Evergreen content, evergreen audience, and the long tail
Targeting an evergreen audience and using long-tail keywords can be more effective than just writing evergreen content
How can evergreen content be defined?
Evergreen content can be better described if it is compared to content with a shelf-life.
However, in order to provide the meaning of evergreen content as precisely as possible, it should be pointed out that it is a highly relevant term.
For example, although it is generally believed that people will always be interested in health topics, their level of interest in those topics may fluctuate from time to time. Therefore, health-related content would not be really as evergreen, as it would have been thought to be.
The same also applies to other content types and topics, since people are interested in different things in different time periods.
Finally, with shifts in tastes and trends taking place at an unprecedented pace, it only takes months, not to say days, to prove that an article that discusses a specific topic of general appeal is not actually evergreen content.
Finding evergreen content ideas vs. finding an evergreen audience
Believe it or not, luck plays a big role in finding content ideas that can stand the test of time and prove to be evergreen. For instance, specific content that is posted online and is expected to enjoy long-term success and popularity may prove to be less evergreen than content that seemingly doesn’t meet the criteria to be characterized as such.
Since competition among online writers, bloggers, and publishers keeps getting stronger, all of these content providers aspire, to a greater or lesser extent, to win over competition by creating content that will be popular in the long run.
However, this can be difficult or even impossible, especially when reporting on news with a very limited shelf-life. In this case, I believe that, rather than making an effort to create evergreen content, it should be wiser to capture an “evergreen audience” that stays with you even when your content is not evergreen, and this can be achieved by writing and publishing consistently content that is both relevant and interesting to your readers.
The role of the long tail
If you, as a writer and content provider, can’t or don’t want to find and/or build a highly engaged, evergreen audience, for any reason whatsoever, you can try harnessing the power of search engine traffic.
However, this can also prove to be a double-edged sword; you can hit a vine of gold and receive tons of traffic, or, you can end up as another modern-day online Don Quixote taking windmills for giants, i.e. being fooled by the illusion of easy search engine traffic.
That is where the so-called long-tail keywords enter the picture. For example, you can write articles with thousands of words of top-quality, research-backed content, which may end up receiving literally zero search engine traffic.
The same also applies, if you try to write about topics with very strong competition from other writing websites, blogs, news platforms, wikis, etc., because it’s almost impossible to rank high in search engine results for those highly competitive keyword topics.
Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, can you help you get some traffic, and although this traffic can be very small, it can prove to be a good starting point to get you producing more content on a regular basis, in order to build incoming traffic from long-tail search queries slowly by steadily.
However, even in this case, you should bear in mind that you should put a lot of effort in writing, since you need to publish a plenty of posts online to attract traffic from from long-tail keywords that are rare and low competition.
Sources and further reading