How To Convert & Share Your HTML Articles Via PDF Format

If you’re a writer, chances are that at some point you will need to share your articles with someone. Of course in the old days when I worked in print media, I would get a copy of my clips and I would lovingly place them in plastic folders in a portfolio book. Now things are different and most people will want to view your clips online via their computer, tablet, or phone. So the best way to share your writing samples with folks is to convert your html articles into PDF versions.

If it’s just a matter of sharing content that you’ve written, chances are that you already own a software program such as Microsoft Word or Pages and can CONVERT or SHARE your documents into PDF versions. But if you need to show proof that you’ve published your clip somewhere then you’ll need to share that article from the actual site with others. The obvious way to do this would be to share the live link to your article (ex. http://lisaangelettieblog.com/17-mindset-shifts-that-will-transform-your-business/), but some people will want to actually have a clip that they can read offline (on a Kindle or iPad for example) or print out (ex. 17 mindset shifts) That’s where a PDF comes in handy.

To convert my guest posts to PDFs, I like to use PDFcrowd.com. With this free tool you can convert your clips into PDF files various ways: directly on their website via web link or using their Firefox or Chrome browser extension. I use the Chrome browser extension which makes converting any web page to a PDF file easy as pie, and I highly recommend it.

pdfcrowd

1. To use the Firefox or Chrome extension, simply go the the browser add-ons or extensions marketplace for your browser.

For Chrome it’s: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/extensions
For Firefox it’s: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/?application=firefox

2. Search for PDFcrowd, then download (it’s free!).

3. You’ll see the icon for PDFcrowd next to your other add-ons or extensions.

4. Next you’ll go to the web page of the article you’d like to convert.

5. Once there you’ll click on the PDFcrowd icon in your browser and let the magic happen!

6. You’ll see a new PDF file in your downloads folder. The title will be the url address of the article.

7. Feel free to rename your document to a more user friendly title, just make sure to keep the .pdf suffix intact

If you choose to use their online tool, it’s pretty self explanatory. Just copy and paste the url of the article you want to convert, paste it into the box, and click on the “convert to pdf” button.  Your document should download to your download folder.

Notes: This tool converts the ENTIRE page to a pdf file. This means that if you have an article on a blog and there are a 100 comments, your PDF file is going to be pretty long because it converts the entire page including comments. A way you may be able to work around this is to see if the site offers a “printer friendly” version of the article and then convert your document from that version.

Tip: Consider offering your readers extra value by offering PDF versions of your articles. PDFCrowd also offers the code for adding a link to your website which enables readers to save your articles to their computer as a PDF. Some people do this for every article, but I like to do this for select articles.

 

 

December Article Ideas

Want to write about something other than the obvious Christmas holiday stories? No worries, there are lots of topics you can write about during the month of December. Ready, set, let’s go! Article ideas and writing prompts for the month of December…

december article topics

Topics you can write about all month long:

  • Hi Neighbor Month
  • National Stress Free Family Holiday Month
  • Read A New Book Month
  • Safe Toy and Gift Month
  • Universal Human Rights Month
  • Write to a Friend Month

Topics you can write on that are date specific:

December 1st
Eat A Red Apple Day
National Pie Day
Rosa Park’s Day
World AIDS Day

December 2nd
National Fritters Day
Special Education Day

December 3rd
International Day of the Disabled Person
National Roof-Over-Your-Head Day

December 4th
National Cookie Day
Wear Brown Shoes Day

December 5th
Annual Day of the Ninja
Walter Elias (Walt) Disney’s Birthday

December 6th
Mitten Tree Day
St. Nicholas Day

December 7th
National Cotton Candy Day (my daughters will love this one!)
Pearl Harbor Day

December 8th
National Brownie Day (very important! LOL!)
Hanukkah Begins at Sunset

December 10th
Emily Dickinson’s Birthday
Human Rights Day
Nobel Peace Prize Awarded

December 11th
National Noodle Ring Day
UNICEF Anniversary

December 12th
Frank Sinatra’s Birthday
Golf Tee Patented
Hovercraft Patented
Poinsettia Day

December 13th
National Cocoa Day

December 14th
First Miniature Golf Course Opened
South Pole Discovered

December 15th
Bill of Rights Day
Phonograph Patented

December 16th
Boston Tea Party Anniversary

December 17th
National Maple Syrup Day
Underdog Day

December 20th
Games Day

December 21st
First Crossword Puzzle in a Newspaper
First Day of Winter
Humbug Day
Look at the Bright Side Day
National Flashlight Day

December 22nd
First Christmas Lights for Sale
Thermometer Was Invented

December 24th
National Egg Nog Day

December 25th
Christmas
National Pumpkin Pie Day (Really???)

