If you’re providing information in regular doses via a blog, article marketing, a podcast, a videocast or even a membership site, it can really take a load off your shoulders to have a content calendar, sometimes called an editorial calendar. Here’s how you can create one.
Step One: Set Up a Basic Calendar
You can use a monthly calendar or even a couple sheets of paper to do this step. All you need is a place to write your ideas, divided into monthly chunks, January through December.
Step Two: Brainstorm “Big” Topics
Create a list of at least 12 topics you’d like to cover over the next year. These should be big topics that you make granular later. For example, for this blog, I chose “Planning for the New Year” as my topic for this month.
Step Three: Assign Topics to Months
Now take your top 12 topics and assign them to individual months. So January is “Topic 1,” February is “Topic 2” and so on. Now, depending on how granular you want to go, this could be where you stop. However, I recommend you go further.
Let’s say you need a specific topic once a week. Then you would go into each month and come up with 4-5 sub-topics for the month. For example, if January was assigned the topic of “business plans,” you could have weekly topics of “Mission Statement,” “Vision Statement,” “Ideal Client Profile,” “Objectives” and “Action Plan.” Setting this all up in advance can help you on many levels:
- You can be more focused when it comes time to develop the content, because you’ve already chosen the topic.
- You can plan your marketing promotions around your content.
- You can develop your content well in advance and set it up to be posted either by your virtual assistant or automatically through a blog.
Now is an excellent time to create your content calendar for 2010. I know I’ll be doing mine this month. How about you?