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4 Secrets Behind Creating an Awesome Content Calendar

4 Easy Steps to Creating a Content Calendar

Most business owners know a solid content marketing plan is vital for a brand’s online success, but not all of them know how to make it happen. A strong editorial calendar will map out content and keep you on track.

Research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute [1] found that:

With content marketing generating triple as many leads as outbound marketing for 62 percent less money, it seems prudent to take it seriously enough to create a strategic plan.

Creating a Content Calendar That Works

Create a Strategy

Plan Content

At this point, you may be feeling frustrated with how time-consuming the process is. If you want to learn how to create an amazing content calendar [2], you must set aside the time for some planning. Don’t give up. As the statistics above make clear, there’s no question this is time well spent.

Identify Resources

The most valuable resource for content marketing are your people. Who will create the content? Is this an in-house project or will you use professional services? If it’s an in-house project, people need to be identified to write the content, edit the content and proofread the content before it’s posted anywhere publicly.

This is not an assignment to be passed on lightly. Writing content is time consuming and needs to be done skillfully to be effective. If you don’t have the budget to hire a full-time content marketer, consider sharing the wealth among the current staff. Assign writing to people based on their expertise, so they are writing on topics they are already knowledgeable about.

For planning purposes, keep in mind each piece should be edited by someone other than the writer. Ideally, the editor knows something about optimizing online copy for search engine rankings. A third person will need to proofread each piece. It’s never a good idea to have the writer or editor do the proofreading, because it really demands a fresh set of eyes for best results.

Of course, identifying resources could simply be to utilize the services of a content marketing firm. If this is the plan, be sure to assign the task of locating and hiring a service.

Create Structure

It’s time to put it into a format that is usable. An effective content calendar [3] will be something that can be digested at a glance. There’s no point in spending time creating it if it’s going to be tossed aside and never used. For the content calendar to be a useful tool, the format must be user-friendly.

One of the easiest ways to do this is by using a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel. There’s more than one right way to do this. Possible column headers to include are:

An effective content calendar is a dynamic document. It should be revisited regularly and revised as needed. Best practice is to have regular separate meetings with key players to discuss content strategy and analyze results. These meetings will help keep things on track.

Creating a content calendar can be time-consuming … but it’s not nearly as time-consuming as wasting valuable resources on content marketing without a strategy.

Photo via Shutterstock [4]