Pdf-Maker & an Easy Free Autoresponder Service

People ask me all the time how I create pdfs. I use InDesign, myself, because I create ebooks and print books for people, but it’s an expensive application most people don’t need.

I had thought it was pretty common knowledge that you can save a Word doc to print and choose save as pdf and make one that way. There are freebie pdf-makers online if you google ‘how to make pdfs’.

I learned recently that at openoffice.com there are resources for pdf-making there. They also have a plain-text doc application, which is important to use if you’re writing web copy (if you use Word to pre-write your copy, the underlying code in Word corrupts your website html code and you get those nasty black diamond-shaped symbols where punctuation would be).

I also found out about a free service (they also have for-fee upgrades) you can use if you’re just starting out and can’t swing 1shoppingcart.com or even aweber.com’s services.

You may have already heard of it before, but I had not: MailChimp.com. You can email up to 12,000 people at once and set up a slew of auto-responders for free. A very, very good deal.

I’ve been going through it to see how easy and simple it is – simple is my keyword – and it is, indeed, very simple. Easy…well, maybe an 8 out of 10. They have very good video tutorials,  but I was annoyed that the tutorial was one of those dark window things imposed over the page I was working on so I couldn’t hit pause and do as she did in the video. So I opened a new window in which to watch the tutorial, and that worked great.

So if you need an auto-responder and you’re just starting out and don’t want to pay those the wazoo, it’s a very good way to go.

A word of caution: be crystal clear that you need to set it up in a clear, organized fashion. Because your list will grow over time, and if you have this list and that list connected to this site and that product, when one day you want to move your list to a bigger-capacity service, it’s going to be an absolute nightmare that takes ten times the time and energy you would have spent if you were well-organized.

Granted, by then you’ll probably have people who can do that for you, but you’re still paying them for the time!