Last week I wrote about the nature of two types of blog posting in Evergreen vs Time Related Posts (or posts that are long lasting in their relevance and appeal to readers versus posts that are time or event specific). I wrote that each can be profitable forms of blogging – but I failed to give any tips on how to get the most from your Evergreen Posts.
One of the best ways in which you can lengthen the longevity of your posts and take them to ‘evergreen status’ is to be smart about how you integrate them into your blog.
Let’s look at how most blogs operate.
- You write a wonderful post with evergreen potential and hit ‘publish’ – your post appears in the prime position of your blog – front and centre where anyone coming to your blog will see it. At this point it will be read by virtually everyone who comes to your home page.
- You write another post an hour, day or week later and your evergreen post begins its decent down your page. You might allow 10 posts on your blog’s main page and so after 10 new posts it slips away into another blogging dimension – your archives.
- At this point your post drastically reduces its chances of ever being read again in large numbers – it is out of site to your readers and because its no longer on your main page the chances of search engines sending traffic its way decrease also.
So what is a blogger to do? Is there a way (short of letting your main page contain 100 posts – and slowing to a crawl) of keeping your wonderful post in the spotlight?
I’d like to suggest that there are a number of ‘in house/on blog’ strategies that smart bloggers use to increase the life of their evergreen posts (note there are also off blog strategies that I won’t go into here). Let me outline a few before I invite your opinion:
Use Sidebars and Menus – One of the tips that I shared with my newsletter subscribers a couple of weeks ago was that the most popular articles on this blog are the first four items in the menu at the top of this page – What is a Blog? – Blogging for Dollars – Adsense for Bloggers – How Much do I earn?
Highlighting these key posts in this way (they appear on every page on this blog) has a twofold impact:
1. Firstly they are in front of my readers. Anyone coming to this blog has a reasonable chance of spotting these articles and quite a few click through.
2. Secondly because these posts are linked from every page on this site – the search engines are smart enough to work out that these must be key articles for this site. Whilst internal links are not as powerful as those coming from other sites – they do seem to count for something. If you highlight your key articles in this way you increase the chances that they’ll be given a higher ranking in the Search Engines next time their bot spiders your site.
Of course you don’t have to highlight them in a menu like I have, other bloggers do a similar thing in their side bar, sometimes even using a title like ‘key articles’. (Peter Flaschner calls them ‘most popular articles’, Paul Scrivens calls them ‘featured entries’). You’ll want to be a bit selective with this strategy – choose too many ‘key articles’ and you’ll just end up with clutter and confusion.
Read the second part of this mini series.
Very interesting topic. I’m not really all that satisfied with the “Most Popular” solution. I like the idea of showing my readers what other readers find interesting, but what about the gems that slip between the cracks? I think I may try something like “if you liked this article, may I suggest:” and point to something relevant in the archive…
There’s a ‘related posts’ plugin for WP which is quite good. Maybe a combination of both popular and related posts, plus hand-picked ones. Give readers who land on either your front page (always updating) or on an archive/individual page, several ways of getting to more content, without cluttering or trying to point to everything.
We’ve been using a “Features” category and putting a list of featured posts in the sidebar at Starling Fitness and it works well. It’s not a measure of popularity by any stretch–it’s our own opinion of what should be “evergreen.”
I think this is really important–it’s pointless to write a long, enduring post if it’s going to be buried by three brief news item links within a few days.
hehe – you guys sound like you’ve been reading the next post in this series…
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