We’ve identified 24 attributes of evergreen content to help you grow organic search traffic to your travel blog over time.
“Evergreen”, or “sticky” content has a longer shelf life because it discusses key topics that age better than passing fads. Being able to create SEO-friendly sticky content for your blog that captures audiences and gets them coming back time and again is a skill the greatest travel bloggers posses.
Sticky content attracts a lot of traffic because it fulfills an emotional need, solves a problem, educates, or inspires. In our case, it fulfills people’s desire to monetize their blog, and/or satisfies their wanderlust.
Sticky content is important for boosting organic traffic to your website, and it makes people linger on your website longer which gets noticed by Google and Facebook algorithms.
And those algorithms are designed to seek out popular, sticky content and bring it to the top of social feeds and search results.
If you want to keep online audiences coming back over time, your internet marketing strategy must be focused on content quality. Here are 24 tips that will show you how to make content go viral.
1. Best-Case Study
Find a travel brand or fellow blogger that’s doing really well in the niche that you’re in. Do a best-case study on them and talk about what they’re doing right, why people like them, and what your readers can learn from their example. If you’re lucky, they’ll share and link to your content. And because of them, it just might go viral.
We often cite Mike’s former Chiang Mai neighbors because they’re amazing, provide great content on a regular basis, and they are leaders in travel blogging.
Some examples of fellow travel bloggers we reference on a regular basis include;
- Keep Calm and Travel (a regular on sites like Business Insider, too)
- Just One Way Ticket (a pragmatic, resourceful, thoughtful blogger who knows what her readers want –she’s been at it the longest out of all of Mike’s travel blogging friends –when she shares our content, our analytics go off the charts)
- Getting Stamped (they grew astronomically in the short time Mike’s known them –with good reason, their content is amazing, especially their videos)
2. Map Content to the Buyer’s Journey
This is a fancy “corporate-speak” way of saying “give them what they want to see, when they need it”. Before anyone does anything, you can bet they will look for answers on Google. Different people will search for different things depending on where they are at in their lives. You need to appeal to all those phases.
A primary reason why sticky content is so consumable is because it is tightly mapped to a stage within a buyer persona’s journey, much like a longtail keywords in SEO.
You will have greater success with blogging if you tailor content for your ideal reader from the context of where they are currently in their “buyer’s journey”, and deliver it in a way that they find meaningful.
Simply put; different content types suit different points within the buyer’s journey. And HubSpot Academy broke it down very succinctly with the following slide, where they mapped the best content types for each buyer journey stage:
You will impress your audiences more if you avoid using industry jargon as much as possible.
We mix in that jargon for, you guessed it, to attract some of those jargon users. We try to find balance between appealing to our travel blogging peers, and our corporate suit-type marketing peers because we now run our business through this website and we’re folding Copyrise. We still often work with internet marketers.
For most bloggers, it is about breaking down a complicated idea into smaller understandable points that your audience can grasp and follow.
4. Images for Breaking Down Long Text
Marketing leaders suggest you break down your content with graphics after every three to four paragraphs. Depending on the subject matter of your content and your user persona, long blocks of text are hard on the eyes and won’t keep a user on your site for long.
In consumer blogging (travel blogs, mommy blogs, you name it) images are everything.
5. Article Series
Take the opportunity to invite more people into the conversation and gain higher traffic by talking about topics that require longer discussion. They can be broken down into separate articles to make up a series that you put out every week.
A series will keep interested parties coming back for more.
6. One Central Idea per Article
Avoid infusing too many ideas into one article. If you put too many ideas into a single article, it will only confuse readers and drive them away. Too many ideas are way too convoluted, it makes us feel like we need to think too much.
Instead, focus on one idea and lead readers where you want them to be, whether it’s to your site, blog, to sign up for your newsletter, or click an affiliate link. Keep it simple.
7. A Pinch of Narcissism
Most people are careful of what they share online knowing that what they share is a reflection of who they are.
Appeal to that side of human awareness by talking about a topic that will make your reader seem smart, funny, or thoughtful to their peers when they share it.
8. Trusted Sources
Make your point stronger and raise your own integrity level as a travel blogger by citing trusted sources. Having credible sources to support your article’s claims makes you appear more reliable to your readers which in turn invites them to come back for more now that you’ve established yourself as a go-to for accurate information in your niche.
Users process data faster when it’s broken down into small, digestible chunks that combine graphics and some text. This is why infographics are so popular. It presents important data using shapes, colors, and graphics. Content that’s entertaining and informative is guaranteed to make users stick.
