People used to ask me to teach them how to start freelancing, and I always recommend the best articles I can find about the topic.
I used to do this until I wrote a post about the topic myself. It was my first attempt to write evergreen content.
Instead of explaining, I can just point to the post and say, this is everything I know.
In ten years, if you ask me, I would have updated it and still share it with you.
So, is that the definition of evergreen content?
It’s just an example.
If a piece of content is expected to see a decline in interest and relevance after a set timeframe (let’s say after an event has finished or a holiday season has ended), then it is not evergreen.Erika Varaghouli, SEMrush
Another layer you could look at is content that just stands out. They are like something hitting you all of a sudden. They are content people shared with you, and since then, you have been checking it out year and year again.
Does that mean an evergreen content appeal to everyone? Do they go viral?
Let’s start from scratch so you can understand.
What Is Evergreen Content?
Evergreen content is any content that can serve its purpose for a long time, say 5 years and above, because it is one of the best created about a particular topic.
They should be called the “ultimate guides.”
As a business owner who wants to bring more visitors and attract more buyers, you should create this kind of content more often. Why?
I know you’ll ask why, anyway.
Why Should You Create Evergreen Content?
It brings traffic for many years to come.
The power of evergreen content is that when people need what you wrote, they will return to it.
When they are teaching others about the topic at a dinner party or a night out with their best friend, they will share it, even if it is ten years after it was first written.
The main reason is because of its long years of relevance when it comes to handling a particular problem.
Your ideal audience is the BEST person to define evergreen content. It’s evergreen for them.
And if you keep creating content or start blogging, you’ll realize not all your content fits that box.
Let’s talk about what to do when you write this type of content.
How to Write Evergreen Content
I like useful content. I have many articles in my Pocket app that help me do something I want, like emails, building a business, or feeling better when I’m tired.
However, “useful” isn’t the same as evergreen.
Look at These Two Frameworks
- Content that is useful for a long time and keeps appearing in Google search
- Content that gives you a kind of dopamine hit whenever you read it
These are two different things. Evergreen content doesn’t mean it has to rank in search engines. It’s evergreen for a group of your audience, and it keeps getting read and shared.
Sometimes, what people want isn’t what Google or whatever search engines recommend. Many of us are used to what we get and do not complain.
So, the first step is to create content that attends to your customers’ needs in the way they like.
In other words, evergreen might not rank forever, but it will bring you traffic consistently and for years.
Examples of Evergreen Content
Anytime I am feeling unmotivated, these two articles always come to my mind:
When I’m tired, I read these to feel hopeful.
I don’t know how much traffic they get, but if these guys add something for sale to those posts, and I need it, I’m buying.
Their posts stay in my head. And they will forever be if the pages still exist.
The funny thing about the second article is that I haven’t even watched Groundhog Day till the time of writing this article.
Another person might read those two posts and forget or never check them again.
It’s not for them. It’s for people like me.
So that brings us to option one of how to write evergreen content. Let’s look at 3 powerful ways to do it.
#1. Write Something That Hits Your Audience’s Guts
It might be your personal experience, success story, or some weird concept that has been in your head for ages.
Write about it. Put your mind to it like a man saving his first daughter’s life by writing an article.
There is a reason Jon Morrow’s post, On Dying, gets thousands of shares.
Because that’s his story. It’s so powerful.
And like everyone who read it, I feel blood, anxiety, hope, and courage all over the page. I was inspired after reading it.
Can you do the same?
I bet you can.
What’s your story? You can share an experience that hits you so hard. Write in a way that moves you.
- Personal essays
- Life experience
- A journey you took
- A challenge you took
Another personal example of evergreen content:
When thinking about impostor syndrome, I remember Chima Umeje’s post about the topic.
So, like a serious advocate of creating great content, I urge you to tell your story.
Hi, I have an automation software tool. Our blog is about productivity. I don’t think we can write about…
7 Rejection was written by the founder of Airbnb…
I mean, I can’t write something personal about my life.
I understand. It’s okay not to share something personal.
You can think about something that won’t feel like you’re throwing out “truth off my chest.” Instead, it could be something funny.
I can’t write something that great. I can only present ideas and maybe a bad draft.
Then hire someone to polish it.
Does that mean it will be evergreen content if I write something personal?
Probably… If these other things are in place:
- Choose a universal theme or topic (rejection, success, failure, death, etc.)
- Write about something personal. Write it like you’re saying it to change the mind of someone trying to hurt themselves (your little daughter, for instance).
- When editing, think of your audience. Imagine their facial expression. Is it working?
Two things are probably going to happen:
- The traffic jumps up in the first few weeks or months on that post. People will share and retweet it.
- You might not see any response (especially if you’re a new business and do not have a large or loyal audience who will share your content).
If the second option happens, you still have other things you can do, like distribution, a topic you will read about soon.
Or you can do what Jon Morrow did, write it on a platform with many followers. For example, he wrote “On Dying” on Copyblogger, not his blog.
