As an independent creator, it’s important to stay organized. When it comes to organizing content, however, it’s easy to hit a wall. It might feel like there’s so much content to publish, but so little time. But before you learn how to plan a content calendar, learn the basics.
What is a content calendar?
By scheduling when you want to publish content and how it needs to get done, you can coordinate your team around your deadlines much better. These keep brands and individuals organized and on the right track so that their content can stay fresh, relevant and well planned.
How to plan a content calendar:
Seasons aren’t just fluctuations in weather patterns. They’re fluctuations in tastes, desires, cravings, moods and tones. What your audience wants to read depends intensely on the season. So when thinking about stories, interviews, color palettes and photos, think about the mood evoked by the season. Think about the smells, sights, and sounds. Set the seasonal tone for your readers, so the swimsuit styles you’ve got queued up on Instagram aren’t putting them off in the middle of January.
There’s so much going on in the world that it’s pretty easy to be topical –– but there’s always more to go for than the obvious. Everyone’s going to be talking about Halloween in October and Thanksgiving in November. But what about National Pizza Month, which happens to span all 31 days of October? Or National Espresso Day, a day commemorating that which fuels us all, which falls on the 23rd of November? There’s a lot of ways to stay topical, so get creative with it! Keeping an eye on trending topics is the key to relevant content.
There may be a million ideas in your head on what to publish, but at the end of the day, you’re going to have to condense it into a readable publication. So while it’s important to keep track of all your ideas, it’s important to know what’s actually possible with your current team and schedule. And remember, readers prefer quality over quantity. It’s always better to get a couple of really strong, powerful pieces of content in than to fill your publication with, well, filler.
Where to plan a content calendar
You can start to plan your content calendar in a spreadsheet document for the most simple version of what you need. You can make a list, an actual calendar-style document; however you work best at calendar planning. Some people choose to create content calendars in InDesign documents for a little bit of a prettier version, or go even simpler and use your calendar app of choice.