The basics to this answer are pretty simple: it’s the backbone of your blog content.
It’s an overview of the value that you can provide your target audience in a timeless way.
When you create Pillar Content, you’ll be providing your blog with timeless content that will generate as much traffic today as it will 24 months into the future!
If you don’t have it, then you need to create it right now.
Here’s how you’re going to do it.
Step #1: Know What Your Target Audience Wants
This is where your ability to know what your readers find to be valuable is going to pay off for you on an ongoing basis.
The content that you develop needs to be specifically geared toward the niche demographic that your targeted audience wants to read.
In order to figure out what the perspective of your demographic happens to be, you’re going to need to ask yourself a few questions before crafting your spinal resource.
- What is the average age of the demographic being targeted?
- What cultural concerns need to be addressed in the creation of this content?
- What is the educational level of the targeted demographic?
- How much does the targeted demographic typically earn during the course of a year?
When you ask yourself these four questions, you’re able to put yourself into the average shoes of the average person in this demographic.
This is the best way to craft the Pillar Content because you’re taking away your own perspective and substituting the perspective of the average person in your target demographic.
What they find valuable becomes your content and that’s how you give your blog a rigid spine.
Step #2: Solve a Problem
There is only one way to define value in today’s world: you must be able to solve a problem for someone in a cheaper way then any one individual can solve a problem on their own.
This is where most efforts at Pillar Content fail.
Instead of solving a problem for the target demographic, one of three things tends to happen [if not all three in the same blog post].
- The content doesn’t solve a problem at all.
- The content is not authentic.
- The content is designed to stroke the writer’s ego.
As a writer, you’ve got to write about experiences that you know about personally in order to be authentic.
It’s your experiences and knowledge that will help to solve a problem and the best way to create Pillar content is to tell a story about how you were able to overcome the specific issue being talked about.
Outline the steps you took to solve the problem in this story and then craft a meaningful solution that anyone in the targeted demographic can utilize to solve the same problem in their own life.
It’s easy to turn a story about personal success into a boastful post about how awesome you are!
Keep the attitude of the content geared toward helping others instead of humbly bragging about your awesomeness and you’ll eliminate the ego from the situation.
Step #3: Be Unique
Back in my college days, I had a dream of being a screenwriter.
I even took writing courses that required me to write a script to be submitted to film professionals in order for me to pass the class.
I created two scripts that semester from ideas that had been brewing in my head since I was a kid.
The first was a story about how the germs and bugs of the human body had human characteristics and a police office bug was tasked to solve germ warfare mysteries.
The second story was about having a remote control that could help you fast forward through life events that you didn’t like and the consequences of that choice.
For those savvy readers, both of those ideas became movies because others had the script development in place first: Osmosis Jones and Click.
The point is this: it doesn’t matter how great you believe your idea happens to be.
It doesn’t even matter that you’ve been thinking of an idea for decades.
That’s because there’s likely someone out there right now that is creating the exact same idea while you’re still in the planning stages.
With a little research into the blog content that already exists for your target demographic, you can set yourself apart in the bloggersphere by creating truly unique content that people will want to read and share.
Step #4: Be Perfect
It’s common sense, but it’s still got to be said because there is so much poor content on the internet today: be perfect with your spelling and your grammar.
Even the best writers in the world today need at least one set of eyes reading their work to make sure an unintentional error doesn’t slip through.
If you don’t have a copy editor, then get one.
If you’re good at editing content, then create your content today and then proofread the content tomorrow with a fresh perspective.
Doing so will eliminate many of the common errors that can creep up into writing.
The reason why a blog doesn’t succeed is because blog owners attempt to take shortcuts with their content in order to save time.
Maybe you’ve seen some of the content spinning programs that are on the market today.
These programs create unique versions of content by substituting different adjectives and phrases that mean the same thing, but are said differently.
Or maybe you’ve tried to use Google Translate to put your content into a different language.
Neither option works for the creation of Pillar Content.
The structure of your content is also important:
- Don’t make it too long. 1500 words is about the maximum for most blog posts because attention spans are short for most target demographics. Although pillar posts are usually above 1500 words.
- Create a blueprint. Demonstrate how the structure you’ve created is able to effectively work.
- Make it actionable. Show people what they must do to experience value.
No matter what your target demographic happens to be, they’re not stupid.
If you treat your readers as if they are unintelligent, which is what occurs when content is generated through spintax or automatic translations, then you’re not providing anything of value.
Offer no value and your blog will die a horrible, lonely death.
Step #5: Share and Update Regularly
Your Pillar Content has been created so that it can be seen.
If you’re not promoting the content, then it’s never going to be shared much because you’re relying on the ability of others to discover your content, want to share it, and then decide that they will share it.
Simply putting a social media bar on your blog isn’t good enough.
You must be proactive with your efforts to share your content.
Add it to your own StumbleUpon page.
Get it posted onto Reddit.
Tag people you know on Facebook or Twitter who might be willing to share your article.
Be active at least 10 minutes every day in the online promotional work of your content and you’ll give yourself over 4 hours of promotional marketing of your Pillar Content every month!
You can’t just stop at sharing links.
You’ve also got to put your Pillar Content into places that will encourage people to click on the link in your blog to see the content.
This can be done in a number of ways, but the best method is within new content you create.
If you’re adding a blog post that relates to your Pillar Content, then put in a link to it within your post.
Add the content to your sidebar if you must.
You’ve carried out the research to create the valuable content. Don’t stop the work now!
That’s just the first part of this final step.
You’ve also got to revisit your Pillar Content from time to time in order to ensure that it is still valuable.
There are certain fields that change their dynamics fluidly and what is cutting edge today will be considered a distant memory just 6 months from now!
There’s nothing wrong with updating content in a Pillar Post.
The search engines will register the refreshed content, analyze it for value, and give you a rankings boost if it really does show value to your target demographic.
Should you get in there every day to review the content? No.
The best practice is to review all of your Pillar Content about once per month for value.
If it is still good, then leave it alone.
If something needs to be tweaked, then tweak it.
Whether you use the Pillar Content as a static article for your blog, as a PDF download for others as bait to get email addresses, or even as a webinar to help build skills, creating valuable content will boost your traffic.
What is Pillar Content?
It is a valuable resource in your portfolio that can lead to higher levels of success.
Image courtesy of Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net (cursor clicking Share Button)
Incoming search terms:
- how to create a marketing content pillar
- what is a content pillar?