Converting Fans Into Customers Lesson 1: Exposure

Black and white photo of musicians performing in front of big crowd in the street

A few weeks ago, I was listening to a podcast I’ve started to frequently indulge in with my morning coffee (Made It In Music) and I came across a quote (which I will paraphrase below) from a man named Dean Diehl (his episode is linked here) that really drove home a point for me:

“Most failures look exactly alike, but the paths to success look completely different.”

Now, as usual, when I sat down to write this article on how to convert your fans into customers, I realized a few things when I started writing it.

First of all, I have way too much information to share on the subject, and I can’t fit all into one post… so I will be yet again doing a series of posts to hone in on specific strategies.

But perhaps more importantly, Dean’s quote applies here just as much as it does anywhere else – there is no one right way to do something and ensure it will be successful.

So, rather than tell you how you are going to turn your fans into customers… I am going to tell you what has worked and does work for other people… but it is up to YOU to take from, improvise, and implement these strategies in a way that works for you and your audience. (Side note: if you missed Fans vs. Customers: 3 Common Misconceptions, I highly recommend you check it out here).

That being said, let’s begin shall we?

The first lesson on how to turn your fans into customers is exposure.

Lesson 1: Exposure

This may come as no surprise, but if someone has never heard your music, seen your art, or watched your videos… it is tough for them to make a decision to purchase it.

Of course, though, in this instance, they have already done so – they’re already a fan – they’ve been exposed to your work, and they like it. That’s a great first step towards that fan becoming a customer too… so what’s the next step?

Expose them to it again.

It might seem obvious, but repetition is critical in any form of advertising or sales conversion (in any kind of business). It’s why jingles are written to repeat a slogan to stick in your head. It’s why McDonald’s ads are plastered on everything from benches to billboards. And it’s why Super Bowl commercials would cost you your right leg to air for 30 seconds, but big companies who can afford them run them again and again throughout the entire broadcast.

Billboards downtown in a city, lots of advertisements (Coke, Wicked, M&Ms, Budweiser)
Like it or not, we are being exposed to things everywhere, every day.

The point is: repetition = sales conversions. That is a proven strategy.

The good news for you as a creative type is that repetition is also the reason why people remember lyrics to the songs they listen to. Or why they can quote their favorite movies. Or why they can re-tell their favorite jokes word-for-word – all these things happen because those fans have consumed your work repeatedly. Being able to repeat and remember something like lyrics, or scenes, or quotes is almost always a sign of a higher than average level of fandom.

In marketing, this is called the Rule of 7: a theory that suggests people need to be exposed to something at least 7 times before they really start paying attention to it (and consider purchasing it). The more they are exposed to that something after those 7 times, the higher their likelihood of actually buying it will be.

How’s that relevant to you?

Well, the same rule applies to your fanbase – a casual fan who hears a song they like for the first time on the radio isn’t likely to rush off to purchase tickets to your concert – whereas a fan who knows all the words to your songs sure is. And all fans start the same way: they all begin as someone who was never aware of your very existence. How big of a fan they become after that… well…

That takes us to our next concept and lesson in exposure: the frequency escalator.

The frequency escalator is a sales/marketing theory first developed for use in the sports industry, which is where I first came across it (I studied Sport Management in university).

The frequency escalator theory builds upon the 80/20 rule known as Pareto’s Principle – a theory stating that 80% of a business’s sales come from 20% of its customers. Using Pareto’s Principle as a base, the frequency escalator theory suggests that by moving your fans “up the escalator” of fandom, your fans, with each step up, become closer to the “die-hard” level of fans who make up your top 20% of fans (and thus, 80% of your sales).

Frequency Escalator theory diagram
This is the frequency escalator (I do not own the rights to this image – linked here)

But is it true?

Let’s take a look at how the entertainment industry structures its revenue, and you can tell me.

You don’t need to look too hard or far to see how this is actively put into practice in every form of live entertainment – just compare front row ticket prices for any of your favorite acts to tickets for the sections further away from the stage. The type of fans who pay additional fees for “VIP sections,” “meet-and-greet packages” or even “pre-public access” (which is a fee paid for just the chance to spend tonnes of money if they actually land a front-row seat) are far and above in a different classification of fan level than those who decide to purchase a ticket in “whichever section is available” weeks after the tickets went on sale.

And the artists/industries know that too – and so they utilize that information to pad their wallets – because those fans WILL pay if they want the level of access they desire.

Now, this article (and it’s follow-ups) is not meant to be a study guide on how to gouge your fans into spending more money –but I chose this easy example to demonstrate the different behaviors of fandom – and those behaviors shift with varying levels of exposure.

As stated earlier, every strategy for success works differently depending on the artist, their fanbase, demographics, etc. Still, here are a few examples of ways you can boost your exposure to both new fans and existing fans alike (as don’t forget, more exposure helps to move them up that escalator).

Exposure Through Association

Quite simply – associate yourself with other acts/things your fanbase might like and that they would come across. This is how sponsorship agreements work – one brand/artist forms a partnership with another so that they mutually expose their work to each other’s existing fans in the hopes of mutual appeal.  

Jagermeister, for example, sponsors and promotes loud, “party attitude” bands – because the values and attitudes that come with that type of music also align with their brand and customer base.

Jagermeister bottle and 4 shotglasses
Just the smell of this stuff takes me back to my days playing in a loud, party rock band – much of this product was consumed.

Or maybe you’ve noticed how Spotify playlists work. Certain artists get paired up with each other based on what Spotify has identified as a mutual appeal (that’s what the “fans also like” tab is for). Frequently, Spotify will play those artists automatically in each other’s fans’ rotations. Hint: you don’t need to be a major artist to start pairing your music with other artists in playlists on Spotify (more on that at another time).

