How Long Is Evergreen Content Actually Good for?

First of all, what is evergreen content? Evergreen content is content that stays fresh for a long time. It’s like a live Christmas tree as opposed to a cut Christmas tree. You can keep it, plant it, and/or use it again next year. It may be a solution to a problem, like Frequently Asked Questions, a research paper, or a tutorial. The best kind of content, in my opinion, is evergreen content. After all, you’re working hard to create content, so why not make it last a little longer.

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What Isn’t Evergreen Content?

News is usually not evergreen content. Breaking news, in particular, flits across our screens and disappears in a matter of moments. Anything that is time-sensitive isn’t evergreen. Some trending topics may also disappear quickly.

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Why Create Evergreen Content?

People are publishing more now than ever before. As this article from Copyblogger explains “…there is one type of content that can cut through the noise and deliver long-term results.” And by the way, notice that the article from Copyblogger is from 2016. So that says a lot right there! It’s still at the top of Google search results. And it’s still relevant in 2020!

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How Do I Start Creating Evergreen Content?

Think about your successes as well as your failures. You may want to show off a client who succeeded because of your product or service. On the failure side, you may want to explain how things could have gone differently. A failure has the additional benefit of showing transparency. And also, you can use self-deprecating humor (my favorite!). You might like this article: How to Use Smart Failure and Learn Faster.

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How-To Guides Can Be Helpful

Is there some area where your talent really shines? Then why not write a how-to guide? Recently, I saw a tweet and the tweeter asked What is a subject that you could talk about for an hour without notes? That could be your how-to guide. Simply talk and write down what you say for an hour. Or have a friend take notes for you .With a little massaging, that could be your how-to guide. Remember to address your specific audience when you write your how-to guide, as this article, 3 Ways to Write a How-to Guide from WikiHow reminds us.

Inspirational Pieces

Pieces that are particularly timeless can be inspirational pieces. Maybe you still remember what a beloved teacher or friend told you when you were in grade school. If you can inspire someone with your writing, that piece may last even longer than a how-to guide.

To Answer the Question

Evergreen content can be good for years, as evidenced by some of the evergreen articles I’ve referenced above. Whether that’s two, three, or more years, depends upon a few factors. Even if things change, you may be able to update your evergreen content. For instance, I recently updated this article: Three Business-Friendly Tools for Twitter. Perhaps there’s an older piece of content that you could update, too.

Questions?

Have any questions or comments? Let me know in the comments! And thank you.

 

What is the best kind of content for my blog?

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Maybe you feel that there are millions of topics to write about. Or, maybe like so many, you have no idea what to write about and your mind is blank when you start to write. Either way, you need to consider your audience first.

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Who are you writing for?

If you’re just starting out, consider who your ideal reader is. If you already have readers, then you may have a better idea of who you’re writing for. Consider anything about that person that may help you. For instance, what are their pain points? What problem does your product or service solve? Write about that. You might like this article: Target audience and social media.

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Who is on the platform where you’re sharing your writing?

Each platform is different and has different types of users. For instance, according to SproutSocial’s excellent article Social Media Demographics to Inform Your Strategy, “You want to make sure that people within your ideal target audience are actually participating actively there.” Look at the income, education level, and age of people on the platform you’ll be on. Does it make sense to share your content there? If not, where would be a better place?

What Frequently Asked Questions does your audience have?

Do people always ask you the same questions? Write about those. Even if you think you’ve been repeating yourself over and over, chances are, your audience doesn’t think so. You may want to write about the same thing in slightly different ways, too. For instance, if you’re blogging for a zoo and people always ask what kinds of animals you have there, change it up. Talk about the giraffes first, then the penguins. Or vice-versa. Search Engine Journal has some helpful examples of Frequently Asked Question pages.

