Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Benefits of Posting Evergreen Articles

What's wrong with a blog post about the 2009 Super Bowl? Nothing, if your blog has the backing of a newspaper or TV network. Nothing, if you have a Google PageRank of 7. Even nothing if you plan to post something "evergreen" on the heels of your Super Bowl coverage, and I mean RIGHT on its heels.

Evergreen (not the type of tree) Articles

An "evergreen" article blog post is something that will remain relevant and be searched-for and read for several years to come. It's also one of the most challenging keys to success for a sports blog, because sports is so day-to-day, breaking news driven.

Time-sensitive information (like Super Bowl coverage, the Cavs-Lakers game, Zach Johnson's win at the Sony) may be what many of your readers love about your blog. If that's the case, by all means, keep it up! But, a year from now, they won't care how many points LeBron scored in the game and that post will be collecting dust for eternity.

However, they may still be interested in why LeBron throws a two-hand scoop of rosin in the air every game. I can't stand it, but I'd read an article about it. That's potentially an article that would be read and searched for over a few years.

If the Cardinals win the Super Bowl, readers may want to see what you have to say about it on Monday morning. Next year, or even this summer, they won't care how many yards the quarterback threw for. Googlers may, however, care about the role his spirituality played in his success.

The point is, points and yards, maybe even who won, don't matter. The stories behind or within a big game, what makes a player or team tick, how the Super Bowl or World Series enhances our lives, something that shows how sports will always be relevant, maybe even a history of a team, those things will always have readers and searchers. They'll deliver income forever, potentially.

Disadvantaged Independents

What's just as important, is the disadvantage Independent blogs endure when posting about last-night's game. Even though your loyal readers will show up for your Super Bowl coverage, new readers won't find you because potential readers are lassoed by the bigger, network-backed blogs and those that have a high PageRank. I just did a Google search for Super Bowl XLIII and below are the independent blogs that showed up in the first 40 results:
  1. None.
If you want to attract new readers, grow your blog, earn more money, and accomplish lofty goals for your sports blog, incorporating evergreen posts into the mix is essential.

UPDATE July 18, 2011: As an illustration of how evergreen articles can perform over time, this post is the most popular on Sports Writer HQ. It has received nearly 300% more page views than the next most popular, after 2.5 years since publication.

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