How To Create Evergreen Content: An Actionable Guide To Producing Timeless Blog Posts
Aug 17 2019
14 min read
14 min read
Table of Contents
No matter what anyone tells you, creating high-quality content is hard.
Being a niche marketer with limited resources, it makes sense for you to invest in content that brings in traffic and leads for years.
Content with a long life.
Content that's always relevant.
Content that's evergreen.
Publishing evergreen content means you invest your hard-earned money in content creation once, and reap the rewards for years.
It means you won't have to spend the rest of your life on a content hamster wheel churning out one article after the other trying (hopelessly) to compete with giant publications that invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in content creation, advertising, and traffic generation every month.
In this post, I'll tell you exactly what evergreen content is, how are some of the best marketers using it, and how you can replicate their success by creating timeless content for your niche site.
What is Evergreen Content?
Evergreen content, as the name suggests, is content that remains fresh, relevant, and useful for a long time irrespective of seasonal trends and events.
It's the kind of content that your readers will find useful the day you publish it and even if they refer back to it 12 months later.
In short, you can call it content without an expiry date.
For example, what do you think about the post in the screenshot below?
Source: Men's Health
Losing belly fat is a topic people have been reading about for centuries and will keep searching for it even 2 decades from now.
A classic example of an evergreen topic.
But here's another one in the screenshot below.
Do you think people will be interested in this topic 2 or 3 years from now?
VPNs are useful for browsing the internet safely without compromising your privacy. Because of the recent privacy concerns about leading apps like Facebook, Twitter, and many others, people are increasingly looking for ways and tools to improve their online security.
I don't think this topic is going out of demand any time soon.
In fact, here's what a quick search on Google Trends shows, take a look at the graph for this search...
Source: Google Trends
Apart from the occasional spikes, the demand for this search term has slowly but surely increased over the years and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.
These were two pretty good examples of evergreen content.
But here's an example of content that's NOT evergreen, study the headline in the image below...
I wrote this article about increasing Black Friday Sales for Social Media Today back in Nov, 2015.
Is it relevant today?
Was it relevant even 3 months after getting published?
Can you call it evergreen?
Here's a different example to get you thinking.
Do you think the post below qualifies as evergreen content? Think about it carefully.
Why? Because it's a seasonal topic that only picks up during winters every year.
Look at the screenshot below to find more proof of this, see how the searches peak and then drop...
Source: Google Trends
As you can see, the search trend for the last 5 years for the term "dog sweaters" shows that the search volume picks up only between October and December.
There's little interest in the topic for the rest of the year.
Hence, it doesn't qualify as evergreen content.
Okay, so now that I've described this part n detail, let me tell you why niche marketers in particular need evergreen content more than anyone else.
Why Is Evergreen Content Important for Your Niche Site
Why do people start niche sites?
What's the dream they want to achieve?
The screenshots below of some of the discussions in NicheHacks Facebook Mastermind will help you understand this. Look what was said below...
The theme across all these discussions is pretty simple.
People want freedom.
They want to work less and earn more.
They want passive income (although nothing's ever 100% passive)
This is the biggest motivation for most wannabe niche marketers.
You can't achieve this dream if you have to create content all the time. Which is why evergreen content is so important for you.
Every time you publish an evergreen post, it becomes a long-term business asset that keeps on bringing traffic and leads on autopilot (with a little maintenance of course)
Which is precisely what you want.
Here's how you can create such content.
The Process of Creating Evergreen Content for Your Niche Site
Creating evergreen content is more about mindset than the actual structure of your post.
You'll create high-quality content as usual but with a long-term and set.
Here's how you'll do it.
1. Finding Evergreen Content Ideas for Your Blog
To create content that lasts for years, you must stay away from following trending news and instead come up with topics that generate consistent interest in your target audience.
Here are the best ways to find them.
Think of the Most Basic Questions of Your Audience
Start from the basics.
Think of the most fundamental questions of your audience.
Ask yourself why people come to your site?
What's the biggest problem they're facing?
What answers are they looking for?
What's the situation they dread the most?
What's their dream situation?
