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4 Steps to Creating a Simple Content Calendar
This is Part 3 of a series on Content Strategy for Small Businesses. Be sure to check out Part 1: Intro to Content Strategy for Small Business and Part 2: How to Determine the Best Content for Your Brand.
Once you’ve determined the type of content you want to create, it’s time to create content calendar. You can use a classic paper calendar, a google calendar, or an online calendar that is designed for content creation and management.
Sidebar: I use an online calendar called CoSchedule. I love it because it integrates with WordPress as well as my social media accounts. I can plot out all my post drafts and then when they are posted, I can easily set them up for social media distribution…all in the same platform. I could gush about how amazing CoSchedule is all day, but I will save that for another post.
Once you’ve decided on the calendar of your choice, it’s time to map out your posting schedule. Here are the steps:
1. Map out your primary content for each month…
Decide how many pieces of content you can REALISTICALLY produce a month. Remember that quality is often better than quantity. Consistency is also important, so don’t be afraid to start slowly and ramp up once you’ve got the hang of the content creation routine.
I create 1 piece of primary content per week. My content is in the form of blog posts. Yours could be a blog post, a podcast or a video.
On your calendar, mark down the day you plan to create the content as well as the day you plan to publish it.
Pro Tip: Batching your content creation together can save you a lot of time. Try writing two or 3 blog posts at a time or recording a couple of videos in one day.
2. Map out your supporting content for each month…
Supporting content includes anything that you create that reinforces the primary content. This often includes items such as PDF worksheets/guides, explainer videos or infographics.
This is the icing on your content cake. Often, these things serve as the “hook” that gets people to sign up for your mailing list after consuming your content.
3. Map out your content promotion for each month…
Creating great content is not enough. You have to get it out there. Map out the dates and platforms on which you plan to share your content.
The frequency of sharing will depend on the platform, but don’t be afraid to share the same content multiple times. (Again, this is why I love CoSchedule as they make the process of promoting super easy.)
4. Remember that your content calendar is a living document…
Don’t set it and forget it. There will be times where you need to shift things around to respond to current events in your life or in the world. Try to be consistent, but be ready to shift if the schedule isn’t working for you. It may take some time to find a rhythm.
Check out this video to see my content scheduling process…