Originally posted 8/15/2017
I always find it interesting how many people find the idea of constructing an content calendar intimidating, because of fear it's a step that is often skipped in the planning of content marketing within small businesses. As an entrepreneur I totally get it, everyone is telling you "content is king" so you think, "Ugh one more thing to do”, not just one more thing but one more thing that doesn't bring immediate revenue.
Don't worry I'm not going to just tell you to create a content calendar, I'm going to give my quick 4 step method to creating a content calendar that can be updated with ease.
Here we go:
Step 1 – Look at the Big Picture
Grab yourself an annual calendar (one with all 12 months) and a list of holidays but not just major holidays quirky ones too. I love the website www.holidayinsights.com
Step 2 - Divide your annual calendar into 4 Quarters
Start with Quarter 1 or whatever quarter you are in, fill in all the holidays that are relevant to your business or you personally, those that can be used to promote your product or service.
Think about what promotions you want to run that quarter, what products you want to promote and jot them down. Jot down any collaborative opportunities that will take place as well. You now have deadlines for your content and not just any content but content with a purpose!
Step 3 - A Monthly focus
After you have a sketched out quarters you can think on a month-to-month basis. Are there any themes you want to stress or products you really want to push?
Are there any holidays that month like Black Friday or others you missed the first time? Have any new opportunities come up that you should schedule in? Now's the time to add them to calendar.
Step 4 – Boil It Down to the Week
After you have your monthly lay out, you want to now map out and schedule your week. With a weekly calendar designed to fit multiple posts per day (at specific times) you can plug in your intended blog posts, social media posts and emails.
I don't suggest building out your calendar daily best to schedule your content for the week by day because it is very unlikely you will remember to build a schedule every night. It’s best to schedule out your week on a Sunday and adjust accordingly, remember some plan is better than no plan.
I usually lay out my annual and quarterly calendars at the beginning of the year. Don't get me wrong things change from time to time but the templates that I use make editing my calendar when necessary easy.