Know what to write about

Get clarity, save time and eliminate stress with content pillars.

A writers worst nightmare? The blank page—home of anxiety and procrastination.

But fear not, a solution to your content-creation-brain-fog is here. Introducing…

Content pillars

What are they?

Three to six pre-determined topics that sum up the core elements your business. Each pillar is then broken down into sub-categories that serve the overarching topic.

Why are they important?

Used consistently, these pillars and sub-categories will make creating content quicker, less stressful and help keep your message on-brand.

How do I use them?

First, make a list of all the elements that make up your business to build your core pillars.

You will no doubt have some kind of product or service. That’s one. Perhaps you lean heavily into building a community. That’s two. Is your sustainability journey something you can talk about in detail? That’s three. And so on…

Below are some examples I’ve pulled together looking at the content of brands like Finisterre, Vivobarefoot, Paynter Jackets and Surf Yonder:

  • Product
  • Service
  • Community
  • Sustainability
  • Brand
  • Events
  • Education
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An example of Product-led content from Surf Yonder.

Then, cut the list down to minimum three, maximum six core topics. To do this, think about how your business weights certain elements. For example, can ‘partnerships’ fit under ‘brand’ or is it a big enough part of your business to have it’s own pillar?

Next, take each pillar and create sub-categories that are unique to your brand and business.

Under Product, you might have:

Under Brand, you might have:

Pro tip: Look at the type of content other brands put out. How might you categorise their posts? Are there themes any you can repurpose?

Finally, for each category, start brainstorming what type of content you could create that is relevant for you and your audience.

With the sub-categories under Product, you could create:

Under Brand, you could create:

I’m still confused, can you give me some more examples?

Sure. Here are This Way’s pillars, sub-categories and some content ideas:

Pillar one: Promotion

Pillar two: Inspiration

Pillar three: Guidance

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Example of ‘Guidance’ content.

Pro-tip: Promotion should always be pillar one. Product or service, you should have your ‘thing’ front and centre. Aim for 50% to be about your offer with the rest existing to support it.

Pro-tip two: Keep it niche and tailored to your audience. When I say ‘Inspiration’, I don’t mean I pull inspiring references from everywhere for everyone. ‘Inspiration’ for This Way is focused on the outdoors, nature and the environment for those working in and/or learning from these sectors.

Got it. Now what?

Download this template and start creating your pillars, sub-categories and content ideas. You’ll soon find yourself on a roll and banking content for the future. No more blank pages here.

Interested in learning more? Read how This Way created a simplified content strategy for SloActive and book in a free, no-pressure 30-min call to talk through your content and communication goals.