How to create a content calendar

Planning and scheduling content is important. It makes it easier to coordinate your other marketing efforts, including social media, paid channels and physical media. A content calendar also helps your blog grow and become more than an infrequently updated obligation.

Writing it down sets a deadline

It’s easy to see content, whether it be a blog or a new web page, as something that can happen anytime. Publishing online articles and new pages for your website has become so simple that anyone can do it, whenever they want to. This freedom and ease of access also means that it becomes less important. An intention to do it tomorrow becomes a desire to do it by the end of next week, then a hope to do it by next month, and before you know it your site is stagnant. Setting a date and sticking to it might seem arbitrary, but getting into the habit is important and while the results might not be immediately obvious, after six months or a year, a site that has been regularly updated even once a month will have maintained a freshness that a neglected one can’t fake.

Writing it down cements your ideas

Remember that blog idea you had last week? Did you write it down? A half-remembered idea is no good to anyone when it comes to writing an article. Writing your idea down means you’ll be able to refer to it when you’re reading other articles, talking to colleagues and clients, and going about your day. In the same way it commits you to a deadline, writing your topic or idea down commits you to writing about it and every piece of information you absorb and learn can be cast in the light of how it relates to it. Your idea might have evolved from what it was initially, but it gives you a kernel to build on, even if that means writing a piece that disproves what it started as.

Writing it down gives it context

Ideas and blogs don’t exist in a vacuum. When you post something online, it is seen through the filter of what is happening in the world. This is both true for the people searching for it and for the algorithms deciding whether your content or blog is relevant to what people are looking at and reading. Placing topics in a calendar allows you to see what other events are scheduled. Generally, this means things like Christmas and Easter, sporting and cultural events, but also industry-specific occasions, and piggybacking these dates are a good way to gain more exposure for your content by creating related content.

The right type of calendar

There’s no right or wrong type of calendar. I’ve worked in places where a calendar is a week-to-week plan, month-to-month, or even daily. It all depends on your resources. Below are a few examples of how a basic content calendar could look.

Daily:

Weekly:

Monthly:

How to create a content calendar

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