How to make a Pdf eBook, Workbook or Checklist using Canva

 In Email Marketing, Tools, Visual Branding

If you want people to subscribe to your email list, better give them a reason to do so! They won’t subscribe because you ask them nicely. No, sadly they won’t. The trick is to give them so much value if they subscribe. So they can only get the value once they give you their email address. Bam, another new subscriber.

So how do you create that value? By offering them something they can use to solve their problem. People can have tons of different problems, so just pick one related to your niche you know your audience is struggling with. One that you can easily solve by giving them content. That content can be in the shape of an ebook, a worksheet, a checklist, or even something else entirely, like a video or audio training.



In this post, we’ll cover how to make a pdf eBook, workbook or checklist. So you will be able to create all those pdf freebies! We’re going to use a tool called Canva, which you can use for FREE and create stunning pdf documents.

Know that you don’t need ANY design skills to do this. Yay! Canva is very easy to use and has a library full of well-designed templates that you can tweak to your likes.

If you’ve never heard of Canva, you’re going to be amazed at how gorgeous all these layouts are. If on the other hand, you have heard of Canva but you were still doubting whether you should try it out, you’ll be astonished by how EASY it is to use to make a pdf. I’m telling you, it is worth trying.  And it won’t even cost you a single dollar.


How to create ebook pdf




1 Go to Canva and create a free account


2 Once you have access to your account, you will see a range of possible designs at the top. Like this:


Canva Account to Create Pdf Freebies


Now click the large “+” button on the right.


3 You’ll see a TON of options in there – you can create any kind of social media post or cover, any type of marketing material, I think they cover pretty much everything.


When you focus on creating a worksheet, guide or checklist you’ll look at “Documents”, “Blogging & eBooks”, or “Marketing Materials”. Those 3 look like this:


Canva All the Designs


4 For worksheets, I would go for US Letter for example. For checklists, look into A4, and for ebooks look at Magazine Cover.


Let’s say you’re creating an ebook and we’ll choose Magzine Cover.


Magazine Cover Canva Freebie


You can use all the pages you see on the left. I love this, because you don’t only have the cover page but you have templates for pages for the entire guide. You’ll find the multi-page pdfs to the left (below this layout) with the special corners.

There are free layouts and paid ones. You can stick with all the free layouts, but if you do prefer a paid one, you can pay 1 USD to use it for one single freebie. If you want to use it in several different ones, it will cost you more because you’ll need another license.


5 Add another page either by clicking on the “add a new page” button below your page and then clicking the layout of your choice on the left. Or you can click the small icon with the two pages right next to your page. That will duplicate your page. You can again select a layout or tweak it yourself. 


6 You can change the fonts by clicking on the line of text and choosing your preferred font.


Change Font in Canva


7 You can change the color and size in the same way too. The same goes for using bold or italic text. Sometimes two text blocks will be grouped, you can ungroup them by clicking that button on the right.


If you purchase the pro version you can upload your own font, set up your own brand colors (so you wouldn’t need to put in the html code every time).


8 When you click on the button “spacing”, you can increase or decrease the spacing between the letters, horizontally or vertically.


9 You can also copy text blocks by clicking on the button “copy”. It works the same way with images. You can copy images using that same button. And you can delete them using the delete button on your keyboard.


10 There are a lot of images in Canva to use for free, but it’s always best to check their license before using it. I personally like to use stock images I uploaded myself. You can replace any images in the pdf with an image you have uploaded, so you’re 100% sure you can use it for your goal.


Upload Images in Canva


11 In the same column on the left, you can also add text (very cool premade blocks of text) or other elements. Those will be images, icons, lines, illustrations, shapes… The shapes are very useful, to create a transparent square to accentuate a block of text for instance.


Add transparent square canva


The shape will not be transparent from the start. You can make it as transparent as you want by clicking the button on the right of “Arrange”.


12 Add a link to any block of text or shape by clicking the link button in the bar on top, on the right.


At the end of your freebie, you should definitely link to something else you’re offering that is paid. They have received the free info, they have been “nurtured”, now it’s time to introduce them to something paid. If you don’t have that yet, you can include a link to your podcast or Facebook group for instance, so you keep having a relationship with them.

When you’re done, you can click “Download” in the top bar (not visible in this image) to make a pdf! It’s as simple as that.


Set up freebie download




Have you used Canva already to create a freebie? If so, what kind of freebie? Let me know in the comments!

PS: this post does NOT include any affiliate links! I’m just recommending this tool because I love it and I know it would be very useful for you too 🙂


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Showing 18 comments
  • Allie

    This is so perfect! Pinned for later. I love canva and would love to make an ebook but wasn’t sure how. Thanks

    • Sophie

      Yay, great! Glad you liked it 🙂

  • Heidi

    This is great! I am already subscribed to the premium subscription at Canva because I use it daily! I will save this when I need to create a PDF! 🙂

  • Shikha Pathak Pandey

    Very interesting 🙂 Thank you for the tips!

  • Kat

    Great tips and ideas! I haven’t used Canva before, but will have to take a look at it now!

    • Sophie

      Thanks! Yes, Canva is amazing for all kinds of visuals!

  • Erin / Sincerely, Erin xoxo

    Really great tutorial!! I’m sure that any new bloggers will find it extremely helpful!

    • Sophie

      Thanks so much Erin! I hope they will!

  • Sara @ Magical Mama Blog

    I adore using Canva for my blog! Thanks for reminding me of the features outside of creating pinnable images!

    • Sophie

      Me too! Thank you for reading 🙂

  • Whit

    I love LOVE LOVE Canva! They have so many user friendly templates!


    • Sophie

      Me too, they do right!! SO happy Canva exists! 🙂

  • Racheal blackmore

    That’s awesome! Glad I found your blog. I love it!

    • Sophie

      Yay that makes me happy!! Thanks!

  • Jen

    Wow! This was honestly SO helpful! I just tackled my first freebie over the weekend and it was a struggle. I’ll need to use Canva for my next one, I’ll be pinning this post for sure!

  • chel

    This is great I love canva for making my freebies!

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