Ultimate Guide On How To Make & Repurpose Evergreen Content

Two of our blog posts tanked in January. And it was painful.

These bad boys reeled in 58% less page views and a soul-crushing 88% fewer email subscribers than our average blog posts. And this happened all while I was working with my team to produce content that would generate 225% more traffic than an average blog post.

Ouch.

And you know why those two blog posts performed so terribly? It’s because they targeted topics that were outdated within a week after they launched. Take a look, and you’ll know what I mean:

There’s no reason to read blog posts like that right now, is there? So let me save you from making the same mistake I did with a little simple, data-driven advice: Create evergreen content instead of newsy or seasonal stuff.

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Read on to learn more about how you can capture 283% more results for yourself with a little help from evergreen content’s awesomeness:

  1. Get inspired with a few creative evergreen content ideas and examples.
  2. Produce content that will deliver traffic and signups for a long time after you publish it.
  3. Keep your evergreen content fresh to continue building your audience.
  4. Get even more results out of your evergreen content with a little repurposing.

You’re about to become an evergreen content mastermind.

What Is Evergreen Content?

Evergreen content is timeless, valuable information your audience has needed forever and will continue to need well into the future. It’s pretty awesome for many reasons:

  1. Continue to bring in traffic long after you initially publish your content: Evergreen blog posts get as much as 283% more traffic in just 30 days than newsy, seasonal content.
  2. Make the time you put into creating content have long-term payoffs: Evergreen posts get an average of 30% return on traffic in the second and third months after publish. That’s a huge ROI.
  3. Get more traffic with less content: Since newsy and seasonal content has a short lifespan, you need to publish more of it to get similar results to evergreen content. It takes 5.36 as many seasonal blog posts to match the success of one evergreen blog post.

Are you sold? Let’s get your brain going with a little evergreen inspiration.

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Step 1: Get Inspired With 30 Evergreen Content Ideas And Examples

When we asked you about your biggest content marketing challenge a couple months ago, you told us that it’s most difficult to find ideas worth executing.

So a good place to begin with evergreen content to make sure you get your 283% more traffic is by starting with awesome ideas.

30 Evergreen Content Ideas & Examples

Questions And Answers

Your audience has always had questions that need answers, challenges that need solutions, and problems they need to solve.

Use your knowledge of your audience to answer the tough questions no one else in your niche is doing well enough.

Ideas:

  • What Is The Best {Topic}?
  • When Is The Best Time To {Topic}?
  • Why Is {Topic A} Better Than {Topic B}?
Pro Tip: Quora is a great place to find inspiration for questions that your audience is really asking.

Step-By-Step Process

The key to making an evergreen step-by-step post is to focus on the practical utility behind the strategy instead of the mechanics of the programs or tools your audience could use to implement your advice.

For example, show someone the data-driven ways that work for building an email list rather than the programs they could use to achieve that success. The programs may likely change and vary for any reader, but the strategy behind list building likely works with any tool.

Ideas:

  • How To Build A {Topic} In {#} Simple Steps
  • The Complete Guide To Make A Successful {Topic}
  • {#} Easy Steps To Make A {Topic} In {#} Minutes

How-To Posts And Ultimate Guides

Similar to step-by-step blog posts, evergreen guides focus on helping your readers understand the strategic thinking behind a process.

Sometimes, these guides take on a different format than blog posts to appear super comprehensive.

For example, you could write a how-to post about how to write compelling social media messages that will increase your traffic. The evergreen angle for this post would focus on the psychology of showing the benefits behind the click instead of the mechanics behind best message length for each social network.

See the difference?

Ideas:

  • How To Make A {Topic} In {Time Frame}
  • The Ultimate Guide To {Topic}
  • How To {Verb} The Best {Topic}

Timeless Fundamentals For Success

Fundamental posts typically present themselves as a list of ideas or ways to do something. These posts typically focus on presenting a lot of information in one place with the hopes that if your readers leave with even one takeaway, you’ve done your job.

For example, let’s say you want to write a post about getting inspired when you hit a road block at work. To create an evergreen blog post, you’d present lots of ways, methods, or ideas to get past the challenge of being uninspired.

