Before you think you don’t need a content calendar, tell me if you do all of this:
- Scroll Facebook endlessly in the name of networking?
- Wander on Twitter not knowing what to do?
- Being there on LinkedIn but you don’t know whom to connect with?
Do you do all of this as a freelancer or solopreneur? I bet you do.
Do you know you are wasting days and months and may be years sitting behind your screen and think why your other peers are doing good as freelancers while you are lingering around social networks for work?
It is because you don’t have a content calendar.
How will a content calendar solve your business woes?
Your calendar is like your ideal manager. If you do things according to what your calendar says, you will stick to a schedule and your productivity shall spike.
It is very easy to get distracted and also stay there. I have done it. I keep reading meaningless posts where the group admin asks, “What are you baking today?” and there are 256 comments talking about the Thai curry they tried to bake. Now ask yourself, where is this Thai curry going to help you in your career? It won’t. It only boosts the engagement profile of that FB Group and you will be bombarded with more of such meaningless posts that waste your time. This is why social media gets overwhelming.
On the other hand, imagine having a robust calendar that tells you what to do? No brain damage.
Have you ever imagined how a certain business develops engaging content day after day, every day, even on a Sunday? This is how they do it.
How to design a Content Calendar?
Hubspot has a very cool way to get you started.
Hubspot’s content calendar is based on a concept called the content cluster. Now you don’t need to start off with a platform like this, to begin with. I used a plain excel spreadsheet to design my calendar. It is distraction free. The less the application is polluted with features, the more it will help you accomplish your goals. The more it will help you turn your ideas into executable tasks.
But, I am using the concept of the content cluster to design my content strategy. It gives a good perspective and the approach is holistic. You get to design an overview of your strategy instantly with something like this.
Content Marketing further branches out to:
- Market Research
- Customer Persona Design
- Business Blogging
- Social Media Engagement
- Email Marketing
Below is a picture with the core idea in the center. I named it content marketing because that is my core service.
You could be a freelance blogger, yet you will need all the other branches of content marketing to be successful.
You will need Market Research to find out who your customers are so that you generate content accordingly.
After you gather information about your prospects, you need to design Customer Personas.
Based on the Persona, you need to write web copy that will attract your audience.
With the help of web copy and lead magnets, you capture email ids.
Then begins email marketing to grow, retain and engage your lists.
Meanwhile, you promote the generated content on social media to gain visibility and attract traffic.
This is how the content marketing cycle runs. At every step, you evaluate the results to see what is working for you and what is not.
I shared a blog post about writing content in 50 minutes by putting up appropriate and trending hashtags. I increased my Twitter followers by 150% in 3 hours.
I could do this because I made use of the right hashtags on Twitter.
How to identify the right hashtags for your business?
- Choose the hashtags most relevant to your content.
- Choose the hashtags that are trending at the moment.
- Choose the hashtags that carry relevant semantics.
This is what Content Strategy can bring to a marketing business. Content Strategy is also about retaining inbound traffic with the help of content clusters.
I generate content around these clusters to stay in tune with my niche. Isn’t this an efficient way to manage your content, be productive as well as not get overwhelmed with all the (mis)information you come across?
Advantages of having a Content Calendar
By having a definitive content guide,
- You will not feel lost about what to write in this wide, web world bursting with information.
- You get to focus on subjects that boost your industry authority.
- You will save 2 hours of time in a day. How many times have you wished for a 26 hour day as an entrepreneur?
- You can plan content according to events like Women’s day or Black Friday.
- You can outsource social media promotion to a VA or teammate and be rest assured that this won’t get messed up.
- You can easily upcycle content by clubbing two or more topics depending on the need.
- You can also design FREEBIES based on the topic so that the freebie stays relevant and can garner maximum lead capture.
Now, are there any reasons you don’t want a content calendar? I follow a weekly content calendar that keeps me organized. It also helps me come up with new content to write. Do you want to know how I do it? Download my Content.