#2. Become an Academy
When I want to read about anything mind-blowing, I go to waitbutwhy.com.
When I talk about digital marketing courses, I will likely mention Hubspot.
Anytime people try to learn to become a better man, they check Artofmanliness.
The list goes on and on.
You do the same. Anytime my audience wants to read about XXX, they come to me.
What’s your XXX.
And I must say this….
CHOOSE SOMETHING SPECIFIC
You can write about 100 things later, but at the start, choose your arena and let no one beat you in that area.
By far, this isn’t what you have read about creating evergreen content, but becoming an academy sounds like the best practice.
If you treat the topic deeply, you’re going to win. For instance, if your product is about automation, your blog content strategy is to become a “university of learning productivity” and create evergreen content.
- Set out the course materials, AKA, your content plan
- Think of taking your audience from beginners to experts
- Write listicles about keywords. For instance, I wrote the ultimate list of blogging tools.
#3. Understand SEO
The idea here is to find a topic that will stand the test of time and use the knowledge of SEO to make appear in search results for a long time. In other words, you want to combine sustainable content with evergreen keywords.
In summary, SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is the process of writing content that search engines will rank. I am an SEO content writer and I have covered what you need to do in-depth on this blog.
You can check these two beginner-friendly articles: SEO Demystified in 5 minutes
Tips for Creating Evergreen Content
- Learn from your competitors graciously. The post that brings them the most traffic is probably a good example of evergreen content. Study it.
- Check Google trends for topics that have the potential of seeing an increase in traffic in the future.
- Aim for as many possible topics as possible. If you want to stay in business, you need to create content that will bring consistent traffic.
- Don’t forget to follow SEO best practices when writing the content.
- Backlinks are an important ranking factor in SEO. Reach out to other bloggers or journalists and inform them about your new content. Ask them if they will like to link to it.
How To Write Evergreen Content Like Waitbutwhy
An evergreen blogger or writer is Tim Urban of waitbutwhy.com. He doesn’t write many blog posts per month, but the traffic is still relatively fair. He is famous. You can barely talk about “procrastination” without getting a recommendation for his popular TedTalk or article.
I think more than any time in the past, in today’s world, if you do something really consistently good, it’s fairly likely to end up being noticed by a bunch of people.Tim Urban
Okay, Tim. That was so helpful for someone who has just started a small business and wants RESULTS RIGHT NOW!
It is even weird that the keyword he’s ranking for is “Wait but why.” People just search for the name of his blog or his name, and that’s what has been bringing the most organic traffic.
Let me put it in perspective. Let’s say this website ranks for some keywords; the ones that bring the most traffic are my name and the website domain name. Wow!
And that brings us to how to write evergreen content, option 2.
It’s hard replicating what he did, but we can all learn or try to learn, right?
Tim is good at storytelling.
His articles dissect topics about life in a funny, intelligent but epic way.
Some of them are:
So if you want to write like Tim, you have to
- Use story
- Write about something important to your audience
- Break complex topics down like you’re Sherlock Homes trying to unravel some mystery
- Again, you’re not a blogger. You’re a storyteller.
- Write it long
- Cover topics like you’re writing a series. You can write a blog post that has parts 1 – 5
You might not sound like Tim, but you’re getting somewhere.
What Are Evergreen Topics?
Although I want to share some evergreen topics, I think you should focus on your niche a little more. What is a topic in your niche that anyone can’t do without?
Brian Dean’s blog is about SEO. His example of evergreen content is 200 Google ranking factors. Ranking factors are topics everyone in SEO will be interested in.
Think about your audience too. For example, what’s the one thing people can stop talking about in your industry if you run a photography business?
Poses? Editing tools?
You can as well do keyword research to see what comes up.
You can still choose universal topics, like family, death, life, rejection, sex, etc. These are topics that will always be there as long as humans exist. But you still have to tie it around your business so that your audience cares.
For example, I read this article about the Humans of Bombay a while ago. This lady goes around asking people to take pictures. That’s an amazing story, and I can’t forget it. I will check it out again and again as it teaches an important lesson about grit. She is a business person now, and that story is the story inspiring her crop of new audiences.
Will this matter to the people I want to attract?
If not, then try again with another content idea.
You can check these 10 Questions. They will help you create amazing content.
Does Evergreen Mean Viral?
If you define “viral” as getting a ton of traffic and then consistently getting moderate traffic for five years, then yes, you’re right.
Sadly, most posts that go viral usually drop too quickly. For instance, you get 10,000 views in one day, but by the end of the year, no one is checking it out again. That’s not evergreen content.
Example of when you write about a political figure or a show that is hot right now. The political figure wouldn’t be in office forever, and their gossip won’t last for months. In the same way, shows won’t last forever, or they won’t be a point of discussion regularly.
Write Something Eternally Useful
That’s the whole point of how to write evergreen content. Make it useful and make it eternal. Part of that is writing something that doesn’t go extinct, and the other part is writing some your audience needs. The rest, which is worth mentioning, is good luck.
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