The writing in most web sites is been geared towards selling something, and usually towards selling one thing – or one topic. Posts and pages don’t have to be monetized or have affiliate links to make money for a web, or to draw traffic for that matter. You can actually control (quite well) what draws the most traffic from your web site – if you organize and plan for it.
What Are Pillar Articles?
Your web site’s pillar articles are what holds it up. Think of it like the old huge marble columns that hold up the Roman Coliseum. Without the “pillars” the whole thing would just fall down. There are many other names for it online, such as evergreen content. In a web site, the “pillar” articles are the most important ones. The ones that get the most traffic, the ones that are indexed for the best search terms, the ones that are the most popular.
I find that most web sites get their pillar articles by accident. In a a 30 page web site, maybe 3 draw traffic. If they have a 60 page site maybe 6 draw the traffic. This is what I call the “10 percent rule”, meaning that nearly every web site gets 100% of it’s traffic from 10% or less of it’s pages. Pretty pitiful isn’t it? The last thing you want to be stuck with is a web site where only a handful of pages get all the traffic – especially if those pages got to be your “top pages” by accident.
This is where the planning comes into place. Everything we’ve done so far should make a little more sense as well. I told you since we started finding ways to create posts with WP Robot and datafeedr that you should plan on posting a minimum of 5 posts per week. That’s 20 per month, and 100 in 5 months. 100 posts is usually the tipping point where you start to get traffic and regular visitors. You start to get stumbles, diggs, social bookmarks, and more without even trying (if you write original quality content). You could wait for all that to happen, and get varying degrees of success. Kind of like in the “real estate with no money down” commercial where they say “results are not typical”, lol.
If you create a plan, work your plan, and built out the content in your site the results WILL be typical – every time.
Now you need to put your thinking cap on and be a little bit creative. You need to design a pillar article and has some major linkbait. This can be a post, or a page. Posts are suited to things that are timely, pages are more long term. “Linkbait” is nothing more than a ‘catchy title that makes people want to click’. It can turn a post or page (please excuse the use of ‘buzz’ words) “viral”, or into a “meme”.
If my topic were “best gifts” – here are some examples of linkbait titles that could be turned into “pillar articles”:
- Top 10 Gifts I got back in the 80’s As a Kid
- Gifts that Drive Parents Nuts
- Re-Gifting: How to Give Away Crap You Never Wanted
- How to give a Wedding Gift that’s NOT a toaster
- Girlfriend Gifts You can be Proud of
- The Best List of Personalized Gifts
- The Best Gadget Gifts of 2010
- How to Give a Gift to Someone Rich Who has It All
Borrow ideas from other web sites and expound on them. Google high ranking search phrases and make even better posts and pages than the ones ranked. I often write posts and pages around terms I “want” to come up for.
So, if you did the brainstorming – and you came up with an awesome linkbait title, and then wrote some killer content – what happened? Maybe a few people who subscribe to your feed read it, and a few people that visited your homepage did.
Here’s how to turn that post or page into a pillar article.
Do the work.
What I didn’t tell you was ANY page can be a pillar page, but the better ones are ones you plan out in advance to draw traffic like a funnel – and send them over to other areas of your site.
This is how you turn a post or page into Pillar content:
- add it to your navigation
- link to it from other posts and pages
- link to it on twitter
- link to it on Facebook
- send it to your ping.fm account
- Write reviews of it on your free blog sites and link back to it
- Write a HubPage or Squidoo lens about it and link to it
- Write a dozen articles, submit them to article directories, and link back to it in the resource box
- digg it, stumble it, del.icio.us bookmark it, and ask others to do the same
- pretend to be a visitor and add a few initial comments
- post in forums asking people to review it
- make a video talking about it and link back to the page, submit to video sites
How Often to Write Pillar Content?
That’s completely up to you, but you sure don’t want to do this every day. If you did you’d never get anything else done. If you’re already writing a blog post per day and building links most days – you need to plan this out and get organized. I would plan one every 10 days. Then write out the plan.
Day #1, get the ideas and do research.
Day #2, write the article.
Day #3, light social media.
Day #4, write posts linking back on free blogs you already have up.
Day #5, do article marketing against it.
Day #6, post in forums linking to it, ask for reviews, add to sig, ext
Day #7, make a video and submit, link back to it
Day #8, do blog commenting against it
Day #9, add links throughout your blog back to it
Day #10, do the social media one last time, twitter, digg, stumble, etc.
Which pages in your web site or blog draw the most traffic is completely up to you. The ones that become authority pages and “pillar content” are the ones that you create and work a plan for.