In a previous article, I talked a bit about a new concept that’s gaining steam as a tool for companies to draw people to their websites and provide an impressive and meaningful set of resources: the pillar page.
In that post, I explained what pillar pages, topic clusters, and subtopics are under this new search engine optimization (SEO) system.
However, one of the most important things in developing a pillar page is actually writing the content for it—a task that I mentioned was similar to writing the content for an ebook in a lot of ways.
With this in mind, I thought I’d share with you a few tips for getting started on your own pillar page content:
The Fast & Easy Way to Establish a Pillar Page
One quick-and-dirty method for getting a pillar page up on your site ASAP is to take one or more of your top-performing ebooks and copy/paste the content into your pillar page (with a bit of extra work to reformat it to fit your pillar page’s layout, of course).
Using this method, you can get a pretty effective pillar page up and running with very little time and effort compared to writing it from scratch.
Remember, there’s nothing preventing you from fleshing out the content of the pillar at a later date. If there’s a gap in the page’s content you need to fill, you can always do that, too. Just be careful to think about how the additions you make will affect a user’s ability to navigate the page.
Once you’re done copy/pasting the ebook’s content to the pillar page, you might think that ebook is now useless. After all, its information is already on the pillar page now, right?
Well, before you go deleting that ebook and all of the hard work you put into it, consider using it as a “downloadable” version of the pillar page that people can print out if they want. Just slap a “download this page” button on the page with a simple form for your website visitors to fill out, and you’re off to the races!
Naturally, if you do end up adding new content or updated statistics to the pillar page after it’s published, you’ll want to make sure that you update the content of the ebook as well—you don’t want your website visitors who opted for the downloadable version of the page to feel like they’ve been gypped.
Making a Pillar Page the “Hard” Way
Ok, let’s say you don’t have a nice, big ebook that would make for a very detailed pillar page. Or, you just don’t want to take the easy way out and copy/paste your best ebook.
You want to pour your blood, sweat, and tears into an entirely new and unique piece of content because you know that will provide your website visitors with the best possible value.
I like that.
So, how can you go about creating a new pillar page from scratch? Here are a few tips for you to follow:
Create an Outline
No, seriously, write an outline—it is NOT a waste of time. Having an outline helps you organize your thoughts before you get started so you can focus on what’s important and avoid rambling.
In your outline, be sure to include a list of resources you want to link to in the pillar page—these could be some of your blogs on specific topics to be mentioned in the pillar page, ebooks related to the pillar page’s content, or even external articles featuring facts and figures to back up your assertions.
Share the Outline With Your Staff/Team/Subject Matter Experts
Once you have at least a barebones outline of what you want to put on the pillar page, send copies of it out to other people in your organization—especially anyone you have who is considered a “subject matter expert” (SME) in the field.
You could email it out to everyone, or create a shared Google Doc that anyone can edit. Odds are, if there are any important bits of info you missed, somebody else will be able to spot that and make a correction/addition.
Write the Pillar Page According to Your Outline
Once you have your outline finalized and approved by your best SMEs, it’s time to put your nose to the proverbial grindstone and get to writing. You’ll want to block off a good chunk of time for this activity—if a blog takes about three hours to write, you may want to block off a full eight hours (possibly more) for your pillar page.
In a post about how to write better content, my fellow Bluleadz copywriter Jeff Previte outlines some time management techniques and other strategies that can help you write better content—tips that can easily be adapted for writing your pillar page!
Ask Others to Review and Edit Your Pillar Page
Once you’ve completed the pillar page’s content, shop it around once more to have others check for grammar, spelling, and factual errors that you might have made.
Even the best writers make the occasional mistake, and editing software won’t catch them all. Get an expert writer/editor to give your pillar page content a once-over, as well as an SME. Odds are, they’ll be able to catch the majority of errors that you might have missed in your own work.
Get Your Designers to Help You Format the Page
No matter how informative it is, very few people will want to trudge through a giant, unending block of text to find the one bit of info they need. So, when writing the page content, be sure to consider how the page looks and is designed.
Additionally, have a graphic design expert look over the page and help you segment it and add <a href> tags and a “table of contents” to make navigating the vast amount of content on the page easier. Just a little help from a designer can do a lot to improve the overall quality of your pillar page’s user experience—helping the page produce better results in the long run.
Turn That Pillar Page Into an Ebook
If you don’t copy an existing ebook to make it into a pillar page, consider turning the new pillar page into an ebook instead. Then, once the pillar page is published, you’ll have a “downloadable” version of the content for your readers to enjoy (and to submit their info to get it, turning them into leads for your company).
The above tips should prove helpful in creating a thorough and effective pillar page for your website.
Have any tips and tricks for writing pillar pages that aren’t included here? Share your favorite tactics for writing pillar page content in the comments section below.