One of the things that is always stressed to bloggers is to write ‘evergreen’ content – content that is generally ‘timeless’ and generally useful, in order to keep traffic coming to your blog.
It does work, and I strive to write some of that ‘evergreen’ content on my own blog. However, I recently came across an issue with this ‘evergreen’ content that I hadn’t encountered before.
I was reading a thoughtfully written post, and I wanted to comment on some of the things that were written because I had some personal experience with the topic. The post was new, just posted that day, and it already had hundreds of comments and likes. Great! The blogger must be doing a good job, and I was excited to post something into what seemed like a busy community on the blog.
So I was confused when I scrolled down to comment and discovered that the comments were over a year old.
Why would I want to comment on a post that was written over a year ago? I mean, I could just leave a comment, but for me, the point of commenting is to try and build a community and interact with them. On a post that’s over a year old, who’s still paying attention? In today’s social media/instant gratification world, I have my doubts that anyone would be.
It got me thinking. While I want that ‘evergreen’ content to keep people finding and returning to my blog, I don’t want my readers to feel like I did after my experience.
I felt – tricked. If I had known from the beginning that I was reading an old post, I would likely still have read it and perhaps returned to read other things, knowing that I might find some new gems from this blogger.
But since it appeared the post was freshly published, it seemed a bit shady to republish something a year old and make it look like a new post. If the blogger wanted to re-post it, why not just add a blurb at the beginning about it being an older post? Or write a new post that links back to the old content?
I know a lot of bloggers share older content on social media and I think that’s fine, as it generally is apparent once you go to the post that it is older content. But again, the way this post was handled, I ended up feeling tricked and unfollowed the blog because of it. Maybe it’s just my background in education, but not having a date on content is a pet peeve of mine. If I’m looking something up, many times the information is time-dependent. For instance, if I want to look up a comparison between Verizon and Sprint, a post about that from 3 years ago is probably no longer relevant today.
The whole situation just left a bad taste in my mouth and I wondered how other bloggers handled this issue. How do you feel about this? Do you re-post old content as if it’s new? If so, have you ever gotten a bad reaction from a reader?