Having a well-organized content calendar is helpful for many reasons; however, for many bloggers and entrepreneurs, the question isn’t “Should I have one?” Rather, the question is, “How do I build an editorial calendar?”
This is a very good question – and it’s one we’re going to tackle today.
There are a lot of steps that go into building a strong editorial calendar, but there is a definite method and strategy behind it. Having this strategy in mind will streamline this process quite a bit and help you stay on-brand with your content creation.
And if you find that you’d like some help in this area, let us know! This is one of our favorite areas to work with, and we’d love to chat with you to find out how we can free you up and help you grow both your audience and your business.
Building a Content Calendar
The first thing to think about when building your content calendar is strategy.
What Is Your Goal?
What is your ultimate goal for your content? Would you like to educate or encourage your audience? Do you have a product line or a course launch to highlight? Would you like to use your content to grow your affiliate sales?
Each of these goals requires a different type of content and a different strategy. Determining your goals up front will not only help you stay focused in your content creation (thereby saving you valuable time), but it will also help you stay on brand. Ultimately, this focus will allow your reader base or ideal client gain a better understanding of who you are, what you have to offer, and why they should follow or contract with you.
Who Is Your Reader?
Once you have a goal in mind, it’s important to consider your reader.
Is your reader a busy mom? An analytical business owner? A young adult just out of college and working to make their mark on the world?
Each of these readers is looking for something different. They’re all likely different ages, maybe different genders, all with different outlooks on life. Is your reader looking for tested tips and ideas to keep a busy schedule in order, or are they looking for well-researched, in-depth strategies to help them build a team or scale a business?
Knowing who your reader is and what type of content they are looking for is vital when planning your content calendar.
What Platforms Should You Use?
Your content or editorial calendar doesn’t only apply to your blog; it applies to every bit of content your reader base will see.
In order to reach the people who can best benefit from your message (and become your most loyal readers and clients), it’s important to know which platforms you’re likely to find them on.
Today, there are many different platforms available; however, if you try to be active on all of them, you’ll waste both time and money. Instead, find out where your ideal reader is likely to spend time. Here are some common platforms to consider:
- Audio platforms such as iTunes or Spotify
Once you know where your reader or client base is likely to be found, you can focus your efforts to reach them.
Repurpose Your Content
This may seem like common sense, but it’s a strategy that many bloggers and entrepreneurs miss, and it can cost them both time and reach.
Content creation takes time, strategy, and creativity; when you’re also trying to do all the tasks that running a business requires (and have life), the last thing you’ll want to do is reinvent the wheel for multiple platforms.
This is where content repurposing comes in.
When you repurpose your content, you really only have to create the main piece of content once; you then use aspects of it in the way that best fits each platform. Some examples of this include:
- Write a blog post
- Create a quote graphic from the post for Facebook and Instagram
- Use a quote to start a conversation on LinkedIn
- Create a video tutorial to complement your blog post
- Post the video to YouTube
- Embed the video in your blog post
- Use the audio file from your video to create a podcast or audio value add
- Use a snippet of the video for Facebook and IGTV or an Instagram Story
- Use a question or statement from the post to draw attention on Twitter
- Create a pin graphic to drive traffic on Pinterest
- and the list goes on.
Plan Your Calendar
Once you have your goals, reader needs, and content repurposing ideas in place, it’s time to make a plan.
A written plan.
This really is a key part of the process; it will come fairly naturally for those of us who are planners by nature, but for the free spirits among us, it’s really not enough to have a plan in mind. It needs to be written or typed somewhere.
There are a few different options available, and which option you choose will depend on what works best for you. (After all, if your plan isn’t easy for you to follow, chances are it will fall by the wayside.)
Some common planning options include:
- Google Calendar
- Google Docs or Sheets
- An editorial calendar plugin
- Good old pen and paper planner
Any of these options is totally acceptable, as long as it’s one you can stick to!
In this plan, you should include your blog posts, social media posts (each platform), video or audio, and any printables or products you would like to feature. You will also want to include any collaborations, email blasts or newsletters, and affiliate products to promote.
Planning Makes All the Difference
Creating a solid, effective content calendar does take time and strategy, but it is a task that will pay off.
Taking time on the front end will save you countless hours down the road, but it will also make it far easier to increase your reader or client base, your engagement, your sales, and your ROI.
If we can partner with you to develop and execute an effective content calendar, please contact us or schedule a free discovery call! We would love to talk further with you – our goal is to help you scale your business and reach your ideal people.