Hey there and welcome to Episode 212 of ProBlogger Podcast. My name is Darren Rowse and I’m the blogger behind problogger.com, a blog, podcast, events, job board, and a series of ebooks all designed to help you as a blogger to grow a profitable blog. You can learn more about ProBlogger over at problogger.com.
In today’s episode, I want to talk about evergreen content again. I want to suggest to you seven more types of evergreen content that you might like to try on your blog. This episode is essentially part two of what I started a couple of episodes ago, back in 209, where I suggested the first seven types of evergreen content. You might want to go back and listen to that one, but you might also just wanna go ahead with today’s as well. I’ve designed this episode as a standalone one and you can go back and listen to the other one later if you’d like. Either way will work.
Before I get on with the show, just a quick note that there are still a few tickets for our Dallas event – http://ift.tt/2osi0rw. It’s on the 24th and 25th of October. I’d love to meet you at that event as well. There are also some virtual passes available and I’ll talk more about those at the end of the show. You can find them at that same link.
Back in Episode 209, I presented the first seven types of evergreen content. I talked a little bit about what evergreen content was, the type of content that doesn’t date. It’s the type of content that you continue to promote on social media again and again, it tends to do quite well in Google. We touched on very much educational content there. We talked about ‘how to’ content, frequently asked questions, research results, stories, case studies, introductions to topics or ultimate guides, and I do recommend that you go back and listen to that episode perhaps after this one is finished.
That episode got so much positive feedback. I loved it. I loved getting the tweets and the emails from people saying I listened to this episode, and I planned out my next week’s content. Or, in one case, I had someone plan out their next three months of content based upon that one episode. I was so inspired by the way many of you applied what you heard in the episode that I wanted to create another one. Really, there are so many different types of evergreen content and we just scratched the surface in Episode 209.
Today, I’ve got another seven for you. By no means is this the definitive list. There’s going to be more coming in future episodes as well. But today’s seven all have a bit of a theme. They’re all probably going to be quite relevant for those of you who defined your blog by a niche or a topic or an industry. Although having said that, I suspect many of you are going to find this useful if you’ve got a personal blog or even a multi-topic blog.
I really wanted to pick some examples of evergreen content today that would be a little bit more specific to those of you perhaps with a business blog, some of you who are blogging about an industry, because I often get emails from people saying I like your how to content but it’s not really relevant to my industry. Hopefully, a bit of variety in what we’ve got today will be a nice companion piece to Episode 209.
Let’s get on to today’s seven. They’re not all going to be relevant to everyone, and I will say up front that some of these do overlap a little bit with each other as well. You might actually choose to create a piece of content based on today’s episode that has a bit of an overlap between a couple of these.
The first one is what I would call a profile post, or a biography type post. One of the things that people do on Google all the time, and on social media, is search for information about people. I do it all the time. Every time I see someone on television that I find interesting, the first thing I do is jump onto Google and Google that person. One thing that you can do is to create content that’s going to be on the other end of those Googles and those searches. Create a piece of content that is about a person, that is a profile article, a profile piece about that person. Talk about what they achieved, talk about some of their demographic information, their age, their background, any kind of personal information. You don’t want to go too personal but the type of information that people would find interesting.
How did they start out in the thing that they’re known for today? How did they rise in the industry that they’re in or their career? Were there any key moments in their life or in their development? Talk about the controversies around the person if there are any, and you don’t want to go digging if there’s none there. Any news related to them, you might want to link to articles that were written about them, you might want to link to social media profiles, their blog if they’ve got one, their podcast, their YouTube channel, anywhere that they have a presence online. Talk about their credentials, their qualifications, links to interesting reads about the person, any quotes that can be attributed to that person.
Images of the person also would bring the post to life, the article live. Any kind of stories about the person as well so that you’re not just presenting data, you’re presenting actually a story of the person.
The ideal, I guess, would be to involve the person that you’re creating a profile piece about in the creation of that. You might want to reach out to them and ask them some questions, ask if they might jump on a call with you to do an interview with you. But in some cases, you might not get the positive response from that person, particularly if it’s a very well-known person. But there would be plenty of information about many high-profile people already. You would be able to find the information that you would need.
A biography, a profile type post is one example of an evergreen piece of content. This is the type of thing you might want to come back to again and again to update it as that person’s story develops. You might want to update it once a year, just adding any new information about that person. It is the type of content that doesn’t date because a person’s story doesn’t date. What they did three years ago is still what they did three years ago. You might want to update it so that it becomes continually up to date for people who continue to find it, but it is evergreen content.
