The life of a journalist, especially a writer for a daily paper, is filled with searching for the next story. Sometimes there is an exciting breaking story, like an earthquake in Taiwan, or a Tornado in Texas. 

These stories are relevant as they are happening. They’re the headlines that demand immediate attention, shaping the current narrative. But they fade with time. A story about the results of the sporting event two weeks after the game just won’t get read. And they don’t come around every day.  

So between the breaking features, journalists look for other types of stories to entertain their readers. There are stories which are time sensitive or seasonally relevant, such as stories about holiday shopping trends in the winter or gardening tips in the spring. They can be written in advance and scheduled to run during the right season.  

And then there are the evergreen stories.  These informative features can run at any time. Newspapers typically use this content to fill in on a slow news day.  These timeless features, offering valuable insights regardless of the day or season. 

As you plan your content calendar, take a lesson from  the journalist and plan for three types of content. 

  • Breaking News –These are often the hardest to plan for, and often need to be dropped in quickly, before they become irrelevant.  Content in this category might include information about new regulations, trends or products.  To create this type of content, you need to stay one step ahead of your industry.
  • Time Sensitive – This type of content is particularly important in seasonal businesses such as snow removal, landscaping, HVAC, education or retail. Time-sensitive information includes news about company anniversaries, moves and new employees. These stories don’t necessarily need to be run on a specific day, but they should be planned and scheduled within a specific time period. 
  • Evergreen – This is information that will be interesting and relevant to your audience whenever you run it. These are things every prospective customer  should know. Remember, the vast majority of people who see your content on social media or drop by your website, may be dropping by for the very first time. Frequently asked questions, simple how-to articles, or product reviews make great evergreen content. This content can be researched and written well in advance. Then they are ready whenever you need some fresh content but there just isn’t anything happening that is newsworthy.

Want to start working on evergreen content?  Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Start with the questions customers ask. Look in your email folder for those long answers you have already written. Use your answer as the foundation of a FAQ. If one customer has the question, others will as well. In addition to rounding out your blog, these posts tend to index well on Google, as prospective customers search for answers.  Don’t stop with just a written  article.  Record these informative bits and share on YouTube, social media and even on your website to supplement the written content.  Another benefit of  evergreen content is what it can do for your SEO. The timeless nature of this content allows it to build value over time. A well written FAQ or how-to article with a good title and appropriate keywords will bring traffic to your website weeks, months, and even years after it is published.

Commit to Quality. If you want your content to stand the test of time, you can’t just slap up a 500 word article and call it a day. If you do, another article will come along pretty quickly and knock you down. Take extra time with your evergreen content. Research the topic, add unique examples, and your perspective. Create an article which isn’t just another “5 Ways to Do This…..”

Update Periodically. I know, I said this content stands the test of time. it wouldn’t age, and will live on forever. All of that is true. But if it is a great traffic draw for your website, go back occasionally and update the information, maybe expand on an idea, or include a new example.  Add images, links to other related content and maybe a new CTA to keep it fresh. The submit it to Google to reindex. This lets Google know you have updated the information .

Take a lesson from the journalists!

Good journalists have multiple stories they are working on at the same time. They plan ahead, so every day is not a fire drill.  You should do the same thing.

 

 

Ready to Start Working on Your Evergreen Content? 

Start with a content calendar that outlines ideas, themes, topics and even the kind you will need.   This simple example will help you build a year-at-a-glance tool you can use to plan  blog posts, graphics, videos and email newsletters.