How to create a content calendar

Once you understand the power of useful, engaging content there's a lot of work to do to best utilize this resource. You have to commit yourself to the creation and optimization of content, which requires the development of a calendar. How far in advance do you write your content? Do you optimize it right before it is posted to your blog, website and social media networks or choose to complete these steps days, weeks in advance? 

Whether you are a full-time marketing professional who serves a large or small business or a contingent contractor who relies on a creative job agency to find organizations that need you to come in and create a schedule – you need to know the power of a strong content calendar. Depending on the organization in question, a content calendar can be as basic or detailed as a marketing professional needs. However, regardless of the volume of content you are considering to produce, here are a few steps to consider:

1) Establish topic boundaries. Your content is expected to boost your brand with potential and current customers and other industry professionals. For most organizations, this will lend itself to reducing the topics covered in content to the products and services offered, key trends in the industry and analysis. Organize all of these potential content directions in order of importance to ensure you're giving more attention to a trend that is really impacting the sector or your customers – instead of something that only a few will gain from. 

2) Create a content diversity plan. What form is your content going to present? Are you posting 500 word blog posts every few days or are you mixing these up with the release of white papers, press releases and newsletters, etc? The variety of content developed will largely depend on the needs of the brand and your team's capabilities. Not everyone who can write an engaging blog post is equally suited to create an analytical newsletter. Use and develop skills so that you're able to offer your audience access to a more diverse array of content. 

3) Develop a schedule. Creating a schedule for releasing and developing content is a great way to boost productivity and ensure everything is being delivered in a timely fashion. Tech Republic recommends using a spreadsheet to detail what type of content should be posted when and to what site. A spreadsheet will also allow for various columns to be dedicated to detailing what keywords should be used and other fine details.

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