The blog post you write today may be online for years to come. Although with blogs the emphasis is on the new, even the posts you wrote last month, last year or last decade can still draw search engine traffic and visitors to your site. The secret is to fill your blog with evergreen content.
What do I mean by ‘evergreen content’? Evergreen content does not go out of date and does not change. If you write about breaking news or the hottest new technology, those posts may be very popular for a while, but they will soon become dated. On the other hand, if you write about how to knit or you compile historical or reference information, it will not go out of date. Anything that does not change substantially over time could be considered evergreen.
You may wish to include a mix of timely and evergreen posts on your blog. Having timely posts can bring traffic when you write about a hot new topic, but including a number of evergreen posts will bring visitors for years to come. When I look at my web site stats, I find that some of the most-visited pages are articles I wrote and published years ago.
Even though evergreen content stays ‘fresh’ for many years, it may be seasonal. Consider the example of a gardening blog. The topic of gardening is evergreen. Plants have been growing pretty much the same way for a long time now, and they will continue to do so. However, the topics that bring the most search traffic to your site and the pages that get the most views will depend on the season. Gardeners are thinking about different things in the spring than they are in the fall, and your traffic patterns will reflect that.
You can add evergreen posts to your blog by writing about tips, how-to and other advice that remains constant. Essays and opinion pieces are often evergreen, too.
Keep your content evergreen by making updates when appropriate. For example, if you link to specific vendors or other resources, those pages may disappear from the Internet over time. Check for broken links and repair, replace or remove them to make sure your posts are still useful. You may be able to do this with the software you use to create your web site, or you can use one of the free link checkers available online. Just search for ‘check for broken links’ and you will find several options.
That last example is another way to keep your content evergreen: Instead of giving a link to a specific page or resource, suggest how readers can find a current resource themselves. That way, if the resource you were going to suggest goes away, or a better one comes along, readers will not be left with broken links and no resources. (You would be surprised how many people do not know how to properly search for things. Giving them search terms helps.)
Another way to keep your blog evergreen is to do away with dates on your blog posts. This may be a little controversial in some quarters; however, why draw attention to the fact a post is months (or even years) old? This may be especially important if you reach a point where you are not updating your blog as frequently as you once did. Someone may arrive at your home page, see that the most recent post was three months ago, and leave without discovering all of the useful content available.
Making your blog content relevant for years to come will make your blog more useful to visitors and more profitable for you.