One of the key challenges for any blogger is to keep churning topics after topic on a continuous basis. However even top pro-bloggers will find it difficult to deliver good quality post topics every single day. At the same time, keeping your blog updated on a daily basis may be crucial to retain your readership as well as to pacify search engines like Google (Read: How post frequency can affect traffic and ranks).
Smart blogging is what you need to be successful with your blogging and to make your blog look continuously updated. And having one pillar post plus several filler posts per week is definitely a success formula that make sure that your blogging is not going from pillar to post.
What are pillar posts?
Pillar posts are those authoritative reference type posts that are generally timeless in nature and bring in traffic to your blog regardless of its time and date of posting. These posts are the pillars and foundation of your blog and many of these posts are research based and need time to write.
Putting one pillar + several fillers to work
Many part time bloggers may not have quality time available on a daily basis to indulge in blogging related activities. I, for one, manage 5 websites and hence it’s impossible to have all blogs to updated content all the time. But if I were to run only one blog I may do the following:
- Spend 2-3 hours per week to write a pillar post. The post topic and bullet points for your future pillar posts need to be collected and maintained in a text file or as draft posts to make the writing process easier. This kind of posts usually need to be written in one go for the sake of flow and hence probably a weekend night is the right time to compose such a post
- Based on your schedule again, write one or two filler posts every other day or so and keep them scheduled for future publishing. Filler posts are little tips or inspired ideas that can be posted across all your categories on a turn basis
- You may opt to schedule both pillar posts and fillers based on how and when you write them or based on your blog traffic pattern
- On a bad day, when you don’t have a filler, you may resort to a news post which deals with the latest news in your niche
- To make yourself more effective, do your blogging related tasks (e.g. comment moderation) on a day when you are free and not writing.
- There is no hard and fast rules for the number of filler posts (or even pillars) per week. However, quality is always better than quantity and hence don’t deliver unrelated junk just for the sake of keeping the blog updated
- If you have five or six fillers per pillar, keeping the number of posts on your homepage as 8 or so will help readers spot at least ONE good post. Also, you can use your pillar posts as featured posts slideshow on homepage
Are there blogs without pillar posts?
Of course there are and many of them are successful as well. Many news driven blogs may not have any pillar posts at all. But then, they aren’t really blogs but news sites which keeps grinding the latest news. For any sites with articles (and even discussion threads or comments) to become blogs, I feel that there has to be some kind of writing related creativity attached to it. Hence, pillar posts are important for non-automated, non-news type blogs.
By the way, it is not mandatory to have fillers if you wish to stick to your greatest posts alone regardless of the delay between posts.