At this stage, I'd strongly recommend you to read our post about audience research since it has all the tips you need to uncover the real needs of your audience.
Needs that won't change overnight.
Needs that won't change for years.
But let me quickly share a few tips here.
The fastest way to find the most basic questions of your audience is Google Search
When you search Google for your main topic keyword, here's what you see in the results. Look at this screenshot below...
Source: Google Search
"People also ask" appears just under the first two or three results. It's a goldmine for anyone looking to understand the fundamental needs of their audience.
When you click on any of these questions and scroll down, this is what happens...
More questions appear.
And they keep appearing as long as you keep expanding them and scrolling down.
This alone should give you tons of ideas.
And remember, these are all high traffic and evergreen queries which is why Google has shortlisted them.
But that's not all.
When you scroll down the search page, more ideas are waiting for you.
These are the top queries related to your main topic.
Look at them, "belly fat diet plan", "foods that burn belly fat", "how to lose belly fat naturally"
They're all evergreen search terms that are not dependant on any events or trends.
People will have the same questions 5 years from now.
You can turn each one into an evergreen post.
If you need more ideas, use this amazing resource of unlimited questions on your topic. Look at all these results...
The snapshot above shows the search results for the term "lose belly fat" and the tool I've used is AnswerThePublic.
It gives hundreds of questions extracted from search engines that people are asking about your topic.
In my opinion, these two resources are enough to help you uncover long-term questions of your audience and turn them into evergreen blog topics.
But before you finalize any topics, validate their evergreen potential.
Let me explain how...
Find Ideas With a Consistent Search Trend
The easiest way to find if a topic is evergreen or not is, once again, Google.
Source: Google Trends
Simply use Google Trends to see if there's consistent interest in a topic.
What are you looking for?
Topics with a consistent search trend
Topics with an upward search trend
What are you looking to avoid?
Topics with seasonal search trends
Topics with a downward search trend
As the screenshot above shows, weight loss is a topic that people are always interested in.
See what this next screenshot shows...
Source: Google Trends
As you can see, the topic "marathon training plan" has a pretty consistent search interest.
Let's look at another one. What do you think about this keyword in the screenshot below...
Source: Google Trends
Predictably, the searches for "valentines day gifts" only pick up once a year.
But weight loss, the first example I shared, is a pretty broad topic.
To create evergreen content around it, you'd need to use angles that drive consistent traffic.
For example, a post like "How To Lose Belly Fat Before Christmas 2019" will only be relevant for a few months. But a different angle, "6 Steps To Have a Flat Belly in 3 Months" will always be relevant and evergreen.
Okay, so once you find a topic with a consistent search interest, you finally need to see if it has enough traffic for you to target.
That's pretty easy.
Analyze Keyword Search Volume
Log in to any free keyword research tool to see the estimated search volume of your topic keyword
For example, here's the search volume Ubersuggest shows for the topic "exercises to lose belly fat", study this closely...
That's a pretty decent search volume and shows that the topic has enough searchers for you to target.
Remember, we're not doing keyword research here.
The objective is to verify the search demand for a topic that we've already seen is
in line with our audience's core interest
has a regular Google search trend
This one seems to be right in the sweet spot so we're good to go.
Analyze Your Competitors' Top Performing Content
Last but not least, you can find evergreen topic ideas by simply having a look at the most popular content of your competitors.
There are three good ways to do that.
Run a Google Search for your topic and see the top ranking posts. See which ones are evergreen and try to find different angles that can help you add more value to that topic.
Or you could find the most frequently shared content your topic using this free tool in the screenshot below...
You could also visit your closest competitors' blog and look for their most popular posts manually, check out this post from SmartBlogger...
Many sites have a Popular Posts section like the one in the screenshot above.
If you look closely, three of the most popular posts in this screenshot have the year "2019" mentioned in the title.
Does that mean they're not evergreen posts?
The actual content of the posts is going to be valid for 2020, 2021 and even 2025.
They've only used the year 2019 to make it look more recent.
Next year, they'll change it to 2020.
It's a practice most marketing sites use these days.
