In January, we launched a Copyblogger Content Challenge mini course. It was designed to help you understand, build, and improve cornerstone content pages.
The response was immense: Almost 4,000 people signed up and in just a couple days the forum was bristling with people posting questions, comments, and replies. We were throwing back the jitter juice morning, noon, and night to stay on top of all the activity.
Now, one of the original reasons for launching this program was to teach the importance of cornerstone content pages.
And one of the most common questions that popped up on day two of this mini course was: what’s the difference between a cornerstone content page and a blog post?
Great question, and fortunately, it’s pretty easy to answer with a simple illustration. But we need to deal with another issue first.
Cornerstone content death match: page versus post
And that issue is: “Should cornerstone content be created as pages or posts? And does it matter?”
Yes, it matters, Mr. and Ms. Content Marketer! Let me explain.
Content management platforms, like WordPress or our handy more-power-less-hassle Rainmaker Platform, make publishing content on the web pretty darn easy. And they give you a lot of options.
One of those options is the opportunity to create either pages or posts. This is what it looks like inside the Rainmaker Platform:
As you can see, publishing a page or post is pretty straightforward. Just choose “New” in either case, and start writing.
Conventional advice says that your About, Contact, and Portfolio
Starting a week from today, the Copyblogger team is doing something we’ve never done before … and we want you to join us.
We’re hosting our first three-week Copyblogger Content Challenge. These brand-new challenges are designed to give you in-depth education around key content marketing topics.
The goal of our challenges is simple:
We help you master each topic — and you put that information directly to use to grow your business.
Challenge #1: Create your cornerstone content
For the January 2016 challenge, we’re teaching you how to create powerful, audience-building cornerstone content for your website.
The three recent articles below will help you understand what cornerstone content is and why it’s important to have it in place on your site.
Your Cornerstone Content Blueprint: Answers to 9 Common Questions
A Practical Approach to Using Powerful Cornerstone Content on Your Site
11 Essential Ingredients Every Cornerstone Content Page Needs [Infographic]
How much does this in-depth cornerstone content education cost? Nothing.
Join us for the Copyblogger Content Challenge
Why is cornerstone content important?
Website owners use cornerstone content to answer the most important questions their newest prospects have.
Cornerstone content pages are informative, instructive, and they help your prospects understand the crucial information they need to interact with your business.
Once you have your cornerstone content in place on your website, you’ll begin benefitting from better search engine rankings for the terms you target. And cornerstone content builds your authority, too.
Here’s what you get when you join us for the Copyblogger Content Challenge:
In-depth instruction on planning, writing,
Cornerstone content is the foundation of your content marketing plan.
It will help you establish a clear picture of the specific problems you can solve for potential customers.
As I said in Your Cornerstone Content Blueprint: Answers to 9 Common Questions, it can also help you achieve some even bigger goals, including:
Getting links to your website
Finding new readers
Ranking in search engines for competitive keywords
Highlighting archived material
Accordingly, cornerstone content is vital for both seasoned bloggers and anyone launching a brand-new website.
In this article, we’re going to explain the 11 essential ingredients of a cornerstone content page and present everything you need to know in a handy infographic.
If you want to work on your own site’s cornerstone content with the help of the Copyblogger team, sign up for our Content Challenge below the infographic.
The first step is keyword research.
A cornerstone content page will help you rank for keyword phrases in search engines.
Select 8 to 12 keyword phrases and create a cornerstone content page for each one.
Your group of keywords will also loosely define your area of expertise, which helps you build authority.
The headline for a cornerstone content page is built around a keyword or keyword phrase. Look at these examples from our own cornerstone content pages:
Content Marketing: How to Build an Audience that Builds Your Business
Keyword Research for Web Writers and Content Producers
Landing Pages Turn Traffic into Money
Each keyword phrase begins the headline, but remember that the rules of good headline writing still apply.
We’ve been talking about cornerstone content a lot lately.
Not sure what cornerstone content is? Here’s a quick explanation:
Website owners use cornerstone content to answer the fundamental questions their newest prospects have. Cornerstone pages are informative, instructive, and they help your prospects understand the foundational information needed to interact with your business.
Cornerstone content pages answer those cocktail party questions. You know the ones I mean, right?
They’re those questions you get asked at a cocktail party right after you tell someone what you do:
How does [your business] apply to me?
Why did you get into [your business]? What motivates you?
How can I get started with [your business]?
What do I need to know to be smart about [your business]?
How can [your product or service] help me?
If I’m just learning about [your field of expertise], what do I need to know first?
In this post, we’re going to cover how to use cornerstone content on your site and invite you to join us for free cornerstone content education we’ll offer next month.
You heard that right: free cornerstone content education! If you can’t wait to sign up for that, scroll to the bottom of this post and get your name on the list.
How to make cornerstone pages into content stars
We recommend you set up cornerstone content as a page on your site, not a post. There’s a good reason for this.
You’ll want to grant cornerstone content pages “most-favored content” status. You don’t want them to get lost in the mists of
When it comes to defining cornerstone content, Brian Clark said it best:
A cornerstone is … basic, essential, indispensable, and the chief foundation upon which something is constructed or developed. It’s what people need to know to make use of your website and do business with you.
Cornerstone content pages can also help you accomplish many of your content marketing goals.
Goals like getting links to your website, finding new readers, attracting subscribers to your email newsletter, ranking well in search engines for competitive keywords, and giving new life to old articles.
Which makes cornerstone pages important for both seasoned bloggers and brand-new websites. And fortunately, these pages aren’t complicated to create.
So, let’s answer nine common questions about cornerstone content.
1. How is cornerstone content different from a blog post?
A blog post is usually a detail-rich, nuanced, and sometimes epic focus on a particular topic — like this article on cornerstone content you are reading right now.
Cornerstone content, on the other hand, is one single page that is a main location for the content about that topic. One “hub” page, if you will.
For example, a cornerstone content page would be a hub for all of our articles (say 10) about cornerstone content.
You could think of cornerstone content as broad and wide, while a blog post goes narrow and deep.
2. Why create cornerstone content? What’s the “big goal?”
First and foremost, cornerstone content is useful and relevant for your website visitors.
But if it’s interesting and all-inclusive, people will want