Learn From My Mistakes: Store Evergreen Posts
Part of any experiment is tracking your results, both good and bad. However, up until this point I haven’t discussed any of the mistakes I’ve made along the way. Now I know what you’re all thinking “But surely you haven’t made any mistakes, this blog is a reflection of you, and you’re perfect!” Now, now, I know it’s surprising but it’s true. I’ve made more than my fair share of blunders since I started this blog and this experiment wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t cover the mistakes or failures as thoroughly as I do the successes. With that in mind, this post is the first in a new feature that I’ll do as often as I have mistakes to cover (read as, at least weekly if not daily lol). That being said, let’s jump right in.
The month of November didn’t go quite as I had planned. Looking back there are going to be a few posts in this series to come out of this month but the first I’d like to talk about involves preparation. Usually I sit down during the night and type up the posts for the next day and on occasion the next two days. While that had been working out well for me up until this point, life butted in and decided to happen. Someone once said “Life is a hell of a thing to happen to a person” and in a sense it’s true. Life has a habit of just happening. I got busy with my day job (like really, REALLY busy) and just for good measure, the holidays (and my in-laws) jumped into the mix as well (as if I didn’t own a calendar). Anyone want to take a guess as to how my routine of writing posts the night before ended up?
Yeah, not so hot.
The first option I turned to was guest posters. I invited a couple over and asked them to contribute on days when I knew I wouldn’t be able to crank out a post due to other commitments and time restraints. That worked well as all of my guest authors did a great job, however, you can only keep that up for so long. After I had burned through the small cache of guest posts, I was back to having to speed through posts which resulted in at best a hurried feel to my writing and more likely, sub-par posts. Now not all of my posts were that way but enough that readers began to notice and the growth of the blog began to stagnate.
So, what could I have done differently? Back toward the very beginning of this blog I wrote an article called Wait! Write before you Launch. Basically my premise was that you should build up a reserve of posts that you could use while you started promoting your blog and doing some of the other activities rather than spend all of your time writing. While that article was talking about doing that before you launched your blog, the truth is you should continue to do that as you go along. Obviously some posts are going to be time sensitive but there are likely posts that would still be relevant three weeks from now. Those are what’s known as “evergreen” posts and in crunch time, they can be worth their weight in gold.
The idea is simple, when you get in the groove and start cranking out good content, rather than posting more frequently or taking a break from writing after that, store any of the posts that you think would be evergreen content. I hadn’t been doing nearly enough of that and when life happened, I was scrambling to keep up with it. If I had been able to pull posts from a reserve, it would have made things MUCH easier on me, I wouldn’t have had to burn through my cache of guest posts, and I still wouldn’t have sacrificed any of the momentum I had built up the month before. Even if you’re a full time blogger, storing evergreen posts will allow you to take a vacation, spend more time with friends and family during the holidays, or act as ready made posts to use as guest posts on other blogs. It just makes life easier.
Do you store away posts for the proverbial rainy day? Have you made this same mistake? If so, how did it affect your blog? Please share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comments below.