Evergreen Content 2.0: Timeless Posts People Will Actually Remember

Evergreen Content (That People Will Actually Remember)

by Kevin J. Duncan


“Create evergreen content that will always be relevant,” the experts say.

And so you do.

You think of an idea and spend days writing, tweaking, and perfecting every ageless, enduring syllable.

You’re certain you have a winning post on your hands — the kind of evergreen content that can stand the test of time and be spoken of with reverence years later by adoring fans who name their firstborn after you.

But inevitably, after its initial wave of popularity subsides, your masterpiece disappears into the background as newer and newer posts pop up.

Instead of standing the test of time, your timeless content is forgotten.

And the only adoring fan willing to name their firstborn after you is your spouse.

So, what the heck’s happening?

Are the experts wrong? Is evergreen content overrated?

Well, here’s the thing…

Most Content (Even Evergreen Content) Will Fade Into Obscurity Days after Clicking “Publish”

It’s sad but true.

Most content, even when it’s excellent, is quickly forgotten.

Sure, it may be popular for a little while. For a few glorious moments, it may be flush with laudatory blog comments, congratulatory emails, and social media love.

But, eventually, its popularity fizzles out.

That’s what makes the idea of “evergreen content” so appealing — it’s supposed to be immune to fickle fancies and flavors of the month.

But here’s the problem:

If your evergreen content is forgettable, being “timeless” is pretty pointless.

Your content could be relevant and evergreen until the end of time. But if it’s bland, it won’t matter. If it’s boring, no one will care. If it’s forgettable, its timelessness is wasted.

The experts’ advice isn’t wrong — it’s just incomplete.

Because to truly stand the test of time, evergreen content can’t simply be timeless. It needs to be memorable too.

So, here’s what we’re going to do:

  • We’ll (slightly) tweak the definition for evergreen content;
  • Go over the five crucial qualities of unforgettable posts (so your evergreen content has a chance to actually be remembered);
  • Look at the ins and outs of evergreen content, including real-world examples, ideas to help you come up with your own evergreen content, and tips for making your content as good as possible.

Sound good? Let’s dive in.

That’s a solid, accurate definition for how most people view evergreen content.

But we can do better:

Timeless? Relevant? Fresh? Applicable? Those are easy.

Write a how-to article for cooking Ramen noodles and you’ve accomplished all four.

But to be remembered? To create something people don’t forget? That’s difficult.

With two million new blog posts published each and every day, getting your posts to stick in the minds of your readers is a Herculean task.

But it is possible.

If you want to create high-quality content people might remember and reference for years — not just days — after you click publish, you need to give it one (or more) of these five qualities:

Let’s break down each one.

1. Gives Readers an “OMG!” Moment

Do you remember the end of Se7en when the villain’s master plan was revealed?

Remember when your mouth dropped open after Darth Vader made the shocking (and often misquoted) revelation that he was Luke’s father?

Remember how stunned you were at the end of The Sixth Sense when you learned Bruce Willis’s character had been wearing a toupee the entire time?

These movies caught us off guard, jolted us to attention, and got us talking.

And years later, we’re still talking about them.

Why is that?

They’re quality movies for sure, but there’s more to it.

As Chip and Dan Heath discuss in their book Made to Stick (affiliate link), our brains filter out consistency in favor of focusing on differences.

So instead of remembering by-the-numbers movies that end exactly how we expected, we remember the ones with unexpected twists and surprising revelations.

Those are the stories that stand out, stick in our minds, and get us talking about them.

If you want your content to be remembered, try surprising your reader.

It’s a tried-and-true method for crafting content that sticks.

Gives Readers an OMG Moment

How It’s Done

Have you ever come across a headline that stopped you in your tracks?

Why James Chartrand Wears Women’s Underpants is such a headline. It’s surprising, different, and catches you off guard.

But it’s nothing compared to the surprises inside the post.

The first revelation is James Chartrand is actually a woman; however, the big discovery is why she took and continues to prominently use “James Chartrand” as her pen name.

She explains how a simple name change was able to take her from a struggling freelancer to a well-known blogger.

While the result was unintentional, she reaped many benefits from taking on a male persona — an easier time getting writing jobs, more respect for her work, and more recognition.

Undeniably, the post is brilliantly written. That makes it great.

But it’s the surprise factor that makes James’s post so gosh-darn memorable.

How You Can Do It

Creating surprising content is not an easy task, and it requires a well-thought-out idea to achieve it. But here are three ways you can get it done:

#1: Drop a Bombshell

Do you have a secret your readers would find surprising?

You’re a travel blogger who’s never flown on a plane? Do you blog about healthy eating but stuff your face with cake on a weekly basis? Did you once wear an orange tuxedo to a charity gala for the preservation of the endangered Icelandic snow owl?

Tell your readers. Give them your reasons. Get them talking.

#2: Leave Questions Unanswered

While she makes mention of her decision to keep the name in the context of feminism, James doesn’t delve too deeply into the morality of what she is talking about.

She instead leaves it to the audience to ponder — to wonder if they, too, have a bias against women in the workforce. To wonder if they have been the target of this kind of sexism before.

There are lots of questions left by this post that make it an easy one to stew over and discuss with friends and colleagues.

A memorable post will leave your reader with questions to ponder long after they’ve finished reading.

#3: Break the Norm

Let’s be honest…

Most tips, advice, and strategies you find online — regardless of the niche — are unoriginal. You’ve seen them before, and so have your readers.

Want to surprise your audience?

Offer them unconventional advice they haven’t heard a thousand times before. Give them a truly new idea or insight. Provide a simpler technique or shortcut that makes them cry over all the time and effort they wasted doing things the hard way.

A surprising revelation doesn’t have to be extraordinary or outlandish for people to remember it.

Sometimes, it just needs to thwart your reader’s expectations.

Ten-Second Takeaway

Want a proven method for crafting content that sticks in your readers’ heads? Surprise them.

2. Overwhelms the Senses (Including Taste Buds)

Adding sensory details is a ridiculously-effective way to make your content memorable. It’s so effective, we decided to write the definitive guide on the topic.

Here’s an excerpt:

Remember the final scene in Field of Dreams when Ray Kinsella has a catch with his dad?

You can smell the grass on the field.

You can hear the sound of the baseball hitting their gloves.