This doesn’t just apply to corporate agreements either, or even other artists for that matter.

Take, for example, the artist Derek Riggs. Anyone who knows the band Iron Maiden is familiar with his artwork – and his name as an artist immediately is associated with the art he’s done for them. I can also think of my own personal example where I’ve liked one band’s artwork so much that I’ve looked to see who did it – and then reached out to hire that artist for my own projects.

As you can see, an association can be a powerful tool to act as a gateway to bring new fans to your work from somewhere you’re already likely to find them.

Which leads me to my next form of exposure:

Exposure Through Collaboration

This strategy is prevalent in hip-hop music, but it’s becoming much more commonplace in other music genres and types of artistic mediums than it ever was before.

Off the top of my head, here’s a couple examples:

Want a good example of how this works? I found this COUNTRY song when looking for music by Zakk Wylde… he guests on one song… and I really liked it.
  • When I type in “Chris Stapleton” (a country artist), “Bruno Mars” (a hip hop / R&B artist), or “Ed Sheeran” (a folk-pop artist) into Spotify, the song BLOW, which they all collaborated on appears on each artist’s profile. At the time of writing, this song has almost 72 million plays and is not yet a year old.
  • Ozzy Osbourne (heavy metal) on his latest album included collaborative songs with Elton John (rock, pop-rock) and Post Malone (rap).
  • Kid Rock, once a prominent rap artist, successfully transitioned to a new style of music (under the same artist name) with the success of the hit single “Picture” – a duet with Sheryl Crow.

I could list collaborations for days, but the point is – by featuring other artists on the same piece of work – they appear to each other’s already existing fanbases. With any luck, that will convert some of each other’s fans to become fans of their own work.

While I write about music examples a lot (it is my bread and butter), this can work in other mediums as well (i.e., joining writer’s circles, working in art groups/forums, etc.).

The options for collaboration are only as limited as your own creativity.

Exposure Through Different Channels

Cast a wide net, and you will catch more fish – that couldn’t be a more applicable statement, then when it comes to exposing your work to a broader audience.

For example, look at how many different types of social media exist. Each has its own specialty – twitter uses short sentences for quick messages, youtube is video-based, LinkedIn is for career connections… you get the idea. But with each medium delivering a different type of message to a different kind of person… the more you utilize, the more exposure you will receive.

Channels of exposure are not limited to social media either. Any successful publicist will give you a list that looks like it belongs to Santa Claus of all the different options and mediums of how you can exposure your creations/work more frequently and to a larger audience.

Some examples include:

Wall of band posters - KISS, AC/DC, Ramones, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Jimi Hendrix, Dire Straits
  • podcasts
  • placement in video games, film, & TV
  • magazines
  • blogs
  • newspapers
  • news broadcasts
  • charity
  • signs
  • banners
  • email campaigns
  • direct mail
  • merchandise (think walking down the street and seeing someone wearing a band t-shirt)
  • word of mouth
  • posters

…like I said, the list goes on for a long time. Once again – you are only limited to your own creativity when it comes to finding ways to expose your work.

Lesson 1: Exposure – Conclusion

By now, I think I’ve hammered the lesson home: the more you expose your work to your fans, the more likely it is they will pay more attention to it. The more attention they give your work, the more likely they are to purchase it.

Now, you don’t want to become so over-saturated and in their face and annoy them to the point that they get sick of you… but in today’s world, where information and content is posted so rapidly frequently, the likelihood of your stardom level ever coming to that point would be an excellent problem to have.

Remember, you are ALWAYS competing with millions of other artists for fan attention – don’t be shy in making sure some of it goes to you.

Next time, we’ll continue to look at how you can turn your fans into customers – by engaging with them.

Be sure to like and follow The Creative Wealth Project (and share it with your creative friends and colleagues) for more artist interviews and articles to help grow your creative career! 

Evergreen Content Explained: How To Create It and How to Use It

Photo of sun coming through evergreen tree

By now, if you’ve read the first two parts of this Evergreen Content Series, you know what evergreen content is. You know why you need it. In this third part of the Evergreen Content Series, I’m going to discuss how to use and create evergreen content that will keep bringing in new web traffic to your site long after its original publication.

Didn’t get a chance to read the first two posts yet? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. You can check out what evergreen content is here, and why you need it here. I’d recommend reading both of those articles in addition to this one to round out an understanding of just how useful and vital evergreen content is to your digital marketing efforts.

As I mentioned in previous posts, the Creative Wealth Project is specifically geared towards creative people in creative industries. So, any examples/demonstrations I give in this article will draw from those niches. However, the lessons here apply to anyone in any industry or work sector who is interested in learning how to use evergreen content to grow their web business and brand.

Introductions aside, let’s get to it.

Here are 4 tips on how to create excellent evergreen content and 4 tips on how to use it.

4 Tips for Creating Evergreen Content

Tip #1. Know the Functional Purpose of Your Content

The functional purpose of your content is fundamental in determining the long-term effectiveness of its evergreen potential.

I have previously covered many common types of evergreen content (lists, how-to articles, interviews, etc.) in which their function is readily apparent. However, it can still be easy to fool yourself into thinking something you’ve created is evergreen content when indeed, it is actually not.

Many times, this comes in the form of creating something that has an evergreen topic but is not actually evergreen content.

Evergreen Content vs. Evergreen Topics

So you know what evergreen content is, which likely means you also know what topic content is. But what’s the difference between an evergreen topic versus evergreen content? Are they both the same?