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Write about Where You’re Going

Are you a startup about to pivot? Would you like to move into a different area in your business? Why not write about that? After all, most people are more interested in your future than in your past. You’re probably more interested in your own future, too. So go ahead and write about your dreams and aspirations (not that it hurts to look at your own history). Right now, you might write about what you’re going to do once Covid19 and the shelter in place is over. How will that affect your business?

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Do You Have Opinions?

Of course you do! If there’s something someone in your service or industry is doing that you do or don’t like, why not write about that? Also, if you pretend you’re talking to a friend as you write, that will help speed up your writing.

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Still Stuck?

If the idea of coming up with content topics still has you shaking your head, this article might help: What to Write About When You Have Nothing to Write About. You could revisit an old article, do a best of post with a collection that you really like, or respond to a video or another blog post that you liked.

 

 

 

 

What If You Only Have 30 Minutes for Social Media?

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Sometimes the best ideas for blog posts come from clients. Like this one. And sometimes when one person has a question, it’s one that many people might ask. This definitely goes under Frequently Asked Questions! So here are a few things you can do if you’re in a time crunch, or if 30 minutes is all the time you have for social media. So for this one, I’m going to turn on my timer and make sure I can make it through.

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Check Notifications

On Twitter, there’s a little blue bell. Click it and you’ll see your notifications. On Facebook, there’s either a little blue bell (on mobile) or a little red square at the top of your feed. On LinkedIn, like the others, has a little bell for Notifications. And here’s a quick summary, straight from the horse’s mouth (LinkedIn) about managing your LinkedIn Notification Updates.

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Thank People

If someone has retweeted you, thank them. Same with anything of yours that someone has shared. You can return the favor if you want, but the most important thing is to thank them. There are several ways you can thank people. You might like: Beyond the Magic Words: 8 Ways to Say Thank You!

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Engage

Say hello to people, comment on others’ posts, and share. Those are three really simple ways to engage. As you might know, I’m a big believer in engagement. In fact, you might like this post about engagement: For Better Social Media Results, Focus on Engagement.

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That’s it!

What would you add? What would you subtract? Thanks for letting me know!

This Is What Happens When You Use the Same Old Baloney

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We’ve all heard that old saw about expecting the same results from the same effort. And if you do the same thing day after day and week after week, you’ll probably get the same results, right? Does the same apply to social media?

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Dialing it in

Whether you’re on social media or in a classroom or delivering a lecture, it’s important to keep it fresh. That means changing it up each and every time. Evergreen content can be changed to up its Freshness Quotient. Here are some examples, from an article Sick and Tired of the Same Old Content? Create Evergreen Content!

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Skipping the Homework

Nobody should skip doing their homework, even if that homework only involves a few minutes of work. And sometimes a few minutes is all it takes. For instance, research on a competitor can be done with a quick Google search. Even a single post may take you some time.

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The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over the Lazy Dog

It’s a typing exercise, sure, but it’s also a life lesson. Who knew? Of course quickness will outpace laziness. Always. It’s the reason small startups can move faster than big corporations. Neil Patel explains why the best startups execute faster than anyone else. He also talks about how the best startups fail and start again.

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Sloth as a Deadly Sin

“Unlike the other capital sins, which are sins of committing immorality, sloth is a sin of omitting responsibilities.” From the Wikipedia on Sloth. If you can avoid sloth, then chances are you won’t be using the same old baloney. If you’re stuck in a rut, though, you might want to shoot me an email!

 

 

Quick and Easy Social Media Cheat Sheet: What to Do on Facebook?

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If you’re a beginner on social media, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed. Your friends have been on Facebook for years, so they’re no help. What to do? Here are five simple things you can do on Facebook.

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Check Your Notifications

Updates are shown through little red squares on Facebook. Click on them and you’ll see who’s trying to reach you, when a post has another comment on it, and things like that. You can change which notification you get through your settings. Here’s an excellent article about Facebook’s Notifications Being Out of Control. By the way, you can change your notifications if you’re getting too many of them.

