Why You Should be Using a Content Calendar
If you are starting or trying to grow your side hustle, you probably know that being organized is really important. Pre-planning content is a huge part of effectively running your business and it can really up your hustle game. I know creating a content calendar can be really daunting, where the hell do you even start? But there are plenty of amazing templates out there to help you easily and painlessly (as much as possible) start planning and scheduling your content.
A lot of larger teams use content calendars to stay on the same page. When you have a separate social department that needs to produce content that is on topic with the email marketing team, a plan is essential. But, if you're a fempreneur on your own team of one, content calendars can be just as important.
Content calendars allow you to lay out what content you'll publish throughout the year and plan how you'll promote it. Have you ever realized "oh crap, this XYZ holiday totally crept up on me and I should have created some themed content around it?" Yea, been there and done that. When I'm creating my content calendar I immediately slot in real holidays and social media holidays. This can be a great way to quickly brainstorm topic ideas and you can schedule ahead of time by batch writing your content.Once you've slotted in the holidays, you can see where the gaps are in your calendar. I like to keep a running list of potential blog topics in the Notes app on my phone, then pop them into my content calendar wherever I have gaps. That means there's less of me just staring at my laptop thinking "WTF am I supposed to write about, well I have to write about something because I need to get a new post up tomorrow." As I slot content into my calendar, I'm able to see if I'm writing too much about one or two topics and adjust so that I can keep things varied and interesting for all you hustlers following along.
One of the biggest benefits of working with a content calendar is that it allows me to get more done in less time. By having a plan for content, from when the post will be published to what I'll post about it on social media and when, I'm able to batch my work. That means that I can sit down for a couple of hours on a Saturday and bust out two weeks of writing in one shot. Then I can spend an hour or two formatting them in Wordpress, and another hour creating images and scheduling those posts for social media. I love being able to do this because it leaves me more time throughout the week to focus on my clients and working on any new and exciting projects!
Don't worry if batching isn't for you, a content calendar also helps me to be a bit more agile with working on the go. When I'm traveling or just commuting to work, all I have to do is look at my content calendar on my phone to know what posts I have scheduled to go out, then open up my Notes app and start working on that content. This makes it WAY more likely that I will actually be productive during those pockets of time throughout the day rather than just playing games on my phone.
If you struggle with getting content out consistently, I would highly recommend that you try using a content calendar. And don't feel like by using a content calendar means your married to exactly the schedule that you set. I swap and re-arrange the post topics on my calendar all the time. If I planned a post a few weeks ago but now the topic isn't relevant or I'm not excited to write about it, I pull up my brainstorm list of topics and switch it for a topic I am pumped about. It might sound weird but by doing a little bit of planning, it actually helps me to be much more flexible.
When you're creating your content calendar you'll want to make note of your topic, when it will be published and plan for how you'll distribute it. This can also help you repurpose your content more effectively across multiple platforms. A post that you've pre-planned might be easily turned into a downloadable checklist to be used as a lead magnet and a video or podcast or both. And boom, now you have four pieces of new content rather than just one with little extra planning. This is definitely something I'm trying to work on more as it adds more value for you.
Do you use a content calendar? If you're struggling with your content marketing strategy, contact me.