Have you ever done an internet search on a topic and gotten a result to an article that was written five years ago? What did you do next? Did you read it and think “oh this probably doesn’t apply any longer” or did you just click away and not even read the article? Well it’s not just you, this happens everyday on the web — yet writers and marketers are making the same mistake over and over and sabotaging their efforts in establishing effective article marketing practices.
In fact, one of my favorite internet marketing mentors has written tons of great articles that have an evergreen quality to them yet there is one big mistake that she makes that ruins their ability to be true evergreen articles. So while she still delivers those articles over and over via email — I think she makes it difficult for people to republish those articles in their own ezines or sites because of this one error with how she writes her articles.
In good article marketing you don’t have to be current, or timely, but EVERGREEN. What that means is that when you write an article, the content should be able to be understood and applied today, next year, and 10 years from now. The point of writing content like this is simple — you want your articles to be able to be useful and to send you traffic from the point that you publish it until…forever. That makes it an evergreen article.
So what are telltale signs that an article is NOT evergreen…
1. The first big mistake that people make (including my internet marketer from above’s example) is that you do not have put the year into your copyright tag in order for it to to be legally protected. So eliminate it. I know you may see some “big dawgs” do this on their sites, and that’s all well and good for a website — but not for content.
When people go search for information and see an article written by you in 2005, they will go searching for information that appears “more current”. Even if the information they are searching for is timeless by nature. It’s all perceived timeliness. I myself just did this searching for a sangria recipe! It’s psychological. I picked the recipe that had no copyright year vs. one that had a 2007 copyright. When honestly sangria is sangria. But if I did this for fruity wine – imagine the reactions of people in your niche?!
Good – © Lisa Angelettie All Rights Reserved.
Bad – © 2009 Lisa Angelettie 2009 All Rights Reserved.
2. At the time of this writing, there is a big news story about the release of two journalists who were being held in a North Korean jail. If I were to write a news article or even an opinion article on this story, it would immediately have a very short “reading” life on the web. Sure, I would get some immediate traffic as a current events article — but then the traffic would plummet and eventually stop on a story of this “timely” nature.
So when you are creating articles for the purpose of sending continuous traffic to your site, it’s best to write on universal themes. For instance, a different approach to this article could be “safety abroad” or “the perils of investigative reporting”.
3. Adding dates to your articles is a big no-no too. Unless you are referring to a well-known date of a past event such as the assassination of President Kennedy etc., there’s no place for dates in an evergreen article. Again – this will only make your article appear less timely the longer it is on the web.
To give a T.V. example – have you ever watched The Price Is Right with the original host Bob Barker? For years, I would play a little game with myself trying to figure out what day of the week it was, what month, or what time of year it was when they taped the show. Very rarely could you tell. That’s why it was so easy for the show to run repeat episodes. It was a daily game show with an evergreen appeal. He NEVER gave a date. He never said a day of the week. He barely said Merry Christmas.
That’s the key to effective article marketing with evergreen articles — keeping the reader guessing about what day, week, year the article was written.