December 26th
Boxing Day
Kwanzaa Begins
National Whiners Day

December 27th
Visit the Zoo Day (Uh, not on the East Coast of the U.S.!)

December 28th
Card Playing Day
Chewing Gum Patented
National Chocolate Day

December 29th
Bowling Ball Invented

December 31st
New Year’s Eve

If you liked any of these December article topics and know someone who may benefit from one, then please pay it forward and share this list via Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ below. Happy holidays!

The Write Mindset For 2013

Increase Your Writing Productivity: Get Into The “Write” Mindset

writing productivity dog

At this time of the year I like to focus on what I call getting into my “write mindset” so that I produce more high quality content that servers my tribe. To do this, I typically first take a look back at what I’ve written and published on my websites, what’s in the draft folder, and what I’d like to write for the new year. Writing this down helps me organize and decide what writing will be on tap for the new year. I do this for every website I own and write content for. Pardon me while I get a little transparent with you today:)

On LisaAngelettieBlog, I’ve written and published over 105 articles during 2012, I have 3 articles in the draft folder (which have been there for months!), and I’d like to publish 156 of my own articles along with 52 guest post submissions for a total of 208 articles in 2013.

I’d also like to make sure that one of those articles per week is a video article so that I can start maximizing YouTube for more visibility and traffic back to my site. Who knows, maybe if I find my sweet spot I may create more video articles than text ones (yeah right!).

I also have a goal of writing and submitting two to three of my own guest posts per month. I typically spend a little longer on researching and/or writing these articles, so two or three a month is a realistic number for me.

I’m also still dying to get that podcast started that I’ve been talking about since forever! I would really like to launch the first episode in January. Thank you Pat Flynn for the inspiration.

I will also be focusing a lot on the Amazon income stream of my business. I’ve seen a lot of growth there and I think it’s only going to get better as tablets and readers become more accessible to buyers. Tablets have gone down considerably in price this year, so the forecast is that ebook sales will continue to rise. That’s only good news for folks like us. A great creative passive income stream for any business owner is to take existing content and publish those articles on the Kindle marketplace. I’ll be covering this topic a lot more on this site in the new year.

My experience on Amazon so far has been really favorable with publishing non-fiction, but I plan to also jump into the waters of fiction in 2013 as well. Writing fiction has been a lifelong dream of mine that I created a million excuses for not doing for many, many years. My fear of writing fiction was so crippling that I am going to document my entire process from start to finish just so that I hope it inspires some other writers out there to do the same. I am in the process of building that blog now, so I’ll let you know when it’s live. The digital revolution has made it so easy for us to get out there as entrepreneurs, authors, publishers in a really big way. I say NO EXCUSES in 2013 everyone! Me included.

Now I want YOU to get into a the creative write mindset for 2013 as well. In fact, I’ve gathered a few writing productivity resources from this site that I think may help you in areas where you may be struggling:

How To Write What People Will Read

How Entrepreneurs Can Quickly Beat Writers Block

#1 Secret For Writing Productivity

Writing Rituals

So what are your writing/content goals for the new year?

It may be a good idea to share them with the rest of us so that you’ve put it out in the universe and so that we can hold each other accountable. I’d love to hear what you have planned, no matter how lofty your goals may be:)

Does Your Content Pass The Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test?

Is Your Writing Simple Enough To Pass The Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test?

flesch-kincaid-writing-score

Studies prove that the average customer or client responds to information that they can easily understand. Of course the question is: Are you writing content that the average customer and client can easily read and understand? Do you even know? If  your prospects are not connecting with your content, one of the reasons could be that you are writing “over their heads” and trust me when I tell you that this happens more often than you think. In an effort to sound superior, intelligent, or as an “expert” in their fields – many entrepreneurs will “overwrite” their content.

What Does Simple Writing Look Like?

