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How to Create a Content Calendar for Your Small Business

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You may be familiar with the phrase “content is king.” In today’s competitive marketplace, good content will help attract website visitors and keep them engaged with your site and brand. Whether it's captivating social media posts that showcase your products, services, and industry insights or informative articles that delve into topics relevant to your audience, your content serves as a bridge between your business and potential customers.

Impactful content doesn’t happen by accident – they take preparation, planning, and scheduling. The first step in achieving high-quality content that resonates with your customers is creating a content calendar.

What is a content calendar?

A content calendar, also called an editorial calendar, is a schedule for when and where you plan to publish content. Staying organized is the key to using content marketing to grow your business and a content calendar helps you keep track of all of your blog articles in one place.

A content calendar also helps ensure that everyone involved understands their responsibilities and deadlines. This makes it easier to assign tasks and collaborate with team members and partners.

If you're the only one writing and producing blog content, a content calendar is still important for ensuring that you're doing everything — from creating outlines to writing and editing articles to adding photographs and publishing to social media accounts — necessary to connect with customers. This will also give you a big-picture point of view of your content efforts and help you schedule articles that connect with your target audience throughout the year.

Your blog should live on and attract readers to your website. If you don’t have a website or need a new one, makes it easy with website packages featuring drag-and-drop web builders plus domain names and web hosting

Examples of content calendars

There are many different types of content calendars, but some of the most common include:

  • Blog content calendar. Blog content calendars are used to plan and schedule blog posts. They typically include the title of the blog post, the author, the publication date, and the topic.

  • Social media content calendar. This type of content calendar focuses on planning and scheduling social media posts for various social media channels. It includes dates, times, captions, hashtags, and the type of content (image, video, link, etc.).

  • Email marketing content calendar. This calendar helps you plan your email marketing campaigns. It includes details such as email subject lines, content, send dates, target audience, and any related links or attachments.

  • Holiday and seasonal content calendar. This calendar outlines the content you'll create around holidays and seasons. It ensures you create timely and relevant content for specific occasions.

  • Content repurposing calendar. A calendar focused on repurposing existing content into different formats. It includes details on which content will be repurposed, how it will be transformed (e.g., blog post into infographic), and when it will be published.

Why should a small business have a content calendar?

Publish consistent content

Consistency is key in content marketing. A content calendar helps you plan and schedule your content in advance, ensuring a consistent flow of posts, articles, videos, and other content. This regularity helps keep your audience engaged and builds anticipation for your content.

Stay on track

A content calendar provides a structured overview of your content strategy. It helps you stay organized by outlining what type of content will be created, when it will be published, and on which platforms. This prevents last-minute scrambles to generate content and ensures everything is well-planned.

Save time

Planning ahead allows you to create content more efficiently. You can batch-create content, which can save time and reduce stress. Additionally, you can align your content creation with other marketing efforts or events, making your social media campaigns even more effective.

Produce targeted content

With a content calendar, you can strategically plan content around specific themes, seasons, holidays, or events relevant to your business or social media accounts. This helps you create targeted and relevant content that resonates with your target audience and increases engagement.

Engage your audience

By understanding your audience's preferences and needs, you can tailor your content to provide value. A content calendar lets you plan content that addresses different stages of the buyer's journey, increasing the likelihood of attracting and retaining customers.

Boost your website visibility

Planning your content in advance allows you to research and incorporate relevant keywords and optimize your content for search engines. This boosts your website's visibility and drives organic traffic.

Collaborate more effectively

If you have a marketing team or work with freelancers, a content calendar template serves as a centralized reference point for everyone involved. It keeps all stakeholders on the same page and minimizes misunderstandings

Get measurable results

A content calendar enables you to track the performance of your content over time. By aligning your content with specific goals, you can measure metrics like engagement, traffic, conversions, and more. This data helps you refine your strategy and improve your content's effectiveness.

Be adaptable

While a content calendar provides a plan, it's not set in stone. You can adjust your content strategy based on real-time feedback, trends, or changes in your business environment. The content calendar template acts as a guide, but you can remain flexible.

Think strategically

Small businesses often have limited resources. A content calendar encourages you to think strategically about your content and allocate resources wisely. This prevents haphazard content creation and supports the achievement of long-term business goals.

