How much of your content is related to current events? How much is timeless?
The most successful content strategy includes a mixture of timely news and “evergreen” informational articles with a long shelf life.
Evergreen content stays relevant over time and accumulates traffic for your site. Evergreen content can be produced once, and monetized multiple different ways. Archives of evergreen content provide an excellent basis for paid content products, such as digital memberships.
Three Ways Evergreen Content Drives Traffic
More traffic means more ad inventory and more opportunities to convert visitors to paying customers of your products. So, there is real money at stake. Here are three ways evergreen content increases your traffic.
1. Increased page time, which leads to more return visits. Evergreen content increases the amount of time visitors spend on your website and the odds they will return. Once they know you’re a valid source for critical information, they won’t need to use Google the next time they have a related question. They’ll head right for your site.
2. Increased engagement, which leads to social sharing. Over time, your most loyal readers develop a brand affinity with your website. They come to trust your information, leading to a greater number of social shares through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Their connections will start visiting your site.
3. Increased SEO authority, which leads to higher search result ranking. Other companies will link to your best evergreen content. Inbound links from other sites enhance a publisher’s authority with search engines. Authority, in turn, drives higher ranking in search results. The higher you appear in search results, the more organic traffic you’ll get.
Monetize Your Archives
Once you have a repository of valuable, timeless information related to your niche, it’s time to charge for access to it. Evergreen content is a prerequisite for a paid digital membership.
However, you need to think carefully about what evergreen content you put in front of a paywall versus behind it to balance traffic with monetization.
You can also use your evergreen archives to publish “best of” print editions. Evergreen content could also be the basis for television shows, radio programs, podcasts, and events.
How to Define Evergreen
How long must your content last to be considered evergreen? It depends on the context and the subject matter.
How-to articles that give basic life advice, such as how to fix a leaky toilet, won’t change much, and people will continue to look for them for years or even decades. Historical information, like famous political speeches and lists of past Nobel Prize winners, will also stand the test of time.
In areas where information evolves rapidly, such as technology, informational that remains relevant for as short as several months to one year might be termed evergreen.
Creating evergreen content may seem like a lot of work, but rather, it is quite simple and it pays dividends for years to come. The key is to create information that is unchanging but will always spark the interest of readers. Use evergreen content to prove you are dedicated to offering premium, trustworthy content.
Rob Ristagno is the CEO and Founder of The Sterling Woods Group, a firm that builds new revenue streams for media companies and publishers. He is an expert in direct monetization of content. Prior to creating The Sterling Woods Group, Rob served as a senior executive for several niche media and e-commerce companies. He most recently was the Chief Operating Officer of America’s Test Kitchen, considered to be the gold standard in the niche media world for building diversified – and often digital – revenue streams.
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