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How To Build A Content Calendar Quickly

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Fancy Calendar

I spend a lot of time at work building content calendars, either for blogs or for social media. It’s not easy. It sounds easy until you sit down to create two weeks’ or a month’s worth of posts and realize that posting on the same subject matter day after day can get monotonous fast.

I’ve come up with a simple solution for avoiding that fatigue, and it’s also something that can help you potentially optimize your content. Here it is:

1. Figure out what topics you want to post about

Before you even start, you should have an idea of what you’re posting about within your niche. If you’re planning content for a home decor blog, maybe you have a handful of categories like product reviews, DIY, Q&A with an expert and design inspiration. Whatever it is, figure that out and write it down.

2. Decide how often you want to post about each topic

This is key, especially if you’re interested in keeping your schedule under control. If you don’t yet know which types of content perform best (more on that in a future post) you can start by weighting them based on what takes up the most of your time. For the topics I mentioned above, DIY and Q&A will probably take the most time because they involve an interview and a lengthy content piece, respectively. A product review might take a bit less time, and design inspiration is probably the shortest because you’re essentially curating other people’s content.

Assign a percentage to each one. Don’t think about it too much, because you can adjust it later. For this, let’s just say: Design inspiration, 50%; product reviews 30%; DIY and Q&A, 10% each.

3. Divvy up your calendar per the percentages

Let’s say I’m blogging five days per week for one month, so, 20 days. Ten days are dedicated to inspiration, six to product reviews, three do DIY and three to Q&A.

4. Scatter ’em, or theme your days

I like to mix things up and keep readers guessing. You may want to set up a system where every Tuesday is product review day, or something like that. Whatever you’re comfortable with is what’s best.

I still build my content calendars in Excel because that’s what I like. It doesn’t matter what you use, but I do recommend writing the topics down, day by day, somewhere. The visualization will help keep you organized.

5. Write

This is the hardest part, but once it’s done, you’re done. All you have to do then is plug your content into the slots you created in Step 4.

The “bonus” part of this is optimizing your content based on which topics perform best. That’s easy enough to do, but it’s another set of instructions for another post, which I’ll write about soon. Check back, and let me know in the meantime if you have questions or feedback.

Photo: Windell Oskay / Flickr

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