The Value of Evergreen Content
The term sounds lively and fresh, but what exactly is evergreen content? As marketer Megan Marrs puts it, “The evergreen tree is a symbol of perpetual life because they retain their leaves throughout the seasons, rather than shedding. Like the trees, evergreen content is considered sustainable and lasting.”
In other words, evergreen content is content that doesn’t expire, go bad, or lose relevancy. The content provides value for years to come and is the opposite of a feature piece that would be placed on the front page of a newspaper.
This article, titled Desert Storm: Oregon vs. Auburn, is an example of standard content. Its value was limited to the weeks leading up to the 2010 college football national championship game. On the other hand, this article: The 10 Commandments of Betting College Football, is an example of evergreen content. It doesn’t matter if it’s 2010 or 2017, the article still has value. Do you see the difference?
Five Tips for Writing Better Evergreen Content
As a freelance writer, your ability to develop evergreen content can mean the difference between finding steady work and missing out on profitable opportunities. With that being said, here are some tips for writing better evergreen content.
Choose the Right Formats
Not all evergreen content is created equal. There are a variety of formats and you should make sure you’re choosing and using the correct ones. The most popular evergreen formats are listicles, instructional how-tos, videos, product reviews and comparisons, and top tips. These are the formats audiences are familiar with and respond to the best.
Sustainable vs. Timeless
Yes, evergreen content is supposed to last for a long time. But it’s not intended to last forever. Something you write now may not be useful 50 years from now. Instead of looking at evergreen content as timeless, view it as sustainable – content that can be updated down the road.
Aim at Beginners
The vast majority of evergreen content should be aimed at beginners. As Marrs says, “Sometimes you may feel the urge to write a piece showing off your expertise on a certain subject, but this can be a big mistake. Experts are less likely to be searching for help—your audience is primarily beginners, and you want to generate content aimed at them.”
This doesn’t mean you have to write basic content that doesn’t deliver high-level value, but you should avoid creating white paper-level material that will narrow down your audience to insignificant level.s
Define a Precise Niche
The key is to find a precise niche without alienating too many people. Precise topics tend to feature more relevant keywords and semantic language that’s searchable and discoverable in the search engines, whereas broad language doesn’t speak to people in a manner that’s relatable.
When defining a niche, always do some in-depth analysis of your readers. Who are your target readers and what’s a pain point that they all share? By addressing this point of friction, you can be sure that you’ll leave a lasting impact.
Hone Your Skills
At the end of the day, you need to know how to write a variety of content. A well-rounded and versatile writer can command much more value than one who’s only proficient at one specific format.
But with that being said, evergreen content should be one of your specialties. It never goes out of style and continues to provide your clients with value well beyond publishing.