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How to Use a Content Calendar to Save Time & Reduce Stress

What is a Content Calendar?

 

Simply put, a content calendar defines what content you share and when. For most people, it’s not only a simple calendar but the picture of an entire content strategy.

Maybe you operate best with a simple calendar with a topic for a blog post and a date scheduled to post it. Or perhaps you need something more complex — this could include your social media shares across all accounts, when you’ll recycle it, SEO keywords, and much more.

Either way, creating a content calendar and using it effectively can transform your content marketing — and make it easier, too!

 

Creating a Content Calendar that works for YOU

 

Realistically, how often will you develop new content versus recycling or updating evergreen content? Don’t set unachievable goals that will end up stressing you out and causing you to be less productive overall. It’s important to stay consistent, so find a steady rhythm you can keep up with.

 

Define your goals

 

What goals do you want to achieve through your content sharing? Increasing SEO is a common goal with content, but there may be others as well. Do you want to inform or educate the audience about your products or services?

 

Plan Around Seasons

 

Plan for upcoming seasons and holidays, and develop related content. As people search for seasonal content, this can help increase your SEO. Once you have this established for a year or more, you can review content performance from previous seasons and learn what worked best.

 

Tools to work smarter, not harder

 

Using helpful tools and software can help you work more efficiently and make your daily tasks easier. Here are a few of my recommendations:

 

1. Coschedule

Coschedule allows you to view and plan your content calendar efficiently. Add teammates to collaborate, see a birds-eye view of your month, create checklists, use templates to make recurring workflows easier, and more.

2. Buffer

Buffer is a beneficial tool for scheduling and sharing your content on social media. You can connect your social media accounts, customize your posts for each platform and add them to a queue to post during your chosen days and times. They also offer helpful analytics so you can learn what types of posts and content perform best.

3. Good old-fashioned spreadsheets

Sometimes, simple is best. When you’re just getting started and don’t have a complicated content strategy, spreadsheets can be your best friend. It’s easy to think of spreadsheets as old-fashioned, but they have certainly proved their value over time. Not every spreadsheet has to be boring black and white lines if you prefer something visually appealing. Think outside the box with checkboxes, fonts and sizes, border colors, and more.

 

Putting it into practice

 

Remember, it takes about 21 days to build a habit. Be diligent in establishing a content schedule during those first few weeks before deciding it doesn’t work. In the end, I think you’ll find having a well-planned content calendar can save last-minute headaches and help you work more efficiently.