Do you know what evergreen content is? It has become a common expression between bloggers and online marketers. And it plays a fundamental role in almost every successful blog.
What is Evergreen Content?
In the botany world, “evergreen” refers to a plant that has leaves in all four seasons, thus it is always green. The most well-known evergreens are conifers (e.g. hemlock, blue spruce, and pine trees).
In the blogging world, evergreen content refers to an article or blog post that remains current over a period of months or years.
This long-term content is the foundation of most authority blogs.
The 2 Types of Content
While there are endless ways to create a post, there are only two types of content:
- Evergreen Content: Perennial content that does not frequently change. Examples of evergreen content include: Why I Write Granular (One Topic) Posts and 73 Blog Post Ideas. These are point-of-view and how-to guides that won’t change over the next few years.
- News Content: Often more in demand at the moment it’ published, it quickly loses it’s appeal as new material comes to update it. Examples of news posts include: product reviews, announcements and celeb gossip. Think original iPhone reviews and the Facebook IPO Announcement. No one is searching these topics anymore and no one is interested to read this old news.
How to Create Evergreen Content
The best evergreen content is a post that answers a specific question.
Top news stories are searched/read a lot during the first few days. After a week or two interest is starting to dry up. After a few months, no one wants to read about that “old news” and the post is dead.
Many blogs establish a balance between these long term, evergreen posts and seasonal, short term content. Every industry has news and announcements. But just because it happens in your niche, doesn’t mean you should blog about it.
How We Handle News on Our Blogs
When we started blogging, we wrote about everything: news, tutorials, announcements and random mind farts. While we have always tried to publish granular posts, we haven’t always had a clear direction about the type of content to publish.
Since then, we’ve learned to be more careful about the content we publish on our site. We want our sites to become useful, authority resources that are continually growing. We found that news stories just took away from that. Despite the date stamp on each post, many readers were confused about when the story happened.
I recently went back into the archives of our travel blog and deleted a few dozen posts. While they felt right at the time, in retrospect they didn’t add to our base of useful content – so we deleted them. Another 15+ posts needed to be updated to remain current.
But how do we handle news? Instead of blogging about it, we post it on our social media channels. Social media is the perfect platform for sharing news. There is an instant reach and the old posts just disappear.
- Our Blog: Generally evergreen content that remains current for a long time.
- Social media: News and general announcements. Anything that would be out-of-context to a new blog reader. We have also used our email list to share news and announcements.
Remember: Old news posts can frustrate a reader. For example: Imagine the excitement of your reader as the see a post about a contest. They click on it, begin reading it and then notice that it closed last month (or 3 years ago). If you are going to publish news on your site (and not delete it once it expires) be sure to publish an update at the top of the post advising that it has expired/closed or been updated (with a link to the new post).
5 Evergreen Content Creation Tips:
- Try to answer a common question.
- Don’t write about news or events.
- Don’t review technology (unless, of course, that is your niche).
- Determine how to handle outdated posts (delete them or publish updates).
- Use social media and email lists to send out short term news and announcements.
What do you write primarily: news or evergreen content?
- About the Author
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Bryan Haines has been building (and selling) businesses since high school. Since moving to South America in 2009, Bryan and Dena have made their living as content marketers.
Bryan is a partner at Storyteller Media, a Canadian-based digital publishing company.
He blogs at Storyteller Travel and Click Like This.