Foundation articles allow you to put a greater spotlight on your most important content. They give you guidance and direction on how to construct your blog. They also help you attract links, get subscribers, and increase traffic to your blog.
In the first part of this article series, I discussed the difference between pillar pages and foundation pages. Pillar articles are essentially the structural supplemental content which build upon the foundation articles.
I recommend that bloggers start off with between three and five foundation articles. As you get further along in your blogging endeavour, you may want to add a few more foundation pieces, but definitely abide by the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) in the beginning stages. For illustration purposes, I’ll use a fictitous blog to give you an idea of what I am talking about with regard to foundation articles.
Foundation article example
Let’s say you have a passion for cooking. More specifically you love to bake and make desserts. You decide to create a blog about your love for baking, but where do you begin? Well, start by asking yourself exactly what it is you want to talk about. Which main topics within this niche do you want to cover on a regular basis? Just like a newspaper has several sections to it (business, sports, living, local, etc), your blog should be divided into a few different parts as well. This is where your foundation pages come into play. Think of them as the sections of a newspaper and build upon each one with the use of pillar articles and other blog posts.
Now, let’s say you would like to cover baking cookies, creating pastries and constructing masterful homebaked pies. We now have three distinct sections to your blog in which to begin construction. The style and layout of the foundation articles you create for each of these three sections can be created in several different forms. Many of the more popular layouts include; glossary/definition articles, how to articles, list articles, resource report, and article series. Here are a few characteristics these articles should have:
- Length. These articles should be longer than your average post; at least 700 words.
- Timeless. Your foundation articles should stand the test of time, and be just as relevant today as they were 12 months ago.
- Informative. They need to inform the reader, who happens to stumble upon your blog, exactly what you are trying to convey. Why should a passerby become interested in what you are blogging about? Answer that question with your foundation articles and your odds of creating excitement with that reader and ultimatley retaining them as a loyal follower is greatly increased.
As someone who knows very littel about baking, if I were to even begin to think about baking a pie I would need to know some general cooking terms and understand which tools I would need in order to create my edible masterpiece. This is where a glossary of cooking terms can be a great foundation article that readers can refer to regularly. You will undoubtedly create step-by-step blog posts about various recipes. Within these blog posts, you can link to your glossary article as needed, in order to help those who do not have your level of cooking exptertise (that would be me), understand certain baking terms and concepts. This is but one example of how you can constantly drive traffic to your foundation articles. This is not only important for your readers, but it will help search engines identify your most important content, and the constant linking to these foundation pages will increase your ranking with Google, Bing and Yahoo.
Importance of your ‘About Me’ page
Perhaps the most important foundation article you can create is your ‘about me’ page.
With the undeniable importance of personal branding, trust building, and managing how you are perceived by others, your ‘about me’ page is vitally important to your blogging success.
It allows readers to get a first glimpse into who you are on a more personal level, and gives them a reason to either continue reading your blog or move along to another site. This is where you can begin your trust building efforts and allow people to see the human side of your blog. You see, people no longer want to simply read a blog post on computer screen. They want to know who is behind the curtain and forge, on some level, a relationship with you. The rise of social media solidifies this claim as the basis for all social media is quite simply, relationships. Readers do not want to be apart of a one way conversation anymore. They want to interact with you, know who you are and find common ground in which to have a relationship with you.
Your ‘about me’ page is the perfect starting point to begin a relationship with your readers. Tell them a little bit about yourself. You don’t have to reveal highly personal information about yourself, but you do need to convey to them that you are very real, have some level of exptertise in your niche, and are worthy of being apart of their community. Social Media and blogging has allowed people with similar interests to create their own communities online. the most important aspect of these communites is trust. Without earning the trust of readers you do not stand a chance at having any long term success with your blog. If people do not know who it is that is behind your blog, they will undoubtedly move along. Humanize your blog. Give people a reason to trust you. Start this process with your ‘about me’ page.
The next article in this series will cover the more technical, SEO-driven aspects of foundation pages. This is where the use of keywords, title, linking, and page content come into play. I hope you enjoyed this article.
Part I – Pillar Articles and Foundation Articles - What’s the Difference?
Part II -Structuring Your Blog Around Foundation Articles is Key
Part III – Increase Targeted Traffic with Foundation Articles
Part IV – Portal Pages are Becoming Increasingly Important for Bloggers