Saturday, November 18, 2017

Content for All Seasons

Learning never exhausts the mind. 

— Leonardo da Vinci

In terms of traffic, evergreen content pays like an annuity. Smart marketers know that instinctively.

While I'm often psyched about my voguish ramblings, my all-time five most popular posts are anything but:
Three are going on seven years old. None is newer than eight months old.

Besides staying power, what's nice about imperishable content? It generally takes no more effort to write than topical.

Blogger Aaron Orendorff says there are 20 kinds of evergreen content:

Original research. "Primary research is unique, exclusive, and—therefore—powerful," Orendorff says. He's right.

Stat pack. A collection of others' research. Adding commentary increases value.

Case study. A story, plain and simple. And proof of expertise.

Failure. A case study of a train wreck.

Shocking stat. The backstory behind a single statistic.

Beginners' how-to. "True beginner guides are few and far between," Orendorff says. That's why prospects like them.

Advanced how-to. High-level insights from thought leaders.

Checklist. Ideal for non-readers.

Long-term how-to. Strategic advice.

Product guide. Lessons in product selection. "Make your product tutorial about teaching: provide definitions, collect advice from industry experts, and present impartial reviews from third-party sites," Orendorff says.

Resources. A collection of how-to tips.

Best tools. A compendium of free and paid productivity tools for a niche. Including pros and cons and hacks increases value to readers.

Top influencers. A Who's Who in a niche.

Best books. A recommended reading list. Summaries add value. Asking influencers to name their picks adds even more.

Common mistakes. "Every industry has its seven deadly sins," Orendorff says. "Some have more like 10 or 20. Outlining these common mistakes—and providing tips on avoiding and overcoming them—is evergreen pay-dirt."

History of a topic. A timeline that answers, "How did we get here?" A great way to dispel myths.

Tip roundup. A collection of thought leaders' single-greatest tips.

Best—or worst—practices. A variation of the how-to guide: a procedural, but backed by examples. Worst practices can also grab readers' attention. "While best-practice lists are low-hanging evergreen fruit, worst-practice lists give you the opportunity to be just as valuable—and have a lot more fun," Orendorff says.

Glossary. A niche dictionary.

Everything you need to know. The “definitive” or “ultimate” guide to a topic. The encyclopedia entry.
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