If there is one word that is consistently thrown around the premises of the Internet, and often out of context, is ‘Content’. No, not the one where you feel ‘satisfied’, this is more of an umbrella term for almost everything you see on a blog, rather on any website.
Confusing, right? I know. I didn’t invent it. But let me try to simplify it for you.
A blog post is content, so is a group of blog posts, and at times images, logos, and everything you see on a blog is often vaguely called ‘Content’.
For now, know that a blog post or multiple blog posts is your blog’s content. If I ask you, ‘have you uploaded any content recently?’ it means that I am asking if you have uploaded/updated any of the blog posts recently.
While you may believe blog posts won’t have types, they actually do, and they are not based on the topic, but rather the relevance of a topic over time.
Different people qualify content differently, but I like to divide content in two types: 1. Evergreen and 2. Skyscraper
These types are based on their relevance to current trends.
Content is termed ‘Evergreen’ when it stays relevant for a long time, regardless of the current trends, making it seem as if it were – evergreen.
For example, if you are a travel blogger, your blog post on ‘5 things every travel enthusiast needs to travel with’ can be called ‘evergreen content’. Or if you are a Car blogger, then your blog post on ‘The absolute basics of a Petrol engine’ is another example of evergreen content.
With respect to the above examples, no matter how things evolve in the travel industry, people would want to know what they must carry while traveling. Similarly, the basics of Petrol engines won’t change soon, and thus this blog post will attract a consistent following for a long time.
Doesn’t Evergreen content sound great? Too good to be true, perhaps? You get consistent views on your blog post, and that too irrespective of the trends, it must have its downsides, right? It does. Evergreen content is harder to create, it requires more research, articulation, and a lot of writing. So is there a way around this? Yes, it’s called Skyscraper content.
Yes, the name is inspired from all those really tall buildings who seem like they are touching the sky — showcasing a trend graph that looks like a Skyscraper.
Let me explain.
Say the new iPhone is launching next week, which means there will be a lot of ‘buzz’ around the topic. This buzz will continue to exist for a few weeks after the launch happens, and then it will go down drastically. This scenario charts an interest graph that looks like a Skyscraper.
And, the content built around this hype is called Skyscraper content.
Irrespective of your blog niche, there will always be trends. New products, theories, updates, controversies, and everything else that buzzes. Also, Skyscraper content is much easier to write, since the topics are trending, the research doesn’t take long, and since people are already searching for the topics, it isn’t hard finding an audience.
Skyscraper content cashes in on trends while Evergreen content sticks to the basics. So, which one should you publish more? Both, actually. Skyscraper content helps bring in new visitors while Evergreen content will make them stay.
It doesn’t mean you write equal portions of both. Evergreen content is difficult to create, hence we need a healthy ratio of Evergreen to Skyscraper content. It depends on the niche, but somewhere between 1:5 to 1:10 works, meaning one piece of Evergreen content for every 5 pieces of Skyscraper content. Vary the ratio as per your blog niche.
Since you’ll be producing a lot more Skyscraper content, here are some useful tips for doing so, followed by tips for creating Evergreen content:
Tips for creating Skyscraper content
While there aren’t any official types of Skyscraper content, I have derived a few that might help you make better decisions:
Listicle is an homogination of the words ‘List’ and ‘Articles’ – portraying the list-like nature of the article. These are the articles that give the reader a definite order of things, which makes it easier for the reader to make an important decision such as buying a product, subscribing to a service, etc.
‘Top 5 places to visit in Bali’, ‘Here are the Top 5 Smartphones of 2020’, ‘The Top 5 indoor plants you can use on your desk’, ‘Top 5 Financial mistakes you must avoid’ are some of the examples of a Listicle.
A Listicle helps you achieve two important things: 1. It makes you come across as an authoritative figure in your niche (as you are creating lists which are definite) and 2. It gives the reader an easier approach to flow through the article.
One important guideline to remember when creating Listicles is, do not introduce too many options in the list. Contrary to what you may think, we as humans get confused when presented with numerous options, thus, try to keep it short. Do not make a listicle that goes beyond 10 options.
2. My 2 Cents Articles
Regardless of how narrow your niche is, there’s always something happening that you can share your honest opinion on. Might be a new product launch, a controversial statement from an authoritative figure, or just any other news.
As a blogger, you can write content surrounding these happenings, calling it your 2 Cents on it. This can also be a ‘Reaction’ post, where you say what you actually feel about the topic.
These types of posts do grab attention but don’t make them just for the sake of attention. If an Authoritative figure says X, you don’t have to say Y just because it will be sassy. Say what you genuinely feel, a reaction post doesn’t need to bash the person or a group, it is your honest opinion towards the topic – keep it real.
Tips for creating Evergreen content
- To figure out the topics for Evergreen content, you need to get to the absolute basics of your niche. To get to the basics though, you must also know them to begin with. Start with whatever basics you do know, add a little bit of research, and you will have your first Evergreen post.
- Do not rush writing these posts. Evergreen content takes time, a lot of it, but it needs to. Do your due diligence which includes – lots of research, expert advice, and lots of editing.
- If you can’t think of an Evergreen topic, do a little research on blogs that create content in your niche, and see if you can find any topics. If you have a different take on the subject, or you believe you can explain the concepts better, go for it.
A Word on Content Frequency
While more content is always encouraged, it is important to strike a balance that leverages consistency. Posting 3 blog posts for one week, and then not posting for the next two weeks gives the wrong impression. It also puts extra pressure on you to always be creating, which isn’t great either.
This is where you ask yourself, how many posts can you create in a week, if the answer is one, stick to it. If you can create content once every two weeks, then that works as well.
You need to understand that even though Blog posts are opinions, they are architectured creatively, and once you focus too much on the numbers, creativity escapes out of the window.
Figure out the content frequency that works for you now, and then as you progress further, increase or decrease it based on your observations.
This was a glimpse into Content, as with every concept in this modern world, it can be further broken down into idiosyncrasies, but the fundamentals always shine through regardless of the trends: Great content produced frequently makes great blogs.