When it comes to content creation, the rule less is more applies. Even if you love writing up new blogs, emails, or social media posts, you don’t want to put yourself in a situation where everything screeches to a halt when inspiration dries up (or when you’re too busy juggling other demands). That’s what makes evergreen content so valuable. By definition, evergreen content isn’t time sensitive, which means you can pull it out of the archives and share it with your audience anytime. There are plenty of examples of evergreen content out there—but one caveat before we dive in. Evergreen content may not be time sensitive, but that doesn’t mean it’s immune from the occasional update. In fact, giving it a periodic refresh may help it go even further.
When we talk about evergreen content, we’re looking at the pieces of content that tend to be “set it and forget it.” This includes your website copy, certain email sequences (like your lead nurturing sequence) and older blog posts (like this one!).
If you’re like most people, this older content tends to fall onto the back burner, get forgotten, and gather dust. This isn’t always a bad thing, because strong evergreen content still works, even when it’s not front and center. For example, an old blog post with great SEO will still drive traffic, long after it’s been published. A bangin’ lead nurturing sequence will continue to generate sales so long as new subscribers join your list.
But it’s still worth the occasional audit and refresh of your existing content. Why?
Well, let’s use the past few years as an example. When this blog post was first written, in April of 2020, the entire world is living in a state of heightened anxiety and fear over the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Within a period of a few weeks, our realities changed dramatically. This impacted entire industries, especially healthcare, travel, and education. From a content perspective, evergreen content that had worked like a charm suddenly became irrelevant. Take, for example, the tutoring company with an opt-in that guided parents in building their own in-person study group with their children. That opt-in (and the subsequent lead nurturing sequence) didn’t work in a world of lockdowns.
There are many examples of evergreen content that may need updating when faced with a crisis. But the updates don’t stop there! What happens when an old blog post continues to generate traffic… but the post leads people towards a service you no longer offer? What do you do when your website speaks to an audience you no longer serve?
While evergreen content needs significantly less updating than most content, it still needs the occasional touch-up. Otherwise you risk old, outdated content making its way to your audience… leaving them with the wrong impression.
That doesn’t mean you need to update all of the content you’ve ever created. You want less work, not more. But there are a few key pieces of evergreen content that, when periodically reviewed and updated, can keep bringing in qualified leads.
3 Examples of Evergreen Content You Don’t Want to Skip Updating
We’ve narrowed it down to three main places to look when updating your evergreen content for maximum results. If you do nothing else, take the time to audit and review these areas.
Evergreen Content Example #1: Your Website Copy
Your website is the ultimate set-it-and-forget-it faux pas. If you’ve ever hesitated to share your website URL with someone because it feels off, you know what we’re talking about. Website shame is so common that for years North Star exclusively worked on copywriting for websites. This wasn’t even by design—we simply had that many people coming to us feeling bad about their websites. More often than not, they’d tell us that they’d outgrown what was on their site. They felt it no longer reflected their voice or vision, and it no longer spoke to the people they most wanted to serve.
Businesses evolve constantly. On the surface, website copy (which includes your home page, about page, and services pages, among others) is fairly evergreen. It’s not the sort of content you update on a regular basis. But when your business shifts, and when you shift, you want your website to speak to those changes. Otherwise, you might give visitors the wrong impression.
The purpose of your website is to take visitors and turn them into subscribers or clients. To to that, you need to make it crystal clear who you are, who you serve, and how you serve them. If any of those factors change, your website needs to reflect those changes!
If it’s been more than a year since you audited your website, we recommend sitting down at taking a look. It’s also a good idea to review your website pages whenever a significant change happens. For example, if you introduce a new service or shift your target audience, or if a world event (like COVID), impacts your industry.
Not sure where to start with your website? Our Website Copy Templates will show you exactly what to write on each and every one of your website pages.
