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Do you find yourself constantly creating content, without a real rhyme or reason to it? Or maybe you’re sick of staring at a blinking cursor when it’s time to write a blogpost or social media post.
All that can change by implementing a content or editorial calendar.
Here’s what you’ll learn in this post:
What is a content calendar?
If you haven’t heard of a content (or editorial) calendar, you’re not alone. Many entrepreneurs haven’t heard of one — or used one.
A content calendar is a way to organize your content for the future so that you can strategically plan for all your marketing channels in a cohesive way. The bonus? You’ll plan ahead so you’ll never be stuck wondering what you should write about.
5 Benefits of a Content Calendar
1. GET CLEAR
When your content — no matter whether it’s your blog, email newsletter, social media, and so on — doesn’t have a clear and consistent message, it can be confusing and uninteresting for your target audience.
But if you plan using a content calendar, you’re able to spend a vital few minutes to be strategic. That way, your content has a clear, consistent message throughout each post. In other words, someone new could visit one of your social media pages, for instance, and understand exactly who you are and what you’re all about.
2. STAY CONSISTENT
Consistency is key when it comes to content marketing, but it’s hard to stay consistent without a plan. You’re constantly trying to catch up and being clear (like we just talked about) is nearly impossible.
Start by choosing how often you’re able to commit to each channel. Here’s an example of our content flow at simple sprout:
● Blog: every 2 weeks
● Social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest): every other day
● Email: every Saturday
Try to stay consistent with your schedule the best you can. That way, your audience can rely on you; there will never be a time where you just go silent.
Plus: staying consistent will help you stay top of mind for your audience. Remember, your audience isn’t thinking about you all the time (even existing customers!) so it helps to stay in front of them regularly.
3. AVOID WRITER’S BLOCK
There’s nothing worse than starting at the blinking cursor, knowing that you need to get your content done and posted.
When you feel inspired, take an afternoon or even an hour to start working on your content calendar for the week or month.
Then, you can even plan your content out using your digital marketing tools. (Schedule blogposts ahead with WordPress, schedule social media with a tool like Later, and schedule emails with ConvertKit!)
4. PLAN FOR UPCOMING EVENTS, HOLIDAYS + PROMOTIONS
When you take a bird’s eye look at your upcoming content, you’re able to plan well in advance.
A great way to begin with your blank content calendar is to start with holidays — where will you run promotions (like for Black Friday) and where can you create themed content (like Valentine’s Day)?
Then, add any events. Do you host any in-person events, digital workshops, or other timely happenings your audience should know about?
Next, add your own promotions. Do you run a back to school deal or a summer blowout sale?
By planning in advance, you won’t be scrambling and sharing upcoming events or promotions with customers at the last second.
5. WORK WITH A TEAM
When there’s more than just you who is responsible for content creation, things can get a little confusing without a plan.
Share your content calendar with the whole team so there’s never a question about what’s coming up next. Also, the whole team will be on the same page with your company’s content goals.
How far should you plan content in advance?
At a minimum, you should have content planned out at least a week in advance. Ideally, you’ll want to plan at least a month (or even more) out.
In some instances, you’ll want to get events and holidays on the calendar for the entire year. It doesn’t mean you need to create the content now, but having that day blocked off will help with planning later!
How to get started with a content calendar
Are you scheduling out your content? If not, now is the time to start! Scheduling your content will keep you organized and able to make last-minute changes should something arise.
Not sure where to start? We’ve made it simple.
Below, you can snag a content calendar template for FREE. Copy it, make it your own, and get to planning!