This post was last updated on February 16th, 2021
We all want to write evergreen blog articles that get traffic and grow over time. So if you were to come up with an evergreen content definition, what would that entail?
Accordingly, the publication of evergreen content is an outstanding way to increase the visitors to our site over time. Evergreen posts don’t have a time limitation on them or ever get stale. They often have a slow start with an exponential ascension in the search rankings. They show a lovely upward curve.
So evergreen content will often have a gradual increase in views. These types of articles often start slowly then build over time. Eventually, they may reach a level where they attain a huge number of views, year upon year. An article with this progressive increase in views is often also known as a compounding post.
This is because the traffic to these blog posts builds upon itself in an expanding manner month after month.
Evergreen Content Definition
The word Evergreen is named after the equivalent symbol of nature, the ubiquitous evergreen tree.
Just as the tree keeps its leaves all year round, so does your evergreen post keep getting traffic throughout the year, regardless of the season.
Hence, this type of traffic isn’t conditional upon the season, the economy or changing trends. It just keeps being a helpful guide to readers all the time, month after month and year after year.
What Characteristics would an Evergreen Content Definition have?
Evergreen blog posts tend to be longer form than many other articles. They stand the test of time by providing information that doesn’t go out of fashion.
For example, Pat Flynn’s post on How to start a Podcast – The Complete Podcasting Tutorial has stood the test of time. It’s regularly updated and contains a massive amount of helpful knowledge that Pat has gained by running his successful podcast, Smart Passive Income.
Articles like this address key questions that people have and make life easier and better. They solve problems and improve people’s lives.
What Format for Evergreen Blog posts?
For one thing, they tend to be of a higher quality than regular blog posts. They might be an in-depth review or investigation.
Evergreen content also tends to be of a longer form (i.e. over 2,000 words). This is because the search engines tend to rank longer posts at a higher level as they are assumed to be of better quality.
These posts will often contain many links to other resources, high quality images, videos and references.
Evergreen Content Definition: Uniqueness and Creativity is Paramount
To stand out from the crowd your post needs to be different. It needs its own unique identity.
So how do you do this?
It might be by coming from a totally different perspective than anybody else. Alternatively, it could be an in-depth investigation that far surpasses other blogs.
Applying the attributes of viral content can also really help your articles to become evergreen.
Examples of Evergreen Posts
The best way to look at the types of evergreen content is to look at examples of each.
By doing this we can hopefully replicate the success of this amazing content. Each of these examples has at least one major attribute which makes it stand out from the crowd.
1. The “My Alternative View” article
An evergreen post doesn’t need to be on a new topic. Some of the most outstanding posts of all time have been about interesting twists on current practices.
Michael Hyatt’s industry changing piece – How I use Evernote – a peek inside my personal system is a defining example of this.
Up until this point most Evernote users had a more conventional method of organising their notes. The traditional way was to organise them using folders as the main sorting criteria.
Michael Hyatt’s post changed the way that everyone thought about folders. Many Evernote users realise that there was a much better way of doing things using his simplified tag filing / reduced folder method.
The post is also quite short, but contains compelling and very useful content.
Key Takeaway: Unique, compelling content gets a lot of attention.
2. Super In-Depth Research Post
Some of the most killer content happens when a massive amount of research is thrown at a problem. Matthew Woodward excels at this.
Here’s a great example. The “problem” here was to help people choose the fastest website hosting provider. 12 of the best hosting providers were compared and tested in detail:
This post solved a dilemma that many people face when choosing their web hosting – information overload. Also, can the speed information promoted by web hosts be trusted? Independent empirical research will always trump other data.
His post involved detailed research involved rigorous standards including:
- GT Metrix speed testing from 7 global locations
- Pingdom speed testing from 7 global locations
- Load impact speed test with 500 simultaneous visitors
- WP Performance Tester analysis on each site
- Support Quality
Key Takeaway: Evergreen Content Definition – Nothing beats rigorous high quality testing and research.
3. Ultimate Guide
There’s nothing that creates evergreen content in a better way than an ultimate guide.
These posts have so much valuable material, by cobbling together all the essentials that someone needs to know about a subject. Sure, we could have gone out and obtained all of these snippets of useful information ourselves, but that’s extremely time consuming.
Ultimate posts are often longer than regular articles. So they are often in the range of 2,000 to 3000 words (or more).
Neil Patel’s Affiliate Marketing made Simple, certainly meets this test with an impressive word count of close to 5,000 words.
There’s such an incredible amount of information on every part of affiliate marketing that you could think of. It looks at the benefits of affiliate marketing from both the point of view of the seller, the affiliate and the consumer.
All the things that you would want to see in an ultimate guide are here: detailed explanations, embedded videos, FAQ etc.
