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Writing An Evergreen Hub
When any of us is writing a new hub here on Hubpages, you will see the helpful goals box in the top right hand corner of your screen. Apparently hubs that meet all of the criteria get on average 300% more visitors so following the suggestions are probably well worth it. However, as you work your way through you will also eventually see the message below, asking if your hub is evergreen or not? Have you ever seen this message and wondered what exactly an evergreen hub actually is? There is a great guide that is linked to directly from the hint (http://hubpages.com/learningcenter/evergreen-content) but what does an Evergreen hub look like in practise and for that matter what does a non-evergreen look like too? This hub will take a couple of examples of my own hubs to flag the differences between the two.
I don't for a second profuse to being a great Hubpages author and the volume of visits I get to any of my work is tiny in comparison to many authors here. Likewise, this isn't going to tell you exactly how to write your hubs moving forward, it is simply a look at what an evergreen hub can look like in practise.
A Quick Bit About Me
If you haven't read any of my hubs before then I thought it useful to give a very brief overview on what I usually write about and why I chose to write this hub. My writing is probably best described as eclectic. I write about what I am interested in and for me Hubpages is a way to get my thoughts and views down on virtual paper, I honestly don't care too much whether people read my work, although that is a lovely added bonus.
I have written about travel, book reviews, sporting events and being a parent amongst others and through these hubs there are definitely some that meet the standard view of being Evergreen, and others at the end of the spectrum. However, when I started to see an 'odd' trend on my Google Analytics, it got me thinking that not all Evergreens are the same and it might be nice to highlight this to fellow hubbers.
Example Of An Evergreen Hub
As I mentioned above, my writing has been quite eclectic but a lot of what I have written would meet many of the criteria shown on the help page as being key to making a hub evergreen. For example, travel pieces and book reviews will be relevant for years to come. Indeed the subject matter of this hub itself would be classed as evergreen as the subject will continue to be relevant.
However, the key thing to note is that this doesn't mean people will read them forever. I have several hubs that only get the occasional visitor or, even if they are more regularly visited and rank well on Google, the visits can be sporadic at best. However, I don't believe that Evergreen hubs have to be quite as sporadic and it was one in particular that got me thinking to write this piece. This hub is in my eyes truly evergreen in the sense that I get visitors daily to it and is a recipe, on how to make Gluten Free Yorkshire Puddings.
I'll let you read the hub for yourselves if you want more information but I actually wrote this hub as much for my own piece of mind and to store a recipe that I always want to refer back to, even though I have made it many times. The fact that it would be able to help others and also become my most visited hub was an added bonus. It still isn't in the league of many authors hubs for pure volume, but what it does show is that if your hub is strong and truly Evergreen, you can rely on continual visits week after week after week.
What is most interesting about this hub is how it appeals to a particular need and as such, is very peaky in it's Evergreen-ness. Every Sunday's families start to sit down to make a roast dinner. And every Sunday, people want to make Gluten Free Yorkshire Puddings. As such, over 40% of visits to this one hub come on a Sunday. There is no recipe (pardon the pun) to getting a hub to be as cyclical as this but for me it starts to break down the belief I originally had that an evergreen hub would have a continual stream on visitors day in day out, they may still only come once a week, a month if writing about tasks like paying certain bills or even yearly if there is an annual event such as Christmas (who will read about this in peak summer but you'll always get visits come December).
A Non-Evergreen Hub
Whilst writing an Evergreen hub will give you longevity, and is quite easy to therefore visualise, it may not guarantee a good return of visits on your work. As I say, several of my book reviews are lucky to get a visitor once a month but are evergreen, on the flip side if you thinks about news organisations, much of their content has an expiry date of days or even just hours but still garner huge volumes. As such, even here on Hubpages it is my belief that if you have a passion for something then you shouldn't have to go evergreen. The next example is amongst my top 5 most visited hubs but was very non-evergreen.
In Autumn 2015 the Rugby World Cup came to my home country of England. I am a big sports fan and love rugby so was extremely excited about the tournament. Some time before the tournament I wrote my own hub simply entitled "Rugby World Cup 2015". As the tournament drew nearer I was updating the hub and tweeting about it quite a bit, getting some traction. It was never going to score too highly on Google as there was so much content out there but this was more of a way for me to connect with the tournament than to be a piece of writing that would earn me loads of visits.
Then during the tournament I was updating the hub daily, tweeting about the tournament a lot, always linking to this hub. As you can see from the chart, there was a definite surge for the weeks of the tournament. Following the end, I have obviously stopped pushing it and the number of visits is now zero.This you could say is the true definition of non-Evergreen hub. Some may remove the hub but I don't believe it does any harm in it's own corner of the internet and it still serves it's original purpose of connecting to the tournament. Who knows, maybe in 4yrs time when the next tournament is on there will be a new surge as people look back to 2015. This is definitely true of another of my sporting event hubs that has an annual pick up when the Oxford v Cambridge boat race occurs. In some ways that hub is somewhere between the two extremes in terms of its true evergreen status.
Which Hubs Have You Found To Be Most Evergreen For You?
Should You Ever Delete An Evergreen Hub?
At home I am a little bit of a hoarder, never liking to throw anything away, "just in case", and in many ways I am a little like this online too. I have mentioned how some of my niche book reviews only get a visit every couple of weeks/months, even though they rank well on Google, as no one is really searching for them. If this is the case then you have to wonder why I just don't delete them and I know many would. This is a very subjective question when it comes to evergreen hubs as there could always be a demand and I will give one example.
Before Hubpages I wrote at Squidoo and often there would be writing challenges around a specific theme. On one such challenge I wrote about the eccentric British Winter Olympian, Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards. The piece was rushed and was never going to win any awards for quality. I tweaked it a little when it was migrated over but whilst technically evergreen, it was never going to be something that had mass appeal or that I could push through social media to get visits so I hit the delete button.
However, fast forward a year or so later and a new biopic On Eddie The Eagle has just been released at the cinemas. All of a sudden this piece could have been expanded upon and been pushed to get the volume it had been missing. There is never a good reason to leave bad content clogging the Internet but I will personally be reluctant to delete slightly better content online now, just in case it has a peak in its evergree-ness!
What Are Your Hints/Tips For Writing A Succesful Evergreen Hub?
Hopefully this hub has been a brief but useful look at evergreen hubs. I'd love to hear about your own thoughts and experiences of writing content that has or hasn't got longevity in comments below.