6 Secrets to Writing Evergreen Content
Everyone is always looking for something timeless, a way to stay fresh in a world filled with obsolescence. They say that everything under the sun has a beginning and an end, yet we’re obsessed with the things that last. Humanity is entranced by immortality, because it’s perpetually out of reach.
Benjamin Franklin famously exclaimed that “If you want to be remembered, either write something worth reading, or do things worth writing about.” Old Ben managed to get his face on the hundred dollar bill, so you have to concede he might have been onto something. These days even incredible feats are quickly forgotten. Can anyone remember the guy who jumped from space in 2012’s name without performing a Google search? You know, the one sponsored by Red Bull?
It was Felix Baumgartner. Shame on you for forgetting. That was freaking incredible.
However, you do see the point. Even epic deeds of daring do, are no guarantee of a legacy. So what hope is there for creating content that stays relevant, entertaining, and most importantly influential over time? How do you make sure your website is packed with content that truly stays “evergreen?” Lucky you, the online world is programmed to follow rules. If you know how to hack the system, you can leverage the formula to stay topical long past your publishing date.
First off, let’s find out:
What is Evergreen Content?
Simply put, content is considered “evergreen” when it’s search optimized, and doesn’t expire or become dated over time. It’s always useful, and always helpful for viewers new and old.
What Evergreen Content is Not:
- Headline news
- Statistical data and/or reports which are in a state of constant flux
- Seasonal or holiday related material
- Content written about pop culture or passing trends
- Fashion and style pieces
How is evergreen content made?
Here we go. These are the meat and potatoes, the patented formula for putting together timeless topical content that always scratches the right itch. Let’s take a look at the first of 6 secrets to creating evergreen content.
1) Pick the Right Format:
So much of effective content creation is choosing the right style of presentation. This is especially true of content that’s meant to be evergreen. Certain styles of content can get dated quickly. Barring a retro trend revving up in the near future, an article titled “The best actors of 1999” won’t be getting much traffic anytime soon.
- Top Tips
- Instructional “How To” articles
- Encyclopedia-esque Entries
- Product Reviews
There’s a reason you see articles with the same sort of titles come up time and time again. There’s a formula to producing evergreen material, and the first step is choosing the correct format.
2) Timeless Topics:
Certain subjects just never get old. Think about why we still teach our high-schoolers Shakespeare or ancient mythology. These are genres that deal with overarching themes within the human condition that never actually get resolved, the conversation only progresses toward further understanding. So you might know all about the history of a topic, but brushing up on the fundamentals can always help you glean new insights. Like re-reading your favorite book.
- Weight Loss
- Pet Care
3) Don’t get Too Technical or Too Broad:
Good evergreen content should be easy to understand. That doesn’t mean you can’t go into specific detail, but it does require you to keep all the jargon to a laymen’s level. You don’t want to alienate future viewers by using language so industry specific, only niche experts will have a clue what you’re talking about.
Simultaneously, you want to keep your choice of topic fairly narrow. Overly broad has been done to death. There are a million different articles on Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand” theory. Perhaps not quite so many on Adam Smith’s influence on Leonard Read’s seminal work concerning the complexity of free markets: “I, Pencil.”
The idea is to stand out without standing so far as to isolate yourself.
4) Lengthy is Lovely:
Long-form content might not cater to the traditionally ADD frenzied adolescent minds used to quickly scanning for relevant content around the web, but it does have a little bit of sway with search engines. 2000+ words can get you in good with Google, and boost your SEO score if your content is authoritative, accurate, and expertly crafted.
5) Inter- and Outer Linking:
Think about the things that keep you young. A life lived in isolation is a life not worth living, and a life not worth living is bound to come to a premature end, no? So make sure that your content is connecting. Connecting within your website and to other authoritative sites around the net.
The way to do this is by interlinking and outer-linking. By interlinking with other web pages that contain related content, you let search spiders know that a particular piece of content is part of a larger narrative your site is working to explain. And by linking outward to websites that attract a lot of traffic, you include your content in a larger conversation.
And there you have it. A 6 step formula for creating incredible edible eggs of content that never go rotten. Obviously, this isn’t a comprehensive list, there are tons more ways to keep your content fresh, chief among them an evolving SEO strategy that keeps up with major search engine requirement changes. Still, if you keep to these guidelines, you’ll have an excellent chance at internet immortality. So remember to stay green!