A blog content calendar is your blogging schedule. It represents your summarized plan for content output and displays it chronologically. It’s a document, presented in a traditional calendar format, that tells you precisely when to publish your blog posts and provides a high-level look at your blog’s short to medium-term future.
Content calendars contain critical information, deadlines, and data essential to good blog planning. They display your upcoming posting schedule, contain links to drafts and published content, and act as a central ‘control room’ for your blogging activities.
Content vs. Editorial Calendars
People sometimes use the phrase “editorial calendar” to describe a content calendar. While both are fundamentally the same, they serve different roles. Editorial calendars usually refer to the ‘big-picture’ stuff, covering your content strategy for the months or years ahead. Content calendars are better for weekly, month-to-month planning. See the difference?
Why Do Bloggers Need One?
Content calendars allow you to organize your blog strategy and ensure you can plan ahead. They help you to build a sustainable content pipeline and post consistently – something that SEO and your readers will appreciate. High-quality content requires extensive time and effort to ensure you’re hitting your goals, and if you don’t have a plan, you’re going to eventually trip up, make mistakes, and get snowed under. Trust us – there’s no avoiding it.
Blog content calendars are designed to help you plan better. But they also give you a raft of other benefits too.
- They help you get a clear picture of your upcoming content, so you can spot content gaps that need filling.
- They let you stay true to your content strategy by providing a high-level snapshot of your forthcoming publications.
- Content calendars keep you organized, boosting efficiency, optimizing your output, and improving your ROI.
- If something goes wrong, you can quickly and easily re-organize your calendar to respond and adjust accordingly.
- And they let you identify opportunities to re-task available time to scale your business and grow.
Elements to Include in a Blog Content Calendar
There’s a little more to a blog content calendar than a simple spreadsheet with dates and blog titles. Here are some of the non-negotiables that all good content calendars should have.
- Blog titles or names
- The publishing date (deadline) for the blog
- Who is writing the blog (if you’re working with others)
- A link to the blog draft itself
- A URL for where the blog is or will be published
- Any additional information necessary to your planning (Keywords, niche, campaign info, CTAs, etc.)
Many blog content calendars also include information and sub-deadlines indicating:
- The current status of a blog
- When the blog was/is going to be started
- When the editing and SEO phase begins
- When the final draft should be confirmed before publishing
What you choose to include in your blog content calendar is up to you. Make sure all your most important information is listed, and feel free to revise and amend constantly.
Some bloggers use colors, codes, and icons to link their calendars and categorize different elements. You can create multiple content calendars for other blogs or interlink them when managing numerous websites.