Writing A Content Calendar

Title graphic for GrowSkills resource about writing a content calendar

A content calendar (often referred to as an editorial calendar) is a schedule outlining what, where and when you plan to publish upcoming content.

One calendar can be used to keep track of all content, including web content (blogs, articles, how-to guides etc.), social media content, email newsletters and other types of content. Or you can have a separate calendar for each type of content.

Download A Calendar Template Or Create Your Own

The very best downloadable content calendar is the GrowTraffic Content Calendar, which includes all public holidays, international days, national days, events and other “days of the year”.

These days and events can be used as inspiration for your content. They allow you to take advantage of upcoming trends.

You can download it here. Here’s a sneak peek of the GrowTraffic calendar:

Alternatively, you can create your own content calendar. Calendar templates can be downloaded from various websites.

We like Calendarpedia, which allows you to download templates for Microsoft Word. It is best to download monthly calendars and collate them into one Word doc as this provides enough space to add your content.

This is simple to do. Just choose one of the templates and click the Word icon. It will then download into your downloads folder.

When you open it, it will look like this:

You can then edit it as you see fit.

Calendar Labs is also a great website to download calendar templates. Alternatively, you can use the calendar template already available within Microsoft Word.

What Should A Content Calendar Include?

Your content calendar should outline:

  • Type of content
  • Topic of the content
  • Date and time it is to be published
  • Channel in which the content will be published, i.e. website, Facebook, YouTube etc.
  • Person responsible for creating and publishing the content

Your content strategy should include a mix of content types. For example, it might include blogs, infographics, newsjacking pieces, how-to articles, vlogs, podcasts, social media graphics and more.

Choosing Topics

Content topics will vary depending on various factors. The topic will be different depending on whether it is being written for an audience in the awareness stage, consideration stage or decision stage of the buying cycle (AKA buyer’s journey).

Awareness Stage

Web users within the awareness stage have a problem they need solving. They are looking for answers, resources, education, research data, opinions, and insight relating to your product, service, industry or brand.

This provides you with an opportunity to produce informative content in response to the needs of your target audience.

For example, a company that provides an employee wellness app may create a blog entitled “Why Is Employee Wellbeing Important?”. This is directly answering a popular question asked by the company’s target audience.

Awareness stage content makes up for the majority of the content you will publish.

Consideration stage

Web users in the middle of the funnel are at the consideration (or evaluation) stage. Generally, when someone is in the consideration stage, they have a problem and are looking for the best solution.

At this point, they are carrying out in-depth research to determine whether or not your product, service or brand is right for them.

Content for the consideration stage might include case studies, in-depth tutorials, how-to guides and articles addressing a particular problem.

Decision Stage

In the final stage of the buying cycle, the reader is preparing to make their final decision and choose the product or service that’s right for them.

At this stage, the potential customer has done their research and knows everything they need to know about the product.

The content at this stage should focus on demonstrating the value of the product. This might include price comparison guides, free trial offers and product demonstrations.

Keywords

Aside from determining which stage of the buying cycle you are creating content for, you need to focus on keywords. Keywords and phrases are the search terms that your target audience uses when searching for products or services similar to yours.

By regularly creating and publishing content, you can target specific keywords and phrases, drawing your target audience to your website.

Before you begin writing a content calendar, you should be familiar with the keywords and phrases you want to include, as many of your topics will be based around these keywords. A professional keyword audit is the best way to determine which keywords you need to target.

Alternatively, you can find your keywords using the tools available online, including Moz Keyword Explorer, Google Keyword Planner and Answer The Public.

Additional Topic Ideas

Your content calendar should include a mix of content topics, including content that targets specific keywords and content tailored to different stages of the buyer’s journey.

Other ideas include:

  • Seasonal content relating to a current event, trend or specific date
  • Industry news and updates
  • Company announcements, news, achievements and updates
  • Team news, achievements and updates
  • Newsjacking articles

Collaborating On The Content Calendar

Once you have a list of content ideas and topics, you can schedule them into the content calendar. Ensure you include the type of content, the channel of publication, date and time of publication and person responsible.

It is best to save the content calendar to a shared folder, so those collaborating on the content have easy access to it and can edit it where they see fit.

Find out more about writing a content calendar for 2022 here.