How long does it take you to make a 25 page PDF report?

by chadim
37 replies
I have a goal to finish a 25-30 page PDF report by next Friday on a method that's making me money. The problem is, I've never written a report before and I'm finding the task to be a bit daunting. My original goal was to finish this report by the middle of this month, but I've been putting it off and finding other ways to keep myself busy. I get so frustrated with myself for my continued procrastination.

I've written reports back in College several years ago, and I guess I subconsciously recall how arduous and draining those were(even though I did well). I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so I tend to waste alot of time making sure everything reads to perfection(to me, at least). I'm probably approaching this the wrong way, so I thought I'd ask...

what's your strategy for pumping out PDF reports and how long does it usually take you?

I'd just as soon make some videos instead of the report, but have never done that before either and have no idea where to start. I'm not a newbie to IM, just a newbie in this regard. Anyway...NEWBIE PROBLEMS!

Please share what's working for you. Thanks.

Chad
#long #make #page #pdf #report
  • Profile picture of the author jamesrich1
    I can write a 25 page PDF in a day. I use dragon software and just zone in until its finished.
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  • Profile picture of the author WriterWahm
    It really depends on the amount of research needed. If I am done with research and have read all the materials I intend to read, then it takes me about 2-3 days to write. Would have been less but I'm a mom so that comes first.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michelle Stevens
    Yes I was just about to suggest using speech recognition software to speed up the job.

    I don't have Dragon Naturally Speaking myself, but hear it's very good. I've been using Windows speech recognition software and it works just fine.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ron Killian
    I think that would be difficult to answer, as we don't know you and every one is different. One of the best ways to write it to write first and correct later. When you correct as you go, you really slow yourself down. When you just write you have a better chance of getting it all out at once.

    I've even heard of people turning their monitors off, so they don't have the distraction of correcting as they go. Though, not sure how that is possible

    For video's you need a screen capture program, like camtasia, and a microphone or head set. Here again, it depends. If your a good speaker and you can make it through without making mistakes, it shouldn't take long.

    Guess I am not much help, but hard to answer your question.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Hill
    Here's what you gotta do:

    1. Start your writing project by writing a summation of what your book is about in a few short paragraphs.

    2. Put together your table of contents from start to finish

    3. Start by writing each chapter. Don't be bothered by the chapters you have left just concentrate on one chapter at a time until it's finished, then move to the next one.

    4. Don't think you have to write the book from start to finish, in sequential order. What I do is list my table of contents titles and start where it's easiest. After you are done you can go back and edit to make each chapter flow smoothly into the next.

    5. Don't think you have to be a perfect writer. Just write how you speak and would explain something to a friend sitting right there beside you.

    6. Write in short bursts... Give yourself 30 minute to 1 hour writing blocks and do nothing but that for the entire time. Then take a break. This will help considerably with procrastination.

    Hope this helps you.
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    • Profile picture of the author HeySal
      Originally Posted by Mike Hill View Post

      Here's what you gotta do:

      1. Start your writing project by writing a summation of what your book is about in a few short paragraphs.

      2. Put together your table of contents from start to finish

      3. Start by writing each chapter. Don't be bothered by the chapters you have left just concentrate on one chapter at a time until it's finished, then move to the next one.

      4. Don't think you have to write the book from start to finish, in sequential order. What I do is list my table of contents titles and start where it's easiest. After you are done you can go back and edit to make each chapter flow smoothly into the next.

      5. Don't think you have to be a perfect writer. Just write how you speak and would explain something to a friend sitting right there beside you.

      6. Write in short bursts... Give yourself 30 minute to 1 hour writing blocks and do nothing but that for the entire time. Then take a break. This will help considerably with procrastination.

      Hope this helps you.
      Interesting. I do my table of contents last. But then I really don't ever use an outline either. I know what I need to say - once in awhile I change the order of the chapters to make the work flow better - then when I'm done I put the TOC together. LOL

      If you (OP) are at the level you needed this kind of advice, you might consider this project will take you a tad bit of time. I usually spend a week on the writing 40 - 80 pages. But I don't sit for 12 hours at a time either - I get up and eat, clean house, go outside, walk the dog, yadda yadda. I've compiled books from College courses I took and subjects I've done long term study on so the research is a whole new creature in itself. On just the writing, I've spent a month on one, 3 days on another and all sorts of times in between. Just depends on where your head is on the particular subject and how intricate it is. The writing itself will depend on your own style of doing things. If you are new at it, you might spend 4 times as long as any amount of time we say it will.

      Don't worry about how long it will take - just do it. It will take however long it takes. The bottom line is that as long as you are working on it, it will get done. The more time you spend worrying about it instead of doing it - well.....that's time wasted.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
        Am I outsourcing or writing it myself? :p

        It depends on the topic.

