3 Steps to Creating Your First Content Pillar Page

July
9th, 2018
Keyhole - Content Marketing - Joe Dudeck
Joe Dudeck
President + Founder
July
9th, 2018
Keyhole - Content Marketing - Joe Dudeck
Joe Dudeck
President + Founder

If you’ve never heard of the phrase “content pillar page,” we suggest reading our post on “Content Pillars: What They Are and Why You Need Them on Your Website” before digging into the information below.

We know from experience that creating your first content pillar page can seem extremely overwhelming. Once you dig into the process, you’ll soon realize it’s not as daunting as it looks. It’s actually a beneficial exercise to look at your current content and thought leadership from a new perspective, and it has many long-term benefits for your online presence.

To help ease you into the process, we identified three steps to creating your first pillar page:

All You Need to Know About Content Pillars
What They Are and Why You Need Them on Your Website

Determine a Master Topic

Determining a master topic is the first step of creating a content pillar page, and it can also be the most overwhelming step in the process. To start, follow these steps:

Ask Yourself These Four Questions

  1. What subject areas are you an expert?
  2. What subjects are most important to your industry and customers?
  3. What questions do you receive the most from current and prospective customers?
  4. What subjects do you already have a lot of content written about?

Run a Content Audit

Run a content audit of your website, and compile a spreadsheet with all of the overarching topics you’ve written about on your blog.

Perform Keyword Research

Compare your content audit with a keyword research tool. Does your current content match what people are searching for? By comparing the top searches in your industry with the content you already have written, you can identify a short-list of topics where these two overlap.

Choose a Master Topic

Once you’ve identified themes, patterns or keywords that have emerged from your audit and keyword search – it’s time to determine a master topic. Choose something you are interested in, a subject you feel you are an expert on and have already written a lot of content about, and a topic with many different facets you can dive into.

Identify Supporting Topics

Sift through your content audit and highlight all of the topics and blog posts that are relevant to your master pillar page topic. This exercise will help immensely once you start writing.

Designing - 3 Steps to Creating Your First Content Pillar Page

Write Your Pillar Page

Source Current Content Written on Topic

Before you start writing, gather all of the content you already have written on the topic, and know that you don’t have to start completely from scratch.

Do More Research

You are using this pillar page to position yourself as a thought leader on the topic, which means you need to know everything there is to know about that particular topic. You will also be writing up to 2,500 words (or more) on the topic, which will require a lot of information. Consider interviewing other subject matter experts on the topic and finding additional resources online that you can link back to on your page.

Create an Outline

Compile content you already have written with your research notes into a comprehensive outline. This will help you identify which areas need to be more developed, and create an overall flow for your pillar page. The outline can be a combination of blog content, infographics, videos, photos, and ranking keywords.

Ensure Content is Evergreen

It’s incredibly important that the content on your pillar page is evergreen. The goal of creating a pillar page is that it will serve as a long-standing resource on your expertise on a particular topic. This means it needs to surpass trends, cultural references and other time sensitive bits of information.

Begin Writing

Once you’ve brought together all of the current content and new learnings on your topic, it’s time to start writing. We strongly suggest writing in sections, instead of trying to tackle the whole thing at once. Approach each section like a new blog post. Then look at the content you already have written and decide what needs to be re-written, what needs to be written from scratch, and what’s still missing. Use language that is straightforward, and revisit your list of top keywords when writing.

Writing - 3 Steps to Creating Your First Content Pillar Page

Design Your Pillar Page

Once you’ve created an outline for your pillar page and have filled it in with the appropriate amount of content, it’s time to design your pillar page. A good content pillar page hooks the reader and keeps them either on the page or coming back for more. It contains engaging imagery, infographics, charts, and sometimes video content. Flex your creativity and think of all the ways you can get your point across in an interesting and digestible way to your audience. Seek inspiration from some of our favorite pillar pages on the web here.

Follow a Few Extra Tips

  • Consider exporting your pillar page into a downloadable format so you can capture emails and gauge people’s interest in your content.
  • Include a linked index section at the beginning so readers can jump ahead to sections that most appeal to them.
  • Add “back to top” buttons at the end of each section to make your pillar page easier to navigate.
  • Utilize relevant CTAs throughout your content to drive people to other pages on your website.

Promote Your Content Pillar Page

Creating your content pillar page is a huge accomplishment, and you will want to share it with the world right away so it can start working for you. It’s important to understand how to get your new pillar page in front of exactly the right audience, and determine which marketing strategies are best for promoting it.

In our Keys to Success series, we wrote an exhaustive guide on publishing your content to the right channels. Read it here, then go enjoy a beer (or two) after accomplishing such a big feat for your business!

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