Timeless Content on Your Blog

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.

Timeless contentI 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.

Examples of timeless posts and articles:
1. Darren Rowse on how to rework on your blog post title
2. Driving in snow and ice

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 Trend driven content can give you short term traffic but they will be outdated soon unless a historian wants to dig into what happened to a particular technology from the past or some news on a particular event that took place years ago.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)

Happy Blogging!

Comments

  1. Nihar :

    Great post!

    I have few posts which are old but get decent Search Engine traffic everyday.

    I have also seen some blogs removing published time and date thing from the page to make it timeless content like you mentioned above.

  2. Really helpful post… also retweeted…. learnt a lot from this… Thank You!!

  3. #5 Edit older posts to remove outdated content: is a good idea, but i don’t think you ever need to remove the outdated content. Should you?

    • It’s not removing the outdated content but editing it. I’ve read one of the posts in Darren Rowse’s blog about editing older post, as you know our writing skills will be keep improving and our previous post’s writing skill will be low quality. So, we can just re-write the content to improve it, perhaps it also helps in search engine ranking for that page.

      Regards,
      Lee

  4. moserw :

    Seems like changing date makes the content itself timeless. Not sure about it though. I would rather have content that will be relevant to all generations to make it timeless, but that’s just my way of thinking.

  5. Numero cinqo appeals to me most. Trimming the fat from outdated posts, especially in the first sentence to get straight to the heart of the content is something I’ve been doing a little of lately. Luckily I only have about 150 posts so far, so not too hard to do at this stage.

  6. some of post make your blog’s pillars, I have also

  7. Good list. Normally as a reader I often tend to favor articles recently written. When i see 2007 or 2008, it a bit like “uh its old”… i think its all psychological.. so i think one news related or trend post, showing the date is good..but for timeless one it is better to not show the date.

  8. Yes good advice for re construct the blog content for new posts.

  9. @Nihar, Editing stale posts is step one and the other is removing timestamps on all pages :)

    @Pramodh, thanks for the tweet buddy…

    @Shanker, sometimes you could remove posts. In fact, I edited some posts that were indexed by Google but were conflicting with some of the later posts (e.g. hosting coupons etc). One option was to redirect it to latest post because the old updated posts were getting hits with good keyword optimization etc. If there’s no such new post to redirect, delete or change contents totally.

    @Lee, exactly… depending on Google indexing, outdated content, optimized for search etc, you can take the right call.

    @Rajiv, you have a great point there. Content for all generations is yet another good approach to make your stuff timeless.

    @Jannie, editing the posts to include great introductory lines seem to be a great idea too. Thanks for that :)

    @Teratips, Pillar posts definitely make ageless-timeless content… well, depends on the topic as well :)

    @Kurt, yep, it’s a psychological thingie… I sometimes edit the beginning of the post as well to include a ‘Updated on’ stuff.

    @SK, thanks buddy for the compliments.

    Thank you all for wonderful views!

  10. Great article Ajith.

  11. Term Paper :

    Blog has to be timeless. These days, one gets very little time to update blog’s content on daily or weekly basis. Sometimes, we get time for 3 posts a week and some times, just 1 in a month. So, it’s better we move timeless in cyber world.

    • Thanks for your comment term paper. That’s the idea, we may not be able to keep blogging forever due to other pressing needs in life. Still, your blog should be able to drive traffic and add value to the readers…

  12. Ajith
    Making content timeless is lovely idea, however it has more around how content can stay relevant for longer. It is indeed lovely work around the concept, cleared a lot for on basics for some people, I am sure of that.

  13. I’ve succeeded in ridding my blog posts and comments of dates. I’ll just have to monitor my traffic for a few weeks to see if it was the right move for me in terms of getting more clicks from the SERPS ;-). Great post by the way 😉

  14. Totally agree. Though there are some topics on which you are just unable to write “timeless” articles. Good example here is f.e. when you are writing the article for the software under a particular version. Due to the nature of the article you just unable to write it in the “timeless” way, as you have to introduce the solution of some bug for the particular version of the software. But for other “general” topics it’s a good hint, thx.

Speak Your Mind

*