There are many different tactics that bloggers and content creators employ to attempt to get their content in front of as many relevant people as possible. One of these tactics is what is known as Evergreen Content, essentially this is content that is quality and useful to people for an extended period of time.
There are plenty of great articles on evergreen content so am not going to go into detail. One thing I noticed is that there are few articles that explain the potential pitfalls of evergreen content. Here is a screenshot from the results when I search “problems with evergreen content”;
Doesn’t look particularly problemy!
This isn’t going to be some rant against evergreen content, in general I agree that is has some excellent benefits to readers and therefore content creators. I do think that there are potential issues that need to be considered before someone decides to create an article they want to be considered evergreen.
Problems with Evergreen Content
Here are some of the problems that I don’t see being talked about as much;
Writing Evergreen Content is hard
As someone who blogs fairly regularly I can say from first hand experience that writing quality content that you expect to be useful for a long period of time is hard, way harder than writing some really specific post about something that is only going to be useful to a very small subset of people (sometimes the subset includes just one person, the author!).
Writing with longevity in mind is tricky, the content of the post has to be spot on and the wording of the post has to not date it too quickly.
You need to invest regularly in Evergreen Content
It isn’t enough to write the post and hit ‘Publish’ and walk away, you need to revisit content you feel is Evergreen and make sure it is still up to snuff, things change and the subtleties of your post will need to be fact checked for as long as you want it to be considered up to snuff.
Case in point is this article, I feel this could potentially be Evergreen, which means I am going to need to keep up-to-date with the current thinking on what Evergreen is to make sure this still makes sense a year from now.
Being considered the definitive source isn’t always what it is cracked up to be
Anyone that has written an article that has stood the test of time can tell you that sometimes it generates unwanted questions and headaches.
Perhaps you have written about something that you used to feel passionately about but now your interests have changed so people coming to you because they feel you are the source of all knowledge on the subject can be a strain on your resources.
When you are writing for your business it might be that you stray away from your direct area of concern, this means you will need to support people commenting and asking questions on something that you wouldn’t normally want to spend time on.
Writing for beginners can have a negative effect on your marketing efforts
Current common best practice for writing Evergreen content is that you should write for beginners, since experts will be less likely to be searching for help and it means you can focus on appealing to more people.
Whilst I can see the sense in this, it comes at a cost. The assumption is that experts aren’t searching for the thing you will be writing about, but a lot of people don’t search for things these days, they get linked to things on social media and news websites so they are going to end up on your article aimed at beginners.
When they do hit your page aimed at beginners I feel it could go one of two ways, the first is they go “oh, this isn’t for me back button”.
The second is more worrying because they might go “oh, this isn’t for me, and clearly this company don’t have the depth of knowledge to be trusted by someone like me mental note to not click on your links again back button”
The goal of this article was never to convince you to stop writing Evergreen Content, the goal is to open up a conversation that perhaps there are some negatives that are worth exploring before you invest too much time in making a load of it.