It’s not just the Christmas spirit and winter snow that has me excited about evergreens. Granted, I love wrapping a big tree in tinsel, but I really love wrapping my keyboard around an evergreen topic. The term evergreen topic refers to subject matter people are always interested in reading. They are popular search engine requests and usually revolve around the basics of any particular subject, for example, “home office deduction,” “freelance writing,” or “writing a query letter.” Most writers will find themselves assigned one of these pieces and that’s a great thing for several reasons:
5. Popular topic, popular article
Writing on a popular topic means the article is going to be read by many, referenced and if online, gather hits for a long time. When a writer produces a well-written piece on eating organic, they can rest assured they will always find an audience willing to send clicks their way.
4. Plenty of places to sell
Evergreen pieces have a broader market where they can be pitched. Editors are always looking for good pieces with a long shelf life to boost readers and maintain reader loyalty. Using the eating organic example, there are a variety of possible publications including cooking, health, parenting, gardening, environmental awareness and senior citizen targeted publications. Writers will still have to angle their pitch to the specific publication, but the markets are there and that’s what is important.
3. Stretches creativity
Popular subjects make writers use their brains to come up with new angles and sources. Publications may include the same subject matter, but they don’t want to publish the same piece written by different authors over and over again.
2. Intro to niche writing
Writing a general piece on a subject can awaken the idea monster in a writer. Points lightly touched upon in an evergreen article can be explored further in progressively specialized articles. Before you know it, you’ve written dozens of articles on a subject and have another area of expertise to add to your resume.
1. Show talent for the general and specific.
Many freelancers write for specialized publications or have a heavy concentration in a niche and that’s not a problem if that’s the only area in which you have writing interests. When writers get antsy for something new, they can find themselves at a disadvantage. They may want to write fashion pieces, but all their clips say technical writer. Taking the time to write general evergreen articles gives a writer variety in their clips, ensuring they have a broad body of work to chose from when pitching outside their niche.
There are standard subjects people want to learn more about and as a writer you have the opportunity to not only provide this information, but to use your skill and natural talent to take the subject in a new direction, discover new angles, developments and research. I believe blog and web sites benefit from evergreen articles the most because people may not hold on to a magazine forever, but they will continually refer back to their favorite posts and links. If you haven’t branched out into this area already, make it a point to do so in the new year – you won’t be sorry.