When working on paid content, make the most of your hard work by creating with longevity in mind. Sponsored content that can withstand the test of time provides added value to the brand while making your blog an attractive spot for other brands and for readers.
By delivering top-notch, engaging evergreen content!
What does “evergreen” mean?
We define evergreen as: “Content you create that’s timeless. It stays relevant–maybe with a refresh or update every so often–versus time-bound content that’s usefulness has an expiration date (like, announcing an upcoming event).”
Of course, that means not all sponsored content can be evergreen. Sometimes the nature of your paid gig just isn’t timeless. For instance, if you’re hired to write a series of blog posts that promote a pet adoption event at your local shelter or a sale at your nearest pet-supply store, those pieces of sponsored content are time-bound.
But, when the assignment lends itself to being timeless, strive to write an evergreen post.
Why create evergreen sponsored content?
It takes additional effort (that’s not a bad thing!) to create a campaign post that remains relevant after the campaign ends. That extra effort pays off for three reasons:
- Earn long-term traffic: Focus on keywords that will stay relevant. For instance, on a pet food campaign, integrate search terms like all-natural cat food or grain-free dog food that will drive long-term traffic. Pro tip: Break up the sections of your post into key phrases that you can imagine someone using in Google, like “What should I feed my fish?” or “What’s the best litter for my cat?” Then, answer those Qs while hitting on the brand’s requirements. (Learn more about keyword research with this post.)
- Build an audience: High-quality work keeps readers coming back for more. Sponsored posts that copy/paste the content starter kit bullet points are obvious to savvy blog readers. Same goes for posts that are thrown together last-minute. But, top-notch, quality posts that share the brand’s message and are helpful, useful, or entertaining to your readers will keep them coming back to read your updates. (Learn more about sponsored post pitfalls to avoid.)
- Impress the brand: A brand that continues to gain traffic from your blog long after the campaign has ended will be a happy brand! Plus, if they see a continued ROI–Return on Investment–from you, they’re more likely to hire you again. A win-win for everyone! (Learn more about how to impress brands with paid content.)
So, how do you write evergreen sponsored content?
First, meet the brand’s baseline expectations. Of course you have to adhere to all the brand’s requirements for the paid post. However, don’t just regurgitate the information they provide to you. Find your own unique spin!
Then, tell your story. We’ve talked a lot about the importance of storytelling, and that’s just as–if not more so–important when creating paid content. Readers are smart. They can see through a copied-and-pasted press release and will click off to find a more interesting blog to read. Write in your voice. Be authentic. And weave a story that tells the brand’s story.
Finally, edit for longevity. Can you incorporate better keywords? Are there images you can add that will create engaging social shares? Can you engage your readers by sprinkling in questions they’ll be compelled to answer in the comments? Step back from your post and consider its content as if you’re reading it a month, six months, and a year from now. How can you make small tweaks–while still meeting the brand’s requirements–to keep it relevant?
Once all that’s done, celebrate! Then be sure to schedule it in your social calendar for shares throughout the year ahead, not just the lifespan of the campaign!
One last tip: Create a digital portfolio (I use a Pinterest board for mine) to house your best paid work. Then, when brands or agencies reach out about sponsorship opportunities, or when you’re filling out the application for a BlogPaws campaign, you have solid examples of the quality work you produce. Plus, with evergreen sponsored content, you can demonstrate–either with actual numbers or with percentage points–how much traffic the paid content continues to receive. That’s an awesome way to show the value in what you do!
How do you create evergreen sponsored content? What steps do you take to ensure your content isn’t just one-and-done?
Maggie Marton serves as the BlogPaws senior editor. When not hiking with her two pit mixes, Emmett and Cooper, or playing with Newt the Cat, Maggie writes about them (and the pet industry) at ohmydogblog.com and maggiemarton.com.