If your office is anything like mine, there are a million notes, lists and calendar appointments everywhere. From day planners to smartphone syncs and Google calendars, it might seem like you don’t want to create yet another calendar. But his one is worth it. Promise!
The content calendar is the schedule of topics you intend to publish. Writers like to use it because it makes us sound professional, but the reality it when it comes to creating your blog content, you need a plan. You wouldn’t develop a marketing strategy without a plan, right? The content calendar is your strategy.
Where to Start?
First and foremost, start with the major holidays. You don’t want to be a business that only blogs when you want to wish people a “happy something.” because everyone else and their brother is doing this via blog, ad and email.
What you want to do is look at the holidays as ways to stand out from the pack. Every business relating to pets is going to send out the 10 foods your dog can or can’t eat at Thanksgiving.
The idea is to calendar the content in a timely fashion and make it unique, bold, different. But first, you need to set the schedule. Once you have the basic majors down, look for some obscure days you can have fun with. Is there a “National Wax Your Floor Day.”
For a home cleaning service, this could be golden. The idea is to find things that stick out to you that maybe you can craft content around.
Look at industry milestone days or busy periods. Pesticide companies know when tick season is upon us and would want to craft content around those periods. The idea is to start listing topics and plugging them into a calendar.
Feel overwhelmed with a whole year? Start with the next quarter. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that laying out the whole year allows you to design key strategy points where you will focus more on a call to action compared to brand-building.
Of course, I’m going to say that crafting content is the fun part. It’s what I do, what I love to do and what I have done for more than 17 years. I love rabbit holes of research and I love learning about music, electrical, IT security … you name it. Heck, I even love making tax topics fun.
Now you are the expert at what you do. You have the cliche jokes. The anecdotal stories you tell are phenomenal. There are things us common-folk won’t ever really understand unless you tell it to us. So when you look at the topic list and national “do-da” day list, think about the odd things you wouldn’t normally talk about.
What does that mean? No need to panic. I’m going to help you understand.
What if a carpet company used National Wax Your Floor Day to help homemakers reduce their work? Think about it. If you had carpet, you wouldn’t need to wax those floors. No one wants to spend a day on their hands and knees doing that chore.
Creating content around that makes it fun. Of course, most people aren’t going to run out and replace all hardwood floors with carpet because of that one reason. But it shows some personality and prospects will certainly give you props for thinking outside the box.
The Calendar Strategy
So you have developed the framework of the calendar. You know the key days that you want to reach out to clients and prospects. You have brainstormed fun ideas to integrate with solid factual content about your industry. Now you need to look at the calendar like a movie director thinks about his feature film.
A comedy always has moments of seriousness where the lead grows as a person. A drama or action film work hard to integrate moments where the audience can breathe with a well-timed one-liner or light scene.
Your audience needs the same time of ebb and flow with your content. You don’t want everything to be well wishes or goofy side-stories. You need some content to be more serious to establish your business credibility. But not everything can be overly serious in every post either.
(There are some industries where you might not have a lot of off-beat content. This is part of the brand you need to develop strategies on.)
When your audience realizes you aren’t always selling them something, they start to look forward to the next post with lighter content. Value-driven content that gives them useful tips or something that makes them laugh is welcomed and often shared.
Don’t let the content calendar overwhelm you. With just a little effort, your content calendar will start to develop and you will begin to see your blog content as a way to develop a relationship with your clients and new prospects.
Having the calendar planned keeps you on track and not sitting around wondering what you should write about his week or regretting missing that perfect posting opportunity.
Need help? It’s always free to ask.