Have you spent lots of time and money creating content but have nothing to show for it?
If so, the problem may be that you’re not creating evergreen content.
What exactly is evergreen content?
This is content with a lengthy shelf life that will always be relevant to your readers, your brand, and your area of expertise. Great evergreen content is shared constantly and also does well in search engines.
Below, I’m going to give you 15 examples of evergreen content that you can begin creating right away to grow your links, traction and results.
15 Types of Evergreen Content That Work
Now that you have a fundamental understanding of what evergreen content is, here are 15 types of evergreen content that will work wonders for your site and online presence.
Ready? Grab a coffee (latte, tea – your choice!) and let’s delve in!
1. Cornerstone Content: First, Answer Common Questions
Everyone knows what an FAQ is.
Cornerstone content is like a long-form version of this. It’s a sort-of “Start Here” form of content that will help every first-time visitor become familiar with the subject or market your site covers.
There are a couple of easy ways to come up with cornerstone content.
The first would be to think about the types of questions that you hear a lot from potential customers.
What kinds of questions fill your inbox?
What do people ask you before they commit to your product or service?
Cornerstone content isn’t just great for evergreen reasons; it can also be an effective tactic for welcoming site visitors into your sales funnel.
Another easy approach would be checking your industry’s popular forums. You’ll get a sense for the questions people ask again and again. Or use BloomBerry.com to search millions of questions across forums, reddit, Quora, and more.
A great example of this comes from Kim Komando, whose post, “Buying a New Computer” has garnered 73 backlinks and shows up at the top spot for the Google search, “What kind of computer do I need?”
This is the type of question people in her market ask over and over. She capitalized on it and now has a fantastic piece of evergreen content that continues bringing in new guests.
2. Statistical Long-Form Posts: Evidence-Rich & Accessible
If you’re going to make claims in your content, you’d better back them up with evidence.
Statistics are great for this because they’re precise and easy to understand.
For example, the post, “1% of Content Marketing Articles Receive 30% of all Shares” makes the dynamic between these two things immediately clear.
Steve Rayson could have used words like “most” or “the majority of”, but those aren’t evidence. They also don’t jump out at the eye the same way, something that is vital for earning social shares.
You can compile numerous statistics, too. Check out how Tyton Media leveraged this approach in their post, “51 Insane Web Design Statistics 2017”:
More than 6,500 shares and a post that is full of great evidence-backed information.
3. Show Your Reader What Is Possible with Case Studies
88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations given to them from people they know. That’s a huge number.
You can take advantage of this with evergreen content by doing a case study, which is really just a long-form review. Someone is telling you their experience with a product/service.
You can also highlight the success a certain company has had doing something different as a case study.
For an example, let’s once again look at another BuzzSumo piece from Steve Rayson. His post, “The Future Is More Content: Jeff Bezos, Robots and High Volume Publishing” is a great example of how case studies can be so effective.
Steve took on a very popular topic in the world of online marketing: how often should you post?
Now, he could have drawn on his years of experience to make his argument.
He could have even used statistics.
Instead, he used a bit of both but also focused on a really interesting example to make his point: how The Washington Post was succeeding by publishing 1,200+ posts a day.
The number of shares he received speaks for itself.
I love case studies because they tell your audience, “Here is how someone achieved the exact results you want.”
As with statistics, you leave no room for argument. Your reader sees that the evidence is in and that it supports a certain approach.
You don’t necessarily need big wins to create a case study, either.
People are often just as interested in reading about how things could go wrong.
This is what Mark Walker did for Eventbrite in “12 Stories of Events Gone Wrong and Lessons Learned”:
The post was so popular that Bel Booker did a follow-up, 10 More Stories of Events Gone Wrong, which went on to earn 250 shares.
4. Infographics Are Visual Powerhouses
Infographics let you compile a large amount of helpful information in a manner that is visually appealing and easy for the reader to quickly get through.
