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Content Pillars

what are content pillars

What Are Content Pillars? INSIDE: A Content Pillar Strategy For Your Business

Stuck in a content rut?

Trying to figure out how to say what’s on your mind in the right way on the right platforms?

Grouping and organizing your ideas into content pillars is the go-to process successful marketing professionals use.

At FocusCopy, we use content pillars in client projects and our own. It allows us to zero in on a subject matter, splinter across platforms, and provide a one-stop educational stop for readers.

Content Pillar Basics: What Are Content Pillars?

Basically, a content pillar is a single long-form piece of content that you can break down into derivative sections. 

You know all those marketing channels you’re struggling to fill?

You can utilize one large piece of content (the content pillar) and then break it down into smaller (quicker to read) pieces of content. 

By focusing on a single content pillar, you can easily turn the sub-sections into additional blog posts, infographics, email newsletters, social media posts, and more. Moreover, this will help to reach your ideal audience through the different platforms where they linger – essentially helping customers find you!

As an example, do you know what an MSP is?

(Psst…it’s an acronym for Managed Service Provider, another term to define an IT expert you would want to hire for your business.)

While an MSP is extremely helpful in keeping a business’s networks optimized and secure, a content pillar helps to explain the “why” to customers.

So, in this instance, we could write a long-form content pillar blog about MSPs. In this blog, we may include sections such as:

  • What is an MSP?
  • Which tasks do MSPs handle?
  • What questions should I ask a potential MSP?
  • Signs your business needs an MSP
  • Things to look for in an MSP

Now, we have one go-to blog that covers all the details. 

But it gets better!

We can use each of these sections to write an entire short-form blog about that specific topic. Not only does this help answer any questions readers may have, but we get strategic with SEO, too.

Need help devising a content pillar plan? Get in touch to learn how FocusCopy can help you!

How To Efficiently Plan Content

I love a whiteboard moment! ClickUp’s whiteboard integration allows the FocusCopy team to visually brainstorm blog topics. Essentially, we’ll start with the main topic in the middle and branch off. 

To change things up, let’s look at another example. Consider a health and wellness coach who wants to provide quality information on how readers can start living healthier lives. Let’s use “healthy living” as the central topic.

Within the whiteboard, I’ll branch out ideas of healthy living. These ideas may include the following:

  • Meal planning to make healthy eating easier
  • Quick exercises you can do at home
  • Benefits of strength training 
  • How to stick to a bedtime routine
  • Get your circadian rhythm in tune with the sun 
  • Which vegetables are best eaten seasonally

Honestly, my team could go on and on with a list like this! And what’s really cool (yes, this is cool to us!), we can easily branch out of each of those bulleted items above for additional content. All this to say, if you want to write about health and wellness, we are ready!

The idea is to write one long blog about healthy living. This long-form content pillar blog will include all of the items listed above. Then, we’ll write individual shorter blogs focused on each of the specific topics. 

However, the whiteboard isn’t the only tool available to brainstorm. I personally love it because I’m able to create tasks within ClickUp directly from the whiteboard. This allows me to make the most of each moment of my time. Plus, my copywriters can get to work writing away as soon as their tasks are posted to the calendar.

The Benefits Of Content Pillars

Content pillars are more than just a way to utilize a brainstorming session. Here are a few of my favorite benefits of content pillars.

Streamline Content Organization

Figuring out how to organize content can sometimes be the most difficult task. While we have SOPs on SOPs, each client we work with has their own process. They may get their content ideas to us through topic review meetings, a single email with everything provided, or a sequence of attachments, references, and inspiration. 

However, it’s our job as copywriters to bring that information together in a digestible format that our clients’ readers want to read. After all, with so much data at our fingertips, the copy has to be compelling, or readers will quickly move to the next blog.

Streamlining helps us organize the tasks on our end and how we organize the content in everything we write for clients, like blogs, newsletters, website copy, and more. 

No time to brainstorm your content pillars and other copy needs? Reach out to FocusCopy and we’ll get started!

Effectively Provide Information About Your Business’s Offerings

Blogging is a not-so-secret tool that has a load of benefits. However, I’d argue the two most important benefits are:

  • Offering credible information to readers to help them learn more about your business
  • Increase SEO ranking to help your future clients find you on the internet

Consider a business that sells card games. They are cute enough to give as gifts and great to pack for vacations. But could you do more to incentivize readers to make a purchase with blogs that:

  • Talk about the amazing memories made by sitting around a table with an old fashioned deck of cards
  • Explain the rules for more complicated games
  • Game night necessities like a music playlist, a themed cocktail, or a spread of easy-to-eat dips
  • Game night no-go’s like fragile crystal wine glasses and messy meals 

Providing this type of information in blogs gives your readers answers to their most common questions. Plus, it provides inspiration for a fun night with friends and family.

With a content pillar, you can write one long blog with everything your readers need to know about game nights. Then, you can splinter this info into content to engage your audience across all your different channels.

