We all want our blogs to be awesome resources that our readers come back to again and again. But with millions of blog posts going up every day, it’s all too easy to get lost in the crowd.
One of the most reliable and powerful things you can do to help your blog rise above is to focus on content that will consistently drive traffic, not only today and tomorrow, but next month and next year. You need content that is alive and vibrant all the time. You need evergreen content.
What is evergreen content?
Evergreen content is basically just content that is always relevant. The name comes from evergreen trees, which are trees that stay green year-round, rather than losing their leaves during the winter. In the same way, evergreen content stays relevant year-round. This stands opposite more time-sensitive content, like news updates.
The concept is simple—you create content that never goes out of style and is always valuable to readers, so that they always have a reason to visit your site. It’s a win-win proposition. Your readers get informative, often in-depth content that provides tons of value. And you get consistent, quality traffic that you can then convert into leads and customers.
Creating evergreen content
At its most basic, evergreen content is just “regular” content on a topic that is always of interest. Typically, though, when you set out to intentionally create evergreen content, you want to make sure it’s going to maintain its relevancy and impact. This often means going longer and more in-depth than you might normally. It can also mean going back periodically to update the content and keep it relevant.
In other words, it might mean more work. This work will pay off big time, though—as you publish more evergreen posts, the number of reasons you’re giving readers to visit your blog continues to multiply. Instead of having only your most recent posts driving traffic, your entire content library is continuously attracting readers. And every one of those readers is a potential customer.
Some examples of evergreen content
So, we’ve established that evergreen content is great for our blog and business. This is good stuff. If you’re hearing the term for the first time, though, there’s a good chance you have no idea where to start.
Don’t worry! Here’s a list of 6 types of evergreen content that work. They are frameworks that can be adapted to any niche, whether you’re blogging for your copywriting business, weekend photography gig, or Star Trek fanfiction site (hey, whatever floats your boat). Find your favorite, or take the concepts and create your own.
1. The Ultimate Guide to…
This is a classic evergreen strategy. An exhaustive guide, packed with everything anyone might need to know about a topic. Ultimate guides tend to be long by nature, which is another notch on their SEO belt.
These types of posts can be intimidating to write. If you’re going to call something an “ultimate guide,” it damn sure better be the ultimate guide. That means lots of research and fact-checking. The other major hurdle to these types of pieces is the need to keep them up-to-date. While it’s not always true, many topics change rapidly, especially in areas like technology. If you want your piece to truly be evergreen, you’ll have to make sure the information doesn’t become outdated.
That said, these pieces can repay your time and effort with years of quality traffic.
2. The Best Tools for…
Another type of post that requires a good deal of research and regular updating, but can pay off big time. People are always looking for a better way to get stuff done.
If you’re a writer, you could do a post on the best software tools for writing—word processors, text editors, file syncing services, note-taking apps, and tools like Copyscape.
If you’re a marketer, you could do a post highlighting social media scheduling tools, analytics platforms, and other services that make your life easier. You get the idea.
Plus, if you’re blogging on a topic, chances are you know a thing or two about it. You might already be familiar with the best tools for your area of expertise, which makes your job that much easier.
3. Beginner’s Guide to…
This is a category that’s always in demand. The trick here is being able to put yourself in the shoes of someone who knows next to nothing about a topic that you’re probably an expert in. If you can manage to pull it off, though, the results can be great.
This is especially helpful to readers if you can take a topic that’s typically difficult to get into and make it accessible. Just remember that for it to be a true beginner’s guide, it needs to be as basic as possible and very in-depth.
4. Case Study: …
There are 2 paths you can take here. You can summarize and explain someone else’s findings, or you can do your own original study and publish your findings. Either one is going to require a lot of work, but the ability to demonstrate results and value in a clear, real-world example is second to none.
The latter is especially powerful—being the primary source for research puts you in a great position to earn traffic back to your site as readers reference your post.
It also has the added benefit of showing off results that your work created for a client. You can’t beat a twofer.
5. The History of…
Another great way to go in-depth on a topic is to work through its history. People love learning about where things they love come from, whether that’s a certain style of writing, a certain tool, or a certain person or company. This can also give you an opportunity to do original research and become the primary source on a subject.
6. Best Practices for…
Lastly, we have another simple way to show off your expertise while providing value for your readers. Share tips and advice for accomplishing a goal or completing a project successfully. Make sure your tips are actionable. And for maximum value, provide specific examples of how those tips have helped you in the past.
And that’s it. Block out some time, pick a favorite, and get to writing!
Have you had success with evergreen content on your blog? Share in the comments! And if you have more questions, ask away, or find me on Twitter @thedaveschafer.