Here’s something you won’t hear everyday, even from a freelance copywriter: stop blogging. Stop wasting your weekend churning out 500 word posts when you should be playing with the dog or fixing that mirror.
And do your blood pressure a favour and lose this insane belief that the next clickbait listicle will go viral and your blog will finally take off.
It won’t. And not because there is too much competition, even though there is. But because you will never make it by blogging to your customers.
Why? Because not only don’t they care about your content, they don’t have the power to put it on the first page of Google, which is the only way your blog will take off.
The only people who can do that are: Industry influencers.
And the only way you are going to influence them into sharing your blog, talking about it, linking to it, and putting it on that first page is by creating what’s called a Power Page.
And that’s what I’m going to talk about here, using not one but four examples:
‘The Ultimate Guide to No-Pain Copywriting (or, Every Copywriting Formula Ever)’ by Joanna Wiebe at Copy Hackers
‘My Ultimate Guide on How to Start a Blog and Dominate Your Niche (9,381 Words)‘ by Ramsay Taplin at Blog Tyrant.
‘The Web Designer’s Guide to Perfect Readability‘ that my cousin and I put together.
And this page you’re on now.
So let’s power you up.
What are Power Pages in a nutshell?
Let’s start with the basics. In a nutshell, a Power Page is an insanely long, intrinsically practical, and eminently sharable blog post or article designed to awe experts in your niche and encourage them to share, talk about, and link to it.
How ‘insanely long’?
‘My Ultimate Guide on How to Start a Blog and Dominate Your Niche (9,381 Words)’ by Ramsay Taplin is – as the post title boldly claims – 9,381 words long.
‘The Ultimate Guide to No-Pain Copywriting (or, Every Copywriting Formula Ever)’ by Joanna Wiebe is a colossal 11,000 words.
But that’s nothing. ‘The Web Designer’s Guide to Perfect Readability’ will eventually weigh in at over 17,000 words.
As a guide, anything over 2,000 words – this Power Page that you’re on is just over 2,000 words – is the absolute minimum word count you’re looking for.
Why do Power Pages want to elicit awe?
Power Page’s are always the definitive, ultimate, guide to X. Just look at the titles Ramsay, Joanna and my cousin and I chose for our content.
They tell anyone looking at the title in search listings or on social media that this is going to be the ultimate or definitive answer to their problem.
And aiming for awe is deliberate. If an influencer finds the most in depth solution to a problem they have, they will want to be associated with it and share that gold mine with their friends.
Who in turn will be awed by the influencer’s ability to keep discovering awesome resources.
Is a Power Page one page – can it be a series?
When my cousin over at An Artful Science asked me to create a Power Page on the power of typography to perfect web design, the idea was to use all the Power Page tricks discussed here and put out a single article.
But over the course of six months writing the guide, we realised that our monster contained 10 steps and each step could be a Power Page in its own right.
So we are releasing the guide one step at a time, building momentum and spreading the marketing and influencer outreach effort over time.
You can put out one Power Page. Or serialize it. So long as each step is in one place.
Does a Power Page have to be found on your blog?
No. This Power Page – although it contains social share buttons – is not on my blog. It is a Power Page about Power Pages to sell Power Page services.
Who are they for?
Power Pages are aimed at industry influencers. Expert authorities. Journalists. Curators and editors of online directories. What SEO gurus like Brian Dean call ‘Linkreators‘, marketers like Godin call Sneezers or Moz call the Linkerati.
Experts who – unlike your customers – share the following in common:
a) They have popular websites and blogs in your niche
b) Followers on social media interested in what they say about that niche
c) And an appetite to link to and share new content in their niche with them
Note: I’m not saying you can’t blog directly to your customers. Or that Power Pages won’t interest them, but the content should appeal to influencers first, customers second.
What are Power Pages about?
Power Pages are about your niche subject, but given their size and structure, with a twist.
Most Power Page creators take one of two approaches to this:
They write comprehensive guides or overviews on a niche subject
Or cover one aspect of a niche subject in minute detail
Joanna has written a Power Page on every copywriting formula ever created. Ramsay has written a step-by-step guide on how to create a successful blog. My cousin Stephen and I have put together a comprehensive 10 step guide to basing design around typography.
But Joanna could have written a Power Page on copywriting landing pages and Ramsay the same thing on mistakes to avoid (both ‘sections’ covered in their huge overviews).
And because Stephen and I have actually strung together 10 related Power Pages that could have stood alone, we are releasing them one at time to build interest.