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Post Something

If you’re a business, post something about your business, such as a change in your services. Or maybe you got a new logo and would like to say something about that. Or put up a blog post. By the way, posts with images or videos get a lot more views than just text posts. And if you want to engage others on Facebook, you might like: How to Engage on Social Media: Facebook. Be forewarned, though: getting engagement on Facebook is difficult unless you pay to play.

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Comment on Someone Else’s Post

Try writing a comment on a public post. You can also comment on someone else’s comment. Don’t forget that commenting increases your visibility just like creating a post does. There’s a right and a wrong way to comment, however. You probably shouldn’t comment on every single one of your friends’ posts, as Jeva Anand describes in Posting Comments to Other People’s Wall on Facebook. And you definitely don’t want to spam anyone. Please keep your comment about the subject of the other person’s post–otherwise, you could get unfriended or blocked. The good thing about commenting on someone else’s post is often they may feel compelled to return the favor and comment on your page!

Connect with a New (or an Old) Friend

That business associate you worked with ten years ago is probably on Facebook. Why not reach out and connect? If your friend has a business page, you can connect with them there, too. You probably have some new friends that you could also be friends with on Facebook. You’d be surprised who’s there. Don’t forget to set up your own Facebook business page, too, once you get comfortable with Facebook.

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Join a Group or Two

There are groups for all sorts of things on Facebook. Like mountain bikes? Do a search and you’ll find a group. Enjoy traveling? There’s a group for that! Want to explore your bird watching hobby? You can definitely find fellow bird watchers. And if you’re an author, you might want to know how to promote your book with Facebook. When you’re comfortable with groups, you might even want to start your own.

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Need More Help?

Still feel stuck? Facebook, just like other social media platforms, can definitely be overwhelming! It’s changing all the time and difficult to stay updated. I can definitely help you sort things out!

 

 

You Need to Know Which Social Media Platform Fits Your Cat Best

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You might notice that I skipped over the idea of whether your cats belongs on social media at all. Because of course they do. Cats have opinions about pretty much everything. And they love to share. Even if you don’t want to hear–they want to share. So I’m assuming that your cats needs to be somewhere on social media. And since so many introverts love cats, you might also like this article: Six Facts about Introverts and Social Media that Will Impress Your Friends.

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LinkedIn

Only the most professional cats can make it on LinkedIn. Some of them might be professional, but the professional air only lasts for a few minutes at a time. For most, LinkedIn is unsustainable. They will seem professional, but when the catnip appears, all bets are off.

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Twitter

This has always been my favorite platform, for cats and non-cats alike. Your cat may want to express its opinion, be snarky, and bask in its own beauty. Twitter is great for the pithy comment, too. My late, great kitty Purrsilla had a great run on Twitter as @BigDataKitty. She mostly insulted people and also she got listed with some big data professionals. Just her and 49 guys in suits. Does that sound like your cat?

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Facebook

But of course your cat belongs on Facebook. Why not? Perhaps a private group for your kitty would give him or her the best audience. Yes–you can have an audience with a cat (since cats are similar to the Pope and a cat might grant you an audience–if you’re lucky). People want to see cute pictures, such as your cat basking in the sun, stealing food off your plate, and of course sleeping.

Cats and TikTok

TikTok

Yes, videos belong on Tiktok, and cats love videos. Ergo your cat belongs on TikTok. All three of mine have a video together on TikTok. The video was too big to put here, but you can go look at it on TikTok. And it looks like…

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YouTube

There were 2 million cat videos on YouTube as of 2015–so you can just imagine how many there are now, five years later. Here’s a wiki about cats on the Internet. And there’s this: “In 2015, there were more than 2 million cat videos on YouTube, with an average of 12,000 views each – a higher average than any other category of YouTube content.”

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Need Help Getting Your Cat on Social Media?

I’m available to help!

