How to Write Evergreen Content: All You Need To Know
Evergreen is a lovely word! In the primary definition of the term, it denotes a plant that remains green and vivid throughout the year. It holds its strength against the harsh environment and it lasts for a very long time.
What is Evergreen Content?
When you use “evergreen” term for describing blog content, it means that you’re talking about a post that can stand the test of time. It remains popular and up to date over time, since the target audience doesn’t lose interest in the particular topic, and the format of the content meets their standards for clarity, relevance, and amusement.
Here is a simple explanation: evergreen content have no expiration date, are well optimized for SEO, they maintain your expertise as a blogger over an extended period. People keep on searching for some particular keywords related to your niche, and they will continue finding your best posts over and over again. Even if you don’t publish new content on a regular basis, evergreen articles make your blog get tons of traffic thanks to these everlasting posts. That’s a goal every blogger aims to.
The only question is: how exactly do you write an evergreen post? Are there any standards it should meet? Should you make it really long? Keep reading; you’ll get a better chance to create an ever-popular post if you follow the tips below.
What Evergreen Content Is Not
Before you can start writing evergreen content, you need to know what types of articles don’t fall into that category:
- Statistics related to a particular period. They are likely to change in future, so they will only be relevant for comparative purposes
- News articles
- Content focused on current trends or daily events of celebrities
- Fashion trends
Consider this when you’re trying to create an evergreen piece: if the topic is attractive at this moment, but it has an expiration date, then it’s not suitable for an evergreen article.
Strategies for Crafting Evergreen Content
If you read several posts that might be old, but still well-crafted, informative and optimized for the right keywords, you’ll notice they are all different. Some of them are brief, whereas others are truly elaborate.
Some pieces of content come in the form of text, but others are presented as infographics, videos, memes, and other formats. Some are written with slang, and others are based on academic style. Still, there are few standard features you will notice in most evergreen blog publications you inspect.
1. Evergreen content is mostly aimed at beginners
Let’s take a look at a beautiful example of a post that maintains its popularity on the long run: How to design the Ideal Home Office. When you start reading the text, you notice that the author has the impression that all readers are beginners.
The publication is in the form of an interview, and the interviewer made sure to start the questions with an introduction, where the expert explains how a home office is different from a commercial office, and what mistakes people usually make when they are setting up their home offices.
There is a simple reason behind the fact that many posts that aim at newbies become evergreen publications: almost all people are looking for tips on things they know nothing about. When you want to learn a new skill or gain knowledge on a certain topic, you are a beginner. If you already know few things about the issue of your interest, you still appreciate getting some background information that prepares you for the new things you’re going to learn.
Keep in mind that most people who read your blog don’t know what you’ve written in the past. They landed at this post because the title attracted them or it contains the keywords they used in the search engine. Always start your posts by giving brief explanations of the principal terms.
Check out the beginning of this article you’re reading. We first explained what evergreen content was, and we told you why it was important for a blogger. Then, we continued with the in-depth guide. Maybe you were already familiar with the term, but if we started this article without any introduction, you would have difficulties to understand why every blogger needs these tips.
2. The topics are very precise
Many bloggers have the wrong impression that evergreen content has to be general in order to appeal to a wider audience. That’s not the case. Even when people search Google for the phrase “how to be happy”, they won’t like an article with such a general topic.
Here is a popular post you can find if you hit that phrase in Google search: 8 Life-Changing Lessons from TED Talks on How to Be Happy. When you read the title, you immediately know what you’re going to get. WebMD also has an evergreen article with that theme: Strategies for Happiness: 7 Steps to Becoming a Happier Person. Both the title and the article are very precise and actionable. Only an article with specific tips has the potential of becoming evergreen content.
For example, let’s say you’re maintaining a blog on tourism, and you have an idea for a title: Top 10 Destinations to Visit. That’s a very general title that doesn’t have much potential for going evergreen. Here are few alternatives, which you can elaborate in several different posts:
Top 10 Destinations to Visit Before You Turn 50
Top 10 Destinations to Visit in America/Africa/Europe/Asia/Australia
Top 10 Destinations that Awaken the Adventurist in You
Top 10 Destinations for Literature Lovers
Top 10 Destinations for Wine Lovers
… the list can go on and on. You get the picture: try to narrow down the topic as much as possible; that’s what makes it beneficial on the long run.
3. The Authors Show Their Authority
One of the main features of an evergreen post is that it’s referable. That may not be the case when you’re writing on fun topics for a more general audience, but you have to showcase your authority when tackling serious topics.
Let’s take an example: “Why I Explored Vaccine Problems” is one of the popular posts listed in Google’s results when you type vaccination pros and cons in the search bar. It will remain valid for a long time since it’s based not only on personal knowledge and experience but on facts and research as well. You don’t suffocate a post with speculations if you want to turn it into evergreen content.
