How's your content calendar looking?
Do you know what you're posting two weeks from now? How about five weeks from now?
Have you already begun the process of creating that content?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, my guess is you could probably use a good content calendar system.
The Basics of a Content Calendar
So to the basics first...what is a content calendar?
A content calendar is just a way to keep your content organized. It tells you what you are going to publish and when you are going to publish it.
If you're not using a content calendar system, I'll be honest, it's time to start.
Why a Content Calendar System Can Work for You
Getting one of these systems can help make some massive improvements not only in your marketing but in your overall organizational process around creating content too.
Unless you are a solo shop, other people also need to have access to your content calendar. This could include people in your marketing department, editors, writers, graphic designers and even freelancers who you might higher to write your content.
Since your goal with creating your content calendar is to streamline the process you want to choose a method that is going to give everyone access and also include any specific deadlines for when one stage needs to be finished and moved on to the next.
For example, let's say you're a small business with a marketing department of two people, the writer, and the graphics creator, everything else is outsourced.
When you have a timetable for creating content your writer is going to know when they need to have their drafts finished to get the editor and the graphics person will know when to have their designs set before the post gets published.
This removes a lot of the confusion and the back and forth about posts.
That's just one of the big benefits of having a content calendar. Here are a couple of the others.
A content calendar is also great for setting up your marketing funnels. If you want to move potential customers through the sales cycle, you can create content around the specific information they are going to need during the process.
Create Better Content
You see, creating content shouldn't just be a willy-nilly ‘let's write whatever pops into our head a day before’ the post is due process. It shouldn't be, but unfortunately, that's how a lot of content is created. Which is why a lot of content is just ok.
If you want to blow away your readers by giving them tons of value, educating them, and helping to solve their problems, well you need a plan to do that. And that's where the content calendar comes into play.
Tracking Content that Works
It also helps you see what kind of content you want to create.
Remember, for a lot of brands and industries, it's not just writing that is getting attention. People are also loving podcasts, webinars, infographics, live video, and white papers (to name a few).
So having your calendar set means you can have a nice rotational flow of content going at all times.
This also helps you see what is more popular with your readers.
Notice a massive tick up in traffic a few days a month? Well, that might just be related to your new infographic series that you've published consistently
Knowing that your readers really enjoy those means you've got a nice little tidbit of data on them. And data never hurts.
Planning and Consistency
Having a content calendar also helps you in terms of just straight up planning. Let's face it, we've all had moments where life got in the way and a post wasn't ready. Once in awhile, it's not a huge deal, but one of the biggest keys to blogging successfully is being really consistent.
With consistency comes trust from readers. So having a few posts in your pocket ready to go ahead of time means you don't have to worry about missing a day, because you've got it all planned out ahead of time.
These are just a few of the reasons why having a content calendar can help take your blog to the next level. If you want to provide a better level of content that your readers will love and lead to more customers, this is a great way to do it.