One of the first things I teach my blog coaching clients is to make sure they are creating cornerstone blog posts. When I mention it, the question that always comes up is – “What is a cornerstone blog post, and why do I need it on my blog?”
Learning to blog well and successfully is a tough thing – I get it! Learning to write a great blog post isn’t easy. And here I am asking them to write something called a “cornerstone blog post”.
They are key content that first and foremost, wows your readers, turning them into followers and potential newsletter list subscribers.
We’ll explore this, and all key reasons why bloggers should create at least ONE cornerstone blog post. And how to do it!
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What Is A Cornerstone Blog Post?
When you start a blog, your main goal is to get writing and populating your site with blog posts that will bring you traffic.
You may also focus on creating a great user experience, by making your site fast by investing in tools such as my favourite caching plugin, WP Rocket. Or you’re making pretty visuals and Pinterest pin images.
You’re investing in tools and resources to grow your blog. That’s fine!
But did you know that one thing you should invest in is creating AMAZING content?
Let’s first tackle answering the question of what is a cornerstone blog post or a pillar blog post.
A cornerstone blog post is the best content you’ve got! Cornerstone content is your best blog posts or pages that you want to rank on Google and other search engines.
It’s content that people are so excited about they are willing to share it on their social media or Pinterest. They love it so much that they will link to it.
They’ll willingly sign up for your free lead magnet because that post has answered their burning question, and they want to find out more.
Yeah, it should be EPIC.
It’s so important to keep in mind the act of creating cornerstone content, that I always recommend my blog coaching clients to focus on working on one from the start. Taking your time in creating your cornerstone posts will help you reap rewards much later on.
The key thing to remember is that cornerstone content helps your blog readers understand what they can expect from your site and about our expertise.
It can lead them to sign up to your free lead magnet, and ultimately to work with you!
Pillar Post Vs Cornerstone Content
You may hear people talking about pillar posts and how they are different from cornerstone content.
While it may be true that in the past there was a distinction between the two, in the past 10 years, the lines have blurred.
SEO has changed as well.
For bloggers, the cornerstone content meaning is much the same as pillar content: long, informative posts on a topic, pulling in content from other blog posts for a complete resource for your readers.
Elements Of Cornerstone Blog Posts
Now that you’re thinking about creating a cornerstone blog post, here are the key elements:
- Usually long – over 2,500+ words, full of useful content – as complete as you can provide
- On a topic that helps answer a burning problem many readers have
- On a topic that you know very well that gives you those 2,500+ words
- Updated often to include the most relevant, up-to-date information
- Including your keywords that you want to rank for in searches
- Using keywords that have a fairly high volume of searches
- For new blogs, it’s also content that has links to authoritative external links that make your content rich in information and resources
- Including a link to your free lead magnet, so that they can become part of your newsletter community
- Not overtly salesy
- With interlinks to your other blog content
The last point is important because cornerstone blog posts help you interlink your blog posts, giving Google and other search engines a clear map of the structure of your site.
For example, my How To Start A Blog blog post is one of my cornerstone blog posts. It’s over 5,000 words long and it gives new bloggers a roadmap to starting a self-hosted blog from scratch.
One important tip is to add links to your cornerstone blog posts on:
- Your homepage, especially if you have a static homepage
- In your sidebar
This is good for your SEO and your cornerstone posts’ visibility.
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Cornerstone Content Can Also Be Other Things…
Great cornerstone content on a blog doesn’t necessarily have to be a blog post. It can be anything from:
- A video series
- A long-form guide that covers a topic from A to Z
- A free tool (e.g. Sharethrough’s headline analyzer is one such tool)
However, for the sake of making life a bit easier for you, we’ll stick with cornerstone blog posts!
Why Do You Need Cornerstone Blog Content?
Cornerstone blog content is important because it helps you position yourself as an expert in key topics.
Let’s say you’re an expert in cookie baking.
You write a long, in-depth blog post on “How to bake chocolate chip cookies”. You give your readers all the tips they need to make the BEST ever cookies. Also, you give them links to external resources that will help them become better bakers. And of course, you give them the best ever chocolate chip cookie recipe and a FREE recipe book with other cookie recipes.
Chances are, they are going to see you as a cookie and baking expert.