Boost SEO & Help Your Ideal Customers Find You

Marketing is a science. And it’s been proven that organic growth is more sustainable than abrasive in-your-face marketing tactics. That’s why we love SEO missions!

By writing a content pillar blog and more niche follow-up blogs, you put your business in a position to publish consistent material – both in terms of time and remaining true to your brand voice.

Plus, when you backlink your relevant blogs (and other credible sources) to each other, the SEO algorithm likes it. Which gives your brand the SEO boost it needs for a larger audience to find your business and convert into paying customers.

No Time For Content Pillar Brainstorming? Leave It To The Pros

Hearing the phrase “content pillars” may make a copywriter’s ears perk up, but we realize that not everyone feels the same way. And, we understand that, as a business owner, you have your hands full – to say the least.

Rather than dive into the task of writing a content pillar and then splintering it across your channels, hand it over to the experts. At FocusCopy, we take the dreaded task of writing off the heavy shoulders of small business owners.

Together, we can come up with a plan, and then my team will get to work producing quality copy that will help grow your business. Want to chat about content pillars and other copy for your business? Schedule some time to chat with me here.

Focus Your Copy On Conversation & Conversion

Let’s Grab A Virtual Coffee With Us To Discover How To Boost Your Words
Editorial Calendar With ClickUp

How To Build An Editorial Calendar With ClickUp That You Can Actually Stick To

Do you ever wonder how content creators find the time?

Especially businesses with heavy workloads, they somehow still have quality blogs, social media posts, newsletters, and updated web pages that get lots of traction. 

Want to know the secret behind the folks who always have something to post?

It’s all about the editorial calendar. 

But effectively planning out your editorial calendar can make the difference between publishing quality content and letting your greatest ideas fall through the cracks. 

What Is An Editorial Calendar? 

Essentially, an editorial calendar is a multi-functional calendar creators use to manage content creation and publication.

With the right software, you can schedule campaigns with the themes and tasks included. Plus, you can look at your content to-do list at a high level. But you can also take it to a granular level to input inspiration, references, and data for each small task. 

Have you ever thought about your 5 or 10-year plan, and then worked backward to list the work and milestones required to meet your goals? 

That’s pretty much the gist of an editorial calendar but with your short and long-term marketing goals in mind. 

Need someone to take over the reins of your editorial calendar? Contact us today and start sharing quality, high-converting copy.

Why Create An Editorial Calendar On ClickUp?

Personally, ClickUp is the software that we use. It also helps that it’s very effective at storing ideas, planning content, and getting it published efficiently. 

Plus, ClickUp allows users to view tasks in lists, boards, and in a calendar setting. This means that while planning, I can look at our to-do’s at a high level. Meanwhile, my employees can filter through tasks assigned to them with access to the notes and objectives for each piece.

Process To Build An Editorial Blogging Calendar With ClickUp

One of the best things about ClickUp is its versatility. You can customize it to fit your exact needs. However, this also means that coming at it as a blank slate can be overwhelming. There is an abundance of free tutorials available. But if you want to get straight to creating your editorial calendar, I’ve made it easy with a step-by-step guide. 

1. Do The Prep Work

One thing I’ve learned is you can’t count on inspiration to always hit at the right time. With so many different ongoing projects for my own business and my clients, the prep work is non-negotiable. 

Identify Content Pillars

After research comes the strategic part of the prep work: the content pillars. This is where we identify several topics that will tie into each other. For example, we’ve written several FocusCopy blogs about copywriting – because that’s what we do.  Within these blogs, we include backlinks to our other blogs relating to copywriting. 

If you check out our blog page, you’ll find blogs with topics centered around writing copy, including:

While that’s just a teaser because we have loads more blogs about copywriting, the goal is to answer as many readers’ questions as possible. But how do we know what readers are asking? Research.

Not only does grouping similar topics into content pillars provide value in the form of educating readers, this method also helps to increase our Google ranking. 

For example, FocusCopy’s content pillars are Copywriting, Content Writing, and General Marketing, Systems, and Entrepreneurship. If there is something we are considering, we always run it through our pillars. If it doesn’t fit, it’s thrown out or we rework it to give it a different angle. 

Pro Tip: Do not select more than 3-5 content pillars. The key is to focus. 

Identify Calls To Action

This is where the objective comes into play. Ask yourself, what do you want readers to do? It could be…

  • Subscribe to your newsletter
  • Download a lead magnet
  • Follow your business on social media
  • Schedule a time to grab a coffee and discuss your business goals

You may think that a reader will automatically know to contact you if they are interested in your product or service. However, you are giving readers too much credit. Not because they are lazy or unable to find your contact info on your website, but because we all have fish brains when it comes to searching the web. It’s too easy to close out and go on to the next blog or website if we’re not finding immediate answers to our questions. That’s why we need calls to action to tell readers exactly what steps to take next.

