Software company Hubspot recently reported that 53% of marketers believe creating blogs is their top inbound marketing priority – inbound marketing being the technique of producing content which attracts potential customers, converts them into leads and sales, and grows your business.
Those of us who promote our own products and services, or do so for others, know we need to be consistent with blogging and newsletter writing, but sometimes it’s flippin’ difficult. Prolific blogger Neil Patel has written a brilliant guide to blogging consistently and there are numerous editorial calendars available which can help you to plan out your content. But what about when you start to run out of ideas or inspiration just doesn’t strike?
This came up in conversation recently with a photographer I was speaking to. She had written numerous ‘explainer’ posts breaking down the services she offers and several ‘how to’ guides. She had also created blog posts to answer the questions her potential customers ask her most often. But she was running out of steam, and ideas. So, we had a chat about evergreen content.
Evergreen content is material that doesn’t age and remains relevant. Building up a stash of blog posts or articles which don’t have a best before date gives you flexibility. You can mix them in amongst more time-sensitive stories in your newsletter or use them when you don’t have something current to blog about.
Evergreen content can be great for SEO but beware of writing ‘puff pieces’; your aim should always be to provide material that’s valuable, helpful or interesting (or all three) to your reader. These long-lasting articles can also give you the opportunity to put a little more of you into your writing – transparency builds trust with your readers (read: future customers).
So many people use evergreen content you probably haven’t even noticed. I have found examples from my local running shop who asked ‘Are you making this mistake?’ right up to the smoothie supremos at Innocent, who recently offered up this tongue-twister.
To get you started, here are some of the topic ideas I discussed with the photographer, and others which I suggested at a ‘marketing for authors’ workshop I delivered recently. With a bit of thought I reckon these could be adapted to suit most of us:
- The [work-related thing/product/experience] I’m most proud of
- My [photography/writing/etc] inspirations
- How why/I became a [your job role]
- A tour of my [studio/workspace/office]
- What’s in my [kit bag/briefcase/desk drawer] e. the things you can’t live/work without
- If I wasn’t a [……..] I would be a [……..]
- The [thing/person/situation] that got me into [doing what I do]
- How I overcome [a regular challenge relating to your work – writers’ block, for example!]
- What it’s really like to be a [what you do]
- The [……..] I admire most and why e. peer organisations/an idol/a competitor
- The last book I read/what I’m reading this month
- Why I love attending [relevant industry or community event]
- How I dealt with [……..] e. could be something (not too) personal or work-related
- My advice for new [……..] e. people following in your footsteps
- What I have learned about [something others in your field will have experienced]
That’s fifteen potential blog posts or newsletter articles right there – how many could you make work for you? If you have any other topic suggestions or have used evergreen content to great effect, tell me about it via the comments.
If you want to know more about blogging I’ll be sharing tips on getting started, keeping going and making sure your posts get seen, at the Kent Festival of Writing next month (April 2018).