I use a lot of tools and resources to keep my blog running. But of all of them, my content calendar is my single most important tool. My calendar is the heart and soul of my blog. When my brain can only manage to think a few hours into the future, my content calendar can think months into the future. When I sit down on the weekend to write all of my blog posts for the following week, I don’t have to think about what I’ll write, and I don’t have to deal with writer’s block. I just take a look at my calendar, and it’s all right there. If you haven’t quite figured out the importance of a content calendar, this post is for you! I’m going to tell you what a content calendar is, why you need one, and how to create one!
What is a content calendar?
It’s pretty self-explanatory actually. It is a calendar or planner for all of your blog content. It’s a simple way for you to plan out what you’re going to post on your blog on what days. For some, their content calendar might be on their Google Calendar or even the planner on their phone. Others might have a WordPress plug-in that acts as their content calendar. Others, like me, might be a little more old school and prefer the physical paper planner. I don’t know what it is, but I prefer to be able to hold my planner in my hands, carry it around in my purse, and cross things off as I’ve finished them.
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Why do you need a content calendar?
If you’ve ever sat down at your computer, opened up WordPress (or Blogger or SquareSpace) and thought, “Shit, what am I going to write about today,” then you know why you need a content calendar for your blog. Even if you haven’t admitted it to yourself yet.
- Have a content calendar keeps you organized. You never have to scramble when you sit down to write a blog post because you already know what you’re supposed to be writing about.
- Having a content calendar prevents blogger burnout. My #1 source of blogger burnout comes when I get behind or am feeling disorganized. When I have a calendar telling me exactly what’s coming up next, those feelings of burnout and disorganization are less likely to come.
- Having a content calendar allows you to plan ahead. You can take a look at the next week, month, or year to prepare for big blog topics, such as holidays. You can also prepare for vacations by either taking a blogging break or writing posts well in advance.
- Having a content calendar allows you take stock of what you’re writing. I love that I can look at my calendar for just a second and see how many posts on blogging I have, or how many posts on productivity I have. I can quickly decipher my sponsored to non-sponsored post ratio.
- Having a content calendar allows you to, with a quick glance, put together a to-do list for yourself.
Basically, it allows you to save yourself a heck of a lot of stress and writer’s block when you’re blogging.
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How do you create a content calendar?
First, choose your weapon of choice. Online calendar? Plug-in? Paper planner? I’m afraid that’s the easy part. After you’ve got your calendar set up, it’s time to brainstorm blog post ideas and start filling them in! I’ll be coming back soon with another post on the best way to come up with post ideas and fill your content calendar!