2 million blog posts are published every day, which equates to 23 per second. A staggering number, yet not that surprising given the importance of content marketing nowadays.
The internet is flooded daily with guides, articles, blogs, listicles…you name it. Every single one vying for new readers and hits.
Evergreen content can be a key part of a good SEO campaign, as it naturally solves common questions relating to your industry and, if your article ranks well in search, can earn natural links from other websites citing you as a resource.
So in a sea of daily posts, how do you stand out?
Many people think the answer to this is to create irresistible clickbait to get overnight hits and reach new sharing heights. Whilst it does work for some, this technique neglects the wider picture. Quickfire content is likely to be read and forgotten about as quickly as it was published.
What you need to do if you really want to stand out and keep readers (new and old) coming back is to create evergreen content. Put simply, this is blogs, articles or any form of content that stays relevant. Whether it was posted six years ago or at 10 am this morning, evergreen content is always useful and timeless.
Sharing this type of content not only helps to attract new readers over long periods of time, it also helps to bolster your SEO ranking. Google loves articles that pull in a regular audience. It proves that the content is useful and serves a clear purpose for users.
So where do you start?
Firstly, think about your industry and what’s hot at the moment. Search keywords related to what you do and see what themes or topics people are looking for information on. Remember, they must be topics that will stay relevant so avoid newsjacking passing trends.
For example, a personal trainer might want to put a piece together on how to get a bikini body for summer. If Kim Kardashian’s figure is trending, a blog on how to achieve a figure like hers might bring in the short term hits but it probably won’t stay evergreen. That’s why it’s important to steer away from passing trends to futureproof your content.
When creating any form of evergreen content, it’s always important to consider the following four elements:
1.Is it SEO friendly?
You should make sure that your content falls into a category or specific niche that people are actively searching for online.
2. Will it stay relevant?
If you want to create content keeps attracting views over time, it has to be relevant. Focusing on specific dates, trends or news items could date your content so always keep this in mind.
3. Will it generate traffic?
When creating your piece, keep questioning whether it will be a useful resource. Even if you think it’s the best thing since sliced bread – your readers may not. So, keep an eye on what competitors are doing and what’s coming top on Google for the topic your focusing on. This will give you a good idea on what will generate traffic for you.
4. Is it well researched?
If you want to share valuable content, it’s vital that you do your research. People want to learn new things so if you want your content to really stand the test of time, the information you share must be compelling and useful to readers.
What type of content works?
When it comes to creating evergreen content, there’s no right or wrong but there are some types that work better than others. Here’s a round-up…
1. How to guides
Let’s start with what’s probably the most popular form of evergreen content. The ‘how to’ guide. This type of content will always be relevant as some of the most searched phrases on Google begin with ‘how to.’
Therefore, if you can create an informative guide on a topic you’re particularly knowledgeable about, the chances are, your content will stand the test of time. Before creating your guide, check out what the competition is doing. Who’s coming top for the topic you’re planning to discuss? What are they doing that works so well? Is there anything you can add that would make your guide stand out?
By carrying out some research first, you’ll be able to get a grasp of what users are looking for and the content that’s meeting their needs.
What’s important to remember with this one, however, is not to try and appeal to everyone. When focusing on a specific area, really think about the audience you are trying to target and be niche.
For example ‘How to deadlift’ is pretty general. Is this for extreme bodybuilders who want to refine their skills or complete beginners? When you create a general guide, you run the risk of not appealing to anyone. So, think about who exactly you’re looking to help and try something like ‘How to deadlift safely for complete beginners’ or ‘How to up your deadlift game when your results plateau.’
2. Try podcasts
It’s still relatively new territory for many businesses but as a marketing tool they have real potential. When it comes to creating evergreen content, podcasts can prove to be a double whammy. This is because you’ll have the audio element but also the written transcript filled with relevant and search-worthy keywords.
Once you’ve researched a topic that’s particularly hot in your niche, that you’d like to focus on, have a think about how you can discuss it in a podcast. You may want to recruit a member of staff to fire through the questions with you or bring in an industry expert to offer insights.
Don’t worry about making it too perfect or polished though – if your podcast covers questions or information that people are curious about, the listeners will come.