And you can feel Ray’s years of guilt melting away as he closes his eyes, smiles, and tosses the ball back to his dad.

(Be honest. You’re crying right now, aren’t you?)

Field of Dreams made you feel like you were in Ray’s shoes, on his field, playing catch with dad.

The scene creates such a vivid experience for many viewers that whenever they think of playing catch, this scene will come up alongside their own childhood memories.

Here’s why:

When you paint a strong scene in your audience’s mind, you make it easier for them to pull it back up from their memory. You’ve essentially bookmarked it for them so they can easily find it when something — a sight, a smell, a sound — reminds them of it.

That’s the power of content that incorporates sensory details.

583 Sensory Words to Take Your Writing from Bland to Brilliant

By using descriptive details to evoke sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell; you can make your content burst to life in your readers’ minds.

This will help your content connect with readers on a personal level, which will help them remember it long after other posts have gone the way of the dodo.

How It’s Done

Few writers are better at descriptive details than Jon Morrow.

In his post 7 Lessons from a Guy Who Can’t Move Anything But His Face, he uses storytelling and descriptive language to help the reader get an idea of what it might feel like to be him; specifically, what it’s like to live with a disability.

Jon’s words help you feel what it’s like to only be able to move your eyes and lips. He helps you feel what it’s like to spend years of your life in hospitals. He helps you feel what it’s like to overcome all of it to live an amazing, blessed life.

Had he simply told his readers facts, the points in Jon’s post wouldn’t have resonated the same way.

Instead, he took them on an emotional journey. The ups, the downs, and everywhere in between.

And they remember him because of it.

How You Can Do It

When writing, use descriptive details to guide your readers’ imaginations.

This can be accomplished through storytelling (when appropriate) and words that convey sensations (i.e. sensory words).

Not sure where to begin? Read these two posts:

These posts will teach you the art of storytelling and everything you can possibly need to know about sensory words.

Master these and everything you write will be drenched in descriptive details.

Which means (almost) everything you write will be memorable.

Ten-Second Takeaway

Make readers see what you see. Put them in your shoes and take them on an emotional journey.

3. Coins a Contagious Catchphrase

“The quicker picker upper.”

“The ultimate driving machine.”

“Melts in your mouth, not in your hands.”

Unless you’re one of the precious few whose brains haven’t been inundated with advertisements over the years, you probably recognize these slogans. You also probably recognize the companies that created them.

That’s what a great slogan, phrase, or title can do.

They’re memorable. They differentiate the brand. They often outline a key benefit.

If you want your evergreen content to have a chance to stay relevant for years to come, present something that’s novel and — this is key — condense it to its essence.

The end result will be a phrase or idea people will immediately associate with your content.

Coins a Contagious Catchphrase

How It’s Done

The post 1,000 True Fans by Kevin Kelly created an idea that was short and sweet: you can make a living doing anything if you have just 1,000 true fans.

He defined this simple, brilliant idea and then spent the rest of his post explaining why it worked and what you had to do to make it work.

Written in 2008, Kevin’s post is still remembered and referenced all these years later.


Because the phrase “1,000 true fans” condenses its concept into a simple, catchy phrase. And that makes it easier for people to remember and repeat in conversation.

Brian Dean does something similar in his post The Skyscraper Technique, which teaches a useful link-building strategy.

After naming his technique, Brian breaks it down into easy-to-follow steps so his audience can quickly get what they need from his post.

The technique is fairly simple and its title, again, is quite catchy.

You can grasp the concept of Brian’s idea simply by its name. You can visualize it. And you can close your eyes and see it in action.

That helps make it memorable.

How You Can Do It

Ask yourself a few questions…

What is your post about? Can you boil your main idea down into a memorable phrase or title? Does it present a unique perspective or technique? Does it address a real need or concern many people can connect with?

Your phrase should be simple and leave an impression on your audience, whether that’s giving them an “aha” moment or simply piquing their interest so they’ll be curious to hear what you have to say.

And once you have settled on a memorable phrase or title, feature it prominently. Include it in your headline. Repeat it, as needed, throughout your post.

Ten-Second Takeaway

Create something useful and your audience will read it. Make it catchy, and they’ll remember it.

4. Strips You Down and Lays You Bare

If you really want to write a post that resonates with people, you need to connect with them on a deep, personal level. You need to strip your defenses and show your vulnerable side.

This not only sets you apart from all the regular, straight-laced content your audience is exposed to, it helps you relate to them in a way that’s meaningful.

Why do you think Taylor Swift is so popular?

It’s not because she has a better voice than everyone else. It’s not because she’s seven feet tall. And it’s not even because she frequently posts pictures of her cats on Twitter and Instagram.

It’s because her lyrics connect with her audience.

From teardrops getting on her guitar to shaking off the fact that haters insist on hating, Taylor often shows vulnerability in her songs.

This vulnerability endears her to her fans. When they look at her, they see a seven-foot-tall version of themselves. They see a kindred spirit.

And you don’t forget kindred spirits very easily.

Strips You Down and Lays You Bare

How It’s Done

Jon is masterful at showing vulnerability.

In his post On Dying, Mothers, and Fighting for Your Ideas, Jon recounts the story of his mother’s tenacity in the face of his condition, which his doctor labels terminal.

He does this beautifully by telling the story first from his mother’s perspective, then from his own, and — lastly — he ties it into his main point: writers have to fight for their ideas with all the determination and love with which mothers fight for their children.

Such an appeal to the audience’s emotions is powerful. It hits home. It’s memorable.

If you want to make your content memorable, make it personal.

How You Can Do It

There are many, many ways you can show vulnerability in your writing. Here are a few ideas:

#1: Open a Window into Your Life

Like Jon does in many of his posts, you can draw your audience in with a personal story.

This works especially well if it exposes you in some way to the reader or helps them relate to you. When you write, you’re asking your audience to trust you with their time and attention.

Show them why they should feel comfortable trusting you.

#2: Reveal Your Intentions

Do you have personal reasons for writing your post?

Be candid with your audience and tell them why the subject means so much to you.

It’s easy for your audience to see you as just another faceless entity trying to sell them a product or idea.

Break this image by showing them your human side.

#3: Expose Your Fears and Anxieties

Are you writing about a problem or worry your audience has?

Do you share and understand their anxieties?

Let your readers know you are (or have been) in the same boat they are and show them how that makes you more qualified to write about it.

