44: Use Content Pillars to Generate Strong Content

Use content pillars to generate content for your blog, social media posts, and newsletters. Stop struggling with what to write about in your blog and your author newsletter and your social posts!

Who Is Your Ideal Reader Avatar? goes with Episode 2: Who Is Your Ideal Reader?.

Use Content Pillars to Generate Strong Content

Content Pillars Exercise downloadable pdf file

The question of the week is: What are your content pillars?

Get your free copy of the First Chapter Rubric.

Links:

WritingPursuits.com

Instagram: @WritingPursuitsPodcast

Three Story Method Certified Editor

KathreseMcKee.com

Mailerlite (affiliate link)

YourFirstChapter.com

Transcript
Kathrese McKee:

In the past, I have talked about blogging and

Kathrese McKee:

writing newsletters for subscribers. But I feel like

Kathrese McKee:

what stops most authors from getting started? Or being

Kathrese McKee:

consistent is a lack of ideas. Where do you continue to get

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ideas? How do you know your ideas will interest your

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readers? What topics will work? How do you niche down? If your

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fans don't want to read about the craft of writing? What can

Kathrese McKee:

you write about? Answers to these questions and more on this

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episode of writing pursuits? Welcome to the writing pursuits

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podcast where authors like you discuss writing craft, author,

Kathrese McKee:

life and book marketing strategies. I'm your host

Kathrese McKee:

Kathrese. McKee. I own writing pursuits and write and produce

Kathrese McKee:

the weekly newsletter writing pursuits tips for authors. In

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addition, I am a speculative fiction author. Writing pursuits

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is for authors who drink too much coffee, endure judgemental

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looks from their furry writing, convenience and struggle for

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words. If you are a writer seeking encouragement,

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information and inspiration, this podcast is for you. Let's

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get to it. Hey, writing precedes authors. Welcome back to the

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podcast. For those of you who are new, I want to extend a

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special welcome. My name is Kathrese McKee. And I'm glad

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you're here. Please leave a comment a star rating and follow

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the show to help others find writing pursuits. Use content

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pillars to generate content for your blog, social media posts

Kathrese McKee:

and newsletters. Stop struggling with what to write about in your

Kathrese McKee:

blog, and your author, newsletter and your social

Kathrese McKee:

posts. In the past, I've talked and written about blogging and

Kathrese McKee:

writing newsletters for subscribers, but I feel like

Kathrese McKee:

what stops most authors from getting started or being

Kathrese McKee:

persistent and consistent is a lack of ideas.

Kathrese McKee:

So content pillars are the solution. And if you keep them

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in mind, for every post and newsletter, you will discover an

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endless supply of topics to write about that will interest

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your readers seriously. Wouldn't it be great to have a limitless

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well of content ideas?

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So what are content pillars? Content pillars is a marketing

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term. If you Google it, you will find many articles about the

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concept stick with me and you will understand the concept well

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enough to get started. Think of a content pillar, like a silo or

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a well, basically a cylinder to hold stuff. farmers use silos to

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store grain and fermented feed called silage, the silo store

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bulk products separately. I also like the mental image of a deep

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well to draw ideas from how do you identify your content

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pillars. Each of your content pillars supports your brand.

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Your brand needs three to five pillars. If you choose five,

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then you automatically have buckets for Monday through

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Friday. kind of convenient. If you are a nonfiction author, you

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should choose your pillars based on your area of expertise.

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Actually, I think nonfiction authors have it kind of easy.

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It's a little bit tougher for for fiction authors, but don't,

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don't give up. Stick with me. So for the nonfiction author, let's

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take an imaginary tennis pro we'll call him and the love for

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our example. He might identify the The following content,

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pillars, techniques, equipment, mindset, tournaments and events

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and fitness tips. So let's five areas five pillars. Let me

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repeat those techniques, equipment, mindset tournaments

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and events, fitness tips. Okay, so fill each content pillar with

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ideas all you need is about an hour to brainstorm and a means

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to capture your ideas. After you pick your content pillars then

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fill them with related ideas once you have your list more

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ideas will come I promise. Keeping your content pillars

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full is a never ending process. As you draw out ideas put more

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ideas in be sure to capture your ideas in a permanent place where

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you can access them from now on I keep mine in a Google sheet

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that's accessible on my computer and my phone and you can put

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like the the content pillar name at the top of each column and

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then beneath the column just a list of ideas that's all you

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need to do. And then when you use it an idea maybe shade it

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you can always repeat it's okay to come back just come back from

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different angle. So let's go back to our nonfiction example

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Andy love should brainstorm as many potential topics as

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possible for each of his content fillers. He might add tennis

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elbow prevent chin and best hydration drinks and workout

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tips to the fitness tips content pillar. The topics he lists will

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serve his community of readers with important information they

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can use. I really didn't mean to make a pun, but he will serve

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his community. His topics will also support his credibility as

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an expert. When he is creating social media posts each week, he

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can choose ideas from his content pillars. He can even

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designate themes like Mindset Monday, and Technique Tuesday

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and fitness Friday. And like I said before, it's okay to repeat

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topics. Just use a different angle to keep things fresh.

