Imagine this: You have a client who wants a website/blog. And he wants you to brand the design of the website/blog.
Easy enough. That’s what you get paid to do.
You then discuss the look, the feel, the tone of the site/blog. You feel like you’re getting somewhere. You even sketch out some designs on the whiteboard.
It’s looking good.
Then he pauses and asks: “What should I write about?”
Good question, right? Well, if you don’t have a clue about web writing, keep reading and I’ll give you the answer.
Why Cornerstone Content Is Important
Here’s the deal: you could design the best looking site or blog anyone has ever seen. In fact, it could be so great that everyone who sees it wishes they’d designed it.
But will it be a successful blog? The answer is no.
A blog lives or dies based upon its content. No content, no blog. Bad content, bad blog. Good content. Good blog. Great content equals great blog.
No ifs, ands or buts.
See, in the end, your client wins–and you win–when he reaches that last level because he is now in the upper echelons of his world.
But how do you get there? And, can you, as a branding professional coach your client to achieve this goal? Should you even care?
The answer is easy, yes and yes. Keep reading to learn how.
What Is Cornerstone Content?
Every successful blog–Copyblogger, Zen Habits, Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish, Huffington Post, Boing Boing–publishes content that is core to their mission. Core to who they are. Core to what their audience wants to hear.
That’s cornerstone content. It’s foundational. It buttresses everything else they do.
It’s the content that defines the blogger, and it’s typically the subject matter upon which he or she is an expert.
They’ve mastered a subject and are now sharing that knowledge on a site/blog. Let me share with you a few case studies to explain what I mean.
3 Cornerstone Content Case Studies
Nationally recognized lawyer Jeffery Killino was one of my clients. On a national level, his firm specializes in birth and child injury. In Miami and Philadelphia, their speciality is auto, truck and personal injury cases.
What do you think his core content might look like?
Well, for the birth injury site the content includes posts on cerebral palsy and twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. The child injury site focuses on playground safety and choking prevention. The Philadelphia and Miami sites focus on common causes of truck crashes and construction site safety.
That’s case study one. Here’s number 2.
Anchor Associates is a real estate broker in Manhattan. They specialize in furnished apartments in NYC. What do you think their cornerstone content looks like? If you said “how to find furnished apartments in NYC” or “tips on relocating to Manhattan,” you’d be on the money.
The last case study is for my client Dr. Rick Lehman.
Lehman is an orthopedic surgeon who’s pioneered an ACL reconstruction procedure that speeds recovery. Got any guesses on his core content? Yep, just about anything that deals with sports injury and prevention, particularly torn ACLs.
Should You Care about Cornerstone Content?
Listen: I understand once you hand over the reigns to a newly designed site/blog, you’re job is in a sense finished.
You get paid for building a brand–not babysitting a blogger.
But what’s your brand worth to you?
And is it important to you to differentiate your brand from other professionals?
I mean, are you the type of brand professional who seeks to add value to clients in perceivable and profitable ways that makes you stand out in the crowd?
I’m guessing since you are part of the Brands That Defy Gravity group AND you are still reading this then you’d answer “yes” to all the above.
If that’s the case, the next time you are in the early talks with a potential client who wants you to brand a site/blog, ask him if he plans to promote his blog with cornerstone content.
When he flinches and says, “Cornerstone, what?” then you can settle into your chair and demonstrate to him why you are the superior choice in a crowded field.
And if you need any advice or have any questions or comments, shoot me an email. I’d love to chat.