How to start a guides project…

Guides are a form of cornerstone content. There are two types of guide projects: location-based, and concept-centric.

1. Location-based guides

These include where to drink the best hot chocolate in Paris, what markets and bookshops to visit, and where to drink good coffee.

Each location-based guide contains the following articles (minimum):

  • A feature article on the concept (ie the history & culture around French hot chococlate)
  • A top 10 (our 10 favourites, cross-referenced with popular blogs & online guide sites)
  • A list of the best places off the beaten track

From here, we could also add the following:

  • A series of guides by arrondissement (eg the best hot chocolate spots in each arrondissement)
  • A series of guides by ‘type’ (eg the best markets for food, antiques or fashion; or the best anglophone, antique and French-language bookstores).
  • A series on new/trendy spots (eg up-and-coming coffee shops)

2. Concept-centric guides

These are harder to qualify, but we begin by brainstorming a list of all the potential article topics, then narrow it down to 5-7 most important or useful ones to begin. We store all the other ideas in our ‘Content ideas’ board in Trello, to come back to later.

Alternately, we might look at the already-existing content on our site and choose our topics around this. This is where the series becomes a hybrid of ‘cornerstone content’ and ‘guides’: if its purpose is to link to all the already-existing articles on the site on a particular topic, it is also cornerstone content.

For example, in our series on champagne, we included the following:

  • The 7 must-know champagne houses
  • How to read a champagne label
  • Facts & terminology
  • Resources & experts
  • Price vs quality

About the Contributor

Hannah Duke

“I’m a Melbourne-based journalist, editor, photographer, and blogger dreaming of la vie européenne. I love all things French except for the pigeons: film, food, literature, fashion, and I indulge in this passion as often as possible! Find me on Twitter, or Google+.”

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