Content Calendar – How to Create a kickass Calendar

Content-Calendar-for-Social-Media

It’s easy to lose track of what you should be doing when it comes to your online business and blog. If it’s not all the emails you need to go through, or that promotion you are running on your blog, it’s your day job, or the kids, or cooking and cleaning. You know, life! Therefore it is important to get a Content Calendar together so you can keep track of what you need to post, when to post and on what platform. 

In this post you will learn why it is important to have a content calendar, how to construct your calendar and a few other hidden gems. Let’s get cracking!

What is a Content Calendar?

A content calendar is a system that allows you to plan out your Blog’s content strategy for the upcoming month, half a year or more! 

This system will allow you to create content for your online business consistently. Every piece of content will have a consistent flow that builds on each other, aligned with your business strategy. 

Content calendars help you understand what to write about whenever you sit down to create your content. All of your topics for this month are already there, listed out for you.

What Type of Content can you Plan?

Anything you need to publish consistently.  

Do me a favour and have a think about what you publish and where. Examples could be;

  • Your Blog Posts – Weekly or bi-weekly
  • Emails – Weekly or bi-weekly. 
  • Youtube 
  • Podcasts
  • Webinars
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest

When you list them out like that, it is easy to see how you can quickly lose track of these things isn’t it? This is exactly why we need to plan these out.

Having this content calendar and plan in place will make things sooo much easier for you! 

For your FREE Content Calendar template, check out our Resource Library!

    Why do you Need a Content Calendar

    As Benjamin Franklin said “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to Fail”

    This is THE reason why you need a content calendar. Give yourself the best possible chance to succeed. It honestly doesn’t take long to get one set up. Some other valuable reasons why you need a content calendar:

    More Consistency

    It makes it easier for you to create your content when you don’t really have the time to waste, trying to think of all the things you want to write about.

    As a result of this you are more likely to have valuable content for your audience on a consistent basis. 

    Above all, as previously mentioned, your content will flow and build on top of each other, creating more value for your audience.

    Improve Creativity

    You will now have time to decide what to write about ahead of time. This will help you enjoy the process more, feel in control and fully free to explore creative thoughts for each individual piece of content you create.

    Better Organisation

    Now you can map out your content, you can develop a content strategy ahead of time. In other words, if you are promoting someone else’s products because you are an affiliate, you can plan your Social Media content for that month, along with your blog posts etc. etc. Everything feels natural and flows much better. 

    You will know what content needs to be created so you can determine your priorities for the week, month and longer. Get ahead of the game and plan out seasonal promotions.

    Control

    I initially didn’t have a content calendar and was just doing things on the fly. As a Project manager I like to feel in control, it helps keep my stress levels down! Having this calendar in place was a god send. I had planned everything for creating this blog, but not actually any content that went into it. Needless to say it led to me feeling a little stressed and overwhelmed, I missed my targets and goals that I had set myself. 

    Learn from my mistakes, get ahead of the game.

    What are the Different Types of Content?

    Now we all know there are quite a few different types of content platforms to utilise, which I listed above. Here’s your reminder;

    • Your Blog Posts – Weekly or bi-weekly
    • Emails – Weekly or bi-weekly. 
    • Youtube 
    • Podcasts
    • Webinars
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Instagram
    • Pinterest

    If you are just starting out, I would suggest keeping things simple and selecting just a handful of the above platforms. This allows you time to get used to the system, become better and more organised and add in additional platforms if you feel it necessary. 

    Now you need to understand what type of content is going to go into each of your chosen platforms. 

    There are a number of different types of content you can include.

    • Informational
    • Aspirational
    • Personal
    • Curated
    • Crowd-Sourced
    • Statistics

    Lets start with Informational Content

    Information content is often lengthy. It is a great way of showing off your knowledge on a subject. Like this post 🙂 

    “How to…” guides are great pieces of informational content. Teach and share your expertise with your audience. 

    By the way, handy little tip for you, if you want to sell any products or services to your audience, this type of content should be right up there as your number 1 piece of content.

    Aspirational

    These pieces of content can be inspirational to your audience. Aim to give your community something to strive towards, help them feel like their goals are achievable. 

    Aspirational content often takes the form of storytelling so your audience can be inspired, take action and potentially change their mindsets!