In a word: no.

The two are similar, and they often overlap because, especially in creative industries, evergreen content is often the artistic product itself (i.e., a song, a novel, a painting, etc.). But knowing the slight difference between evergreen content and evergreen topics is vital to the functional longevity of your posted content.

Let me demonstrate this ever so subtle difference with an example.

Cell phone depicting message one goal and purpose
THe purpose and function of your content is VERY important in determining its evergreen potential.

Let’s say your band is promoting a single for your new upcoming album with a blog post. The content within your article is indeed classified as evergreen content: the single/song being released is everlasting, and the album that’s it featured on, once released, is also everlasting.

The focus (and intention) of the article, however, is NOT everlasting: the article’s purpose is to promote the upcoming album utilizing the single song showcase as the method/vehicle of generating interest. Once the album is released, however, the article loses its relevancy because its functionary purpose has been fulfilled. This happens even though the article will continue to generate SEO results long after the album is released because the TOPIC of the article is the single/album, which is evergreen.

The point is, make sure you understand that the function of an article and the topic and content featured within it can change its evergreen status and lasting power – a subtle but different importance. The likelihood of clicks and continually generated interest from old promotional material can be significantly lessened if its functional purpose is no longer relevant.

I should note that I do not mean to say there is no value in evergreen topics. However, understanding the difference between evergreen topics and evergreen content is important if you are to be able to utilize them both appropriately for maximum effect and intention.

Tip #2: Know Your Audience

This might go without saying, but many times people grab an idea for great evergreen content and start writing before they stop and take the time to consider who they are writing it for.

Casting a wide net may be great for catching fish. Writing a broad, generic article for no specific audience, however, is more likely to see your article lost, forgotten, or (worse) ignored in the vast sea that is the internet when compared to more engaging and targeted content.

You want to be rewarded for your efforts, so understanding who your audience is will go much further towards producing effective results than just relying on pure numbers to generate a return.

For example, have you ever seen a death metal band open up for a Top-40 country act? I didn’t think so. While if that bizarre set up were to occur, the death metal band might be technically playing in front of 100,000 new people… but chances are the audience there to see the country act would be so vastly different from the death metal audience that the interest level from the Top-40 audience would be low at best (and vice versa).

Black and white image of man with dreadlocks playing flying V guitar on stage
Not likely going to see this guy opening for Shania Twain anytime soon.

Pushing your science fiction novel towards publishers or groups looking for romance novellas would accomplish the same thing. In essence, you might have a great story, but each audience has their own tastes that determine what they believe to be great really is.

The point?

100,000 disinterested people are always worse than 100 interested people.

Know your audience, and specifically target and tailor your material to them.

Even after categorizing your target audience, get more specific, and apply the same principle within your own niche, too, for even better results.

For example, let’s say you teach guitar online through your Youtube channel/website. Instead of creating posts/videos for “guitar lessons,” which is a very broad and overly encompassing topic, create specific posts and lessons that tailor towards specific things particular groups of people in your audience will be looking for. For example, specific lessons like “sweep picking arpeggios” or “7 blues licks in the style of Stevie Ray Vaughn” will attract a much more specific audience. People looking for precisely those types of lessons will actually receive more value from your site and products because of how specific they are.

The best part about being so specific is that it gives you plenty of new evergreen content posts to create and link together. Instead of just creating videos for “blues guitar lessons,” you can instead host a multitude of different videos showcasing specific blues guitar techniques or different blues artists’ styles to keep your audience coming back for more!

Tip #3: Write for Newbies

Most of the time, the best evergreen content comes when it is written for an audience that is just becoming familiar with the topic of focus. Typically, the reason people search for content is that they want to learn more about it… which is an indicator that they don’t ALREADY know about it.

Continuing with the example I listed in the previous section… do you think a guitar player who’s a master of sweep picking arpeggios is going to be searching for lessons on how to do sweep picking guitar arpeggios? Not likely.

But that kid who idolizes Yngwie Malmsteen and just got seriously into playing guitar probably is – and there will always be more people who are novices at something are looking to learn and improve than there are masters.

So write for them.

I’d like to point out that this doesn’t mean you won’t find experts occasionally browsing your content… but to make sure your content is accessible to newcomers. Be sure to limit jargon and technical talk so that beginners and experts alike can understand and relate to your posts.

Tip #4: Speak In Your Own Voice

Evergreen content is great because it lasts a long time. But by that virtue, it means that just about every subject that is considered evergreen content has also been written about or been featured by other people, businesses, and websites too.

A lot, actually.

Colorful art of woman's face painted on a purse
Don’t be afraid to be different – your uniqueness is part of your brand and will help you stand out!

So how do you make your audience choose your evergreen content on a subject over someone else’s?

Aside from creating great, well-written content (which is a given and a must), give the topic you’re writing about a fresh spin by writing about it in your own way.

Maybe you have new or personal insights to offer on the topic, or perhaps you’ve found that most of the content that comes up in your own searches/research on that topic seems to have missed something… so fill in the gaps and make something new out of something old.

Providing a unique and fresh take on something is always an excellent strategy to stand out from the crowd.

4 Tips For How To Use Evergreen Content

So now (using the tips in the section above, of course), you’ve created some great evergreen content, and you’re ready to release it to the world. That’s great – give yourself a pat on the back, you’re halfway there!

But now comes the second part:

How do you use it effectively?

Here are 4 tips on how to use your evergreen content effectively so that it continually stays fresh and engages new audiences for years to come.

