Here at Intentionally Inspirational, we spend a lot of time talking about blog posts, how to get ideas for them and how to share them with potential customers. It’s a great way to keep content flowing and they are very important.
What’s even more important is what we call “pillar posts”.
So what is a pillar blog post?
A pillar post is what it sounds like. It’s a blog post that becomes a pillar of your blog. They help to hold your blog up (much like a pillar holds up a building). The purpose is to support your blog.
According to the marketing company Single Grain, “Pillar content is the type of information that your audience would search for in the various search engines. As it relates to business blogging, pillar content can be defined as a series of posts that represents your site’s best work. These are the posts you’ll refer new visitors to, as well as the ones that will continue to be useful to readers — long after they’re initially posted.”
Digital Marketer says, “Pillar posts are big, meaty posts. They’re useful, actionable, well-written, and engaging. Filled with relevant images and audio/video files to support the points you’re making in the text. As a result, pillar posts have something that 99% of other blog posts don’t have: longevity.”
The bottom line, a pillar blog post isn’t just something that you write and forget about. It’s something that has importance for many years moving forward.
What’s the benefit of a pillar blog post?
The top benefit of a pillar post is the aforementioned longevity. A pillar blog post is going to be something that will get referenced back to time and again. It’s something that will help bring potential clients to your website continuously. They are constantly updated with new information, so it is constantly providing readers with value. What’s more, that means it’s something you can promote on social media frequently. It’s always offering value to potential clients.
Because a pillar blog post is meatier than your average post — meaning it has thousands of words instead of hundreds — that pillar post is hopefully going to start popping up at the top of internet searches. The information, backlinks, links to other sites and clicks on that article are going to make search engines like Google take notice. Pillar posts are great ways to drive traffic to your website and to help build that traffic once it’s there.
Once a person has arrived at your site, a pillar blog post will also cause that person to take a look around and see what other insight you have to offer. That visitor may click on a few more articles, or check out your “About Us” page. It’s going to give the visitor a better idea about your company and what your company can offer its clients. This, after all, is the whole point of a blog.
Picking a pillar post topic
In an ideal world, every single post you make is going to be a pillar post. However, in reality, some posts are going to be better than others.
You need to try and put the same energy and thought into each and every post that you make. If it seems overwhelming, bear down on the ones that you think are really going to be important to a large group of your readers and then go from there.
Don’t know where to start? Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What’s the most important thing a customer wants to learn? What’s his biggest question? Her biggest fear? Now, is there a way you can make a blog post out of that?
If you hate to write, here are a few ideas that might help you get rolling, the FAQs tip is especially helpful when it comes to pillar posts.
Creating a pillar post
Content is really going to be up to you, but there are some things that you can consider when creating your pillar post.
The headline for one thing. You want something that’s going to draw the reader in, make her click on your Facebook ad or the link that pops up in a Google search. Consider something like this: “The one thing that will keep your family safe when you buy a new car.” “One thing you need to know before you buy a new car.” “Best new car on the market according to a new consumer report.” “Why this car is the preferred vehicle of the Queen of England.” Every single headline leads you to the same story they just have different appeals.
Once the reader is there, deliver. Give him the most in-depth, informative content possible and if you promised to tell him why the Queen of England drives this one specific car, you better deliver the answer. A pillar blog post is all about building trust with your reader. If she feels lied to, she’ll never trust you again.
Make sure your content has links to other websites and links to old blog posts on your website. You want to offer information and then back it up. As depressing as this sounds, think of your pillar post like a college term paper, just with much better writing. Your pillar post needs information and lots of it.
Don’t forget the subheadlines
You want to make use of subheadlines. First off, they break up text, which can be invaluable when someone is staring at a computer screen or their mobile phone while they read your post. Breaking up the text can make a long post seem like a manageable read.
Second off, Google is attracted to subheadlines. They’re mini-headlines that offer more information and possibly answer the search query a user typed into Google. The title of this blog post doesn’t cover everything this blog post entails, but those subheadlines do. “What’s the benefit of a pillar blog post?” is something that someone might actually type into a Google search. Since I use those exact words in my post, this post is more likely to pop up on the first page of a Google search.
Take all of these things into consideration as you craft your pillar post. Since it’s a long list, you’re sure to hit that 1,000-plus word mark pretty quickly.
After you’ve written your pillar post, post it and wait to see what happens.
I can tell you right now, you probably won’t win with the first pillar post you put into your blog. Your sixth one may not strike a nerve either. That’s okay. If you keep writing and posting, you’re eventually going to get there.
Take that hit and build on it.
Then go back and look at some of your older posts. How can you make them better? What can you add to make them into pillar posts? How can you add to them to make them better pillar posts? Can I make the post more useful?
How many pillar blog posts do I need?
I know you’re wondering, does it ever end, and the short answer is no. Consider a house. One support beam is good. Two is better. Three is even better. The more pillar posts you have, the stronger your blog is going to be.
A pillar post is not going to capture the attention of all of the readers all of the time. It will capture the attention of some of the readers some of the time. The goal is to create enough pillar posts that you have all your bases covered.
Driving traffic to your pillar posts
While it’s easy to think that your pillar posts will just magically find readers, there’s more to it than that. Don’t forget that SEO is essential to any blog post. Click here for five easy ways to increase your SEO. In this day and age, you also want to keep an eye on mobile. This article here will help make sure your mobile SEO is working just as hard.
Remember, pillar posts are like a living, breathing thing. You cannot just leave them and forget them. They have to be taken care of. Nurture them and grow them in order for them to continue to have value on your site for years to come.
Written by Erika Towne