Evergreen Links for Authors – Part 1: What Are They and How Will They Save You Time? by Vanessa Kier
Let’s welcome back monthly columnist, Vanessa Kier as she shares with us “Evergreen Links for Authors – Part 1: What Are They and How Will They Save You Time?” Enjoy!
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No matter if you’re a fiction author, a blogger, or a non-fiction author, we can all use more time. In this first of a two-part article, I’m going to show you what evergreen links are and how they can save you time.
What Are Evergreen Links?
Like an evergreen tree that stays green all year round, an evergreen link remains relevant forever. This is possible because an evergreen link has two parts. The first part, the source URL, is the URL that people click on. The second part is the destination URL. You update the destination URL as needed so that the source URL always points to the site with the most relevant information.
Some people refer to these as permanent links.
Why Use An Evergreen Link?
The advantage of an evergreen link is that it can be used in multiple locations. If the destination URL changes, you only have to go into your evergreen link dashboard and change the information once instead of updating every location where you used that link. Not only is this a huge time saver, but if you’ve used the evergreen link on printed marketing materials or you’ve paid for a social media graphic that uses the link, you don’t have to pay for reprints or an updated design.
Use evergreen links any time you know information affecting your URL is going to change. Such as, you’re planning someday to break each book out onto its own web page on your site, which will mean a unique URL, but for now they’re all on one page. You don’t want to have to update every link to every book once their individual pages are ready.
Or you plan to eventually move your blog to a branded domain name and don’t want to go hunting for every place where you mentioned a blog post so you can redirect it to the new URL.
Evergreen links also future proof your links against unexpected changes. For example, sometimes retailers change the structure of their URLs. Having an evergreen link makes it simpler to update all your links to reflect this. Also, if you ever move from using a third-party distributor such as Draft2Digital to uploading your books direct to a retailer, the book will be assigned a new retailer ID. This means your URLs will now include the new ID.
Where Do You Put Evergreen Links?
I use evergreen links everywhere possible. Here are places to consider putting evergreen links.
On printed marketing materials, such as bookmarks or business cards. If the text says “Check out my latest release” and you use an evergreen link, then you simply update the destination URL every time you have a new release. There’s no need to reprint the item.
In blog posts you make on other people’s sites, so that if something changes with a URL you don’t have to worry that future readers of an old post you made will end up at the wrong place.
In ebooks. For me, this is one of the biggest advantages. Once I’ve placed a link in an ebook, as long as it’s an evergreen link, I can update all of my ebooks from my evergreen link dashboard.
How an Evergreen Link Works
So, how exactly does this work?
Let’s take one of my books as an example. WAR: Retaliation, Book 4 in my WAR series, is coming out later this year. It’s available for pre-order at some retailers, but not all.
There’s no issue with putting a link in the back of Book 3 to the pre-order page at the appropriate retailers. Or in adding this link to my Also By page in all of my ebook files. This pre-order URL will remain the same when the book goes live.
But how do I keep in touch with the reader who finishes Book 3 and wants to buy Book 4, yet their preferred retailer doesn’t have it on pre-order?
I use an evergreen link!
Let’s use Amazon as an example. Before the book goes live at Amazon, this is the process:
I put an evergreen link in the back of Book 3 and in the Also By lists in all of my ebooks: MynewbookEVERGREEN.com.
The reader who clicks on that link is taken to the book’s page on my website: mynewbookWEBSITE.com. Here the reader can sign up for my newsletter to be notified when the book goes live at Amazon.
Once the book is live at Amazon, I will need to update the link.
Instead of going into all ebook files to update the link, and then having to re-upload the files to the retailers, I will simply update the associated links in the dashboard of my link creator.
The evergreen link remains the same: MynewbookEVERGREEN.com
But now when a reader clicks, they are taken to mynewbookAMAZON.com, my book’s sales page on Amazon.
It’s that quick and easy.
Because the first part of an evergreen link, the source URL, doesn’t change, an evergreen link can be used any place you want a permanent link. Whenever the destination URL changes, you only have to make the update in your evergreen link dashboard, instead of locating every place you used that link and changing the URL. This is a huge time saver!
In the second part of this article, I’ll talk about three free tools you can use to create your evergreen links.
So, what do you think? Do you plan to start using evergreen links? Are you already using them? Let me know.
Until next time, Happy Writing!
Do you prefer to watch a video on this? Here’s the link to my video on YouTube:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vanessa Kier combined her love of teaching and her fascination with technology to form The Writer’s Tech Stop https://thewriterstechstop.com, where writers can get coaching, classes, and services related to Scrivener and other writer-related tech. She also writes action-packed romantic thrillers with an edge. https://www.vanessakier.com. When not working, she likes to take long hikes in the local hills, play puzzle games on her mobile device, and read.