How’d you like to save time writing and updating your sites?
Make your content “evergreen.” Evergreen content appears up-to-date whether it’s consumed now, next month, or three years into the future.
If you write, “My exhibition took place at Y’s Gallery last month,” that means it took place in September 2012 if I am reading it right now.
This is all fine and good if someone is reading the text in October of 2012. But what if they stumbled upon it in January 2014? They’d think you were talking about December 2013.
This is a cinch to fix!
Write your content so that there is no question as to the facts: “My 2012 exhibition at Y’s Gallery.” This means the same thing regardless of when the text is read and whether it’s on the Internet, in a brochure, on a wall label, or in your artist statement.
Beware of these words and phrases: yesterday, last week, next month, and x# years ago. All of these will lead to outdated text.
Facebook updates seem to have replaced the events announcements we used to post on our blogs. But I still think there is a place for announcing events on your blog as long as you make the text evergreen.
For instance, I shouldn’t say: “Next month I’ll be in Naperville, Illinois for a Shameless Self-Promotion workshop.”
Instead, I’d be better off writing it this way: “On October 19-20, 2012, I’ll be giving my Shameless Self-Promotion workshop in Naperville, Illinois.”
Sure, the post is for a specific time and isn’t in itself evergreen, but the text is. It will be clear to the reader whenever it is consumed.
I haven’t always followed this advice and every so often I get inquiries about a workshop that happened 4 years ago! People don’t necessarily read the date stamp on the blog post – just the post itself. So I, like you, need to be careful to make my content evergreen.
Dates aren’t the only thing that can make text evergreen. Subject matter itself is critical. See what I mean in these examples.
These are evergreen posts on the Art Biz Blog:
Each of these posts is almost guaranteed to be valuable to readers in 3 years.
These posts are NOT evergreen on the Art Biz Blog:
How to Set Up a Custom Welcome Page for Your Facebook Page
Facebook no longer allows custom Welcome pages. This post was viable only for about 8 months. Almost ALL of my Facebook posts are out of date!
The Month Ahead at Art Biz Coach
This was out of date almost immediately after I wrote it.
While the above posts served their purpose at the time they were written, they’re just taking up space on my blog now. They won’t bring me traffic or cause a buzz. And I certainly won’t be sending anyone to them ever again.
Bottom line: Just be careful about how your content will be read in the future. Is it possible it will be misunderstood?
Also, make sure that you have some content that is evergreen. I’d aim for 50-75% evergreen content – at the least. People are more likely to find and link to evergreen content. This is something I’ll be working on along with you.