And, if you’ve been referred to this article from my last post only, then, just read on…
Today, I will share with you 7 tips to write your first cornerstone content.
So, Let’s dive in…
Tip 1: Chose your topic wisely.
As you know, cornerstone contents are extensive articles, packed with a lot of information, stats, and instructions.
So, the topic you pick should have the potential to go on and on.
If you decide to go with a topic which could be easily described in just, say, 500 words then that is not at all a topic to chose for your cornerstone article.
You should never try to add unnecessary words just for the sake of making your blog post look huge.
Go deep with the concepts you want to share but don’t go too far with it that your readers find it too boring and leave.
If you’re planning to write a guide on how to use a plugin or a tool then you should always pick a plugin or tool which is complex in nature and has a lot of settings to set.
A guide to W3 Cache Plugin is a good example here. Many people (including me) find it difficult to configure.
Tip 2: Know Your Audience Well.
It is very important that you have a clear picture of the audience who is going to spend time on your blog.
If you don’t know who you’re writing for then you will never have a clear idea about what kind of articles you should write, let alone cornerstone contents.
If your target audience is the beginners at something then you will have to make sure your articles are as simple as it can be; use a lot of illustrations and use terms that are easily understandable.
If your readers are at an advanced level then you can add some high level of information, probably some complex stats, some strong words which you’re sure your readers will understand.
Your readers come to your blog always looking for helpful, interesting and insightful content.
Now, an advanced level of visitor might get bored with contents that are intended for beginners and vice versa.
So, you should always frame your contents accordingly. If your readers get what they are looking for, then only they will stick around.
Tip 3: Optimise your article with relevant keywords.
I am not encouraging you to write for the search engines. But if you don’t show up in the SERP then what’s the point in writing a cornerstone article?
So, before you hit the publish button make sure you have optimized your post with the keywords that your readers are searching for.
Remember, you need to optimize your article for the search engine to understand what your post is all about. But to do that you definitely shouldn’t use the keywords in your post unnaturally, without making any sense.
Frame your sentences in a way that your keywords fit in pretty well and yet convey your concepts clearly.
Refer to these downloadable comprehensive guides I found on CopyBlogger, to learn how to do your keyword research right.
Tip 4: Take Your Time.
Cornerstone articles are not something you should write in just one sitting. As you want it to be comprehensive so you have to do your research first.
You can not just put things as you wish. Make sure you are well versed in the topic you’re about to write.
If you have made any point in your post then you must need to back them up with relevant stats and links to relevant studies.
If you are sharing some techniques then link out to some case studies where people have used those techniques and got good results.
You can add videos, images, screenshots and other kinds of media to help illustrate your points and expand on them.
Still, if you want to save some time then, the best way to do that is, plan out everything you wanna do in your post.
Jot down some pointers like
- What do you want to discuss in your post?
- What are/is the problems you want to solve?
- Earlier did you write anything about the same topic on your blog? if yes then note those links down so that you can link out to them whenever relevant.
- List down the top-level authority blogs you remember reading any articles on the same topic as yours.
- What images or videos you will add and where do you want to add them?
- What are the keywords you are going to use?
Tip 5: Structure your post first.
Before you start writing your huge article, create a sample post template for your cornerstone content.
Start with an introduction and end with a conclusion. In between share the What? Why? and How? use bullet points and subheadings wherever possible to break up your content and increase the visual appeal.
If I am writing a post about SEO then I will start with an introduction like, why have I decided to write about this topic? what you’re gonna read today? and if there are any prerequisite posts either on my blog or somewhere else which would help the readers to understand the post better, then, I will suggest them to read those posts first.
Then I will tell them what is SEO? then why it is important, I will share some stats or case studies? then I will show them how to SEO their blog? and finally, I will leave them with a few action steps.
Tip 6: Write an eye-catching Title and Meta Description.
Your post’s title and meta description are the first things a user sees in the search engine or anywhere else you promote it.
Getting your readers’ attention can be difficult. A reader will decide just by looking at the title of your post whether s/he wants to read it or not.
So, try to fit the relevant keywords your readers are searching for and write a meta description to back it up.
Your readers should have an idea about what exactly they are to read when they click the link. If they find it convincing what they are looking for is inside then they will surely continue with it.
I personally prefer to write my titles once I am done with the whole post as it gives me a better overview of the content I just created. Some find it easy the other way round.
So, you go with whatever works best for you.
Tip 7: Polish it up.
Before hitting the publish button and putting your work out there for people to read, you should always make sure it’s perfect.
And when I say perfect I don’t mean it needs to be the best, but at least you should be happy and satisfied with it. If you feel like you could make it even better then give yourself a little more time and refine it.
Proofreading and editing your raw content is a part of your writing. No matter how hard you try, you can never finish an awesome blog post without proofreading it.
You would wonder seeing how many silly mistakes you had made.
Pro Tip: Never edit your posts instantly after writing it. The best time for editing and proofreading your article is the 3rd or 4th day from the day when you had finished writing it.
I normally write and finish my posts in the weekend and rewrite it on either Tuesday or Wednesday and even on the next day for the final time I proofread it again before hitting the publish button or schedule button.
Often time it happens to me that I end up making more changes than I expected. I am sure you can also relate.
Read your articles again and again until you’re satisfied that it reads and sounds perfect.
Once you’re satisfied and confident with your content, just go ahead and hit publish and start promoting it.
Oh! wait, make sure you have SEOed your cornerstone post. You can install a plugin like Yoast SEO; which I use.
You can go here to learn how to set it up.
Like I said in my previous post, cornerstone contents need to be up to date. So, whenever you feel like you can add some new information to it then, just re-edit it.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post, and you now hopefully have some motivation to start writing cornerstone articles for your blog.
I am always here to help you out, so if you have any queries put it in the comments and I will surely get back to you.
And if you believe I could have added a few more tips please feel free to share them with me and the readers.
I will see you soon.
P.S. if you feel this post might help someone you know please do share it with them.
And if you have any other tips to add here, feel free to do that. I would love to learn from you as well.