6 Benefits of Having a Content Calendar — FREE CONTENT CALENDAR!
Stay organized in 2020 with a free content calendar download! Are you pretty organized? Do you keep track of your progress on social media, blog insights, growth, collaborations, future posts and know what you’re going to post and when?
I am pretty digital. I like to use my calendar on my phone, my notes on my commuter and phone and do as much as I can digitally, however I do like a written out planner or content calendar. I was pretty good at keeping track before I created this content calendar. I would print out a few months (ex: January, February & March) and have a general idea of anything that was coming up. But, it was loose papers, I would end up tossing months after they had passed and didn’t really keep track of my progress or how I was doing.
You see, any blogger who says “oh the numbers don’t matter” either isn’t being honest, doesn’t care about the numbers because they are so dang successful that they don’t really need to or well or they aren’t trying to make money, it’s just a hobby for them — and that’s totally cool. For many of us “bloggers” this is our side hustle, our main gig or a hobby that we’d like to turn into a full time job. It’s business, and to successfully run a business, you need to keep track of so many things.
Last December (2018), I made my own content calendar for 2019. I even bought cute stickers for it and got it spiral bound at Kinkos — to make it super official of course. It has been HUGE in helping me grow this year.
Here's a snapshot of what the content calendar looks like and has to offer and once again -- it's totally FREE to download! Each month has a different fun and motivating quote, a place to jot down some goals, dreams, ideas, accomplishments and so much more. (Cute stickers not included -- I ordered those off Etsy)
Why? Let’s talk about the 6 main reasons you should have a content calendar:
-- Organization & Strategy
If you are able to look at your week, month and quarter ahead you can stay organized and plan content accordingly across all of your platforms. If you are able to see what the future looks like on paper (or digitally) then you are able to commit to future collabs, jobs and events.
When you can plan head, you can strategize your content so that it fits in with some of the trends, holidays and even be able to reuse old content from previous years that fit in with your current message or upcoming holidays. Click here!
A content calendar forces you to plan ahead and then it’s up to you to stick with your plan.
-- Save Time & Stress
Having to worry about what you have to post today is frustrating. It’s such a time waster to sit and try to think of a photo, a quote, a caption, etc. When you have a content calendar you can plan ahead. You don’t have to create content last minute because you will be able to see what’s ahead and plan accordingly. Don’t put any pressure on yourself to create content last minute, having a content calendar will help you plan weeks in advance.
Having a content calendar will help you stay consistent in posting and creating content for your platforms. One of the best ways to grow an audience on social media is to stay consistent in posting. That can mean daily or a few times a week depending on the platform, but consistency is key.
-- Growth & Measure
The best way to see if what you’re doing is working is to take note and keep track of your growth on social media and your blog. You will be able to see what is working, what isn’t and create a plan based on that. If you have a place to keep track of your numbers (insights, blog views, followers etc.) you can see how you are growing — finding what works and sticking with it is key. You can even set goals for the year ie: how big of a following you want to grow, how many email subscribers you want to have M, etc.
-- Goals & Dreams
You can also set projects in the calendar which allow you to carefully and clearly plan out what you want to get done over the year, and then you can give yourself enough time to get them done. For me, I wanted to finally write a cookbook, which I completed this summer (EAT REAL FOOD — which is available in ebook form here). One of my goals this year was to get my face in front of more people on Instagram by doing at least one takeover each month. I have missed 2 months, but by the end of the year will have done at least 15 Instagram takeovers on brand accounts.
You need to know when you plan on posting blogs and on social media MORE THAN a few days out. If you have a general idea of what you plan on posting later in the month then you can clearly see what is to come, stay organized and stay on track with your plans.
You can find many versions of a content calendar online. Some are digital programs and others are tangible. I decided to create one too. You can download it in a PDF form and take it to your local print store and have it spiral bound for a couple of bucks.
Each page has an encouraging quote that is related to business, motivation and goal setting. You can even find some cute stickers online (check Etsy) and decorate it how you wish. It’s designed to keep you in check throughout the year, keep track of what you want and wonderful to reflect back on after the year is passed.
This is something that I can’t live without now. I will find myself slacking in all aspects of what I do when I don’t have things written out and planned in my content calendar.