Ten-Second Takeaway

Don’t be a superhero. Pull back the curtain and let readers see your struggles.

5. Breaks Your Reader’s Lenses

We all view the world through lenses.

These lenses shape our thoughts, our passions, and our beliefs on everything from political issues (“Vote Ron Swanson”) to music (“500 Miles by The Proclaimers is the greatest song of all time”) to the cinema (“Kevin Costner should be in every movie”).

But what if one of the things you’ve believed all your life was turned on its head?

If you want to write content that people will remember in five years, you can’t just give readers random facts.

Hold up a mirror so your readers take cold, hard looks at themselves.

Challenge something your readers hold dear.

Try to change their worldview.

Breaks Your Reader’s Lenses

How It’s Done

Few concepts are as ingrained into the American way of life as the eight-hour workday.

That’s why Leo Widrich’s The Origin of the 8-Hour Work Day and Why We Should Rethink It, which attempts to debunk the eight-hour day by showing how it wasn’t a well-thought-out or highly-optimized number, is so intriguing.

Leo doesn’t offer the reader a new number as an alternative. Instead, he says what his reader should be concentrating on is focus; specifically, how well they are able to focus on the task at hand regardless of how much time they have to complete it.

Another way to change worldviews is to expose your readers to the reasons why they hold the beliefs they do. A great example of this is the post Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think.

Written by Tim Urban, this humorous piece takes the audience through a history lesson that tells them why they care so much what people think, and then guides them on how to overcome this crippling fear.

We’re constantly trying to overcome the fear of rejection and embarrassment, so a post telling us why we (foolishly) fear such things definitely hits home.

How You Can Do It

Challenging people’s views in a professional, non-confrontational way isn’t easy, but here are a few ideas to help you do it.

#1: Demolish Beliefs That Lead Them Astray

Look at the commonly held beliefs of your readers and see if you find any of them to be faulty.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • “What do my readers believe about X that’s untrue?”
  • “What often-repeated tips and strategies in my niche are — how to put this delicately… — extremely stupid?”
  • “Are there any beliefs keeping my readers from achieving X result?”

Once you’ve found something faulty, write about it.

That’s what Derek Halpern did when he tackled the “Content Is King” mantra.

It’s what Dries Cronje did when he told bloggers that posting every day was a silly strategy.

And it’s what Jon did when he pointed out the old way of starting a blog is inefficient and a waste of time (and money).

Demolishing your reader’s beliefs in a direct, honest, and non-condescending way is an effective strategy for creating memorable content.

#2: Put Your Readers in Someone Else’s Shoes

A great way to get into your readers’ heads and change their perspective is to present them with a story — whether it’s a real one or a metaphor — and challenge them to ask, “How would I feel if … ?” or “What would I do if … ?”

Just think about your favorite books.

The best are ones where we put ourselves into the shoes of the characters. You’re not reading The Three Musketeers, you are The Three Musketeers.

It’s you fighting with swords, having swashbuckling adventures, and eating delicious candy bars with chocolate-covered fluffy centers.

And once you’re in their shoes, you can more easily see things from their point of view. Suddenly, you’re not viewing the world through your lens. You’re viewing the world through theirs.

That’s what a great story can do. It draws you in. It flips the “sympathize” switch and turns it to “empathize.”

Flip that switch in your reader and it becomes that much easier to flip their perspective.

Ten-Second Takeaway

Want to write something people will remember? Turn a commonly-held belief on its head.

Congratulations! You now know the five crucial qualities for crafting content that’s unforgettable (as well as the updated evergreen content definition we discussed at the beginning of the post).

You could stop reading right now and create some pretty remarkable content.

But if you’d like to learn more, we’re not finished just yet.

Let’s roll up our sleeves and tackle the nitty-gritty details of evergreen pieces of content:

1. Just Because It’s Evergreen Content Doesn’t Mean You Should Never Update it

There’s a misconception evergreen content never needs to be updated — that you write it, click “Publish”, and then never touch it ever again.

And sure, you can do that, if you like. If it’s a piece of truly evergreen content, it’s going to remain relevant whether you touch it or not.

Does it need to be updated? No. Should it be updated from time to time? Yes.

And these updates should include:

  • Keyword research to compare it to new content that’s been published;
  • Making sure the post still fits into your content marketing strategy (and if it doesn’t, modifying it);
  • Optimizing the piece of content for SEO so Google, Bing, and other search engines will rank it high in SERPs;
  • Adding FAQ sections, infographics, and the like so your evergreen post gives readers more value;

In short, all content that brings traffic to your blog should be polished from time to time and given a new coat of paint.

Evergreen content is no exception.

2. Real-World Examples of Evergreen Content

Sometimes, the best way to explain something is to show examples.

Let’s look at a handful of evergreen articles you can use as inspiration.

Note: Though these examples are evergreen, they may or may not possess any of the five qualities we discussed earlier. Keep that in mind when browsing.

How to Make Stovetop Popcorn by The Pioneer Woman

It’s hard to get more timeless than a recipe. This how-to article will outlive all of us.

801+ Power Words That Pack a Punch and Convert like Crazy by Jon Morrow

Content related to words, grammar, writing, etc. rarely goes out of date.

15 Quotes that Will Change the Way You Treat People by Marc and Angel

Are all quotes evergreen? No. Many an expert preached the virtues of MySpace back in the day, for example.

But inspirational quotes, uplifting quotes, etc. tend to age like fine wine.

There’s No Painless Way to Kill Yourself by James Altucher

Personal stories never age. Even if details within them are from a bygone era, the stories themselves (and the lessons they teach) are evergreen.

20 Good Character Traits That Will Help Your Kids Grow Up to Be Happy, Successful and Loved By All by A Fine Parent

Articles on parenting, the human psyche, character traits, and similar topics tend to remain relevant for a long time.

The above isn’t a definitive list, but it’s a good starting point. And hopefully, you’ll see a few common themes.

Such as…

3. What Evergreen Content is NOT

Evergreen content can be a lot of things, but it can’t be:

  1. Trendy — trends come and go, and so does trending content
  2. Topical — today’s breaking news article is tomorrow’s yesterday’s news
  3. Related to pop culture — reminder: “dabbing” and “planking” both used to be things
  4. Political (like Presidential elections) — the thing that outraged you today will be replaced by something new next week
  5. Holiday themed — if it’s only relevant once a year, it’s not an evergreen topic
  6. Related to technology — the latest gadget will be old news by the time you finish this post

In short, if it’s on a topic with a short-term lifespan, it can’t be evergreen.

