What is cornerstone content?
It’s what people need to know to make the best use of your blog and the information you provide. Think of it as the essential, indispensable foundation upon which your blog has been built.
Why do you need cornerstone content?
Cornerstone content is will typically be super relevant to your audience and so they will find it useful. They are blog posts that provide your readers with huge amounts of value, resources and lots more. They will not only contain text, but graphics, photos, charts, slideshares, whatever works for your post and for your audience. They might even have content upgrades (opt in freebies).
These posts aren’t your standard 600-800 word blog posts, they’re usually from 1500 words up to even 5,000 words. Being meaty and packed with epic value.
After you have done your best to make this content value packed and relevant. It will also become content that people will want to link to and share. This will then help your SEO and increase backlinks. This sort of content can also help you been seen as an authority in that particular area.
How can you make the most of this cornerstone content and help your readers at the same time?
Well you set up a cornerstone content page! This page can fall under different names; sneeze page, start here page, the list goes on. Basically it’s a cornerstone content page, which is a page which you can direct people to, or that they will be able to find easily through your navigation/menus. This page will be a fabulous resource and will walk your reader through the main posts/areas of your blog, so you are doing the work for them. The more you can lay things out for people and make it easy for them the better.
You could even have a subscription form on this page as people will be keen to sign up, having read all the amazing content you have linked to.
This page will help you hold the readers hand as they navigate your site and it also means that you are to some degree controlling the content that they see. Obviously, they are free to click anywhere, but they would be silly not to follow your recommendations as they know you are going to direct them to the best content, so you are saving them time too.
In a lot of cases this Cornerstone content will be Evergreen. Evergreen content is, content that is as valuable to the reader on the day they read it, as it was when the author wrote it (even if months or years have elasped between the two). You can find out more about how to create epic evergreen content in my video What is Evergreen content.
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BLOG POSTS THAT SELL
So which type of content would work well for you?
There are four main forms of content to consider when creating any post; text, graphics, audio and video. Each having its own benefits and drawbacks and each appealing most to different audiences.
Here’s an overview of each of these four kinds of content and when they should be used.
This is the most common type of content on the internet by far. Just about every webpage you see is based on text content.
The biggest benefits of text-based content is that it’s very search engine friendly. Search engines can’t understand videos or audios, but they definitely can understand text. So your SEO will be more effective and you have more chance of ranking for your chosen keywords.
It’s also much easier to create text content. There’s no need for expensive or complicated equipment, so it’s accessible to everyone.
The main type of graphic-based content online is infographics. An infographic is as the name suggests a graphic with information on it. They are often eye catching and are a great way of transmitting bite-sized information. They are often more interesting and engaging too.
Audio content is growing in popularity with the rise of podcasts. Audio is more difficult to produce as the sound quality is important so it does need some investment in equipment. Although it take more effort to produce, it is a popular format as it makes content really accessible for people to listen on the go. I know I’m a huge podcast fan and listen to them when doing house work, editing images or driving etc.
Video content is one of the most dynamic ways of sharing content. Video works for most types of content and it’s a great way to engage your audience, while developing the know, like and trust factor.
Video content widely shared, people love video and sharing videos on Facebook is commonplace. A video has a much higher chance of going viral than say an audio podcast.
Video content does take time to create and requires a good quality camera, although most smart phones are just fine. The editing can be a little technical, but it’s nothing that can’t be quickly learned from you youtube tutorial.
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BLOG POSTS THAT SELL
Whatever form your cornerstone content takes, consider using a few different types of content in the single post, as it then increases the posts appeal and becomes even more epic.
Also start to think how you can best lead your readers round your blog to give them the best experience. Don’t forget the more time people spend on your site the better. Googles algorthym take this time on site into account when deciding search engine rankings for a particular keyword search.
They measure the time from when someone clicks through to your site from Google until they hit the back button and return to Google. So you want them on your site for as long as possible. I explain lots more about SEO and how to maximise your blog posts potential in this live workshop I did via Facebook.
Now go and create some epic cornerstone content!