Leveraging evergreen content, trends & news

Here's a quick tip for content creators:

Recycle content based on the news cycle and trending topics.

This tip combines two great content generation ideas into one effective package. Most of us know the value of creating evergreen (or at least perennial) content -- stuff that can be re-used as is or easily updated and republished. We also know how to get new eyeballs on our content by tying them to breaking news/continuous coverage/trending topics. So it stands to reason that we can get even more traction -- and easily publish more content -- by blending those two strategies.

Evergreen content and the news cycle

Late last year, I did an interview with Clark Gregg -- a/k/a Agent Phil Coulson of The Avengers fame. The article ran in the local paper and was excerpted here. Later, when the film debuted, I republished the article and promoted it heavily via social channels. Traffic to the blog spiked, I got loads of RTs, and I picked up some new followers and subscribers. Now, Avengers fans aren't a target market for The Word Factory, but this tactic did allow us to reach people outside my normal sphere for about 10 minutes of effort. And more people now know I write about film. It was a worthwhile experiment.

Another example: I was "attending" a webinar a few months ago where there was a lively commentary going on outside of the actual presentation. Many people asked about getting non-writers involved in content creation. The issue kept coming up, so at some point, I offered up a bundled bit.ly link to posts on helping non-writers write. (Download the pre-writing strategies here). Within seconds, there were about 100 clicks on the link and 36 downloads of the packet. Admittedly, I haven't gotten any sales out of it, but that wasn't my intent. I simply wanted to show people in the content business that I'm here, I have solutions and I'm willing to share. I could have super-charged it with an email reg or something, but I wanted to act fast and lead gen wasn't my #1 priority.

Choosing content to repurpose

Now, I'm not saying you should peg your content to breaking news with a devil may care attitude. It only works when:

  • You have high-quality, easy-to-reuse content
  • There's a legit link -- like the fact that I wrote a recent article about a guy in one of the biggest movies of the year
  • That supports your business -- I do enjoy writing about film and would welcome more assignments to do so.


  • If your content doesn't meet these criteria, you risk coming off as a rampant opportunist. And that's not good.
  • You especially want to be careful when tying your content to bad news and catastrophes so you avoid the content version of the "too soon?" problem.

The upside: Doing it right can help you move various needles, from traffic to sales to biz dev to loyalty.