4. Evergreen Content Ideas

Not sure what type of content to create? Here are several evergreen content ideas to get you started:

  • How-to Posts. Whether it’s showing someone how to cook a recipe or a beginner’s guide for building a treehouse, how-to posts are evergreen go-tos.
  • Ultimate Guides. You’ll need to keep them up to date to fend off competitors, but ultimate guides for non-trendy topics are evergreen gold.
  • Inspirational Articles. If it inspires readers, compels them to take action and improve their lives, it’s a great evergreen candidate.
  • Timeless Quotes. As discussed previously, quotes on tried-and-true topics have long lifespans.
  • Case Studies. In addition to showing your expertise (and potentially winning you new clients or subscribers), case studies are usually timeless. They also tend to earn backlinks from other websites, which will help you rank higher in Google searches. They’re a good fit for any content strategy.
  • Tools and Resources. Roundup posts that provide the reader a definitive list of sources are excellent examples of evergreen content. You’ll need to ensure their content stays up to date (since tools/resources come and go), but it’s worth the investment in time.

It’s Time to Craft Everlasting Gobstoppers of Evergreen Content

With dreams of fame, fortune, and world domination dancing through their heads, ambitious bloggers pour their hearts and souls into creating evergreen content they hope people will remember forever.

Unfortunately, most bloggers don’t know how to create content readers will remember after their cup of morning coffee, much less remember for years and years.

But you do.

You now understand the five crucial qualities content needs to be memorable. And you know what it takes to make evergreen content truly “evergreen.”

The days of being dumbfounded as you watch your latest blogging masterpiece fade into the sunset are over.

Are you ready to create evergreen content people will still talk about in five years?

Then what are you waiting for?

Let’s do this thing.

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Kevin J. Duncan

Editor-in-Chief for Smart Blogger and Profitable. Applying what I’ve learned and sharing what I know at The Solopreneur Experiment, my free weekly newsletter.


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Written by Kevin J. Duncan

Editor-in-Chief for Smart Blogger and Profitable. Applying what I’ve learned and sharing what I know at The Solopreneur Experiment, my free weekly newsletter.

113 thoughts on “Evergreen Content (That People Will Actually Remember)”

  1. Hey Kevin,

    Why James Chartland Wears Women’s Underpants might be one of the best headlines and blog posts I’ve ever read. And you pointed out the crucial element that makes it great. It wasn’t just “schtick.” It was a clever headline with a compelling story. Often I see either too much stick/cleverness or too much story.

    The best bloggers I’ve seen combine marketing and writing equally.

    Nice to see you back after your hiatus! Hope all is well with the little one!

    • Hi Ayodeji,

      Thank you for the warm welcome, my friend!

      Yeah, James’ headline is one of the all-time greats. When I was mapping out this “memorable” post for Smart Blogger, hers was one of the first I added to my outline. 🙂

      Speaking of the “underpants” post, James did a very clever thing I didn’t mention…

      Instead of tying up every loose end and answering every question, she left it up to the audience. This made her surprise – and, by extension, her post – linger that much longer in the minds of her readers.

      There are lots of questions left in James’ post that made it an easy one to stew over and discuss.

      And that definitely helped make it memorable. 🙂

      Appreciate the well-wishes. The “little one” is doing amazing, thank you for asking!

      – @kevinjduncan

      • That’s an excellent point. As I re-read it my mind wanders into those avenues. Posts like James’, pound for pound champ Jon’s (who I just saw is doing an interview with my other idol Altucher? amazing), and yours make me strive for more. Being in the company of writers like you on a blog like this makes me want to strive for more too.

        I’m an author, and one day I want to write a timeless book. I’m not there yet, but I will be as long as I follow the guidelines people like you have put before me.

        Welcome back, sir!

      • Hi again, Ayodeji!

        I feel the same way whenever I get to write for sites like Smart Blogger or Syed Balkhi’s OptinMonster. They compel me to strive for more… to “up my game” as they say.

        I sincerely hope to read your timeless book one day, my friend. We’re all waiting, so get on it. 😉

        Thanks again! It’s good to be back. 🙂

        – @kevinjduncan

  2. Long article, but worth every minute spent reading it 🙂
    This goes hand in hand with choosing a niche you’re comfortable with. If you choose to write about topics you’re far from being passionate about, it’s going to be extra-difficult to create an emotional bond with the readers.

    • Hi Adriana,

      Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

      (Long article indeed… You would be SHOCKED if you knew how long it took to put together — concept to finished product!)


      Agree with you about being passionate. If you’re cold to your niche or topic, how can you expect to craft something your readers will be on fire about?

      Appreciate you taking the time to comment, Adriana. Hope you have a wonderful day!

      – @kevinjduncan

  3. Hi Kevin,

    Excellent post! You mentioned two points that I think all content creators should really pay attention to before putting more of their stuff out there:

    1) “This means you want to create an engaging experience for your audience; not just tell them what you want them to know.”

    2) “If you really want to write a post that resonates with people, you need to connect with them on a deep, personal level. You need to strip your defenses and show your vulnerable side.”

    This is pure awesome. I love these ideas, Kevin.

    It’s a big mistake to miss the (very human) element of engagement and showing your real self including failures, vulnerabilities, and all that good stuff.

    While the mediums we are using are mostly digital, we should continue to be mindful that we are connecting with actual human beings on the other end. If we do make it our point to really provide an engaging experience we’ll certainly make some room on their memory chip =)

    Because if you engage them, they will get to know you… and who knows, they might start really liking your stuff and then trusting you… which sounds like the perfect recipe for content that converts.

    Sweet post Kevin, keep up the great work. Hope all is well with the baby girl 🙂


    • Hi Eduardo,

      Good to see you here, my friend! Thanks for showing up and supporting me. (And for your great comment too!)

      “The human element” as you put it was a common quality I discovered in memorable posts when I was doing my research. It’s definitely a huge mistake to miss it!

      The baby girl is doing wonderful! She’ll be walking in no time at this rate. Haha.

      Thanks again, Eduardo. How are things with you?