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Writing pursuits is run by Kathrese. McKee, who has been

Kathrese McKee:sted by fiction authors since:Kathrese McKee:

new level of excellence. Guthrie's is a three story

Kathrese McKee:

methods certified editor who specializes in story

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diagnostics, coaching, and line editing to help you prepare your

Kathrese McKee:

story for the journey ahead. For more information, go to writing

Kathrese McKee:

pursuits.com. The link is in the show notes. And now, back to the

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podcast. What about content pillars for fiction authors? You

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are free to think of your own content pillars. For the sake of

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this discussion, I'm going to suggest five content pillars for

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fiction authors and you then you can just kind of decide what

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fits you best and knock out some and replay replace others. It's

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okay. So my five are mindset, which is about author life

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creative process, which would include things like quotes and

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art and your brand, marketing. And I think this one applies to

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all authors. This encompasses all necessary communications

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between an author and their fans. Interests, which is all

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the common ground you have with your readers, and genre, which

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is like news about movies, books and fandoms that are related to

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your genre. Let's take the mindset content pillar. The

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ideas in this silo would include your inspirations, your favorite

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movies, music, self improvement, because fans love to follow

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their author on their life journey, striking a healthy

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balance between art and life, appreciation and gratitude. All

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those things come under the mindset pillar.

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So I hope you're having some ideas kind of percolating in the

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back of your mind. Start writing them down. Okay, in the creative

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process pillar, you could include quotes, fan art,

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journaling, humor, bad lines from you know, that you've come

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up with, or that you found in other places, irrelevant poems,

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and scribbles. That's your creative process and your fans

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are interested. Every author needs a marketing column. Just

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make sure it isn't your only column. This column would

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include things like street team news, covers, back cover, copy

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polls, giveaways and events. Make sure your newsletters are

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not simply an excuse to say buy my book. So maybe make this one

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out of every five things you talk about. It should not be the

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only thing you talk about in your newsletter. That's a real

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turnoff. Okay, let's skip interests for now and consider

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the genre content pillar. This is an easy one to fill because

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you can discuss movies, old and new books in your genre,

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favorite characters, fandoms, and lore. Anything to do with

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the genre you write in? Because you know that people who have

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signed up for your newsletter are interested in that too. What

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you need to do is blend your content pillars with your

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avatars interests. All the pillars we've talked about are

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strong contenders to connect with your reader. But you can go

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deeper if you know your ideal reader avatar. Remember Marissa,

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our fictional avatar from episode two of the podcast. She

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is also featured in the blog post who is your ideal reader

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avatar, and that'll be in the show notes. In a nutshell.

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Marissa is a socially conscious, hardworking, single Moodle

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millennial. Now most can say that single millennial who loves

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clean romance and cats. If you are a romance author who writes

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for Marissa, then you could tap into the following sub topics

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for your interests, content pillar, clean romance genre

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recommendations. So you can't possibly write books as fast as

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your readers can read them. So you need to be like recommending

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other books, and they'll love you for it that's providing

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value to your readers. Funny Cat stories and photos. It shouldn't

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be all funny cat stories and photos but that's a good thing

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to add in. And fun date ideas because you're in romance,

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right? You can write about serious topics for Marisa to

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like social consciousness and single lady issues and concerns.

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So that's perfectly acceptable. The main point is to connect

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with your reader. Do you see the cross section between the

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content pillars of your author brand, and your avatars

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interests? Content pillars are a means of serving your current

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and future customers. Let's say you write military fiction. Your

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creative process pillar could include posts about military

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bases as possible settings for your next book. past heroes

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could serve as models for your story characters, your ideal

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avatar, who loves all things military is going to tune in for

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more. So the question for the week is what are your content

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pillars? Leave your answer in the comments below. Also, there

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is a content pillar exercise that you can download from the

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blog post in the show notes. On the front there are pillars with

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rooms for AI with room for ideas on the back, I am lending you an

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abbreviated example. Just to give you something to start

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with. Set aside an hour and do this exercise today. This is

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only a start. I expect you will also have many ideas your

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pillars will each grow to fill a page and start your spreadsheet.

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Keep the information in a place for reference whenever you

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communicate with your readers. And that's all I have for you

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today. Until next time, keep writing. Thank you for joining

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us today. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a comment

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and follow the podcast. If you're new around here. I hope

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you will sign up for the weekly newsletter writing pursuits.

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Tips for authors that link and all the links mentioned in

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today's episode are in the show notes at writing pursuits.com.

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Please join us on Wednesdays for new episodes and keep writing my

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