Creating content is essential to growing your website. Now creating content involves lots of planning, research, and strategy. And after doing all this in the end it comes down to implementing your content by actually working on it. If you are a blogger or an internet marketer then consistency and determination to create content don’t come naturally. The way people work for an organization following certain rules, timing, and schedule one needs to create a schedule to work on their website as well. This is what I will tell you in this post on how to create content calendar to set your content creation schedule and its implementation.
To create a content calendar first you have to work on researching the content and putting it into a content strategy document.
If you don’t know how to do it check out what is a content creation strategy here. This will give you step-by-step guidance on a content creation strategy that you can use to create a content calendar.
Before we go into creating a content calendar it’s important to know what is a content calendar and other relevant aspects associated with it.
What is a content calendar?
A content calendar is a structured schedule to maintain your content creation process. It is used to prepare different columns date or day-wise that has your content topics to write upon. With the help of a content calendar, you can organize, plan, and schedule your content and other marketing aspects.
The calendar structure is no different than a basic digital or physical calendar. The format or type of calendar can vary depending on individual choice or preference.
There are also calendar plugins or services used by many online marketers to schedule their content creation and other types of tasks related to a website.
Why is it important to have a content calendar?
The importance of having a content calendar depends on individual preferences. While I recommend you have a content calendar but it may not be required for everyone. A schedule or a timetable of doing things is based on every individual personality, dedication, and choice.
For example, if you are an employee you cannot go to the office and work as per your own schedule. You have to follow the terms & conditions, office timings, and work schedule and also rely on resources provided by your organization.
Here, there is no choice as that is what you are paid for. The purpose of obliging to a schedule is to remain organized and accountable for your work.
Unlike an employee, a self-employed person, or in our case an online marketer or a business owner has no dedicated schedule or timing to work on which is good but at the same vulnerable to distractions.
There is no pressure or stress of working under somebody’s influence or authority. And so, it provides complete freedom which may result in a lack of dedication, focus, accountability, etc.
Commitment and determination are not guaranteed if you don’t have an environment or resources that motivate you to get things done unless you are a master or a perfectionist in whatever you do.
So, the purpose of having a content calendar is to organize your work by maintaining a schedule. It will also help you to pre-plan or plan your work environment every day, keep the working resources ready, and distance yourself from day-to-day distractions such as your family, friends, etc. and make yourself self-accountable.
With a content calendar in place, it is hard to miss out on your daily schedule of writing the content for your website which is important from a rankings and traffic perspective. This is helpful in the long run to build a profit-making online business.
Unlike a pre-conceived schedule that may work or not work it is better to have a realistic schedule in the form of a calendar.
Types of the content calendar
Content calendars have different types to suit different content creation needs. The most-used types are spreadsheets.
Spreadsheets: Spreadsheets are the most common and simplest way to prepare a calendar. You can use Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets to create a calendar. The best part about spreadsheets is they are easy to create, store, edit, and do not involve any cost.
One drawback is spreadsheets lack automation. That means you will have to manually monitor and follow your schedule by visiting the spreadsheet again and again.
Boards: Some of the tools allow the creation of virtual boards to monitor and schedule the progress. One of the examples is Kanban. This type of board has different columns that are filled with post-its to display the progress. Kanban boards can be used in coalition with other software such as Trello to simplify the process of scheduling.
Software: Then there are software’s that are helpful in the creation and automation of different types of content. These software’s also has integration with other channels such as social media, email marketing tools, etc. to schedule your content or marketing aspects.
What spreadsheets lack are fulfilled by software that has auto-trigger options to remind you of specific tasks to be performed based on the schedule. One of the examples of content software is CoSchedule. The drawback is it involves cost.
My advice is if you are just beginning your online journey with a new website and little marketing efforts then make use of spreadsheets.
As you move forward and make considerable progress with your online business making some money you can decide to automate your schedule by using calendar software’s.
How to create content calendar?
So, how to create a content calendar with the help of a spreadsheet. Let’s take the example of Google Sheet to illustrate the creation of a content calendar that you can use free of cost.
Go to Google Docs and select sheets. Open the sheet document, give it a name and save it.
Next, make columns to create a calendar on the left-hand side. These columns should have a number of days (Sunday – Saturday) with dates in a vertical manner. Select the row above these columns and give it a month name you want to start writing from. Once completed, it will resemble the look of a common calendar like this.
Next, select the columns on the right-hand side adjacent to your calendars and color code them giving it a table look. Select the row above these tables and give them a name of your choice. In my case, it is ‘Blog Topics’ that look like this. Ensure to create a number of columns according to your writing plan.
Now go to your content strategy spreadsheet and schedule your writing by inputting the topics according to the month, and date into blog topics columns. Be realistic while doing this as the aim here is to achieve what you are scheduling.
For example, if you plan to write blog posts 3 or 4 days a week then select the columns according to the calendar (month/date) then input the title of the blog/post into the blog topics column like this. Enter all your researched topics from content strategy to content calendar according to your schedule and save it.
That’s it. Your content calendar is ready with your writing schedule.
Now, to make it more realistic and self-accountable you should go to your website and create a post that you have scheduled next on your calendar.
Enter the title as per your keyword research tool, perform the SEO, and most important is go to the publish option and select date according to your content calendar schedule. Save the draft and click on schedule.
By doing this, you will be reminded by your website when this post will be published without any proper content. This will work as a trigger in case you miss your calendar schedule to write that post making you accountable.
So, along with a free content calendar you have also created automation to remind you about writing a post covering all the aspects of a structured content calendar.
How to meet calendar deadlines?
To meet the deadlines, keep in mind the following points that we have already covered above:
- Ensure to spare the time according to your content calendar,
- Keep the resources ready such as researches related to keywords and search engines. Make sure to have relevant images, and affiliate program links as necessary,
- Organize yourself in an environment that is suitable to create content. Select a space that is free of distractions, outside noises, etc.
- And last but not least is to make yourself comfortable. Enjoy what you are doing and relax your mind while writing. If required give your mind and ears some kind of music that is soothing and makes you feel up to the task.
In the end, do everything that you want to do to get your job done.
Content creation is not easy. It involves lots of research, time, and effort to find the ideas, and topics relevant to your niche website. In the end, if it is not implemented for whatever reasons, it will impact your overall business outcome.
And proper implementation requires proper planning, monitoring, strategy, and a schedule. This is the reason you must comply yourself with a dedicated timetable for your content creation.
Professionals and experienced online entrepreneurs are successful because of their dedication, commitment, and content strategy and planning. To replicate their success, one must organize themselves by working on a schedule according to a calendar. And creating one is not a big deal as evident in this article.
I am sure by following the process to create a content calendar, you will have a successful schedule of consistent writing that will help you grow your business generating rich profits.
If you are willing to learn more about content creation strategy, planning, and tips then check out my no.1 recommendation here. Apart from the content, you will get to build a website, access to a keyword research tool, awesome training and resources, and wonderful 24/7 support.