      – @kevinjduncan

  4. Hi Kevin,

    Wow that was a really amazing article. These are definitely some great tips to write memorable content.

    I think one of the easiest ways to ensure you’re writing great content is to choose a niche you know something about. If you’re not passionate about what you do, then chances are you will struggle to come up with stuff to write.

    I always try to put myself in other people’s shoes when I am writing. After all, when I am writing content on my blog, I am not writing for myself.

    I am writing for my audience. I’ll definitely keep these tips in mind the next time I sit down to write.

    Have a great day 🙂


    • Hi Susan,

      Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

      I completely concur with you about the “passion” aspect of writing. Writing is hard enough as it is. If you don’t enjoy your topic, what’s the point? 🙂

      You have a great day, too, Susan!

      – @kevinjduncan

  5. Hey Kevin!

    HUGE takeaways here. It’s true, most content sort of just disappears after being published.

    Something you, and the guys here at SB are good at is making that content last.

    I’ve been thinking about #3 Coins a Contagious Catchphrase in the back of my mind for a while.

    It’s cool to see it strategically laid out.

    I love branding and naming things. One of my goals is to develop / discover a new blogging strategy just so that I can name it. Haha.

    • Hi Eli,

      Thanks! I’m really glad you enjoyed it. Even as I was writing it, I stook back sometimes and nodded my head. Seeing all the tips laid out like this was enlightening. 🙂

      By the way, I know I owe you an email! (Probably several, actually.)

      I would love to participate in your upcoming expert roundup. Count me in (and thanks for thinking of me!)

      – @kevinjduncan

  6. Thank you for a long article, very interesting indeed.
    I feel like these steps are so important but too few are ticking all the boxes.
    I will sure try to do my best at least;)

    I feel that the most important part is being passionate of what you write about because people will be able to tell.

    • Hey Jaylene,

      Glad you liked it! (Not everyone enjoys long articles, after all. And this puppy clocked in at 3,500 words.) 🙂

      Good luck. I’m sure you’ll do fine!

      – @kevinjduncan

  7. Wow Kevin! This content is the best i have read on smart blogger this year. Quite huge and valuable. what i love the most is the “Coin a Contagious Catchphrase” idea.

    Kevin, you rock and am off to share this!

    • Hi Charles,

      Thank you very much! That’s high praise considering all the great content Jon, Glen, and Robert churn out every month. 🙂

      Appreciate the share!

      – @kevinjduncan

  8. Hi Kevin, I’ve been blogging since 2006. When I decided to really grow my blog, I subscribed to your newsletter along with many others. I’ve pared down since then, but Be a Better Blogger remains a favorite.

    As a blogger who writes about family, adoption, and foster care, my favorite tip today is, Put Your Readers in Someone Else’s Shoes. That alone changes hearts and lives.

    Thank you for all you do.

    • Hey Lisa,

      You’ve just made my day. Thank you!

      Subsribers like you who come out and support me with tweets and blog comments are why my previous two Smart Blogger posts were so successful (and probably why Jon, Glen, and Robert invited me back for a third time). 😉

      I’m glad you’ve stayed on my email list through the cuts. It means a lot to me — truly (especially with how busy I’ve been the past year, which has cut into the time I create new content for all of you).

      I’m glad you enjoyed this post and got so much out of it, Lisa. Thank you for your kind words of support. I really appreciate them!

      – @kevinjduncan

  9. Kevin, one of the best articles that I have read about blogging. I will be putting these ideas into practice as we challenge a lot of conventional wisdom in the financial industry.

    With regard to your previous comment, I would not not be shocked (how long it took). It is a long article (although it didn’t feel long, reading it), well organized, and written very well. It is definitely a work that you should be proud of. Thanks for sharing it.

    I am glad that Google brought me your way.

    • Hey Doug,

      I’m glad Google brought you my way too! Thank you for the kind words. Attaboys like yours makes all the time spent writing this post more than worth it. 🙂

      Best of luck implementing these ideas into your financial posts. I’m sure you’ll do great!

      Thanks again, Doug. Have a great one…

      – @kevinjduncan

  10. Hi Kevin,
    Thanks for the wonderful pointers in this article. Your post is so well organized and so well written that it has only one flaw — you make creating memorable content sound easy. Doing the things you lay out requires a lot of thought, attention, and hard work.

    All of these things makes this post memorable — a keeper for reminders on how to do this well.

    • Hi Kim,

      Great to see you here! Thank you for stopping by, reading, and showing your support. (Oh, and for the great comment too.)

      Haha. Well, as “flaws” go, that’s a pretty good one. I’ll take it! 😉

      Looking forward to seeing YOUR guest post for Be A Better Blogger. Can’t wait to read what you’ve been working so hard on. 🙂

      Thanks again, Kim. Appreciate your support!

      – @kevinjduncan

  11. Well-researched, comprehensive summary, Kevin.
    Definitely a good post to save and refer to your points and examples.
    Especially appreciate your reminders to show readers abstract concepts.
    Excellent tips for helping our voice stand out and become remembered among the crowded blogosphere.

    • Hey Keri,

      Thank you! I’m glad you liked.

      Appreciate your turnout and support too! It’s always fun when I publish a guest post and I see familiar, friendly faces in the comments section. 🙂

      My apologies for missing your Ninja Outreach deadline, by the way. By the time your “there is still time” email arrived, we were in the middle of our getaway vacation!

      How’d it turn out, though? Great I’m sure!

      – @kevinjduncan

      • I love how personable and real your comment is Kevin.
        Happy to drop by and thank you for putting together this epic post.
        I can only imagine what it took to juggle your lifestyle for this extraordinary post to happen.
        Good question about when my round story post shall be published. No idea. I’ve learned we create content to learn, grow, share and foster relationships. The people we impact make it worthwhile.
        Thanks for impacting our lives, Kevin.:)

      • Hi again, Keri!

        Well… Considering the last post I wrote for Smart Blogger was titled “The Ultimate Guide to Writing Comments…”, my comment to you (and everyone else here) BETTER be real and personable, right? 😉

        Thanks for dropping by a second time, Keri. Whenever your Ninja Outreach post goes live, be sure to tell me about it, okay? I’ll help you promote it.

        – @kevinjduncan

  12. Wow Kevin! This content is the best i have read on smart blogger this year. Quite huge and valuable. what i love the most is the “Coin a Contagious Catchphrase” idea.

