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The idea of making money while you sleep draws a lot of people into the business of building niche sites, and while it can definitely be accomplished to an extent, you have to take a certain approach to make it work.
When it comes to creating content for your website, there are several types of content to consider. Each type comes with its own pros and cons, which you need to weigh against your goals for the site.
In this post, I’m going to show you why evergreen content is one of the biggest keys to building a passive income site and why it’s the only type of content we add to our sites.
What Is Evergreen Content?
If you’re new to the term evergreen when it comes to building niche sites, it basically refers to content centered around topics that don’t change year to year, or even month to month.
When I say “doesn’t change,” I mean topics that will continue to be searched at a consistent volume over long periods of time. Topics that you can rely on bringing traffic to your site long after you’ve posted an article.
Here’s an example of a topic that stays very consistent month to month and year to year. The dip near the end is likely related to the pandemic and is in all likelihood an anomaly.
What Are the Alternatives?
Now that you know what evergreen content is, let’s briefly go over the alternatives. There is a bit of gray area with some of these, so I’ll point that out as well.
Seasonal content is geared around topics that recur year after year (or sometimes every few years), but only for brief periods of time. Examples would be sports, holidays, or even elections.
When you target seasonal content, you can expect to see peaks and valleys in both traffic and revenue throughout the year. For example, if you create content about skiing, you might see a spike in the winter months, then have very low traffic and revenue during the warmer months.
Seasonal content is not typically considered to be evergreen, but to an extent, you can look at it that way. It does recur year after year, so some of the benefits of targeting evergreen content (which we’ll get into further down in this post) still hold true.
For that reason, my team and I still target some seasonal topics, although we try to keep it minimal.
Another common topic type that you’re probably familiar with is a trending topic. Trending topics spike for a short period of time, then decline. The spike could be anywhere from a day to even a year or more.
Examples of trending topics include news-related events, such as a pandemic, or viral topics, such as something that gets really popular on social media. Basically, anything that has a short lifespan can be thought of as a trending topic.
Along the same lines, product-based topics can also be considered to be in this category. Products typically have a relatively short shelf life, so if you target products with your content, be prepared to update or replace your content regularly.
The last type of topic that I’ll mention is a declining one. A declining topic is one that trends downward over a long timeframe, typically several years.
Examples of declining topics that come to mind are CDs, the Kindle, and Myspace. Tech in general tends to decline as advances are made, but there are plenty of non-tech topics that decline over time as well.
Targeting a declining topic means you’re jumping aboard a sinking ship. While you might be able to capitalize on it short term, your traffic and revenue will eventually decline and fade out as people lose interest in the topics.
Why Is Evergreen Content Important for Passive Income?
That brings us back to my favorite type of content, which is evergreen content. Creating content centered around evergreen topics has a ton of benefits, one of which is that it can lead to a passive income stream.
By definition, people don’t lose interest in evergreen topics over time. As a result, any content you create that’s based on evergreen topics will have lasting power.
This means that you can write an article about something like fishing at night, and that article can bring you consistent traffic and revenue year after year.
Also, because the topic likely won’t change much over time, your article won’t require regular updating. You can literally set it and forget it, which is pretty much the basis of generating passive income.
This is why it’s so important to stick to evergreen topics as much as possible when creating content for a niche site. While there are some benefits to targeting seasonal or trending topics, such as potentially lower competition, this type of content will require regular updates or rewrites to stay relevant.
When choosing topics for your site, it’s important to know your goals and to know the impact of targeting certain types of topics. The approach you choose can significantly impact the growth and longevity of your site.
If your goal is to produce passive income, targeting evergreen topics is by far your best bet. By targeting evergreen topics, each article you publish has the potential to produce a small income stream for years to come, all while requiring little to no maintenance on your end.