Master of Repetition (tease), Yaro Starak, keeps hammering on the fact that a solid blog should have at least 5 pillar articles, that generate date-independent traffic.
I agree.

Thing is that I have ambiguous thoughts on what defines a pillar article. We are talking about an article, but most of the time this is a large post. Another possibility is to actually create separate articles, set apart from the regular posts.

First things first.
What defines a pillar article (or content pillar)? Yaro describes it as follows:

A pillar article is usually a tutorial style article aimed to teach your audience something. Generally they are longer than 500 words and have lots of very practical tips or advice. This article you are currently reading could be considered a pillar article since it is very practical and a good ?how-to? lesson. This style of article has long term appeal, stays current (it isn’t news or time dependent) and offers real value and insight. The more pillars you have on your blog the better.

What I have experienced though is that some of my posts (The importance of a good page-slug, for instance) become a pillar post. It is a post that generates regular traffic and this report, although being relatively short, has quite the ingredients of a pillar article. My intention writing such a post was not really pillar-post-minded. But through its content and linkage from other sites and the qualification those sites give the article, it becomes a post that draws in a large proportion of the visitors.

I feel that how other sites interpret a certain post can make it more than its original intent. Not to say that some post are being over-appreciated, but one can only imagine to a certain level how a post will be interpreted by others.
Writing a pillar article or post is something like writing your ‘corporate identity’. The audience, the customers / visitors determine in what percentage it actually reflects what you had in mind with it. For the visitors the article or post, the ‘corporate image’, has a certain value and only that defines the eventual impact of it.

Knowing your audience, your visitors, and their behavior and expectations is important for your future posts and articles therefor. So to start a new blog with the intent to ‘write’ a pillar article seems a bit difficult. Only after a certain period of time you may have gathered enough information on your site’s visitors to do this efficiently.

So what to do then? A non sponsored credo: Just do it!
It is only through your own site’s experience that you can learn how to tweak your article writing to your own advantage and therefor also the way how to write a pillar article.

This is my experience, my observation on this. Of course there is a lot more to say and explain on this matter.
Please enrich and complete this by means of commenting to give this post’s readers the full idea on writing ‘pillar articles’

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