know that Zoho seems to offer more services that GDocs, but past that I am not familiar with Zoho.

      Bradley recently posted..You Should Use Mail Chimp for Your Newsletter!

    • Jean Sarauer July 21, 2010 at 8:46 pm #

      Hi Joella. I’ve never heard of Zoho. I learn something new every day. I’d love to take credit for this post, but it’s all thanks to Bradley.

  6. Aileen July 22, 2010 at 12:17 am #

    Google Doc.s is fabulous! Great post on how to use it!
    Aileen recently posted..You are Powerful Beyond Belief

    • Jean Sarauer July 22, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

      Hey, Aileen. Good, you can give me some more pointers when we talk :)

  7. Gera @ Sweets Foods Blog July 22, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    I want to thanks for sharing these useful tips. I’ve used Google docs but I didn’t know this trick – very handy :)
    Coming from Tia blog 😉
    This post is RT and stumbled!


    Gera @ Sweets Foods Blog recently posted..7 Useful Free Software Applications for Bloggers and Internet Surfers

    • Bradley July 22, 2010 at 8:11 pm #

      Thanks for the retweet and stumble!

      Hope you can make good use of Google Docs! If you find any novel uses, I hope you share them with us as well.

      Bradley recently posted..You Should Use Mail Chimp for Your Newsletter!

    • Jean Sarauer July 22, 2010 at 11:38 pm #

      Gera, thanks for making the hop over from Tia’s place. She rocks :)

  8. Angela Artemis July 22, 2010 at 8:12 pm #

    I’m back to read the article again. Once was not enough to sink into my overly taxed brain!

  9. Preeti @ Heart and Mind July 22, 2010 at 9:47 pm #


    Even though I do not have yet product to give away, just free content, silly me! this was a good article for me to learn more about goggle docs, I will bookmark it!


    Your site always rocks! I would love to see your 7 links post!

  10. Sarah Palmer July 23, 2010 at 5:34 am #

    Fantastic… this is the sort of hands on information technophobes like me everywhere need. Thank you so much for turning this complex subject into a do-able project!
    Sarah Palmer recently posted..Life’s lessons… the first 7 that come to mind anyway!

    • Jean Sarauer July 25, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

      Sarah, I can SO relate to the technophobe issue :)

  11. Ishan July 23, 2010 at 5:42 am #

    I share giveaways using Amazon S3. A few MBs don’t cost a lot and I do not have to worry about big bills.
    I didn’t know Google Docs could do this.
    Ishan recently posted..How To Intelligently Steal Ideas From Other Bloggers!

  12. Bradley July 23, 2010 at 7:42 am #

    @Sarah Palmer: Glad the article was useful for you!

    @Ishan: I have heard Amazon S3 is a great way to distribute files and inexpensive. Glad you have found something that works well for you.
    Bradley recently posted..You Should Use Mail Chimp for Your Newsletter!

    • Jean Sarauer July 25, 2010 at 8:09 pm #

      Amazon S3 is something else I don’t know much about other than hearing it’s a great storage solution. Never lack of things to learn with blogging!

  13. Alex July 24, 2010 at 7:03 am #


    Great tip mate! I have almost finished my first ebook to giveaway so your post could not have come at a better time. I am also looking into those first two options you mentioned anyway….Awesome, thanks Bradley, and Jean for having him here when you did.
    TI MING!
    Alex recently posted..Article Marketing – Part 1 What’s a Search Engine

    • Jean Sarauer July 25, 2010 at 8:10 pm #

      Glad to hear this was the right info at the right time for you, Alex. Looking forward to your giveaway!

  14. Mag July 25, 2010 at 4:31 pm #

    You really have to know how to use the google docs in many different ways. I will have to try your way. It has not been very helpful to me so far.

    • Jean Sarauer July 25, 2010 at 8:11 pm #

      I like using it for sharing documents I’m collaborating on and I use it for a lot of my writing too. Anything that’s ‘in the cloud’ and off my hard drive appeals to me.

  15. Richard Chidike | Motivatory July 25, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    I completely agree with the details of this post. there is no need to write a very long post when with a few words you would have made your points clear and easy to try out.
    Wonderful information!
    Richard Chidike | Motivatory recently posted..Direct Sales Successes – Invest Wisely in Your Direct Sales Business

    • Jean Sarauer July 26, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

      Hi Richard. I think this comment was meant for John’s ‘bite-size content’ post, but I’m glad to hear from you wherever your comment may land! Thanks so much for stopping by.
      Jean Sarauer recently posted..9 Ways to Get Your Creative Groove Back

  16. Robby Rocray July 26, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    Superb post, I like your blogging site, and Please update it more frequently.

  17. Bradley July 26, 2010 at 12:24 pm #

    @Richard & @Robby…

    Thanks guys. Glad you liked the article.
    Bradley recently posted..You Should Use Mail Chimp for Your Newsletter!

  18. Very informative article! I was trying to find new ways to promote my art, and you have given me the answer! Glad to see most of these are free too, great job, Bradley!

    • Bradley February 8, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

      Thanks Greg. Glad you found some useful information.

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