Remember, don’t just focus on just the audio aspect. There’s a lot you can do to repurpose this content from blog series and transcripts to social media posts. Tony Robbins, Tim Ferris and Gary Vaynerchuk all pull in heaps of monthly listeners so have a listen and see what they’re doing. It’s also worth researching experts in your industry to see what they do with podcasts.
3. Share a tool list
Want to provide some serious value to others in your niche? Sharing a tool list could be just the ticket. What online (or offline) tools do you use on a daily basis that would be of value to your customers or followers?
When industry experts share tips like this, they can really draw in readers. To keep the content evergreen, you can update the list as and when you discover handy new tools or resources.
4. Create a glossary for ongoing reference
Glossaries are like dictionaries – with a little updating every now and then, they’ll never age. They can prove to be brilliant tools for businesses that use a lot of jargon. For example, an insurance firm could provide a glossary of all terms used in contracts and agreements that customers may be unsure of.
Alternatively, you could create something a little more lighthearted and fun like A Glossary Made Up Of Words Deriving From Trump’s Name. The beauty of this form of content is that you can make them for just about anything – whether you’re looking to inform, educate, entertain or inspire.
5. A WARNING! Post
You know the type – ‘Warning! 10 Relationship Mistakes You Should Never Make’, ‘5 Training Mistakes You Need to Know About’, ‘3 Common Errors All Marketers Make.’ They grab your attention, don’t they? It’s that impulse most of us have to know ‘what on earth we’ve been doing wrong in our beauty regime??!!’
Have a think about your industry and a compelling piece you could create based on common (or not so common) mistakes. This type of content is extremely sharable and can be seen as a great form of social currency.
6. Share some historical knowledge
History: possibly the most evergreen topic out there. Yes, it’s a subject that gets re-written to an extent over time, but facts are facts and they can be incorporated into content that will really stand the test of time.
Don’t think you have to get all historical and start a blog series on the causes of WW2 or how many wives Henry VIII really had… The history lesson you give can be on just about anything – as long as it’s interesting.
Here are a few ideas:
The Internet Boom: A Short History of Google
The History of Travel: How Globetrotting Has Changed Since 1950.
Football: 10 Facts About the History of Football.
You get the gist. So think about your industry or niche, what’s changed over time? Are there any notable milestones your audience would find interesting?
6. Get an expert involved
Sometimes, attracting traffic can be difficult, especially when your website or blog is in its early days. To help boost the value of your content and gain more hits, consider working with a notable expert in your field. In doing this, you’ll not only get their valuable insights but you may also gain a link from their website which can help a great deal with traffic and the authority of your site.
7. Get visual with infographics
When it comes to generating hits, infographics can be an absolute powerhouse. They’re easy to scan, visually appealing and break information down in a bitesize manner. Users love them because they can absorb new facts without having to do much reading.
What’s great too is that to create an infographic, you no longer have to be a skilled graphic designer. Free online programs such as Canva provide you with all the tools you need to create your own.
When coming up with your infographic, don’t just dive straight into the design phase. Get your facts and figures nailed down, whittling out the weak stuff and ensuring that your finished product will be brimming with useful information.
8. Case Studies
Another timeless form of content which can really help to bolster your brand is the good old case study. Potential customers love to know how your product worked for others before buying. This form of endorsement can be priceless and the type of content that just keeps on giving.
Not only is a case study excellent social proof of the benefits your business can provide, the information can also be repurposed across a range of content. For instance, you could create a video, do a blog write up, then put the main facts into an infographic and even publish a podcast about it.
Another key benefit and reason why many case studies are evergreen is that the information is 100% original. No two case studies are the same, so each time you create one, you’re publishing fresh, new content.
To sum up
Whilst creating an evergreen piece of content might not be simple, the effort you put in will be rewarded. It’s the type of content that can bolster your website, help you climb the organic search rankings and build a loyal, engaged audience.
Before you dive in, remember that creating a stellar piece of evergreen content doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a solid investment of your time. Even if you know your industry inside out, you’ll still need to do the necessary research and legwork to create a truly valuable and timeless piece of content.
This is because, to be evergreen, your content will need to be as original as possible. Given the vast ocean of content out there, chances are, your topic or niche will have been covered a few times over – (if it hasn’t you’ll need to question whether it’s actually something people want to read about). So, ensuring that there is a good amount of originality in your piece will also take a certain amount of time.
This is, however, all very achievable and, when you put in the time, it really is possible to reap some serious rewards.