You've probably heard you should write evergreen posts. While I agree 100%, there are a few other types of posts to consider. Evergreen posts should be the bulk of your articles but seasonal and current events also have their place.
Here's a quick rundown:
- Evergreen content rarely needs to be updated and provides steady traffic over time.
- Seasonal content should be looked at once a year and will provide a boost of traffic during its season but very little during the rest of the year.
- Current events content will give you a big hit of traffic right away but will become outdated quickly.
What is Evergreen Content?
Evergreen content is content that is always relevant. January, July, November – This year, next year, five years from now. Evergreen content is always helpful, useful, and doesn't need much updating to keep interesting to your reader.
On this site examples of evergreen content would be topics like “The 6 Pages Every Blog Needs“, and “What to do When You Hate Tech“. The advice in these areas will not change much over time.
Sure trends will come and go and I suppose eventually these will become outdated but the basic information will remain steady for quite some time. The formatting and style of the posts will probably date them before the actual information does.
How to Use Evergreen Content in your Blog
Evergreen content is the foundation of your blog and therefore, the majority of your content will be evergreen.
You need your content to just plug along, getting solid and consistent traffic with little effort on your part. You want to be able to create the article once, and then let it sit there and do its thing. And that's exactly what evergreen content does.
You are building a repository of information about your niche. I consider a fully fleshed out blog to have about 1,000 articles. You simply can't keep 1,000 articles updated and fresh if all of the information is constantly changing. The site would quickly become full of outdated information and would not be helpful to anyone.
Plus, it takes time to rank. If it takes a few months to get an article ranked in Google you don't want it to become outdated while you wait.
Pros of Evergreen Content
- Provides steady consistent traffic with minimal effort once the article is created.
- Creates a solid foundation for your site
Cons of Evergreen Content
- Most articles on your site will not be home runs – they will quietly generate medium or low levels of steady traffic
What is Seasonal Content?
Seasonal content is content that is built around recurring annual events – such as Christmas or Summer. Like evergreen content, they likely don't need much in the way of updating over time. But unlike evergreen content, they are not relevant all year.
These can things like gift or travel guides. An article titled “10 frugal Christmas Gifts for Moms” would be an example of a seasonal article. Another one would be “6 hikes to try in Denver this Summer”. Neither of these articles are likely to change much from year to year… but they also aren't relevant outside of their season.
How to Use Seasonal Content on Your Blog
I'm a big fan of seasonal content if it fits your niche. Sure, most days your seasonal articles won't do much of anything, but they make up for it when their season hits.
The magic comes when you have a fully built-out suite of seasonal content. Let's say you had a cooking blog and you had four articles like this:
- 10 Recipes that are Perfect for Winter
- 10 Recipes that are Perfect for Spring
- 10 Recipes that are Perfect for Summer
- 10 Recipes that are Perfect for Fall
Those are seasonal articles that would drive very little traffic outside of their season but could be promoted heavily when they are relevant. The same articles could go around year after year with only small updates and feel fresh every time.
That's a pretty generic example, but you can see how you could expand this further to specific holidays or special events.
- 10 Recipes that are Perfect for Graduation Parties
- 10 Recipes that are Perfect for the 4th of July
- 10 Recipes that are Perfect for a RomanticValentines Day
- and so on and so on forever….
If you have a few pieces that are always hitting you can drive a nice bit of steady traffic. And you can build this reservoir of seasonal articles up over time. You only need one or two articles per season or event to make a big impact.
Tip: You'll need to get a big head start on the season. Start thinking about article topics about three months ahead. For example, start looking at your Summer articles in February, your Graduation articles in March, etc.
Pros of Seasonal Content
- Seasonal articles can pull in big traffic when their season is high
- Typically don't need much updating and can still be fresh year after year
Cons of Seasonal Content
- The articles won't get much attention outside of their season
- Each article will need a once over just before the season hits
Current Events Content
What is Current Events Content?
Yes, of course, current events content is about current events — stuff that is happening in the news, right now. While this content can drive huge traffic it will also become quickly outdated.
Examples of current event content would be things like commentary on news stories, celebrity gossip, even limited time offers like coupons or sales are current events.
Not all current event content is the same. A lot of times, the post can be generally evergreen but have a current events component that needs to be updated regularly.
In the personal finance niche, a good example of this is lists of savings accounts.
If you have a list of say, best online savings accounts, the general information about each savings account will likely not change much over time. But there is one component of this that will change frequently — the interest rate. That one component is a current event while the rest is evergreen.
How to Use Current Events on Your Blog
While you shouldn't avoid current events, I personally like to limit my current events content. While it can do quite well when it first publishes, it needs constant maintenance and I'm just not up for that.
I recommend saving this for big money-making posts (like the “best online savings accounts” article above) or really big news in your niche.
What you really want to avoid is accidently creating this type of content when you intend to create evergreen content. That seems impossible doesn't it — but I see it all the time.
Let's say you're writing an article about fun crafts for preschoolers. This could be totally evergreen, but in the article, you talk about how your kids are home bored because of COVID.
Now, this article that could possibly not need updating for a very long time, needs to be updated when COVID is no longer a thing. You could save yourself the trouble if you just said “bored at home” without mentioning COVID at all.
Sometimes it is unavoidable. In this case, plan ahead and make the updates as easy on yourself as possible.
For example, I recently created a tax article for a client. Most of the content was evergreen but we couldn't really publish the article without discussing the special tax rules for COVID for 2020/21 taxes. So I specifically asked the writer to put all COVID-related info in its own section.
That way, next year, I could just delete that section and remove the COVID stuff all in one shot. If he had sprinkled the information throughout the article it would have been much harder to update it.
One last thing — feel free to discuss current events on social media and in your newsletter. This is perfect content for those platforms since emails and social posts don't typically hang around for long. It's expected that those formats are timely and topical.
Pros of Current Events Content
- Can generate a big burst of traffic right away
- Current events can provide an endless stream of topic ideas
Cons of Current Events Content
- Goes out of date very quickly
- If you build your whole blog around current events you'll need to produce endless amounts of content or your traffic will tank
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Basically, each type depends on how quickly it will become outdated and how much traffic it will bring right out of the gate.
All three of these types of content will be used on any blog. Evergreen should be your foundation and then use seasonal and current events to spice things up. This will allow you to build a blog that consistently brings solid traffic while not taking up too much time updating — or risking things getting out of date.