When I think of “pillars”, my mind immediately conjures up huge, ornate Corinthian Roman columns. They’re strong, they’re resilient, and they hold up something special and beautiful.
Just like “content pillars”.
Ok, it’s a silly term. But it’s an important piece of the content marketing puzzle. So what are content pillars — and does your blog need them?
Content pillars are similar to those Roman columns: they’re the strong pieces of content that hold up your blog or online publication. They’re ebooks, in-depth articles or deeper resources that help you build authority in one topic, because you can showcase all of your topic knowledge in a really meaningful way that helps your audience.
In the past few years, content pillars have been celebrated because they allow you to create one large piece of content, and then break that large resource into smaller posts. This helps you make the most of your content investment.
But now, bloggers and content marketers are using content pillars to go from “many to one”, rather than “one to many.”
Because so many brands and bloggers have focused on creating shorter posts about really specific topics, many content marketers are now looking at consolidating those short posts into larger pillar posts — and even deleting the shorter posts so that their new content pillar is the main resource for that topic on their website.
In a recent Smart Passive Income podcast (which we also put on your to-do list last week), Todd Tressider of FinancialMentor.com discussed how he recently revamped his website by consolidating or deleting one-third of his content. This included taking smaller posts about one topic and melding them together to create super powerful content pillars. In these instances, he removed the shorter posts and redirected their URLs to the new content pillar.
The result? He tripled his traffic.
Now, why did this work? Because, Google. As always, Google is evolving. The search giant is still on the hunt to find true topic authorities, and it is taking the idea of “quality over quantity” very seriously. This means, content pillars are worth way more than those shorter one-off posts.
So how can you strengthen your site by creating content pillars?
- Do a content audit, and organize your small (but quality) posts by topic.
- Brainstorm ways to merge these smaller pieces into one robust resource. Perhaps this is the “Ultimate Guide to [Topic]” and really helps your audience learn all there is to know about the subject.
- Promote this new piece, and redirect the URLs of the older pieces to the new URL.
Tressider gives great in-depth advice on how to tackle all three of those steps in the podcast, so if you’re interested in the topic it’s definitely worth a listen.
Tell us: how are you planning to update your content strategy this year? Will content pillars play a role in your content marketing?
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