It's Tuesday morning, and that means it's time for another edition of This Week in Blogging, hot off the press.
Since our last edition, we had a subscriber reach out (team@thisweekinblogging) to ask if we wouldn't mind talking a bit about content pillars in this edition. Admittedly, that's something we haven't really double clicked on since we got this whole thing rolling, so why not?
We're here to help subscribers, after all.
Content Pillars 101
We're going to keep this pretty high level, and try to write in plain language, because there's nothing worse than a newsletter that aims to help, and ends up firmly in the realm of confusion.
It's pretty straightforward a - acontent pillar is typically a high-level guide to a particular topic, which links to even more in-depth content that you've got elsewhere on your site.
So, for example, the World Cup is coming up. If we wanted to create a content pillar around that, we'd have our content pillar on the World Cup, and then we'd have sections on "The History of the World Cup," "Fun Facts About the World Cup," "What You Need to Know About the World Cup for 2022" etc. and all these smaller, introductory sections would be linked to full articles on those topics on our site.
A content pillar, in the end, is kind of like a very, very in-depth table of contents.
We use content pillars for a few reasons:
It often increases engagement and click throughs on your site since readers can easily find related content from the content hub.
Content pillars, since they're carefully organized and are a topical hub, tend to rank well and be indexed by Google.
Creators know that people love to link to and share content pillars. Brian Dean from Backlinko has been leaning into this strategy for ages. Look at his content pillar on Video Marketing and how many other things it links to. It serves as a hub which, once popular, fuels other content, affiliate links, and more. A content pillar, done right, is kind of like a beating heart that effectively feeds the rest of the website.
Content pillars, generally speaking, tend to have a higher time on page for the average visitor. Even if they click to another piece of content, they're often opening that in a new tab.
In the email that we got from that aforementioned subscriber (and thanks for reaching out, by the way), they wanted to know a bit about the process. So we'll give a little overview of how we think about it.
You're going to want to start with Keyword research (we like Keysearch, personally), mostly just to make sure that people are actually searching for a topic as much as you think they are. You want to strike a good balance here between broad and narrow. It would be hard for us to make a content hub around "blogging," for example, but we could likely make a fairly decent content hub around "Blogging for Beginners." See what we mean?
Then, make a list of potential topics you'll cover in your content pillar. Start with your own brainstorm, then you can do a little Googling to see what others have covered around that topic, and even look at outlines of paid courses to see how they've laid things out. In our example for "Blogging for Beginners," we'd probably want to have subheadings for "Getting Started with Wordpress," "Choosing Your Site Host," "Doing Keyword Research for Your Site," "The Best Plugins for Wordpress" etc. Each of those headings, as we mentioned, would link to their own article.
Then, launch your content pillar. Many successful content pillars use custom images and graphics rather well, so consider playing around with Canva a touch to create custom images for each section (which could link to your more in-depth article, conceivably). As you might imagine, part of launching the content pillar is having the cluster pages which support the content pillar. You can launch your content pillar first, if you like, then diligently build out the cluster pages while you give Google time to index your content pillar. All that to say, it doesn't have to be a magic show where you launch everything at the same moment.
After that, use your newsletter and your social channels to let folks now it's live. Posit yourself as the expert on the topic, because you likely are after you put in all that work.
We really hope that was a helpful overview for you all. If you've got any questions or comments, just hit reply.
That's it for the week! Check your inbox next week for another update from This Week in Blogging.
As always, if you have any questions, comments, or feedback, feel free to reply directly to this email. Jeremy is spending his jet lag recovery time editing the 10,000+ photos and videos he took in Tanzania, so send him a really hard SEO question to help snap him out of his brain fog!
-Chris and Jeremy
PS: Our Buy Me a Coffee ☕ is always available if you'd like to chip in too!
Disclosures: Links inside this newsletter may be affiliate in nature. Any sponsored content beyond this will be clearly noted in their respective section(s). All opinions are solely by their respective authors. More information can be found in our Terms and Conditions.
This Week in Blogging PO Box 100106, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania 15233 United States
You are receiving this email as you joined our newsletter via our site or social channels. You may unsubscribe at any time.