• Scott Herring

Write Evergreen Content

One of the blog post types I wrote about before was "newsjacking," which you can use to capture new traffic based on current events. The clowns at Buzzfeed make millions on idiotic short-life content. Last March, if you wrote about "coronavirus" or "COVID," you may have picked up visitors who looked to see how you tied things together. Or if you wrote about the Keto Diet in 2018, when it was first making headlines, you wrote at its peak. Today both those topics are fatigued, with much less novelty (I like carbs WAY too much to ever bother with keto, people). The inverse idea of newsjacking is to write evergreen content, which offers a much longer shelf life. A simple definition for evergreen content is that it is fairly timeless. Of course, if you write a health blog or a diet blog, both the prior examples could be evergreen. Several years ago, I wrote a year's worth of articles about improving productivity, and they all still generate traffic today. Why? Because the ideas are still relevant, not dated. The more you write evergreen content, the more long-term traffic you can build.


On one blog I'm writing these days for a technology company, I publish educational articles that explain technical subjects for non-technical readers. For example, I've written about migrating software to the cloud (from an in-house data center). Some of the articles I have written continue to grow in popularity over time. The search engines, as I say way to often, reward traffic with more traffic. If you write an evergreen article that gets readers today, Google or Bing will give your page "kudos" and give you more traffic tomorrow. And if your post continues to draw readers, get shared, and elicit comments, you get more traffic the next day. If your article sustains this, it more or less becomes a cornerstone for your blog. THIS is the goal!


EVERGREEN

Definitions

Tutorials

How To's


NOT EVERGREEN

Product Announcements

News Opinions

Date-specific posts (e.g., 10 Tips for 2021)

Event Recaps


It's not always easy to predict if a post will be evergreen. Trends come and go. But educational material tends to withstand the pressure of time. Although it's worn out its welcome, we expect the coronavirus to have a shelf-life. So I'd say that is more newsjacking. What can you write about that you think will still be relevant in 12-24 months? Try writing something like that.


Another important technique is to review your material after a while. Can you resuscitate it to make it more evergreen? If you used statistics, consider updating them. If you can keep it relevant somehow, it's perfectly OK to edit and refresh. I love going back to the most popular posts (i.e., the cornerstones) and seeing what I can do to improve them.


One size doesn't fit all, of course. You should mix it up. A newsjack post can get a new reader, and then the evergreen post hooks them as a subscriber. Just know that the long haul is longer if you're always newsjacking. When you write evergreen content, you're building something that will last.


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