 

Focus on Your Deepest Interests for More Energy

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Scrolling through Gary Vayner’s wonderful post How to Make 64 Pieces of Content in a Day, hidden on page 66, I saw a little snippet. The snippet was about using the Notes App to capture content, but I saw something else. It was about focusing on your deepest interests: “Keep challenging yourself on what you do when you’re not at work and find ways to allocate time to putting in a business or media (social media) platform around your deepest interests.”

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Your Deepest Interests

What are those things you do when you’re at home? Especially at home right now, since we’re all at home a lot now (except for essential businesses). Many of us are baking banana bread, deep-cleaning appliances, and reexaming our life choices. By the way, my new favorite banana bread recipe is on Epicurious. But there are also people enjoying deeper interests that they might have felt they had no time for before. Personally, I’m reading different books, with more fiction taking precedence.

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Your Forgotten Hobbies

If you suddenly have more time to think and restart some old hobbies, you could be surprised and delighted. You might like this article about your hobbies: A Good Hobby Will Make You Feel Delighted. Active leisure doesn’t seem like something people engage in as much as they used to. Isn’t it time to bring back those active hobbies? The people in my family always had a million hobbies. My brother raised Siamese Fighting Fish and rebuilt motorcycles, for instance, while I mostly read and played sports.

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Your Childhood Dreams

Was there something you wanted to do that you forgot about? Maybe now you have more time and could pick it up. Stranger things have happened. And if it’s possible to combine a childhood dream with something else you might like to do, why not now? Maybe you could illustrate your own blog posts with pictures you painted. Or created videos of your efforts at engine repairs.

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If Writing Is Your Passion

You could easily create many pieces of content if you enjoy writing. While others may be struggling to come up with content, you could use that one article 50 different ways. If you are someone who’s struggling, you might like this: Content Creation: What Are the Best Habits for Writing?

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When You Simplify Your Social Media Posts We All Win

Today I was scrolling through the New York Times and an article caught my eye. The article, No the Best Doesn’t Win, is about the Simple Secret to Success, and had to do with simplification (no big surprise there!). In the article, Shira Ovide explains that “It just works” are magic words. In a discussion about Zoom, Ms. Ovide explains that video meetings don’t seem like rocket science, but it’s hard to make something seem easy.

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Remember Google Hangouts?

Despite doing about a year of Google Hangouts, it was never easy. First, you needed to log into Google Plus (remember Google Plus?). Then there were the minutes of searching for the Google Hangout. Once you got a hangout going, it was fun. But you’d have to close down everything else because it was such a memory hog. And very often it just didn’t work. Maybe Google heard our pleas, because recently they released Google Meet.

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Social Media is the Same Way

You want your social media posts to be easy for your audience. Easy to read, easy to follow, and easy on the eyes. Give them a simple choice as a Call to Action. Do you agree? Yes or no? are both simple examples of calls to action. Don’t make them read ten thousand words before they get to the point, because you will lose them. Social media posts should be easy. Give them a short quote to entice them to read further. And maybe tell them why they’d want to read more. By the way, you might like How to Create a Wonderful Blog Post in an Hour. Yes, it’s possible to make a simple post in an hour.

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Our Attention Spans Are Shorter

Back in the day, you could post nearly anything and people would read it. But now? The interwebs are crowded with blog posts, Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, and articles all over. Videos can’t be too long unless they’re very compelling. And articles can’t be too long, either. Unless you have an interesting story, or a humorous point of view, most people won’t read all the way to the end. They scan.

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We’re Visual, Too

Any graphics that accompany an article, blog post, or social media post need to be simple and enhance your article. They don’t need to be too literal, but they do need to have something that compels your reader to want to know more. Here’s an article you might like: What Happens When You Hire a Professional Blogger.

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Are Your Social Media Posts Simple–Yes or No?

Let me know in the comments! (And did you see what I did there?)

 

Organizing Your Social Media So You Can Have a Better Life

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Everyone says you need to know your why before you feel motivated. The reason you want to organize your social media is so you’ll have more time. Hence, you can use that time to have a better life. There are lots of different ways to organize your social media. Here are some suggestions.

