Whether you are building a house or a business, the most important part are the foundations. If they are solid, you can build upon them knowing that what follows will be equally solid and secure. Get them wrong and whatever follows will eventually fail.
The same can be said for your website. If you can build a website/blog that has a good solid base to build on, then as you grow your site over time, you know that any mistakes that you make won’t affect the fundamentals of your site.
What Is Foundation Content?
THE most important part of any blog is content! You can spend all the time & money in the world marketing your site to get traffic, but if when they get there they find your blog content is rubbish, they won’t stick around for long.
Not all content that you write will be of the same level. Some of your blog posts will get lots of attention, whereas some will get none at all.
Foundation Content is a specific type of blog content, usually an article, which performs some very important things:
- They attract new visitors.
- They get backlinks & pingbacks (external sites linking to your blog)
- They are not time specific, so they will still be relevant to new readers in twelve months time.
- They continue to attract traffic over time because you and other people link to it within new posts.
- In time they attract increasing numbers of traffic from search engines.
How Do You Create Foundation Content?
There are many different types of Foundation content that you can produce. There is not an exact method for producing this type of content, however there are certain characteristics that you can work on.
Often, articles can become foundation content when you didn’t expect it, or that articles that you spent lots of time working on doesn’t really get the reaction you expected.
Here are some examples of some foundation content ideas that you can develop for your own blog. Also, check out our ‘How To Write Great Headlines‘ post to improve your foundation content.
1. ‘How To…’ Posts
Everybody likes ‘How to…’ articles and people search for them often. Try to write ‘How To…’ posts that are related to your niche that teaches your readers something. Only write this type of post on topics that you have an in-depth knowledge and experience with. Your readers will be able to tell if you have no idea what you are talking about.
Here are some examples that you could use;
- If you blog about cooking, try writing about how to prepare certain recipes or foods.
- If you blog about health & fitness, try writing about how to loose weight.
- If you blog about cars, try writing about how to service your own car.
- If you blog about careers, try writing about how to write a CV.
You should find it easy to think of different ‘How To…’ articles to write for your niche. Think about what your readers want to learn from you.
2. ‘Top List’ Posts
Top lists are incredibly popular. I am sure that you will have come across many of these yourself, such as ‘Top 10 Reasons Why…’ or ‘5 Things To Improve Your…’ , etc.
We use top lists on this site because they work! Check out some of our own; ‘30 Ways Your Website Can Earn You Money!‘, ‘10 Twitter Tips To Drive Traffic To Your Website‘, ‘20 Pages Every Blog Should Have!‘ and many more!
These types of posts work for a number of reasons;
- People have short attention spans. By breaking your post up into ‘Top 10’ or ‘Top 30’ however many, people can read the points that they want.
- People like comparison lists, to see whether they would have the same ‘Top 5…’
- People like to share ‘Top Lists’
- ‘Top List’ posts often get linked to by other bloggers and added to social bookmarking sites that attract traffic.
Try to make sure that all your ‘Top List’ posts follow the standard foundation content guidelines; timeless, original, helpful, specific to your niche. This will almost guarantee that your ‘Top List’ posts become key foundation content for your site.
3. ‘Opinionated’ Posts
You can write opinionated posts for your blog that will spark interest and debate from your readers. For example, you could write a post on ‘Does Britain Still Need The Royal Family?‘ if you blog about politics, or ‘Is Nuclear Energy Worth The Risk?‘ if you write about the environment.
The key point is to present some unique thought or opinion on the subject that you are writing about. Try to give your opinion on issues that are relevant to your niche, which you think that your readers would find interesting.
Try to encourage conversation and debate from your readers. Being somewhat controversial may help because people that agree with you will want to back you up and people that disagree will want to tell you why you are wrong. Don’t go overboard though! You want to encourage debate, not alienate vast numbers of readers!
4. ‘Tutorial’ Posts
A ‘Tutorial’ post is very similar to a ‘How To…’ post, but written in much more detail. These types of posts often include images, graphs, spreadsheets, etc. to help demonstrate how to do something.
These types of posts tend to be written in a ‘step-by-step‘ way, guiding the reader through each step of the process. For example, people that write about Photoshop tutorials are a classic example of this type of post.
No matter what your blog niche is, there will be a subject that requires an in-depth guide to help people understand something. You can write a ‘Tutorial’ post explaining this to your readers.
Video tutorials are another excellent way of producing ‘Tutorial’ content. This way, people can see exactly what they need to do to follow each step. I personally find video tutorials to be very helpful, although I do believe the best method would be to include a video tutorial within a written version. That way, people can follow you visually or be reading each step through carefully.
5. ‘Definition’ Posts
New visitors won’t necessarily understand everything that you are talking about. This is especially relevant to very technical blogs that write using lots of technical terminology.
‘Definition’ posts help you to explain and define these concepts to your readers. For example, recently I published ‘How Much Klout Does Your Site Have?‘ looking at how the Klout system works. Many people don’t know what Klout is as it is still relatively new, so I clearly explained what Klout is.
Other people and blogs will link to your ‘Definition’ posts if they find it to be helpful.
These are just some examples of foundation content that you can use for your blog. If you can consistently produce content that follows the standard foundation content guidelines (Timeless, Original, Helpful & Specific to your niche) then you will be on course to building a great blog that people want to visit.
All you need to do now is to attract traffic!
Please leave your comments below & feel free to ask any questions.