    • Hey slope,

      That’s some high praise! Thank you. I’m so happy you enjoyed it!

      Yeah, the “Coin a Contagious Catchphrase” quality is one of my favorites too. I think “Overwhelms the Senses” is my favorite, though. 🙂

      Thanks again!

      – @kevinjduncan

  13. Great and highly useful article, Kevin. Thank you! I know this must have taken a very long time to create. I am curious if you use at least one of these techniques in every blog you do?

    • Hi Wendy,

      Thank you! I’m so glad you liked it and found it useful. And yeah, it took a LONG time to create. You have no idea. 😉

      Great question…

      Inadvertently, yes, I tend to use at least one of these qualities in everything I write. I say inadvertently because it wasn’t part of a specific process of mine. I would use the element of surprise, hit different senses, put the reader in my shoes, etc. because that’s just how I like to write.

      It wasn’t until I started working on this post — when I researched hundreds and hundreds of popular posts, found their common elements, and dissected them — that the pieces started to come together for me.

      Now I know why my most popular posts were so popular, while some of my equally-good (in my opinion) posts faded into the sunset. The ones that have stood the test of time used one or more of these qualities. The ones that disappeared from people’s memories did not. 🙂

      Anyway, really appreciate you taking the time to comment, Wendy. Hope you have a great day!

      – @kevinjduncan

  14. This is sincerely one of THE best articles I’ve read on “thinking-out-of-the-box” writing and engagement. The graphics and tweetable takeaways….pure genius. Way to go Kevin!

    • Hi Josh,

      Thank you for the VERY HIGH praise! I’m glad you enjoyed the post so much.

      Also, thanks for subscribing to my new project, Daily Dad Tips! Hopefully my emails live up to the hype this Smart Blogger post has created. 😉

      – @kevinjduncan

  15. Awesome content, Kevin.

    It’s not just a reminder to create a memorable content for the audience but this post will also keep me motivated to write better for my audience. I really appreciate the way you’ve discussed ‘How You Can Do That’. That’s really helpful.

    Needless to mention, bookmarks have saved my life 😉


    • Hi Arfa,

      Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

      Bookmarks save me too. They come in very handy, don’t they? Haha.

      Appreciate you taking the time to comment after reading. I love seeing new comments pop up. They’re great for connecting with new people!

      Hope you have a great day.

      – @kevinjduncan

  16. Kevin,

    All of your hard work paid off. That was an amazing article that kept me riveted to the end.
    I even clicked on and read all of the links.
    I have saved your article because I know that I will visit it again.

    Thank you for all of the content and an impressive job, well done.

    Erin Cooper Reed
    My Life I Swear

    • Hi Patricia,

      That’s very kind of you to say. Thank you! It was certainly a lot of work putting this post together, but I’m happy readers such as yourself are riveted by it from beginning to end. 🙂

      Appreciate your taking the time to leave me a comment. I love comments. Wish more readers would leave them!

      Hope you’re having a blessed Saturday, Patricia.

      – @kevinjduncan

  17. Kevin, very good article. No wonder it takes time to create remarkable content. All tips are super useful and will try to include in my write ups going forward. Thanks.

    • Hey Ahmad,

      Appreciate it! Glad you found all the tips I covered to be useful. Be sure to let me know how it goes once you begin including some of them in the future content you create. 🙂

      Have an awesome Saturday, Ahmad.

      – @kevinjduncan

  18. Wow Kevin! This content is the best i have read on smart blogger this year. Quite huge and valuable.
    I love the article and try to follow your writing style. Hope you haven’t any problem.

    • Hey Scott,

      Appreciate the high praise! Jon, Glen, Robert, and everyone at SB churn out great content month after month. For you to think mine is the best is beyond flattering. Thank you.

      Hope your weekend is going well!

      – @kevinjduncan

    • Hello Rosie,

      Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Not sure which quote you mean, though… Could you copy/paste it into a followup comment for me?

      Appreciate you stopping by and comment. Hope your week is off to a wonderful start.

      – @kevinjduncan

  19. Congrats on your dynamite post on Smart Blogger! It has to be the best you’ve ever
    written. Rock on, my friend.

    • Hi Diane,

      Thank you! Really appreciate you turning out to support me. I love it when I see familiar names commenting on guest posts I’ve written. 🙂

      The best I’ve ever written?? Wow. So does that mean this one is really good or all my other ones weren’t so good? 😉

      Hope you have a great day, Diane. Thanks again!

      – @kevinjduncan

  20. Hi Kevin. First, I already copy and pasted this blog into a Word document, in the very unlikely event it fades into obscrity and disappears. I will refer to it many times, for sure. I was only partially into your advice (talking about catch phrases), when I thought of one for myself: “I transform silk into cement.” Immediately I pulled out my artist statement and made it the first line. See, you’ve already made a positive impact! Thank you for this great article and welcome back.

    • Hi Nolan,

      Glad you enjoyed it, my friend. If memory serves, you’re the first person to comment who also commented on my “The Ultimate Guide to Writing Comments That Open Doors with Popular Bloggers” Smart Blogger post from 2 years ago. Really appreciate your support!

      The “catchiness” quality is one of my favorites. Glad it’s already made a positive impact for you! 🙂

      It’s good to BE back. Thanks for the support, Nolan!

      – @kevinjduncan

    • Hi Nolan,
      Transforming silk to cement was a unique enough catchphrase that I had to click your name to see just what the heck you were talking about! I’m so glad I did. You’re exactly right; anybody can paint a beautiful picture of a peacock. It takes a unique someone to paint beautiful paintings of cinder blocks.

      • Kriss! Thank you so much for taking the time to check out my artwork. I’m glad it resonated with you. It’s so challenging coming up with that perfect catchphrase that Kevin talks about. I’ve rewritten my artist statement a hundred times, trying to explain what I do, but I didn’t have that hook until today. And you’re proof that there’s something there. Thanks for letting me know. All the best, Nolan

  21. Kevin, Kevin, KEVIN!

    You never cease to do the exact…same…thing, every time.

    Completely predictable, as always.

    I guess being brilliant, timely and inspiring just seems to be your lot in life.

    If we weren’t such good friends, I’d probably hate you.

    …but I don’t.


    Enjoy your writing wayyyy too much. =)

    Hehe…and how can I not praise you after using a reference from the worlds greatest kid movie of all time?