For a better understanding of why infographics are so effective, let’s turn to this awesome infographic from HubSpot:
Of course, beautiful graphics aren’t enough. They’re a requirement, but you also need to include:
- In-depth research and accurate findings
- Compelling examples
- Tight copy – don’t ruin a great infographic by turning it into a novel
In 12 Infographic Tips to Rock Your Content Marketing Strategy, Sharon Hurley Hall gives some great examples of this evergreen content.
Here’s one of my favorites from Quicksprout:
Visually appealing? Check.
Helpful information? Check.
Organized and easy to read? Double-check.
5. Give Step-by-Step Instructions with How-to Guides
When you’re trying to learn a new skill, what do you type into Google?
It depends on the topic, but I’d bet the phrase begins with, “How to…”
This is why how-to guides are such popular forms of evergreen content. Sure, they’re great for SEO, but they also get to the meat of the matter: people want to learn how to do something.
Give this to your market and you’ll always have traffic.
In “How to Lose Weight Without Really Trying, The Whoot put together a massive how-to guide that delivers on its promise from several angles.
Since it was published, the post received a whopping 218.2k shares.
Another hugely successful how-to article on the same topic was done by Avocadu:
More than 100.4k people shared this piece.
Notice, too, that both of these posts focused on specific needs.
Some people don’t have the time or energy to really attack weight-loss right off the bat. That’s whom the first example is designed to help.
People who are more than 200 pounds overweight need to be careful about how they try to lose those extra pounds. For them, that second piece is going to be perfect.
It’s easy to get too general with how-to guides. Just remember that when you try to appeal to everyone, you usually end up appealing to no one.
Also, don’t make the mistake of thinking these guides are only for beginners. You can make how-to guides for every level of reader, which will definitely help with specificity.
6. Publish a Book and Become an Overnight Expert
This one is near and dear to my heart.
When I started in content marketing, I was a college dropout with no degree. I knew I needed something to both draw attention and legitimatize myself to the market.
Although it was an intense undertaking, my book took me from “who?” to “her.”
Once I became a bestselling author on Amazon, people not only sought me out, they were far more willing to listen to me and accept my authority on the topic.
Find an important topic you can cover in a book and Amazon could become your new #1 source of referrals for years to come.
7. Podcasts Can Be Evergreen in Two Different Mediums
What most people don’t realize, though, is that they can give you evergreen content in two areas.
There’s the audio side of a podcast, of course.
However, you can also make show notes and transcripts for your episodes, which then have the potential to get your show ranked, too.
The longer the episode, the longer the transcript and more opportunities you have to include helpful links and longtail keywords.
As with publishing a book, your podcast can turn you into an authority, too. Popularity usually breeds legitimacy.
With The Smart Passive Income Podcast, Pat Flynn took a passion for online entrepreneurship and turned it into a seven-figure business that has evolved into speaking engagements, books and even a number of products.
8. Attract Attention – and Give It – with Influencer Lists
We’d all love to be part of an industry influencer list.
However, you can also gain a lot of attention by creating one of your own.
People are always looking for help knowing whom to listen to. Just about every industry out there is full of “experts” competing for attention.
Of course, it also helps that these lists can be great for gaining links and shares.
After all, if someone was kind enough to call you an “expert” or “influencer”, wouldn’t you want the whole world to know about it?
Take a look at another example from Henley Wing, “15 Experts on How They Develop an Outreach Strategy”:
As you can see from Henley’s post, the other huge benefit of interviewing experts is that, well, they do most of the work.
You get to give your market helpful information right from the horse’s mouth and really don’t have to do too much in terms of adding your own content.
Who said evergreen content needed to be hard?
In fact, BuzzSumo makes it extremely easy to find top influencers in your market. This software doesn’t leave any doubt about it because you see who is actually getting shares and who isn’t.
Take a quick read of that tutorial and you’ll soon be able to find the people in your market who could help you create traction and gain traffic.
9. Reveal the Tricks of the Trade with a Tool List
A similar approach is to compile a list of helpful tools you can recommend to your readers.
You can show them tools they would have otherwise never known about or help them choose between options they were already considering.
The longer your list, the more helpful it has the potential to be. People will even return to consult it over and over again as they continue purchasing new tools.
I love Brian Dean’s list of 2016 SEO tools.
This list, which has garnered nearly 8,500+ shares and shows up on the first SERP for the keyword, “SEO tools” has more than 180 options.
The key here is that Dean also reviews each of them. He provides links to where his readers can use them and gives his honest opinion.
You can even filter the list at the beginning, making it easier to find the exact tools you’re interested in.
10. Give Readers a Peak at Your Library
Some of my younger readers may have a hard time believing this, but before the World Wide Web, we used to have these incredibly useful things called “books.”
All kidding aside, people still read books and I’m not just referring to the 50-shades variety.
My company has had a lot of success ranking for “books for copywriters” and related keywords thanks to my post, “25 Best Books to Help You Learn Copywriting.”
This goes back to the idea behind cornerstone content. When you know the kind of thing your market is constantly asking about, it’s pretty easy to compile a list of books that will help them get their answers.
If you follow my tip about writing your own book, you can even include it in this list.
11. Create a Glossary Readers Can Use Continuously
Speaking of books, you could do your audience a huge favor by giving them a place to go to for all the definitions they need regarding a certain topic.
Vulture recently caught fire with one of these when they published their Stranger Things Glossary.
The combination of this popular topic and a one-stop-shop of all the references and topics covered gave the site 18.5k shares.
12. Warning! Don’t Make These Mistakes!
Did I grab your attention?
Explaining common mistakes in a post will make for a very shareable title. As we mentioned when we talked about case studies, these types of posts can be very popular.
While most forms for evergreen content help readers move toward a goal, this version ensures they don’t head in the wrong direction.
That alone helps it stand out from more common forms of advice. It also grabs attention because it brings up a topic most people may have never considered: that they could be doing something very wrong.
Bright Side leveraged this concept brilliantly in, “15 Mistakes You Should Avoid in Hair Care.”
We all want to take good care of our hair. Most of us have read at least a few posts on the subject, too.
But what if what you think you’re doing is actually harming your hair?
That concern drove 93.5 people to share this article.
13. Give Your Readers a History Lesson
Covering the history of a certain subject is about as evergreen as it gets.
While history is constantly being written, a solid historical post should remain relevant for years to come and you can always add to it.
WIRED has a great post on the history of alt music history that includes this amazing infographic (double points!):
A lot of other people liked it, too. The post has been shared 258.7k times.
14. Write an Annual Post You Can Repeatedly Update
Remember Brian Dean’s list of SEO tools?
Another reason this type of post works so well is because he can continue updating it as time goes on.
By ensuring it never becomes outdated, he’s also making sure this content is evergreen and will continue to earn shares.
15. Interview an Expert for Invaluable Advice
Finally, if you’re at a complete loss about where to begin with creating evergreen content, interview someone.
All you have to do is come up with great questions, something you can do by following the first tip we gave regarding cornerstone content: learning what your market cares about.
As with some of the other forms of evergreen content I’ve covered here, this kind of post provides information your readers can trust. It comes from an expert!
You can also expect that said expert is going to link to this post, too, which means a lot more traffic.
Richard Feloni did this in Business Insider when he interviewed entrepreneur, Gary Vaynerchuk.
Now, it’s important that you pick someone people actually want to hear from and that you cover an interesting topic. Don’t think that that because your expert is doing most of the talking that you don’t have to do your part.
In this case, Feloni picked someone with a huge following and addressed a fairly common attitude: working for the weekend.
The result brought in 10.5k shares.
Get Busy Crafting Evergreen Content
Evergreen content is an investment in earning shares, backlinks and traction that can continue working for you for years to come.
While not all of the 15 options above may be relevant for your purposes, think of a few you can get started on right away to begin increasing your site’s exposure.
Just one evergreen piece done well could drastically change the future of your business.