When you first start your blog, coming up with great content each week is a breeze! You’re brimming with ideas and motivation, which makes pumping out these posts easy. But, as your blog business grows and the weeks drone on, it’s not always so easy to stay consistent with quality content.
Using a content calendar is a great way to stay on top of your blog and social media posting! A content calendar is a spreadsheet that maps what you want to post, where you want to post it, and where you want to post it! (Among other important details.) Not only will it allow you to stay ahead and remain stress-free, but it’ll give you the chance to develop a real marketing strategy! In fact, there are TONS of benefits to developing a content calendar. Here are 16 benefits of having a content calendar:
16 Benefits of a Content Calendar
Post consistently with ease.
Staying organized is a huge part of running a successful blog. Search engines, audiences, and social media algorithms demand you post content consistently. But, we don’t have to tell you it’s hard to get in your post for the day or week as life gets busy and other demands of blogging steal your attention. Sometimes, you don’t even realize you missed a post until the day is over!
With a content calendar, you can plan ahead and make sure you never miss a post. You can list your posts, create them in advance, and then plan when and where they’ll be posted! Once the content is ready, make it a draft on your chosen platform, link it on your calendar, and post it when it’s time. (Or, schedule it if the channel allows!) Posting consistently with a content calendar is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Brainstorm posts with your team.
When you use a content calendar to plan, you don’t have to be the only one involved in the post creation! You can get assistance from others on your team, too. You and your marketing team (no matter how small) can huddle up, brainstorm content ideas, and decide how they should be posted.
Plan content strategically.
Rather than sitting at your computer and coming up with your content on the spot, creating a content calendar allows you to plan strategically. A content strategy will make your posts more effective, because they’re motivated by trends, seasons, campaigns, and audience demand. It’s a great way to make more effective content.
Keep your audience engaged.
As you start posting consistently and more strategically, your audience will engage better with your content. They’ll anticipate new posts, check back for more content regularly, and see the fruit of their feedback in your scheduled content.
Make content management stress-free.
If you find social media and content marketing stressful, a content calendar is a great idea. You won’t feel the pressures of the clock, and you’ll never need to force yourself to come up with ideas off the top of your head. When you plan it out and you’re a few weeks ahead, content creation, management, and marketing aren’t stressful at all.
Enjoy writing again.
Since you won’t be stressed about pumping out a new post on the spot, you can enjoy writing blog posts again. You’ll get past your writer’s block and creating content will be fun, like it was when you first started blogging. It’s a great way to fall back in love with your blogging business.
Allow yourself days off.
It’s true that social media channels demand you post daily. For a blog to be really successful, you’ve got to post 1-3 times a week, too. This is a lot to demand of one person or a small team. For many content creators, it means NEVER getting a day off. But, that’s unnecessary.
If you want to have a day off while posts continue to go out, creating a content calendar is a must. You can enjoy the weekend while your planned content posts automatically or by one of your team members. As long as you have a content calendar, it’ll be easy for someone to follow along and post the prepared content.
Meet deadlines of brand collaborations.
If you’ve been blogging for a while, you’re probably creating regular sponsored posts from brand collaborations. This is a great way to monetize your blog, but meeting deadlines is vitally important. Missing your agreed-upon posting date can ruin your relationship with that brand and even diminish your earnings. If you use a content calendar, you can keep track of due dates and ensure they’re always met!
More easily post at peak times.
Every platform has peak posting times. This is when your content will reach the most people and have the highest probability of going viral! Manipulating your posting schedule to land at these peak times will allow you to get the most out of your created content. When you create your calendar, just make sure you list what time you want the content to go out!
Allow other members of your team to plan, too.
If you have other team members, good project management will greatly increase your productivity and boost the quality of your content. When they know what content is posting soon, your team can start working on graphic design, advertising, photography, editing, and anything else related to crafting the best blog and social media posts out there. They can plan ahead too if you are!
Expand to social networks logically.
When you’re a blogger, you’ll need to use the power of social media to grow your audience and engage with them daily. You’re probably on at least one social media channel now, but a blog and social media content calendar can help you expand to other social networks!
Each platform has different niches on it, so you’ll want to plan your expansion logically. Which channels have your audience? Food blogs might find Pinterest and YouTube useful. Mom blogs will likely find their audience on Facebook and Instagram. Entrepreneurial blogs can locate readers on Twitter and TikTok. And, those are just examples of the many audiences on social media!
What’s your niche? Figure out where your audience is already hanging out, and reach them there. Before creating a social media channel, though, make sure you have a content calendar to help you keep up with the new posting demands.
Prepare for holidays.
Holidays provide natural inspiration for posts. Whether you create a “Top 10 Christmas Gifts for Toddlers” article or a funny National Toasted Marshmallow Instagram story, scheduling timely posts will help you engage followers with relevant content. (Or, at least seasonally inspired content!) If you’re using a content calendar, you can look ahead at these nationally observed holidays, and use them to create your post list.
Improve the quality of your content.
When your content isn’t rushed or thought of at the last minute, you can produce higher quality content. So, with a content calendar, you can plan ahead to ensure you have time to make the best possible posts for your audience!
Make delegation and outsourcing more possible.
Planning ahead means others can help you manage your blog and social channels! They can help drive you toward your goals without you having to micromanage. They can see what’s coming and start working!
You can delegate social media posting, hire a blog manager, outsource your blog post writing, enlist a graphic designer, and even find a search engine optimization service. Each one of these added team members will help elevate your blog and ease your workload!