Evergreen Content Example #2: Email Sequences and Automations
If you’re spending time building and connecting with your email list, you’ve likely created at least one pre-written email sequence. There are many types of email sequences out there, and once created they tend to run in the background. This makes it easy to overlook, and even forget about, the content. On the one hand, a well-written email sequence should allow you to “set it and forget it” (at least, to a degree). On the other, similar to website copy, your email sequences should reflect where your business is, not where it was when you initially created it.
Lead nurturing sequences in particular are a powerful example of evergreen content. They provide the first impression of your brand after they “opt into” your list. For example, once someone completes our popular Copywriting Character Quiz, they receive a series of emails that help them understand and use their results. Not only does this introduce you to our quiz, which is a key component of our entire copywriting process, but it allows you to get to know North Star as a business. Through the emails, you learn who we are, what we do, and the kinds of resources you can leverage with us.
Your lead nurture sequence is your first shot at making a lasting impression and building a relationship, so you want to make sure it’s accurate and up to date. This means including email sequences, especially lead nurturing sequences, near the top of your list when you go to refresh your content.
Luckily, revisiting your email sequences doesn’t take long. The best thing to do is take a look at the first email in the sequence and make sure it’s still relevant to your business and the times. For example, one of our clients works with parents of school-age children, providing them with resources to make learning fun and effective. Newcomers to their list arrive through a learning style quiz that’s been incredibly popular and helpful for parents (can you tell we like quizzes?) who want support their children outside of school. When COVID-19 first started to impact our daily lives, many schools closed or shifted online. We went into her email sequence and updated the very first email parents receive to add a line that acknowledged the massive change in the industry, and how parents could support their children in the shifting environment.
It was a small change of only one sentence, but it extended a bit of extra compassion to parents during a particularly difficult time.
Evergreen Content Example #3: Blog Posts
Of all the different types of evergreen content, this one can get the most overwhelming when it comes to updates. First of all, don’t worry about updating every blog you have. If you’ve been blogging regularly for any amount of time, that would be an enormous chore. Instead, strategically updating posts will allow your most popular or most critical content stay current and rise to the top.
So what blogs do you want to periodically update? Here are a few factors:
- Will you be referring to the blog post in any new or current content?
- Does the blog post get a lot of relevant search engine traffic?
- Is there the potential for the blog post to get a lot of relevant search engine traffic?
- Does the blog post feature in any of your other evergreen content (for example, do you link to it within an email sequence)?
- Does the blog post naturally lead into any of your current offers?
If the answer is “yes” to any of the above, it’s worth giving the content an update. On the other hand, the blog posts that don’t get a lot of traffic, aren’t super relevant to what you’re currently talking about in your business, or don’t get featured elsewhere, can probably wait.
This blog post right here is a perfect example of this! It checks several of the boxes above:
- We’re planning to send an email to our list that links to this blog post in the near future.
- This blog doesn’t currently get a ton of search traffic, but it does have the potential to get relevant search traffic with some small tweaks.
- The topics we talk about in this post lead nicely into both our website copy templates and our content audit services. The latter is a brand new service that didn’t even exist when we first wrote this post!
If you’re not an SEO-guru, don’t worry. Having SEO-optimized posts is ideal for evergreen blog posts, but you can start small and work on periodic improvements. If you want to dive deeper into SEO and how it can make your evergreen content truly immune to the passage of time, we recommend heading over to Meg Casebolt’s website, Love @ First Search. She has a ton of valuable tips and resources for leveraging SEO within your business. In fact, you can grab her SEO Playbook here.
Remember: Even Evergreen Content Evolves
Each of these examples of evergreen content are designed to give you maximum results for minimum effort. The best evergreen content will last you a long time—but all content needs a periodic audit to make sure it’s still doing its job. The good news is, periodic audits and updates to your content allow them to do more for you in the long run, without needing to create new content from scratch. And that means more time and energy to serve your clients!
Get a Professional Audit of Your Evergreen Content
Dreading the idea of giving your evergreen content a much-needed update? Pull in the support of our trained copywriters with a Content Audit.