This is a piece of content that you could do in most industries, I personally have had these types of articles written about me. Sometimes, people reach out and get my involvement. Sometimes, they just write it based upon their observations and what they can find through research. You could do this about any type of person in any industry, whether they’re well known or someone who’s an up-and-coming type of person. That, I think, would be particularly a good piece of content to create, someone who is on the rise in your industry, maybe an emerging leader, someone who has just done something significant because they’re the type of person that there wouldn’t be as many articles about. You have a higher chance of being able to rank for that type of content. A profile post is the first thing that I’ve talked about today.
Number two, it overlaps with this one a little bit, or it could, is what I would call an interview piece of content. An interview with a person of note in your industry. As I said, this could be related to this first piece of content that I talked about, the profile piece. You might actually want to do both at the same time. If you are able to get an interview with a person of note in your industry, you might want to publish a profile article about the person, this is an article that you write about a person, drawing on some of the information that you get in the interview. And then you might also want to publish the interview, with permission from the person. You might create an audio version or you might just publish the transcript.
I say this all the time in mainstream media and on podcasts, people quite often will write an article about someone and say, “And if you’d like to listen to the article that we based this article upon, go and listen to it here, or go and read it here.” These companion pieces of content can work quite well with one another.
You could do an interview that is about a person’s story. You might want to find someone in your industry and really go from the beginning of their life right through to the end of their life. The interview can be quite biographical in nature, it can be very story telling, or you might choose to really just interview a person about a topic. There’s a variety of different types of interviews that you can do.
For example, in the last episode of this podcast, Episode 211, I interviewed Pat Flynn but we didn’t talk about his whole story, we just talked about podcasting. I interviewed him about that. It wasn’t a story telling, it wasn’t a biographical type podcast, plenty of people have interviewed Pat on those topics. It really narrowed in on a topic and it was very how to in nature. It was an interview that tried to draw out advice from Pat. You don’t have to have that more narrative, story telling interview, it can be more of an advice type one.
Again, interviews can be done in a variety of formats. You can do an audio one, it can be quite natural. Some people like to listen, some people prefer to watch. You might want to do a video one, whether that would be a screen capture type thing where you do an interview on live video and then repurpose that for YouTube, or you might want to do a written interview. This is how I started out, the first interviews that I did, I would send the person I was interviewing five or six questions and then they would send their responses and I would publish the text of that.
There’s a variety of ways that you can do that depending on your skill as an interviewer. There are some tips in that last podcast on interviewing from Pat as well, you might want to listen to that if this is something you want to do, particularly in that audio format. Interviews can be long form, the one I did from Pat was I think an hour and 20 minutes, that was quite a long interview for me. I know other podcasters go for three or four hours, some of the longer ones, but it can be very short form interview as well. I’ve done interviews on this podcast that have lasted for 15 minutes because I want to really focus in on a really narrow topic. Again, you don’t have to do long form interviews, it could be one-question interview and that’s something we’ll talk about in a moment as well.
Interviews are great. Again, this is evergreen content, particularly if you’re talking about a story of someone. That story can be quite timeless. People are going to find that interesting for the long form. Sometimes, the more advice driven interviews might date a little bit, but they will be relatively evergreen as well. Interviews are great evergreen content, that was number two.
Number three builds upon the interview and this is what many people would call the expert roundup. This is a variation of the interview type content where you do a round up of opinions or stories or answers to questions from a variety of sources. You combine all of those answers, all those stories, all of that advice, all of those opinions into one piece of content. You’ve probably seen these, they’re quite popular at the moment. This is where someone will email 10 different people in an industry asking them one question each and they would just take their responses, copy and paste them into an article. The beauty of these types of interviews, I guess you would call them, the one question interviews in many regards, is that they are a little bit easier to get a response from someone than asking them to do a full interview. They just need to respond with one answer rather than answering 10 different questions or setting aside an hour to be interviewed.
I will say that a lot of experts and a lot of high-profile people are getting asked to do a lot of these. They’re perhaps not as easy as you would think these days.
Many people would refer to this type of content as the expert roundup, but they don’t need to be with experts as such. In fact, sometimes the more compelling versions of these are where you interview everyday people, people who have expertise but they’re not really well known, they’re not the gurus. That often can unearth some really interesting stories.