    Everlasting Gobstopperpriceless.

    BTW, buddy, I am SO loving your Daily Dad Tips!

    HAH! Now THAT’S breaking the norm (and it feels like you’re breaking the 4th wall at the same time!)!!



    Chuck and Dax say ‘Hey’, and they think your article rocks.

    (nudge, nudge)

    Sorry, Kevin,…*ahem*…it “ROCKS!

    (Looks over shoulder and nods…. ‘Better?’)

    Funny that you mention laying yourself bare—and I’m not talking about Chucks streaking days at the geriatrics fair.

    It’s a difficult balance to achieve.

    Oh sure, one moment you’re thinking about sharing something to be more like Taylor Swift, but if you’re not careful you end up coming off like Cher…with a flow or restraining orders filed by your readers.

    Not…like that’s ever happened to me, of course.

    So personal, but not too personal…

    It’s the difference between my comic strips and actually taking parents on a trip through my life, which isn’t always a good idea. Gotta maintain that balance.

    …but I know you’re a master of that =)

    Awesome article, as always.

    Jaime Buckley
    Your BIGGEST Fan!

    • Hey Jaime (and Chuck and Dax),

      Thanks for the kind words, my friend! It took a long, long time to put this together, but I’m so glad people are enjoying it.

      Glad you’re enjoying my new project, Daily Dad Tips, too! Having a LOT of fun working on those emails each day. Who knows, maybe it’ll be my very own million dollar idea? 😉

      Appreciate the support, buddy. Hope you’re doing well.

      – @kevinjduncan

  22. Hi Kevin,

    First off, WOW! What an awesome step-by-step for unforgettableness!

    I’ve had a lot of success on my personal blog with Quality #4 Strips You Down and Lays You Bare. My posts that have had the most people reaching out to me: One where I started having muscle spasms and aphasia both in the middle, and decided to leave it as a “hey, this is my life” kind of thing. I was still terrified to leave it up. But it got some great responses in my Facebook messages.

    And one where I talk about how I’ve coped with low self-esteem, depression, cynicism, abuse, panic, triggers, and mental illness. I went from things my therapist told me to do, to my inability to reliably count to two, to volunteering on a peer support website, to actions I take today because 5-year-old me was an obsessive little twerp, to Jon’s 7 Lessons you linked above. I’ve had all freaking KINDS of positive response there.

    So now I just need to change my name to James, build it so they will come, find my own 1,000 true fans, and put chickens in everyone’s backyards. (Or I can be the crazy chick who blogs about sanity, with a blog post that shows you what aphasia feels like, building a freelance writing business site called Positivity Powerhouse, where I’m going to put other crazy folks in my shoes to show them that if I can find self-esteem, manage self-care, and achieve sanity, they can too.)

    Thanks for the inspiration!!

    • Hi Kriss,

      Thank you for the kind words and great email! If your blog writing is anything like your comment writing, no wonder you’re having so much success. 🙂

      Oh, and can I pass on the whole chickens in everyone’s backyard thing? My mom has chickens and they’re a LOT of work. 😉

      Glad you enjoyed the post, Kriss. Best of luck implementing the other qualities (since it you have #4 down pat already) going forward!

      – @kevinjduncan

  23. Hey Kevin,

    Indeed an Informative Post !

    But I personally make things simple for myself by picking a topic that I really love and then write when I feel fresh I write so that I can provide content that can, not only make readers read, but also force them to share it on various platforms.

    Although I do not succeed on all the occasions, but I feel this is easy for me as I work online in my part time.

    • Hello Jelina,

      I’m glad you found the post so informative. 🙂

      Picking a topic you love is huge. Writing is hard enough as it is. If you don’t enjoy the topic, you’ve made it even harder!

      Glad you’re getting to write about what you love. Thanks again, Jelina!

      – @kevinjduncan

  24. Thank You Kevin for your post and for the informations and tips you give.

    The most difficult for me is #4. I am not sure if it is a quality, although its might be powerfull and attract. But stories and examples are important, and that is with what I stay.

    Again, thank you,

    • Hi Dominique,

      You’re very welcome! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

      I think #4 is the most difficult one for many of us. It’s hard to open yourself up like that. But, for those who are willing to give it a try, the payoff can be huge. 🙂

      Thanks for reading, Dominique!

  25. Hey Kevin,

    I totally agree with your point. Most of the people don’t focus on the creating an evergreen content.

    Just after a few days, people forget about it. What do they really need to make it memorable?

    Well, the way you have crafted the aroma around telling the story and showing your readers about your content is the best anyone can do.

    People want to be shown. I always focus on the visual content because that’s the thing which makes your content appealing.

    Overwhelming your senses can be a tricky thing to many.

    Thanks for this amazing piece of the content.

    Have a great week ahead.

  26. It is a shame that most great content will be forgotten within a few days but I thought this post was really well written. I am new to blogging but I found this post to be inspirational and informative at the same time.


    Oh, one more thing Kevin. Do you really think it´s not to late to get into blogging and make an impact on others if you are strating late like I am?

  27. Excellent Kevin, excellent. A guide for diving in and feeling your way into creating memorable content.

    One of my talent especial’s – after years of writing of course – is to go the shock and awe route, by painting vivid pictures in my reader’s minds, combining a few of your tips above.

    Example; last night I had a battled a mammoth-sized, ferocious, aggressively Scolopendra centipede in the house, here in Thailand. Mean, muscular and 8 inches in length, he sprinted into the kitchen like Usain Bolt on crystal meth. The dude scampered to dark nooks and crannies in the crib, but I hunted him at each corner.

    Eventually, I bashed him with a steel spade….and of course he shrugged it off – armor-plated brute – and ran toward the door, where I Babe-Ruth-Batted him out of the door with a big old Thai broom.

    Of course I will turn this into a blog post. As I do with many of my wild travel experiences. But I do my best to vividly recount the experience, the picture, through words and feelings, imagining the scenario and repainting the situation with my words. This helps readers see and feel and BE the experience too, and goodness is it easy to teach blogging lessons when you use analogies of battling monstrously-sized venomous, flat out deadly centipedes in a sleepy Thai village besides a large, imposing jungle.

    Step readers into the experience. You will be remembered.

