A recent edition of Bloggab, a weekly blogging-related Twitter chat, focused on Evergreen Blog Posts vs Hot Topic Blog posts. Here are some points that came out of that chat about evergreen posts.
Evergreen blog posts are those that aren’t dependent on a specific news event or trending topic. They can be written well in advance and scheduled for some time in the future, or written the day of posting and your readers normally won’t know the difference.
There are both good and bad things about evergreen blog posts. Here are a few points you should know as you decide what percentage of your blog posts should be evergreen in nature.
1. They have a longer promotable shelf life.
For those of us who promote old posts in social media, one thing becomes clear very quickly: evergreen posts have a longer shelf life for later tweets than more timely, hot-topic posts do. This is important because it gives us something we can continue to promote on our blogs even on slow posting days. They can also boost the amount of promotion we do by giving us a wider range of posts to retweet over time.
2. They don’t depend on a hot trend.
Not that there’s anything wrong with following hot trends, but it can be a challenge at times to stay on top of trends well enough to be able to generate copy quickly and get a post done in time to jump on the trending bandwagon. Evergreen blog posts can be written farther in advance, crafted, re-edited and refined before they ever have to be published because there isn’t the urgency surrounding them. Having more time to think about and write a post can usually lead to a better-written post.
3. They can be more relevant for a longer period of time.
Think about the world of fashion: reading about a hot fashion trend can be appealing for a few months or even for a year or so. But an evergreen blog post about the basics of how to mix color into your wardrobe can be relevant for years because that topic doesn’t necessarily depend on styles of apparel or hot brand names. An evergreen blog post can provide useful information in a “bigger picture” way that a hot topic post can’t always deliver.
4. They can deliver more search results and visits to your blog.
I’ve written before about the US Postal Service’s financial woes and plans to overcome them. Those are hot topic posts because they depend on a specific situation at a specific time. A post I wrote about receiving someone else’s mail and what it takes to get the same piece of misdirected mail from showing up in your mailbox continues to get traffic years after it was written because that’s an everyday problem people have.
5. They may not be shared as quickly as a hot topic post.
I don’t mean to be a downer here, but your followers may be faster to share a hot topic post in their own circles than an evergreen. Why? Because they’re trying to be part of the same hot trends others are. The flip side of this is that on a slower day, they may be more wiling to share an evergreen post and are more likely to do so after time passes from a post’s first appearance.
6. They can show more personality of the blogger.
What does that funny story about Aunt Ethyl have to do with what’s going on in the world? Nothing. But that’s the whole point. Aunt Ethyl’s antics and how you dealt with them could be enjoyable any time of the year. (If her antics only come, for example, at Christmastime, then that could be a post you write in June and hold until Christmas week.) Having more time to write the post means you have more time to be your genuine self because there’s less deadline pressure as your pound away at the keyboard.
7. They are a great defense for “Bloggers Block.”
Do you frequently suffer periods in which you just have nothing to say? Start stockpiling a few generic topics in your quiver. Why do you hate the grocery store? What’s the best lesson a teacher ever taught you? What makes your all-time favorite pet stand out? If your blog has a specific niche, why did you choose that one? What makes it so important to you that it’s the one you write about? What don’t you like about the topic? On a slow day, when you just can’t think of anything new to say, one of those ready-made drafts can quickly be scheduled and your audience needn’t know that you saved yourself with your own ingenuity!
Next week, I’ll give you some points to consider about Hot Topic posts.