From (content) pillar to (blog) post

Reading time: About 4 minutes

I know, I know.

It’s been a while.

Since the last newsletter, my family moved across the world and are trying to find our groove in our new home Down Under.

I don’t have a clever or funny story for you this week, just some musings on emigration.

Things can feel unstable when you don’t have your usual pillars of support in place and you realise how crucial they were in keeping shit together.

Like school.

Waiting lists are months long here, so I have a bored six-year-old stuck at home for who knows how long.

Like family.

Because my mom and sister aren’t just down the road when I need to ditch the kid and catch some alone time.

Like a home.

We’re staying in an Airbnb until the end of the month. The rental market here is CUT-THROAT and we’re battling to find a place to call our own.

Like routine.

Oh, man. This is a biggie. The hum-drum of daily life might seem dull in the moment, but you miss its comfort when it’s gone.

I know things will get easier with time.

I just need to focus on building new foundations and find other pillars to rest my sanity on.

But enough of that soppy shit.

Time for this week’s topic: The importance of content pillars to support your content strategy.

What are content pillars?

Sometimes referred to as content buckets or topic clusters, content pillars are broad topic areas that you want to be known for in the market. 

Say you own a bookstore. In that case, your content pillars might be:

    • New releases
    • Comfy reading spots
    • Author spotlights
    • Book club

The pillars broadly define the topics that you’ll cover in your content and create the foundation for your overall content strategy.

Why are content pillars important?

In a word, content pillars keep you sane.

They remove the guesswork from content creation. They give your content direction and keep you focused on your core marketing objectives and business goals.

Content pillars enable you to be more deliberate about the content you create and curate. They assist you in creating content that has a purpose; content that is strategic, consistent, and of high quality.

The best thing about content pillars is that they help you build a bank of content that you can refer to when you’re at a loss for words.

How to define your content pillars

Defining your content pillars will help you keep your content strategy on track and better organise your keywords, brand messaging, content ideas, and areas of expertise.
 
Here’s how to do it:

1. Understand your target audience.

Knowing your muse’s pain points and needs helps you to create a better user experience. It allows you to anticipate their follow-up questions so you can provide the right content at the right moment in the user journey. 

2. Define how you make your audience’s lives better.

How does your expertise, products, or services solve their needs? What’s in it for them if they choose you? 

3. Answer these questions:

    • What topics do you talk about often?
    • What do you want to be known for?
    • What keywords do you want to rank for in search engines?

4. Choose 3-6 broad topic pillars.

These will form the foundation of your content strategy. They should align with and support your marketing efforts and business goals.
 
P.S. If you did the content audit from last time, you might have noticed common themes and topics that could become your pillars

5. Brainstorm subtopics for each pillar.

Break down the broad topics into narrower, more focused topics. 
 
The bookstore example could look like this:

You’ll soon start to build up a valuable content bank that takes the guesswork out of content creation and speeds up the entire process.
 
Your content bank is a living document. Update it every month with new and related ideas. Eventually, it will become a 101 Guide to your area of expertise, allowing you to address every aspect of a topic and introduce your readers to related topics.

Why a content pillar strategy is good for SEO

But wait, there’s more!
 
content pillar strategy is also great for search engine optimisation (SEO).
 
Content pillars help you to build authority on a topic. And authority means a higher ranking on Google.
 
So, not only are you creating a better user experience for your audience, but you’ll also focus your keyword strategy and maximise your marketing efforts. Winning!
 
Next time, I’ll share some cool tips for topic research, so you can build out your content bank and never run out of ideas ever again.

Clever Human

If your eyeballs twitched when I used singular “they” to refer to your muse under ‘How to define your content pillar’, please read this thought-provoking piece by my friend and colleague, Tiffany Markman.

The pronoun debate hurts my brain. They/them is perfectly fine to refer to a singular person.

Ok? Thanks, bye.

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