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Coming up with evergreen content ideas

One big component of inbound marketing is creating content. We're going to focus on creating evergreen content - stuff that is relevant today and will be relevant a year down the line.
Updated on Wednesday 07, Mar 2018

One important component of an inbound content marketing strategy is creating content that is relevant for a long time. This content could be a podcast, a video, infographic, or blog post. You can can create this type of content in multiple mediums but it does have to be relevant for a while.

This type of content shouldn’t be based on current news, or fads, stuff like the trending twitter tag of the day. We call this type of information “evergreen content”

This type of content is hugely important, as it’ll bring in traffic throughout the year and doesn’t fade away.

But wait, is this content harder to create?

Nope. The neat thing about this type of content is that it’s as easy to create as normal content, but it’s more valuable. It’ll bring your website more traffic throughout the year, rather than a one off traffic spike.

Coming up with evergreen content ideas

Generating ideas

After deciding on making evergreen content a key part of your content strategy. You’ve got to decide on exactly what you’re going to write about!

It can be tricky, but the rule of thumb is to write about an area that you know already. This may seem like standard advice, but it really does work. You’ll be able to explore a topic in greater depth if you already have an understanding of the topic. This is especially important if you’re creating content to educate your readers.

So now the question becomes - “What are you knowledgeable about?”

There is a minor caveat to this. If you have in depth experience with knitting, but you want to do content marketing for the next big photo sharing app, your experience is going to be irrelevant.

You’re going to have to find an area of knowledge which overlaps with what you’re trying to promote.

In my case, I have a lot of experience in tech startups. More generally this includes prototyping products, designing interfaces, talking to customers, building prototypes, marketing and taking products to scale… etc. Basically the idea is to think about the biggest pieces of knowledge you have, and filter down from there.

The best way to start exploring all the ideas you may want to write about is to start brainstorming. Start creating a list of ideas, if you’re old school, then pen and paper is perfect. Otherwise use an online mind mapping tool to explore your ideas.

Write down everything that comes to mind. They all don’t have to evergreen topics, just jot down as many ideas. We can filter through them later.

Turning these ideas to post topics

Once you’ve got your list of evergreen ideas, it’s time to go through your list and spin evergreen content out of them.

When you start going through your list of ideas, you’ll probably come across a few ideas that may not lend themselves to being evergreen content. That’s okay! We can save these ideas to create normal content. Though they may not be evergreen, they’ll still generate traffic for you, and you’ll have more content from your blog.

So let’s go through each item in your list. For each item, try to generate two to three topic ideas. By the end of this process, you should have a lot of topics that you can write about. If you’re struggling to come up with a couple of topics for each item, skip the item and come back to it later. This process will become easier the more you do it.

The goal here is to generate as many topics for your posts as possible. The first time you do this, it may take some time, but the more you do it, the easier it’ll become.

Filtering out evergreen content

Once you have a list of all the topics that you’re interested in writing about, it now time to sort out the evergreen content from the normal content.

My rule of thumb for evergreen content is stuff that isn’t related to a news story, a time or a place. It’s better to think of more general ideas for evergreen content.

For example if you’re a style blogger, you may want to write about “How to dress for the office christmas party”, “What colours are best for your tone of skin”, or “What to pack for a weekend break”. These topics are generic, and the content will be relevant today but also a year down the line.

Writing evergreen content doesn’t mean that once you’ve written it, that’s it. You don’t need to update it ever again. You may have to make small updates to the content once in a while. This is still better than having to write an entire article again!

So go through your list, and start sorting it out into two categories. One for evergreen content and the other for normal content. Ask yourself if you were to read this blog post a year down the line, would it still be relevant? Use this prompt to filter your evergreen content.

Finally, writing your content

So now you’ve got yourself a list of topics to write about, and you’ve filtered your list into two groups. One list of evergreen content ideas and another list of ideas for normal posts.

What I tend to do is to sort your list of evergreen content ideas by how hard they will be to write about. Rate each topic by how complex it will be to write and how much research you’ll need to perform.

Once you’ve ranked your topic ideas by difficulty, start with the easiest one first. I prefer this approach because if you’re new to writing content, it’ll ease you into the content writing process, rather than diving right it!

For each topic plan out exactly what you’re going to write about, start off with a description of exactly what you’re going to get across to the reader, then start writing the main body of the article.

I highly recommend researching the topic on the internet. You’ll probably find that other people may have covered some the ideas you’re going to be writing about, if so use that as an inspiration to structure your own work and add your own unique take on the topic.

That should cover the process I use to come up with ideas for evergreen content!