Evergreen blog posts stay fresh for years, not just for days.
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, as well as very time-consuming.
Writing blog posts about what is news today, 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 can be used to entice blog readers on a daily basis.
The best way an author can blog is by adopting the evergreen content approach.
What is evergreen blog content?
Think about this. 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, so once posted, 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, will be of little interest.
Sure, it will be searchable on Google and Bing, but who searches for old news.
An evergreen blog post, however, is based on a topic that will always be relevant and will be fresh for new blog readers.
A good example is a recipe, which is highly evergreen, compared to the news of the death of a famous chef, which is news, so not evergreen at all.
A recipe gives an even better clue as to what evergreen content needs to be. Something that people will always want to learn how to do.
Another classic evergreen approach is to answer a question that will always be asked.
For an author, questions such as when and how to use semi-colons, or, are single quotation marks better for ebooks than paperbacks, will be evergreen because there will always be people looking for answers to these types of questions.
Get rid of the date!
Once you understand how to write evergreen content for your blog, you will need to make some small changes to how your blog is viewed. First, hide all date stamps on your blog posts and comments.
Harsh Agrawal at Shoutmeloud wrote a case study about dates on blogs and the effect of removing them.
Blog readers prefer fresh content, so by having the date on your post showing that it is four years old, it will be a turn-off, even though your content is absolutely relevant to the reader.
Think about moving some of your best evergreen content from a post to a page. Search engines tend to give web pages a little more weighting than blog posts. In SEO terms, these are called pillar posts.
One other change that can be made, although it’s only a suggestion, is to remove your homepage or landing page and sidebars.
Evergreen posts gain traffic from search engines and social media posts, which 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, so you need to move your book promotion from your front page and sidebars, and include them in your blog posts.
Sidebars disappear to the far bottom, well after your post for smartphone mobile users, so considering that Internet traffic is now over 60% mobile, sidebars are becoming redundant.
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.
Post, post, post, but evergreen posts.
With evergreen content, such as the recipe and punctuation examples, you can post them on social media over and over again. No more scratching your head and hunting for ideas each day.
Post it again in a week and again in a month, or a year.
Yesterday, I had over 2,500 page views from Facebook alone for a 3-year-old post. That is what evergreen content 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 ’em reading.
Once you attract a reader to your content, don’t let them escape too quickly.
To keep their interest and attention, add a link or two towards the end of your text to take the reader to a similar article on your blog to increase your page views per visit.
Links like this 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, and often involves doing a bit of research.
But the time and effort is well worthwhile, as these posts will continue to be fresh and relevant to every new reader who visits your blog. And isn’t that the aim?
To build your author platform and attract new readers to your books?
Update Note: Since writing this article, I have posted an alternative view about adding dates to evergreen posts.