Evergreen content stays relevant and drives traffic to your site, over a long period of time. Unlike other posts, it never becomes obsolete.
You'll often hear the advice to create evergreen, timeless content for great success in blogging.
Have you ever heard of news sites? The news bloggers need to keep typing on their keyboards all the day. Yet, the content they write becomes obsolete over time, maybe a week.
Evergreen content is something that's opposite. It is the content that remains fresh, as long as the internet exists. You just need to create evergreen content, and it will be relevant to date. It is meant for long-term success. How cool is that?
In this post, I'm gonna explain everything you need to do to create great evergreen content on your site.
A word about niche...
If you are a blogger who is blogging in some trending topic niches like news, gadgets, and other time-sensitive things, it will be impossible for you to create evergreen content. There is no concept like evergreen-news. People won't like to read the news that's a week old!
Some niches like blogging, writing, personal development, and photography are evergreen niches. The content you create in these niches will be relevant over years.
Examples of evergreen content:
- How to write so well that readers will be thankful to you?
- How to take good HDR photos on your DSLR?
- How to be the most productive blogger you've ever heard?
These sorts of content are evergreen. They won't fall off over time.
So, if you are a blogger in any time-sensitive niches, this post may not be for you. I'm sorry.
You have several options for presenting evergreen content.
- How-to guides (ex: Ultimate Guide and Resources to Build a Blog that Matters) These are well-written and researched posts, that provide information your readers need all at one place.
- List posts: (ex: 101 Blog Writing Tips for Great and SEO Friendly Posts) usually gets high traffic and audience retention rate, as they are to-the-point and quick to read and digest.
- Case study: (ex: @How I Increased Organic Traffic by 17% in 30 days - a case study )Readers like to hear more about personal experiences and happenings, than theoretical explanations.
- Glossary posts: Explains the meaning definitions of special terms and acronyms in your niche.
- Personal stories: The humanistic approach in blog posts works great.
- Content curation: Summing up all the rocking content in your niche, along with some added flavor.
- Checklists: List of things, to-dos, for achieving/completing a task effectively.
- Interviews: Interview famous influencers in your niche, and get thousands of shares and open the traffic floodgate.
Benefits of timeless content
Why did I write a guide to encourage you to create evergreen content? There are some reasons.
Below are the benefits:
- The steady stream of traffic: Due to the timeless nature of the evergreen content, more and more people keep on reading your content. It leads to a steady flow of traffic to your blog.
- SEO friendly: Search engines have a mechanism for determining whether the content is still relevant or not. There is an algorithm called Google Caffeine, that stresses the importance of fresh and evergreen content.
This algorithm has the ability to determine whether the content is timeless or not. Timeless content gets a steady stream of search traffic, with little or no updation. Google rewards high-quality, in-depth content.
Whereas, trendy content gets huge traffic for sometime and eventually will fade away, and get buried deep under SERPs.
- Gets social shares: Due to the nature of the evergreen content, it gets more social shares. You can encourage people to share your content with confidence. You can share your own content repeatedly in the future.
When readers notice that your content is evergreen, they tend to share it widely.
- Sustains your site: If you are posting trending topics, for any reason you stop posting regularly on your blog, you get a sudden decrease in traffic.
But in the case of the timeless posts, you get good traffic even without updation of the blog for months.
- You get fresh links: Evergreen content that was published a year ago still gets backlinks due to the nature of the content. Again, here, getting fresh backlinks signals to Google that your content is still relevant. Even today, the majority of backlinks I get to my blog are from those posts that are published a year ago.
There's a case study made by Chris Fielden at Moz. It was made way back in 2013, but it still makes sense. Because evergreen is literally evergreen! Chris created some evergreen posts and updated them regularly. He ensured that the posts returned great value to the readers.
He was able to attract good links, rank for lateral search terms, and finally, increased his traffic by posting timeless content on his site.
This is a proof that more people link to evergreen content than to trending topic that becomes obsolete in a week or two.
This is a perfect example that creating evergreen content is worth your time and effort.
How to create evergreen content?
Creating evergreen content takes a great deal of time and effort. Because it needs to be insightful, unique and of high-quality. You should think and write so that every word you ink should be timeless. This guide is here to make your process easier.
The downside of creating evergreen content is that most of the topics will already be covered by industry's leading blogs/sites.
In order to make your content unique and standout, you need to give it a unique spin. You need to consider targeting other long tail keywords that have decent search volume but less competition.
Finding a topic
To start creating evergreen content, you should find a topic or an idea to publish about. Many of the bloggers get stuck in this phase. They struggle to find good timeless topics for blogging.
A few months ago, I'd published a timeless guide to finding ideas to blog about. Make sure you check it out @ How I Find Effective Topics to Blog About. It should help you find a good evergreen topic to blog about.
Here are some of the strategies and places to find ideas for your content.
- Dig into older posts.
- Browse Twitter hashtags.
- Search Quora and other niche forums.
- Make use of Flipboard and Feedly.
- Analyze the comments on your blog.
Another method is to just search for a content in your niche that has been shared widely. Create a content on your blog that's more detailed and insightful than the original content. Link out to influencers in your content. After publishing the content, reach out those influencers and let them know that you've linked to them.
Building upon something that's already proved to be a success works a treat. For searching posts that are popular in your niche, you can use:
- Twitter advanced search
- Topical Google search combined with extensions like Ahrefs toolbar and Mozbar.
I use Buzzsumo and Google search for finding most of the proven blog post ideas.
If you have Ahrefs, you can make sure of its "Top pages" feature.
This returns all the top ranking pages on a website that are driving most organic traffic for a website.
You can also make sure of Content Explorer feature of Ahrefs, and it's similar to BuzzSumo.
