Content calendars are something I thought were so overrated until this past year. Like, yeah ok let me plan out my content for the month… a little dramatic don’t you think?
Actually, it’s not dramatic at all and it’s completely necessary to stay ahead of the game and have a blog that’s cohesive for your readers.
Sure there are times when you have to go off the cuff, but for the most part, having your content planned will be one of the best decisions of your blogging career.
There’s really no right or wrong way to create a content calendar. As long as it’s saving you time and energy, you’re doing it right.
You want a system in place that allows you to know exactly what’s supposed to be posted, when. A content calendar can refer to just your blog or your brand as a whole (i.e. what content goes on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc.). Usually, if you have a content calendar for your blog plugging content in for social media should be pretty easy.
Step 1: Create a weekly schedule
The first step in creating a content calendar is to create a weekly schedule. What I mean is you designate each day of the week to a specific topic. For example, fashion bloggers could do something like this: Monday = Shopping collage, Tuesday = Outfit post, Wednesday = Outfit video, Thursday = Round up of your week, Friday = Follow Friday.
Now, if you’re just starting out, that’s a lot of content. I don’t even post 5 days a week and I’ve been blogging for 7 years now. You probably don’t want to start out with guns blazing until you have a solid, loyal following who actually care what you have to say, otherwise you’ll be creating all this content for no one.
But, having a weekly schedule like the one mentioned above is a great way to keep you organized. You can also use that schedule as a guideline and alternate between your posts from week to week.
Maybe one week you post on Monday (shopping post), Wednesday (outfit video), and Friday (follow Friday) and the next week you post on Tuesday (outfit post) and Thursday (weekly round up). P.s. Posting this way is great for your analytics because it’s an A/B test where you’re able to see which content performs the best.
Having a weekly schedule down is the foundation for a successful content calendar.
Step 2: Brainstorm around holidays/events
After you’ve established what type of content you’re posting each day of the week, you can start to brainstorm exactly what that content will be by looking at the holidays/special events each month has.
For example, in December you have the first day of winter, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, and New Years Eve. That’s a lot of holidays you can create content for. If you’re a fashion blogger and it’s Christmas time, you have at least 2 weeks worth of content between what you want for Christmas, what you’re getting people for Christmas, what you’re wearing for Christmas, etc. The list goes on.
Not to mention any events that go on during the month. Another example is fashion month which happens in February so you could create content surrounding NY, Paris, Milan, London, etc.
When you do this for each month it’ll make life a lot easier. Eventually, it’ll become second nature to you and you’ll never be stressed about content ideas again.
Step 3: Manage your time
At this point, you should be pretty well organized – you got your weekly schedule down, you have content ideas for upcoming holidays, now it’s time to actually create.
Most bloggers blog as a side hustle so we are very limited on time. We have a lot to balance and without managing our time accordingly, our side hustle can suffer. It’s easy to get off track and miss one day which turns into one week which turns into one month and then you’re back at square one.
In order to avoid this, you need to make time for when you’re going to write the post, when it’s going to go live, and what time you’re going to promote it, otherwise it might not get done at all.
Writing a post when you’re inspired and/or motivated can take about an hour, then you proofread, make some edits, add your pictures, share some links, etc. Now you’re up to at least 2 hours. So the question is do you have at least 2 hours a day to work on content creation? Can you carve out that time to make it happen?
Some people work well early in the morning, midday, or late at night. You have to find a system that works for you. I recommend working when you’re most productive which is different for everyone.
Personally, I’m at my best from like 6-12pm and then 7-10pm. It’s important you find your groove and take advantage of every second you possibly can that way you can stay ahead of the game for the most part.
It’s ok if you don’t get everything done the first day you try. Most people don’t have an uninterrupted full 6 hours a day to work on their side hustle. As long as you’re staying on track with your weekly blog post schedule, you’re fine.
I know blogging seems overwhelming at first and there are so many facets to it all but a content calendar is key, I promise. High-quality content is what will attract loyal readers and brands that want to work with you but in order to know what to create… you need a content calendar. I honestly don’t know how I blogged before without it.
Do you use a content calendar? What’s your process? Tell me in the comments below!
Image Source Credits – Sophie Shoe Lover
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