Would it not be nice to have an endless supply of outstanding blog posts that your target audience loves? Content that you can use over and over again in various outlets and re-share after a while? That content exists. The answer is evergreen content. And you have to create it.
What is evergreen content?
Evergreen content refers to content that stays relevant for a long time. Evergreen content has no expiry date, not events that trigger the interest, or up-to-date information in it that changes with time.
Evergreen content is the opposite of news content that is only relevant on the day of the news and goes stale shortly after creation. For instance, content that covers a film release or a product launch is news content. It will see a high spike of interest when it is fresh but fall into oblivion quickly.
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Another form of non-evergreen content would be seasonal content. This content you can only use in the short season when it is relevant. For instance, easter egg recipes, Halloween decorations, or Christmas present ideas.
Even though some evergreen content may grow old after a long time, most of it can be updated or refreshed and can be kept relevant this way.
On our blog, most posts fall into evergreen content. However, we experimented with seasonal content and news content for a while.
For instance, Jonathan created a fun piece on a Halloween costume once.
I created a series of social news for a couple of weeks.
Seasonal content is evergreen content that you can only use for a limited time of the year. But seasonal content will come into season again next year and this way stay relevant for marketing purposes.
Image source: Ahrefs
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How can you create evergreen content?
It all starts with choosing a topic that will stay relevant for the target audience for a long time. Here are some examples
- How can I get traffic from social media
- How can I lose weight
Are you confused?
Let me use some examples to explain:
- Football scores – people will remain interested in football scores forever. But the content on that “evergreen” topic needs to be dynamic or it is news content that will get old after a week when new football scores come up.
- The weather forecast – we all are interested in how the weather will turn out tomorrow. But if you search for a weather forecast in June 2021, an article from 2020 will most likely not answer your question.
While these topics are evergreen, the content that is created for these topics most of the time is news content.
Why is evergreen content important for marketing and blogging?
The thing about evergreen content is that you can create content once and use it for your marketing for years. That means, your reservoir of relevant articles you can use for your marketing will grow significantly over the years as you create more and more evergreen content.
The marketing value of news content will decrease after a short time and you need to base your marketing efforts on a few still relevant pieces of content. Plus, you need to create content at a high rate as news outlets do – or your website will become irrelevant because the content grew old.
If you have been blogging for 3 years and published a blog post with evergreen content every week for 52 weeks per year, roughly speaking after 3 years you have 150 blog posts that are relevant to your target audience and can be used for marketing and blog traffic generation.
If you create one “news” blog post per week and on average the news content will remain relevant for around 2 weeks, you will have to make do with the latest one or two blog posts in your marketing or you will be sharing “old news!”
150 pieces of evergreen content compared to 2 pieces of news content opens up a huge variety of marketing options.
That also means, when you are creating evergreen content after a while the content creation becomes less urgent for marketing purposes. Because you already have a large number of content pieces working for you.
You will still need to regularly create content so that people and Google know that your blog is still active but for marketing purposes, it will not make much difference whether you have 150 or 160 pieces of evergreen content to use in your marketing strategy.
If you run a news blog you have to keep pumping out content otherwise you do not have anything worth the attention of your audience.
But why is relevant content so important for marketing and traffic generation? How can you use evergreen content in your blog traffic generation?
Let’s take a close-up look at the most important ways to generate traffic to content: SEO, Social Media, and a few words about advertising.
Evergreen Content for SEO
In search engines news topics usually sees a spike in searches when the news is fresh. The interest for the news topic then declines over a couple of days – or weeks at most. Then the interest vanishes.
Image from Serpstat Restults
Evergreen topics see a stable interest in search engines. The number of searches for evergreen topics stays almost equal over a long time. That gives new content on an evergreen topic time to catch the attention of search engines like Google and the content owner time to build links to the content to make it rank better.
Traffic from search engines to evergreen content can grow with time after publication. Eventually when Google assumes that the content grows older (that can take years) the ranking and traffic from Google search can decline. But you still have the opportunity to update the content and republish the post – more on that later.
If your blog is new or you do not have a very high SEO ranking but still want to give your content a chance to rank, you can start a link-building campaign for the content you want to rank better in Google search.