The same options are open to you. But – and this is a big but – the subject of your Power Page is always based on what your influencers are already interested in.
Why do Power Pages need evergreenability?
Power Pages are rarely thought pieces or anything that will go out of fashion. These things are great, but they have a shelf-life.
If you’re going to invest time putting together a Power Page, you want it to have staying power. Which means focusing on practical, evergreen content.
An additional benefit of evergreenability is that you can revisit the content and refresh and repackage it. Joanna can add more formulas and push her page out again next year. Ramsay can update his the same way. And Stephen and I can refresh our guide too.
Each time you update it, you can re-release it. Power Pages are the gift that keeps on giving.
Is the content original?
I’ve never seen a Power Page – let me know if you have – that doesn’t include multiple outbound links, real examples, references or quotes from other sources.
Joanna’s post includes 139 copywriting formulas from 34 authors (her influencers). Ramsay points to many examples in his epic post too (his influencers).
Stephen and I used so many quotes and references that we were forced to put in a reference section at the foot of each step:
There are many good reasons for this. The first is obvious: if you’re not an expert – an influencer – you need to bolster your credibility.
But the second reason is that by standing on the shoulders of giants, you can make what’s called influencer outreach a whole lot easier.
How do you influence influencers?
Contrary to what you might think, influencer outreach as it’s called isn’t hard. So long as your content is great content and you’ve used their material in an appropriate way, a simple email (or message on social media) asking your experts for a pre-publication thumbs up and seal of approval is all you need.
And once they’ve been suitably impressed – and you’ve made any changes they ask for – when you publish it you can be sure that they are waiting to share your Power Page with their audience.
Just remember to give them the information, links and search terms you want them to use.
How do you keep people reading?
Let’s recap. You know that a Power Page is super long and practical. You know who it is aimed at and the value of including them in the content where you can.
But how do you keep people reading something that is so long?
There are a number of tricks to use. Including a table of contents so people can skip to content that really appeals to them is a trick we, Joanna, and Ramsay use.
This is Joanna’s table:
Catchy headings and subheading also work very well in breaking the content up. Mixing things up with images, infographics, charts, graphs, comic strips, screen shots and videos to break up and enliven the copy work too.
Here’s an example from our Power Page on typography:
As people scan online content, you can and should also space the content out to keep it readable, sticking to one or two points per paragraph.
You can also draw attention to key points by emboldening the copy.
All of these tricks work to get people reading – but you also want them to share what they are reading too.
How can you help people share Power Pages?
Obviously, Power Pages are typically extended blog posts, which naturally come with all the social sharing options you should expect. And as we’ve said, your primary goal is to get influencers sharing and linking to your Power Pages.
But because Power Pages are so long, it is an increasingly common trick to intermittently lace the content with buttons and banners.
This helps readers share their exciting new discovery right there, while they are engaged with it, without them having to scroll up or down to find the social media icons.
It also enables people who haven’t got the time to get to the end right now to share the content with their followers before they sign off.
Plain text Click here to tweet this! links are also just as useful ways of encouraging people not to drop off the content without sharing it.
How do you measure success?
Power Pages take time to create, and for that reason alone, they have to work. The aim of this Power Page that you’re reading now was to get ranked on the first page of Google.
Type ‘Power Page blogs’ into Google, it comes up near the top of the first page.
Anyone who wants a Power Page for their blog will find this page. Success might be measured in other ways too. In the number of comments and backlinks and social shares.
Ultimately though, success is measured by how many people want your business after reading your content.
Want to get your Power Page started?
Now it’s your turn. You know what you’re aiming for. If you stop writing those slender and disposable posts each week and devote that time to coming up with one big Power Page every three months, you’ll see the benefit to your blog and your business.
And if you don’t have the time and you want someone with the expertise and experience of researching and writing Power Pages to do the hard work for you, you know where to turn.
If you want help picking the perfect typography and marrying great content with even greater design, I also know someone who can do that too. I can influence them on cost too.
Just remember that Power Pages aren’t a one off event. If you – or I – put together industry influencing content that hits the first page of Google, you don’t just have the solid foundation and a useful template for creating more Power Pages in the future – Power Pages have a long shelf life.
Power Pages can be refreshed and updated whenever you like or whenever new developments on the same niche subject crop up. And each time you update your Power Page, you can market it again to your influencers (who by now you hopefully know on a first name basis) all over again.
So if you have an idea for a Power Page – or series of Power Pages – get in touch.