How to recycle timely content to make evergreen content

The ephemeral news cycle in all of its iterations—cable news, print, blogs, radio, social media—leaves very little time to write any timely content. Just as you think you are writing something, an ode to whatever the news is this week, it may be gone, only useful the next time it shows up in a news cycle.

So a publisher solely focuses on writing evergreen content, which can be read months even years after it has been published; it needs no context to understand. The problem with this is that people are also focused on the here and now. During that here and now, they are more likely to share that content.

Sharing content and passing it along to people—whether it’s posting a link on someone’s Facebook wall, retweeting some content on your Twitter feed, or emailing your mom that article—is the norm these days. And in order to have share-worthy content, publishers will need both evergreen and timely content. But how can you prepare for this?

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Timely content can get tricky, not only in executing the content on time, but also how it relates to the content you publish. Publishers must ask themselves: how can we turn current events into relevant content? Well, you really have to be creative and understand your content. Who is your audience? Why do you publish the content you do? What is your mission?

Then, think about what you write about it and how to write for it. If you are a blog that writes about writers, how can you think outside of the box to create timely content? Then, analyze the news. The only way that works is to simplify it to its absolute bareness. What are we really talking about in that piece? How does it relate to my publishing? And if you can make this timely content without being overtly on the nose, it can then become repurposed evergreen content.

One of the more successful publishers to have done this is one of our publishing partners The Stoner’s Cookbook. Consistently, they take timely content and relate it to marijuana. For example, the recent conversations about feminism in various news stories (the celebrity nude scandal, Emma Watson’s UN speech, sexual assault on college campuses, the wage gap) led to The Stoner’s Cookbook to publish an article that highlights women’s contributions to the marijuana industry.

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So to continue with our writing blog scenario, if you write a blog about what it means to be a writer and you would like to write timely content, look at the news. Maybe you’ll write about feminism; write about some of your favorite female writers like Virginia Wolff, the Brontë sisters, Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, JK Rowling. Write about feminist male authors like Henrik Ibsen, George Bernard Shaw, Mark Twain.

Get creative and realize that you are solving both a short-term and long-term problem in terms of the content you publish.

Image credit: Luke Jones via Flickr

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