We live in a digital world with more data than we can even begin to comprehend and it’s literally all at our fingertips. According to Portent, “Website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each additional second of load time.”

If the goal of your marketing efforts is to convert readers into paying customers, time is of the essence. You need a quick-loading website and linked calls to action to tell your readers exactly what to do. 

Now that you have your calls to action listed (and understand their importance), it’s on to the next step!

Not sure what calls to action you need to include? FocusCopy can help! Get in touch with us here.

2. Create The List In Your ClickUp

Managing your editorial calendar is simple when it’s all in one place. Create a list and name it “Editorial Calendar”. You’ll be able to track and organize your upcoming blogs at high and granular levels with ease.

Editorial Calendar With ClickUp

It should look something like this when you’ve created it. 

Editorial Calendar With ClickUp

3. Create Fields

Let’s get into the details! This step is all about getting the nitty gritty specific subtasks, data, and labels down. 

Rather than going through this process for each blog topic, create one blog task with all the fields below. You’ll be able to use this as a template to easily duplicate.

We suggest creating the following fields in this order: 

  • Content Pillar using the Dropdown field
  • Call To Action using the Dropdown field
  • Type of Blog using the Dropdown field
  • In Progress using the Website field
  • Published Link using the Website field

If you want to go all out, you can include the following fields: 

  • Author
  • Target Keywords
  • SOP

This is what it looks like inside a given task. 

Editorial Calendar With ClickUp

4. Brain Dump All Your Topics As Tasks

Input all of your topics as separate blog tasks. Over time, you will learn what parts to tweak. But for now, this will be a functional home for your editorial calendar to-do list.

Now that you have your template blog task with the appropriate fields, right-click and select “duplicate”. ClickUp will prompt you to adjust the name and what elements to copy over. If you’re using an open blog template (not a completed task), then I suggest simply changing the name and including all fields. 

You can also create a template inside of ClickUp so there’s no need for duplicating. 

5. Fill Out As Much Information In The Fields

After you input blog topics as tasks, it’s time to fill out those fields. This is much easier with the dropdown fields mentioned above.

The great thing about ClickUp is you don’t have to cover all the details. So if there’s something you’re unsure about – like the due date or which employee to assign to said task, just leave it blank for now. 

However, it’s best to fill out as much information as possible at this point. Go through the bullet points above under “Create Fields” and watch your editorial calendar come to life!

But remember, if you’re unsure about something, don’t let it create a bottleneck in your workflow. Simply move on and fill out what you can. Make sure to schedule time in your calendar to go back to complete these fields. Sometimes making appointments with yourself is necessary to make sure everything gets done!

6. Schedule Your Blogs

While it would be great to complete all tasks as they are created, that may be edging on wishful thinking. To ensure that nothing falls through the cracks, it’s time to schedule the blogs with due dates.

But it’s not just the final due date. Instead, schedule dates to start and complete each subtask. For instance, say you want to publish a Halloween-themed blog on October 31st. To ensure that you or your employees have enough time to make the deadline, schedule the outlining portion of the blog for 3 weeks ahead of time. Then, schedule the drafting to take place over a couple of days, 2 weeks ahead of time. Next, you’ll want to make sure to schedule the process of checking SEO, editing, addressing edits, finalizing, and finally…publishing!

With enough lead time, and a little cushion (can’t forget about clients!), you’ll be able to post your spooky Halloween post with timely relevance to the holiday season. 

Bonus Tips

As I said before, ClickUp has a ton of features! So many, in fact, I can’t imagine one business needing to utilize every single one. But that also makes ClickUp a versatile tool that can be used throughout many industries. Here are some additional tips to help expand your ClickUp experience.

Use “Whiteboard” To Generate Content Ideas

More of a visual brainstormer? Me, too!

What’s cool here is you can create tasks directly out of Whiteboard. This means that you can arrange your pillar content and branch off into more niche topics from a high level. Being able to create tasks this way takes collaboration and creating your editorial calendar to a whole new level!

Editorial Calendar With ClickUp

Look Via “Schedule” To View It On Calendar View

Need to get a view of your overall calendar?

Again, ClickUp’s versatility comes in clutch. Select the calendar view to see how all your tasks appear over the course of a week, month, or year. You can filter down the dates for your exact needs.

Want To Skip The How-To & Publish Quality Blogs For Your Business?

You can always skip the tutorials and go straight to the experts. At FocusCopy, we work with small female-owned businesses to produce high-converting copy.

And the best part? While we do what we do best (writing copy), you can focus on running your business. You can confidently get through your to-do list knowing that quality copy is on its way to boost your brand’s reputation, SEO, and overall growth.

Want to learn more about how FocusCopy can position your business for success? Reach out and let’s start the conversation.

Focus Your Copy On Conversation & Conversion

Let’s Grab A Virtual Coffee With Us To Discover How To Boost Your Words