Why should you write evergreen content? Because it can stay relevant for years.
If you are an author, you already know that your blog is vital to your chances of success. But writing blog posts every day and trying to be topical is a lot of hard work and very time-consuming.
If you write blog posts about what is news today, they will be of little or no value tomorrow. And let’s face it; a writer’s life is not always full of exciting day-to-day developments that you can use to entice blog readers on a daily basis.
The best way an author can blog is to write evergreen content by adopting a high-quality post approach.
What is evergreen content?
Think about evergreen trees that stay green and fresh all year round.
When you create content, some topics such as fashion trends or news can fade in a very short time.
A post on social media such as Twitter or Facebook has a visible life of only a few minutes.
On top of that, it is not readily searchable. Once you post it, it’s lost in less than 15 minutes.
If you write a 600-word blog post about a current news topic, it will have currency for a few days. But then it will be of little interest after that.
Sure, Bing and Google might index it, but who searches for old news?
Evergreen articles, however, are based on specific topics or subjects that remain relevant and will always be fresh for new blog visitors.
Evergreen content examples
An excellent example of a long-term evergreen topic is a recipe.
It is highly evergreen, compared to the news of the death of a famous chef, which is news, but it is not evergreen by any means.
A recipe gives you an even better clue as to what ideas need to be about. It is the type of content that people will always want to reference or learn how to do.
Another classic evergreen approach is to write a quality how-to guide that answers a question that people will always ask.
For an author, content ideas could be questions such as when and how to use semi-colons.
Or, are single quotation marks better for ebooks than paperbacks? You could also explain how to design a book cover.
With a little keyword research, you can find topics that will be perfect for you to write evergreen content.
There will always be people looking for answers to these types of questions.
Should you date evergreen articles?
Once you understand how to write different types of evergreen content for your blog, you will need to make some small changes to your blog design, especially what metadata you display.
A lot of bloggers hide all date stamps on blog posts and comments to help a post remain relevant.
Harsh Agrawal at Shoutmeloud wrote a case study about dates on blogs and the effect on search volume when removing or including them.
Blog readers prefer up-to-date, fresh content.
A date on your post showing that it is four years old could be a turn-off for readers.
Even though your content is still absolutely relevant to the reader, old dates in Google search can have negative consequences.
You could think about moving some of your best evergreen content from a post to a page.
Search engines might give web pages a little more weight than blog posts. In SEO terms, these are called your pillar posts.
Although it’s only a suggestion, one other change you can make is to modify your homepage or landing page and sidebars.
Evergreen posts gain traffic from search engines and social media posts. These all send readers directly to your blog post or page, so very few people will see your homepage.
However, your homepage probably includes a lot of your book promotion links.
You might need to move your promotion and advertising from your front page and sidebars and include them in your blog posts.
For mobile users, sidebars disappear to the far bottom, well after your post. If you consider that Internet traffic is now over 60% mobile, sidebars are becoming less relevant.
Think about how Google Ads are placed and use this type of ad space for your own promotion.
Perhaps a top banner or an ad box, like the one on the left, for one of your books aligned left into your text block, will get many more clicks than book links on your homepage or sidebars.
But before you make any radical changes to your site design, you should check Google Analytics. Go to the Audience tab, then click Mobile and Overview.
You will see the percentage of traffic you get for desktop, mobile, and tablet.
If you have over 50% of mobile traffic, you might want to think about removing your sidebar.
But if the biggest percentage of your traffic is desktop, you can keep using it.
Promoting your evergreen content
With evergreen content, such as the recipe and punctuation examples, you can post them on social media over and over again to keep driving traffic to your site.
It’s a great content marketing strategy. No more scratching your head and hunting for social sharing ideas each day.
There’s no expiry date, so you can post it again in a week, in a month, or a year.
Yesterday, I had over 2,500 page views from Facebook alone for a 3-year-old piece of content.
That is what evergreen content in a specific niche can do for you.
If you can write 100 evergreen blog posts, you will have plenty of ammunition to keep firing at social media.
Keep your visitors reading
Once you attract a reader to your content, don’t let them escape too quickly.
When you write evergreen content, think about keeping a reader’s interest and attention.
You can add an internal link or two in your text to take the reader to a similar article on your blog to increase your page views per visit.
You should place one early in your content and one midway or towards the end.
Internal links within an article tend to work better than a group of related posts that follow an article.
Writing great evergreen blog posts takes a little longer than a typical “day in my life” post. Most forms of evergreen content often involve doing some research.
But the time and effort are well worthwhile.
These posts will continue to be fresh and relevant to every new reader who visits your blog. And isn’t that the aim?
You want to build your author platform and attract new readers to your books.
If you are not an author, the tips in this article are still relevant to your business.
Update Note: Since writing this article, I have posted an alternative view about adding dates to evergreen posts.