Simple writing should include words that are direct, simple, and familiar to the reader. You should eliminate any needless words. Organization and structure of your content should be simple, straightforward and and arranged in a logical way so that the reader understands the point(s) you are trying to make.

How Do You Know If Your Content Is Readable?

This type of “readability” factor for your content can actually be measured using something called the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Tests.  There are two tests. One is called the Flesch Reading Ease test and gives your content a score based on readability. The higher the score, the better.

For example, a score of 0 through 30 is easily read by college graduates (such as The Harvard Law Review), a score of 60-70 is easily understood by 13-15 year old students, and a score between 90-100 can easily be understood by the average 11 year old student.

The other test is called the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level test and translates the reading ease score into a grade level. Typically educators use this test to measure the readability of text books and other materials. But we are also educators and can use this test to determine if our content can be easily read by customers and clients.

With this test, the lower the grade level, the better. This test measures word count, syllable count, and sentence count to come up with a score. The score is directly related to the grade level, so for example content with a Flesch-Kincaid level of 8.2 can be easily read by the average eighth grade student.

What Score Is Good For Me?

You will find that your content will differ in scores depending on the topic, how tired you were when you wrote the article:), and other various factors. An easy way for you to get an idea of what a good score is for you is to take a sampling of the articles that were the most “shared” or “commented” on or simply your favorites. Estimate your average score out of those articles.

Keep in mind that you should probably try to not score higher than a 65 in the Flesch Reading Ease score or no higher than a 8-9 in the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level one (although this particular article scored a little high).

This has nothing to do with the aptitude of your readers. I target business owners and try to keep my Flesch scores as low as possible and the reason why is “time”. If my readers can consume and understand my content quickly, I know that they will take action faster, and probably come back to read more. If my readers have to think a little too hard about what I’ve written, they may save it for later (and never read it!) or just stop reading altogether.

How To Test Your Content

If you own Microsoft Office, you already have the test feature built into Word and Outlook.

flesch-kincaid

If you are an iWork user there are already tons of requests on the forums for developers to add this feature to Pages and Apple Mail. So hopefully we’ll see it soon, but in the meantime if much of your content is published to your WordPress blog then you can test your content using the WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast or use an online calculator.

flesch-kincaid seo yoast

This article topic was written by reader request. If you have a topic you’d like me to cover on the site, feel free to drop me a note over on Facebook.

 

Top 20 Expert Authors Honor

Top 20 Expert Author Showcase Featuring Me At #5

top 20 expert author - lisa angelettieMy favorite article directory (Ezine Articles) has featured over 200 of their favorite expert authors in interviews on their EzineArticles blog. Recently they’ve identified 20 of their top experts from that list, and I am honored to say that I made the list at #5.

If you know anything about me, you know that I teach that articles are the foundation of any content based strategy or product and that when you get that right, you will grow a very visibile, engaged and profitable business. The easiest way to get started writing and publishing articles is to publish them to article directory Ezine Articles.

Even after the fallout of Google’s Panda and Penguin updates, where many article directories dropped in rankings, Ezine Articles still stands tall and in an elite class by itself with stats like this:

Alexa Traffic Rank: 374
Bounce Rate: 38%
Avg Pageviews: 5.3
Avg Time On Site:  6 minutes

As an author there myself, I continue to receive traffic from Ezine Articles — even from articles I wrote over five years ago. Nothing to sneeze at!

Here’s a snippet of the original author showcase interview I did with Ezine Articles:

Today’s Expert Author Case Study takes a look at the intelligent practices and positive results of Pennsylvania author Lisa Angelettie.

  1. What sets you apart from other Expert Authors?

    It is really important for me to write articles that truly teach the folks in my niche something useful. I don’t ever sit down to write just for the sake of publishing an article. It’s probably because I am a wife, mother, adult caregiver, dog mommy AND an avid reader. I’m busy and I assume the people in my marketplace are as well. So who has the time for article fluff? No one. It has to count!

  2. What’s your secret to article writing and marketing success?

    I think that the biggest key to my success as an article writer and marketer is that I have always written authentically and consistently.

    In regards to authenticity, I always write my own articles, I always write the way that I speak and I always try to include information plus my point of view on the topic. I think including a solid point of view in your writing separates one author from another in the same niche.

