Sprint or Marathon

Today Dr. Tanya is asking questions which I feel relate more to the professional bloggers than the casual ones, which I am.  I play chess, but I don’t play like a grand master, calculating all of the moves that my opponent might make and trying to stay 10 steps ahead of them.  Most of my posts are prompt related and they are not written to draw in new readers, not that it would be a bad thing having a post that garnered a lot of attention, but I am happy with the small group of people that read most of the stuff that I write.  Today on Blogging Insights, the Snoopy looking character Salted Caramel would like us to answer three questions pertaining to Evergreen versus Topical content, which I feel I should probably try to explain first.

Evergreen content is writing that doesn’t go out of date.  It revolves around a topic that’s always relevant to readers, regardless of the current news cycle or season.  Its name comes from the evergreen tree, a pine or fir that retains its green color and needles all year round.  Evergreen content remains continually fresh to readers by staying relevant, timeless, canonical, and valuable.  Topical content is also called seasonal content and it usually delivers updated, relevant, and targeted information to an audience that is already well versed and familiar with the topic that you’re writing on.  Topical content is relevant during certain times of the year only and is usually pretty hip and niche disruptive.  Topical content is timely, relevant content that relates to something current.  The obvious advantages to this type of content are that it’s of-the-moment and usually, highly searchable.

The upside for topical content is that it’s more current and could potentially be more ‘buzz-worthy’, helping you to achieve a temporary spike in traffic.  The downside is that it tends to have a shorter shelf life and this fleeting appeal will result in you seeing the levels of traffic that a topical piece generates decrease as time passes and its timeliness diminishes.  Topical content can come out of the gate hot, but ultimately, it’s like the Hare and the Tortoise race, as time has a tendency to change everything.  Topical content can potentially deliver a big payoff upfront in terms of traffic, especially if you’re quick to grab a story, but Evergreen content will probably stand up to the test of time.  On to the questions!

Evergreen or Topical content, which do you prefer writing?

Which do you write most often?

Which of these adds more value or engagement to your blog?

I am not one who thinks far ahead on my writing, so I am not concerned with how my writing is classified and the only way that I can categorize my writing is to say that it is research dependent, except for the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt that I participate in which is run by Linda G. Hill.  I find a prompt, look things up and then try to compose a coherent post.  Most of the prompts that I write could be considered to be Topical content, but I also write a lot about music and that might be thought of as Evergreen content.  I guess that my writing is split down the middle being 50/50 between Evergreen and Topical content.  Sometimes I am surprised when somebody comments or likes one of my older posts and I wonder how they stumbled upon it, so I assume that this particular post contained Evergreen content and that makes me feel good that something that I wrote a while ago is still attracting attention.  It makes me feel like my life may still be relevant, even after I am gone.

Written for Blogging Insights #54 by Dr. Tanya where this week she is concerned with Evergreen vs Topical content.

14 thoughts on “Sprint or Marathon

  1. I aspire for evergreen but am too drawn to topical to manage xD but indeed – an interesting split!

    Ps. As a chess lover: you’ll looooove The Queens Gambit series then. It’s new on Netflix and AWESOME!

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  2. I watched the Netflix series The Queens Gambit and I loved it, because it was about a girl competing in what is considered to be a man’s game. I loved the scenes where she would see the pieces on the ceiling and figure out all of the moves that her opponent would make and how she would counteract them.

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  3. Despite everything and having been doing this for eight years nonstop (unless I was too sick to work), I write what I feel like writing. Sometimes it’s newsy, often visual and birdy, periodically historical, when i can — funny. I have never been willing to be tied down to doing it one way all the time. i don’t WANT to have a purpose. I just like to write. And, because I wrote professionally for more than 40 years, the freedom to write whatever I feel like writing is truly priceless. If I lost that, i wouldn’t want to blog at all. I often don’t know what I’m going to write about until i start writing, though i usually have an idea of where I’m going. What I don’t know is how I’m going to get there.

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    1. I think that we are similar, as I came from a technical writing background, having written many documents that were necessary for the companies where I worked, but useless to anyone else and I am happy to be writing my own stuff now.

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  4. Wonderful! You mentioned here that you don’t think far ahead for your writing, but I had a different impression, given that you’re planning prompts until all the way in the early spring of 2021 if I have that correct. There is a sense of organization to your blog, I perceive, that you must be doing automatically, pointing to how your mind works.

    You seem to have a ready grip on your blogging material. Compared to topical content, I myself usually write evergreen content, I would put it, and when I post an entry, I think back to whether I could do an update of an older post. SEO tip: if you do an update to a post, without changing the URL of the post, search engines recalculate the weight of your post.

    It adds favourably to your chances of being found on a search engine when someone is searching for a page similar to what you’ve written. In other words, don’t change the name of your post, but when you do an update, which you probably already understand how to do on WordPress, you have greater chances of being found. Granted, I don’t get a lot of engagement, but I do get small but steady numbers when I check my stats, for the people who are reading my blog.

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    1. I write for my own enjoyment and I am not looking for more followers, not that there would be anything wrong with getting them. I guess I am organized because I started off as a Technical Writer and when I said that I don’t think that far ahead, I was talking about once I start writing a post, as I kind of get an idea and then I run with it. I do plan my posts way ahead of time for the two music challenges that I host.

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