The other option that you might want to do is to do a roundup of the opinion or stories of your readers, doing a reader roundup can be another variation of this. I’ve done this numerous times on ProBlogger where I would ask my audience a single question, ask them for examples of something they’ve done or a tip that they might have, and then I compile those things into a piece of content. In my opinion, sometimes they’re better than an expert review because the experts do tend to say the same things over and over again. Whereas if you can get a roundup of people who are perhaps not so well known but still know what they’re talking about, like ProBlogger readers—ProBlogger readers and listeners have amazing stories to tell—unearthing some of those can be quite useful as well.
The idea here is ask everyone the same question, combine their answers, and then put them into a piece of content.
A lot of the times when I see this type of content done, it’s around advice. Everyone gets asked for a tip, and this is the type of thing that I get asked quite a bit. Can you give us a tip on SEO, can you give us a tip on live video? That’s what the focus is. Doesn’t have to be advice, though. You could do one that’s storytelling. Ask 10 people to tell you a quick story on a theme, or ask 10 people for examples of something, or ask them for their predictions of what’s going to happen next year in your industry. Ask them to tell you about their favorite tool or resource. Ask the 10 people for their favorite quote or about their biggest mistake, or about a secret that they haven’t really talked about elsewhere. Ask them about their favorite book. The list could go on and on.
I guess what I would encourage you to do is to try and find a unique angle. The expert roundup that’s focused on advice may have been overdone in your industry, but there are other ways to do this. Find a unique angle, find something interesting that’s actually going to be useful to your readers, and then seek out the right people to answer that as well.
Usually, these are text-based, a lot of article-based ones, but you could do it if the people are willing to via audio. You can actually ask them, could you record a one-minute grab for me? You could even get them to submit it via video. We did this on ProBlogger a few years ago. I asked my readers to submit a video with a tip for blogging, and then we put all the little videos into the one blog post. There’s a variety of ways that you can do that and that might be a way to mix this up or make it stand up a little from what other people are doing as well.
The alternative to an expert roundup where you go seeking information from people might be to find quotes from people that are already online. If you don’t perhaps have a profile, you can get people to respond to your interviews, you might just want to do a search. You could, for example, say do a search for headlines. If I was doing one of these on ProBlogger, I might do an article on what ten people, ten experts say about creating great headlines for blog posts. I might do a Brian Clark from CopyBlogger, I might do a search for him and see what he’s written about headlines and then find a quote from him. Then, I could find another expert in another field, someone from BuzzSumo, and find out what they say about headlines. That would be the other way to do it. To actually do a bit of research yourself and find quotes or find advice from people, and then link to the source of course of the articles that you took those quotes from.
Number one, just to summarize where we’ve been, biographies, profile posts. Number two is interviews. Number three is expert roundups. Number four is something we’ve done for the last few years on ProBlogger, we have, at the end of each year, created a post called Bloggers To Watch in 2017, or Bloggers To Watch in 2016, Bloggers To Watch in 2015. We’ve had the same person create all these articles over the years, Jade Craven. I’ll link to the latest one in today’s show notes. You can adapt this to your industry as well. Influencers to watch in the travel industry, or influencers to watch in the food industry, influencers to watch in the accounting industry. You could really take this in any direction at all.
Really, I guess this is evergreen for a period of time, particularly if you’re doing it for a particular year. You don’t have to do it every year, and you don’t even have to put a date to it. You can just do top 10 food influencers, or top 10 fashion influencers. You can really take it in any direction, not make it based on a year. We tend to do it for a year because the industry is changing all of the time. We like to have an excuse to continually update that post.
You can vary this in a variety of ways. You can do top 10 Twitter accounts to follow, you can do 10 Facebook groups to be a part of, you can do the top 10 podcasts in your industry, really here it’s about identifying key people or key resources for people to subscribe to or to watch in a particular industry. It’s not just about ten people or the people that you want to watch, it could be something else as well.
These are reasonably evergreen types of content, but again it’s the type of content that semi regularly you might want to come back to and update or do a second post on. You can link all of those pieces of content together. This is what I would call the influencers to watch type of content. That word influencers, you might want to choose something else as well if it’s not as relevant. You might want to talk about ten leaders, ten people on the rise, ten biggest earners in an industry, you can really take that in any direction as well. That was number four.
Number five is a little bit different. It may be linked to some of the interviews that you do, or some of the research that you’re doing of people. This is one that I would call the habits of successful…, and you can put in your own word there. I could do that as ten habits of successful photographers on Digital Photography School. I can do ten habits of effective bloggers. You can do the same thing in your industry, ten habits of successful chefs, of teachers, of accountants; whatever it is that you’re writing about.