Ideas:

  • 20 Ways To Be {Desired Effect} When You Don’t Feel {Desired Effect}
  • 21 {Topic} That Will Make You {Desired Effect}
  • 23 Ways To Get Even More {Desired Effect} From Your {Topic}

Thought Leadership And New Methods

This type of content is one of the most influential kinds of evergreen content.

Thought leadership and new method posts don’t necessary look at what others in the past have done—or link to other sources to back up their claims—but instead are the posts that present theories, processes, systems, and ideas that no one has really covered ever before.

For example, have you come up with a modern way to do something that makes the standard process obsolete? That’s likely an evergreen idea you could add into your editorial calendar.

Ideas:

  • The {#}-Minute, {#}-Step Solution For The Best {Topic}
  • This Is The {Topic} Every {Audience} Needs
  • How To {Desired Effect} With The {New Method} Technique

Step 2: Publish The Best Content On The Internet

That headline might sound like a tall order. It should. Rest assured, though, no matter your resources or who you compete against, you can publish better content than anyone.

All it takes is some research, optimization, and dedication—all skills you can learn as the ambitious marketer you are.

A caveat on why this should be your goal: It’s hard to stand out. It’s even harder if you’re publishing content that isn’t better than your competition.

If you want to win at evergreen content—like anything—you need to produce content that your audience finds extremely useful and helps them produce real and measurable results.

The process you’re about to learn will help you do exactly that.

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Come Up With An Amazing Idea

Since coming up with ideas is a major challenge for many content marketers, let’s start there. You know what types of evergreen content may work well for you, but how do you fill in the blanks with really great topic ideas?

There’s a simple process that will help you come up with hundreds of ideas in next to no time. It involves a couple folks who know your audience really well, an instant messaging app, and an hour to sift through those ideas to find the absolute best ones.

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First, let’s set the story straight: Group brainstorming doesn’t work. But you can help your entire team brainstorm together in a way that is extremely effective.

Set up an hour-long content planning meeting with your team to get started:

Base New Ideas On What You Already Know Will Be Successful

Include an analysis of your most popular content in your meeting invitation. That will help you and your team understand what sorts of ideas your audience already loves and will help your meeting generate lots of awesome new ideas.

Understand Your Goals & Measure Your Success

Begin by first understanding what your goals are, and how you measure success:

  1. Define the reason you’re blogging. Answer this: I am blogging to {reason}.
  2. Know how you’ll measure that reason. Answer this: To measure {reason}, I will measure success with {metric}.
  3. Determine which tool you’ll use to find that metric. Answer this: I’ll use {tool} to measure {metric}.
  4. Find your top blog posts’ performance toward your metric in a given time frame. For example, you could track the number of page views each blog post received within their first 30 days after they publish. This gives each post the same opportunity to be successful, which will help you understand which blog posts are truly your top performers.
  5. Use the spreadsheet in your evergreen content kit to analyze your data. After you enter in your data, sort it to show your content from awesome sauce stuff to the real stinkers.
  6. Use your analysis to plan awesome content ideas from the get-go. Attach the spreadsheet to your content planning meeting invitation and specifically tell your team to come with ideas that replicate your best content while avoiding anything that looks like your worst.

Here’s an example of what your spreadsheet might look like when you fill it out:

evergreen content planning meeting spreadsheet

Use the evergreen content planning meeting spreadsheet to discover your best-performing content to plan more ideas that will generate similar awesome results.

And here’s the text you can copy and paste into your meeting invitation when you attach your spreadsheet:

Hey team,

Join me for a content planning meeting to help us discover new ideas that will help us {reason you’re blogging}.

Before you come, check out the spreadsheet attached to this invite. The URLs at the top of the list are our best-performing blog posts—the kind of ideas our audience seems to love and ones we should try to replicate. The URLs at the bottom of the list are stinkers, so we should try to avoid ideas like those.

The meeting will consist of 20 minutes of individual brainstorming and 40 minutes of grading to narrow our ideas to the absolute best ones.

This is gonna be fun!

Schedule 20 Minutes For Individual Brainstorming

Come to your touch point prepared with three things to kickstart your team’s creativity:

  • Explain why you’re doing the content planning meeting. Say this: As a reminder, we’re here today to find some awesome ideas that will help us {reason you’re blogging}.
  • Get them thinking about the top content you just analyzed. Say this: When you come up with ideas, ask yourself: How similar is this idea to our other top content?
  • Help them think like a blog reader. Ask this: What are the top things our readers want to learn about?

