Cornerstone Content is Essential
A good blog rests on a solid foundation of cornerstone, or flagship content. This is the content you build your blog around – it is indispensable, it is essential, it is what people absolutely must know in order to understand your brand and do business with you. It should also be some of your most compelling content – it’s the ace up your sleeve, it’s what readers come to your blog for, and it’s your best stuff.
Flagship Content and SEO
Flagship content is naturally keyword rich. As a central component of your blog, it should focus on your main message and therefore contain tons of your keywords. When writing your cornerstone content, you should focus on creating value for your readers – after all, compiling a useful resource is one of the ways to generate incoming links. One of the things that your flagship posts should accomplish is to answer the most relevant questions that people searching for your content are asking. Ask yourself “what kind of content would ensure that my readers get the most out of my blog?”
When you place flagship content with a high keyword density in a prominent position on your blog and reference it in future posts, it helps to promote the post in search engines and makes it more liked to be linked to by others. Amazing flagship content has the potential to go viral, because a useful flagship post or series of posts gives people something to link to, recommend, and remember.
How to Create Cornerstone Content
Okay, so you know that you need to write some compelling flagship posts that benefit and hook readers. Now what do you write about? Here’s a few ideas:
1. A glossary of terms related to your business. This is a especially useful if your in an industry with lots of specialized jargon that can be intimidating to outsiders (note: coming soon on Create Compelling Content: a “Blogger’s Glossary”). It’s also beneficial in the SEO sense, because you can use tons of keywords in this post.
2. A series of tips for newcomers to your industry or niche; for instance, “Ten Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started….”. Fill in the blank with your expertise.
3. How-tos. A clearly-written how-to post or series is an excellent way to provide value for your readers, and it lets you show off your chops at the same time. Bonus points if you can make it uplifting and inspirational, i.e. “anyone can attain this goal if they put their mind to it, here’s how”. Inspire someone and they will not only remember you, they’ll recommend you and link to your blog.
4. A powerful vision. Do you have a particular vision or amazing, innovative idea for your niche? Can you write about it in an eloquent way? Go for it.
5. Organized databases of product reviews or other resources for your niche. You can even include outside links as long as they add value and support your overall brand somehow (just be sure that these outgoing links don’t directly contradict your message).
6. FAQs about your business and industry are simple but very useful, and they are very easy to create and fill with keywords.
7. All of the above – videos and podcasts of any of the previous options are another great flagship, and they allow for your readers to access your content in their preferred format (some people like to read information, others learn best by watching or listening). Use the many different methods of web-publishing to your advantage and create a video or podcast of your cornerstone content.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s a good jumping off point. Feel free to share your own cornerstone content in the comments!