Let me tell you a real story of a writer:
Christopher Fielden was hired to move a beehive. He accepted the work as he assumed the hive would be empty soon.
He was wrong.
The hive had 5,000 tenants. He was not enjoying the work of infuriating the bees by spraying the bee smokers. He became lost. As he was tired of the present work, he took the decision of changing the profession.
After publishing for newspaper articles, he stepped in the digital world of writing blog posts and website content.
You might be asking:
What is the connection between Christopher’s story and Evergreen Content?
His thoughts on his initial struggle days:
I’m not famous. No one knows who I am. No one found my writing because no one was searching for it. Aside from friends and family, few people read my stories. Boo hoo.
A single page changed his life.
He wanted to make a short story writing community.
In 2013, he shared an evergreen content case study with Moz readers telling about the importance of creating a timeless content by sharing some awesome statistics. He made an extensive and updated list of short story competition list on a single page.
In 2014, he shared a second case study based on the updated statistics of the same short story competition page.
I was curious to know the effect of the same page in 2015. I emailed him and asked about the current traffic figures on that page.
He was generous in sharing the statistics from 2012 to 2015. I am presenting the same figures in the following image:
The reason for the drop in the percentage share of the evergreen page:
He said, “As you can see, that one page has consistently performed as the best landing page on the site results wise. Its overall % of visits has decreased over time, but that’s because I’ve added more content to the site. It still gains the most interaction and exposure for me as a writer.”
Before getting to the SWEET part, I’d like to present the definition of Evergreen Content.
What is Evergreen Content?
Let us understand the meaning of Evergreen Content with the help of the two graphs. Kevin Lee explains the difference wonderfully with the help of two graphs.
Graph 1: Typical Content
When you publish the blog post, there is so much excitement. On that day, you promote the content on different social sites. It feels so good to get the traffic on the published date, isn’t?
What happens after that?
Your happiness doesn’t last for a long time. The traffic drops. As you can see in the graph below, the number of visits decrease drastically.
Graph 2: Evergreen Content
When you post evergreen content, you build your traffic, engagement and conversions gradually. You may or may not get the peak on the published date. But, you see the tremendous growth over time.
Your efforts don’t go in vain. You reap the benefits of your efforts for a long long time.
How Evergreen Content Changed Christopher’s life?
I asked him one question:
How this single page changed your writing and personal career?
It has helped my branding as an author and blogger immensely. I get approached by all sorts of people – from users to people in the literary world. It has opened doors.
I now run a very successful short story competition myself, that simply wouldn’t get any exposure (or have been conceived) without that page.
I sell more books than I ever have before (on average, a few a week compared to 1 a month (if I was lucky)). I am better known as an author and make more money from my writing because of it.
Developing that piece of content has led to many others. The next 3 best-performing landing pages on my site were all developed due to the success of the short story comps page.
One lists short story magazines, one lists book/novel competitions and the other is my own short story competition page. The homepage comes 5th.
Due to the amount of visits the page and site now attract, I have been able to monetise this hobby by displaying ads on the site. They currently generate about £80 worth of income for me a month, which easily covers running costs.
OK, it’s not going to make me a millionaire and I still have a day job (thankfully, it’s a good one that I enjoy), but the revenue increases as the site gain more exposure.
Important Takeaways from Christopher’s story
- From 2012 to 2015, the overall traffic came mostly from the single evergreen content page (More than 60% in the first two years and around 50% in the next two years). Do I need to say anything about the impact of evergreen content now?
- The single page or post has the power to attract the audience for a long time. After posting the short story competition page, the new users increased at an alarming rate of 470%.
- Due to that single page, he got the confidence to launch the other pages. Initially, he used to post the details of the short story competitions from other people. Now, he has his own short story competition page. What a great achievement!!
- Prior to that evergreen page, nobody knew about the Christopher’s site. He was ‘Mr. Nobody’. After posting that page, he came into limelight. Today, he is getting approached by different sorts of people.
- After four years, Christopher is optimistic about generating money from his evergreen page. This is the power of the evergreen page. It doesn’t take too much time for updating the page. As soon as, he gets the notice about any short story competition, he updates the page.
You might be asking:
What is the key ingredient behind an Evergreen Content?
Answer: SWEET Ingredient
How to Write an Evergreen Content: SWEET Approach
Evergreen content has the sweet aroma which can be referenced long after it was originally published. It stays young forever. After many years, it is still valuable to the readers.
Do you know the reason?
They leave behind a sweet sensation in reader’s mind. It forces them to share this useful content with their friends.
Characteristics of an Evergreen Content:
I will connect the characteristics with Christopher’s evergreen page. This will help you to understand the importance of an evergreen content in a sweet manner.
Source: One Stop Destination For the Readers
I consider ‘Neil Patel’ to be the king of the content marketing world. I don’t think anybody would disagree with me. His content marketing guide is the live proof of an evergreen content. It is the best free guide on this topic.
After reading it, readers don’t need to go anywhere else. It is complete within itself.
It applies for Christopher’s page also. When a short story enthusiast lands on his page, a feeling of completeness sinks in. Due to the detailed information, the same person doesn’t find any reason to hop on other’s website.
Worthy: Valuable Content for the Readers
Ramit Sethi, an author of NYT bestseller, came up with an idea of making ‘Ultimate guide to Making Money‘.
His major idea of the guide is summarized in his quote:
There’s a limit to how much you can save, but there’s no limit to how much you can learn.
It is a valuable guide for those who want to earn more without implementing the frugal methods.
Christopher’s page is also a perfect example of a worthy guide. After landing on the page, the readers don’t feel cheated. They see value in his content. This is the reason behind the growth of the page and his overall website.
Elucidate Narrow topic for getting super targeted audience
Stephanie Simpson came up with an ‘Ultimate guide to Smartphone Photography‘. She is not targeting all the photographers. She is providing a full guide for the smartphone users.
Right from choosing the type of phone to printing the images, she has captured every information in detail.
In a similar manner, Christopher targeted a small section of writers. He focused on providing resources for the short story writers. Both of them are targeting at the small group of people to get big returns.
Eternal: Timeless Content
Brian Dean, the founder of Backlinko, explains the foundation of SEO with his Keyword Research Ultimate Guide. He has divided the whole guide into seven chapters.
After making this evergreen content, he just needs to sit and relax. As keyword is the backbone of any SEO campaign, readers will find it useful for a long time. With the exception of few updates, his content will remain same.
It applies for the Christopher’s page also. He already has a solid framework. So, he doesn’t need to worry about creating a new content. He just needs to update the article with the latest competition updates.
Trainee Mindset: Start from the Scratch
WpBeginner’s Ultimate WordPress Guide is a perfect example for understanding the logic behind the trainee mindset. If someone is thinking about starting a WordPress site, this page is the best place to be in.
As trainee requires proper guidance before performing the main task, this page helps the beginners to get proper guidance before starting their websites.
On the left column of Christopher’s short writing competition page, there is a box with different links. Before participating in the competition, the beginners can go through all the writing advice.
When you start valuing your reader’s time and effort, readers will give back the same amount of love. Think about the evergreen content idea for your blog. Take your time. There is no hurry.
My question for you:
Are you including evergreen content strategy into your blogging strategy?
Share your doubts or suggestions in the comment section below.