From there, give them 20 minutes to brainstorm on their own, typing out every idea in an Evernote note, Google Doc, Microsoft Word—whatever. This is especially helpful for remote teams because this exercise doesn’t require you to be in the same room.

3 Things to Prepare for Evergreen Content Planning

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Take 40 Minutes To Review Your Ideas

This is the fun part. ;)

Ask everyone on your team to send you their ideas, then create a master list only you can see.

Prep your team to help you sift through the ideas to find the best ones for your audience:

  • Ideas that are similar to your top content or ones you think your audience would really enjoy get a 3 grade.
  • When ideas fall flat of a 3, those are 2.
  • An idea is a 1 if it’s not right for your blog (though it might make for a good guest post elsewhere).

From there, read each idea aloud off your master list and have the team instant message you their numbers. The lowest score is the final grade for the idea—and that’s because at least one person on your team doubts that the idea will be as successful as your top-performing content.

In this way, you:

  • Help the team come to your meeting prepared with great ideas at the tips of their tongues.
  • Allow for individual brainstorming to get everyone involved.
  • Get feedback as a team to harness the power of diverse skills.

You’ll get all of these benefits without the groupthink or the one loud team member dominating your meeting. And, you don’t get the siloed ideas that only you could think of but aren’t necessarily the best ideas.

It’s a process we use at CoSchedule, and one we plan to continue doing to help us flesh out innovative ideas.

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Research Your Keywords

You just found some amazing topics your audience will love. Now it’s time to plan how you’ll help them find your evergreen content exactly when they want it—and long after you publish it. Remember, evergreen means that your content won’t grow stale and could hold a ranking for a long time, so this is an awesome way to keep that traffic rolling in.

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And chances are pretty high they’ll use a search engine like Google to do just that.

The good news is that when you research and choose your keywords, it also gives you the opportunity to understand which content you’ll compete with, which you’ll learn about in a little bit.

Anyway, this process can be as simple or complex as you’d like it to be. I’d suggest starting simple:

Use a keyword research tool to help you understand the volume of searches for your topic. A great tool to start with is Google’s keyword planner. Simply type in the main topic of your idea, then navigate to the Keyword ideas tab.

evergreen content keyword ideas

Start your research with Google keyword planner, then navigate to the Keyword ideas tab.

The planner will show you the number of times people search for that term in an average month, which is great.

But the real value here is seeing the other ideas for terms you might not have originally thought about. Do any of those ideas get more volume that might actually work better for your evergreen content?

evergreen content keyword research with Google's keyword planner

Google’s keyword planner is really great for finding synonyms for what you originally thought would be a good keyword.

From here, use Moz’s keyword difficulty tool to understand your potential ability to rank for those keywords.

It’s not really worth targeting a keyword you don’t have a chance to rank for, so this is a crucial step to help you make the time you invest into creating awesome evergreen content totally worth your while.

keyword difficulty example from Moz

Use Moz to understand your keyword difficulty. Choose a keyword with low difficulty and a high search volume.

Shoot for a keyword difficulty percentage in the 40s (or lower) to start with.

It’s a newer idea that you should now target multiple related keywords in your blog posts. From here, think about using those related terms—to get techy, this is latent semantic indexing or LSI keywords—as sections in your blog outline.

I’ll let Rand from Moz explain:

Research Your Competition For Those Keywords

It seems like a lot of “marketing experts” suggest that creating better content than anyone else is the best way to grow your blog and business. That’s good advice. And they leave it at that… just… advice.

evergreen content competition search

Enter your keyword into Google and read the posts from your competition to plan how to create better content than anyone else.

So here’s how to actually publish the best content on the Internet: Use the keywords you just chose for your blog posts, type them into Google, and read every single one of the top 20 search results. Review them for:

  1. Common sections every top-ranking post seems to cover: Rand from Moz suggests that Google understands what LSI keywords the top content covers, so note those as potential sections for your blog post outline.
  2. Ideas they may have touched on but failed to cover in depth: These are opportunities for you to provide better information than the top competition for your keywords.
  3. Ideas they should have covered but failed to even mention: When you read these 20 pieces of content, they should spark a lot of ideas that you should cover but they missed. These are gold to help you publish even better content.

