7 reasons you need a content calendar

Every client I work with uses a content calendar.

What’s a content calendar?

It’s simply a document – an Excel spreadsheet, for example – that acts as a list of all the editorial content you intend to publish, set against specific dates.

Think of it as a list of deadlines for all the amazing content marketing you’ll do in future.

The problem is that 90 % of businesses do marketing without an editorial calendar. Because it’s a ‘waste of time.’ Well, it’s not. And here’s why:

You can’t make it up as you go along, because you’ll forget. 

If you’re like me, then unless something is set in your calendar, it won’t happen.

Even those of us with the best intentions still forget. And content, sadly, always falls to the bottom of our to-do list. Especially if you’re a business owner.

Having a calendar means you’re committing to doing something. It means you will create time and invest thought into writing content that you care about. Content that you’re more likely to share, and that your customers will be more likely to respond to.

Planning ahead means consistent publishing deadlines, which makes your audience more likely to engage

Your customers love regular communications. They hate gaps.

If you want to build an audience online, consistency is going to be key. If you leave large gaps without posting content, it raises questions in your customer’s mind.

Creating a content calendar means you’re planning to communicate regularly. And regular, consistent conversation is the stuff of great friendships. And great client relationships.

Content marketing is a slow burn – if you rush in you will burn out

I meet so many lovely, well-meaning business people that have loads of energy to start content marketing. The problem isn’t the start, it’s the finish. Six months down the line, will you still have the inclination to get up early and write? Arguably not.

Creating a calendar of committed content items means even when it’s raining, even when you’re tired, even when you’d rather run over your own foot than blog, you are committing to keeping going with marketing.

Content marketing is a slow burn, so don’t burn yourself out before you’ve started.

You need help, don’t go it alone. A shared calendar means other team members and freelancers contribute

Don’t be tempted to create all the content alone, or use a single team member.

The person in charge of writing content for your business needs support.

Having a content calendar gives the opportunity for others to keep tabs on how the content is going, to offer support if needed, to pitch in new ideas and generally keep your writer motivated!

Having an overview makes it easier to have variety and think about purpose.

When I was a History teacher, we’d often talk about the ‘helicopter’ view of the past. This is the idea that you can see all cause and consequence, with a high level view of what happened.

A content calendar is a little like this. It enables you to have a holistic view of your marketing plan and make decisions that will improve the overall quality of your content. You’re less likely to repeat ideas. You’re more likely to think in a joined-up way about the purpose behind your blogs.

Plan blogs as chapters of something bigger.

They say everyone has a book in them. Maybe you do!

Instead of writing blogs every week with no connection, perhaps you could see them as chapters. Could your blogs join together to create something of great value to your business? What guide, PDF download, white paper or novel do you want to create? Could you do it in baby steps?

Without a calendar, you’re planning to fail. With a calendar, you’re accountable to yourself.

Finally, it’s true that being accountable makes it far more likely that you’ll act.

Who better to be accountable to than yourself?

Creating a content calendar means that you’re more likely to regularly publish, you’re more likely to regularly communicate on social media and you’re more likely to build lasting, valuable relationships with your customers.

Need a bit of help getting your content calendar off the ground? This spring I’m offering a free 30 minute marketing call. Book yours here: