Why has this page ‘Causes of the English Civil Wars’ had 750,000 views and a 2017 UK General Election news item twenty-five? Because in the first one I set out to write an evergreen post and the second became irrelevant the day after I wrote it. Here, I’m going to show you how and why you should be writing evergreen posts for your history blog.
What makes a blog post ‘evergreen’?
‘Having an enduring freshness, success, or popularity.’Oxford English Dictionary
For history blogging the key phrase is ‘enduring freshness’. An evergreen post is one where someone could find your post months or years after you’ve hit publish and find it as relevant as the day you hit publish. And, if reader’s continue to find it relevant, Google will too and push it up the rankings. I’m not saying you can’t write about that topical fabulous exhibition last weekend but around 70-80% should be evergreen to increase recurring visits to your blog.
There are clear benefits:
- You’ll be putting your energies into content that will live on unless Google is scrapped!
- You’ll be creating more chances for readers to fall in love with you and your blog
- Every future visitor to your history blog will also see your ‘Calls to Action’ like ‘follow me’ or ‘subscribe here’
- You can totally re-purpose and do social media campaigns around your post
- You can confidently sign-post people to the blog post safe in the knowledge you’re not sending someone to dated content.
What isn’t evergreen?
Something not being evergreen can apply to the topic, headline or within the body of the blog post. Here’s some examples.
- monthly round-ups
- specific dates and time – ‘This week’s top TV history documentaries’ vs ’10 insightful history documentaries the whole family will love’
- prediction pieces – ‘Who will win the 2019 UK General Election?’
- ‘on this day’ – ‘How I celebrated the 75th Anniversary of VE Day”
- covering news items
- current trends or using the word ‘new’
- specifying current events – ‘what I’m reading during lockdown’ vs ‘the five history books that will change your life‘
- seasons if you specify the year too but ’20 great reads for a cold winter’s night’ is fine.
What to watch out for.
- You’re not the only one who knows about the power of evergreen content. Sorry : ( So, you still need to do the basics with keywords to find the long-tailed keyword you can compete for. If you’re too broad, although it may tick all the boxes of being evergreen you’re still competing with the big hitters. Continue to add your take or spin on popular topics related to your history blog.
- Be careful if you’re relying on an external link – you have no control over it and it may disappear!
- Using time-specific words in your url. This will make it harder if you wanted to review your archived blog posts and turn them evergreen. E.g smarthistoryblogging.com/hatfield-house-may-2020 vs smarthistoryblogging/hatfield-house
- Make sure you’re writing for a beginner so your posts have maximum appeal in the months and years to come.
Related Link if you need help with keywords: Are these 7 Keywords Research Mistakes Holding Back Your Blog?
How to write a blog post which is evergreen.
Here’s the good news. We are so lucky. History is the perfect topic for evergreen content because it’s in the past.
The type of posts that work well are lists, tips, explaining concepts, answering FAQs or helping people answer a question. Now, I understand this may feel a bit too corporate and clinical. Here are some ideas of how you can tweak the advice:
- You can analyse an event. Looking at my English Civil Wars example it appeals to anyone searching ‘What were the causes of the English Civil War’
- Use the 5 W’s (Who, What, When, Where, Why) to frame your blog post. For example, ‘Why Henry VIII was a total tyrant but still my favourite English King.’
- Explore concepts such as ‘What made you a Witch in the Middle ages?’
- Start your post with the word how. ‘How did Robert Dudley’s wife really die?’
- You can use profiles of historical people or events with a twist. ‘Did playwright William Shakespeare actually write all of his famous works?’
- Lists can be built around speeches, books, programs, museums, artefacts and places you have visited.
Writing an evergreen post can be highly valuable to your history blog. The next time you plan out your editorial calendar or outline a post ask yourself if it passes ‘the evergreen test’ – if someone read this in a year’s time would it still be relevant or would it be dated?
How Grammarly can help you write an evergreen blog post
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