        The actual writing goes much quicker if I've spent a couple of days researching the topic first.

        I think the actual writing of 25 pages can easily be knocked out in a day (3-5 hours) if you are well rehearsed on the topic.

        Oh, btw - outsourcing can take longer to get done. lol
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  • Profile picture of the author Tadresources
    Procrastination can be my worst enemy! I can get a 25 page PDF done in less than 2 days if I buckle down and just do it, but like you, I'm the master of putting it off and finding more "important" things to do. lol
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  • Profile picture of the author Ben Gordon
    It takes me anywhere from 5 hours to 50 hours of work to create a 25-30 page report. It depends on whether I am knowledgeable in the niche.

    This is how I tend to create my reports:
    1. Create an outline of the main things I want to talk about
    2. Write whatever's on my head about the specific topic in the outline
    3. Shorten the text and take out all the fluff
    4. Proofread it
    5. Have a friend proofread it
    6. Outsource proofreading
    Once it's been proofread by me, a friend and an outsourced professional, my report is complete. I could honestly write a report that I am knowledgeable on in five hours; however, it may take longer if I want to create a report on a niche I have no clue about.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan Joseph
    Hi Chad,

    This is what I've done and what I can suggest:

    1) Map out the content first - in an organized fashion or outline.
    2) Begin writing. Or hire an outsourcer. There are some very talented people on odesk.
    3) Be sure to keep the content simple and direct.
    4) Proof-read it, have others proof-read it and give you feedback.
    5) Be sure to gather up a list of people who are interested first. Offer them good information via video or articles first before you ever try to sell your pdf.

    All the best!
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  • Profile picture of the author chadim
    Wow, lots of great advice here! Thanks everyone

    I like the advice to about writing sections instead of writing from start to finish. I think that will really help me. Regarding the outline...how do you typically set yours up? Do you simply think about all the various sections in your report and then write a few blurbs or point form under each section? Sorry if I'm asking stupid questions, just wondering how long I should take to get my outline together and then start writing.

    The PDF report is basically about a method that I've used to make a few hundred dollars per month with SEO. I wanted to price the report at about $7. I have no idea how long it should really be, but I figured at least 25 pages would make it a little more valuable.

    Chad
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Hill
      Originally Posted by chadim View Post

      Wow, lots of great advice here! Thanks everyone

      I like the advice to about writing sections instead of writing from start to finish. I think that will really help me. Regarding the outline...how do you typically set yours up? Do you simply think about all the various sections in your report and then write a few blurbs or point form under each section? Sorry if I'm asking stupid questions, just wondering how long I should take to get my outline together and then start writing.

      The PDF report is basically about a method that I've used to make a few hundred dollars per month with SEO. I wanted to price the report at about $7. I have no idea how long it should really be, but I figured at least 25 pages would make it a little more valuable.

      Chad


      Try not to set a certain number of pages, you'll end up with a lot of fluff in there.

      Here's a simple way to lay out your book... The type in Italics are just footnotes for you so I can explain what you might want to include in those chapters.

      1) Introduction (About how you found this method)
      2) The Method (The overall concept - Big Picture)
      3) The Method Step-By-Step (Setting it up)
      4) Lessons Learned (Things the reader should watch out for. Things you did wrong and right to make this work for you)
      5) Conclusion
      6) Get The Videos (Upgrade Offer. Offer the videos so your customers can watch step-by-step the methods you have described completely in your book. Sell the videos as a compliment to your book and charge a few bucks, nothing outrageous. Like maybe $6 - $10 or so)


      Of course if your method invloves several complex steps you can break those down into individual chapters. I've just outlined a very basic guide that will eliminate the fluff and get you straight to the point of each chapter.
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      • Profile picture of the author chadim
        Originally Posted by Mike Hill View Post

        Try not to set a certain number of pages, you'll end up with a lot of fluff in there.

        Here's a simple way to lay out your book... The type in Italics are just footnotes for you so I can explain what you might want to include in those chapters.

        1) Introduction (About how you found this method)
        2) The Method (The overall concept - Big Picture)
        3) The Method Step-By-Step (Setting it up)
        4) Lessons Learned (Things the reader should watch out for. Things you did wrong and right to make this work for you)
        5) Conclusion
        6) Get The Videos (Upgrade Offer. Offer the videos so your customers can watch step-by-step the methods you have described completely in your book. Sell the videos as a compliment to your book and charge a few bucks, nothing outrageous. Like maybe $6 - $10 or so)


        Of course if your method invloves several complex steps you can break those down into individual chapters. I've just outlined a very basic guide that will eliminate the fluff and get you straight to the point of each chapter.
        Hey Mike,

        Thanks for that breakdown...awesome! The last step, "Get The Videos" has me scratching my head a bit. I've never created a vid before, so I'm like a deer in the headlights on that one. I also tend to ramble a bit, so the thought of it makes me a bit nervous as well. Any recommendations on how to approach this? Also, if my method is SEO and some of the steps are pretty basic like Keyword research, Getting domain, hosting, etc...should I still include these steps?