How to create a content calendar in 6 steps

Step 1: Select an online template

To get started, look for online content calendar templates that are easy to use and update. There are several ready-made options available including these templates from HubSpot, Trello, and CoSchedule. You can also create one yourself by customizing a simple Google or Excel spreadsheet with categories that will help you achieve your goals.

Once you have a template created, be sure to link it to your Google calendar so you'll receive constant reminders to keep your content moving in a positive direction. This will help ensure that your content is always timely and is published at times when it will attract the greatest readership. 

Step 2: Create basic categories

Add a name for your content calendar, then create categories including the type of content, topic, publish date and time, and the channel in which the content will be published. You’ll also want to include a column where you can record if the content has been published according to schedule.

Don’t forget key dates and holidays. Set up a category where you can list holidays and quirky events like “Squirrel Appreciation Day." Stay true to your core brand messaging but have fun along the way – your customers will appreciate it.

content calendar

Step 3: Develop content ideas

You have a lot of content ideas you want to write about – be sure to put your thoughts on the calendar and keep them organized. Having a creative list of topics in the works will prevent you from scrambling at the last minute trying to find ideas for that looming publishing date. With a content calendar, you can assign titles, dates, and authors to help you stay on schedule.

It’s not always easy coming up with fresh blog content – everyone gets stuck once in a while. Fortunately, there are several tools to prevent blogger’s block. Get up from your desk, stretch, and go for a walk. It’s amazing how a little downtime can refresh your mind and get you back on track.

Another way to generate ideas is to plug keywords into a Google search and see what pops up. If the well is still running dry, try content idea generation tools such as Google SuggestGoogle’s Keyword PlannerAnswer the PublicHubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator, and Visual Spark.

Step 4: Revise to Include SEO keywords

When a customer goes online to find a business, they type in words like "best auto repair services", "florists with the best roses", or "favorite running gear stores" into an online directory like Google. By including these words in your blog posts and other content, search engines will take notice and direct people to your website. These search engine optimization (SEO) keywords can help you rank higher in search directories, so be sure to include them in your content calendar with each article. 

To develop keywords, take a look at what your competitors are doing. How do they describe their business on their website and in their content? Keep a running list of these terms and phrases and implement them in your SEO strategy, while focusing your content campaigns on your core messaging. can assist you with expert SEO services and advice to help you achieve your content goals. 

Step 5: Decide on a publication frequency

The number of times you post content depends on your specific plan and where you're sharing it. If you're focusing on multiple social media accounts or channels, like Facebook or Instagram, you might need to post multiple times a day to keep up with the fast flow of updates. But if you're running a blog, you might only need to publish new blog posts 3 or 4 times a month. This is because the content creation process for writing and researching blog posts takes more time. The key is to find the right balance between keeping your audience interested and making sure each piece of content is well-made.

Other types of content, like videos, podcasts, or newsletters, can have different schedules. Video content might come out every week or every other week. Podcasts might be released once a month. Newsletters could be sent weekly or monthly, depending on what you're talking about.

Remember, it's important to find the right balance between social posts. You want to share things often enough to keep people interested, but you also want to make sure what you're sharing is helpful and valuable. Look at how much time and help you have, and what your audience likes, to figure out how often to share content. And keep an eye on how people are reacting to your posts. This will help you decide if you need to change how often you're sharing stuff.

Step 6: Follow schedules and deadlines

Following a consistent blog publishing and social media audit schedule can be challenging. You or your marketing team may need more time or unexpected circumstances can knock your content plans off course.

A content calendar will keep you on track. Determine when and how often you will publish. Once you have a better feel for how much you should be posting, you can develop a schedule.

A posting schedule is very important and is the foundation of your calendar. Plan at least a month in advance but stay flexible, recognizing that your content priorities may change based on current events, social media calendars and industry happenings. Never miss an opportunity to provide your customers with content that addresses recent events and illustrates how your brand is solving challenges and making their lives easier.

Make a date to create a content calendar

If you're serious about content marketing, then a content calendar is a must-have tool. It will help you take your content marketing to the next level and achieve your business goals.

By establishing a well-defined content and social media strategy, and consistently creating, sharing, and refining valuable content that aligns with customer needs, you can enjoy substantial advantages. These advantages include enhanced visibility, the opportunity to forge genuine relationships with the target audience, and the potential to attract more leads. All these benefits contribute to the overall growth and success of your business.