Tip #1: Backlink It

As evergreen content ages, if created effectively, its function and usage doesn’t. One way to ensure that old evergreen content continues to engage new members of your audience is with backlinks.

When creating and releasing new articles or content, many times, there are sections or opportunities within them that could benefit from a little “further reading/listening/watching” … so use those opportunities to backlink your old content.

Not only does this mean that users visiting your new posts can be directed to go back to existing posts and re-generate views/interest… but it will continue to boost your old posts in Google’s search rankings so that they actually become easier to find the longer they have been around.

Don’t underestimate the value of hyperlinking content together – it makes your content easier for your audience to find and chances are if they’re interested in what you have to offer… they’re going to search for more. So help them out.

Tip #2: Share It

Social media is a pretty powerful tool, and I can personally attest that a lot of my web traffic comes through sharing my content with others on social media platforms.

While my personal social media network will always eventually reach its limitations, any time my content is shared the opportunity to create a ripple effect occurs. One share from someone in my audience introduces that content to that person’s audience and someone in that person’s audience releases it to theirs, etc. until eventually, you’ve reached hundreds or thousands or more people whom you’d otherwise never reach on your own. It’s called the snowball effect, and it works like a charm.

Young girl sharing tablet screen with friends
1 turns into 5 (and keeps going) when you share things.

Sharing your content is easy to do and can be a very effective way of finding/building your audience.

One word of caution, though: you don’t want to share so much that you wade into spam territory… people don’t like being constantly advertised/pushed upon without receiving anything in return.

Find out what works best for you and adjust your social sharing habits until you find the right balance of when and how frequently to share and what type of content produces the best results.

Tip #3: Highlight It

Another way of funneling people directly to your evergreen content (which should be your best content) is to highlight and feature it predominantly on your website.

Maybe it’s the first post that comes up on your webpage, or perhaps it’s a sidebar that stays active no matter which landing page a consumer is directed to on your site, but your evergreen content will always produce better results when you highlight it and draw attention to it.

An example on my own site is the “Featured Creators” page. The interviews I do with a variety of creative people are a definite highlight and a key component of the Creative Wealth Project. These experts in their respective fields don’t just have awesome creations I’m glad to help showcase, but in their interviews, they reveal tonnes of excellent expert advice and tips for others in their industries and provide a lot of fun stories too.

As the featured creators page grows, it is my intention to implement a sidebar on this site that archives all of them to be easily accessible from every page. That way, anyone that comes to my site looking for a new graphic designer, music, video team, etc. can find all my featured creators easily and quickly.

Tip #4: Repurpose It

One of the advantages of the digital age is that things can be edited and repurposed at the click of a button anytime after they’ve been published.

We don’t need to be scared to send things to print, effectively finalizing them anymore – when new information comes out, or dates change, or whenever we just feel we could make an improvement to something… we can do so with the click of a button.

Taking some time periodically to audit your evergreen content and update it is a great way to keep it relevant and fresh for a long time.

Even better is when you can repurpose old evergreen content into a new form to give it a revitalizing jolt of excitement and engagement.

Music video crew shooting a video on stage with green lighting
Releasing a song on Spotify, but also making a music video for it and hosting it on Youtube is a great example of re-purposing content to engage your audience in a new way.

For example: releasing a music video for an old song is one way to bring new attention to something that already exists. Taking a series of informative posts on one subject and condensing it into an e-book is another example. In essence, doing so gives you new consumable content for your audience, but you’ve already done the bulk of the work for creating it (for example, this series of articles on evergreen content could be released as a checklist/summary article in the future).

Because evergreen content is everlasting, sometimes showcasing it differently is an excellent method to bring new attention to something old.

Final Words

By now, hopefully, you have a pretty good understanding of what evergreen content is, why you need it, and within this article, you’ve found some tips on how to create and use it effectively.

While this almost concludes the Evergreen Content Series… I’ve got one more post coming specifically for creative types that outlines some of the ways evergreen content can set up your creative livelihood for years to come – so stay tuned.

In the meantime, be sure to follow The Creative Wealth Project below, so you don’t miss a post… and if you like what you read here… share it with your friends!

That’s it for today folks!

Never stop creating!

Evergreen Content Explained: Why You Need It

We start from why message pinned on noteboard

In this second part of an Evergreen Content Series, I’m going to discuss why you need evergreen content and why it’s essential to growing your audience (and, therefore, income).

As stated in the first post of the series, the Creative Wealth Project was designed specifically for creative types, and so, the examples I use for demonstration within this article will primarily draw from a creative industry (in this case, the music industry). Still, the lessons here apply to anyone in any work sector looking to leverage evergreen content for their business.

If you haven’t already read Evergreen Content Explained: What Is It? I’d suggest starting there to familiarize yourself with what evergreen content is, but if you’re already familiar with it, let’s keep going and move on to why it’s important for growing your business.

Evergreen Content Ranks Higher in SEO

If you’re at all aware of how search engine optimization works, you’ll know that a high SEO ranking is critical to having your post show up first in the vast ocean of content on the internet.

Perhaps you’re the type to of person who sifts through dozens of pages of google search results (I believe an episode of FX’s television comedy The League termed someone who does such an activity as a “Deep Googler”)… but most people don’t make it too far past the first few pages before they abandon their search and try something new if they can’t find what they’re looking for.

Google’s Vice President (Ben Gomes) of Engineering once proclaimed that the goal of the company is to get users the exact answers they are looking for, and faster, and so if your content isn’t ranked as priority content in a Google search… it’s going to get buried in the search results and be very hard for you to generate interest and organic web traffic. As of March 2020, Google holds just shy of 92% of the Search Engine Marketshare WORLDWIDE… so take a moment and let that point sink in.

