Danger: 5 Reasons You Need to Make Your Content Evergreen

By: | November 13, 2016 | Tags: , , , , | 42 comments

5 Reasons #bloggers should write evergreen content when #blogging. Click to see whyYou have a dilemma.

The holidays are coming. Should you write about them?

I predict people will be looking for blogs to read about the holidays in the upcoming days.

Should you start scheduling posts about yuletide memories?

If you write about your experiences with Christmas ham, Hanukkah latkes, or Kwanzaa celebrations, you currently have a built-in audience, so should you immediately get to work blogging about the holidays?

No!

The reason is simple. Writing about the holidays is not considered “evergreen content,” and evergreen content is good for your blog.

This post will define evergreen content, offer examples of evergreen content, offer you five powerful reasons to publish this type of content, and explain why putting content that isn’t evergreen on your blog is a mistake.

What is Evergreen Content?

Evergreen is the name for content that is relevant all year round. The term comes from a Christmas tree. If the tree is evergreen, it will stay fresh.

Therefore, you will want to blog about topics that are always relevant, always timely. This way you can continue to get traffic to these older posts all year round.

Examples of Evergreen Content

My post How to Create Blog Content Your Readers Will Love– Guaranteed! offers 12 examples of evergreen content.

The list includes

Interviews about topics that will always be timely. When I interviewed Eric Schlehein about how he managed to get 3,000 blog subscribers in a matter of months, I felt my readers would always consider how to grow their blog subscriber lists valuable information.

Expert Roundup Interviews ask a question that will always be relevant. In my roundup post about productivity,  I asked 16 blogging experts how they have time to balance blogging and life. People become busier as time goes on, so I figured the experts’ answers would always be relevant.

Case Studies I often use myself as the case, but not always. How to Make 1,406 People Look at Your Site in 1 Day  details the steps I followed to get massive traffic to my blog in less than one day.

Mistakes Posts People love mistakes posts; they are definitely a popular form of content. However, your post is only evergreen if the content will always be valuable. For example, if you mention a mistake is not saving your work when editing, and then down the road your changes get saved automatically, your information became obsolete and was no longer relevant to your readers.

Guests Posts If the guests are authorities in areas that will always be of interest to your readers, then guest posts are a valuable form of evergreen content. Richard Schulte’s guest post, How You Can Immediately Overcome Writer’s Block [37 Ways], is a great example. I felt bloggers and other writers would always suffer from writer’s block in varying degrees, so this was a good topic for a guest post. Overcoming writer’s block is definitely evergreen.

Reviews if your review of a product, website, or service will always be relevant. Again, since blogging tips will always be relevant on a blogging tips site, I felt reviewing a book explaining how to get your blog post to go viral was always going to be interesting to readers and enable me to get future traffic to the post.

Resources 71 Awesome Tips That Will Make Your Blog Successful contains blogging tips from veteran and new bloggers for bloggers of all experience levels.

Tutorials It was hard to find a tutorial that was evergreen. Most of my tutorials explain how you can use technology that might one day be obsolete. However, my guest author wrote a tutorial explaining how to increase your blog promotion through influencer outreach. That should always be relevant since it doesn’t depend on technology that could one day be outdated.

Debates Readers love to take part in a good debate. In Are High Page Views the Greatest Thing in the World? I was outnumbered!

Question/Answer Posts As long as the questions you’re answering don’t relate to technology, this format has great potential for evergreen content. I had such a favorable response from my Blog Like an Expert post, I turned it into a series!

If you click the other links in this section, you will see additional examples.

Examples of Non-Evergreen Content

Holidays are over and people move on to other topics of interest. Your goal is to find topics that will always be interesting.

Technology changes and improves. Both of these will be obsolete, old hat, one day.

Other examples include

Seasonal Posts I was quite proud of my post 5 Reasons You Should Get Out of the House. I was a new blogger when I wrote a sensory description of the holiday season. However, the post is not relevant the rest of the year, so I can’t promote it in hopes of winning new traffic.

Interviews I interviewed a former police officer about an incident that was considered racist. As a former news blogger, I felt like I’d scooped a story. However, racism may not always be in the forefront of the news and therefore of lackluster interest.

Expert Roundup Interviews My latest roundup post asked blogging and social media experts if Pinterest is worth our time. However, social media sites come and go, and Pinterest may not always be around. Additionally, even if they are, the site may once again change its algorithms, and the answers could become obsolete.

