[This is part of the Developing Great Blog Content Series. Check out the other posts!]
One of the most strategic things that you can do for your blog is to craft exceptional blog posts that can essentially stand the test of time (with a little bit of updating now and again).
We call these blog posts “evergreen,” or in other words, “everlasting blog posts.”
The concept is quite simple and so it always surprises me that most bloggers don’t actually execute on a few evergreen-style posts for their blogs especially since the benefits are incredibly significant.
Here are some things you should know about crafting those picture-perfect evergreen posts and how to capitalize on them for years to come:
Evergreen Blog Posts: The What and Why
As I’ve mentioned before an “evergreen” post is a blog post that is one of your better posts that is so well crafted that it becomes one of the most significant and high-trafficked blog posts for your blog.
Here are some other defining characteristics of not only “what” it is but also “why” you will want to have one (or more):
- It will become one of your highest trafficked blogs posts.
- It oftentimes characterizes your blog’s content focus very strongly.
- It helps define explicitly (or reiterates) your blog’s brand and market position.
- It is exceptionally keyword-rich and targeted for your readers.
- It is positioned very high in terms of SEO and organic search returns.
- It is a post that may require little to no updating for the life of your blog. In many other instances it will require a small bit of updating as the topic changes and/or more relevant content and information surrounding the topic become available.
- Typically they are very narrowly written topics (helps with the keyword-rich targeting).
- They may be exceptionally unique and heavily characterized by you, your blog, and your blog’s brand.
- An evergreen post has the capacity and potential to be heavily monetized – some blogs make a majority of their income from a few of these posts year after year after year.
- Sometimes an evergreen post is merely accidental but a random mix of keywords, content, and position result in a high-capacity and returning post. Although it might be luck you can convert it into sheer strategy!
- Evergreen blog posts become more valuable over time and are more relevant and more important than perhaps when they were first written. Do your blog posts have this “maturation” quality to them?
- Evergreen blog posts typically have the quality of virality to them. In other words, the potential for these blog posts to “go viral” through social media is generally higher.
For many bloggers, especially ones that consider themselves to be professional bloggers, crafting and launching evergreen content is a significant portion of their strategy! But you don’t have to be a problogger today to start crafting yours!
The bottom line is this: Evergreen blog posts drive tons of traffic and bring in the largest profit margins for your written work.
How to Craft Exceptional Evergreens
Although there can be a bit of luck associated with how your blog and your blog posts become evergreen you do have a lot of say in which ones really do become the top performers for your blog.
Here are some general things to consider when you start thinking about those evergreens:
- Evergreen posts don’t change or at the most change very little. Your niche and content focus plays a large role in how you decide which posts qualify as evergreen.
- Evergreen posts can be very seasonal – so you might be able to leverage the calendar year to your advantage.
- Evergreen posts are the ones that make your blog unique. This is a good opportunity to review this blog post here on focus and how you might begin to craft those exceptionally long-standing posts centered around your passions and expertise.
- Your opinions are oftentimes very evergreen. Sometimes your most opinionated blog posts will become your evergreen posts. Think about this for a moment and you might find this exceptionally profound!
- Evergreen can either fall into the seasonal category, have a long-standing position (but not forever), or have an eternal position related to them. The amount of effort and context will help you clarify their so-called shelf-life.
- Typically evergreen posts are centered around your unique expertise and perspective. You’ll want to leverage those heavily to really stand them out from the crowd and to keep people coming back.
- Evergreen posts require a bit of keyword research on the blogger’s part to really strategically position the blog post among the thousands out there that might cover similar topics.
- Evergreen blog posts should be some of your best written content that you can throw together. In fact, it is very reasonable for these blog posts to take a significant amount of time to write and publish. A few rounds of edits, finding the right images, and a robust outline are just a few of the things that you might have to do that is outside of what you may normally do to publish a blog post, not to mention that they might be a lot longer than in word count than you might normally do.
- Many evergreen blog posts capitalize on the unique experiences the blogger has that are (obviously) unique to that blogger alone. Writing about last week’s nationally televised NBA basketball game does not nearly have the potential of becoming evergreen as your one-on-one coaching by one of the players on the championship team before he was discovered on the collegiate level.