        Thanks again, I really appreciate everyone's taking the time to read this post. I'm sure it will help many others as well

        Chad
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Hill
          Originally Posted by chadim View Post

          Hey Mike,

          Thanks for that breakdown...awesome! The last step, "Get The Videos" has me scratching my head a bit. I've never created a vid before, so I'm like a deer in the headlights on that one. I also tend to ramble a bit, so the thought of it makes me a bit nervous as well. Any recommendations on how to approach this? Also, if my method is SEO and some of the steps are pretty basic like Keyword research, Getting domain, hosting, etc...should I still include these steps?

          Thanks again, I really appreciate everyone's taking the time to read this post. I'm sure it will help many others as well

          Chad
          As far as the videos go, you won't be in them, rather you will be recording your computer screen using a software called Camtasia Studio or an equivalent. You will just be narrating...

          If you get nervous just keep recording videos, don't worry about it, have some foot notes and just go for it.

          For the beginner type stuff include it in your book, there are still a lot of people who don't know how to do these things. Just create an additional chapter right at the front called The Basics... or something like that where you can show and explain how to get a domain name, keyword research etc...
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  • Profile picture of the author StunningWarrior
    Originally Posted by chadim View Post

    I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so I tend to waste alot of time making sure everything reads to perfection(to me, at least).
    STOP THIS NOW

    Sorry to be so blunt but perfectionism will kill your business. There is never enough time to be get things perfect. If you want to pursue perfectionism become an artist. If not, accept that you will never produce something that is perfect.

    I'm not trying to offend you. I am genuinely trying to help. This is something that really impeded me for years until I finally accepted that I had to lose the habit.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zesh
    If you firstly plan yourself before anything else you will able to write the report much better.

    Here is what I do.

    Write down the main points I am going to discuss - the points are in bullet form.

    I then break it down into the main topics I intend to cover..

    Introduction.

    Middle

    Ending

    In the middle of the report I know I am going to discuss the tactics,and my strategies.

    Its not the quantity but the quality of the product you present to your audience.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Franklin
    For 25 pages, it should take you 1-2 days....

    Let me suggest that you don't worry about making it perfect....Also, don't focus on the number of pages. Just make sure that you cover all of the bases. Read it from the perspective of the end user and think about what possible questions they may bring up after reading the report. Think about giving them a complete, step-by-step report so that they could follow it from start to finish and emulate what you have laid out.

    Before it is finalized and published, always give at least 3-5 Warriors on here some free review copies and ask for their input and if they had any unanswered questions after reading the report. If so, go back and add that information to the report.

    Good luck!

    Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author jenki1
      It should take about a day or two for completion.

      Yes there is some great information here that should aid you in completing your project.

      Check out all the information on the posts and write down all the bits that you think are the ones that will help you most.

      Put them in the order you think are the priority for writing your book and go from there.

      How about writing an ebook using all the information above on "how to organise writing your own ebook"

      All the best
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Mike is giving you some stellar advice here, so I'm just going to advise you to scroll up and re-read it.

        As for the question posed in your subject line, it depends on how familiar I am with the subject, and how motivated I am to finish the project. For something I'm interested in and knowledgeable about, it probably takes me a couple of days of actual work spread out over a coupe of calendar weeks.

        The extra time is spent letting what I've done in the first draft percolate, which usually leads to a shorter second draft. Then another cooling off period before final editing and proof reading, so that I can read what's really there as opposed to what is supposed to be there.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Hill
          Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

          Then another cooling off period before final editing and proof reading, so that I can read what's really there as opposed to what is supposed to be there.
          LOL... how many times have we all done that? We get so versed in a topic that we keep thinking about something and mean to put it in the product but, God damit it doesn't make it... LOL

          "I thought I put it in there... it's gotta be here somewhere... could have sworn I put it in here... Let's do a search... A crap, I didn't put it in there!"...

          Thank God for proof reading.. LOL
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          • Profile picture of the author AshleyB
            A 25 page PDF would take me 1-2 days depending on the topic.

            I always do an outline or mindmap first, as many others have suggested.

            Then, I choose the hardest sections to write first, lick the frog, or whatever it's called.

            After the hardest has been finished, the rest will be easy.

