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Business Blogging
Email Course

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Lesson 3:

Create your content calendar

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Blogging is standard practice for any business wanting to grow online. You need to be creating regular, high quality content tailored for your audience, like clockwork.

But “How do I do that?” we hear you cry. With a content calendar of course! By the end of this lesson you’ll know exactly what a content calendar is and how to use it. And you’ll be able to download a free template so you can get started creating your own content calendar for today’s task.

What is a content calendar?

A content calendar is a very useful tool for scheduling all the content you intend to publish.

It allows you to capture your blog posts, email campaigns and social sharing posts in one place, which means you can see the bigger picture of your content marketing efforts.

Using a content calendar enables you to plan ahead, to think about how your posts logically fit together, and to think about what your audience needs to know and what you want to teach them.

Preparing for your content calendar

To get the most out of your content calendar it’s a good idea to do the following first:

Review your blog categories

Ensure your blog categories are clear, relevant and being used appropriately, to help people find your content more easily.

It’s best to assign only one category per post and be disciplined with the number of categories you use. We recommend 8 as the absolute maximum, but between 4 and 6 is optimum.

Research your blog topics

When researching blog topics for our own customers as part of our Essential Setup package, we use a combination of customer profiles, keyword research and topic research.

You want to choose the topics that are the most relevant to your audience, always asking, “What will they find interesting? What will they find useful? How can I help them solve their problems?”

Tips for using a content calendar

If you get in the habit of using a calendar to organise your content, you should find it gets easier and easier to think about new topics, to stay on top of your content marketing, and to keep publishing regular, high quality content like clockwork.

Here are our top tips for getting even more mileage from your content calendar:

  • Because we like to stay organised at Wildheart, we use the strikethrough option to cross off each blog post and social update as it’s published. That way it’s easy to see where you’re up to in the calendar. And it always feels good to cross things off a list!
  • Already done your blog topic research? That’s fantastic, well done! But don’t stop there. Ideally you want to already be thinking about your future posts. Always keep your blog topics in the back of your mind and be on the lookout for new opportunities. The more you can stay on top of your content schedule, the easier it will be to keep publishing regular content.
  • Use Google Analytics to measure how popular your posts are. If you have comments and feedback on specific posts on social media, you can use this engagement to spark ideas for follow-up posts within your chosen categories.
  • The content calendar is great for solo operators but it’s even better for teams, as it allows you to share and collaborate. Use it with your own cloud storage, like Google Drive or Dropbox, for powerful collaborative teamwork.

How we do it at Wildheart

If you take a look at our content marketing blog, you’ll see that we’ve created 8 categories:

We chose these categories because they’re broad topics that are very relevant in our industry and we know our audience will be interested in them. We try to plan our content about 2-3 months in advance and aim to have a fairly even spread of posts across our categories. We publish our blog like clockwork – at 9:30am (UK time) on the second Friday of each month.

We also use Google Analytics to give us valuable feedback. We track which posts and categories are most popular with our visitors and use this information to help shape our blog pipeline – to ensure we’re always delivering useful content to our audience.

Today’s task

So, now you know what a content calendar is and how to use it, there’s only one thing left to do – head back to your email to complete today’s task and start loading your very own content schedule!

You can download the content calendar template here:

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