If you are looking for blog traffic from search engines to your content, what you are looking for if you research topics is a continual interest in the topic (= keywords) plus a fairly low competition for the keyword. With evergreen content, you get the chance to rank this content, improve and optimize based on the results you get, and actively improve your rankings through building links.
For news content you have exactly one chance: either your content earns attention or your chance for traffic has passed and the interest in the news vanishes.
Image Source: Ahrefs
Evergreen content for social media
If you are looking for traffic from social media, you need to post on your social media channels all the time. Tweets get lost in the twitter-universe after around 10 minutes. Pinterest traffic generation asks for around 20 pins per day, even Facebook groups do not want to be spammed with the same piece of news content for days.
If you have been publishing evergreen content for some time, you can now use all that existing evergreen content and reuse it to get more attention to your blog.
In the above example, there are 150 evergreen blog posts to keep your Twitter account active. You can set up recurring queues for them and publish one of these evergreen posts per hour and you will only start repeating tweets after 6 days.
One news article per week allows you to create several different tweets for this piece of content. But honestly how many different tweets can you send on ONE piece until you go crazy? Honestly, I cannot keep my Twitter account busy on ONE piece of content for a week…
Pinterest needs around 20 pins per day if you are looking for blog traffic from Pinterest. Again, you can keep Pinterest busy for over a week before you have to start reposting an article you already shared. Plus, you cannot tell Pinterest when your pin of news content gets old. If you pin news to Pinterest, you will have outdated pins run around Pinterest.
With an endless stream of evergreen blog posts, marketers like Jeff Bullas – or us here at TheSocialMs get heaps of traffic from social media.
Image Source: Jeff Bullas
A short note on advertising traffic for evergreen content
Please note: We here at The Social Ms do not use advertising to get traffic to content!
That said, there are some differences in advertising when it comes to evergreen or news content.
News content may run well in a timely ad if you run the ad exactly at the moment when the news is fresh. It may be easy to get traffic to the news as long as it is news.
Ads for traffic on evergreen content can run for a longer time. You can refresh, optimize them. You can even stop the ad for a while and restart it later.
Language to spoil your evergreen content
You have probably seen these articles “The best short trips with kids in 2021.” While this content may be evergreen. If the tips stay relevant and are not special offers that will cease to exist in 2022, the “in 2021” is probably added for marketing reasons.
In 2021 this addition to the post title will give you some added attention in search engines, it will also tell your audience on social media that this content is fresh.
While the “in 2021” may add some attention to the content in 2021, the content grows stale starting later in 2021. Even if the content itself is still relevant in 2022 and would be the best that people can find on the web – the addition “in 2021” will spoil it for the future.
Other terms that you should avoid in evergreen content are things like:
- last month
- this year
These all relate to a fixed point in time. That means that the content is somewhat related to that date. Every date that is far away from that date makes this content old.
The need to update evergreen content
Let me use an example from our blog:
A couple of years ago I wrote an article about Twitter features. While the article was relevant for a couple of years (and it still is not wrong), it now needs an update, which I can easily do.
There are multiple reasons for updating the existing article:
- I know better now. I have learned more about the features I described.
- Twitter evolved: There are new features that I did not cover when I first published the article and that I can add to the content now.
- I know more about SEO and the keywords this content could rank for: when I created the article, we were very much focused on social media traffic generation. Our blog did not get very much traffic from search engines. Today, I can optimize the content with keywords and phrases that I can learn from the past performance of the content – and that I can get from keyword tools like Serpstat.
- Google favors fresh content: If you have a piece of content that does not get much love from search engines it does not mean you cannot get more traffic to the content. If you have some considerable additions and changes to make to old content, you can republish it. Google will re-index it and treat is like new content. This often helps the content to get a new push in search rankings.
- Why should we keep an article on our blog that is “old” when we have the power and the means to make it relevant again.
Final Words on Evergreen Content
While news content and seasonal content have their own marketing power, the big long-term traffic generation power comes with evergreen content. Whether you are aiming for search engine traffic or traffic from social media, evergreen content gives you so much more opportunities to get organic blog traffic than news or seasonal content ever can.
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