How do I stop my yard from washing away?

My house is in a wooded area on the side of a slight downhill slope, again wooded area. The majority of my yard is weeds and I'm trying to get some grass to stay year round. I realize it won't be green during our short winter here in North Carolina, but if there were at least some roots to hold the dirt in place, I feel the erosion wouldn't be so bad. I've only been in this house 5 years, but I see noticeable changes in the amount and number of tree roots protruding from the ground. Is there a particular grass I should look at planting? what about timing for planting that grass? should I be looking at adding a topsoil fill at the time of planting? I've been over seeding every year in the fall before it gets cold in hopes that seed would sprout in the spring, but either I'm using the wrong seed, planting at the wrong time, or the rain and wash carry the seed down the slope and into the woods. Any suggestions? TIA

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