This results the content around the web on a specific topic, that has got good number of social shares. In short, these are content ideas that are proven to get viral on social media sites and drive traffic to your sites.
Before selecting any topic, just ask yourself - "After I publish a post that is best in class, will people be interested in linking to my content?".
When you come across post ideas, just type it in Google Keep or Evernote. This is life-saver for me. Because it's practically impossible to remember all the post ideas you once thought of blogging about.
Narrow the topic down
Narrower topics work well in search results. They tend to rank well. Content that covers the general topic tends to have hard times ranking well in search engines.
Analyze the below post titles.
- Ultimate guide to blogging (5000 words)
- Ultimate guide to business blogging (5000 words)
- Ultimate guide to succeed in business blogging (5000 words)
- Ultimate guide to achieving success over your competitors in business blogging (5000 words)
By looking at the above titles, you can easily say that the last one is the most detailed one, as it focuses on a particular aspect of business blogging. The first one may seem too generic.
Suppose you came across an existing ultimate guide on link building, try something like the ultimate guide for building backlinks through infographics.
How to write evergreen content?
There's no rule that evergreen content should be detailed and comprehensive. There are also good short posts that are evergreen and work well. But the fact is that - detailed content that is evergreen works well. These kinds of content are guaranteed to return great value. So, why not keep it detailed?
So I advise you to publish posts that are complete, ultimate, and the best in its class.
Whenever you need to publish high-quality posts, you push yourself to be too complex. For you to create high-quality content, using jargon words are not essential. Simple language is a good fit for all audience. It reaches a wide range of audience.
When you publish these ultimate evergreen posts, start from basic to advance. For you, basic may be too basic. Think in the beginner readers' perspective. For them, "basic is the new advanced". Keep that in mind.
Cover information no one has covered. Maintaining uniqueness in the content is the best way to cut through the competition. Search for the content similar to yours on the web. Read them all. Analyze what are all the things they've not covered. Fill in the gaps. WOW! You just made your piece unique.
Before writing any single paragraph, think whether what you are writing gonna be evergreen. "For a content to be called evergreen, all the elements in the content should be timeless.
Include attractive graphics
Are you paranoid whether people even read your in-depth posts?
Then, it's time for you to include data-rich graphics in your blog posts.
Good graphics, images and memes make people read your content completely. For lengthy posts, include an image at least after every 500 words.
A research shows that colored visuals help critical information get read and helps to increase readership by 80%. It also increases readers' attention spans.
Including more and more attractive graphics to your content is advisable. It also helps in attracting search traffic. Content with more images is SEO-friendly.
Make your content scannable
When you are creating content that's ultimate, and covers vast information, chances are there that readers won't bother to read it fully. It's a fact that readers scan. So, why bother? Let's make their job easier by making the content easy to scan. You can make the content scannable by including bullet points and lists inside your post.
Instead of putting large chunks of text in a single paragraph, try keeping the paragraphs shorter. Long paragraphs are the one that turn readers off. Make sure that you help them out to easily figure out, whether your content is worth reading for them or not.
Proper use of text formatting tags also makes sure that your content is scannable.
Include table of content
It helps your readers know what hey can expect from your post, and also it helps them to pinpoint the information they are looking for.
When it comes to SEO, it helps Google to show the jump-to links with your search snippet in SERPs.
Include content upgrades within your post. Include a PDF of the post, some pro tips or any goodies, and collect the emails of your readers. With this, the evergreen content you create will grow consistently.
Alternatively, you can also use plugins like OnePress Social Locker to lock premium content under share buttons to increase your social signals.
Include more and more outbound links to other awesome related content you love across the web. These outbound links have their own SEO benefits. And it also provides massive value to your readers. You can also curate awesome content in your niche occasionally, for enhancing your traffic and backlinks.
Create the content that is best when it comes to a topic.
Is there a need to update evergreen content?
You need to update even evergreen posts according to the changing trends and relevancy.
Evergreen content is meant to provide value to your readers over a long period of time. It ensures that it provides value over time. It should be updated periodically.
However, the updation of evergreen content should not take much time due to its nature of timelessness.
Personally, when I look at my old newbie posts I feel awkward. Because, my way of expressing, thoughts, language and blogging skills have improved drastically since then.
So, I'm now feeling the need of updating my old evergreen posts.
You may think that if you create evergreen content on your blog, you need not include the date stamp on your posts.
Search engines need to know when exactly your post is updated. Blog posts with dates mentioned tend to perform well.
Make sure that every time you update the post with new information, the modified date is changed.
Some words about promoting evergreen stuff
If you are sure that your evergreen posts provide great value over time, don't let them die under the rocks of your blog.
Link to them on your homepage.
For example, on my blog, I've coded a sidebar widget to showcase the epic evergreen posts on my blog.
Above you can see that I've presented the evergreen posts beautifully. It helps me drive more traffic to my evergreen posts. It also helps me to drive some search traffic, as the above evergreen resources are linked to in homepage.
You can follow the above strategy on your blog.
Another strategy is to just head over to Google Analytics, check for the top 5 posts that are performing well consistently in SERPs. It is a good signal that readers are finding it useful. Now reshare those content for more traffic. Rinse and repeat the process.
Plugin: Revive Old Post. It helps you automate the process of sharing the old posts and getting substantial traffic.
Track the results. Analyze what channels are offering you low bounce rates and high engagement. Concentrate on those channels.
For example, Facebook offers me good engagement rate, next to organic traffic.
Make use of fresh new images and graphics to promote your old blog posts. Convince that the post will be helpful for the readers. I've tried the same for a couple of my posts and got great results.
I hope you enjoyed this post on creating evergreen content. Do comment and share the post if you liked it.