Case Studies I often use myself as the case, but not always. In my article How to Be a Powerful Blogging Influencer with Klout, I traced my steps. I started with a Klout score in the 40’s and ended with a Klout score in the 60’s. However, people don’t seem to care as much about a person’s Klout score as they used to.

Mistakes Posts People love mistakes posts; they are definitely a popular form of content. However, your post is only evergreen if the content will always be valuable. For example, if you mention a mistake is not saving your work when editing, and then down the road your changes get saved automatically, your information became obsolete and was no longer relevant to your readers.  In his guest post This is How to Prevent WordPress Hacking [7 Easy Tips], David Attard mentions plug-ins that might not always be needed or available.

Guests Posts My guest author Jordan Dumer wrote a post explaining how he got 40,000 page views from StumbleUpon in a year! However, StumbleUpon may go the way of MySpace and become obsolete one day. The site’s algorithms have already changed since Jordan authored his post.

Reviews I reviewed People Magazine‘s choice for Woman of the Year, Angelina Jolie. However, since the post was written two years ago, it’s stale, not fresh. I also reviewed Time Magazine‘s choices for the best in technology. Initially, the post grew great traffic. No more– it describes two-year-old technology.

Resources People write and thank me for offering a list of 89 free blogging tools. I am glad they find it a valuable resource. That’s why I made it. However, will the apps and websites on the list always be available? Who knows? Unless I can say “yes” with any certainty, my resource is not evergreen.

Why Evergreen Content is Good for Your Blog

  • Publishing evergreen content increases blog traffic. As much fun as it might be to blog about the holidays or technology, it isn’t good for your future blog traffic. For example, how will you continue to get traffic to these posts once the holidays are over? According to Nathan Ellering of CoSchedule, your future traffic could increase by 283% if you blog about topics that have a long shelf-life!

Trust me. I love writing about apps and websites that could help bloggers. However, technology becomes antiquated, and therefore, no longer of interest to the majority of your future readers.

  • Publishing evergreen content makes it easy to repurpose into e-books. If your content is always timeless, you have the option of turning your blog posts into ebooks one day.
  • Your brand will improve. According to Sandy Allain of Blog Post Services, publishing evergreen content will establish you as an authority in your field.
  • You will get more blog subscribers. According to Allain, when people see you as an authority in your field, you will gain credibility, and they will want to subscribe to your blog.
  • Your search engine visibility will improve. Allain claims writing content that will always remain timeless can improve your SEO. “Search engines are always on the lookout for evergreen content.” Allain continues by specifically mentioning Google. She maintains the popular search engine rewards such content.

How to Find Evergreen Content

Step 1: Think of a niche. My post How to Create Better Blog Content that Will Bring You an Enormous Audience explains how to find a blogging niche.

Step 2: Many sites exist that will help you with evergreen content. For example, Buzzsumo.com will tell you what topics are currently popular to ensure that there is interest in whatever evergreen content you pick.

Also, Google Keywords Planner is a popular choice among bloggers to check to see if the subtopics you would use as keywords are currently being researched on search engines. My post How to Easily Get Your Blog Found on Google explains how to use Google’s Keyword Planner.

Testimonials

When Kathleen Aherne first organized the Bloggers Pit Stop Linky Party, she asked the other hostesses and myself to compile resources for bloggers. However, she made a stipulation– the resources needed to be evergreen. This way they’d be beneficial to readers all year round.

According to Sandy Allain of BlogPostServices, “Evergreen content is always fresh, useful, and worthwhile reading.”

Strategy for Using Evergreen Content

Now that we know what evergreen content is, you should know there actually is a strategy for using it.

  • Flip evergreen content into Flipboard.
  • According to the Social Media Examiner, putting an Evergreen article on LinkedIn is win-win. First, your LinkedIn followers increase. Also, large forums often pick up the articles published there. You could get thousands of readers and new subscribers if this happens.
  • Make sure your content is relevant to your niche. According to Blog.Advowire, you can have the most evergreen content in the world, but if it isn’t relevant to your niche, don’t use it.
  • Opt-ins should always be Evergreen and not seasonal. I once had as an opt-in “How to Lose Weight on a Vacation.” However, people don’t take vacations all year round, so it is not always pertinent they read it. My post 7 Ways to Take Charge of Your Readership Problem [Incentives] suggests evergreen incentives you can offer readers for subscribing to your blog.

