How to Monetize a PDF – 5 Best Methods

One of the best parts of modern-day technology is how easy it is to monetize one’s skills and services; with the internet and enough exposure, you could find yourself making more money online than at your regular job.

But it’s not enough to have those sellable and marketable skills you must also be able to provide value to people to monetize your skills.

Firstly, where can you sell your PDF?

Our favorite solution – Shopify

Finding the right platform to grow your business and sell your PDFs could make or break your business. You need an online store that allows you to build a store that you completely own, can build value on and get the most profit.

Big brands that use Shopify

The best and favourite for many is Shopify. Even big brands such as GymShark, Heinz, Victoria Beckham and even Red Bull. You can read more on brands that use Shopify here.

It’s proven to be the best all-in-one platform with the strongest security and fastest servers.

The PDF delivery workflow

To deliver the PDF files to your customers, you need this Shopify-staff-picked application to integrate with your store.

It’s easy to connect. You just go to Fileflare on Shopify’s app store and press the “Add app” button. This will install it directly onto your store.

You can follow this tutorial below to see how to upload your PDF with protection and connect your PDF to the Shopify products.

5 Best Methods to Monetize PDFs

1. Add Affiliate Links

Affiliate links are a great way to make passive income through your PDF documents. When you include affiliate links in your PDFs, remember that your readers and customers are human beings who appreciate value.

In light of this, only include affiliate links that relate to your brand and the PDF contents. You may want to inform your readers that you have affiliate links too, and that it helps you build more. People love clarity.

2. Promote other relevant PDFs with a deal

If you have any friends or colleagues who sell eBooks or PDFs, you can create a deal with them to feature their product inside yours. You can easily track sales using UTMs or discount codes, depending on what platform you use.

3. Promote your brand, product or service

Within the PDF, you can talk about your brand, product or service.

Your aim is to promote your services as part of the read, so it fits in well. When you promote your business, your customers learn more about you and your services; for example, they could find out that you have an upcoming collaboration with another business or that you have a new product or service on the way.

4. Sell ad placements

Another step in monetizing your PDFs is by placing ads or banners in them. Other relevant businesses or products would love to have exposure in this way, and they would pay a fee for this. It’s the way it works in all advertising spaces, such as magazines, online ads and TV.

5. Sell value within the PDF

The PDF should provide value and expertise. People love knowing that they have bought years’ worth of knowledge. They feel like they’re cheating and skipping loads of stepping stones ahead of their competition. In fact, in most cases, they are, but if they feel it, they know they’ve spent their money right.

Remember, people pay for convenience!


How do I make a PDF sellable?

All you need to do is save it as a standard compressed PDF file. Then, you can set up your own Shopify store and begin selling it. You can also lock the PDF file by using the Fileflare Shopify app, this will stop the users from editing the PDF and pirating it further.

Is it illegal to sell PDFs?

No, it’s not illegal at all. They are one of the best-selling digital products!

Final words

People who monetize their skills online often do so in many ways, but selling PDF documents is one of the more popular and common paths.

The thing about selling PDFs, like most other digital products, is that it’s easy to deliver to anywhere in the world. You will need to keep in mind about the digital goods OSS VAT tax, though, where you need to pay tax where your customer is based. You can learn how to set up VAT one-stop-shop tax in Shopify here.