Evergreen content delivers ongoing value for your readers. Instead of delivering a bang of traffic at first and then rapidly fading away, it slowly builds readership over time. Most evergreen content starts slow but actually increases in page-view volume over time as you tweak it and adapt it. Instead of looking like a quick spike and a sharp downward slope, a page view graph for an evergreen post looks like a steadily rising curve.
Let’s take a look at how to generate ideas for evergreen content by looking at a few types of blog posts that have tried and true value as evergreen winners. Start by becoming familiar with these content formats. Then, think about how you can generate topics that fit these winning formulas.
FAQs About Your Industry or Blog Topic
One of the best ways to create a blog post that people visit again and again is to write a post that answers common questions about your industry or topic. FAQ posts start with a simple question: When readers type questions into Google’s search field about your topic or your industry, what questions do they type, and what answers do they want to receive?
Before doing any independent research, brainstorm a list of potential questions that someone might ask about your field. When you’re finished, search the Web to see what people have already written about the questions on your list. For each topic idea, ask yourself how you can offer a unique insight that no one else has written about yet, or decide how you can add more depth to what others may have already tried to say.
Comprehensive Guides and Resource Lists
Creating a comprehensive guide about something (“Everything You Need to Know About…”) or a resource list (“100 Articles to Read About…”) saves your readers time because you’ve done their research for them. It also positions you as someone who’s knowledgeable about your industry and as someone who’s generous about sharing your knowledge with others.
The list of topic ideas you generated for your FAQs can be a great starting place for creating guides and resource lists. For example, if you write a short blog post in answer to an FAQ, and you realize that you have a lot more to say about the topic, you can create an additional guide or resource list, or you can even transform your posts into a series. Just remember these hints:
- Comprehensive guide. Make it a long post (at least 1,000 words), but make sure to break it up with headers, sub-headers, and bullets so that your readers can easily scan it.
- Resource list. Go bigger rather than smaller so that you deliver as much value as possible. Instead of posting a list of five resources today, spend a few extra days and gather a list of 100 resources.
How-To Posts and Tutorials
Nothing says “evergreen” and “helpful” like a how-to post or tutorial. These posts aren’t general discussions about industry questions, and they’re not exhaustive guides covering big topics. Instead, they break down specific tasks into sequential, easy-to-follow steps.
For example, if you blog about weight loss, your how-to posts would cover focused topics like how to pick an outfit that flatters your figure, how to perform a certain type of exercise, or how to keep a food diary. They wouldn’t cover a wide-open, general topic like “How to Lose Weight.”
When you create a how-to post, break it down into easily visible steps, and give very specific instructions. If your reader knows how to start a task but is looking for help with a specific step, the reader should be able to scan your post, find the necessary step, and grab the needed information. When possible, add high-quality images, GIFs, or short videos to your tutorials.
Tending Your Evergreen Forest
If an accounting blogger published a how-to post but failed to update it when relevant tax laws changed, the post would no longer have value, and it would actually contain misinformation. That’s why it’s important to update your content as regulations change, as technology develops, and as you become better at what you do. When you create a portfolio of evergreen content and put some effort into keeping it current, your posts will build long-lasting value for your blog — and credibility for you.