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Common Types of Paid Content

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Have you ever wondered where your articles land on the content spectrum–and which type pays better?

I’m about to share a diagram that has helped a lot of people understand the many different kinds of content.

You see, most paid content done by freelancers is either a form of brand journalism or sponsored content. Labeling it will help you know how to write it and where to publish it.

Really, I see client articles on this continuum in relation to how much branding and selling that is being done. Is it done blatantly and hard to miss? Then it goes on the right near the Sales-Centric area. 

Is it done in the manner of purely objective reporting and honest news? Then it goes on the left near the No-Selling area. 

So most content falls in between. I think the best content is transparent about what it is (an opinion piece, sponsored post, advertorial, etc) and it’s story-driven.

Those two combined, plus a customer-centric agenda is pretty much the definition of Brand Journalism.

But let’s say all that’s news to you. We can step back a moment then and just say this:

Most readers don’t like ads, they often block them online, and they get too many of them.

What if we acknowledge that as writers?

So to get our client results and serve the reader first, the natural progression to content-as-edutainment arises. 

What sells and gets attention are stories. We’re biologically wired for them, and nothing gets us going like a reeling narrative according to the neuroeconomist Paul Zak.  

So within this content type continuum is an opportunity to make everyone happy: the writer, the reader, and the client. There’s an opportunity to be ethical and transparent. And there’s an opportunity to capture the minds of readers and transform them.

This is why people gravitate towards Brand Journalism.!

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