The chances of them linking to your recipe in their round-up posts, or sharing your post on social media are now so much greater.
Because you’ve wowed them!
I have several ranking blog posts that consistently help me position myself as a blog coach, and as somebody who understands the concepts of good blogging practices.
These are some of my cornerstone blog posts:
- How To Start A Blog And Make It Profitable
- The Best Strategies To Grow Blog Traffic With Pinterest
- Over 100 Lifestyle Blog Post Ideas
- How To Start A Coaching Business
They all have other blog posts on my site linking to them.
There are several other reasons why you would want to create cornerstone blog content.
- Grow your online presence by producing content that ranks high in searches
- Attract the right readers to your blog
- Increase your email newsletter submissions by including your lead magnets
With your best work, you will attract people to our site. The goal is to actively make it rank in Google searches by making the content awesome, readable, and easily interlinked with your other content.
And here’s the thing – you can have more than one cornerstone blog post, giving you more fantastic content that’s ranking.
It also helps you to do a key thing: Organize your content into big topic buckets. So if you’re confused as to what your key topic categories are, thinking about your cornerstone content really helps you determine this.
How To Write A Cornerstone Blog Post
When you write a cornerstone blog post, there are a couple of things to consider:
- Do I already have a great-performing blog post that can be turned into a cornerstone blog post?
- Do I need to write new blog posts that will become my cornerstone blog posts?
With an existing potential cornerstone blog post, you’ll probably need to make tweaks to make it your best cornerstone content.
- Review the keywords and update them to rank with other powerful blog posts
- Rework the content to make it longer and more robust with valuable information
- Interlink it with existing blog content
- Make is long, useful and a post people will want to stick around and read (an indicator to Google that your content is worthy of ranking higher)
For new cornerstone blog posts, here’s what you can do to make them work best for your blog:
- Look at your categories that are missing a big, juicy blog post that gets traffic
- Brainstorm a few blog post ideas
- Research these ideas on Google: see what competitors are doing on this topic
- Choose a blog post idea that’s fairly popular in searches, but is missing big, cornerstone blog posts that wow readers
- Research keywords you want to rank for with this post
- Write it and publish it!
The next step is to look at my existing blog posts and link them with my new cornerstone blog post. It essentially becomes a hierarchy of blog posts leading up to the cornerstone one, while also being a web of interlinks.
This helps Google and other search engines understand your key content, your categories (aka blog topics covered in your blog), and your overall niche.
PRO TIP: If you have niched down for your blog niche, this will be a super easy process. If you have a general lifestyle blog, it’s going to be much harder. You may want to rethink what your blog is all about. Do a blog rebrand to “niche down”.
Promote Your Cornerstone Content!
Aside from working on ranking your cornerstone blog content with good SEO, you’ll need to promote it, promote it, and promote it some more.
- Feature it in your sidebar under “Top Blog Posts”
- Post tips from it on your Instagram – static posts, stories, reels, IGTV long-form video
- Pinterest pins and Idea pins
- Facebook groups – like in my Blog It Better Society
- Your newsletter
- At the bottom of your email signature
The more people you have visiting your site and spending time reading it, the better you’ll find your ranking in Google!
| READ MORE: 15+ Ways To Promote Your Blog Content For Free
Cornerstone Blog Content Is…
So now that you know what is a cornerstone blog post, you’re going to produce something fantastic, right?
Remember, cornerstone blog posts are:
- Your best blog posts are big, long and full of information that wow your readers
- Those that are interlinked with other content on your site to help search engines understand your site structure, improving your ranking
- A great way to position yourself as a niche expert on specific topics
My key recommendation for creating a cornerstone blog post is this:
- Take a moment to look at your existing content, and where your gaps are when it comes to your key categories.
- If you have a missing superstar cornerstone blog post in one of your categories, it might be time to write one or re-write an existing one that has potential.
- Take your time in creating a cornerstone blog post that blows the competition away.
Remember, existing blog posts have some “link juice” that you want to leverage.
One last thing: consider creating something like an “Ultimate Guide”. Readers love guides! How you position your cornerstone content is important.
Make sure you read my post on how to write blog post titles that convert into clicks!
And if you need ideas on blog content, start here with my 100+ lifestyle blog post ideas.
QUESTION: Do you have a cornerstone blog post? Share the link to it so we can see it!
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