If your posts aren’t ranking on Google… they’re not ranking, period.

Evergreen content, luckily, consistently receives a higher SEO ranking than other news-based or trendy content. Google’s complex series of algorithms are designed to rank searched content based on things like relevance, how long a user spends on a page, keywords, quality of content, etc. … and evergreen content, if written well done, checks off all of those requirements.

Therefore, the more quality evergreen content you have… the higher your posts, and your website will be ranked on Google.

Don’t believe me? Here’s an example of what happened when I typed my former band’s name The Creekwater Junkies (we have been disbanded for nearly 10 years) in a Google Search engine:

Google search results for The Creekwater Junkies
Look at all that Evergreen Content: for a band that’s been inactive for a decade, there are still links to videos, social media accounts, and even other websites appearing in Google’s search results.

The first website that appears does so before my band’s OWN Facebook page. The site (spirit-of-metal.com) I’ll admit, is a website that at the time of writing, I’ve never heard of before. Apparently, the site’s owners uploaded something about my band after we debuted our EP way back in 2008… but guess what? That website just got some traffic from ME 12 years later, simply because I googled some keywords that triggered their related content to come up in a search, and I happened to click on their page out of curiosity.

That leads me to my next point:

Evergreen Content is High Traffic Content

When your content is ranked high in Google’s search results, it’s going to be visible. With higher visibility, comes more clicks, and with more clicks, comes more website traffic.

Google is continually changing how it’s algorithms determine search rankings, but one consistent ranking factor is how many times a page/website has been viewed and is being viewed regularly. So, if your content becomes visible through a search result, that exposure will likely lead to more clicks and website traffic. This, in turn, allows you to promote your other posts/services/products your site offers… which consequently also generates even more views, clicks, and website traffic.

The Creekwater Junkies page on website Spirit-of-metal.com
Naturally, I had to check out the website that outranked my band’s own Facebook page in a search result. Turns out, while the page featuring my band is nothing special (1 fan? COME ON), the site itself has been active for almost 20 years.

Remember: evergreen content has an infinite shelf life. While other pages around it expire, it will always stay fresh.

Evergreen Content Generates Leads over Time

The third part of the equation is that evergreen content continues to generate leads over time. As long as the content stays relevant (which is what makes it evergreen content), it will appear highly ranked in Google’s search results. This, in turn, generates more web traffic (and keeps it highly ranked in Google’s search results). And with more web traffic, comes more leads.

The best part is, if you continue to produce back-links to other evergreen content on your website, any clicks those links receive will help boost those posts’ rankings in Google as well (and your website) and help them generate more leads too!

Going back to my Google search of The Creekwater Junkies experiment, when browsing the website I landed upon (spirit-of-metal.com), I didn’t really find the information I was looking for regarding precisely what it was or how I ended up there. So, naturally, I clicked on a social media icon and went to their Facebook page. Once there, I found a little bit more information about their service in addition to some other cool stuff too… so I decided to follow them and gave their page a like!

Look at how many likes the Spirit of Metal Web-Zine has! They just got one more too… because I gave them a like when I followed them. Lead generation at it’s finest.

And with that spontaneous example, I have inadvertently demonstrated why evergreen content is essential. I didn’t plan on using my own band as an example for the purpose of this article, but it perfectly showcases the process and power of evergreen content in the form of a post about my band from 2008. Let’s recap the process:

  1. I typed The Creekwater Junkies into Google and saw a website (www.spirt-of-metal.com) appear at the top of results which I was unfamiliar with (Evergreen Content Ranks Higher in SEO)
  2. My curiosity now peaked, I clicked on the link to investigate it (Evergreen Content Generates Web Traffic)
  3. Interested in what I found on the website, I directed myself to their social media page through an icon posted on the page, investigated a few other posts they’d made, and decided to follow them (Evergreen Content Generates New Leads).

Simple, but powerful stuff right?

Why Evergreen Content is important: summary

In this short but sweet post, I’ve outlined why evergreen content is important using a spontaneous but perfect example when I Googled my long-inactive band to serve as a demonstration.

As you can see, evergreen content can produce immediate results, but it’s most exceptional value comes because it continues to do so over time.

Producing quality content remains critical, but if well done, evergreen content will consistently rank higher in SEO and therefore generate more web traffic and more leads for your business.

So what are you waiting for?

Get out there and start producing evergreen content today, and you will continue to reap its benefits tomorrow.

Stay tuned for the next post in the Evergreen Content Series, where I discuss how to use and create quality evergreen content!

Don’t forget to follow The Creative Wealth Project below and if you like what you’re reading… spread the wealth and share it with your friends!

That’s it for today, folks!

Never stop creating!

Evergreen Content Explained: What Is it?

Anyone familiar with SEO, content marketing, or digital marketing will likely already know that evergreen content is a goldmine for their business.  

Why’s that you ask?

Youth with a Rolling Stones t-shirt reading a book on digital marketing
Photo by Elio Santos on Unsplash

Because evergreen content doesn’t stop making money –it keeps on bringing in new web traffic, consumer engagement, and sales to your website long after it’s been produced.

Sounds pretty good right?

Of course it does.

If you’re in a band and need to create great content to release to your fans, you’re going to need evergreen content. If you’re starting a freelance business (writers, in particular, I’m looking at you), you’re going to need evergreen content. If you’re tasked with producing quality videos/articles/graphics for a client, you’re going to need evergreen content. Evergreen content is the kind of content that’s going to put a lot of money in your wallet (and continuously) should you master how to create and use it successfully.