However, don’t post full infographics on sites like Pinterest, because if they get the whole meal on a third party website, why would they click through to yours?
10. Insert a Cause
Go beyond what your title promised and talk about the bigger cause that urged you to talk about your idea in the first place.
Injecting some humor into your text makes you more human and approachable to your audiences. Some sophisticated brands are cautious when using humor for fear that it’ll tarnish their image. If anything, a little bit of humor attracts more readers.
All of us have experiences and ideas that we can turn into stories. Users connect to an idea better when it is accompanied by a story. Think of a story in your life with an angle that you can relate to your idea in the article.
Grab a short quotable excerpt in your article (140 characters!), and place it somewhere where users can easily see it, preferably as a break in between paragraphs. Like images, a tweetable quote or two is valuable for sharing and can help make your content look less chunky.
14. Pop Culture
It’s time to put all those hours of reading celebrity gossip sites into good use –celebrities are relatable in some way or they wouldn’t be celebrities. Inject some of your pop culture knowledge into your article and think of a show, movie, song, character, or celebrity with an angle that you can use to support your idea.
Example: “Blogging Tips We Learned from Taylor Swift”.
15. Pain Points
Find out what makes your audiences tick. Don’t just stop at thinking of what might be bothering them. Instead, go out there and find out. Look for your target audience on social media, forums, and groups and find a problem that stands out the most and write content that provides a solution to those pain points.
In our case it’s easily drawn out for us; we all hate our day jobs, local weather, or working in a box. Play with that understanding creatively, and you’ll get traffic.
16. Success Tips
Share your travel/blogging tips so you can help other people succeed, too. People love reading content that helps them become better than they were before, whether it’s for personal or business purposes.
Lists are undeniably attractive because they organize thought into ready-made points which make it easy for the reader to understand. Think of a topic that you can simplify into a list and discuss each point thoroughly. Of course, throw in the occasional story, too –for reasons previously mentioned.
Write about a topic that foretells the dangers of doing something, whether it’s about a certain kind of food, place, TV show, or exercise routine.
Example: “Why You Shouldn’t Visit China if you Don’t Have these 5 Items with You”
19. Actionable content
Give your readers something to act on right after they read your article.
For example, if your topic is about visiting a hard-to-reach location, don’t just stop at throwing around words like visa requirements or money-saving tips. Instead, tell your reader what to do, like why they’d go there in the first place, what to see and do, etc.
20. Active tense
Whenever possible, use active tense when writing content. It gives more life to your sentences and they are faster to read which means more content for your readers to digest.
21. Long-Form Articles
Your website visitors love reading interesting topics that are discussed thoroughly and backed by reliable sources. Don’t forget to maintain quality when writing long-form articles. As with most things, quality is always better than quantity.
22. Top Trends from Google
Use Google trends to fish for trending topics that users in your niche are searching for and be one of the first to create content that answers that need.
Digital nomads aren’t going anywhere
23. Sticky headline
Sticky content starts with a sticky headline; it should grab the user’s attention and urge them to find out more. One effective way to creating a catchy headline is to be specific. Avoid generic titles like “How to Travel to Europe”.
Examples: “A Morning Routine to Keep You Productive the Whole Day”, “Steps to Becoming an Influencer with a Solid Following”
24. Content efficacy
Run through your old posts and find the best-performing ones; this means content that got the most visits, shares, leads, inbound links etc. This is to help you determine the kind of content your audiences love so you can create more in the same format or pattern.
Repurpose older content that performs well, and transform it into other media types like infographics, SoundCloud audio, or slideshows.
It may sound too commercial to say on a travel blog, but I don’t care. If you want a successful travel blog: Focus on where your reader is in the buyer’s journey when planning any of your evergreen content, and promote it hard for at least the same amount of time it took you to create it.
If they’re window shopping, write about “things to do in XYZ country”. If they’re about to purchase a trip, write about “Best hotels (or scuba shops, tour guides, blabla) in ABC”.
Get in their head –you know what they’re thinking, because you know yourself and what you search for before you travel to your next destination.
Stop thinking Frommer’s and think like yourself. You aren’t Frommer’s.
It doesn’t need to feel like a commercial endeavor for you as a writer. Write for yourself, and if anything, stop thinking about “what looks good”.
Read our related post about keyword usage for a more detailed picture on how to go viral.
How do you make your content evergreen? Feel free to leave your thoughts, questions, or other evergreen travel blog content tips in the comments.
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