From here, dedicate 20 minutes to nothing but brainstorming and ideation. Put yourself in your readers’ shoes: What would they absolutely love to know about this topic?

Draft Your Outline

This is where the terms from your keyword research and the notes from your competition research come together to outline a comprehensive blog post on your topic.

That word comprehensive is super important for your success. It means you’ll publish a complete, blog post covering the topic in its entirety—the only one your audience would ever need to read to learn everything they need to know to become rock stars. Word count doesn’t matter.

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Want To Draft Your Outline? Here’s How:

  1. List your related keywords in an order that makes the most sense.
  2. Add in the biggest relevant notes from your competitive research of ideas they completely missed that you should cover.
  3. Fill in the gaps of your outline with the ideas you’re just kinda obligated to cover—the ones all the other top posts talked about. Make sub-points from your notes on how you’ll cover those areas in greater depth than your competition.

Draft Your Outline to Include the Essentials

Write Your Evergreen Content

Honestly, the process up to this point will ensure that you create better content than anyone else on the Internet. It will help your evergreen content get noticed and continue to flourish well into the future.

Flesh out your outline with in-depth, actionable advice and step-by-step how-to information.

Step 3: Keep Your Evergreen Content Fresh To Get Long-Term Results

The process you’re about to learn about is something we call historical blog post optimization at CoSchedule. We could have just as easily called it the update-content-and-get-lots-more-traffic-from-it-with-less-effort method.

You see, this is what a historically optimized evergreen blog post looks like after you repost it like a brand new blog post:

evergreen content republishing example

When you republish your evergreen content, you’ll see a spike in traffic, then more daily traffic than before you republished.

Even when you publish evergreen content, search engines still seem to reward the marketers who update that information periodically. So not only do search engines like older content, they like freshness, too.

Republishing blog posts is an awesome way to help you make the most of the work you put into that content originally to get more traffic and more email subscribers. So this is a win-win-win.

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Getting started is simple: Schedule a reminder for yourself to review the posts you published six months after their original publish date.

Update Your Evergreen Content With More Related Keywords

You just learned how to find awesome keywords for your evergreen content—and that you can and should target multiple related keywords per post.

Those older posts may only target one keyword, so historical optimization gives you the opportunity to understand what your older posts are missing so you can include new sections targeting those relevant keywords.

Follow the advice from step #2 to research your keyword and competition to understand what your existing content is missing. Then create a new outline of your blog post to add those new sections into your existing content.

Include New Information That Didn’t Exist When You Originally Published The Post

As you do more competitive research, you’ll probably find a few ideas you didn’t think of when you wrote the post originally. And with a little more experience since you published your post, you could probably also flesh out your original ideas with a lot more actionable advice, tips, and guidance.

Look at your revised outline and make notes where you could flesh out your ideas further with even better information, modern data, and relevant stats.

Another way to look at this is by including more visual content in your blog posts. Pages with images get 94% more traffic than those without, and video is growing rapidly. Plus, both of those visuals will help you optimize your social shares to get even more traffic.

Republish The Evergreen Content As If It Were Brand New

The simplest approach is often the best place to start. So when you’re ready, here’s the easiest way to republish a blog post in WordPress:

  1. Create a new WordPress post where you’ll edit your content so no one sees all of your changes live as you work through your blog post optimization.
  2. Change the date and time of the draft blog post to when you’d like to republish your updated version.
  3. Make the permalink (AKA the URL or slug) the same as the original blog post. WordPress will add -2 to the end of your permalink when you do this, which means it worked. So if your original post URL was http://coolblog4life.com/awesome-sauce, your revised post URL will be http://coolblog4life.com/awesome-sauce-2. That is an indicator for WordPress that even if you leave this -2 post in draft mode, it will republish over the old blog post on the specific day and at the time you specified as if it were a brand new blog post.
republish a blog post with WordPress

This is an example of how to republish a blog post with WordPress.

Pretty cool, right?

Step 4: Save Time While Getting Even More Out Of Your Evergreen Content

The term repurposing content applies very nicely to evergreen content: Reuse it in different ways to make the time you invest into creating it and keeping it fresh totally worth it.