When you’re using statistics to support your claims, make sure they will be relevant for a longer period of time. If, for example, you’re presenting the most important marketing stats of 2015, try to relate them to the past and future. Show how they compare to the data from previous years, and offer some predictions that would make your post attractive for the years to come.
One thing leads to another, so we have to mention this: referable posts, which are based on facts, are longer than usual. For example, it may take over 2,000 words for you to explain why high school students should choose programming as the direction of their education since you’ll talk about the schools, programs, career perspectives, and average earnings. When we’re talking about evergreen posts, the efforts you invest in them will pay off.
4. The Format Is Easy to Follow
If you’re trying to write an evergreen piece, then you have to present it in a format preferred by a broad audience. Essays, for example, are not a particularly interested online read. Here are some of the most engaging content formats that attract the most attention:
Don’t limit yourself to textual content when you’re trying to present an evergreen piece. The attention span of the online audience is short, so a text is not the easiest format for them to follow. Try infusing the above-listed topic forms into infographics and videos. These formats are very effective in attracting and keeping the attention of any target audience.
5. The Authors Revisit the Posts
Even Orwell would find it difficult to write content that would remain forever attractive in the online world without the need for any touch-ups. The popularity of your posts will fade away sooner or later, but that doesn’t mean you can’t freshen them up with some updates. If, for example, you wrote a post five years ago telling how much you admired Umberto Eco, you might want to update it after his death and share it again.
You need to revisit even the most successful evergreen posts on your blog and keep them up to date. If you chose the right topics and you wrote that content with the goal to make it popular on the long run, then the posts won’t need major updates. Nevertheless, you should still refresh them whenever necessary. Don’t forget to share the updates with your social media followers; that will bring you more visits, comments, and shares on the same posts.
Remember: evergreen content special treatment to their favorite books, which they like reading over and over again. That’s exactly how you should treat your evergreen content. Instead of burying your evergreen content with random posts that quickly lose their popularity, you should feature them in a special section of your site.
Check out the screen below as an example: it separates the posts in different categories, and you can easily find the popular posts among them.
You should also recommend those posts in other relevant articles you write. If for example, you’re writing a fashion blog and you’re focusing on the most popular color choices for 2016, you can include a reference to an evergreen post, which reminds your readers to stay true to their style without sacrificing it to the trends.
Here is another important piece of advice: feature at least one evergreen post when you’re recommending articles similar to the one your readers are currently reading on the blog.
6. Evergreen Posts Inspire Action
People love reading blogs because they teach them new things. However, they also inspire them to take action. If you start searching the web for the most popular blog posts, you’ll notice many How to titles among them.
As an example, let’s take a look at positionly.com/blog . Here are some of the most popular titles that got a significant number of shares:
- 35 Tips That Make SEO Work For Your Website
- 10 Mistakes of a Decade of SEO Practice I Wish I Hadn’t Made
- How to Improve Your Content Marketing in Just One Day
All these titles are specific since they let you know what you are going to learn when you read that post. The posts inspire action, so the reader is ready to make a change as soon as they read the post.
The tips described in this type of content shouldn’t lose their relevance in near future. If, for example, you write a post on depression that inspires people to make changes, the same content will be useful ten years from now, as long as you keep it updated and you repeat the promotion, which brings us to the next point.
7. The Authors Repurpose the Content
Remind your social media followers about some of the coolest evergreen posts on your blog from time to time. This type of content is always fresh, so it’s okay to promote it even when you know that most of your regular readers have already accessed it. Your base of friends and followers constantly gets greater, so you should certainly serve your best posts to the people who recently discovered you.
Infuse few evergreen posts in your monthly plan for social media activity, so you’ll keep attracting the audience towards them. Respond to the comments and always invite your audience to share their opinions.
The Lasting Power of Evergreen Content
When you focus on writing evergreen blog posts, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep up with the trends in your niche. Although the current presidential elections won’t be attractive five years from today, the audience still expects bloggers to tackle that issue.
It’s always great to write timeless pieces that add significant value to the blogging community, but you still need to answer the questions of your readers. If you can turn the current items into evergreen blog posts, you should congratulate yourself on the mission accomplished.
Checklist: How to Write Evergreen Content
Following the example of the most popular evergreen content on the web, it’s easy to discover the pattern for your own pieces:
- Aim at beginners
- Choose a precise topic
- Show your knowledge and authority
- Choose an easy-to-follow format
- Revisit the posts to update them in accordance with current events
- Inspire action
- Repurpose the content according to the likes of your audience and share it again
Here is one final tip: start writing your evergreen piece today. The tips you just read are easy to follow, so act while the impressions are still fresh!
The following two tabs change content below.
Originally published at positionly.com on June 6, 2016.