How to write a guide

A pillar page is intended to be the authoritative resource for a given topic on the internet. While some blogs are instructional how-to guides or lists of incredible examples, a pillar page should be the ultimate guide that any reader would ever need to know about a topic…ever.

You can support a pillar page with other related blog posts that link out to this pillar page, known as “cluster” posts. (Quick note: if this pillar-cluster model is new to you, learn all about what it is and how the HubSpot team rolled it out it on our blog here.)

Your pillar pages should be the most in-depth writing you’ve ever compiled on a subject on your blog to date. This is because you’ll have multiple places on the post to work in your keyword and backlink from reputable sources, showing search engines you’re the place to point to for a given topic. 

If you think the pages will be longer than your usual posts, you’re right – one of HubSpot’s pillar pages takes an estimated 45 minutes to read! However, that’s definitely an outlier. Your pillar page length, pending on the depth of the subject matter, can range anywhere from 2,000 – 5,000 words. Because of this length, it’s recommended that you include at least one piece of interactive content in your pillar page – such as an embedded video or social media post – to break up this text-heavy post. 

Here are a few examples of pillar pages we’re proud of here at HubSpot. You may notice that we linked to all of the other blog posts we wrote in this topic cluster – something you should do, too. 

Outline: [Blog Post Title]

Keyword: [Enter Targeted Keyword]

Keyword MSV: [Enter Targeted Keyword’s Monthly Search Volume]

Author: [Enter Author Name]

Due Date: [Enter Due Date]

Publish Date: [Enter Desired Publish Date]

Buyer Persona: [Enter Targeted Reader and/or Buyer Persona]

[Blog Post Title]

Make sure the title contains your keyword and runs for 60 characters or less.


Lead into the post with a short 100-200 word introduction. Be sure to highlight:

  • The reason why what you’re talking about is important.
  • Who, what industry, or what sector of the industry this applies to.
  • What you’ll be covering [i.e. “in this post, we’ll provide an all-encompassing rundown of (term), including an explanation of why (term) is important, how to (term), and 8 suggestions if you’re new to (term)”].

Note: Choose the Sections from the Bank Below That You Think Will Fit Well in Your Pillar Page

Below are a few sections that would do well in a pillar page. Depending on your topic, pick the sections that you think would do best on your page. 

Keep in mind – the bank below contains suggested sections. If you believe your pillar page needs a section that is not listed below, you should absolutely include it.

You’ll also notice a prompt at the end of each section to link to a supporting cluster post. For example, if you’re writing The Ultimate Guide to Cooking and include a section about cooking pizza, you may want to link to your blog post about Italian food in that section to strengthen your on-page and website SEO. These pages should be hyperlinked naturally at some point in the body of that section.   

What is [Term] (and Why Does it Matter)?

Some readers might be new to what you’re writing about. Obviously, if what you’re writing about is well-known, you can skip the definition and head straight to why it matters. 

Explaining why the term or concept matters is important for the reader to understand how to do or use what it is you’re writing about. Talk about the personal and/or business implications of understanding, employing, or using the topic you’re writing about. 

Supporting Cluster Post to Include: [Insert Hyperlink for Reference]

The History of [Term]

Elaborate on the background of what you’re writing about and how the concept has developed from its inception to today. 

Supporting Cluster Post to Include: [Insert Hyperlink for Reference]

Terms to Know

List out and define a few of the key terms pertaining to your topic, especially if they’re mentioned elsewhere in the post. 

Supporting Cluster Post to Include: [Insert Hyperlink for Reference]

The Pros and Cons of [Term]

If your topic has highs and lows to it, outline those pluses and minuses here. 

Supporting Cluster Post to Include: [Insert Hyperlink for Reference]

# Examples of [Term] 

Proof points are immensely helpful for readers. Let’s say you’re covering the topic of product placement. This section could include 5 – 10 videos of product placement in film and television so readers can see the idea of it in action.  

Supporting Cluster Post to Include: [Insert Hyperlink for Reference]

How to [Task/Term] 

If your pillar page is dedicated to a concept that requires or benefits from a step-by-step process, outline those steps in this section. 

It’s important to be clear, concise, and accurate in the steps you provide your reader. Any extra “fluff” to the article may confuse someone, resulting in some readers not achieving the results they intended. 

If what you’re explaining how to do is solve an equation (i.e. “How to Calculate Break Even). provide a step-by-step explanation and example of how to calculate the rate, point, or number you’re explaining how to reach. Show all of your work so the reader can follow along effortlessly. 

Supporting Cluster Post to Include: [Insert Hyperlink for Reference]

# Tips and Reminders for [Term]

When breaking down a difficult concept or task, some readers may still feel overwhelmed and unsure of their ability to understand it. Break down a few best practices on how to best approach the concept, and/or a few reminders about it. 

Supporting Cluster Post to Include: [Insert Hyperlink for Reference]

Analyzing [Term]

If your topic pertains to business or businesses, give an overview of how and why to analyze your topic and how to differentiate between good and bad in the results of that analysis. 

Supporting Cluster Post to Include: [Insert Hyperlink for Reference]

Resources for [Term]

Provide further reading or resources for people just getting started who may want additional information. This section could include industry blogs, books, social media accounts for thought leaders, and/or suggestions for support/assistance. 

Supporting Cluster Post to Include: [Insert Hyperlink for Reference]


Wrap up your amazing new blog post with a great closing. Remind your readers of the key takeaway you want them to walk away with and consider pointing them to other resources you have on your website. 


Last but not least, place a call-to-action at the bottom of your blog post. This should be to a lead-generating piece of content or to a sales-focused landing page for a demo or consultation.

Checklist Before Publishing

  • Did you provide a thorough, all-encompassing rundown of the topic you’re writing about?
  • Did you provide relevant examples and accurate facts and stats to prove your understanding of the concept?
  • Did you properly cite and backlink your sources?
  • Did you link to all of your supporting blog posts in the cluster?
    • Did you go back to those posts and link to this pillar page?
  • Did you spell check and proofread?
  • Are there at least 2-3 images?
  • Is the post 2,000 words at minimum?
  • Is there at least one piece of interactive content embedded in the body (video, social media post, calculator, podcast, audio file)?