Some of you know what a content calendar is and some of you don’t know what a content calendar is, either way is fine because I’m going to tell you how I use it and how I suggest my clients use it. Someone in a group I’m in asked a question about content calendars so I posted a sample of one. Then she came back and said, “Great! What do I do with this?”
Here’s what I broke down:
- What a content calendar is.
- How you can use it in your business.
- How it keeps you organized and sane.
- How it helps you find the gaps in your content so you know where to create something new.
This instance is a perfect example of that because honestly, I realized after she asked the question, that I talk about content calendars when I do blogging classes, in one on one coaching scenarios, and I give people templates, but I’ve never actually done a blog post or a Facebook Live around it. So here it is!
The content calendar itself can be a spreadsheet in Google Docs (or Excel) or a table in Word, if you are not a spreadsheet person. Either way is going to work it just depends on what you work best with.
Whichever format you use you want to have tables that include the date, topic or title, where you published it, when you published it, and links. You may want to refer back to these at a later time in other blog posts or in reply to people’s comments when it is relevant, so it’s important to save the links.
How does this help you grow your empire? Well if you have an online business you likely have a lot of content. If you don’t yet, you likely will over time. Content can be blog posts, social media posts, live-streams, video, infographics, or eBooks. Now the secret is keeping up with all that content because that is how it will create its magic. One blog post is not going to make a business. But over time these things have a cumulative effect. If you can bring that in and connect it later that is the key.
For example, I’ve written posts on SEO basics, what are key words, SEO for beginners, etc. and I wrote them awhile ago but the information is still relevant. Now I can direct people to these if we are having a conversation about this topic. That is where the cumulative content you have over time really helps you expand your business and your “empire” so to speak.
There are these pillars of digital marketing; your website, email marketing, social media, and other aspects, but the content is the main focus. It’s all about content and if you don’t have content on a regular, consistent basis then you have nothing to share with people and no way to bring them into your world for them to get to know who you are. You need to build that know, like, trust factor and have them want to do business with you. Content is the crux of this entire thing.
Think about it. The people you follow online are the people who are putting out interesting, useful content that you find valuable and that answer your questions. That’s why I’m making this particular post on content calendars because someone asked the question, what is a content calendar and how do I use it?
I do this with clients all the time, especially if there are multiple writers writing for a bigger blog that has multiple posts that come out every week. We have a table with the date we are targeting, the date it was submitted, the date it was published, and it might be followed up with number of comments or likes.
You can also do this with social media where you create a calendar for yourself, or a spreadsheet, outlining what you will be talking about each day. You can write out the whole post or just drop the topics in to stimulate your brain so on the day of posting you have your content/ideas right there.
Try this out and develop your own system. You could answer questions that you are often asked. Use the 5 x 5 method; write out the five questions people frequently ask you and the answers. These could then be five different posts that can be dropped into the calendar and recorded in the table.
I have a spreadsheet that I write all the posts I have written on my blog with all the urls, dates and titles. This is a great reference for me. And it helps me find where the gaps in my content are. Just like this post about content calendars.