When you first start working on your online project you undoubtedly have hundreds of ideas for different pieces of content. Those first few months feel like a flurry of content production because each idea seems right for the project.
Over time, though, you begin to realize you may have put too much up-front and hadn’t planned for the long haul. You begin to have trouble coming up with ideas because you’ve already covered such a numerous amount of content. You don’t want to touch on the same ones since it cannibalizes nor do you want to have a lapse in publication since it can drive people away.
What you need is a content calendar.
A content calendar is a blessing because it gives you the bigger picture and sets the foundation for your content production for long-term success and growth.
Some of those benefits of using a calendar will include:
- Having an idea of how content will compliment another which will increase the chances of the audience clicking through the related links and dig deeper into the site
- Timing your content around major product launches or trends which can capture a great deal of traffic once the content is picked up on social media and by other bloggers
- You’re able to pass the calendar off to freelance writers and keep everything running instead of pushing it to the last minute (which may result in mediocre content going to publication)
- It allows you to look far into the future so you could technically batch process the creation of theses in one long sitting which will free up your day if you’re used to doing them the night before
Those are the reasons that immediately come to mind but there are many more once you begin working with them in your projects.
As far as creating them goes there are plenty of options:
- My first recommendation is to use something like Google Drive to create a spreadsheet which lists out the date, title, topic, and resources; this is very basic but gives you a great overview of what you are to produce over a given time.
- If you are using WordPress I would suggest you look at the Editorial Calendar plugin which allows you to do all the scheduling while you’re in the backend of your site; the drag and drop features make it really easy to setup a schedule on the fly.
- I’d also recommend checking out this post which has collected a variety of sources for downloadable editorial calendars (usually Excel); these can be very flexible and if you start with these and import them into something like Google Drive you can access, edit, and share it at any time.
The big question, after having read this, is whether you are going to put a content calendar into effect. Creating one takes little more than an hour of your time if you already have a great amount of ideas. Even if you do need extra time to come up with ideas it will ultimately work in your favor because you could go and find previous content that will support the new work (which makes for easy interlinking).
Make one however you see fit. Believe me… they are incredible for keeping your productive, on track, and always looking at growth or your projects.
Image by FirmBee