We are continuing our “New Year, Same You” series with a deep dive into the ubiquitous content calendar. Bloggers use the term loosely and it’s thrown around here and there, but do you really understand how to utilize it? When you do use one, how do you use it and why? In today’s post, we answer all those questions and poll our community to get to the bottom of how your peers are using this nifty scheduling tool.
What’s a content calendar?
It’s an editorial calendar used by bloggers, writers, and publishers to control publication of content across different media. For example: blog posts, social media platforms, and email newsletters.
When and how do you use it?
Ideally, yesterday! It’s Q1 in 2018, meaning we are still in the beginning of the first quarter of this year, so your 2018 planning should have started in December. It’s best to plan your content a month in advance. The last weekend of every month ,I sit down at a coffee shop for a few hours to plan next month’s strategy. I go through each week and plot how often I’ll post to my blog and social channels, then I meticulously describe what kind of content each blog post will contain. This allows me to visualize what I need to do to prep for that upcoming post. For example: I have an outfit post on 2/10. I need to think about when the content should be done, plan with my photographer, think about what the focus of the outfit will be, and how I will style it. Having this down on paper allows me to better prep and ensure that I get everything I need beforehand.
Why do you use one?
To focus! There are so many ideas and things we want to do with our blogs, but it’s easy to forget what they were if you don’t keep a record. If everything is laid out in an organized matter, it’s easier to see your strategy from a big picture perspective for the month. Also, writing things down holds you accountable and encourages you to follow through with the tasks you’ve set out for yourself. For example, last January I did not create a content calendar for my blog strategy and barely posted anything, this January I kicked the year off right and created one for both January and February. In doing so, I have been posting more than I normally do during this time of the year.
As they say, you are the master of your destiny, so plan and execute, and see your hard work turn into results — and hopefully sales!