Here are a few ways to get even bigger results from your content:

Get More Email Subscribers By Improving Your Content Upgrade

Content upgrades are related content you give away from your evergreen content in exchange for your blog readers’ email addresses. Common content upgrades include templates, worksheets, infographics, and bundles of all of these.

This process is one of the tactics you can use to grow your email list by 552% in one year.

  1. After you’re done writing your new sections and adding new ideas into your post, grab the actionable advice and turn it into a worksheet format.
  2. Upload your content upgrade into your WordPress media library and grab the URL.
  3. Use LeadBoxes from LeadPages to create a link you can embed right in your blog post to show a popup your readers can use to exchange their email address for your content upgrade.
  4. Set up the email function in LeadPages to send an automated email with a link to your content upgrade to the visitor who just subscribed to your blog content.
  5. Integrate LeadPages with your email service provider to capture that email address in the list where you manage all of your other subscribers.

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This is the same process content marketing all-stars like Neil Patel use to turn traffic to blog posts into email subscribers to keep their readers coming back.

how to build an email list like Neil Patel

Neil Patel uses LeadBoxes from LeadPages to gather subscribes from inline downloads.

Combine Older Evergreen Content Together To Create More Comprehensive Blog Posts

Do you have a couple older evergreen posts that are pretty similar?

Chances are, you could combine those posts together to create one comprehensive post. Then all that’s left is to redirect your old URLs to your new post, and you’re set!

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This is a practice we’ve started implementing at CoSchedule to help us reuse our older posts that haven’t been quite as successful:

  1. Find a great topic you’d like to cover using the exercise in step #1.
  2. During your competitive research phase in step #2, search your own blog content for related topics. If you don’t have a search bar on your blog, use this query in Google: “site: YourDomain.com/ topic keyword”.
  3. Find at least a couple blog posts that complement your topic and could serve as sections in a brand new post. Copy and paste them into a new blog post, then add the outline you created from your research.
  4. After you publish the new post, set up 301 redirects from your old blog post URLs to your new post URL to maintain whatever SEO juice you had going to the original evergreen content.

How to Combine Old Evergreen Content Pieces

For example, Devin recently wrote a post about writer’s block. She knew people were searching for information on it because they were likely experiencing it.

So she found a couple older posts—one on overcoming writer’s block that wasn’t ranking well or bringing in traffic to the blog—and combined that with a lot of new information on the topic of getting rid of writer’s block.

So far, the results have been fantastic. The process helped us recycle older content that wasn’t performing by turning it into a traffic-generating machine.

Repurpose Evergreen Content As E-Books And Courses

You create lots of awesome evergreen content that would complement itself nicely when packaged together in a different way—especially in longer formats like e-books and courses.

The first step is to define your story flow:

  1. Brainstorm a broader topic under which you have already written several pieces of evergreen content.
  2. Gather the blog posts that may work well to tell a comprehensive story under that topic.
  3. Determine the order of your story from the beginning to the end.
  4. Use the content functionality in CoSchedule, an Evernote note, or a Google Doc to paste your blog posts in the order you just defined.
  5. Read through your content as a whole and remove any areas where you may have some repetitious information.

For example, we recently wanted to create something that would really help our audience keep their editorial schedule on track. We had a lot of evergreen content we compiled in order according to a story flow, then turned all of that into four lessons we included in a comprehensive course.

That course—made from strategically repurposing our best content in a logical order to solve a very specific problem—got more than 2,000 subscribers in less than two weeks. And it continues to bring in new subscribers every day, which is a pretty cool success story for repurposing content.

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From here, you just need decide which format you’d like to roll forward with. Here’s some light reading to get you started:

How Will You Create Evergreen Content?

You’re ready to rock at this! You just learned how to:

  1. Start with ideas that are truly evergreen to make your return on creation pay off long after you publish your content.
  2. Flesh out your idea to publish the best content on the Internet. Literally. And that process will help you rank well in search engines to continue getting the traffic your awesome content deserves.
  3. Refresh and republish your evergreen content to keep search engines and your audience happy all while improving your content and saving a ton of time compared to writing brand new stuff every time.
  4. Upgrade your content to get more email subscribers, improve underperforming content with brand new angles that will bring in more traffic, and repurpose content to turn every last drop of effort into results.

So where will you start?

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