In general you’ll want to spend more time on your evergreens and give them the love and attention that they deserve. Heck, if done well they’ll give you way more than you invested in them in return!
How to Promote or Get it Even More Evergreen
Organic SEO and Google might have a large role to play in some of your blog posts becoming evergreen but you also can play a very active role in navigating eyes (and traffic) to the posts you consider evergreen.
Here are some of the strategies that you might employ:
- Repeatedly cite those blog posts in conversations, both online and offline.
- Make in memorable.
- Link to these posts consistently in other posts.
- Have these posts placed prominently (or linked prominently) on your static pages (like your “About” page).
- Have your blog design “call them out” in creative ways.
- Link to them via your social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook.
- Repeatedly share them via social networks and social media (in good taste, mind you).
- Generally promote them with interest and passion!
- Make the links easy to remember and easy to type. Check this post on the strategy behind blog post slugs here.
- Schedule out a time to review your evergreen posts so as to update them to keep them evergreen and consistently relevant
- Schedule out time to refine them based on keyword patterns or how your other blog posts may interface with them. Do your research continually, not just one time!
Ultimately your goal is to promote your evergreen posts as best as you can so that people associate your blog and your blog’s brand with those posts.
Six Real Life Examples
I hope it’s not too much of a secret that I’m constantly thinking about evergreen posts. In fact, it’s been a very important part of my overall content strategy from day one.
When I first started this blog I realized that there were definitely a few blog posts that I had in mind that I wanted to spend a significant amount of time writing and so I planned very carefully to craft these posts and to release them strategically – there are some that have been written so far and there are some that have yet to be written!
Here are a few examples of evergreen posts that have done their magic to provide traffic day-in and day-out to this blog.
1. Promotion via Design
One of the top blog posts of all time here is easy to pick out since I’ve been advertising it since I created it as the top right banner of the blog! It’s my 10 Definitive Ways to Know if You are TentBlogger post.
Obviously I’ve been actively promoting it and there’s a good reason why – TentBlogging or Digital Tentmaking is a relatively new concept that I’m trying to really promote heavily throughout this entire blog and this blog’s brand. I want to make sure that new visitors not only know what a TentBlogger is but also if they are one of us! A combination of education and community has gone a long way!
2. Blog Post as an Answer to a Consistent Question
I just wrote this post a few days ago but it’s been a long time coming. I get asked all the time what my particular WordPress installation and hosting setup is and finally it made sense to reveal it in light of my large blog post series that I’ve been writing.
I will refer to this blog post in conversation, on Twitter, and in other blog posts almost daily from now on! This will definitely become an evergreen post as it answers a question that I get asked all the time.
3. Unique Size, Research
This blog post here was one of the first blog posts that I did in the first month of this blog and it still remains as one of the top 10 pages visited of all time. It took 3 weeks to research, gather, and publish this post.
It’s now worth every single second that I spent crafting it and I’m very pleased with the amount of pageviews it gets every single day. There is no more comprehensive blog post than this in terms of blog software and platforms
I am a full time and professional blogger and I love what I get to do every single day. I cannot share how awesome it is enough!
As such this post is a post that nearly every single visitor visits at least once – they want to know what it’s like and how I do it! This post will change a bit with the income statements and such over time but it’s in the top 5 posts viewed of all time and it should stay that way.
5. Best Written, Most Important
This post here is a relatively newer post but is quickly climbing the traffic charts every single week. I personally believe that it is the most important post that I’ve written to date and is one of the best written ones I’ve crafted.
This post explains, in detail, my “secret” if you will or my greatest piece of advice for successful blogging. It is a foundational post for bloggers to read, reflect, and then execute against.
6. SEO, Organic Traffic, and a Bit of Luck
This post here covering my thoughts on the new Macbook Air is one of the highest returning keywords (“MacBook Air” and “Macbook Air 13″) via Google.
I didn’t earn this right but I’ll take it all the same!
Those are just a few examples of how evergreen posts are being catalogued and created here on my blog. How will you begin to craft evergreens? What will you do this year?
[This is part of the Developing Great Blog Content Series. Check out the other posts!]