    I’d add and expound a bit; if you use multi media, you become memorable. One of my readers noted how she feels like she knows me really well through the videos I’ve created over the years. Adds a human element, sometimes more powerful than the written word. Ditto with my podcasts. People hear and see me being human and I instantly become more memorable than bloggers who trip over themselves to become memorable through words, fearing the self-conscious crud that arises when we appear on video or through audio for the first time online.

    Been there, felt that…..2000 videos ago 😉

    Thanks Kevin, fabulous resource here.


  28. Hi Kevin,

    Thanks for these great tips. I’ve just started a gaming blog (which is my passion) and I understand how important it is to create good quality content for any blog. I have taken so much out of this article. Thanks a lot.

    Thom Munroe

    • Hi Thom,

      You’re welcome! Really glad you enjoyed them. 🙂

      Congrats on launching your passion project! Best of luck, my friend. I hope these tips will help you.

      – @kevinjduncan

  29. Hey Kevin,

    I like the show then tell tip. You can use the 80/20 rule when it comes to this. 80% of time you’re describing, 20% of you tell. It’s almost like giving your readers a mystery to solve with their own senses . This can be very intriguing and not only keeps them on your blog but also make your blog posts memorable.

    Thanks for sharing the tips! Have a great weekend!

  30. I often tell new bloggers, especially in the travel niche, that story is so important. That’s the way you build connections and appeal to people’s emotions and identity. And what you say is true – there are many travel stories I’ve read from blogs many years ago, that I still remember today, and often I go seek them out just to read them again. Sometimes we get so caught up in SEO and tech stuff that we forget the human side of blogging!

  31. Hey Kevin
    That was a long read but it worth it. I love to read the blog posts that add up some value and this is that type of reading.
    Creating an evergreen content is bit hard and you need a different kind of thought process for that. After reading this post, I am going to push myself to write something really memorable. I know it would take a long time but eventually, it would happen some day.
    The last scene of Sixth Sense is breathtaking and it gets emotional also but in the end, it was a memorable scene.
    Thanks Kevin, for sharing wonderful words with us. Loved it. This is one of the memorable posts for me

  32. Hi Kevin,
    I really like this post and I am not sure if i will remember this post for next 5 years or not but the tips were really great for writing an OMG content….Next time when I write an article I will follow all these tips….thanks for sharing Kevin!!


  33. Content should feel fresh and avoid anything that may appear “old hat” next year. Remember that even dictionaries must be updated. Also, your content must make people feel something. They need to appreciate your help and sometimes even be entertained.

  34. Very nice article, Kevin. While it’s nice when people remember posts, there’s definitely a case to be made for writing articles that stay relevant upon being found. While I may not remember this post in five years, for those who do find it, the wisdom within will retain its helpfulness. I definitely believe that the goal of nearly every blog post should be to offer a purpose long after it’s been published. This whole idea of creating content that is immediately forgotten about is counterproductive. I remember a Hubspot study where they said 92% of blog generated leads originated from older posts. You can’t argue with those numbers. Thanks again for the nice insight. It will still resonate for those who read it five years from now.

  35. Hey Kevin,
    Thanks for this great post! And this is a sentence I like the most:
    “If you really want to write a post that resonates with people, you need to connect with them on a deep, personal level”
    I love this post with all my heart.
    Thanks again!

  36. Hello Kevin,
    I writing nothing but great contents is the only thing that can keep a blog longer in the game. Crappy contents no longer have a place on the blogosphere hence, the need to only focus on useful and quality contents.

    I love what you wrote you here on this subject. Like you rightly said, great content will always give a read an OMG moment, it will never leave him the way it met him. It’s the type of content that you’ll feel like flying after consuming it. You will feel as if you’ve gotten a wing and can fly.

    Indeed, nothing beats crafting this kind of content. Even though it’s not easy but, it’s worth all the efforts and time.

    Thanks for sharing.

  37. This is right that without effective content you can’t earn anything on the internet. Because content is a king it tell about our work to audience as well google

  38. Hi Kevin!
    Great article about the content. And i totally agree with that.
    While it really helped the purpose of my visit.
    Thanks once again for sharing the post.

  39. Hey Kevin, kudos man for writing down 3500 words on this subject… completely agree with all your points. To add to that, I think a person will remember a content which s/he either absolutely loved or hated completely.

  40. It is true that creating compelling content can make you be remembered for years to come and better still get free backlinks and authority. But it also needs the right kind of promotion.

  41. Hi Kevin.

    I truly need to state “This is one of the best composition articles I’ve ever perused”.

    So cheerful to get a great deal of data.

    A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing, Kevin.

  42. Hi Kevin,

    I liked the “break the norm” tip where the blogger needs to have originality in the ideas / perceptions that readers have never heard of before, a difficult task by the way … But that will surely amaze the reader, and consequently the posting will become highlight in the middle so much information.
    Thanks for all the tips! By the way, this is a post I will remember!
    Great job.

  43. Rocking tips Kevin. I feel a certain energy reading a genuine evergreen post; person writes it to have fun and inspire, versus filling a post schedule date. Massively different energy that makes posts memorable.

  44. Wonderful article Kevin. I love the fact that my content has to be memorable for it to be evergreen. But how can people who have not read it remember it. It must stay fresh and practical.

  45. Very helpful, thanks a lot! I really like the articles on this site, they are always well written and the website is clearly focused on content, which is great.

  46. Thanks Kevin for this amazing article.

    Yes, an evergreen content should prove its helpfulness for a prolonged period of time.

    I am wondering if surprising headlines are good for SEO.
    I feel they only suit for social media but not for search engines.
    Because very few people might Google for- Why James Chartrand Wears Women’s Underpants.

    So, it would be better to write surprising conclusions or summaries in the content than surprising headlines.

    Yes, many people will appreciate simpler techniques for accomplishing a task.

    I have read the story of Jon Morrow, it is very heart touching.

  47. Hi Kevin,

    Evergreen content should be relevant for the audience and according to the blog niche. It is important to boost user engagement and organic traffic. There is a difference between readers and bots. We are writing for the readers and it is important to feed their sentiment. As long as the content is relevant , it is evergreen content.


  48. Hi Kevin J,
    I am a Journalist from India. In our Jargon, we call evergreen stories soft stories here. Since I’m covering news-based stories, can you help me with how to filter through trending as well as the evergreen topic? What are the tools you would suggest me to use to find perfect keywords, considering I am from India?


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