What is Evergreen Content?
The timeframe of how long content must last to be considered evergreen is up for debate, but I would consider anything that is still completely relevant 1+ years after being published as evergreen. Do not fall into the trap of seeing evergreen content only as something that is timeless. In certain niches, such as marketing, techniques and technologies evolve so fast that the scale for evergreen must be adjusted accordingly.
One of the best examples of evergreen content that I have seen is Jon Cooper's Link Building Strategies The Complete List. He has compiled one of the most exhaustive resources on link building on the web and he updates it occasionally, so that it stays current to the times. This one page is now a link building workhorse for his website.
The key takeaways from Jon's example are to:
- Create content that is relevant to a particular niche
- Build content that is a foundational resource
- Provide information that others want to use and share
If you are able to keep these takeaways in mind then you are ready to begin building a large quantity of quality links to your very own evergreen content, but first you must build some momentum. If you have not yet created your content here is a great resource with a few tips on developing evergreen content.
Target a Niche
The first and most important step in the link building process is to target a particular niche with your content. This will allow you to provide value to a certain community that will hopefully engage with and share your content. If the content is too broad it is difficult to gain traction. For example, if you are maintaining a website about tennis, content geared towards sports in general is less likely to gain traction with your readers because your site will have less credibility on the broader topic. Keep your content focused.
Now that your content has been created and is on-niche it is time to make sure that your content can be found. Take the time to properly optimize for your targeted keywords so that those specifically searching for it will be able to find the content.
Once your content is capable of generating search-traffic the possibilities of gaining natural links and social shares will be much higher.
After optimizing your content for users and search it is time to start building your initial links and traffic that will be the building blocks of your content's future momentum. We as content marketers can't forget to market the content itself. I would build a list of bloggers, websites and twitter accounts of those in your niche that would be likely to be interested in your content. Utilize tools such as Technorati.com to search for these relevant sites and then keep a log of contact info and URLs in an Excel spreadsheet. If you do not have the time yourself feel free to hire someone for cheap through a service such as oDesk to scrub sites for you. Once you have compiled the outreach list, then it is time to start emailing the website owners and bloggers to see if they will link to or share your content with their users. If your content is relevant, then there is a good possibility that you will have a high acceptance rate.
In addition to the email outreach, feel free to pull a few of the blogs off of your list that are not competitors and that accept guest posts. Write a guest post on a topic that utilizes the information in your evergreen content, then you can link back to your evergreen content in the article. This will pick up a few backlinks for you, but more importantly will help drive initial traffic to the page. Ideally, other website owners will find this content useful and will share it with their audience.
Don't forget to share your evergreen content through your own social networks. This again will help build some initial momentum among those that are already connected with you and that value your content on some level.
Also, take the time to engage the twitter accounts that you collected earlier to see if they will retweet or share your content.
Lastly, don't forget to re-share your content occasionally, so that your new followers and those that may have missed it originally can have a chance to engage with the content that your other followers loved. This will help give your content a boost occasionally to keep the momentum going.
Once your content has been developed feel free to update it as necessary. If your field evolves quickly, then it may be necessary to make minor tweaks/additions to the content on a regular basis to ensure that your information is always as fresh as possible. If your content becomes outdated, then you will begin to lose momentum and you will see diminishing returns on traffic and incoming links.
By utilizing these tactics you will be able to build and then maintain a critical mass of users that are engaging with your content. This will ensure that your evergreen content is able to consistently deliver natural links and traffic for years to come as others share your content with their audiences.
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