Earth Day Challenge: Write One ‘Evergreen’ Article

Go Evergreen Articlesgreen (evergreen, that is!) to increase the useful life expectancy of your articles!

Writing a regular stream of fresh articles is important to your article marketing success. However, it’s important to make your articles as “evergreen” as possible with content that stays fresh, useful and informative long after you publish it. Being sensitive to how your articles will read in the coming years will help keep them from eventually becoming a stale piece of irrelevant text.

Publishers prefer evergreen content, too. Your articles might live for years on a publisher’s website. Evergreen content makes them useful to their readers longer, and they can spend less time pulling out stale content.

How to Increase the Evergreen Factor

  • Remove the Time Element – Notice how the evergreen title below drops the year reference? Be sure to remove any time-specific references in the body copy, too.
  • Stale: “Hot Summer Fashion Trends for 2010”
    Evergreen: “Hot Summer Footwear Trends: Sandals vs. Flip-Flops”

  • Find Long-Lasting Angles on Time-Sensitive Topics – This allows you to take even topical news items or recent events and make them virtually timeless.
  • Stale: Writing about this week’s top-ranked tennis players.
    Evergreen: Writing about the traits and characteristics of top-ranked tennis players and how you can incorporate their success into your own game.

  • Use the One-Year Test – After you write your next article, read it again and imagine it’s one year later. Rewrite anything that would be outdated.
  • Stale: “5 Things You Should Know Before Dropping $499 on Apple’s Hot New iPad”
    Evergreen: “5 Things You Should Know Before Investing in an iPad”

Take the Earth Day Challenge!

Unlike most of our other challenges, this one doesn’t involve writing lots and lots of articles. Nor will it win you any shwag prizes. For this challenge, simply write a fresh article, or take one you already have in the works, and revise it to make it evergreen.

Then come back and tell us about what you did by leaving a comment below.

25 Comments »


1

Thanks for the great reminders. Even some of us more experienced authors need a gentle nudge to keep all content green meaning it delivers more greenbacks!

Comment provided April 22, 2010 at 9:27 AM

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Excellent point Leanne!

everGREEN articles deliver more GREENbacks!

I like.

:)

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2
Gary Pettit writes:

I 100% agree with writing on evergreen topics in order to make your articles more appealing for publishers. I’ll keep this in mind for all future submissions!

:)

Comment provided April 22, 2010 at 9:31 AM

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3
Anthony Holmes writes:

Today I refreshed and added new info to an article on Nefertiti that I wrote three years ago for another journal and submitted to History Times.

Comment provided April 22, 2010 at 9:49 AM

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4
Geoff writes:

Good tips. I must admit I sometimes find myself using tersm that can and will become outdated.

Comment provided April 22, 2010 at 10:54 AM

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5

Hey Marc,
those were gr8 suggestions your newsletter outlined for writing evergreen articles and the importance of avoiding ‘time bound’ articles!

I’ve just submitted a fresh, hopefully evergreen article, on the ‘6 Features of Writing Evergreen Articles’ aimed at both new authors as well as experienced ones. Typed it off in the middle of meeting deadlines for projects in hand, so you should know your blog topic was compelling :-)

Feedback welcome from all!

Comment provided April 22, 2010 at 10:56 AM

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6
Larry Truett writes:

I am celebrating this Earth Day by writing an evergreen article with some of my best tomato growing tips. This is a topic that I am obsessed with each and every year, as are most gardeners.

Comment provided April 22, 2010 at 11:12 AM

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7
Katrina Oakley writes:

Great tips! this will get some creative juices flowing!

Happy Earth Day!

Comment provided April 22, 2010 at 11:41 AM

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8
Keith writes:

I have learned the hard way how 1 well written and targeted article can be worth 100 quickly dashed up articles and this is let another useful idea to increase the value of each article. Thanks for the pointers – I’ll review tonight’s writing!

Comment provided April 22, 2010 at 11:50 AM

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9
Donald Yerke writes:

Hi Marc:

Good Idea, but I need conflicting clarification.

I was given approval to not rewrite articles that are at least 6 months old. Instead to evaluate, and write it as a new article.

To me Evergreen means fresh, not rehash, and definitely not “spun”.

Please let me know, as I in the process of making fresh new articles versus rewriting. Told they would be treated as new articles. There would be no delete penalty (as old would not be deleted), and as Evergreen fresh article is 50% or more different.

Was I told right?

I need the air freshened on this.

Thanks

Comment provided April 22, 2010 at 12:43 PM

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Donald,

Evergreen means your article won’t be outdated next week, next month or next year.

New articles you submit should be 100% different than previously submitted articles.

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10
Taneem writes:

I often wondered about the longevity of articles and your article has put my mind at rest, that I should not worry too much about dropping time frames and dates. Now when I write I will keep your tips firmly in my mind.

Comment provided April 22, 2010 at 12:54 PM

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11
Jo de Jong writes:

This might well be the most important idea/reminder that Marc has given us ever, and it takes only a little thought to get around the date issue. A definite five stars for this one.

Comment provided April 22, 2010 at 3:31 PM

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You’re right, it does take a little thought. But it quickly gets a lot easier and more automatic with practice. After 25+ years of copy writing, I’ve found that time-limiting verbiage almost jumps off the page (or screen) at me.

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12
Andrew Peel writes:

I like the idea and yet another way to produce Articles. So I better get cracking.

Comment provided April 22, 2010 at 4:31 PM

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13
Jared writes:

very good information,

check out this article i published today, Assisted Living Consultants – What They Do

I’m fairly sure that it, along with the rest of articles, is “evergreen.”

thanks for the informative post

Comment provided April 22, 2010 at 4:45 PM

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14

I celebrated Earth Day by writing an article how to help HR professionals deal with substance abusing employees – and hopefully motivate them to be “chemical free.”

Comment provided April 22, 2010 at 9:44 PM

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15
Codrut Turcanu writes:

I’d write both on evergreen subjects as well as on actual topics and news to gather maximum traffic :)

Comment provided April 23, 2010 at 2:09 AM

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Codrut,

A good idea, but also give some thought to how you can spin your articles about current topics to make your content as evergreen as possible.

For example, if you wanted to write about the Icelandic volcano’s effect on air travel, instead of saying, “Last week’s Icelandic volcano eruption …” say, “The 2010 eruption of an Icelandic volcano …”

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Drago writes:

Excellent point, Marc!

By re-writing the title the way you suggest, the article will not only be current but also evergreen. Talk about killing two flies with one swat.

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16
kenneth one writes:

really educating…thanks!

Comment provided April 23, 2010 at 11:49 AM

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17
brian writes:

Thanks for the advice on evergreen I wrote two new ones keeping your tips in mind and plan another 2 by the weekend.

Comment provided April 23, 2010 at 11:18 PM

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18
Glorietta Atienza writes:

I’ll take that challenge. My next articles would be greener for viewing.

Comment provided April 25, 2010 at 10:14 AM

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19
Keith writes:

Good point. This can also be carried into the body of the post, by being mindful of using dates and references to time in the content

Comment provided May 22, 2010 at 5:26 PM

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20
June Yasol writes:

Unless we get real green, there’s now way we get evergreen.

Comment provided May 30, 2010 at 4:12 AM

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