Way back in the summer of 1997, while everyone was busy listening to the Spice Girls and quoting Austin Powers, NBC started promoting its summer reruns with a slogan that made them an object of much public ridicule at the time:
People HATED that slogan. The critics rolled their eyes. It was so maligned that people actually still make fun of NBC for it!
The weird thing is, though, NBC wasn’t actually wrong. Yeah, acting like reruns are somehow exciting is sort of lame, but still – it’s a pretty good point, and one you absolutely need to keep in mind when it comes to the content you share.
Your site gets new readers all the time. Your social accounts get new followers all the time. And all the blog posts you’ve spent hours and hours on?
These people have never seen them before – and that makes those posts new to them. (Makes sense, right?)
Every time you publish evergreen content, you get to keep it in your pocket to be shared another day. Over time, you build yourself a little blogging goldmine of posts you can share again and again. You’ll never have to start from square one, because you have posts that don’t lose their relevance – and the more you have, the bigger your stockpile, and the better off you’ll be.
But only if you actively prevent it from going to waste.
Here’s a perfect example.
Career Contessa’s blog is stuffed to the gills with fantastic, evergreen content – cheat sheets, actionable advice, business philosophy, case studies, and even the occasional recipe, all adding up to multiple posts per week.
Because they publish so much, though, posts that are even only a few months old are buried beneath literally hundreds of others, and it’s unlikely that a casual reader will ever make their way that deep all on their own. The site is a goldmine of content that’s as relevant to readers now as it was the day it was published – so why let it stay buried, where today’s readers will never see it?
Career Contessa leverages their massive library of content to attract new readers, and to direct their newer ones to posts from the past they’ve probably missed. Take a look at this tweet, for example:
The post it’s promoting was published in September 2014 – not that you’d know it without looking at the datestamp. It’s old enough to be at the bottom of a list of hundreds of other posts, so it would be easy for newer readers to miss – instead of allowing it to gather dust down there, Career Contessa shares and re-shares the link, so they can use it to drive traffic to their site again and again.
(It’s also worth noting that they aren’t the only ones sharing it, either – every time you promote your evergreen content, you’re opening the door for others to share/retweet, just like several of their followers did above.)
We do the same thing every day.
For example, this tweet promotes a blog video that was originally posted way back in April 2012 – in Internet time, that makes it old as dirt. (Scientifically speaking.) Someone would have to be seriously dedicated to reading through archived posts to EVER find this thing.
Now, take a look at what happened when Laura promoted that post almost three years later:
It was the blog’s fourth most popular post that day! (And it got retweeted a few times, too.)
Would that lone post from 2012 have been so popular in 2015 without being promoted? Almost certainly not – but the traffic goes to show that the post is still relevant enough to attract readers and get shares, so long as you put in the effort to point people there.
[Tweet “Your evergreen posts are only valuable if you keep sharing them – otherwise, nobody will know they even exist.”]
So how do you know what to share and when? The more evergreen posts you write, the bigger your stockpile becomes – so how do you keep track and keep promoting those posts without spending exponentially more and more time on social media?
Career Contessa wrote up a case study of their experiences cataloguing and automating their promotional social updates that you can read here. Before you can actually start posting updates promoting your older content, though, you have to write and organize them.
Predictably, we use our own software for this process, because it allows us to write, save, and automatically republish our promotional updates.
But let’s pretend for a minute that you don’t have software that does this for you, because otherwise, there isn’t much left to talk about.
1. Identify your evergreen blog posts. If you’ve been blogging for a while, then this could be a time-consuming process, but it will pay off when you’re driving new traffic to posts that would otherwise be going to waste – so don’t skip it.
Go through your back catalogue of blog posts and identify the ones that are still relevant, and can still be shared. (Tip: sometimes even a dated post only needs a few quick edits to make it relevant again. Taking 15 minutes to tweak something is still a lot faster than writing a whole new post!)
2. Write one or two updates for each blog post you want to promote. Just ‘cause variety is the spice of life, and all. Mix it up. Give yourself options. And don’t forget to take advantage of what different social networks have to offer, like adding @-mentions to tweets, and custom images to Facebook link previews.
3. Save those updates somewhere before you post them.
Again, this is something we don’t do manually, because we use Edgar. The alternative, though, is to save your updates in a spreadsheet or a Word document – anyplace where you won’t lose them. That way, you can copy/paste them from there directly into your social media account, so you can share it again and again without starting over at Step One every time.
Whatever your method, what matters most is that you’re not letting evergreen content go to waste.
All those old posts you spent time and energy writing don’t have to be forgotten, and the followers you’ve gained since they were last promoted have new content to be directed toward – well, content that’s new to them, anyway!
Are you sharing YOUR evergreen blog posts on social? What’s your experience been with directing newer fans and followers to older content? Share your thoughts in the comments below!