            Have a reward scheduled for when you finish. If an alcoholic beverage is your reward, do not proofread while partaking.
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  • Profile picture of the author tunity
    Why write a 25 page report when a 10 page can do the trick.

    I recently wrote a 10 page report. took me less than 2 hours to do.
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  • Profile picture of the author gentryliving
    It depends on your capacity to do it. If you know what you are doing then it won't take much time for you to do it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Hill
      Originally Posted by gentryliving View Post

      It depends on your capacity to do it. If you know what you are doing then it won't take much time for you to do it.

      What the hell kind of post is that?

      If you knew how to post a better response then you'd receive a better response...
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    • Profile picture of the author Kal Sallam
      Originally Posted by gentryliving View Post

      It depends on your capacity to do it. If you know what you are doing then it won't take much time for you to do it.
      Wow really? lmao! sorry I couldn't resist
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  • Profile picture of the author gareth
    I'm making one this weekend oddly enough to put on kindle.

    I'll have all of the text done today and full illustrations and layout by tomorrow. But I did spend a couple of days on it previously.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    I could write a 25 page PDF report in a matter of hours. I'm a prolific writer, and whenever I need to come up with a new product or lead generation magnet... i can easily create one within a day.
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  • Profile picture of the author arie_ds
    My only suggestion for you is to stay focus. For ex. stay in front of your computer, open the folder of your project, open the document. Dont get distracted with other else. And then, state in your mind "step-by-step" goal, and also put your timeframe. At least, that worked for me if when I am doing the most tedious job in the world, writing paper!
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  • I need 3 days maximum to complete a 25-page PDF report. In fact, it may be completed with in a single day, if the topic is your "cup of tea".

    Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Noel Cunningham
    Originally Posted by chadim View Post

    I have a goal to finish a 25-30 page PDF report by next Friday on a method that's making me money. The problem is, I've never written a report before and I'm finding the task to be a bit daunting. My original goal was to finish this report by the middle of this month, but I've been putting it off and finding other ways to keep myself busy. I get so frustrated with myself for my continued procrastination.

    I've written reports back in College several years ago, and I guess I subconsciously recall how arduous and draining those were(even though I did well). I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so I tend to waste alot of time making sure everything reads to perfection(to me, at least). I'm probably approaching this the wrong way, so I thought I'd ask...

    what's your strategy for pumping out PDF reports and how long does it usually take you?

    I'd just as soon make some videos instead of the report, but have never done that before either and have no idea where to start. I'm not a newbie to IM, just a newbie in this regard. Anyway...NEWBIE PROBLEMS!

    Please share what's working for you. Thanks.

    Chad
    Hi Chad,

    You could blast out 25 pages in no time at all. Key is to be organized before you begin... Plan out your TOC and know what you're talking about in each chapter.

    Depending on font size and formatting you make only need 200 words per page so it is VERY achievable once you have you plan and TOC laid out.

    I found writing these hot reports difficult at first because I too was used to writing 20,000 papers at college but that's not what the market wants here. There want concise, no fluff info that will answer their questions so 25 pages is perfect

    Best of luck with it - Noel.
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  • Profile picture of the author shaynjordan
    Hey, I am being nosy. Did you get your PDF done?
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  • Profile picture of the author PhilippaWrites
    As others have said, break it down into smaller sections. It's not surprising that you feel overwhelmed at the thought of writing 25 pages. But when you have 12 different chapter-type headings, then writing 2 pages on each topic is much less scary.
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  • Profile picture of the author manicmethods
    I spend 1 hour marking it all up. Writing what each page will be/what each chapter will contain. So when it comes to writing, I know what goes where. I then would spend probably 4-5hrs writing the guide and then an 1hr making it look nice - Graphics, styling, font and so on.
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  • Profile picture of the author savvybizbuilder
    Depends upon the information you have to arrange on your report, if its not that long you can finish it within 3 days if you can get your head around it. Stay focus.
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  • Profile picture of the author Entrecon
    You really want to follow a lot of the other advice here. The key is to stay focused. Sometimes it is good to just start writing, but you will also find yourself rambling. Make sure you fully understand your topic and know what you want to convey. A good outline will do wonders. Also, as has been mentioned, don't focus on the length. If you write a 25 page paper like you did in college you will probably end up with a 50 page eBook! By the time you add a cover page, table of contents, section headings with page breaks, graphics, and a readable font it increases the length substantially.
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  • Profile picture of the author Harvey M
    Set aside time each day to do it. Personally, I write for 30 minutes in the morning everyday. Was up to about 47 pages after week 1 with a little more time on the weekend.
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  • Profile picture of the author CBGCash
    You can use CAmtasia and record yourself in a few hours max. It's a lot quicker than writing a 25 page pdf.
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