As a child we are told practice makes perfect, however I’m starting to wonder if that is true. I have been writing this blog for almost 6 months and have published 82 posts so I would have expected my writing to have improved over this period, but looking at my blog statistics it doesn’t look to be the case, in fact it looks like I peaked three months ago!
I use Alex King’s popularity contest plugin to show how the popularity of my posts compare. It is currently showing the most popular post in the last 60 days (Something you may not know about me – I love reading) is only 25% as popular as the most popular page (How I successfully plan my day). I am not impressed with these figure and intend to review my writing to prevent my blog becoming a has-been before it is even a year old.
Am I missing pillar content?
I have been reading a lot about developing pillar content (flagship or cornerstone content depending on the source). I understand the wisdom in developing this type of content so I’ve been looking into it further so I can either write some posts, or discover I already have some.
What is pillar content?
There is not one definition of pillar content, as you can see from the following quotes from different bloggers, however there seems to be agreement that they offer something new to the reader, are timeless and bring in traffic through links from other blogs or search engines.
- they are longer posts
- usually above 750 words
- they offer a clear value to the reader
- their content is timeless
- their content is original and unique
- they outline the expertise of the writer around a specific topic
- they attract links from other bloggers
A pillar article is a tutorial style article aimed to teach your audience something. Generally they are longer than 500 words and have lots of very practical tips or advice. This article you are currently reading could be considered a pillar article since it is very practical and a good how-to lesson. This style of article has long term appeal, stays current (it isn’t news or time dependent) and offers real value and insight. The more pillars you have on your blog the better.
Any posts that were very popular, well-linked and still get a decent amount of traffic even after two months could also be considered an element of cornerstone (or flagship) content. The same could be said for any content that was Dugg or Reddited as well as any posts that have a continued comment discussion long after it has fallen off the front page.
Superblogging simply says
A pillar post is a post that is very long, instructional, and is usually a list (or at least that’s what I like to call it).
How does my content compare?
Comparing my most popular post, How I successfully plan my day, to these descriptions it appears that I do have pillar content:
- it is over 1000 words long
- although it isn’t directly a how-to, it does describe the form I created to plan my day incorporating ideas from both Getting things done and Do it tomorrow
- it is my most commented post
- despite publishing it 24th June 2007 it is still the second most popular post on my site in the last 30 days
I think this is the only post that meets the description of pillar content, although some of the other post in my organiser series may come close. So … if I want to revive the interest in my new posts I simply need to incorporate these features!
A couple of interesting sources for more information on pillar posts are:
Killer flagship content a free ebook when you subscribe to Chris G’s site