So, you’ve decided to embark on the journey to create some epic content for your blog.
Where are you going to start?
Well, you don’t want to do what I did on my food blog. Way back in the day, I created a post that now consistently gets the most likes, shares, and traffic of any post on my blog — and has almost nothing to do with my site or business. WHOOPS!
So how do you avoid that kind of newbie mistake?
Make your epic content your cornerstone content.
A cornerstone is a vital piece that keeps the building together; likewise, cornerstone content is the kind of thing that you can hang your entire content strategy on. It’s the epic, incredibly useful resource that serves a function for your business (like driving opt-ins, or encouraging links from other sites).
I’ve created a brief worksheet to tell you HOW to choose the right topic for your cornerstone content, which you can download here, but I want to talk first about WHY you want to create epic, cornerstone content.
1. Cornerstone content helps keep visitors on your site.
You may have noticed that I have a small box in my sidebar on my blog that simply says “START HERE” and then lists three topics. Each of those topics is a cornerstone post that relates to one of my three main buckets (what I call categories) of content on my blog.
I created each of those posts to be the ultimate first stop resource for those topics on my site.
So, if someone finds me through a social network, reads a blog I’ve written, and likes it enough to go looking for more, they have an excellent way of figuring out what to do next: just choose one of those topics and read my cornerstone post on it.
2. Cornerstone content can boost your opt-ins.
I suggest having an opt-in of some kind for each piece of cornerstone content — because if someone was interested enough in the information to click the post, they are likely also interested enough to offer up their email address for more information.
The opt-in doesn’t have to be entirely new, either; if you’ve gone to great lengths to make your cornerstone post epic, then it is already insanely useful. Therefore, your readers might be happy to opt-in to have a well designed printable version of the same information, or a simplified checklist or worksheet version. Use the same information to create your content upgrade and let your cornerstone content drive subscriptions.
3. Cornerstone content is ripe for getting lots of links.
When choosing your topic for your cornerstone content, think about the kinds of resources you wish you had all the time and create that. Then, when you’re asked about that topic — in comments on your blog, in Facebook groups you belong to, in emails — you’ll have one place you can link to with all your best information in one place.
This is also excellent for whitehat SEO; if you know other bloggers and business owners who might find that information useful, you can ask them for a link. One technique is to search for “link round-up” type posts on your topic, email the author, and suggest your resource as a valuable addition. If your content truly is epic, you’re likely to get some takers, which is good for your SEO.
Now that you understand the benefits of using your epic content as cornerstone content on your site, you can use this simple worksheet to help you determine what topic your cornerstone content should cover. Fill out your info below to download it.
Do you already have cornerstone content on your site? If not, do you think you’ll choose to create some now that you understand the benefits? Let me know in the comments below.