Whether you’re a new blogger or have been blogging for years, chances are you’ve heard the term ‘content calendar.’ Maybe you’ve been using some type of content calendar without even knowing it. Or maybe you’ve heard of a content calendar but have no clue what it is or if you even need one.
When you start a blog it all seems so simple, you write a post, you publish a post and voila. Blogging. But then you start learning about marketing, landing pages, growing an email list, running a Facebook group, and promoting your posts and pinning, tweeting, sharing and this, that and before you know it your brain is fried.
But don’t give up on me yet.
Before launching this blog, I tried planning it out a million different ways, but the end was always the same. I got too overwhelmed and bloop…I gave up. Scrolling through Pinterest I discovered the Content Calendar. It’s super simple and helps me organize all the craziness that is going on in my head.
What Is a Content Calendar?
A content calendar can also be known as an editorial calendar. It’s your way of planning out content for the upcoming days, weeks, months, or even the year (yeah, for real). It helps you so you’re not rushing to write a random post and ultimately not putting in all the quality and love a post really needs. This allows you to not only plan in advance but get a jumpstart in your writing + schedule your blog posts.
You can make your content calendar as simple or as complex as you’d like. Starting off, I planned my content calendar one month at a time. I found that planning one to three months in advance is perfect. What I found to work best is to look at the previous month, see what worked and what didn’t, then plan out the following month accordingly. Now you can use a digital calendar, paper calendar, or even a spreadsheet. Test a few out and find what works for you. Before launching my blog, I planned out a whole month in my dollar tree notebook and worked wonders but found Google Calendars works best for me as I can connect it to all my devices.
I usually plan my content calendar out one month at a time with dates to publish, post titles, and color code it to see whether or not I’ve written the post yet. It’s pretty simple but highly effective. Here’s what it looks like:
Quick Tip: You could also have a calendar for your social media posts here too so you can write in advance your social media promos.
But Why Do I Need A Content Calendar?
Consistency is key, girl. It’s that simple. If you want your blog to be more than a hobby, if you want to drive traffic to your blog and create a business from your blog, then your content has to be consistent. This is what your audience comes for, how you establish your brand and connect with your readers.
Your content = page views = profits
Posting content consistently is the only way you will see your business grow. Consistency drives traffic
What a content calendar does is provide you with accountability. You’ll know you have to post on this day at this time and you’ll start working your booty to get there, but also gives you less stress is planning out what kind of posts need to get done.
Don’t be like me, trying over and over again, wondering about what you’re going to write for your next post, because you couldn’t come up with anything or didn’t feel creative enough.
Your content calendar can save you from this vicious cycle of last-minute publishing and stress.
How Does It Actually Work?
The first thing I do is brainstorm a whole butt-ton of blog post ideas. I’d say anywhere from 50 – 100 ideas are good to cover whatever creative mood you’re in. I stick to 80 ideas. Sometimes I’ll want to do a tutorial or a review, other times I want something that hits home. And don’t be scared to move around posts in the middle of the month either. If you just had a fun day out and wanted to write a ‘day in the life’ post, go for it! Or even better, throw in an extra blog post that month. Regardless, all ideas go into one page on a separate notebook, online or on paper. Or keep a notepad handy at all times. My ultimate life-saver is having a small notepad in my purse at all times so when I have an idea come to mind I can write it down wherever I may be. The notes app on your phone also works but I just tend not to check it as often. Be sure to include what category that post idea is for and any notes too (could be a sentence or a paragraph).
Then map out dates. This will vary depending on how many times a week you post. Right now, I’m sticking to twice a week and sometimes more if I’m feeling a little extra. Planning out a whole month or more also helps with holidays and seasonal posts. You’ll create ideas in advance and post around these events which in return will boost your traffic too!
Finally, make sure to track which posts are written, published and which posts are upcoming.
There’s something about having posts with a due date next to them that motivates me and keeps me accountable. Overall, using a content calendar makes me feel in control and organized, but also the freedom to grow my brand instead of stressing.
What kind of content calendar are you going to try?
blog, planning, schedule