What is Cornerstone Content?

Cornerstone content is the heart of your website. It consists of the highest quality, most important pages and posts. This is the content you want to rank at the top of the search engines.

While no two people take the same approach to creating cornerstone content, it generally includes the following traits:

  • Informative
  • Typically several thousand words long
  • Comprehensive overview of the topic

Ranking a page at the top of the search engines is more difficult than ever before. In addition to increased competition, you also have Google to contend with. And that’s why your cornerstone content should be rooted in one word: quality.

What are the Benefits of Cornerstone Content?

I don’t need to create cornerstone content to rank. It takes too much time. I don’t have the money to hire a content writer.

Does any of that sound familiar?

Yes, it takes time and/or money to create cornerstone content. However, the benefits are well worth it in the end. Consider the following:

  • Drive targeted traffic to your website
  • Naturally build links (which helps with search rankings over the long run)
  • Provides high quality content to share on social media
  • Raises brand awareness
  • Establishes authority and trust in your space
  • Helps you with other areas of marketing, such as building an email list

Now what do you think? Do you still want to fall back on the excuses above?

With benefits like these, creating cornerstone content should be a big part of your marketing plan.  

Examples of Cornerstone Content

By now, you understand the benefits of creating cornerstone content. However, you’re not 100 percent sure of what it looks like.

We’ve got you covered.

Here are 10 examples of cornerstone content, spanning a variety of industries:

Don’t just look at the titles. Click each one, read through the content, and take notes.

You won’t use the exact same style, but you can mimic one or more of these pieces to give you a solid jumping off point.

5 Steps to Create Killer Cornerstone Content

The time has come to create your own cornerstone content. Even if you’re hesitant, it’s time to take action. Your first piece may not turn out exactly how you want, but that’s okay. It’s a learning process. Trial and error is your friend.

Here are five steps you can follow to create killer cornerstone content.

1. Choose Your Keywords Carefully

If you’re going to create cornerstone content, you might as well get as much in return as possible. And this is where carefully choosing your keywords comes into play.

For example, if you’re writing a piece on “online marketing” your primary keyword is likely to be “online marketing” or “internet marketing.”

But don’t stop there. With cornerstone content, you have the opportunity to rank for a variety of long-tail keywords. Sticking with the example above, this may include:

  • Online marketing strategy
  • Types of online marketing
  • Online marketing tips

With a keyword list guiding you, it’s easier to create content that ranks.

Tip: Ubersuggest is my favorite tool for conducting keyword research. It’s free, fast, and simple to use. Not to mention the fact that it’s packed with other features, such as backlink audit capabilities.

2. Create an Outline

Don’t get ahead of yourself. Creating cornerstone content takes time, effort, and energy, so you need to get the proper pieces in place before tapping the keys.

Every piece of cornerstone content should start with an online. Even if you’re a subject matter expert, an outline is necessary as it guides you through the writing process.

But remember, you don’t want to get too hung up on this detail. It shouldn’t take you any longer than 30 to 60 minutes to create an actionable outline.

3. Search Online for Inspiration

Once your outline is in place, make note of your top five competitors. Visit their content, see what you like and don’t like, and make a list of what you can do better.

Along the way, you should get plenty of inspiration for your piece. You don’t want to copy your competitor’s ideas. You want to expand on them, add your own unique take, and ensure that your content is 10x better than anything else that’s currently available.

4. Write First, Edit Later

This is one of my favorite tips. In the early days of my writing career, I edited as I created content. The end result was favorable, but the writing process was choppy.

When you write and edit at the same time, it slows you down and causes you to lose your train of thought. And that’s not what you want when creating cornerstone content.

You’re not going to get everything right on your first draft, so don’t try to do so. Write with the idea that you’ll need to edit later. This gives you the opportunity to get all your thoughts down, which you can then clean up when the time comes.

In my experience, writing first and editing later will save you time while adding efficiency to your process.

5. Find Help (if you need it)

You’ve tried everything to create high quality cornerstone content, but for some reason you keep hitting a wall.

Maybe you don’t have the writing skills to create content that impresses you. Or maybe you don’t have the time in your schedule to create truly extraordinary cornerstone content.

That’s okay. There’s help to be had.

In addition to freelance writers, there are also editors who can take your first draft and turn it into something special.

Final Thoughts on Cornerstone Content

More so today than ever before, cornerstone content is important in making waves online.

Let me leave you with this statistic: 77 percent of companies say they have a content marketing strategy.

If you’re not creating content, if you don’t have a strategy to push you forward, there’s a good chance you’ll slip behind your competition.

Related: What is a Blog? Everything You Need to Know