Some blog posts (mine or otherwise) have a short shelf-life. Posts about giveaways (especially monetary giveaways with no product review attached) are like that. Not that I'm qualified to write one, but a post about fashion is relevant for a much shorter amount of time than others might be. Certain posts, by their nature, are time-sensitive. They serve a purpose for a certain time and then their usefulness drops off. There is nothing wrong with those kinds of posts. A political post, pointing out the pros and cons of a certain candidate is highly applicable--during that election year. That's the kind of post that lots of people should read! After the election, however, its relevance dwindles.
There are some posts, however, that have real staying power. Posts that you could read tomorrow, next week, next month, or even next year and still glean pertinent information from. These posts are considered evergreen because, like an evergreen tree, they stay alive all year round.
I've written posts that would be considered evergreen. I get hits on them out of the blue when someone does a Google search or finds a pin on Pinterest referencing that page. There are certain times of the year that I can expect older posts to start popping up in my analytics again. And up until recently, I have been pretty passive about this whole process.
However, I believe that there is a way to be much more purposeful about promoting evergreen content so that things I've written in the past can come back out of the archives and dance in the light again! It just takes some organization.
First sort your evergreen posts from the restNot everything you write needs to be evergreen. It's perfectly fine to write a piece on fashion, politics, celebrity news, etc. Lots of people read those kinds of posts. They can bring in great traffic and if you have a steady source of new information then you should have regular readers coming back all the time.
A post that is evergreen, however, can be written once and promoted indefinitely. They usually fall into these categories:
- recipes (seasonal recipes as well as more year-round recipes)
- craft projects (usually tied to a holiday or time of year)
- holidays (think Halloween, Christmas, Father's Day, etc)
- calendar-related observances (back to school time, going to the beach)
- parenting issues (new baby advice, surviving the toddler years, how to talk to you teen about...)
- weather occurrences (hurricane preparedness, fire safety, snowbound survival tips for families)
Organize your evergreen contentDepending on a number of factors including your blogging platform and your personality, you'll need to find a way to organize these posts so that you can find them quickly when you need them. You can use tags or labels embedded in your post to help you, as well as a spreadsheet or notebook with tabs.
Think about how your reader would use the information you have: Is its relevance related to a certain month? A certain holiday? A certain news-worthy event?
|My recipe tab organized in Excel|
Promote and cross promote your contentOnce you've got your posts organized, you need to remember to use them. When you plan out your blogging calendar for the month, take some time to look back at other things you've written that are still relevant for this time period. You can refer to them in new posts, but you can also call attention to them individually. In October, you can begin to promote your posts about Halloween, fall-themed recipes, or breast cancer awareness. The first cold, rainy day of October is a good time to Tweet out a link to your "rainy-day activities" post.
Even if you write the post with spring thunderstorms in mind, it can still be relevant in the fall. I wrote a post called DIY Sugar Scrub in May close to Mother's Day, but it works equally well for a Christmas gift or an end of the year teacher gift. Think outside the box with how useful your archives can be!
- Spring weather and fall weather can be very similar in many ways, so food and recipe ideas can go in either season
- Vacation posts work well for the summer, but lots of families travel (or entertain guests) over the winter holidays
- Lots of handmade Christmas gifts work just as well at Mother's Day, Father's Day or the end of the school year.
What are your strategies for bring new life to old posts? Do you have good luck with highlighting blasts from the past?