Okay so now that you know how to find evergreen topics for your blog, I'm going to share some quick tips for writing high-quality evergreen content in the next section.
2. Writing Evergreen Content for Your Blog
Once you've identified evergreen topics for your blog, writing the posts is not very different from any other content type.
Your job is to create a useful, actionable, and high-quality piece of content.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Create the Best, Most In-depth Resource on Your Topic
You want your evergreen posts to stay relevant to your audiences for a long time so that they can keep bringing in traffic and leads.
For this, you must ensure that you create the most useful and in-depth resource on your topic.
How do you do that?
First of all, you need to find the top ranking content on your topic.
For example, let's take the topic "how to run a faster 5k"
Here's what I found when I searched for this keyword on Google, look at these search results...
All the articles ranking on the first page for this keyword have a word count of 800 to 1200 words.
To create an evergreen post on this topic that dominates the search results for years, you need to create a post that's 10x better than anything currently available.
If the longest post on this topic is 1200 words, create an insanely useful guide of 4000 words with much more actionable advice, stats, and expert input.
That's exactly the strategy Brian Dean has used to dominate the SEO niche which is one of the most competitive on the web.
Look at this resource he published on his blog. The opening line is worth paying attention to...
There were dozens of high-quality guides about eCommerce SEO before Brian published this.
But he made this post 10x more useful, comprehensive, and actionable than anything published online.
As a result, he dominates most of the searches about eCommerce SEO and already has more than 11,000 social shares for this article.
And he's likely to stay up there for months (even years)
Keep this example in mind when you're looking to publish better content than your competitors.
If they've written a 2000 word post, you should publish 5000 words of useful content (not fluff)
If they've used 2 images, you should use 10
Add more data, more examples, more screenshots, and make it more visually appealing than your competitors' content.
But there's something else you need to do as well.
Write for a Complete Beginner
Evergreen content can be written for advanced users as well.
But it works the best for complete beginners because they're the ones who search for such topics the most.
When you start writing a post, think of a complete beginner with basic questions.
Then with every section of your post increase the knowledge level so that by the end of the post your readers graduate to the next level
This HubSpot article is a great example of this, check it out in this screenshot...
It starts with the very basics of content strategy and takes the readers towards the more advanced practices by the end of the post.
This approach benefits you in a couple of ways.
You're able to give your readers a complete resource on the topic.
You're able to rank for a lot of different keywords related to your topic since it covers everything from the basics to the intermediate/advanced concepts.
But there's one more crucial thing to keep in mind while creating evergreen content.
I explain it in the next section
Write on a Narrow Topic for a Specific Audience
The most successful and effective evergreen posts are about very narrow topics that are targeted towards a well-defined audience.
Because by their very nature, evergreen posts are detailed and in-depth. But you can't make an article in-depth if it talks vaguely about a dozen unrelated topics.
For example, an article that comprehensively covers one money making method is much better than a post that barely scratches the surface of a dozen monetization methods.
We're almost done here, but there's one small thing you need to remember when creating evergreen content.
Let me explain in the next heading.
Use Examples and Angles That Are Valid for Years
The language and the examples of your content have a huge impact on its life.
If you frequently use references to short-term events in your content or use angles with a short life, your readers would think your content is outdated.
Using phrases like, "last year" or "this Christmas", and references to particular events for example "FIFA 2018 World Cup", "Game of Thrones Finale" etc. can quickly make your content sound outdated even if it has relevant and evergreen information.
For example, see the screenshot below and tell me if this article still looks relevant.
It looks old, right?
The lessons in it might still be valuable, but the moment someone read the title, they'd assume it's an outdated post.
Compare this with the article in the screenshot below and tell me what you think.
This article is about the best animation companies out there but it doesn't mention any year.
And even though the language of the title is neutral, the readers would always feel the article is still relevant to them.
So make sure your language isn't timebound and is valid for years to come.
That's all you need to know to create evergreen content.
But creating content isn't enough, is it?
This is why in the next section I'll share some tips on getting the most out of your evergreen content.