After some careful consideration, I’ve decided this topic would be best broken up into parts and so this will be the first of a series on evergreen content. In this post, I will briefly explain what evergreen content is, what it’s not, and provide some examples for extra clarification.

As the Creative Wealth Project was designed for us creative types, I’ll primarily be using examples from different creative industries to help demonstrate what evergreen content is and its usefulness to creative people. Still, the lessons here apply to all industries.

That being said, let’s get started shall we?

Evergreen Content: What Is It?

Close up of evergreen tree pine needles
Photo by Irina Iriser from Pexels

Like the evergreen trees (i.e., pines, firs, etc.) from which it takes its name, evergreen content is content that remains relevant long after its original publication date. In other words: it’s a lasting and sustainable resource.

While most other content (topic content) has an expiration date for its usefulness after it’s published, evergreen content continues to be useful even as the seasons and popular trends change around it.

Now, I don’t mean to say that topic content actually disappears (because it doesn’t), but as the purpose it was created for becomes increasingly less relevant/interesting, so too does its existence.

Evergreen Content vs. Topic Content

To demonstrate the differences between topic content and evergreen content, here are some examples of the different types of articles/creations that fall under each classification.

Let’s start with what evergreen content is NOT: topic content.

Traditional Types of Topic Content

News Articles

Any content based on news is only useful if it is current. For that same reason, current news will always generate immediate interest, but as soon as new reports/updates come in… the news you’ve posted becomes out of date, and so its value goes down significantly.

Think of how sports news works: if your favorite team played a match last night, you might be interested in checking to see the score/match recap in the morning. If a few days go by, however, and your favorite team has played another game since you’re not likely to check back to look at the score of the game that happened a few days ago, you’d more likely be more interested in the recent one.

News of any kind is ONLY relevant when it’s current. 

Announcements

Quite similar to news, the relevancy of an announcement is the same: once the activity/event you’ve announced is underway or completed, this type of content quickly becomes unimportant.

Wall covered in various posters for upcoming concerts
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

An example within the creative community would be a blog / social media post (or posters, like the ones shown above) designed to promote a band’s upcoming tour. As soon as the tour is concluded (or sometimes even midway through), the post becomes irrelevant and is replaced by what’s coming up next.

Statistics

Statistics are a great way to use scientific proof to demonstrate a point… but they’re only useful while they’re up to date. As soon as new statistics come out, the old ones get replaced (keep in mind that you can always update statistics). Generally, though, most reports that use stats as a means of proof use them inherently as a principle source in generating the argument/point of the article itself (so it’s often challenging to update them without having to rewrite the entire article).

An example within the creative community would be if a musician was using their song play counts to project upcoming album sales or to determine their current popularity/influence. If the play counts they are using are recent ones, they might serve as a good indicator of how the new album might sell. However, if the play count statistics are mostly from 10 years ago, those mean very little today. There are plenty of “one-hit wonders” who were influential artists for a short period of time before they faded into relative obscurity as the trends around them changed.

Holiday / Seasonal Topics

Oddly enough, the evergreen tree is often a seasonal symbol because of its association with the holiday of Christmas. However, as soon as Christmas is over, so too is the relevance of Christmas related content. I don’t know too many people who listen to Christmas carols in April, do you?

Fireplace and Christmas tree decorated for the holiday season
Photo by Євгенія Височина on Unsplash

Anything that revolves around a specific date/time should be categorized as seasonal and therefore, will likely lose its appeal once that date passes.

A good example I can provide is actually a post on this site: COVID-19 Coronavirus: 5 Things Creative People Can Do During Isolation.

Once this crazy coronavirus pandemic goes away, this article will likely fade quickly and become irrelevant in any SEO results.

Trending Topics

New trends seem to emerge almost overnight sometimes, and generally, they do so at the expense of existing ones. While a trend is “in,” anything related to that trend is usually a popular search result… but when that trend disappears and is replaced by a new one (which is generally a tough thing to predict), the worth of any content related to the old trend decreases.

I’ve used a lot of musical examples so far in this post, but there’s nothing in the creative community trendier than music fads. Only a few artists stand the test of time and maintain their popularity through changing trends… most other “clone bands” or bands that had been using a trend to ride the wave of its current popularity usually get forgotten (look at the hair metal trend throughout the ’80s if you don’t believe me) when public interest shifts to something new.

Traditional Types of Evergreen Content

Now that you know what traditional evergreen content isn’t (and the forms that topic content usually takes) let’s look at what evergreen content actually is.

Lists

Who doesn’t love a good list? I’m not sure exactly why people respond to rankings and listings the way they do, but the proof to support that notion is endless. How many times have you personally searched or clicked on a “Top 10 R&B singers of all time” or “Ranking Stephen King’s Best 20 Novels” type of post?

The truth is that people love lists, and perhaps even more so, they love comparing them to other ones (so having or linking multiple lists is always a good idea). Lists are also very organized and generally easy to read. They can also easily be updated to retain their relevance as the times change around them, making them are a perfect example of an evergreen content post.

Tips / Advice

A search engine is just that: a tool designed to search for information or an answer to a question. People often search for advice on things they don’t already know about, or for guidance on how to deal with new situations. Therefore any article/post that offers tips or advice for a specific situation is an excellent piece of evergreen content.

