The Importance of Writing Effective Pillar Articles

Cole Wiebe
March 7, 2013
Read time: 2 minutes

The purpose of content marketing is to get people to come to your website because of the quality of the content you present to visitors. How is this accomplished? One of the most effective strategies is writing pillar articles. Pillar articles are core articles or blog posts that people refer to again and again, generating a lot of traffic and backlinks over time.

By having several pillar articles within your blog that are carefully linked with one another, you will begin to see how blogs can be used as a traffic generation system. An effective pillar article shares the following characteristics:

•    Pillar articles are generally quite long, at least over 750 words.
•    Pillar articles are timeless. The information should not be “news” or grow stale over time.
•    The content of a pillar article should be unique and original.
•    The content should teach your readers something extremely useful and relevant to them.
•    They should show your expertise in a topic.
•    Other bloggers in your niche would also find it interesting.

Pillar articles are also known as “flagship content” and “cornerstone content.” The concept is the same; they’re the central articles that your readers find the most interesting over time. You may already have some articles like this in your blog and not know it. Take a look at your website analytics. Is there a particular group of pages that people are visiting long after publication? Those are your current pillar articles.

There are particular forms of blog posts that are well-suited for pillar article creation.  “How-to” articles are the most common. Taking a question that’s relevant and common to your niche and answering it thoroughly on your blog will establish your reputation quite quickly. For example, if you were running an analytics company you could teach people how to set up Google Analytics from the ground up to give the most relevant stats for conversions and how to interpret them.

Another type of pillar article is where you present a personal formal argument about some topic in your field. What you’re providing is a unique perspective on the situation that forces people to think about what you’re saying. Political blogs thrive on this type of content.

If you already have a course or an eBook that you’re selling, try picking it apart into sections and developing the ideas into pillar articles. This is a great way to set up a bunch of interrelated pillar content.

Why is all this important?  A strong pillar article is one that gets used a lot and gets shared a lot on the Internet because of its usefulness. Because the information never grows stale, it’s something that will generate interest over a long-term period. Pillar articles are great places to put in conversion techniques such as links to new courses or opt-in email signup boxes. Put simply, a website without pillar content is one that will not generate a high amount of traffic to make it worth the effort.

If you’re not a strong writer yourself, but you have a lot of insight and expertise about your niche, our company can help you turn that knowledge into pillar content for your blog. We know the techniques that draw attention to your quality content. Let’s build your content together from the pillars up.


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4 comments on “The Importance of Writing Effective Pillar Articles”

  1. Hey Cole!

    I have a question!

    If I write a Pillar Post and embed my affiliate links within my content, will it be taken positively by my readers? Will they appreciate that?

    Thank You for sharing with us, I have learned so much.

    1. Hi Rihana,

      Thank you for your comment. Yours is a very relevant question, and there's a focus on transparency in 2018. More and more top affiliates are now clearly stating when they've added an affiliate link, and at the bottom of the article, they'll very openly ask readers to use their affiliate links, so they can afford to keep publishing content like the post the reader just enjoyed. Cloaked or disguised affiliate links are considered deceptive, and stats suggest readers will go out of their way to strip away the affiliate code from the URL, so the author is not compensated for misleading them. Our own affiliate links are gradually being updated to keep up with the times.



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