Using Cornerstone Content to Acquire Word of Mouth Links

Cornerstone Content

I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase more than once: “Content is King”. Yeah, well, what does that really mean? I don’t know the exact interpretation of the one who penned that phrase but what I do know, is that without a king, there is no kingdom. Without cornerstone content, your website is just another domain name in the vast sea of great, quality information throughout the web.

You see, there is nothing ‘good’ that gets noticed in the web today.

Only what is ‘exceptionally great’ will get real attention and spread out.

First things First

Word of mouthThere are various types of links – paid links, exchanged links, guest post links, blog comment links, and so on and so forth. One-way links can consist of some of these. I’m not talking about one way links. I’m talking about word of mouth links. What do I mean?

Word of mouth links are links that are linked to you because of how great your product/ service/ idea is. These are links that exist because of the great value you provide to people – nothing more, nothing less. These types of links are valuable and natural. These links are also the hardest ones to get.

Because dishing out ‘great value’ is hard.

Great value deals with:

  • Helping people with their problems
  • Giving out great information
  • Entertaining your audience

All in the simplest, most concise way of presentation.

Cornerstone Content

What the heck is it? It’s simply content that provide ‘great value’. It is the type of content that takes days, weeks and even months of research, and another set of hours or days to collate and create and another set of days or weeks to promote. This is the type of content where you shed your genius and pour out your heart at. This is the type of content that impacts a reader so much so that it sticks your brand to that reader’s mind.

The Difference between Cornerstone Content and Linkbait

Linkbait deals with Creating content that is exceptionally great to attract links. It does not have to deal with who you are as a company, as a brand, what your services are, etc…

Primary goal: Attract word of mouth links

Cornerstone content deals with who you are as a person, as a company, as a product, as a service – putting it in such a way that people will only be able to find that kind of content in you and nowhere else.

Primary goal: Establishing your brand through exceptionally great content

Content is King

What makes a Cornerstone Content?

  • Great emotional impact
  • Powerful data and facts
  • Creative and out of the box opinion and advice
  • High sense of identity of the brand publishing the content

Results of Cornerstone Content

  • Likes, Shares, RT’s, +1’s
  • High quality word of mouth links
  • Branding
  • Thought Leadership

Here are some samples of SEO Hacker’s Cornerstone Content:

I won’t be teaching you exactly how to create Cornerstone Content because things are different for each industry. But here’s the good news!

I’ll be writing about Content Strategy for SEO Hacker School’s next series of lessons. Check it out – it might just help you create and promote your first Cornerstone Content!

Double Your Growth.

We curate the best of inbound marketing news and send over the top 10 we know will contribute to your growth - once a month.

  • Can I first thank you for the article. It makes a lot of sense to me as there are sites I go back to time and time again or tell others about because they re so useful or sometimes they are fun.

    I get the idea that it will take blood,sweat and tears to carve out such worthy content but it must be worth doing. Great idea and well explained.

    • Piggy-backing on what Bill said, “…well explained.”

      I didn’t see the difference between “Link Bait” and “Word of Mouth” until you wrote, “…people will only be able to find that kind of content in you and nowhere else.” Light bulb moment. Now I get it. Thanks!

  • Sanjeev Rana

    It’s merely content that offer ‘great value’. it’s the sort of content that takes days, weeks and even months of analysis, and another set of hours or days to collate and build and another set of days or weeks to market. this is often the sort of content where you shed your genius and pour out your heart at. this is often the sort of content that impacts a reader most so it sticks your complete to that reader’s mind.

  • I learned new things upon reading your blog. It’s very informative and interesting. When I found out that Google is now looking for a great and quality content in making articles or blogs, I immediately changed my way of blogging so that I may able to go with the flow of Google’s algorithm. In order for us to be on top we should make our blog more reader-friendly and make sure you include worthy information for them. Cornerstone Content sounds new to me, it’s pretty interesting and I’m planning to do it and research for it more further. Thanks for sharing ideas!

  • I admit this is the first time I’ve heard ‘cornerstone content’ coined for but the idea behind it has long been practiced by successful marketers. IMO, great content won’t guarantee extraordinary exposure because no one really knows how people would react especially that this term is geared towards exposing you or your brand.. Linkbaiting, on the other hand, has been proven to generate heat and curiosity, which is also a great way to funnel them to your money site, so to speak. All the same, Kudos to Sean for writing a useful content.

    • Thanks Manny. Hope this post will open the minds of SEO Specialists who think it’s too tedious to create cornerstone content to rank top. I think it might just be the only ‘future-proof’ way to go in terms of long-term SEO rankings.