When it comes to blog marketing, every brand will ask the same question: “Should we focus on evergreen content or chase topical trends?”
At Wrise, we’ve been writing blog posts for leading UK brands for over a decade, and we know the answer isn’t straightforward.
Evergreen content promises enduring relevance – a slow but steady magnet for traffic. Conversely, topical content offers immediate engagement – a quick win in the ever-changing digital landscape.
Which way should you turn?
Read on as we dissect the pros and cons of both options, and whether a blend might be the best choice for a successful blog.
What is evergreen content?
Imagine a piece of writing that remains relevant, informative and interesting regardless of the season or current trends.
This type of content is the backbone of many successful blogs, providing long-lasting value to readers.
Like the evergreen trees that retain their leaves all year round, evergreen content maintains its freshness and utility over extended periods.
For example, take a look at one of our recent posts: 80 Different Blog Posts Types: Your Ultimate Guide. Whether you read it today or in several years time, it’s still a helpful resource.
The key characteristics of evergreen content are:
1. Timeless relevance: Evergreen content is not tied to specific dates, events or fleeting trends. It covers topics that are always of interest to your audience.
2. Consistent value: It provides ongoing value, often focusing on fundamental topics or universal questions that don’t lose their importance over time.
3. Broad appeal: Typically, evergreen content appeals to beginners or those new to a subject, offering foundational knowledge that remains useful.
3 examples of evergreen content:
– How-to guides: Step-by-step instructions on tasks that are perennially relevant, such as “How to Write a Compelling Brand Story”.
– FAQs: Frequently asked questions about a particular topic or industry, providing timeless answers, like “What’s the Ideal Length for a Blog Post?”
– Listicles: Lists of tips or resources, like “Digital Dialogue: 12 Benefits of Blogging for Businesses“.
Evergreen content forms the core of a knowledge base for your readers, offering them a reliable resource they can return to time and again. Whether it’s a beginner learning a new skill or someone seeking to brush up on the basics, evergreen content can be an invaluable part of their learning journey. By incorporating evergreen content into your blog, you create a foundation of content that continues to attract and engage readers over the long term.
What are the pros of evergreen content?
Evergreen content is a key player in content marketing, offering several advantages that can significantly enhance the value and reach of your blog.
Here are some of the key benefits:
1. Longevity and sustained traffic: The primary strength of evergreen content lies in its lasting appeal. Unlike articles focused on fleeting trends, evergreen pieces remain relevant and continue to attract readers over time. This enduring nature ensures a consistent flow of traffic, often for years after the content is first published.
2. Minimal need for updates: Evergreen content generally requires fewer updates. Since it’s not tied to time-sensitive topics, it doesn’t become outdated quickly. This feature allows you to invest more time in creating new content rather than constantly revising existing material.
3. Consistent value to readers: Whether it’s a detailed guide, a comprehensive FAQ or a practical how-to, evergreen content provides ongoing value to your audience. It’s particularly beneficial to new readers or those seeking foundational knowledge in your field.
4. Versatility for repurposing: Given its timeless nature, evergreen content can be easily repurposed across different platforms. You can transform a blog post into a video, an infographic or even a podcast episode, extending its reach and lifespan.
5. SEO benefits: Evergreen content is often rich in keywords that people regularly search for, which can boost your SEO efforts. Its ongoing relevance means that it can continue to rank well in search engine results, driving organic traffic to your blog.
While evergreen content holds significant advantages, it does have its challenges and limitations too.
What are the cons of evergreen content?
While evergreen content is an invaluable asset to any blog, it’s important to acknowledge its limitations. This will help you craft a more effective and balanced content strategy.
Here are some notable drawbacks:
1. Lack of immediacy: Evergreen content typically lacks the immediate draw of topical content. It’s not centered around the latest trends or breaking news, which can limit its ability to quickly capture the audience’s attention.
2. Slow traffic growth: The nature of evergreen content usually results in a gradual build-up of traffic over time. Unlike topical content that can generate quick spikes in traffic due to its timeliness, evergreen content often requires patience to see significant results.
3. Potential for basic content: Evergreen articles often cater to beginners or cover fundamental aspects of a topic. While this is great for newcomers, it might not offer much value to advanced users or experts in your field.
4. Difficulty in content ideation: As you continue to build your evergreen content library, finding new and unique topics can become increasingly challenging. This is especially true in niches where the foundational topics have been extensively covered.
5. Risk of content staleness: While evergreen content requires fewer updates, it’s not entirely maintenance-free. There’s always a risk of the content becoming stale or slightly outdated, necessitating periodic reviews and updates to ensure continued relevance.
Despite these challenges, evergreen content should remain a cornerstone of a successful content strategy due to its long-term benefits.
In the next section, we’ll shift our focus to topical content, exploring its defining features and immediate impact on blog engagement and traffic.
What is topical content?
Topical content, also known as timely or seasonal content, offers a different approach to engaging your audience. It’s the pulse of the moment, capturing the essence of what’s current and newsworthy.
This type of content thrives on immediacy and relevance, making it a powerful tool for drawing in readers who are seeking the latest information.
Take a look at this recent blog post: Why ChatGPT is Pants for Keyword Research. While is may be true today, who knows what tool ChatGPT will launch tomorrow!
The key characteristics of topical content:
1. Timeliness: The core of topical content is its relevance to current events, trends or seasons. Whether it’s a major sports event, a significant political development or a cultural festival, topical content connects your blog to the world as it is right now.
2. Immediate relevance: Topical content resonates instantly with what your audience is currently interested in or talking about. It has the power to engage readers looking for content that reflects the current zeitgeist.
