A content calendar is in essence a plan for the publishing of content in the future for any kind of website. Pieces of content in this case might include things like blogs, social media updates, notifications of new sales or even just modification of old content. They’re not the easiest thing to wrap your head around due to their potential complexity, so in this article we take a closer look at just what goes into creating a content calendar – this way you’ll have no trouble creating one for yourself in the future!
What do content calendars involve?
If you are already implementing or managing some kind of ecommerce SEO or similar setup, you might have some idea of where to start when it comes to a content calendar, but for everyone else we’ll try and cover the basics first. Content calendars are such a valuable part of the digital media world because regularity and organisation is key to doing well in such a competitive market. A content calendar will therefore be useful to ensure that your updates actually happen on time – it’s easy to lose track of these kinds of things when you’re a sole trader, for instance. A content calendar also makes the entire process much simpler than it otherwise would be – you’re able to comprehensively see what your extended content plan is at a glance, and so is your team, making collaboration incredibly simple. You don’t want to be stepping on each other’s toes through the year, after all! If this all sounds a bit complicated, there’s no need to worry as content calendars are made up of only a few simple elements that we’ll cover in the next section.
What content calendars should contain
The main thing that a content calendar will contain is editorial, which simply translates to all of the bits of content that you’re looking to post over a certain period of time across your channels. In terms of planning, there are no strict guidelines for determining how far in advance you should plan – you should find out what works for you, as you could thrive planning a year in advance or only a single month! In addition to what you’re posting, you’ll also need to consider where you’re actually posting it from – the platform you host your content calendar on can vary to a wide degree, and can again differ depending entirely on the person. For example, one person might like using google sheets, while another will find that a simple pen and paper combo works best for them. In addition to the planned posts and any promotional material you want to release at a specific point, a content calendar might also feature potential ideas that you might incorporate in the future. These aren’t set in stone, but might instead be spur of the moment thoughts or responses to the wants of your audience.
Unsure where to start?
If you like the idea of a content calendar but are unsure where to start, try giving google sheets a go first – it’s free and allows for easy collaboration between members of the team, regardless of its size. If you want to get a bit more technical, there are dedicated content calendars like Coschedule and Loomly that offer blog post creation guides and automation of posted content.