Writing Pillar Posts, which brings traffic to your Blog

Q. How Do You Create A Pillar?
There is no exact formula for producing an article that will become a pillar, however there are definitely some key haracteristics you can work on. You may be surprised when articles you write become pillars when you didn’t expect it, or
the reverse where you pour your heart into a great article and it doesn’t do much
for your traffic at all.

Q. How Do You Create A Pillar?

There is no exact formula for producing an article that will become a pillar,

however there are definitely some key characteristics you can work on. You may

be surprised when articles you write become pillars when you didn’t expect it, or

the reverse where you pour your heart into a great article and it doesn’t do much

for your traffic at all.

Here are typical pillar article concepts that you can post to your blog:

1. The “How-To” Article

This is a staple pillar article concept. Think about your industry and write an

article that teaches how to do something in it. Be certain to only write how-to

articles on topics you genuinely understand how to do and have experience with.

Some possible examples:

• If you are a marketing consultant, write some advice on how to market a

business using no money.

• If you blog about dogs, write how to choose an appropriate dog name.

• If you blog about how to write a book, produce a how-to guide on

approaching publishers.

• If you blog about food, write recipe guides on how to prepare popular


• If you blog about your life, write how-to guides on self development from

the life lessons you have learnt (e.g. How you got a job, how you dealt

with breaking up with your boyfriend, etc.).

It should be reasonably obvious which how-to topics are popular and relevant to

your audience and which you feel capable of explaining well. Remember to tell a

story if you can!

2. The Definition Article

Many industries have key concepts which new readers won’t know. If a concept

is complicated, produce a pillar article that defines the concept, clearly explaining

what it means and how it can be implemented.

It may seem simple and obvious to you, but remember you are an expert in your

field, so explain it to the newbies in simple terms and, of course, try and tell a

story as an example.

A glossary definition page is a good pillar article. If there are a handful of key

concepts in your industry, write an article that lists the concepts and provides a

one-paragraph definition for each. A resource page like this is good as a

reference piece and often referred back to by other bloggers and websites.

You may say why bother doing this if most terms are already defined elsewhere

on the web at sites like Wikipedia?

It’s okay to link to other websites for definitions, especially in the short term when

you are just getting things set up, but it’s a lot better if you write your own

definitions. It keeps readers on your blog, increases your pageviews (the total

number of pages of your blog readers view) and visitor length (how long readers

stay at your blog).

You can describe a concept in your own words, using your own unique story and

voice. This helps to build credibility and trust.

It’s always smarter to include your own version of a definition if you are capable

of explaining a term or concept, rather than link to other sites and drive traffic

away from your blog.

3. Present a Theory or Argument

If you blog about politics, writing an article discussing your theories about

communism, democracy or capitalism can make a great pillar article.

The important thing here is to present some unique thought. Give your opinion

on a major issue in your industry, or even on a mainstream topic that you suspect

your readers will take an interest in.

Try not to simply rehash what other people have said and clearly present your

own thesis argument. Stimulate conversation, perhaps controversy, about a topic

that is often discussed and is not time-dependent and you will draw traffic to your


4. Create a resource like a free report, whitepaper or e-course

This is one of my favorite pillar concepts. A document such as a whitepaper (a

small document, 2-10 pages, which teaches how to do something) or a series of

articles combined to create a course, is a fantastic pillar.

You have a few options to present this information:

• Create a PDF which your readers can download, just like what you are

reading now. The benefit of this method is that the file can be shared

easily (forwarded through email for example ‚Äì hint, hint 😉 ) and you may

benefit from viral marketing effects, especially if you produce a top quality

e-book or report.

• Type the content into several blog posts and interlink them together. You

can also highlight them as a stand-alone series in your archives or articles


If you visit the articles section of my blog under the “Free Reports” heading, you

will see an example of a PDF report that Brian Clark and myself put together,

which is a good example of free resource pillar content.

If you can’t decide what is the best method to distribute your free resource, my

suggestion is to offer it in as many ways as possible. Make a PDF available for

download, publish the articles individually and make them available from an

email list too. That way you maximize your exposure and cater to the widest

possible audience.

The important thing with this concept is to create a complete all-in-one solution to

a common problem. Similar to the how-to article, a free resource is a powerful

pillar concept because it demonstrates your expertise and brings in consistent


5. One of the most popular pillar concepts is a List Article

You have probably seen many of these at other blogs. The usual titles are “Top 7

Ways To…” or “10 Tips To Improve…” etc. These work well for a couple of

reasons –

1. Lists are easily digested by human beings. It’s been tested and proven

that articles in the 300-700 word range with lots of clear dot-point bulleted

lists and a compelling headline are good traffic pullers. In this case it’s all

about simplicity of consumption for people with short attention spans – i.e.

most web surfers.

2. Lists provide directly actionable lessons and people love to share lists

with other people. Consequently list articles are often linked to by other

bloggers and added to social bookmarking sites that drive traffic.

Provided your list follows all the standard pillar concept rules – timeless, original

content, problem solving ideas – and you keep it directly applicable to your

audience, most lists will become pillars.

Be wary of doing lists of topics well covered by other people or on really simple

concepts. As usual the more “you” included through stories and a unique style,

the more likely your list will perform well.

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6 replies on “Writing Pillar Posts, which brings traffic to your Blog”

Pillar articles acts as a basic foundation of any blog.
Selecting the right pillar article is very important. It’s better to have it on your niche else one might be successful to attract thousands of subscriber but sustaining them will be an issue later on.

I will rather suggest after your pillar articles do come up with a post on the same topic after every fixed interval of days. It may work as a filler post but it’s the best way to keep your reader engage and directing your new readers to your Pillar article. 🙂

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