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"Demystifying Pillar Content & Topic Clusters" with Justin Champion of HubSpot (Content Lab, Ep. 1)

"Demystifying Pillar Content & Topic Clusters" with Justin Champion of HubSpot (Content Lab, Ep. 1) Blog Feature

Liz Moorehead

Editor-in-Chief, Speaker, Host of 'Content Lab' Podcast

July 18th, 2018 min read

Today is the launch of IMPACT's newest weekly show, Content Lab. Content Lab is podcast for content marketers who want the inside scoop on the strategies, tools, and tactics you need to create remarkable content your audience will obsess over.

Since it's the first episode, I thought about playing it safe by dipping a timid toe in the shallow part of the pool with an easy topic, but instead, I decided to dive right in to the deep end with a big and meaty one -- pillar content.

In case you're new around here, here's the deal. I'm a little obsessed with pillar content, so I like to write about it:

(I'm also going to be talking about it at IMPACT Live!)

Why pillar content? It's complex topic that has prompted a lot of chatter in the inbound community, and for good reason. It's massive. It's scary. It's exciting. It's intimidating. It's the future of content.

Most of all, pillar content is misunderstood.

To help me unpack and demystify pillar content, I invited one of my absolute favorite fellow content nerds and industry friends to join me this week -- Justin Champion, content professor at the HubSpot Academy.  

Enjoy! 

Listen to the Episode

Pillar Content Examples

Other Resources & Articles

One Thing: Be Specific

My "one thing" for you all to do differently this week is to narrow the scope of what you cover in one piece of content. Because it doesn't matter how long a piece of content is -- 400 words or 14,000 words -- you should identify a specific problem or question for you to solve or answer in every single piece of content you create. 

In the context of pillar content, that might seem impossible, considering that a pillar, by definition, is supposed to be the most definitive resource on a particular topic -- trust me, you can solve for specific problems in your pillars. 

That's what we did at IMPACT with our pillar on website redesign.

Website redesign is a broad, complex topic. Instead of treating our pillar like a kitchen sink, we opted to solve the problem of educating businesses on everything they need to know before they call an agency. 

(Now, we can go back later and build out other pieces on that topic -- for example, website redesign process or web design trends.)

Content that is everything to everyone ultimately pleases no one.

So, tighten the focus on the content you're creating. Not only will you create content that's more effective, you'll also be able to come back and visit broad topics in different ways more easily in future.

Weekly Awesome: Ubersuggest

Neil Patel's Ubersuggest is one of my favorite keyword research tools that I use when working on our pillar content strategies.

It's easy to use and understand, and I also get a lot of great ideas out of the related keywords it spits out.

Also, as someone who is a content nerd first, this super simple tool really helped me bring data into my content development work. 

Like we talked about in this episode, you can create the most amazing content in the world, but no one will find it if you don't have a research-backed keyword strategy behind it.

Check Out Justin's Book, Inbound Content!

Screen Shot 2018-07-18 at 8.19.49 AMYour content must be valuable, relevant, and consistent -- but how should it be implemented at the actual content-creation level?

This book shows you how to develop a unified strategy, create compelling content tailored to your needs, and utilize that content to its greatest advantage in order to build your brand.

Get the book on Amazon.

Connect with Justin Champion

You can find him on Twitter, but also I would highly suggest checking out his Wild We Wander website and Instagram, which documents his and (his wife) Ariele's lives as digital nomads. 

Subscribe to the Content Lab Monthly Newsletter

Once a month, I'm going to send you an absurdly useful newsletter will tons of insights, tips, and tools for you to make your content amazing. It's that simple.

So, what are you waiting for? Go to this page and sign-up.

Connect with Content Lab 

Okay, first, you've gotta subscribe to Content Lab on Apple Podcasts. That way you'll never miss an episode! 

Or you can comment on this episode below! I'd love to hear from you.

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