10 Evergreen Posts

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Among the pieces of advice I’ve seen on the Internet for bloggers is that bloggers should focus on writing “evergreen” posts. An evergreen post is one that doesn’t age, doesn’t get out-of-date, and is always useful to the people who find it. It is a post that does a lot of work for you after it is written because of its utility. People who read evergreen posts might decide to read other posts you’ve written. What none of this advice seems to tell you is how to write an evergreen post. I know that I’ve never intentionally written such a post. And yet, with more than 7,000 posts here on the blog, I was bound to get lucky and have at least one turn out to be evergreen.

As it turns out, there are several evergreen posts here, and it boggles my mind as to why some of them make the list. Setting aside posts like my Going Paperless posts, which were popular but not necessarily evergreen, here are 10 posts that people keep coming back to year after year. These are posts that have had tens of thousands, or in some case, hundreds of thousands of views since I’ve written them, right down to this very day. I’ve included the year they were originally published after each post in the list.

  1. 5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of FitBit Flex (2013)
  2. If you are planning on reading Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series… (2009)
  3. The Death of Marigold Churchill (2014)
  4. Writing with the Google Chromebook (2013)
  5. Kindle Samples Save Money! (2010)
  6. 10 Simple Steps for Creating an Annual Holiday Letter (2011)
  7. The Ghosts of “White Christmas” Past (2016)
  8. Stephen King’s Favorite Stephen King Novel (2015)
  9. My Bad Habits (2016)
  10. 15 Use Cases Comparing Ebooks to Traditional Books: An Illustrated List (2012)

Okay, some of these make sense. Seasonal posts, though unintentional on my part, have a natural boost when the season rolls around. So posts like number 6 and 7 above I might expect to be evergreen. After all, Bing Crosby’s rendition of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas”, which he first recorded in 1942, is still making the top 10 lists every holiday season, nearly 80 years later.

Some I understand, but were complete accidents. #2 on the list, about the order of reading Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, has been the second most popular evergreen post on my blog for 12 years now, long before the Apple TV+ series came out, which gave the post something of an additional boost. People who are interested in the series search for what order to read the books in and my post is a top Google result. I get that.

But #3 on the death of Marigold Churchill has always baffled me. I wrote that post more than 7 years ago, after reading about her death in William Manchester’s 3-volume biography of Winston Churchill, and it has been a perennial draw for some reason. I’ve even ask readers why this post is so popular, and I still don’t know that I understand why.

Perhaps the most perplexing of all is #9 on my bad habits. I see a fair number of views on this post every single day and I just don’t get it. It is not a particularly good post. I can tell by the tone that I wrote it when I was in an Andy Rooney state-of-mind. I was trying to be funny and a little tongue and cheek, but I’m not really sure I succeeded on either count. And yet that post remains evergreen.

The lesson for me in all of this is that what becomes evergreen is one part effort (you have to write something for it to be read) and two parts luck. To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure I could have intentionally made any of these posts evergreen if I had tried.

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