This is where you really try and summarize the things that you notice about people who have had success or who have had achievements in a particular industry. What makes them successful? What has made them achieve what they’ve achieved? What are some of the common things that you notice about them? You could do this type of article in a very broad way. On Digital Photography School, we have done Five Habits Of Good Photographers. I’ve done Ten Habits of Highly Effective ProBloggers on ProBlogger. They’re very broad, that’s on the overarching topic of my blogs. Or, you can really narrow them down on many blogs as well.
For example, on Digital Photography School, we can do a post, habits of great travel photographers. We can do another one, habits of great wedding photographers. The habits of these different people and the skills that they need are different from category to category, so that may be relevant for you. Again, on ProBlogger, we can do habits of great fashion bloggers, food bloggers, or travel bloggers. There would be different ways of narrowing down those types of articles and actually making them into a series. That may be relevant for you. This may be a piece of evergreen content that you’re able to then repurpose the format and make it almost into a monthly article that you do.
We did one on ProBlogger recently, The Nine Conversion Habits of The World’s Most Successful Bloggers. This was a narrowing down but talking about a particular skill. It’s not a particular type of person but it’s a particular skill that bloggers might need to have. Again, I’ll link to these in the show notes.
The other way to do this type of article, the habits type article, is to do the flipside and talk about the bad habits to avoid. We’ve done this in conjunction with our good habits, articles on Digital Photography School. We did an article, a few years ago, one of our writers did Five Good Habits of Photographers, and then the next day she published Five Bad Habits To Avoid. That actually worked really well because it enabled us to link those posts together and promote them together. They went crazy. I remember the traffic that came into both of those pieces of content were fantastic. You can take the negative side of these things to avoid, mistakes to avoid, bad habits can really work well.
Number six is where you do a history of a brand or a product or even an industry. In many ways, this is like doing a profile or a biography article like I talked about earlier, but you’re doing it on a broader topic or brand or product or industry. It’s not based upon a person, but it is based upon a thing or an industry or a brand. To give you some examples, on ProBlogger, I can do the history of blogging and actually create a timeline, I might actually do a visual timeline and then talk about the different years and what happened in each of the years. It becomes a history. That’s evergreen. Again, that doesn’t change. History doesn’t change. The way we tell history changes, and I might want to update that post every year, but the bulk of that content would stay the same. It’s evergreen, it’s still useful. Anyone wanting to know what blogging was like in 2005 can go back and look at that particular period.
I can do the history of blogging, I can do the history of photography, you can do the history of the iPhone, you can do the history of Samsung as a brand, you could really do the history of accounting, you could really do whatever you like as it adapts to your particular topic.
This is the type of content you can update over time. For example if I was doing the history of the iPhone, it would be something that you can update once a year, every time a new iPhone is announced. The beauty of doing that is that this is a piece of content that is really relevant to be promoting on social media once a year, every time the update comes out, every time a new iOS version is released, every time there’s a new rumor, you can be promoting the history of that particular thing. This is, I think, a really useful type of content that you can continue to bring life to and bring readers’ attention back to again and again. You probably do need to update it. It’s not purely evergreen, it’s not I write it once and then forget about it, but it’s not too hard to update that type of thing.
Another type of history would be to take the flipside of this as well, to do the future of. You can do the future of the iPhone, the future of accounting. This is the type of content that may not be quite as evergreen, but I wanted to include it because I read an article recently over at Buzz Sumo and I’ll link to this article in the show notes today. This article that Buzz Sumo did analyzed headlines that had been wildly shared, content that had been shared a lot, particularly in the business space.
One of the formats of headlines that does consistently well, in fact it was the second most popular type of headline, headlines that started with ‘The Future Of’. I wanted to just draw your attention to that. It’s a bit of a flipside of the history of, it’s about predicting the future. Again, this isn’t quite as evergreen because you might want to predict what’s going to happen in 2018, once 2018 kicks around that’s perhaps less relevant because it becomes history or it becomes wrong, but this is the type of content that people do like to read. They want to know what the coming trends are, they want to know what the developments will be in the future. You might want to try that type of content as well. In fact, you might even want to be updating that as well, you might want to have a post that you published today that you continually update about the future of your industry over time.
In some ways, the page, the URL becomes evergreen because people continue to go back to it, but the content on it might evolve over time. Number six, the history of or the future of a topic, a brand, or a product.
The seventh one, the last one I want to talk about today, is in some ways related to that last one. It’s about an industry or about a topic. It’s what I would call your observations about that industry or topic. You can take this in a few different directions, and I’m basing this on some of the experience that we’ve had on my blogs. We noticed that when we write about the myths of an industry, five ridiculous search engine optimization myths that every blogger should ignore is an article that we published. It did really well. These are the myths of search engine optimization.