    In regards to consistency, I have made a commitment to myself and my business to write SOMETHING everyday. I can honestly say that it wasn’t until I made that decision, that article marketing truly rewarded me with tangible results that I could test, measure, rinse and repeat.

3. How do you stay motivated to write articles?

It’s not very difficult for me to stay motivated about strategies that work in my business, but there are days when I just want to lay like broccoli! So I try to motivate myself and my clients by looking at article writing and article marketing in the same way as I do personal care. Brush my teeth, take a shower, write an article. Then continue with the rest of my day! These aren’t especially exciting things to do, but we must do them everyday right?

CLICK HERE to read the rest of my original interview.

#1 Secret For Writing Productivity

writing productivityIf you are a parent, especially a mom (shout out to all my moms!), then this is probably going to really speak to you because we tend to be multi-taskers to the tenth power! The problem with multitasking is that it can be distracting. Sure you may get a lot done, but is it really done well? OR do you even get any one thing done completely at all?

I find that the clients who have the most difficult time with creating compelling content on a consistent basis for their audience, tend to suffer from this multitasking approach towards everything in their lives including their marketing and let me tell you — for must of us this approach just won’t work.

So (drumroll please!) this is my #1 strategy and secret for writing and producing more content on a consistent basis:

Focus on only ONE marketing strategy today and that’s creating content.

Do not play around on Twitter. Do not look for Facebook friends and fans. Do not connect with someone on LinkedIn. Forget about commenting on your favorite bloggers posts. Leave those website, pay per click, or Facebook ad stats alone today. Your website doesn’t need any tweaking today. You don’t need to check emails all day. Just once at the top of the day, if at all. Instead, just focus on content.

I find when I decide that on Mondays (my personal writing blitz day) all I am going to do is write, I produce a lot more content. In fact, instead of writing just one blog post or creating one video or writing a guest post for another site — I find that I am creating 5, 7, or 8 different new pieces of content that day that will set me up lovely for the rest of the week! Bam! Content done. Now I don’t have to worry about how I’m behind on creating new content for the rest of the week because I’ve already done it. And get this…

There’s something about doing ONE thing in one sitting, without distraction. You get in a ZONE. So I find that I write my best when I have been writing several articles, book chapters, etc. at one time.

So here’s what I recommend that you do:

1. Select one day a week that you will commit to creating high level content that attracts more of your ideal clients.

2. Eliminate all distractions on that day.

3. Create a series of blog posts, guest posts, video articles, or audio articles that day — don’t just write one piece of content that day.

4. Pay yourself on the back, you’re done for the week!

Top 5 Reasons Why I Won’t Read Your Blog (And What You Can Do About It!)

Why Won't Read BlogThe content you create this year is more important than ever. The big brands like American Express and Coca-Cola have caught on now. Instead of spending a lot of their dollars on interruption marketing (commercials, etc.), they are paying consultants like myself big bucks to create compelling content campaigns for them that build brand trust and brand loyalty. Does your content do this? What is the first impression that your content makes?

In my work with clients, I do a LOT of website content evaluations a.k.a. makeovers, with which I use a 17-point criteria system. Over the years, I have consistently found five factors that site owners drop the ball on and so I thought I’d share them with you today…

Reason #1 – I Can’t Find Your Blog!

One of the biggest areas that site owners drop the ball on is basic search engine optimization. First, you have to start thinking like your ideal client. How would your ideal client search for your what you do in the search engines? What type of language would they use? Now you have to optimize your blog post titles to reflect that language so that when people do a search that your article shows up in the search results.

So for example, if you are a wedding planner and you are writing an article on wedding planning tips, I can’t tell you how many biz owners I have seen that title those articles something cute like “I Do” or generic like “Your Beautiful Wedding” — when the reality is that you need to be very specific and use terms that REAL people search for if you want to get search engine traffic like “How To Plan A Wedding On A Budget”. The key to getting this right is doing keyword research in your niche to make sure you are targeting phrases that people are typing into Google. I use the keyword research tool Market Samurai for this type of research for myself and when I create editorial calendars for clients.

Reason #2 – Your Blog Screams To Me That You Are An Amateur

As a solo entrepreneur, our resources may be limited as to how much we will invest in the aesthetics of our website, but we can make up for it in other areas. That’s why it’s really important that we do. So if your blog screams “amateur” then I’m afraid you are two seconds away from losing yet another possible client.

