By: Marilyn L. Davis
What is an Evergreen Post?
Content that is solid and doesn’t lose its relevance over time is evergreen. It’s not trendy, time-sensitive, fashionable, or forgettable. An evergreen post will typically cover topics that, regardless of fads, trends, and current events, are relevant. What are some topics? Health, how-to-fix something, and of course, better writing.
Non-evergreen Still Has Value
In contrast, “non-evergreen”, seasonal, or topical content is tied in with specific holidays, events, or time-frames. Think of Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter as examples of seasonal content. Each of these holidays can be used on your blog, but know that it’s got a limited shelf-life when compared to an evergreen post.
With the current emphasis on COVID-19, there are posts specific to health, masks, quarantines, and furloughs that are informative, but will still not be read except by historians when this is turned around.
Some Information Remains the Same: Update as Necessary
There’s also a difference between evergreen and sustainable. A “How-to” on tree trimming will remain the same; however, a sustainable post on “What to Use to Trim your Tree” might need updating as tools improve even when the act of trimming remains the same.
If the writing is reliable for the how-to, people will return to this writer when they update their blog with new and better tools or better safety measures.
So, I’ve covered writing and tree trimming, but what if they aren’t your focus? That doesn’t matter. Your focal point may be entirely different, but the facts about evergreen and ever-relevant apply to all subjects.
When you narrow your focal point, that’s a huge advantage.
Spruce Up Your Evergreen Posts
Refreshing your older, evergreen posts is something you should do at least once a year. Why? Because links break, there may be better links, images, or tangential information that wasn’t available when you first wrote the post. Or, like I mentioned in the previous section, discussing COVID -19 may not have the interest in a year, so I’d need to adjust that paragraph.
Evergreen – Ever Longer
Evergreen posts tend to be more comprehensive and longer. Neil Patel strongly suggests that more words are a better plan. But it’s more than just an additional 300 words. Those extra words need to add value, answer a question, or be interesting, educational, or exciting, not just written to fulfill a word count.
Find and Expand Your Focus
Finding your focus means you have an idea, topic, or subject in mind before you start writing. But what if you haven’t figured those things out yet? Think about what you’re passionate about, and that’s your focus. It can eventually become your niche.
For instance, food is something that we all have an interest in, whether it’s healthy for the diabetic, vegan, or that dinner party for fifty.
Your subject is evergreen, but the focus is precise. It's in the specifics that you can stand out. But you won't stand out if you're just giving a rehash. Click To Tweet
Revising some of your evergreen information but from a different perspective is another way to use some of your original blog or posts if it is still relevant.
What to Update? Let Your Readers Tell You
Traffic numbers and readers let you know if you’re reaching your target audience and how well they are responding to your words. I’m a generalist and the encouraging one. I want to write about useful and helpful writing tips, but also to encourage writers to be authentic, creative, and imaginative.
I know from comments, that what I’ve written has helped writers improve – that’s the evergreen, but I like to use analogies, metaphors, and stories in mine – the sustainable or changing aspects so it’s not just another “better writing” post.
Some of that variation in my writing probably comes from my other passion; working for more than twenty-seven years with the addicted population. We need stories to relate, so memoir and reflective writing are part of my means of expression.
4 Ways to Ensure You Have Evergreen Content
When you find a way to convey your passion or purpose and combine that with excellent writing, you will be a source that people return to for advice. Your writing must have certain elements in it to maintain reader’s long-term interest. Here are the four ways to guarantee that readers stay loyal to your blog or site with your evergreen articles.
- Written with clear, concise and compelling words
- Tackles FAQ
- Offers different styles and tones to appeal to a larger audience
- Updated and revised to reflect better links, images, and information
How will each of those four guarantees that your posts stay evergreen and ever-relevant?
1. Clear, Concise, And Compelling Words
None of us likes to read an article where we have to have a Thesaurus handy just to make it through the first sentence. However, language is particular to each writer; some have extensive vocabularies and others use plain English.
I like to refer to the differences, as Home Cookin’ or Haute Cuisine writing.
I can go either way, depending on the tone and style I think works best for an individual post. When you see which of your articles has done well by the numbers or the comments, pay attention to how you used words, and which words or style you used.
I’m not talking SEO and keywords here; I’m referencing the language.
If you’re writing a technical post, for a professional reader, you might not write in a conversational manner, and you might not include your emotions, either. But if you are in the process of building relationships with your readers, some dialog, and emotional components must be there to make a connection. That’s what makes a post compelling. It’s convincing; the reader knows who’s writing, and this can go a long way towards establishing trust with you, which can, in turn, translate to confidence in your blog.
