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Starting a blog without a road map is like beating against the wind. Creating content randomly will not produce a good result, unlike when your content is organized. As such, learning how to create a content schedule is a plus for every internet marketer.
This article will not just address how to create the calendar, we will also take a detailed look at its importance.
What is a content schedule?
Borrowing a definition from Backlinko, a content schedule is also known as a content calendar is an arrangement of your content. It shows in details where and when you plan to publish specific content. It is done in such a way to indicate upcoming content, promotional events, required updates on existing content.
Why is Content Schedule Important?
Many of us use our blogs for several reasons. Some use it to keep memories; others take it as a hobby while the majority take it as a business. If blogging is your business, using a content schedule will be a good idea. Below are six important reasons why you must use a content schedule.
- Helps in Planning: Planning is an event in blogging, just like every other business. A content schedule will help you plan your content. So doing, you are not disorganized, and you do not just post when you feel. But you post consistently and not waiting for motivation from above before you get to work.It makes multitasking easy, and not clumsy. With a detailed plan, you can batch your work into separate units. Writing your posts before the due date becomes quite easy.
- Help you meet up with holidays. Holidays are important events. They are cash cows when you know how to use them. If your contents are planned, publishing content promptly becomes easier.Let us use the poultry niche as an example, the Christmas holiday is a sales time for chicken. Planning your content, you can make affiliate sales on day-old chicks and boxes in September and October. It is the period when people are making purchases.
- Help reduce making unnecessary mistakes: Content Schedule helps you plan your content. By this, you will be able to reduce mistakes. By allocating enough time to editing your work and vetting it with both proofreaders and your legal advisers
- Consistent Posting: Whichever platform you engage an audience, one primary advice is to be consistent. When you are consistent with your work, your audience naturally looks out for you. A well planned out content schedule will help you lay your post ahead of time, so you show up on timely bases.
- Reduce Audience Spamming: Spamming your audience always have a negative effect. Remember it is majorly about delivering unwanted mails. If your content is well planned, you will post the right content at the right time. Thereby reducing the rate at which people unsubscribe from your list.
- Instant View of Content A well laid down content schedule gives you an overview of your content at a glance. As such, you can pinpoint content you need to update and content that needs to be linked together.
When should you create your Calendar?
When to start creating your calendar is not cast on stone. But the earlier, the better; you can create it every month or yearly or even weekly basis. It all depends on your convenience. Most bloggers advice you create it every month. Creating a yearly calendar is good, but you must be open to more adjustment as time pass by.
Planning gives room for several levels of adjustment; each form has its advantage.
Content Schedule Layout
Having a specific format for your content calendar is very good and advisable. It helps in making your work very organized. You can use the simple Microsoft excel, Google Sheet. Google sheet is excellent when you have a team of 2 or more people using it.
It makes your content calendar easily accessible to team members at their convenience. Based on needed access, they can edit it and share it amidst themselves.
The size of your template depends on the amount of information you want to make available on your sheet. A simple spreadsheet will allow you to create content based on what you want. It is good I show you my first content calendar created without any form of training. I created multiple types of sheets for each category of my articles. I tagged it SEO, blogging and so on.
Below are four formats you can use for your layout
1) Traditional Calendar
Just like the name sounds “a calendar”, it is simple. You can use the traditional calendar to achieve this. It can be a paperback calendar or on your phone using the Google calendar. The thing is to know what you want per time.Its limitation is that you only can publish date and attach it to articles and nothing else. It is highly limited in scope.
2) Excel or Google Sheet
It is a more robust way to plan data. It can help you keep all your data in one place. One good advantage is a comprehensive view of your data at once, and it is easy to learn. For spreadsheet, understanding them is quite easy, and they can integrate into other content management app. So many of the so-called content management app is on the same principles.
As such, moving your content across platforms is made quite easy.
3) Content Management App
When it comes to content management, some tools take the form of calendars. The good thing is that they do not stop at the calendar format. They include tools for content management and team collaboration.
It is an old calendar that has a lot of shortcomings; I have only shown you to show that you can plan it to your convenience.
Let us get started on a basic model you can use to lay it down.
Drafting your Content Schedule
1) Highlight your Existing content
As marketers, we are always out to create something new. Our mind is at pushing out a new write-up, a new video, and so on. We forget that we can repurpose our existing content and draw up more income from them.
Below are types of content that you can repurpose
- Existing data and research: you can create stories from your data. It can be presented in forms of video or used for training.
- Reports: you can easy atomize your content here by breaking down a voluminous report. You can break them down into smaller blog post.
- Slide Decks: they can be republished into PowerPoint for presentations as videos or slides.
Understanding how to repurpose your content will save you the stress and energy of producing fresh content often. A piece of content can be used in several forms to achieve other sellable and relevant content.
Another very instrumental event in creating a calendar is content atomization. It is the process of breaking content into smaller pieces without losing its relevance.
2) Highlight the days you want to push out content.
While some people will not publish content every day, others post multiple contents daily. It all depends on your audience and the size of your business. Whichever way, the most important thing is keeping up with a consistent posting pattern.
Been consistent is very important in content marketing, with the time you will discover the best time of the day, week or month you should produce content. Depending on your type of audience, your content may enjoy readership on Monday, Wednesday or even during weekends.
3) Note Events
Now you have marked the days you will like to post, it is time to take note of important events. It will go a long way to help you save time.
4) Mark the remaining space with themes:
Diversity makes things beautiful. A change in the theme is essential to keep things going. Also, you can alternate your content types, your target audience. This variation will help you test other things and pick which works best.
5) Schedule Editorial meeting:
Organizing editorial meetings between those involved in the content production process is important. These meetings will help in the review of your content schedule. It will help achieve realistic time frames for deliveries.
Reviews of the job done is another vital importance of scheduling editorial meetings. It will help you review your content, engagement and revenue generated. Thereby you can differentiate between successful content and content that needs rework.
This will help you make a decision on needed tweaks on your published content and contents not published.
6) Test Your Content:
Testing your content is an essential part of this event. It helps you understand how your audience interacts with your content. It will also help you decide if there is a need for change in your strategy. Google Analytics is a free and good platform to analysis your traffic.
Based on this result, you should be interested in which content theme enjoyed the best audience, which type of image did your audience engage with most. This basic test will give you an idea on which of your content you can repurpose and get a better return on investment (ROI).
While analyzing your best performing content, you should also be interested in analyzing your least performing content. It will help you know where to slow down and produce less. Better put, you will be able to identify where you need improvement.
Conclusively, having a content schedule will help you produce content consistently. It will also help you create content that your audience love to read. It is the content your audience reacts to positively.
For starters just starting up, understanding what your audience will want to read might be a challenge. But a quick way out is seeing what other people in your niche are doing. It is not advisable to copy their work but basically to seek inspiration and draft out your part.
Always remember that unique, un-plagiarized content are the gateways to building a brand, adding value and raising valuable audience. Producing content that is search engine optimized and user friendly is not negotiable.
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I will appreciate you share your experience on how developing a content schedule has helped your business using our comment section.