Evergreen Content or Topical Content?
If you’ve been writing content for any length of time, this is an issue you may well have come across when considering exactly what content to publish on your blog or website. Should you post…
A) Evergreen content – Content which is written with the intention of staying applicable and relevant to an industry or subject for years to come. This is information that should ideally never become redundant, and will drive traffic through search engines for years to come. Some examples of Evergreen article titles would be:
How to tie a tie
Recipe for banana bread
How to improve my handwriting
or B) Topical content. Items that are in the news or based on subjects that may change on a regular basis. For instance, on this blog, I could spend all of my time writing about an SEO technique that could become redundant in 6 months time. Some examples of Topical content would be:
Who shall I bet on for the Grand National in 2012?
Football match preview
U2 tour dates 2012
These subjects may be searched for after their time has passed, but in general, a topical article will have a peak of interest before it then withers and dies. Below is an example of a topical article on one of my websites called ‘England’s Probable Euro 2012 Lineup’. Euro 2012 (a football tournament) is now underway and everybody knows who is playing for England, but observe how the interest peaked and then died off completely.
So surely I want to go with evergreen content, then, so that I am always getting traffic? Well, the search term used for the graph above was valid for about a week, and has sent more traffic to my blog than any piece of evergreen content I have ever written. There are huge benefits to writing topical information. Firstly, it’s searched for LOADS. Secondly, you can make sure you get in there nice and early and pick up traffic before other bloggers have had the chance to cover the subject, and thirdly, it’s more likely to be shared socially.
Do the benefits of topical content outweigh those of evergreen content? There’s no argument that if you are looking for income that is purely residual, and looks after itself, you need to be jam packed with evergreen content. Everybody I know that creates content loves the idea of putting it online and reaping the benefits for x amount of years. However, the best blogs out there with the highest traffic will write topical content too in order to A) satisfy their readers and subscribers with breaking news and current events and B) keep the peaks of traffic coming their way.
I know it seems like a cop-out answer, but in all honesty, you’ll probably need an element of both to make sure your blog runs successfully. You should have a load of great ‘pillar’ articles which are evergreen, and use the topical issues you can cover to drive traffic in peak times to your blog. Once they’re there, hopefully they’ll stick around long enough to subscribe or at least remember you.
In reality, it’s a ‘horses for courses’ situation, and what works for one blog will not necessarily work for another. Usually, you’ll need to experiment to work out the ratio of content to your blog. Let us know what works for you!