If there’s one thing we’ve learned last year, it’s that a strong content calendar covering both your blog and social media is essential for succeeding in your blogging business.
In 2018, we want this good habit to stick. And there’s no better way to keep your blogging resolutions than to invite your BFFs to follow suit. So shall we begin?
YOUR CONTENT CALENDAR IN 2018
A very basic content calendar will include the following tabs:
- Publishing date.
- Medium/platform: Blog, newsletter, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook etc.
- Topic: what you plan to cover.
- Content feature type: we have previously listed the top 10 ones for 2018.
- Additional details: your quick notes and ideas on the subject.
- Status: in progress, complete, scheduled for publishing etc.
You can divide your calendar into two distinctive sections – blog and social media platforms – to keep things neater if you like.
So why is having a content calendar not optional this year? For a bunch of very good reasons such as:
- Staying sane and productive with your business. A content calendar is like a cup of camomile tea – it helps you relax and gives peace of mind. When your content backlog is organized, you don’t fret and panic over missing deadlines, or posting updates inconsistently. You have a game plan you can always refer to when you lose your focus.
- Better content reach. Putting a time and date stamp on your campaigns can increase their visibility. We’ve previously spoken on how publishing blog posts at certain times can help you hit your blog goals, and you can also review your blog/social media analytics from last year and identify when your readers are less engaged (e.g. during holidays) and optimize your publishing schedule accordingly.
- Improved collaboration with brands. You want to appear as a true professional when partnering with brands. However, a sporadic publishing schedule doesn’t contribute to a good #BossBabe image. A content calendar gives you an at-glance overview of your current campaigns and commitments to other advertisers. You can see exactly when squeezing in another sponsor will have an overlap with another campaign, and potentially annoy your readers with too many #sponsored hashtags.
WHEN TO PLAN YOUR CONTENT CALENDAR
The ideal answer is yesterday, of course, ☺. But let’s keep things real – organizing all your ideas in one sitting is tough. So the best move is to start planning your content calendar one or two months in advance.
If you can, add more long-term suggestions – for instance, it’s safe to add all-things-summer for May/June if you already have a couple of ideas or some leftover content from last year.
TIPS FOR EASILY CREATING YOUR CONTENT & SOCIAL MEDIA CALENDAR
Now let’s get to work. The first step is to choose where you will store your calendar. The ideal option is Google Drive spreadsheets as your file will then be accessible from any device and updates happen automatically.
First, start with conducting a simple blog audit. Specifically, ask yourself the following questions:
Where is my audience the most active? On the blog, on Instagram, YouTube etc.
- What platform has witnessed the most growth last year? Interpret your analytics and try to determine where the success came from. Was it a certain type of content or a subject that received a massive response? Can you replicate this?
- Where is your traffic and engagement coming from? Again, spend some time looking at the numbers and try to understand what contributed to high performance.
Conducting such audit should help you get your priorities straight and identify the most promising growth areas of your blogging business.
Second, start filling out your template. You can follow the structure we’ve proposed and add all the content ideas you have so far, along with possible times for publishing.
Third, add a list of all upcoming brand partnerships. If you already have some deals signed, add the deliverables to your content calendar.
Fourth, break down all your content into micro-and macro content. Macro-content stands for a full-length piece you will publish on your main medium – your blog. Micro-content is all the supporting updates you will be sharing on social media to promote your content.
Here’s an example:
Macro-content topic: How to Prepare for Your First Skiing Vacation. The post will include travel planning tips; outfit ideas and recommendations for skiing gear.
- Facebook post introducing your new blog post with a descriptive caption.
- Pinterest Pin with a relevant caption showcasing outfit ideas.
- Instagram post #1 showing your outfit choice + a dressing tip for staying warm.
- Instagram post #2: travel photo with an informative caption about planning the trip or the resort you chose to stay at.
Lastly, create and publish your content based on the calendar. Once you have figured out all the tasks for the upcoming month, start writing and scheduling all the planned updates. It may be a bit tricky to keep up during the first month, but you will get a hold of it for sure!
Are you a CD Babe? Get in touch with your support team or CD consultant for more insights and advice!