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April 26, 2017 (Updated: February 3, 2023)
You’ve heard of evergreen content. The topics don’t change and are always relevant in some way, which means you don’t have to update it, right? Not necessarily. Though evergreen content doesn’t expire the way seasonal, news, and statistics-based content does, you can’t write it and forget about it. Too often, great evergreen content ends up buried in blogs or on websites because its creators don’t call attention to it after the fact.
The idea of content you never have to maintain is a wonderful one. Even with content designed to stay relevant for a long period, leaving it alone and never returning to it is a bad idea. Evergreen content is a resource you can continue using, so don’t let it languish in the archives of your blog without ever revisiting it. Your evergreen content is a resource that should keep driving traffic to your site, so use it!
Image via Flickr by clasesdeperiodismo
You create evergreen content as part of your content marketing plan. You’ve brainstormed and written posts, made infographics, and edited videos that won’t go stale after a few weeks when the news cycle changes or when the season passes. That was only the first step.
Eventually these posts get lost behind everything else on your site, and even with good longtail keywords buried in the posts, they lose traffic the older they get. To continue driving traffic to these posts, call attention to them every few months on social media. During a slow blogging week or when you’re too busy to create new content, bring up your evergreen posts again. Choose one a month and link to it on your favorite media platforms.
Let’s say you run a makeup tips blog, and some of your best evergreen content involves how to do winged eyeliner. That post is very versatile, because you can link to it in a post about doing evening makeup, a post about how to change up your eyes, or a post about doing makeup to mimic a certain celebrity’s look.
In fact, when you want to promote your own evergreen content, try creating ideas for new blog posts that will naturally link back to your evergreen posts. For example: what kind of posts might include a mention of winged eyeliner? You might think of a Halloween post, a New Year’s Makeup Look post, or even a vlog idea. When you’re stuck trying to come up with new topics for content, return to your evergreen. Pick a piece to promote, and ideate around it.
Evergreen content is designed to last for a long time, but even evergreen content becomes irrelevant eventually. With anything from new technology to changing laws, your evergreen content can lose its edge or end up containing incorrect information. So keep it current by posting updates to it. Even a post about the history of something deserves a few updates as the years pass and that history gets longer.
An easy way to update your content is to re-post it with the new information in an obvious place. Try creating a new post with a link to the original content. In that new post, write about the updates to your content. Then, on the old post, add a link to any updates you’ve written since.
FAQ sections constitute a type of evergreen content, because they only ever change when your customers start asking new questions, or if you change your policies. Always look for new customer queries so you can update your FAQ section with information the customers want.
Look through your old responses, too. Do you do anything differently now? Do you have a better way to answer an old question? Do you offer more products than you did the last time you added to your FAQs? Call attention to your FAQ when you update it by posting a note on social media.
If you have evergreen content that continues to get comments, likes, or shares, it might be good material for a blog post series. Posts that give an overview of a topic but don’t dive into specifics are great starting points for a blog series. So are posts that cover only one facet of a topic.
Consider creating spin-off posts, too. In one post, perhaps you talk about basic information people need when adopting a new cat. A spin-off series might include cat grooming tips, or advice for getting a cat safely and calmly to the vet for the first time. Since animal lovers are frequenting your cat blog, posts defining the specific care information pertaining different breeds (like sphynx versus Persian) are another way to serialize your original “caring for your new cat” blog post.
Lots of YouTube channels pin featured videos at the tops of their main pages. Pinned posts are usually the popular ones that people look for first when they visit the channel. You have a few options when mimicking this idea. You can create a separate page to showcase some of your best evergreen content, or you can structure your blog so that links to those posts always show up in a sidebar.
If you haven’t previously highlighted posts, play around with your blog or site layout until you find something that looks good without adding clutter. If your evergreen content mixes medias, highlight like with like. Don’t mix your videos with your articles. Make the job easy for your visitors by clearly separating and marking your featured evergreen content.
You’ve done great work to develop topics that won’t wear out, and to make posts that people want to read, watch, or interact with. Since it’s evergreen, you can always go back to it. Going on vacation and won’t have time to update your blog? Schedule a few evergreen pieces to reappear. Struggling to drive traffic with new content? See if your evergreen will get you more bites. Just don’t create it, post it, and forget it.
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