    Personal

    Personal content humanises yourself and the brand you are trying to build. Helps your audience understand YOU, and helps you become more relatable. 

    This is important for creating and strengthening the bond with your audience. 

    HOWEVER, make it relatable to your niche in some way IF you can. That’s not to say the odd picture of your dog doing something cute or crazy isn’t ok, just make these occasional, rather than the norm.

    Curated

    This is the type of content you want to use sparingly, half yearly perhaps, I say this as this type of content is essentially a “list” of content around a certain topic from other bloggers. And let’s be honest, you want your audience to see your content, and your value more than others

    Crowd Sourced

    Similar to the curated content, crowd sourced content features other people’s commentary on a topic, however instead of having links to their articles perhaps, you would gather all their responses to questions you have asked into a blog post. 

    This can be a good way of networking within your niche, so do not take this lightly as it can lead to some good opportunities that will help grow your audience and community.

    Statistics Post

    One other topic worth mentioning which is good for not only your audience but can benefit you, is having a Blog post that relates to statistics relevant to your niche. Having a lengthy post on the “top 100 stats for travelling on a budget,” for example, is a great way for you to gain back links which help improve your website DA.

    Now lets get stuck into Creating your Content Calendar

    As I reflected on earlier you want to try and keep things simple if you are just starting out. However once you have seen the system and got your content calendar created you will be able to see where you can add things in each month. 

    I would recommend starting out with 3 platforms for publishing your content. Want to add more? Be my guest. 

    Now, 2 of the 3 are going to be your blog posts and emails, so for your 3rd pick a Social Media platform or Youtube etc. 

    Once you have these 3, you can now start to think about your game plan. This is what helps you organise and plan your content ahead of time.

    Considering your Content Flow when creating your Content Calendar

    Create patterns to your content, otherwise your overall content strategy can start to seem a little wishy washy. Oh yes, wishy, washy… 

    Using your content calendar will ensure your content flows nicely and content is building on your previous content. 

    As an example let’s say you blog about dieting. Now I appreciate this is a huge topic, however just stick with me. 

    Let’s say leading up to Christmas you post recipes and guides for a healthy Christmas dinner, plans for getting ahead of the game and prepping etc. etc. 

    Now I am no dieting expert by any stretch of the imagination, however, surely you would want to follow it up with some kind of detox plan for January.

    Naturally everyone wants to get fitter after pigging out for a month! Let’s face it I don’t know many people who stick to diets or healthy eating over Christmas. 

    Then perhaps for February your content could be aligned with just healthy balanced meal plans with the beginnings of exercise programmes. 

    As I say, I am no expert, but you can see how the content flows nicely here. Apply this to your own content. 

    Now, have a look here at an example of a content calendar without Social Media input. I have split it out, as I want you to start to visualise your calendar and understand what can go where in your own life, and taking it step by step helps, instead of just hitting you with the full calendar straight away.

    Content Calendar without Social Media
    Content Calendar Without Social Media

    As you can see in the Content Calendar, I have only added in Blog posts and Emails. To help you along I have included the different types of content for each platform. 

    Now let’s have a look at a Content Calendar for Social media.

    Content Calendar with 1x Social Media Platform
    Content Calendar with 1x Social Media Platform

    You can start to see how things build up. Having this visual also helps you understand how planning your content can really help you build a strategy. Using my example above of dieting all these different elements of content would be built around a detox plan, flowing nicely into a more rounded healthy eating plan towards the end of the month. 

    If you want to go one step further you can add the titles of the different content pieces you are going to post. Then you will know all your upcoming content for the month

    Final Takeaways for your Content Calendar

    Please bear in mind that it is likely to take time before you land on a schedule that suits you. 

    Have a go at creating your own content calendar, play around with the schedule until you find what works for you.

    Consistency is key! 

    Quality over Quantity

    Add to your calendar as and when you feel comfortable that you can stick to it. 

    Finally, you may be saying “it’s all well and good having a calendar for posting my content but what about creating it” Well keep an eye out for our next post on Batching!

    Batching tasks is a massive help when it comes to creating your content to help you stay consistent. Once you have gone through the batching process here, I will give you a sneak peak at my batching and content calendar.

    Sign up to our FREE RESOURCES to claim your Template Content and Batch Calendar!

    Tell us below how you get on after creating your content Calendar.

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