8 Best Practices for Creating a Content Calendar

Syed Balkhi

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Content is king because it makes it possible for you to connect with the intended audience and bring relevant traffic to your site. Content also fuels your SEO and increases your online presence, giving you an edge over the competition.

That's why 87% of marketing visionaries consider content the core of their respective marketing strategies.

But for content to work its magic, it's essential that you produce it around topics that best represent your niche and be consistent at it. And that's why we create a content calendar to keep things in check.

However, creating an effective content calendar is not easy. There are a few things you have to keep in mind in order to ensure the optimal yield of your content creation process.

Here are the eight best practices to consider when creating a content calendar.

1. Set Clear Goals

The first and most important step when creating a content calendar is to identify and set clear goals that you wish to achieve with your content.

Content serves diverse purposes like raising awareness, generating traffic, capturing quality leads, increasing a brand's visibility online, growing an email list, driving social media engagement, and so on. So, you need to be clear on your objectives.

When you've set your goals clearly, it'll be easier for you to seek answers to important questions like who you're creating content for and what would be a fitting format. Furthermore, it will help you identify suitable platforms for publishing content and the best time to schedule it to get more traction.

Hence, it's essential that you have a clear understanding of your goals to start planning your content calendar efficiently.

2. Specify Format

There's no fixed formula when choosing the format of your content calendar. All you have to do is make sure that the fields in your calendar contain all the necessary information for your team to execute the plan.

A standard content calendar contains information like production date, topic, focus keyword(s), content type, channel, scheduling date, additional details, comments, and status.

But, as said earlier, you can pick a content calendar format best suited to your needs and add fields appropriate to facilitate your operations.

3. Mention Deadlines

As you populate your content calendar, make sure that you add the start and end dates for different tasks. For example, if you plan to produce a blog post, you should specify the date to commence the tasks and the deadline for it to go live.

This will make it easier for the stakeholders involved in the content creation process to plan their work schedule accordingly and help you acknowledge seamless workflows.

4. Add Content Type

It's essential to specify the content type when populating your content calendar. Don't assume your tasks are self-explanatory, as this can often lead to confusion or misunderstanding.

For example, a calendar item titled "How to Get Started with an Online Business" can be a blog, an ultimate guide, an e-book, an infographic, or a YouTube video.

It may seem that a task doesn't require more details, but specifying the type of content adds clarity. So, be as thorough as you can when adding task specifications.

5. Add Focus Keyword(s)

It's totally up to you to select the format of your content calendar. However, it's highly recommended not to skip the field specifying the focus keyword(s).

This is important information, especially for content that you create to drive traffic, generate leads, or fuel your SEO. So, it's essential to add the focus keyword(s) to the calendar along with the topics to ensure that you create optimized content that complies with the quality guidelines.

6. Provide Details

Along with the necessary instructions, such as topic, content type, focus keyword(s), and deadline, you must also provide the necessary details to get the job done.

For example, it would be great if you could notify your team whether they'd be creating an article from scratch, optimizing the one already published for SEO, or repurposing existing content.

Of course, this is just one example, and the details required may change with respect to different scenarios, but you get the gist of it.

Adding such details to your content calendar can be of great help and maximize the efficiency of your team. The attention to detail would ensure your business' growth as you ensure a seamless and error-free content creation process.

7. Track Your Progress

It's important that your content calendar specifies the status of the tasks. The standard status labels can be to-do, in progress, scheduled, live, and complete. This makes it easier for you to track your progress and assess the pace at which things are going.

Furthermore, tracking your content calendar helps create transparent workflows and improves collaboration among all stakeholders, as everyone is on the same page with respect to the deliverables.

8. Assign Responsibility

You can't leave your content calendar open to be managed by everyone on your team, as it can lead to chaos.

Ideally, it should be your content lead who manages the content calendar. But, if that role isn't filled, you can also manage the calendar yourself or delegate the responsibility to an experienced content professional in your team.

When there's no one in charge, things can get out of hand. So, carefully select the point person who handles all concerns associated with the content calendar and ensures that everything is progressing smoothly.

It's a Wrap

There you have it, the eight best practices for creating a content calendar. Creating an organized content calendar is easier said than done. But, the recommended best practices will surely make things easy for you.

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Syed Balkhi is on a mission to level the playing field for small businesses. 19+ million websites use his software to grow and compete with the big guys. 100+ million people read his blogs every year to grow their website traffic, sales, & conversion

West Palm Beach, FL

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