You might have heard the term evergreen content in regards to blog content. What does it mean? Well, picture an evergreen tree that stays green all year. Likewise, evergreen content will still be relevant in several years.
An evergreen link is a URL that doesn't need to be updated because it points to another URL that is more easily updated. Some people refer to these as permanent links.
Let me give you an example.
My book WAR: Retaliation, Book 4 in my WAR series, is coming out later this year. It's available for preorder at some retailers, but not all.
There's no issue with putting a link in the back of Book 3 to the preorder page for the appropriate retailer.
But how do I keep in touch with the reader who finishes Book 3 and wants to buy Book 4, but their preferred retailer doesn't have it on preorder?
I use an evergreen link!
Until the book goes live at that retailer, this is the process:
A reader clicks on link in the back of Book 3. This is an evergreen link: MynewbookEVERGREEN.com.
The reader gets taken to: mynewbookWEBSITE.com, which is the book's page on my website. Here the reader can sign up for my newsletter to be notified when the book goes live at their preferred retailer.
Once the book is live at all retailers, I will need to update the link.
Instead of going into Book 3 to update the link, and then having to upload the ebook file again to the retailer, I will just update the associated link in the dashboard of my link creator.
The evergreen link in the back of Book 3 remains the same: MynewbookEVERGREEN.com
But now when a reader clicks, they are taken to: mynewbookRETAILER.com, which is the book's sales page at that retailer.
To create an evergreen link you will need to either use a WordPress.org plugin or a link shortener. I will cover those options in upcoming posts.
Because the evergreen link itself doesn't change, it can be used any place you want a permanent link.
For example, if you use generic text on a bookmark or business card that says "Check out my latest release" you can put an evergreen link on the printed stock. That way, you don't have to reprint the item when data changes, just update the destination link.
Use Evergreen links for all of your books in the Also By lists in the back of your ebooks. That way, if the URL for that book changes, you don't have to go into every single Also By list and update the link. You just make the changes in your evergreen link dashboard.
Some reasons why the URL might change on older books:
1. You change the book's title
2. You switch from going through Draft 2 Digital or Smashwords to going direct. This will change your URL because your book will get a new retailer ID number.
3. A retailer changes how they name their URLs.
With evergreen links, there's no more having to re-upload books to retailers each time you change a URL!
You can also use an evergreen link if you might change your website address, say from WordPress.com or Blogger to a self-hosted, custom domain name.
Put evergreen links in social media or blog posts so that if someone comes across an old post they'll still get directed to the latest information.
An evergreen link is what you use when you want to point to a URL that you know will change or has the potential to change.
As often as necessary, you can update the URL that your evergreen link points to by simply going to your dashboard.
Thus avoiding having to locate every place you used the link and making the update at that individual site.
I'll talk about how to use the Redirection plugin at WordPress.org to create your evergreen links.
Until then, Happy Writing!