When I started writing this website in November 2010 I knew nothing about this particular part of the digital world. I do mean NOTHING! I started on the platform then offered by Bigpond.com, disliked the buggy interface and moved to Blogger then moved to WordPress.com at the urging of my oldest daughter.
I frequented the Support Forums and TimeThief’s immensely helpful One Cool Site. At some point I read about these magical things called Pillar Posts.
It seemed the experts agreed pillar post characteristics are:
- They are longer posts.
- Their content is timeless.
- Their content is original and unique.
- They offer a clear value to the reader.
- They outline expertise around a specific topic.
- They attract links from other bloggers.
Read more: http://onecoolsitebloggingtips.com/2008/05/05/blogging-characteristics-of-pillar-posts/
I never set out to actually write any of these magical posts, I just wrote articles to try to assist others understand the minefield that is the Australian Partner Visa. It seems, however, I wrote pillar posts!
Maybe not the sex one. Definitely unintentional, that one!
Mine fail the “They attract links from other bloggers” test above, but I am publishing in a very specific niche, so I don’t expect to attract links.
Pillar posts, as accidental as they may have been, have been good for this site because:
- They have generated a daily readership unrelated to (my erratic) publishing schedule
- They have increased in popularity (see example below of increasing readership over time of one article)
- They direct readers to other related articles on the site
- They MAY have marketing value for the author (e.g. the book)
- The regular readership encourages the author to write more
While the content of pillar posts may be timeless, every now and then they might need reviewing and updating, such as in my case when regulations or legislation changes, which can be an added overhead. In fact I should schedule a review/update now we have had a change of government.
Compared with the “big guns” out there, I know my numbers are so small, but the principle stands. If you are writing for an audience that is larger than mine, the results will be proportional.
Do you have pillar posts? What has been you experience? Please share!
- Use the Display Posts Shortcode to Effectively Feature Content (onecoolsitebloggingtips.com)
- Create List Posts with the Display Posts Shortcode (onecoolsitebloggingtips.com)
I have a couple of posts that attract daily web traffic and are on their way to becoming pillar posts…… they are the ones in the niche areas… most of the areas I write on are super competitive eg. mortgages, superannuation so I think I might have to think of a few more niche area posts which can become pillar posts. Thanks for getting me thinking!
You are welcome! The title helps a lot! Make sure the title is something that people search for in relation to the topic you choose to write about.
I think if you write on a very niche topic – like you and I do – the traffic will come.
I still don’t really get what pillar posts are but I think I have a few standout ones on my blog – Callan Mulvey getting married is one of them . Thanks Robyn.
Yes, you do write on a very niche topic too Carly. A very important one too.
This is the first time I’ve come across the concept of “pillar posts” and I love the idea that they are working for you (so to speak) despite and erratic posting schedule. I ahve a couple of contenders but they probably need a little refining. Thanks for the great tips 🙂
Glad you found it useful, Rachel!
I too knew you wanted these type of posts but didn’t know there was a special name for them or certain aspects. Thanks for sharing
You are welcome! 🙂
I didn’t know they were called “pillar posts”, I just know that a blogger who wants to be successful needs to have these kinds of “longevity” posts, and SEO the bejesus out of them!!
Thanks for linking up today and for your very informative, pillar post!!! x
Glad you provided the opportunity! 🙂
I understand a certain search engine is not too impressed with SEO optimusation these days and is more interested in very original content.
I have to say in a niche market it is easier to stand out to search engines, but the audience is smaller!! 😆
We connected as soon as we met online and I’ve been cheering you on ever since.
I’m so chuffed that you liked what you read in my pillar post article and even happier to see you are sharing it with others. Long may you blog!
I love your tips and advice.
Coming up to third “blog birthday” at end of next month. How time flies!
I don’t write many blogging articles as they seem a bit off topic for this site, but I am amazed the readership of a couple of articles is into year 3 (not the one shown above) and still growing!
Great article Robyn, thank you!
Glad you liked it! 🙂
Some of my blog posts seem to draw huge interest, others – which I’d sweated over and believed would be popular, not so much. I have a couple of curiosities that get hits multiple times a week. One is a picture I took of my Adler Gabrielle typewriter, which sustained me through my university days. The other is…nothing. As in, I needed to illustrate a blank, so I created a JPG file filled with white, called it ‘blank square’ and stuck it into the post. I keep getting hits on it…
You know, I usually find ones I dash off in a hurry because some news item sparked a thought process are the most popular.
The ones I mull over – they often get mediocre readership. So similar experiences, I think.
What I find interesting is some articles are popular with Facebook and others with Twitter. Very different audiences!
I think my Qatar sex one is a bit like your typewriter one. Mine was spur of the moment.
Now your blank square….. I have NO idea! 😆
fabulous post, definitely given me something to think about! I don’t think I have any pillar posts on my personal blog, but my new bog seems to be just about all pillar posts I think! Maybe they need to be a little longer in length to qualify though, but either way my blog isn’t really old enough to get an idea of “over time”
Thanks! I am very aware my site has a relative small target audience, but we all start small, even if our target audience is not a niche like mine and I hope it helps new people looking for experience to learn from.
Good luck! 🙂
I’ll have to go away and look 🙂
Come back and share your findings! 🙂