Can You Write Both Types of Content?

According to SemRush, the answer is yes! You can write both types. However, don’t expect to woo traffic to the non-evergreen content all year long.

Conclusion

This post explored the concept of “evergreen content”– content you can get page views to all year and weighed the advantages and disadvantages of writing about content that’s not so evergreen.

The best part– you can write both types if you desire. However, now that you’ve read this post, you can make an informed choice based on the information in this post.

Readers, please share, so other bloggers learn about evergreen content and its value to their blog and their reputation as a blogger.

Had you heard of evergreen content? Do you strive to make your content evergreen? If so, how? If not, do you feel it’s hurt your page views? I look forward to your views in the comments section.

Source:

LainaTurner.com

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  1. Donna DeGuglielmo at 5:26 am

    Hello Janice, another deserving tweeted post. I do tweeter not FB or atleast not right now. So #tweeter for me is very good. I love this post. I gives so much info, feedback and confidence to any kind of blogger. I love the visual color mentioned. I can see my blog flourishing with it in the forests of evergreen blogs and beyond. blessings Donna Marie

  2. Margo Johnson at 7:46 am

    I had never heard of evergreen content until I read your post, so I’m grateful you enlightened me about the subject. Thanks. Good job.

  3. Melinda Mitchell at 9:05 am

    When I saw your title, my immediate reaction was: she wants it to smell like Pinesol?? But I had a sneaky suspicion that Evergreen is yet another new thingie that I need to know about, and should be using. sigh
    After reading the article:
    Hey, I was half right!! You do want it to smell like freshness!! Thankfully, I was half wrong too!
    Now I’m going back to read your seasonal post!
    Love, BBFFM
    Melinda Mitchell recently posted…VeteransMy Profile

  4. Ryan Biddulph at 11:53 am

    Hi Janice,

    Good points 😉 I toss a topical post out here and there but dig creating evergreen content. Long lasting. Although, since change is the only constant, is anything ever truly evergreen? Metaphysical question for us LOL. Stick to fundamentals. I focus on getting your energy right, doing mindset stuff and sharing practical, simple blogging tips. If the Universe exists energy will exist and if humans are around they shall have minds to read blogs. Unless we go the Terminator route. Then I shall create evergreen posts geared toward cyborgs 😉 Thanks for sharing!

    Ryan
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted…5 of My Most Stomach Churning Rides from around the WorldMy Profile

    • Janice Wald at 12:09 pm

      Hi Ryan,
      Thanks for writing! I noticed you shared on Twitter. Thank you so much!
      I loved the metaphysical question you posed. A good blog will have questions we can analytically discuss. Thank you!
      Janice

  5. Barbara Radisavljevic at 12:33 pm

    You really hit the nail on the head. I have written a lot of seasonal content I wish I’d written differently. Because I put seasonal words into the title slug, they are hard to modify. One thing I like about Niume is that posts are numbered and one can easily change the title. As soon as I have time I will be changing the titles from the 25daysofgood challenge that counted down to the election. All those posts would be evergreen without that countdown.
    Barbara Radisavljevic recently posted…Niume! Should You Dabble or Plunge In?My Profile

  6. Gilly Maddison at 2:45 am

    Some good points here as always. Evergreen does make sense, especially for people who have blogs that are completely about generating income or building a big audience. I guess doing both types is fine for people who just like to write or who like to have a place on online to refer people to from real world activities. Very good advice thank you.
    Gilly Maddison recently posted…Remembrance Day – Charlie, the Boy Who Never Came HomeMy Profile

    • Janice Wald at 12:40 pm

      Hi Gilly,
      Thanks for commenting on my evergreen content article. I’m sorry I didn’t reply sooner. I fell behind when my book was published. I am just answering comments now.
      In response to what you wrote: As I said in my article, it’s okay to do both as long as you write about seasonal topics knowingly. Then you’re not disappointed when the post doesn’t generate traffic all year. Thanks for the reminder.
      Janice
      Janice Wald recently posted…This Is How to Improve Your Blog’s SEO Without Money or PluginsMy Profile

  7. Cellular Israel at 7:42 am

    Janice,

    Thanks so much for this great post. My team now has a much better understanding of evergreen content and why it can be so vital even when it might seem tempting to focus on recent events and upcoming holidays. Thanks!

