The writing process, when it's great, is an effortless endeavor, words just pouring onto the page with little thought on your part. Like a UFO sighting, most believe it's not possible and those that do maybe experience it once in their lives.
Writing, when it's good, looks effortless. No matter how much time or hair-pulling may have been involved, the reader enjoys your content and is unaware of the time, blank screens, and self-flagellation you invested into the piece.
Writing, when it's horrible, is more often than not...unorganized. Whether you forgot to draft your copy, decided to crash in a last-minute newsletter, or realized it's been months since you've connected with your audience or customers, you find yourself staring at your computer, desperately typing what comes to mind in a blend of panic and frustration.
THIS is why we implement a content calendar. In a perfect world, you'll plan yours out 1-3 months ahead to avoid surprises, gaps in inspiration and rushed writing. Even 1-2 weeks ahead will afford you the time you need to edit, test and promote your content without sacrificing quality.
I've included a link above to download the calendar I use for my clients. If you're in a niche industry or need to add or delete sections, feel free to use this as a launch pad for your own version.
Here's a rundown of the sections and why they matter:
PUB DATE: The date you plan on publishing your content. Plan to have it drafted 1-2 weeks before you publish to give you time to review and refine.
PLATFORM: The platform on which you plan to publish: your website, blog, email marketing, social media, etc.
TITLE: Needs no explanation. Here is a helpful resource on how to choose the best title for your content.
TOPIC / OUTLINE: Brief notes on what the body of your content will include and how it is serving your customer's needs and interests. I recommend you write the actual copy in a separate file.
*TIP: For newsletters, ad copy and marketing, I use one master file per client for all content. This allows me to search the file for keywords, SEO copy and brand taglines to ensure there isn't any repetition.
CTA: Call-to-action. Wrap up your content with a directive for your audience. Whether you're encouraging them to sign up for your newsletter, shop a new collection, or share your content, include a CTA button or link to track and yield results.
IMAGES: Links to any accompanying images, media or additional resources you plan to include.
PROMOTION: Ideas and copy for promoting across your social media or marketing platforms.
If you find this to be helpful in your content planning, please let me know by replying to this email or share using the links below!