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Content, content, content: it’s the foundation of all SEO, SMO, and online marketing efforts. It’s that important.  It can also be a challenge, though. It’s hard to be “on” all the time! You have to produce original, relevant, interesting, engaging, and compelling content; sometimes, not much of anything compelling is going on. But you need to feed the beast. A content calendar can help you plot out when you will publish which content; this will keep everything fresh and relevant, but build in flexibility so you can respond to news items, events, and other matters that pop up.

1. List your events.

There are a few different ways to organize your content calendar. One method starts with events. Make a complete list of the events (with dates) that are most crucial to your business; if you are a retailer, for instance, Christmas would be on the list, as would other holidays, annual sales, product launches, etc. You can then plan content around these events. Why not just wait until Black Friday to write a post about Black Friday? You can, but you won’t have time to add quality infographics or a great video, which could make a much greater impact.

2. What about in between?

For those days when nothing much is happening – the odd Tuesday, the slow news day – you can have content ready, or at least ideas for content ready by doing a comprehensive brainstorming session. In the center of a piece of paper or your screen, write your main keyword. This is what you are about. In our case, it might be SEO. We could also do these for social media or pay-per-click. Then do a bit of association; which topics come to mind? We could do click-through-rates, Facebook ads, B2B social media, and conversion rates. From there, we can break down the categories more. For conversion rates, we could go into CRO, landing pages, load speeds, and so on.

From there, we can plot these ideas on our calendar; this gives us the content we need, and the time that is required for visual and video content.

3. Start wide and narrow in.

Create a 12-month calendar. This will help guide and shape your future content, and it allows you to really think about what your blog/website is all about. What are your themes? What is your vision or objectives? What type of language and tone do you want to use? What types of material do you want to share? What will help you engage your target audience?

From there, narrow down and create 60- or 90-day calendars that delve into specific topics. These align with your overall themes and goals.  At the same time, stay flexible and give yourself the chance to publish content that pops up, such as news items and current events. Content calendars are only going to gain importance as the need to publish fresh material grows more pressing.

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