  8. Dorothy Simons at 8:49 am

    Some very useful resources for evergreen ideation stage mentioned! I too find these tools of immense
    help when I research the topic before writing a long piece.

    I had positive results from the method I devised on my own:

    1. Buzzsumo to identify trending topics
    2. Serpstat to help you research all top pages for a given keyword and its cluster
    3. Your brain to accumulate results and come up with a good topic

    • Janice Wald at 12:45 pm

      Hi Dorothy,
      I enjoyed reading your comments when they came in (especially the “brain” part). Forgive me for not responding sooner.
      In response to what you wrote: I agree Buzzsumo is a good resource. I mentioned it in my evergreen article.
      I have tried using Serpstat but found it complicated. If you’d like to guest post about it and write a tutorial for my readers, you’d be welcome.
      I use my brain as well =). It was fun discussing this with you. Thanks for writing and again, accept my apologies on the delay.
      Janice
      Janice Wald recently posted…This Is How to Improve Your Blog’s SEO Without Money or PluginsMy Profile

  9. Sue at 6:14 pm

    Excellent post thanks Janice. I struggle living in Australia and then sometimes wondering about topics that aren’t relevant to my US audience. I do write about Christmas but most of the time I try to stick to Evergreen topics. I’ve learned a great deal from this post. Thanks for hosting Blogger’s Pit Stop. See you next week. Pinned.

  10. Reuven at 6:19 pm

    This is such an important topic that you’ve covered here. Now going into my second of year blogging, Going into my second year of blogging, I’ve learned a little about evergreen content but really appreciate how you’ve highlighted what formats to explore for evergreen posts, contrasting these with which topics to avoid.

    While I’ve written a few posts that are definitely seasonal or timely in nature (Mother’s Day, the recent US presidential election), I’m now doing so realizing that they have a limited shelf life, if you will. Nevertheless, sometimes it’s fun and/or important to discuss current topics and I’m sure readers appreciate such posts. As an exception to the rule, they’re fine. As you point out however, since bloggers invest so much time into their posts, the vast majority should be evergreen so they can be promoted year-round, year after year.

    • Janice Wald at 6:23 pm

      Hi Reuven,
      Thank you for your comments. I agree with what you wrote, especially since we put so much time and effort into our posts we should be able to reuse them to increase blog traffic and interest new audiences. However, as you point out, there is always an exception to every rule. If you break the “evergreen content” rule, do so knowingly. This post gave people that knowledge.
      Janice

  11. Kathleen - Bloggers Lifestyle at 7:49 pm

    Thanks so much for the mention and links in this post. Your point that we put so much effort into posts that making evergreen ones, mostly, anyway is good sense. I remember a friend that wrote a great news story and her blog and fame went high and higher. Trouble is it was not evergreen and did not last long at all.

    This post has been a good reminder.
    Kathleen

  12. Julie at 3:00 am

    You make lots of great points, and loads of examples which is always helpful.
    As a craft blogger I do have seasonal projects I share but they resurface annually (that Christmas thing comes round every year!) so can that be classed as semi evergreen? (bi-annual maybe?)
    One other thing I must add, I don’t this racism is going away any time soon so I think your interview might be relevant for quite a few more years yet!

  13. Julie Syl Pit Stop Crew at 1:23 pm

    You got the Danger, red flag up and I then realised it was the Green flag phew 🙂

    I agree with you Janice, We as blogger should find our niche evergreen content and keep our audience fed with juicy freshness…! On the other hand, I believe that a trending topic, a burning issue, a review of something every so often breaks the monotony up and it shows we are not robotic right! So evergreen 48 weeks a year and some fun, stuff about crimbo about this time of year 🙂 yes..Awesome!

    Julie syl

  14. Cathy Lawdanski at 4:54 am

    Janice – I just did a blog audit and for this first year of blogging, my content that WAS NOT evergreen received the fewest page views. You are so right – evergreen as much as possible is the best!

  15. Tonya at 7:31 am

    Janice this is a great piece and it’s really valuable especially to a newbie blogger. The advantages of using evergreen content are huge! I use evergreen content on almost of my blog posts these days. Thanks again, I’m definitely gonna pin this!

    • Janice Wald at 10:10 am

      Hi Tonya,
      Thank you for the compliments on my article. Thank you for pinning. For two years, I’ve only published evergreen content, and my traffic has increased as a result. Thank you for writing me.
      Janice

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