It’s a one-stop shop on the subject and contains just about anything you would want to know on the subject of affiliate marketing.
Google gives a boost in organic rankings to these types of long posts as they are seen to be authoritative. That’s the reason that Neil has attained position one in Google for the keyword: “affiliate marketing”.
Key Takeaway: Ultimate guides out-rank the competition as they have so much useful content.
4. Beginners Guide
When we think of beginners guides, they tend to be very complete articles. They contain really detailed step-by-step instructions on how to do things.
They’re written in simple terms for the newbie who’s still becoming familiar with industry terms etc.
A great example is Moz’s Beginner Guide to SEO.
This guide contains everything that a SEO beginner needs to know. It explains what SEO is, how search engines work, keyword research and all aspects of technical SEO.
Key Takeaway: Sure, newbies could source the information elsewhere, but the beginners guide packages everything together and saves so much time.
Checklists are particularly useful as evergreen content as they are succinct, Immediately usable and powerful.
The advantage is that readers want to make progress with their endeavours. A checklist can create an internal virtue signal in the reader’s mind that they are taking progress with what they are doing.
If you’re starting a website or blog from scratch, something like the Website launch checklist +25 Things to Check before Launching your WordPress Website by Themeisle is invaluable.
Key Takeaway: Nobody wants to find out later on that they missed something crucial. Checklists are a highly actionable and effective way to stop this happening.
6. Groundbreaking Article
The holy grail of an evergreen content definition has to be the innovative article.
Setting the cat amongst the pigeons is a great way to draw attention. These posts are purposeful and revolutionary in their thinking and concepts.
They often turn things upside down and make us question if we’ve been doing things the right way or not.
This article by social triggers stirred up huge interest when it was published. It went against the conventional blogging wisdom of content being king for growing a website.
This article highlighted a research study that showed poor web design to be the key factor that made people back out of a website, rather than poor content. It’s an interesting theory which generated debate and goes against the grain of popular wisdom (that being “content is king”).
Key Takeaway: Groundbreaking articles often go against the norms of current thinking. They generate huge debate, are very shareable and have the likelihood to become viral.
7. Comparison-Focused Evergreen Review
Sometimes you’ll find a comparison review between two competing products that just stands the test of time.
This type of post answers the needs of the reader extremely well. They are often shorter in length. But for whatever reason they gain traction with the reader. This is because it answers their fundamental question: which is the best product for them?
For example, the reader might be facing a question about which product to buy. So you have two competing products both of which have excellent features. People want informed data to help them decide. They want someone else to do the research for them.
50em Is a great example. The main focus of 50em is comparing specialised business software. In particular the decision-making process between two marketing platforms: Ontraport vs InfusionSoft is analysed in depth.
Choosing between these products can be a difficult decision for business. You want to make an informed decision. Choosing the wrong product can be expensive and time-consuming.
So this website does one thing but it does so especially well. It aids the reader in making an informed decision between the two products.
Key Takeaway: Well written comparison articles are always in demand. Readers want help with their decision making processes, particularly when it involves time and money. This is at the crux of an evergreen content definition.
8. Expert guide as Evergreen Content
Just as we have beginners guides we can have other blogs which contain more advanced tutorials. These are invaluable, particular in niche industries and professions
Expert guides can become Evergreen if they’re updated regularly to keep up with industry trends.
A great example is – An Expert Guide to Cost Benefit Analysis by Smartsheet.
Most of us have a general idea what a cost/benefit analysis is, but this post delves in a very high level of detail on how to prepare one for business.
This analysis might often be submitted to senior management for strategic decision making so it’s super important that it’s done correctly.
So this post does one thing and does it very well. It explains the whys and hows of how to perform this type of complex analytical calculation and how to present it.
Key Takeaway: Experienced people are always looking to be at the top of their game with continuous professional development. The expert guide is always in high demand by these readers.
Summary – Evergreen Content Definition & Types
Most writers really wish that they could write evergreen content all of the time! Sadly, as we know this would be next to impossible.
We just can’t predict what’s going to spark interest, get attention and be shared.
If you were looking fo an evergreen content definition, the descriptions in this article should give you more insight. They will show you how you structure your articles with the hope of making them evergreen.
Frequently Asked Questions – Evergreen Content Definition
What is a compounding blog post?
A compounding blog post is one that starts slowly but builds over time as it builds an audience. It builds traffic over months and years on perennial subjects that don’t go out of favour and are really helpful to readers.
Can I write an article that’s guaranteed to be evergreen?
No, there are no guarantees and in fact it’s quite difficult to write an evergreen article. There is also some degree of luck involved. Most writers only expect a very small percentage of their content to become evergreen. By following the techniques and examples in this article you’ll have a higher chance of it becoming evergreen.