I know what you’re thinking? Can’t you just write about anything at any time for your personas (targeted individuals)? Sure you can! But what happens is that you’re going to sit down and get this wonderful thing called writers block. Now, you’re in this huge rush to try to think of some topics for your audience and regular visitors. How do I know? I’ve been there and I’ve done that. Thus, putting your thoughts down on a calendar gives you and your team (if you have a team) some time to think, do some research and really re-write the information correctly. Now, when your deadline is coming up you’re not just slamming just anything out there, but really quality information. Additionally, the calendar does a few things according to Jay Baer,
- Plan content around key events in your industry or important dates
- See where you have gaps in your content plan, with plenty of warning to line up more content
- And make sure you have your content ready in plenty of time to publish
Overall you content marketing calendar will allow you to do a lot of pre-planning and help you align with your overall content marketing strategy. You do want to make sure that whatever your plan is, if you post daily, weekly, monthly, etc. you want to put it all down on the calendar. Feel free to move things around and really get yourself organized!
Step 1: Understand What You Already Have
It’s important to make notes and understand what you already have. You might have some whitepapers, past articles and other content that you could reuse.
Wait! I know what you’re thinking, “Alex, did you just tell me to reuse the same content?!”
Okay, let me explain. The nice thing is that not all people are created equal. We all consume content in different ways. You have people who like to read, listen to the information, watch a video, etc. You can actually take that same content and turn it into videos, sound clips, downloadable whitepapers, etc. and use that repurposed content.
Why would you want to do this? A lot of times, as a small business you’ll be strapped for time and you will really want to share amazing stuff, the best thing to do is try to repurpose the information. The benefit is that you actually can now provide your content in the method your readers, listeners, etc. like to consume it.
Step 2: Get your content ideas on a calendar
There is rarely a time that you’ll find yourself sitting at your computer and you’ll think of all the topics you want to write about. Okay, so initially you will think of all the stuff you want to write about for your niche. After a bit of time, you’re going to be either driving, listening to a pod cast, at the gym or doing something instead of trying to write on the calendar. Then, it hits you, a magical idea that you really want to write about and share with your audience. Now, you will either jot it down on your phone’s note system or on a piece of paper. What happens to that stray idea after a week? It’s pretty much gone out the door. What you want to do is have a singular system that you use for taking notes and make it a habit to get ALL of the ideas at the end of the day on the calendar! If you don’t, all those magical ideas will just fade away.
Step 3: Filling Out the Content Marketing Calendar
Try to fill out the calendar that I’ve made for a free download here!
You want to make sure to fill out the following:
- Title: Even if you don’t have a rough title will do. Then, when you think of it, fill in the official title of the article.
- Category: You might have several categories. Categories can be anything from different types of clothing. For example: Shoes, Hats, t-shirts, etc. Why do you need this? This will help you find some trends in your data. Maybe your audience really likes hats, or a particular category.
- Authors/Editors: Who will be working on it? For the most part, I work on everything on my own. So, it’s usually me. If you have other team members, then this content calendar is a great tool to help them and you know what’s going on.
- Quick Notes (Optional): These are really notes for you and your team.
- Social Media: You want to know the platforms you plan to share your content on. It might be an infographic and the channels might change. Overall, it’s good to make these notes.
- Results: Why the results? You can actually get all of this in as the results come in over time. You just have to look at your Google analytics. Here’s a tip, make sure that you designate one person to control this. I suggest you take count at the end of the week. This is the one thing that will change, but overall it will help you figure out what’s working.
I hope that this information helped everyone! If you have any questions or comments leave it in the comments box below. Also, please take a moment to share this to your friends, family and coworkers.