If you are investing in content marketing or blog writers for your company blog, you've probably heard terms like “cornerstone content" and "pillar posts" thrown at you. These terms are often mentioned in reference to which type of content is most valuable. But what do all of these terms actually mean? How are these kinds of posts different from regular blog posts?
Experienced copywriters know that it's important to understand what makes each type of blog post valuable.
The differences can be subtle, so it's good to build an understanding of the different types of blog posts before you start using a blog for brand marketing. What is cornerstone content, exactly? Do you need it for your company blog?
If you want to upkeep a compelling blog that will help you drive sales, it’s smart to educate yourself on the different types of blog posts and how they work. After all, not all blog posts are created equal, and some are more valuable than others.
In the simplest terms, cornerstone content is the most important, most informative, and highest-quality collection of articles that you feature on your blog. These cornerstone articles are long-form articles, and should cover the most important topics in lots of detail.
Cornerstone content should also be easily accessible from your homepage, and linked to a lot in other regular blog posts.
Cornerstone articles should also combine insight from other articles on your blog. They are the "parent articles" that other, less detailed articles on your blog, link back to.
If you have multiple blog posts on the topic of eCommerce, for example, you'll want those blog posts to contain internal links to the primary cornerstone article on that topic. The 'parent article' or the primary cornerstone article, will have much more detail and information than the regular blog posts on a given topic. That's why regular blog posts on that topic always link back to the 'parent article' or cornerstone article.
This is how cornerstone content helps shape an effective SEO strategy. Good copywriters know that search engines prioritize articles at the top position in an internal link structure. This is a complex strategy, but professional copywriters can help.
In the blogging world, pillar posts and cornerstone content terms that are often used interchangeably. Think of pillar posts as an umbrella term, which may encompass your cornerstone articles.
Pillar posts are comprehensive guides for a common topic that your specific audience searches for a lot. These comprehensive guides (pillar posts) are typically the longer and more detailed posts on your blog. They provide in-depth and thorough information about a topic and seek to anticipate and answer the questions your readers may have.
Like cornerstone articles, they should be easily accessible from the homepage of your blog.
Pillar posts make your blog more navigable to prospective clients. They provide a comprehensive rundown of the subjects your company prioritizes, that can be referenced by clients at any point. They're also the backbone of your SEO strategy, and therefore a big part of brand marketing.
Pillar posts often link to cluster articles — which are articles that offshoot from your pillar posts to provide more detail on a topic. This is necessary so that your pillar post topic can stay focused instead of deviating to explain a sub-topic. Short cluster articles are regular blog posts that elaborate on those sub-topics so that your pillar post can stay focused.Any given pillar post will serve as the center in what's called a "spider web content strategy."
In this strategy, other articles throughout your blog will contain internal links that lead to your pillar posts.
When you write about multiple topics on your blog, organize which of the articles regarding a given topic you want search engines to prioritize — by giving each one a parent pillar post.
Much like your cornerstone content, pillar posts will help you successfully engage your readers, and improve your overall SEO. Search engines like Google love informative, lengthy, and high-quality pillar posts.
Regular blog posts are the shorter articles you publish regularly for your readership. They're also the articles that link back to your pillar posts and cornerstone content.
These are articles which take a lower position in the internal link structure of your blog, but serve to keep your readers' general interest and answer questions.
Good copywriters ensure that these articles circle back to your company's overall mission.
Effectively using a blog for brand marketing requires that you understand the different types of blog posts. Here’s our breakdown:
Cornerstone Content — foundational articles that serve as a starting/reference point for your readers.
Pillar Posts — ‘parent’ posts which serve as a comprehensive guide for common topics on your blog.
Regular Blog Posts — regularly published articles that are shorter, and make up the lower position in your internal link structure.
Now that you have a better understanding of these different types, you'll be on your way to crafting a more effective company blog.
But we get it -- you don't always have the time to write out those long pieces of cornerstone content. Luckily, you don't have to. Professional writers like me know how to create a high-quality piece of long-form content that can serve as cornerstone content on your blog, and keep the search engines happy.
Hiring a professional copywriter to help you put together compelling cornerstone content will save you time and energy. Hire a professional copywriter today.
Erica Gordon is a lead strategist for Copywriters.com, an SEO content writer, blog writer and a copywriter. Erica has over a decade of experience writing for top tier publications such as Huffington Post, POPSUGAR, Elite Daily and Thought Catalog. You can follow Erica on Instagram @ericaleighgordon to say hi and see her full portfolio.Hire Erica