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Make Your Content Work Smarter with the Pillar Approach

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Updated By: Amber Chmielewski on Mon, Jul 02, 2018

Content is a lot of things. It's informative; it helps your audience understand products, services, and ideas. It's powerful; content can launch your website to the top of online search results. It's essential; in today's hyper-competitive, majority online world, content gives you, your brand, and your products the ability to stand out and be seen. In that vein, content (especially great content) is also a heck of a lot of work. But there are strategies for making the most of any piece of content you create.

There's one content strategy that helps you develop a high volume of quality content for the least amount of effort. Sound good? I think so too. It's called the pillar approach to content creation.

What is the Pillar Approach to Content Creation? 

Make Your Content Work Smarter: The Pillar Approach

The foundation of the pillar approach is, unsurprisingly, a content pillar. A content pillar is a significant piece of content - like an eBook, guide, or report. In conversations, I've also referred to the pillar as a master document. The content pillar is outlined, researched, and written knowing that each section of the pillar will go on to become its own piece of content. 

For instance, when I made my first content pillar, I took all of the themes, ideas, and topics that needed to be discussed throughout an entire campaign, grouped them into three or four categories based on relevance, and ordered those categories in a logical progression. This became the pillar's outline. 

How is a Content Pillar More Efficient? 

After creating the content pillar, not only did I have an offer, I had over 20 blogs outlined, researched, and framed for voice and style. Instead of starting from scratch on each blog in the campaign, I already had the main pieces and the spaces in between just needed to be filled in.

Beyond the ease of writing subsequent blogs, the content pillar also provided a big picture view of the campaign's overall content strategy. It was immediately clear how each piece of content fit within the grand scheme of things. This meant that if blogs needed to be written by other writers, they would have a firm foundation to write from. 

Beyond the content pillar and the blogs that come from it, there are numerous other types of content that can come from a pillar. Everything from infographics and SlideShares to videos, checklists, and social posts can be accounted for. The idea is that with this single document, you can have most of the heavy lifting done upfront, and it'll result in higher quality content that requires less time and resources to create. 

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Amber Chmielewski

About The Author

Amber Chmielewski

I love language and all the power it wields. Perfectly placed punctuation and artfully used alliteration brighten my eyes and bring joy to my heart. As Lead Writer, I ensure the ideas, visions, and goals of our clients are able to reach their intended audience. Articulating complex ideas and representing them honestly, ethically, and artistically is something I consistently strive toward. When I’m not solving the world’s tiniest problems with concise word choice, you can find me enjoying nature, practicing yoga, and expanding my knowledge of human nature – sometimes all three at once.

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