Even if you’re only just getting started as a freelance writer, chances are that you’ve probably heard the term “evergreen” mentioned in whatever writing project you happen to be working on for a client. Indeed, keeping content as timeless as possible (and keyword relevant, despite the ever-changing Internet algorithms) is incredibly important.
In the Professional Arena
Evergreen content really applies more to general informational/marketing articles or posts. If you’re a freelance writer for any sort of print/online news group or lifestyle website, then obviously that content is going to change in a short amount of time. Occasionally, though, particularly for lifestyle websites, you’ll find that there are job opportunities for freelance writers (and editors) to not only write new content, but review old content and regularly update it.
Let’s say, however, that you’re writing content for various businesses – how can you present it in such a way that it stays evergreen? It really depends on project guidelines – the more specific they are, the less complicated it can be – all you have to do is write accordingly. Writing evergreen content professionally, then, becomes more of an issue when the client pretty much leaves you to your own devices beyond a topic, overall format, and word count.
- Consider what sources you’ll be linking to (beyond the website’s main one). It’s best to make sure the sources themselves are as current as possible (within the last year, or preferably less).
- Keep your tone conversational/in the present tense if you can.
In the Personal Arena
This, I consider being content that you have complete control of, even if you’re using it for professional purposes (like a portfolio). Fiction is typically evergreen automatically; so, if you’re a creative writer, whatever content you’ve presented on your blog or website can probably remain perpetually relevant, such as poetry, short stories, ebooks, etc.
As for blog posts, it depends on if your blog is more of diary, or a resource. If it’s the former, then there’s no real reason to figure out how to keep the content evergreen – diaries are, after all, a progression of thoughts. If it’s the latter, then the first thing you should consider is the format.
- Tips/advice articles can usually withstand the test of time.
- Listicles can be a source of perpetually fun content.
- Reviews sometimes can be relevant in an evergreen sort of way, but it depends on the topic. For example, if you have a food blog and regularly review different cooking products, that type of content will, most of the time, last longer than restaurant reviews, since restaurants can change owners, rebrand, or go out of business altogether.
Even if your goal isn’t necessarily to have entirely evergreen content on your website or blog, it’s still a good idea to periodically update things as needed, just as you would a resumé. After all, timely content can rank better in search engines, thus attracting a bigger audience and more freelancing opportunities!
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