You've spent three hours researching and writing a fantastic piece of content. Seriously, if they were giving out Pulitzer's for online marketing it'd be a shoe-in - so why did it stop bringing in traffic after the first week?
Creating 'evergreen' content is one of the hardest things to do in online marketing and takes a lot of work and preparation, but get it right and you will begin to see long-term rewards. Read on as we divulge six of the best forms of evergreen content.
A 'How-to' post is one of the most effective forms of content when it comes to driving traffic to your site consistently. Why? Well, consider what you do when you need to learn how to do something you'll typically head straight to Google and search 'How to change a light bulb', 'How to repair a flat tyre', 'How to put up a shelf'' whatever it may be.
The caveat of course is that you will probably have quite a lot of competition when it comes to the classic 'How-to' post, so take the time to ensure that yours is the definitive resource on the subject - lazily put together content that isn't comprehensive or is simply cobbled together from other posts already out there isn't going to cut it.
Of course not all 'How-to' posts are timeless for example 'How to use Siri on the iPhone 5' will be searched for a lot less once the sixth handset is released but in general these are a fantastic way of bringing in traffic over a long term period.
Top Tip: Keep your evergreen content regularly updated to ensure that it remains relevant. For example, why not update that 'How to use Siri on the iPhone 5' post to 'How to use Siri on the iPhone 6' once the new model is released, making the appropriate changes to the body of the content.
Get Back Back-to-Basics
'How-to' posts may be effective, but sometimes people need to simply get a better grasp of a concept before learning how to use it. Definition posts such as 'What is a Car Alternator' or 'How Does a Light Bulb Work?' can be equally successful, but again, you'll need to make sure that you put together a definitive and accurate explanation.
It's a well known fact that the attention span of internet users is about the same as the average two-year old, and it is for this reason that we love list posts so much. Hell, you're still reading this one aren't you?
A compelling combination of informative and easy-to-digest, lists make for fantastic evergreen content that is also super-shareable, so consider the issues affecting your industry and whether or not there is any info you can convert into list form.
Some content marketers would recommend avoiding stoking the fires of controversy on your blog, however if you have an opinion on something within your industry get on your blog and write about it, as this sort of content can not only bring visitors to it but also get people engaging with it.
It is really important for your brand's online marketing campaign that you are involved with the conversation of your industry, and by inviting your readers to agree or disagree with you, you will spark up a debate and give people a reason to return to your site to participate.
Top Tip: Always invite your readers to post their thoughts on a particular post in the comment section, and ALWAYS reply to those who contribute to the conversation.
The History of...
No one wants to read old news, but funnily enough, 'The History of...' posts are ideal for creating evergreen content.
Historical information generally doesn't change so you don't have to worry about it becoming out dated, while people are always interested in reading about the origins of the things they work with or use every day.
There is tonnes of insightful and fascinating content out there, and few people have time to consume all of it. With this in mind, a curative post that brings together the highlights of your industries' news and views could work very well on a monthly or even quarterly basis.
Simply find the links to the content that you think is relevance and of interest to your readers and post the links on your blog, along with a brief synopsis on what the content is about and perhaps even a line or two of your own thoughts on the subject.
Although an individual curative post may not be 'evergreen' on its own (this will depend on the sort of content you link to), if people in your industry identify you as a good source of news and information they will consistently return to your site for precisely for these posts.
Top Tip: Inform the content creators that you are linking to their content - you may receive a link from their website in return.
The mantra of 'Content is King' has been repeated verbatim by online marketing experts for months now, but without taking the time to create content that can truly offer something of benefit to your readers, you are going to find that you don't receive the visitors you think your carefully-crafted prose deserves.
John Rooney is a Content Marketing and PR Executive for UK-based legal services provider. In this role, John is responsible for conceiving and executing content marketing campaigns as well as supporting with PR initiatives. He also blogs about movies and films over at Think Outside the Box