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Block out Your Time

I like to check Twitter first thing in the morning. So I group all my Twitter accounts together and do it that way. If you have some task that you can group together, you could do the same thing. Using a block of time, whether it’s 15 minutes or three hours, will make you more efficient. For instance, you could schedule a week’s worth of Facebook posts all at once. See how long that takes and put it right on your calendar. You might like Time Management for the Tired and Frazzled.

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Have Daily Topics

If you struggle with what to post, you could always have a daily topic prepared. Think of five things you would like to post and then attach that to a day of the week. There are already people who post certain things on particular days, and you can use already-existing daily topics, such as #MotivationalMonday or #ThrowbackThursday. I’ve always liked #ThankfulThursday myself. You may be able to create on particular to your business.

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Outline Several Ideas for Your Blog Posts

While you’re writing an article for your blog, try to think of future topics for yourself. It’s good to always have five at least five. That way, you won’t have an excuse when you’re writing and run out of steam. Just jump to the next topic and continue there for the alloted time. You might also like How to Come up With a Year’s Worth of Blog Content.

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Connect the Dots

You don’t have to share the same things across all your social media platforms. If you do, you might want to reshare that content using a different image, a different quote, and at a different time. For example, create something on Twitter with a hashtag that you then share on Facebook without a hashtag and using a different image. Put that same content on LinkedIn, but write a bit more. Experiment and have fun with it!

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What Will You Do with Your Extra Time?

Why, focus on your hobby, of course!

 

 

How to MacGyver Your Social Media

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During the past few weeks I’ve heard the word MacGyver used several times. Before Covid19, I’d rarely heard the term used, and never as a verb. If you look up MacGyver on Wikipedia, you find this: “With skills that are only limited by his creativity, Mac saves the day using paper clips instead of pistols, birthday candles instead of bombs, and gum instead of guns. And those sound exactly like the types of skills we need right now, as we’re all making do with whatever we have around the house. As far as social media, clients don’t want to appear tone-deaf, so they’re asking to limit salesy posts. For social media managers, it’s more work, and it’s also a creative challenge. We’re using the virtual version of paper clips, birthday candles, and chewing gum for content creation.

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Pivot to Sensitivity and Away from the Hard Sell

Right now, nobody wants to hear about diamond rings and cruises (especially not cruises!). They’re in a kind of survival space, where they want to hear about things that will help them survive in the long term. And as the crisis wears on, we’re moving up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The first week, everyone was dazed and bought all the toilet paper and bleach. The second week, all the frozen vegetables and eggs were gone. By the third week, the stores had replenished some of their supplies. By now, in the fourth week, we’re seeing more products on the store shelves. By the way, you might like Maslow’s Unbelievably Strange Hierarchy of Social Media Needs.

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Using Virtual Duct Tape

For those of us scrambling to create good content or social media posts, we feel like we’re stapling and taping stuff together in the hopes that the content will be good. None of us was prepared for Covid19. What do we do now? For me, going back into the archive of content and reusing those posts that are soothing and calming works well. Now that we’ve been in lockdown for a month, this is starting to feel more normal. And while we’d like to go back to the way it was before, that will never happen. Perhaps it’s a good thing that it won’t, since we’re more focused than ever on helping each other. Wouldn’t that be a good thing to continue?

Improvization and Inspiration

Since it seems that MacGuyver’s main strength is to improvize, many of us probably feel in alignment with him right now. Whether we’re looking in the frig trying to figure out what to make with three eggs and some pickles or avoiding a trip to the store, we need to be inventive. I’ve seen some wonderful examples of creativity lately. For example, people in my neighborhood have stocked our Little Free Library with canned food, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer. Kids have been making inspirational drawings in chalk. Adult makers have been sharing patterns for masks, personal protective equipment, and 3D-printed widget to help doctors. People have been cooperating, for the most part, and helping each other. If that’s part of the “new normal,” then I’m all in.

 

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