For example, if you’ve ever suffered from writer’s block, perhaps you’ve wondered how others have gotten through it and so you search for it, eventually clicking on an article like this one: How to Beat Writer’s Block: 7 Tips to Overcome It

Tutorials / Guides

Even better than advice is a tutorial/guide that teaches or shows someone how to do something. We should all be humble enough to admit that we don’t know how to do everything, but when we do want/need to learn new things… the wonders of the internet have provided us with several guides to do so (or links to books/courses).

Dale Carnegie's Book How to stop worrying and start living
Just one of 6 million copies sold sitting on my kitchen table. Yeah, you could say that “How to” books are popular.

This type of content is THE BEST type of evergreen content for putting money in your pocket. The entire self-help category of books falls under this label (those types of books are making millions of dollars), as does any article/guide that starts with “How to” in its title.

Simply put, this type of content provides the answer to the questions that people have asked and that others will ask again, meaning that tutorials/guides will NEVER lose their relevancy.

Information Entries

Maybe you’ve heard of Wikipedia before, yes? It may be “just” an online encyclopedia… but it provides detailed information on just about every single topic ever known to mankind, making it one of Google’s top search results for almost anything. You don’t get more evergreen than that.

Information is a type of content that never goes out of style because someone somewhere is eventually going to want/need information… so if you can provide it (you can do this for literally any topic), you’ve got evergreen content.

I could list countless examples of information content because you could create an informative post about anything. Still, for the sake of demonstration, an article summarizing the plot of Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and The Sea would be a fine one.

Read: Spark Notes for The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Side note: I really love that book.  

Product Reviews

This one’s a little trickier because, in this case, this form of evergreen content’s life cycle is tied directly to the product’s life cycle (and many products are regularly phased out as they are updated). However, in the creative community, there are numerous products that, once created, are here to stay.

While a cell phone might be replaced with a newer model every year or two, books, films, music albums… all of these products, once released, are not. Therefore, any reviews of these types of products (the kinds us creative people like to make) will also not lose their relevancy to time or trends.

Videos

Videos, in many regards, are a great source of evergreen content. Not only are many people visual creatures (and therefore are more inclined to watch a short video than read a lengthy post), but also because videos can be embedded within other works. That means that at a later time, an old video can serve as an accessory to new content while not having to be recreated itself.

Yes, technology and other changes can influence the relevancy of some videos… but not all of them. A good video can serve as a promotion or gateway into other existing content you produce, so their value as evergreen content is cemented in their versatility.

Ever heard of the Castor Troys? Now you have. Evergreen content at its finest.

When’s the last time you showed a friend a new band using a YouTube link to a music video (see the one above)? Probably not that long ago.

Evergreen Content Summarized

Like a fine wine, evergreen content just gets better with age. Hopefully, this post gave some insight into what it is, what it isn’t, and also offered you some types of evergreen content you can work on creating for your website/band/blog/portfolio / etc.

As a final call to action, make sure you sign up to follow the Creative Wealth Project (at the bottom of this page), so you don’t miss the next posts in the Evergreen Content Series!

Coming soon, I will discuss why evergreen content is vital to growing your audience (and, therefore, income). Then, I will discuss how to create good evergreen content that will generate lasting results. Finally, as a special post written just for you creative types that explains how evergreen content can secure your creative livelihood for years to come.

That’s it for today folks!

Never stop creating!  

3 Reasons Why Creative People Are Getting Paid in 2020

Glass cup of money with stem and leaves growing out of it
Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

If you’re the creative type like myself, perhaps you’ve dreamed of one day turning your passions into profits. Just imagine: wouldn’t it be great if your income came from doing something you already love?

Well, today I’m here to tell you that there’s never been a better time to start turning those dreams into reality. Here are three reasons why creative people are turning passions into profits in 2020 and why you can too.

Reason #1:

The High Demand for Creative Content

We live in an extraordinary age: at no other time in history have people produced and digested content as rapidly as we do now. We stream videos on Youtube, browse images on Pinterest, listen to music on Spotify, and read blog posts our friend tagged us in on Facebook. We do this on our phones, tablets, TVs, computers…

The point is: content is everywhere, it’s readily available, we are consuming it daily and are seemingly always hungry for more.

Man looking at tablet with TV screen behind it
Photo by YTCount on Unsplash

What that means, of course, is that fresh new content is consistently in high demand. Now I’m not an economist by any means, but I know that when things are in demand, they’re considered valuable. Enter us creative types, because after all, somebody has to create all that content, right?

The Explosive Growth of Content Marketing

Content marketing is skyrocketing. By 2021, the content marketing industry has been projected to be worth almost $413 billion.

Read: Why Content Marketing is Set to Be an Industry Worth $412.88 Billion by 2021.

Why?

It’s more cost-effective than traditional marketing. It is audience focused. It’s engaging. It builds brand identity, voice, and trust. The list goes on, but big business seems to have finally tapped into the numerous benefits content marketing can offer.

Therefore, the industry is a booming one with no signs of slowing down.

What is Content Marketing?

If, at this point, you’re asking, “what’s content marketing?”, in a nutshell, it is the process of creating, publishing, and distributing interesting (hopefully) content for a targeted audience.

Rather than the traditional method of pushing unsolicited advertisements onto consumers, content marketers utilize intriguing and informative content to pull consumers toward their brand and their products/services. By creating an engaging experience, consumers develop a rapport with the brand and usually end up supporting that brand in some capacity with their wallet.

And, like most things in 2020, most content marketing is predominantly done online.

While I won’t spend too much time in this post exploring content marketing, I’ll give you some quick examples of it. For instance, if you’ve ever:

  • Watched a music video
  • Googled “How to…” for literally any topic and then clicked on a search result
  • Read a blog post (like this one, for example)
  • Followed an Instagram story/account
  • LOL’d at a meme someone shared on your Facebook feed
Cell phone screen with many social media apps and notifications
Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

…then you’ve participated in content marketing as a potential consumer. It’s that simple, and it’s that encompassing.

