What is evergreen content?
I love evergreen content because it’s the type of content that pays “dividends” for a long time.
In fact, that’s the point of evergreen content. It’s also why I don’t publish a news site. News sites are mostly non-evergreen content. I’m not saying you can’t make money with news sites, it’s just not a model I’m too keen on.
Unlike news, evergreen content is on topics that garner ongoing interest. They are topics that people will seek out in the long term.
How long must interest in the topic be in order to be evergreen?
Interest in topics falls on a spectrum. News and trending topics may be relevant for only 24 hours. Other trending topics may remain relevant for a month or several months. Think Pelaton… that topic hung in for a little while.
However, I don’t believe topics need to have a 100 year lifespan to qualify as evergreen. A few years qualifies IMO.
Benefits of publishing evergreen content
1. Residual revenue: The main benefit is that due to ongoing interest demonstrated via online searches, is you can attract traffic to this content for years resulting in earning revenue from it for years. As far as I’m concerned, earning revenue for years from content is a huge benefit of being an online publisher.
2. Seamingly unlimited options: There are literally millions of evergreen topics you can cover across hundreds of niches. This is a huge benefit because you have so much content to publish that can earn you residual revenue for years (assuming you manage to get traffic to it). Compare that to news – there is only so many trending and newsworthy topics which all the outlets cover. That’s why when you visit news sites, you end up reading pretty much the same stories day-in and day-out.
Examples of evergreen content
- How to play dominos
- How to tie a tie
- Benefits of evergreen content
Examples of non-evergreen content
- Political news (for the most part… however, it may end up having staying power in a historical context)
- News generally
- Sports games
Example of quasi-evergreen content
Some content has some staying power but won’t be relevant for years. A good example pertains to tech products like smartphones, laptops etc. They have limited lifecycles – usually 3 to 12 months. While they are still somewhat relevant after new models launch, they are in decline at that point.
Evergreen content is the most popular by far for websites because of its staying power and more importantly because there are so many evergreen topics.
Can you publish both evergreen and trending content?
Yes, of course you can and this can be a good approach. You cash in on high-traffic trends but also take advantage of long term residual revenue with other content with evergreen staying power.
May require updating here and there
Note that some evergreen topics do require updating. For example, if you publish a website on squash (the sport), there may be new techniques or strategies developed that should be added. It’s evergreen because the basics of the game remain the same, but in most sports, advancements are made here there.
Another example may be a history website. While you’d think history is history and wont’ change, the fact is research is ongoing and new discoveries are made all the time which changes current understandings and reporting of events.
That said, there are some evergreen topics that are truly evergreen and may require absolutely no updating ever.
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes that’s “the best blogging email newsletter around.”
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.