If you’re using content marketing to help build your online business, you likely understand how important it is to stay organized, especially where content is concerned. You want to keep your website fresh and want to continue to make sure it’s consistently offering what your customers or clients need. One of the best – and easiest – ways of doing that is to create a content calendar.

What’s a content calendar?

Also referred to as an editorial calendar, a content calendar is simply a written schedule of where and when you plan to publish upcoming content on your website. On your calendar, you’ll find items such as status updates, the addition of new content, updates to existing content, planned promotional activity, and more.

If you’re working with a team, a content calendar allows you to easily communicate and collaborate with your partners, keeping everyone on the same page, so to speak. Additionally, a content calendar assists you in making sure that all of your content-related activity is actually happening. By organizing such a calendar, you’ll know who’s doing what and when they’re doing it, ensuring that all of your content goals are met.

Building a content calendar

If you’re brand new to the idea of staying organized in this manner, it’s a good idea to follow some tried-and-true steps to help you put your content calendar together. Do it right from the beginning and you’ll wind up with a great tool you can use over and over again.

  • Know your goals – Before you even start writing things down, you need to think about why you’re creating the calendar and your aim for the end result. What are you trying to do with your content? Attract more customers? Increase sales? Gain visibility? Increase your social media presence? Remember, any content you put out should have a clear purpose and it’s best to know what that is before you begin to plug things into the calendar.
  • Choose a template for your calendar – Your calendar doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated. It might just be a spreadsheet if you’re small and just starting out. However, if you’re working with a team, your calendar needs to have a share option so that you can work together efficiently. You’ll be constructing the calendar according to your team’s needs, but it should include things such as topic, type of content, date to be published, the channel in which it will be published, and some form of follow-up to make sure the jobs are getting done.
  • Choose channels – Where will you be posting and what gives you the most bang for your buck, so to speak? How do you plan to promote your content? Examine your customer base and that of your potential customers and determine what platforms will help broaden your audience. Think about where you might post press releases, guest blogs, white papers or expert articles, for example, and put them on your calendar with specific instructions as to where and when they’ll be released.
  • Look at the calendar year – If your business is affected by the time of year it happens to be, your content calendar should reflect that. For example, if you have a landscaping business in a cold climate, you’ll want to ramp up the content in the late winter and early spring. If you make Christmas wreaths, you’ll what to start beefing up your content in September and during the season when craft fairs are popular. Once you’ve determined the important dates, you can fill in the content according to what will be to your best advantage at various times of the year. Press releases, for example, will help you at the time you’re going to launch a new product while blog posts might be the best way to address current topics in your field.
  • Retain evergreen content – So-called “evergreen content” is content that can be used at any time. It’s always fresh because it’s written about a subject that is timeless. If you always have some evergreen content at the ready, you can plug it in in places where you might have holes.
  • Use “old” content – You can also use previously used content to fill in those holes and can make it interesting by updating it or by changing it to a different format, like turning a how-to blog into a video.
  • Update and review your content calendar often – Once you make an editorial calendar, don’t think your job is done regarding content. Planning ahead is great, but sometimes planning too far ahead doesn’t work, depending on how fluid your business might be and how much it changes. It might be a good rule of thumb to plan the “main” content for the calendar year but then do monthly reviews to plug in additional weekly or daily content.

At Watershed9, we’re experts in content creation and can assist you in creating a content calendar that would serve your business well. A no-obligation consultation with one of our website building experts can get you on the road to more organized content creation and distribution. To schedule an appointment, call us at 604-337-1449.