Blogging is all about publishing one’s personal experiences, thoughts and theories in his/her own language and a blog by definition is an online diary. The content of a diary cannot be always timeless as it is mostly time and context bound. However, there are a number of ways in which one could mix timeless content into a blog along with the news type and trend-driven short-lived content. In this post, let me try to provide some tips on creating timeless content on blogs.
I have seen a number of people talking about timeless blog posts as those posts/pages where timestamps are not present or archives from blog are deleted etc. But this is not what I mean by real timeless content. For me, timeless content is something that lives relatively longer than most of the other stuff that we write about. I should emphasize on the term ‘relative’ here because everything in this universe has a lifespan.
Advantages of timeless content
The main advantage of timeless blog posts is that they add value to your newer readers (especially search visitors) for a prolonged time – even months or years after publishing the content. This would also mean that, such posts will bring in continuous subscription, readership and visibility for your blog. Another major advantage of timeless posts is that it can help your blog alive even when you are taking a break from blogging. Finally, needless to say, they will also convert well for long term when you consider the monetization aspects.
How to produce timeless posts?
There’s no magic formula to write evergreen content. However, the following tips may be helpful in creating content that lives longer than most others.
#1 Mix the content
Your blog need to have a good mix of timeless content and news-driven or trend oriented content. Trend driven content can give you short term traffic but they will be outdated soon unless a historian wants to dig into what happened to a particular technology from the past or some news on a particular event that took place years ago.
In my personal opinion, it is ideal to have one timeless post per every five to six posts you write. However, this may not be very easy if your blog deals with current affairs topics or latest cool technologies. Identifying new categories to write about will help in such cases.
#2 Add value to timebound posts
Even when you write time-bound or short-lived posts, you can write it in such a way that you add timeless angle to the topic. For example, assume that your time bound topic is about the ‘new release of the Google Chrome browser’. You can add a lot of value by writing about browser evolution, browser war or where the future is converging to etc.
#3 Think ahead
Once in a while, you could try to write about futuristic ideas and this will not only make the lifespan of such posts longer, but also attract a lot of interest in the present. For example, think of somebody who already wrote about hybrid cars five or ten years ago. The topic relevancy in this case is still very good and will mostly hold good for a few more years as well.
#4 Long term keyword optimization
If you do some amount of longterm keyword optimization while publishing your posts, you have a very good chance of keeping them ‘technically’ timeless (of course SEO concepts may change in the years to come). The idea here should be to include sustainable keywords based on research data from the past. These posts that are optimized for long term sustainability can be edited if required as mentioned below.
#5 Edit older posts to remove outdated content
In any blog, there will be a good number of posts that are no more relevant and not read by anybody. You may want to hide some of those posts if they are totally obsolete and hence you could improve the net present relevancy of your blog. This may contradict the definition of a blog or online diary and even conflict with the idea behind archiving. However, I feel that, hiding totally irrelevant posts is not really a bad idea.
The other aspect of editing, is to give your old blog posts a make over so that you stuff in more timeless content there. Changing the post content instead of totally removing it will also help in retaining the backlinks and page ranks.
#6 Don’t be a total historian!
If your blog deals with less of postmortem and more of future ideas, then there is a very good chance that you are already writing a lot of timeless content. Of course, if your blog deals with ‘history’ itself, it has to be timeless.
Faking timeless content
There are a number of ways in which you can make your blog content look timeless. The following are some of the ideas around it as adopted by many already.
- Remove timestamps from blog posts: The idea here is to hide the fact from the reader that you actually wrote it several months/years ago
- Avoid relative time phrases: When you use terms like ‘last month’ or ‘yesterday’ in a blog post and do not see a date on the post, definitely people will get confused as to whether the content is still valid
- Remove ‘dated’ archives: This is particularly valid if you are taking a long break from blogging or totally stopped it. You could instead retain categorized or tag based archiving
- Remove outdated sidebar information: This may include notification of events that took place in the past, banners that show previous years etc
- Update your copyright text: Make sure that your copyright information reflects the current year in the range mentioned there in
I hope this post was interesting to you. Please do share your thoughts on timeless blog content and do not forget to bookmark this post (I hope this remains timeless)