You are hosting your blog on a 3rd party blogging platform such as Blogger, Wordpres.org, LiveJournal etc. — While these are great resources and very user friendly for newbies, a blog hosted here does not say that you are serious about your business. Serious enough to invest a few dollars on your own domain name and a self-hosted WordPress blog. When I see a blog like this, I don’t think serious, I think “newbie” — and I’m not going to invest my money with a newbie or with someone who appears to be a newbie.

Your blog looks straight out of the package. While you do not have to spend a lot of time or money on this, I think that it’s really important for your website to look like you’ve spent at least a little energy in making it “different” than the many other blogs that use the same template you use. It shows that you are serious about your business and that you want to provide a good user experience.

Reason #3 – Your Blog Gives Me A Headache

If your blog is too cluttered, it will turn off and turn away potential clients. A good way to give your blog “room to breathe” is to make sure that your articles have a lot of white space between paragraphs, photos, etc. You also need to take a good long look at your sidebars. Do you have too many slow loading social media widgets? (Dear Facebook, can you fix that?) Do you have too many advertisements? Is there just too much junk in your sidebars that leave your readers about where to go first? Consider what you can eliminate from your sidebars that will improve your visitors user experience? A simple and clean blog is best.

Reason #4 – There Is No YOU In Your Blog

This isn’t typically a newbie mistake, but one that many intermediate marketers make. A trend that has started which I fully support is the use of guest blog posts. Many bloggers are featuring other writers and experts so that there is more “fresh” content on their site without having to create it all themselves. Totally fine strategy, except that many bloggers are overdoing it to the point that I don’t know what the point or message of the blog is. There are so many different points and strategies being made on the blog by different writers, I’m not really sure what I’m suppose to be learning and more importantly what to do next. If this is you, remember that this is YOUR business and at the end of the day people have to be able to trust YOU in order to make a decision on whether or not to invest with you. Using too many guest bloggers will dilute your message, so be picky and selective about who you feature. Make sure the message of the guest articles are in alignment with your overall marketing message.

Reason #5 – You Haven’t Invited Me To Come Back

While I may do a search, and find your blog articles, AND actually read one, I probably won’t ever come back and visit your blog again because you haven’t asked me to. The #1 call to action that entrepreneurs should make in their blog is to ask for an email address so that the reader can continue to read more content. The reality is that trust doesn’t come easy in today’s world! Visitors need to have additional exposure to your message in order to make a decision to trust you and invest in you. So ask invite them to experience more of you. Make sure to add optin boxes on your blog. The best 2 places for these optin invitations are top right-hand corner of your site and at the end of your individual articles.

Your Turn!

I’m sure you’ve visited many blogs on your travels around the web, what are some things that make you “click away”? Share them below in the comments area, because I’m sure that we all can learn from each other.

Google Scholar

Want To Refer To Scholarly Publications In Your Work?

Are you in a niche where you’d like to write content that references scholarly content from academic publishers, universities, professional societies, librarians and more? Using these types of references in your work can dramatically add to the credibility of your articles and they are easier to find than you may think. Simply use Google’s search engine for scholarly search: Google Scholar.

google scholar

Want To Be Considered A Scholarly Resource?

If you are an educational professional, etc. and would like the content of your site to be considered as a resource for the Google Scholar search engine, here are the content guidelines straight from the horse’s mouth that you need to consider:

Content Guidelines

  1. The content hosted on your website must consist primarily of scholarly articles – journal papers, conference papers, technical reports, or their drafts, dissertations, pre-prints, post-prints, or abstracts. Content such as news or magazine articles, book reviews, and editorials is not appropriate for Google Scholar. Documents larger than 5MB, such as books and long dissertations, should be uploaded to Google Book Search; Google Scholar automatically includes scholarly works from Google Book Search.
  2. Users click through to your website to read your articles. To be included, your website must make either the full text of the articles or their complete author-written abstracts freely available and easy to see when users click on your URLs in Google search results. Your site must not require users (or search robots) to sign in, install special software, accept disclaimers, dismiss popup or interstitial advertisements, click on links or buttons, or scroll down the page before they can read the entire abstract of the paper. Sites that show login pages, error pages, or bare bibliographic data without abstracts will not be considered for inclusion and may be removed from Google Scholar.