So who’s creating all this interesting content that we share/follow/read/watch?

The answer, if you want it to be, is creative people like you.

Somebody has to write those articles, film those videos, play those songs, take those pictures… you get the drift. Perhaps more importantly, somebody’s getting paid to do it. The good news? You can, too.

There’s a good chance that the creative mindset and skills used to generate all that exciting content are ones you already possess. Whatever your niche is, I can almost guarantee you that the opportunities to use your creative skills professionally within it are growing.

You just have to start looking for them.

Reason #2:

The Rise of Remote Work Opportunities

Perhaps you know someone who works from home. Maybe they’re a full-time parent who still wants to earn an income, or maybe they like having a job without a daily commute. Whatever the reason, there are a lot of benefits to working from home, and it has quickly become a highly desirable option among job seekers.

Many companies have adapted to accommodate and it shows in the numbers. 

***EDIT*** Since the spread of the coronavirus has grown exponentially since the time of writing this post, remote work has gone up with it. It wouldn’t be a far-fetched thought to think that this virus might be a catalyst for more permanent remote work in the future when this pandemic ends.

Young man sitting comfortably on couch working on laptop
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

According to Forbes, there has been a 159% rise in remote working in the US since 2007, and by 2020 it is estimated that half of the UK workforce will work remotely. Last year in 2019 alone, remote working opportunities in the art and the creative sector grew by over 40%.

Read: Is Remote Working Just Another Fad Or Actually Good For Your Business?

Read: 7 Fast-Growing Remote Career Categories

While the reasons for the increase of remote work are various, the biggest reason cited for said growth is simple: a shortage of talent.

Creative People are Talented

Cha-ching!

Enter us creative types once again, because as it turns out, creative people are oozing with talent.

Artist hand drawing art on tablet
Photo by Clint Bustrillos on Unsplash

With years and years spent honing our crafts and developing skills that aren’t easily replicated (as so many of us do in our spare time), creative people are precious in today’s job market, and employers have taken notice.

As the competition for the best talent has become fierce among employers, it’s becoming more evident that the best talent for the job is not always locally available. Accordingly, many employers have taken to hiring remotely to fill these skilled specialty positions.

And like everything, top talent = top dollar, no matter where the source is located.

No Borders For Creativity

Both literally and figuratively, there are no borders for creativity.

With that in mind, the opportunities to turn our skills into cash from wherever we reside are growing.

I’ll give you a personal example: my sister lives in Ottawa, the capital city of Canada. She works for a company in New Jersey, just across the river from the Big Apple. She’s never been to company headquarters, and she doesn’t have to go there. She’s a graphic and web-designer and received a referral for the job from a childhood friend who, at the time, was living in San Francisco. Before she took the position, she was working a job in Ottawa that she absolutely hated.

Now? She gets to design things from the comfort of her apartment while enjoying the company of her dog. Sounds pretty great doesn’t it?

Close up of camera in hand overlooking mountain background
Photo by Mohamed Almari from Pexels

As remote work is quickly becoming the norm in the corporate world, people with creative skills will be sought out more than ever. Whether they’re working from an office or their living room, they’re going to get paid for their expertise.

Reason #3:

The Shift Towards Freelancing

With the increasing amount of remote work opportunities and continuous demand for high-quality content, the logistics of working successfully as a freelancer has become easier than ever. Technology has almost wholly put the old business model of face-to-face meetings in its grave, and as a result, many skilled professionals have shifted to becoming freelancers.

EVERYBODY WINS With Freelancing

Savvy companies are switching to hiring freelancers for one simple reason: freelancers, especially those working remotely, save companies a lot of money.

When companies hire freelancers, they are hiring independent contractors. While independent contractors usually are paid well for their efforts, they don’t come with all the attached costs that an employer/employee relationship does.

For example, remote working freelancers have no overhead costs. Employers don’t pay for training, they don’t pay for travel, they don’t pay for office space, they don’t pay recruitment fees, they don’t have to worry about turnover rates, and they certainly don’t pay for the many hours lost to water-cooler gossip sessions.

They pay for results.

This is good news for the talented professional freelancer: better results lead to higher pay rates and better clients. 

Man sitting in front of mixing board, speakers and computer screen
Photo by Tom Pottiger on Unsplash

Quality Work Equals Quality Pay

Freelancing is not an easy road to get started on, but the rewards can be significant. Building a strong reputation is key to attracting high-quality clients, but for talented individuals with some business sense, they can quickly rise above their competition and get paid handsomely for their work.

For example, if a freelancer’s work is good, a strong portfolio marketed the proper way can help drive demand for their services and lead to new referrals from satisfied clients. With an increase in demand, so too increase the rates a freelancer can charge their clients.

Though it varies depending on the type of work, many established freelancers are paid well over $50 an hour for their services.

What makes the pot even sweeter is that most skilled freelancers use their time effectively, which means they can comfortably take on more jobs or be pickier about the ones they take.

In 2020 Time Is Not Money

The days of merely trading time for money are disappearing in the skilled workforce. Employers want high-quality content when they need it, and they’re willing to pay for it wherever they can get it.

As creatives types, we’ve already put our time in: we’re writers because we already write a lot, painters because we already paint a lot, photographers because we already take a lot of pictures.

In 2020 the new way of trading won’t be time for money; it will be skills for money. We’ve already got those in spades.