3. Getting the Most Out of Your Evergreen Content
By definition, evergreen content doesn't require any maintenance or ongoing work.
But there are a few things you must do to keep driving traffic and leads from it.
Let me explain.
Update and Republish Your Content Periodically
Evergreen content doesn't require any regular updates.
But it is imperative that you review it every few months to see if there's any potential for improvement.
The topic of your post might be long-term but maybe you could update some of the stats used in it, the examples you've cited, the tools you've recommended, or the strategies you've shared.
It's not going to be a lot of work, but even small updates can revive your posts and make them much more useful for your audience.
Here at NicheHacks, we regularly review and update our older content for any potential improvements.
And you'd be surprised to know that more often than not, the updated content brings in more traffic than the newer posts.
So don't underestimate this part.
Promote Evergreen Content on Social Media and Q&A Sites
Evergreen content is much easier to promote on social media, Q&A sites, forums, and other relevant platforms.
Because people keep on asking the same questions again and again on different platforms and you can simply copypaste some of your content in response to their questions and link back to the original post if they're interested in reading more.
Similarly, you could use a tool like Buffer to automatically share your evergreen content on social media every few days. You will always get engagement on such posts because the interest in those topics never goes away.
For example, a post about "how to start a blog" will get shares even 2-3 years from now.
On the contrary, an article about "Game of Thrones" isn't likely to draw much interest in a few years because there would be no more hype of that show.
Use Internal Links To Keep Content Alive
Internal links can play a key role in not only driving more traffic to your evergreen posts but also in improving their search rankings.
If you notice, we use a lot of internal links in our posts on NicheHacks.
As a result, our older content keeps getting new readers through those internal links.
It keeps our content alive and helps our readers discover useful advice that they might've missed if it wasn't for the internal links in our newer posts.
Build Backlinks To Stay on Top of Search
Backlinks play a crucial role in determining a site's search engine ranking.
In fact, here's what a study by SEMRush found so spend just a few seconds looking at this graph...
The study shows that backlinks and the number of referring domains to a URL are among the top 5 ranking factors.
Creating evergreen content is just one part of the equation.
Building backlinks is an ongoing process so you'll need to keep acquiring links to sustain your rankings.
Thankfully we have a lot of great advice about link building on our site that you'll really find useful.
Create an Evergreen Content Hub on Your Site
And last but not least, a simple way to drive more traffic to your evergreen content is to create "Start Here" page, like we've done, that acts as an evergreen content hub.
It's a simple resource page that lists all of our evergreen posts organized by topics and categories.
New readers and visitors regularly visit this page to find our best posts listed in an orderly manner.
It's an easy way to keep your content alive.
You now know more about evergreen content creation than most people.
But have you seen it live on different sites?
Thankfully, there are several ways and formats in which you can create content that lasts for years.
Let me share a few examples in the next section.
Examples of Evergreen Content Format
There are dozens of formats marketers across different niches have used to create evergreen content.
The infographic below features some of the most common evergreen content formats. Do any of these content types surprise you?
Let me quickly share a few examples of different evergreen content types.
List of Tools and Resources
List the most useful tools and resources for your audience.
Write ultimate guides that cover all the fundamentals of your topic
How-To Posts and Step by Step Tutorials
Posts that practically guide readers to perform a certain task
Compile timeless tips into one giant list post
History of a Topic
Time travel with your readers and tell them the history of a topic
Expert Round-Up Posts
People never get tired of expert advice.
Case studies are among the most popular content types with the longest lives.
Posts that evoke emotion and motivate people, never get old
These examples are enough to show you the wide range of formats you can use to create timeless content.
The only thing left now, is for you to take action.
Are You Ready To Publish More Evergreen Content?
There's no reason why you shouldn't be because evergreen content becomes a business asset every time you publish it.
And if you think you can rely on low-quality content to build a long-term online asset or business you are mistaken.
With every published post, you'll drive more traffic and more leads with less amount of work.
Content about trending topics and important events has its place, but evergreen content is the foundation on which every successful niche blog is built.
Have a question about this article? Feel free to ask in NicheHacks Facebook Mastermind Group.