I’ve always like the quote about, “I didn’t know what I didn’t know until I knew it”. Although I’d like to give you a link like I usually do on quotes, darn if I can find it on Google. Anyone knows who said it, let me know in a comment, thanks.
2. Tackle FAQ
Now, in this case, I’ve asked you to help me – find the author of that quote. However, questions are what leads most readers to our posts. They want to know how to do something or want more information about a particular subject, so they conduct a search. Sometimes, we anticipate a reader’s question and write a post about that aspect.
When something changes in one of your niches, you can update and make an older post relevant to today’s questions and concerns.
Not sure what is next? Create Google alerts for your niche topics and stay current.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions in your posts. So far, I’ve got several questions up to this point and will have more by the end of the piece. Are they what my readers are asking? I’m not sure, but they are reasonably good questions to ask to be helpful, so they’ll stay.
3. Offer Different Styles to Appeal to a Larger Audience
We are fortunate at Two Drops of Ink because all of our writers have diverse styles, tones, and voices. None of us tries to imitate the other.
It is different styles and voices that attract a wider readership.
Scott is a combination of educator and enchanter. He writes in a formal academic manner for his posts on better writing. He’s exacting in his descriptions of usage, grammar, and syntax and edits with an eye for these writing mistakes. He can then switch gears and write poetry or a short story, which still has rules, but allows his creative side to emerge and he uses more freedom in his expressive poetry. I’m not sure if he breaks rules, but creativity allows him to bend them sometimes. What if you don’t have anyone besides yourself writing for your blog?
While guest blogging fluctuates in popularity, it is back in favor. Ask yourself:
- Who do I read?
- What information would add value to my site?
- Who seems to be most current in their presentation of information?
- Are there other writers who share my passion for the topic?
When you find a writer who answers those questions, contact them and extend an invitation to write for your blog or site. Establishing relationships with other writers in your niche exposes your blog to a wider audience. Often the two writers will exchange posts and then each benefits. With combined social media sharing, each author is presented to a greater audience.
If you get to write for their site, give them your best effort, just not the best. You’ll want to save that for your blog or site, but you’ll know that you put time, energy and effort into your other piece, and it will be seen by other readers and that will increase your audience.
4. Update to Reflect Better Links, Images, and Information
Most of us spend a lot of time creating new posts, but how much time is spent updating or checking links on an old evergreen post Reviewing them for bad links or better links is helpful and keeps them fresh. If you’re not doing that, you’re missing an opportunity to inform as well as increase exposure or income.
For instance, I may have thought that John Doe’s article about verbs was the definitive example, and then I find Susie Smith and am blown away by her writing. But did I go back and change my link? Often the answer will be no. And we all know the excuses:
- Too busy
- Concerned with writing new articles
However, if you are not checking links, you do your readers and yourself a disservice, and readers don’t like that at all. And that guest writer you’ve got scheduled to post? See if your guest bloggers have a complementary or opposing viewpoint for one of your evergreen or even new pieces and link to them. I’ve included links to other writers today because it’s going to help my readers. Some links are to writers at Two Drops of Ink, but many are to other writers, not affiliated with us. However, it fulfills my sense of integrity to give our readers relevant, informative and helpful information, regardless of who wrote it.
Now we get to another aspect of well-written articles that I like – images. I spend a lot of time finding them, fretting over their placement, and want them to pop. Some of us have been writing long enough to remember when Microsoft clip art was all we had.
My 400,000-word recovery system had images from the 1990s because that’s all that was available. Clearly, words weren’t the problem, and if I wanted, I could rationalize that much of the information hasn’t changed, still has relevance and just leave it as is.
However, that would cost me in the long run. I’ve already stated that evergreen is ever relevant. Therefore, I had to update my images, as well as the writing.
But those changes demonstrated my commitment to creating the best-written and presented information that I could. However, there are photos that are relevant but not available for commercial use, or there are other restrictions. Amos Struck helped me wander through the available, as well as general guidelines on when and how I could use a photo.
Do Your Posts Need an Update?
Do you have evergreen articles that you could present better? These four simple changes can make a difference in your evergreen content. I hope you find some information in this post that helps you improve.
Ready to Submit a Guest Post?
I hope that other writers will want to contribute their advice, stories, poems, and evergreen content as well, so think about submitting to Two Drops of Ink to gain exposure for your writing.
Our published contributors enjoy becoming a part of an established, award-winning blog. They gain exposure from our ever-growing audience. In turn, we gain the audience that they bring with their writing.
Two Drops of Ink: The Literary Home for Collaborative Writing