Increase productivity and focus on other tasks.
There’s a lot that goes into running a business. Blogging as your career isn’t just photography and writing, it’s networking, bookkeeping, researching, engaging, and so much more. In short, you’re busy! However, with a content calendar, you can get more done by delegating, outsourcing, and planning.
This leaves you more time to focus on the big stuff that’ll really impact your business, but you just haven’t had enough time to work on it. Search engine optimization is one of those tasks you can zero-in on once you get organized. SEO will help you increase your web traffic, enhance your credibility, and build your loyal following!
It’s not possible to develop a marketing strategy when you’re posting and managing day-by-day. When you plan out your posts on a content calendar, you can zoom out and focus on the big picture goals of your blog. Then, you can cast a vision for the future and start driving to your blogging dreams.
How to Create a Content Calendar
Now that you understand why a content calendar is beneficial to you and your blog, let’s discuss how to create one! It’s not hard, but it’s a little time-consuming initially. Then, it’s just a matter of discipline. Update it daily and stay ahead!
Step 1: Pick a Template or Make One
First, you’ll need to pick a template or make one of your own. Do a quick Google of content calendar templates to find a whole bunch of options. If you’re making one, open Google Sheets or Excel and start creating columns and sections!
Sections could include the type of content, the time of posting, the platforms it’s posting on, and associated links. You could even track the progress of each post! Remember, it’s all about organization, so add whatever you need to maintain your calendar.
Step 2: Research the Peak Times to Post
Next, you’ll need to research the best times to post on your platforms. Every blog and social channel has a peak posting hour that will get your content in front of as many people as possible. When you start adding content to your calendar, you’ll want to keep the posting schedule within those times.
Step 3: Research Current Trends
Social media and blogging trends change quickly—really quickly! So, basing your content after things you saw two months ago or things you learned in school could already be outdated. Before you add content to your calendar, research trends and ensure your audience will connect with your posts.
Step 4: Look at Holidays and Important Dates
As we talked about above, using holidays and other important dates can help inspire relevant content. On a dry day, you can find a quirky holiday to base your post off of. And, on a big holiday, you can promote some big content! Use this website to keep track of every holiday that happens during the year.
Step 5: Review Your Brand Collaborations
If you are working with any brands that have required post dates and deadlines, add those to your calendar first. They need to be prioritized over anything else! Keeping a good relationship with brand partners starts with great content delivered on time.
Step 6: Look Back at Your Evergreen Content
Do you have content that’s always relevant? This is called evergreen content! It’s posts that are always helpful and timely to your readers. You can repurpose and repost this content every so often rather than creating fresh posts daily!
Scroll back through your blog posts. A post on the best trends of Spring 2021? Not evergreen. A post on quick organization tips for busy moms? Definitely evergreen! Find which posts are evergreen for your blog and list them out. You’ll use them for your content calendar!
Step 7: Brainstorm
Now, you need to brainstorm content ideas! Think about the time of year, the current trends, and your followers’ wishes. Create a list of potential posts. And, if you don’t want to do this alone, bring a partner, a friend, or a team in to help you come up with ideas. When you plan ahead, you can work to get the best of the best!
Step 8: Consider Each Platform
What social media channels are you on? What content is needed for each of them? Think about this! For example, a Twitter post might not demand an image, but an Instagram post will! And, you don’t need videos for Facebook, but you will for TikTok. Consider all the platforms you’re on, and make sure you have enough content for all of them.
Step 9: Define Your Goals
Now, you’re almost ready to start adding your content onto your calendar. You just need to define your goals. Are you hoping to grow your audience? Increase brand awareness? Create higher quality content? Partner with brands? Whatever it is, jot that down to make sure your content is driving you toward that goal.
Step 10: Fill in Your Calendar
Since you have your ideas and goals, it’s time to fill in your calendar! Add in all your content ideas and arrange them strategically. Include all the details like who is writing the post, when it’ll be posted, and what platforms it’ll be posted to. Don’t be afraid to rearrange the posts once you get them added if it’s not feeling right.
Step 11: Prep Content
You have a list of content, but you’re not done yet. You need to create the content that’s ready to post. Each time you have a piece of content ready, link it to your content calendar so it’s easily accessible by you, a member of your team, or someone you’ve hired. You don’t need to have every post finished right away, but definitely get a few weeks ahead!
Step 12: Schedule Your Posts
When your content is ready, you can actually schedule your posts! Use a social media scheduler like Planoly and all your content will post automatically to your channels. For blogs, use a plug-in to schedule your content. No need to be on your phone posting every day! Handy tools will do all the posting for you.
Step 13: Track Success
Next, track your success. Chances are, you’ll see your marketing efforts pay off when you use a content calendar! If something’s not working, pivot and try something new. With the extra time you have now, spend time looking over your analytics to learn from your post shortcoming and success. This will help you plan for the future and continue crafting an effective content calendar.
A content calendar will help you build your brand and get the most out of your blog and social posts.
If you often feel frazzled and behind schedule with your blogging business, a content calendar is a must-have! It takes a little time to set-up, but once it’s rolling, you’ll feel more organized, get more from your content, and reach your blogging goals faster. Try it out! Grab a content calendar template and get to writing your posts, delegating tasks, and studying your analytics. And, don’t forget to pop back in weekly to see InfluencerSEO’s blog posts. We’re here to help you go viral!