On Digital Photography School, we did The Four Common Myths Of Full Frame Cameras Dispelled. We talked about this new category of cameras, we talked about the myths of that type of camera. This is an observation, these are misconceptions, I guess, that people have about an industry. Myths might be one way that you can make some observations about your industry. Another type would be to talk about the secrets of your industry, things that people don’t talk about. It might be five things no one tells you about photography, and these are things that you think are important but aren’t being talked about enough.
You can talk about the white lies, I actually saw an article as I was researching this podcast on Buzz Sumo. A number of people wrote about the lies that get told in their industries. Again, this is an observational piece about an industry. In many cases, these things don’t date, they don’t change. I think about the things that people don’t talk about in blogging, they don’t change. Or the common questions that people ask, they don’t change. The trends, the emerging trends, these are observations about an industry. If you can spot some of those that might be relevant for your audience, that might be another type of evergreen content that you might want to write as well.
These seven things today, as I say, they all relate a little bit. They’re all about people or industries. There may be more relevance for some of you than others, but I think most of us could really find a way to write one of those types of articles. Let me summarize them again.
You’ve got biographies or profiles, number one. Number two is interviews. Number three is expert roundups, although they don’t always have to be experts. Number four might be influencers to watch or top people to watch in an industry. Number five is habits of successful people in your industry. Number six is the history of or the timeline of your industry. Number seven might be more observational posts about your industry; myths, secrets, or lies, or trends, as they pertain to your industry.
They’re the seven for today. As I say, this is the second seven so we’re now up to 14 types of evergreen content. My challenge for you, having gone through 14 now, is to create a piece of content, at least one, that is based upon those 14. My challenge is for you to choose one of the things that we talked about today, or back in Episode 209, and to create one. I would love to know if you do that too. I’d love to know what you do with this. The feedback you gave after the 209th episode was really fantastic.
There’s a couple of ways you can do that. You can send me an email. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I don’t tend to respond to every email that I get, I get a lot, but I do read them all. A better place that you might want to share your post would be over in our Facebook group. If you do a search on Facebook for ProBlogger Community, you’ll find it. Every week there in the group, we have a thread on our wins for the week. We do #wins. Look for the latest one of those wins threads and share your link. That’s a great place for you to tell us what you did with this episode. I do check out all of the things that are left there as well.
Head over to the group, let us know there. Or, you could let us know over on the comments of the show notes. Again, today’s show notes are at http://ift.tt/2xv8wxa where I do link to all the examples and the article on Buzz Sumo. You can find that there, but there’s also the opportunity to leave a comment as well. I’d love to hear from you. Let us know what you come up with, and I’m going to do yet another episode on evergreen content in the next few weeks as well with another seven types of evergreen content that you might want to create. We might actually create a little cheat sheet or a printable as well with a summary of all this stuff. Stay tuned for that.
Thanks for listening today. Let us know what you create as a result of today’s episode.
Also, before you go, if you are in the Dallas area, Texas, even if you’re in the States and want to fly in for it, I do want to bring your attention to that event that we’ve got running on the 24th and 25th of October. This year, we have Pat Flynn speaking, we’ve got Rachel Miller who you heard from a couple of weeks ago. She’s talking about Facebook pages at the event. We’ve got Kim Garst who is an expert on live video. She’s going to come and talk about selling using live video. We’ve got Andrea Vahl talking about Facebook Advertising, we’ve got Kim Sorgius talking about email funnels, we’ve got Steve Chou who’s a great speaker, he’s going to be talking about selling courses. We’ve got Deacon Hayes talking about SEO strategy, Jim Wang talking about monetizing hot blog posts in your archives, and Kelly Snyder is talking about using challenges to grow your blog as well. I’ll be doing a session as well on evolving your business.
It’s going to be amazing. We’ve got a whole day, the first day goes from about 9:00AM to I think about 10:00PM. It’s going to be a massive, long day full of content, teaching. The second day is a half day of masterminding. If that is something that’s of interest to you, head over to http://ift.tt/2osi0rw. I’ll link to it from today’s show notes as well.
A number of you have been asking for virtual passes for that event. We have just released those. If you can’t get to Dallas, you can get all of the teaching content from Day 1 by that virtual pass as well. It won’t be live but you’ll get the recordings from all those sessions as well. It’s pretty affordable. Head over to http://ift.tt/2osi0rw to get details of the live event and the virtual pass as well.
Thanks for listening today. I look forward to chatting with you next week in Episode 213 of the ProBlogger podcast.
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