Save on office supplies at Amazon.


Evergreen content pays off in time

Web writers write for readership.

OK, that sounds utterly simplistic and perhaps all too obvious. But it’s the secret to earning real money writing online.

Sure, citizen journalism and paid blogging sites often ante up modest payments for individuals articles and posts. But the real money is in residuals, which can pile up over time. Popular articles draw readers, who click on links and read even more.

When readers read, and pages load, each site’s advertising algorithms dictate how much writers will receive. Published content that brings in readers also racks up payments for those who created it. That's how the game works.

Web writers stack up earnings when readers click to their work.
What sorts of articles and blog posts earn the most money over time?

Basically, web writers focus on two types of content: trending topics and evergreen subjects.

Trending topics include breaking news and hot keywords. Suppose the internet explodes with news of a cure for cancer, a major sporting event, a major political controversy, or a celebrity scandal. Web writers will seize the moment and crank out related content as fast as their fingers can fly.

As long as social networking sites (like Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon and Facebook) overflow with entries related to particular keywords, writers will stick to it like white on rice. That’s a trending subject.

And, as long as the hype lasts, web writers are likely to enjoy high levels of readership on pieces pertaining to the hot topic. Of course, once interest dies down, readership of such stories may shrivel as well.

Here are a couple of examples of trending topics.

Trending topics tend to be flash-in-the-pan items
A couple of years ago, I published this profile of an American Idol finalist. The feature drew tons of page views for several weeks, until she lost. Now I’m surprised if 100 web surfers click that link at all. The young singer is both talented and sweet, but it seems her proverbial 15 minutes may be over, and so is interest in that article.

A year-end celebrity death rumor debunking article attracted plenty of readership at first, but dropped off when the next year rolled along.

Evergreen content is altogether different and considerably more long-range.

Like evergreen trees, which do not lose their foliage in changing seasons, evergreen content stays fresh and interesting over time.

Plenty of bloggers and web writers focus on matters that remain perennially pertinent to readers. From craft instructions to recipes, advice columns to devotionals, and homework helps to career strategies, these pieces tend to retain their reader attraction over time.

Evergreen articles draw readers long-term, like trees draw birds.
As long a blog stays open, or a publishing site remains solvent, writers can earn from their previously published popular evergreen pieces. One of my old-time features, for example, catches more than 15,000 readers each month.

A few holiday-related features draw in more page views than that during certain seasons.

That’s evergreen.

Think of the internet as a library.

Patrons may check out new releases and current events titles eagerly when they are first issued. After awhile, these flash-in-the-pan editions may gather dust on remote shelves. They may even appear in second-hand book sales.

Biographies, classic novels, histories, how-to’s, and reference works receive steadier interest on a long-term basis.

The most active web writers generally mix both strategies, alternating between trending topics and evergreen pieces to make the most of current and long-range readability.
Stacked Coins by Dori
Public Domain/Wikipedia Commons Photos
Cooking Fire
U.S. Navy photo by Chief Photographer's Mate Jerry Woller
US Government Photo/Public Domain
Bird in Evergreen Tree by J.M. Garg
Creative Commons Licensing/Wikipedia Commons Photos

Feel free to follow on GooglePlus and Twitter. You are also invited to join this writer's fan page, as well as the Chicago Etiquette Examiner, Madison Holidays Examiner, Equestrian Examiner and Madison Equestrian Examiner on Facebook.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Agree? Disagree? Have related insights, ideas, or a story to share? Feel free to comment, and let Working in Words know you were here.