“Dynamic evergreen” sounds like an oxymoron. Evergreen trees are hearty and strong. They have green leaves year-round and they stay healthy season after season. Have you ever wondered how that’s possible, when all the other trees dramatically forfeit their leaves at the first winter chill? What’s their secret?
It’s not that evergreen trees don’t lose leaves (or needles) just like any other tree. It’s just that they lose and replace them gradually, continually growing bright new leaves as the old ones wither and fall away. And that’s what I mean by dynamic evergreen content. Our always-current Social Media Image Sizes post is a great example, but let me back up to explain why.
What is static evergreen content?
Static evergreen content is the type of content that doesn’t have an expiration date. It remains relevant and useful long after its publication date, and it’s generally considered a resource by and for your readers.
Best of all, because it’s always relevant, evergreen content should continue to drive traffic to your website month after month and year after year. This awesome resource about on-page SEO from Moz is a great example of evergreen content.
What is dynamic evergreen content?
But dynamic evergreen content is different. Dynamic evergreen content is a page (or blog post) on your site that will eventually become a hub for continually updated content. It’s a resource whose relevance (and freshness) will grow as the page ages. And it’s the type of useful content that Google loves these days. Best of all, it’s super easy to do!
Why go dynamic?
The problem with creating traditional evergreen content is that, to be effective, it requires a serious time investment. You could spend weeks or even months researching, writing, and perfecting your piece of evergreen content. And the longer and more exhaustive it is, the more time it’ll take you to get it out.
That’s why most evergreen content never gets off the ground. It’s intimidating to sit down to start what could eventually be a 20,000-word blog post. So you procrastinate. You work on something else. You do something easier. And you give up on your idea.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Steal the secret of the evergreen tree and gradually, yet continually, add to or replace old content on your (increasingly high authority) page and you, too, can stay green year round.
So take a page out of their trunks (too soon?) and give dynamic evergreen content a shot. It’s way easier than you think.
How to create dynamic evergreen content
Create a resource page around one very specific idea. Do some keyword research and title it something really compelling. Add a few supporting paragraphs, and start with at least two entries. Each entry will really be two things:
1. A short overview blurb on your evergreen page
This blurb provides the nuts and bolts without all the details. You may choose to include an image with each blurb to up the usefulness and break up what is sure to be a long page.
2. A separate post, linked by its subhead from your evergreen page
This is where you’ll get into the nitty-gritty. These should be super useful, step-by-step resources, tips or tools that are strong enough to stand on their own as an individual post; yet related enough to your main topic to warrant inclusion on your resource page.
Tip: If you don’t have the bandwidth to create separate posts for each item on your own blog, link out to resources that your readers can use.
To keep things organized and enhance usability for return visitors, provide descriptive anchor links either across the top or in a wiki-style sidebar to the subheaders of the individual entries on the page for quick access.
Most importantly, don’t be intimidated or you’ll never get started. Enjoy the freedom to add to it as you go. If it’s not so frequent as to annoy them, you can even email an appropriately segmented list to let them know every time you make an update.
So what will you write about?
A few examples of dynamic evergreen content
The best part about evergreen content is that, as long as you’ve got a unifying theme, you’re only limited by the depth to which you’re willing to dive into a particular topic. In fact, if you frequently write on very similar topics, you’ve likely already got a few resources you could use for creating your own piece of dynamic evergreen content.
LifeHacker’s “Always Up to Date Guide” has several great examples of this type of content in action. But to spark your own creativity, here are a few examples of what dynamic evergreen content might look like for your business or blog.
A page hosting tutorial resources
This could be something as simple as “Google Analytics Tips to Save You Time,” or “A Beginner’s Guide to Setting Up a Home Video Studio.” Each tip gets a short blurb, essentially an abbreviated version of the longer post that you’ll link to. Be sure to entice the click-through by referencing the resources (i.e. links to useful tools, how-to videos, or step-by-step instructions) that you’ll provide on the more detailed page.
A page hosting content that may change
This type of evergreen content isn’t continually added to so much as it’s continually updated. We update our Social Media Image Sizes post every time the dimensions change to ensure we’re always providing the freshest information. The trick here is to keep the dates out of the URL. That way, when 2019’s new image dimensions, for example, roll around you can benefit from the age and strength of your evergreen URL while still providing fresh content.
A page hosting reviews of brick-and-mortar businesses
This could be something like, “A Highly Unscientific Analysis of Brooklyn’s Most Popular Dive Bars.” Here, each post would be a more in-depth review, but the main page might host your star rating and a brief blurb about the location and general vibe.
This idea of hosting a resource page with links to tightly related content isn’t anything new. However, by allowing the page to naturally grow as you continually add content, you’re making the process of creating evergreen content a whole lot more manageable. Using this technique, you could even get started today!