3. Short lifespan: Unlike evergreen content, the relevance of topical content is often short-lived. Its impact is tied to the duration of the event or trend it covers.
3 examples of topical content:
– News-based articles: Posts that comment on or analyse recent news events within your industry.
– Seasonal posts: Content that aligns with holidays, seasons or events, like “Best Tech Gifts for Christmas” or “Summer Fitness Tips.”
– Event-driven pieces: Articles that revolve around specific events, such as a major product launch or a significant industry conference.
Topical content serves as a catalyst for immediate reader engagement. It can significantly boost your blog’s traffic and visibility in a short period.
What are the pros of topical content?
Topical content is like the sprinter in the race of content marketing – quick off the blocks and able to capture immediate attention, but tiring quickly.
Here are some key advantages of incorporating topical content into your blog strategy:
1. Instant engagement and results: Topical content capitalises on current trends and events, leading to rapid engagement from readers. Its relevance to what’s happening now can attract a surge of visitors looking for fresh, timely information.
2. Generates buzz and social shares: Since it aligns with the current zeitgeist, topical content is more likely to be shared across social media platforms. This can lead to increased visibility and a broader reach for your blog.
3. Builds hype and urgency: By covering trending topics or time-sensitive events, topical content creates a sense of urgency that encourages readers to act quickly, whether it’s sharing the content or engaging with your call to action.
4. Attracts new audiences: The dynamic nature of topical content can draw in diverse audiences, including those who may not typically visit your blog but are drawn in by the relevance of the content to current events or trends.
5. Easier idea generation: With the ever-changing news cycle and seasonal events, topical content provides a steady stream of inspiration for new posts. This can make content planning and ideation more straightforward.
6. Relevance for seasonal trends: Seasonal content like holiday guides or summer tips becomes relevant at specific times each year, offering predictable spikes in traffic and engagement.
While topical content can create significant short-term gains, it’s important to balance these advantages with its limitations.
What are the cons of topical content?
Although topical content can be a powerful tool for driving immediate traffic and engagement, it comes with its own set of challenges:
1. Short-term impact: The most significant limitation of topical content is its fleeting nature. Its relevance is often tied to a specific event or trend, meaning its ability to attract traffic diminishes as the public interest wanes.
2. Quickly becomes outdated: Ever heard the phrase, ‘today’s news is tomorrow’s fish and chip papers’? Topical content can become irrelevant or outdated quickly as news cycles change and trends pass. This necessitates a continuous output of new content to maintain reader interest.
3. High keyword competition: Popular topics and trends often mean high competition. Many other content creators will likely cover the same events or news, making it challenging to stand out in search engine results. For example, say you want to write about your football team’s latest match. You’re going to be competing against the likes of BBC, Goal, Sky Sports – and any number of other large, dominating domains.
4. Does not guarantee long-term trust: While topical content can bring visitors to your site, it doesn’t automatically translate into long-term trust or loyalty from readers. Building a consistent and trusted brand requires more than just capitalising on trends.
5. Resource intensive: Keeping up with the latest trends and news requires constant vigilance and can be resource-intensive in terms of research and content production. You need your finger on the pulse at all times, with new content flowing constantly.
How to strike the right balance between topical and evergreen
Having looking at the pros and cons of both evergreen and topical content, what’s right for you?
In our opinion, finding the ideal mix of evergreen and topical content is key to a successful blog strategy. Each type serves a different purpose and when used together, can create a dynamic and engaging blog.
Evergreen content is your anchor, providing a steady stream of traffic through its timeless appeal and ongoing relevance. It’s the foundation upon which you build your blog’s authority and trustworthiness. On the other hand, topical content is the sail that catches the wind of current trends and events, propelling your blog to new heights of immediate engagement and visibility.
Ultimately, the choice is yours. And the direction you lean will shape your brand’s voice and the connection you have with readers.
Here are strategies that can help you achieve this balance:
1. Evaluate your blog’s goals: Consider what you want to achieve with your blog. If building a long-term audience is your aim, lean more towards evergreen content. For timely engagement and buzz, incorporate more topical content.
2. Understand your audience: Knowing your audience’s preferences and needs is crucial. Use analytics to determine what type of content resonates most with your readers and adjust your strategy accordingly.
3. Plan your content calendar: A well-planned content calendar can help you balance evergreen and topical content. Schedule evergreen posts to provide a steady stream of value, interspersed with topical content to tap into current trends and events.
4. Leverage seasonal opportunities: Use holidays, seasons and events to your advantage by planning topical content around these times. This can offer periodic spikes in traffic while your evergreen content maintains a baseline of steady engagement.
5. Repurpose content wisely: Transform your evergreen content into different formats (like videos or infographics) and update it as needed. For topical content, consider ways to extend its relevance, such as follow-up pieces or retrospective analyses.
6. Optimise for SEO: Utilise SEO best practices for both content types. Evergreen content should focus on stable, high-volume keywords, while topical content can target trending keywords and hashtags.
7. Monitor and adapt: Regularly review the performance of your content. If certain types are performing better, adjust your strategy to optimise your blog’s reach and engagement.
By striking the right balance between evergreen and topical content, you can ensure that your blog not only attracts readers in the short term but also builds and maintains a dedicated audience over time.
Struggling to find the right mix?
Crafting a blog that resonates both with search engines and your readers can be a fine art. If you’re finding this challenging, Wrise is here to help.
We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to blog packages. Instead, we focus on creating a customised content strategy that aligns perfectly with your blog’s goals and audience.
Want to find out more? Take a closer look at our blog writing services. Ready to talk? Get in touch to discuss your blog and find the right mix of evergreen and topical content for your business.