ProBlogger first week
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It’s all about Pillar Content

Today’s lesson is from ProBloggers First Week of blogging and is a very important topic for all bloggers new and old. Pillar Content; how to come up with it? 

For many coming up with great blog ideas is easy, and they just “flow” from your mind.

However, I know from past experience, sometimes our brains just seen to shut down and we get “nothing” which can be very frustrating. The sentence that we always hear “content is king” holds true not only for our readers but for search engines who pick up our posts.

What Is Pillar Content?

Pillar content is foundational or basic content that is essential knowledge for anyone in your niche. It’s evergreen content – it never dates or loses relevance – and it’s the kind of information that people within your audience would search for using Google, Bing, or another search engine. As you can imagine, pillar content is an important aspect of many blogs.

The key here is not to knock yourself out and try and come up with 365 new ideas but to use ideas you have already written about and expand on them.

An example..

 

In Problogger’s example, he uses a mind map to illustrate the various sub-categories that can be built around a topic for a pet and grooming blog. You can see he takes a main idea topic or original post and expands on it.

Just take out your pen and draw a line from your main idea or post title and then extend to bubbles with various ideas or sub-topics. It is a wonderful way not only to organize but to come up with great new material.

  • Pick up a question that a reader asked in the comments and answer it.
  • Take the opposite point of view
  • Write an opinion view
  • Write a piece that helps people “do it”
  • Do you have a picture that would relate to this or video

Take 15 minutes to do this exercise, when completed you should have a page full of new and exciting material that will make your readers want to dive deeper into your posts.

Weekly tasks:

Utilizing the concept of pillar content, your challenge today is write a post after coming up with a subtopic from your mind mapping and don’t forget to link back to the original post if you can!

After you have written your post don’t forget to link it up here and please take the time to read a post or two and leave some love for everyone!

So do tell, how many mind maps did you create and how many new posts did you get out of this process?

Back to School for Bloggers

apple and booksWelcome to Back to School for my new weekly ProBlogger Review. I will be reviewing both “First Week of Blogging” & 31 Days to build a better blog. Some of you might be total newbies, some of you might be starting a second or third blog, some of you might be starting a business blog, starting a vlog, and some of you like me might like to review with the “scholar” of blogging to perfect your own site. In any event I am thrilled as punch to happy to have you join me. I will be posting here on Thursdays and occasionally will be hosting Tweet Up to discuss things a little further.

I will discuss the weekly lessons as well as put up a weekly task. OK, with that said, “Did anyone bring me an apple?”

Today we are starting from the beginning… Let’s take a look at the first week of blogging… As I said, even if you are not a newbie, this is such a great lesson for all of us!

Planning, planning and some more planning..

1. Set up an ideas folder. This is the brain behind your blog; this is where you will store your info to create quality content.

  • You can use old standard office files and label them; I find these useful for magazine or newspaper articles that I save that bring an idea for a post to mind, and those little pieces of paper I jot on with an idea when I am doing something completely different.
  •  Or set up files on your desktop.
  • Set up a main “idea” file and then secondary files within that or idea text documents. *This is where you run in the middle of the night if you get that “great idea” you want to write about but are afraid you will forget about until morning.
  • Each text file is a different idea for a blog post.
  • Write a topic in the subject and leave until later to come back to.
  • Some text files might have 2-3 key points which will help you start to write your content.
  • Others might be full drafts which when reviewed you can move over to schedule to post. (That might be another folder-ready to edit.)

If you are like me you have a hundred ideas going through your head and this will help you keep things organized from the start, and will also help you when you have “writers block” and need something to fill in fast.

2. Brainstorm posts i.e. Mind Mapping. This is key to coming up with great content for future use. Darren explains this in great detail.  The main thing to remember is to sit down with an open mind, doing this 5 minutes before your kids get home from school, or just before it’s time to make dinner is not the time to do this.

  • However you may choose a different method of brainstorming but the key is to set aside specific times to simply come up with ideas to write about. *I now do this the weekend before the beginning of a new month.
  • Mind mapping is also a great way to come up with categories for your new blog on topics which you would like to cover.

3. Set a posting rhythm. After doing your mind mapping you should have a handful of great post ideas to put into your ideas folder. Now is the time to sit down and “realistically” think about your life, do you have a business, children, demanding husband, now is the time to think about all of this and how am I going to fit writing into your blog, don’t fret it can be done! You just have to be organized and come up with a plan.

  • Schedule a time to write your content.
  • Establish a time/day to edit.
  • Decide what days you are going to post on a Calendar. *I do this on my Google calendar.
4. Plan your first week of content. Now that you have both a mind map and an ideas folder of great post topics, and you have set up times to make this happen it is time to pull this all in place. If you have done your mind mapping and sit up the posting rhythm you should be set to work well beyond your first week of blogging.

5. Create a launch post. It’s Show Time!! Now is the time to sit down and take the first idea, the one that sparked your interest in why you wanted to write this blog and put your pencil to paper or fingers to keys and type away…

  • Within your first post I would introduce yourself and let people know why you are writing and creating this site.
  • Let people know how reading your site might help them.
  • Set up an RSS feed through Google and point people to subscribe to it.
  • It is always good to have someone look at your launch post before hitting the publish button, PLEASE make sure all of your spelling and grammar are correct.

 

Now, after taking the time to go through each of these tasks let’s  create a post; either a launch post, a re-launch post or an About Me Page and link up! Take a moment to stop by the blogger just before you and leave some love.

 

I’m so glad to have you with me!