How to Create a Content Calendar
This post is an excerpt from my book Exit Strategy: The Exact Tactics to Transition from Where You Have to Be to Where You Want to Be. In this book, I state that creating content is one of the best ways to establish your authority, credibility, and expertise. Since a content calendar is so important, I wanted to include a small piece from Chapter 18 to help you in your efforts. If you'd like to grab a copy of Exit Strategy, you can buy it on Amazon HERE, or scroll to the bottom for a special bonus offer.
One of the best ways to take people on a journey is to walk them through it yourself. You can do this with a content calendar.
Using the post types you learned about in Chapter 15, you can create an outline of the types of content you’ll produce over the next several weeks and months.
If you’re a plumber, you could write a “how to” post about finding the most qualified plumber or fixing a leaky faucet.
If you are a real estate agent, you could shoot a “top ten” video for YouTube detailing the things to avoid or common mistakes made when buying a home over ten years old.
If your goal is to help people save, invest and manage their money, as my friend Amy Robles does, you could write a blog post or record a podcast episode about the questions you should ask yourself before creating a budget. You get the idea.
A content calendar will allow you to plan your audience’s journey from where they are to where you want them to be. By putting out free information, you establish yourself as an authority, an expert if you will, on a certain topic.
By the way, each of the examples I just mentioned would be things I would have read, watched, or listened to in the past five years. When our sink was leaking in the kitchen, I went to YouTube and searched for videos about how to fix it. In 2010, when Ashley and I were shopping for a home, we would have welcomed a blog post outlining what to look for, what to avoid, and how to find the best home for our money.
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Your content calendar can cover a range of topics and skill levels, but it should always help your readers, viewers, listeners and prospective customers feel like they’re getting to know you a little bit better. The content you create should help people feel like they’re receiving value from you long before you’ve asked them for money.
Tips for Creating a Content Calendar
Don’t over think it. Your content calendar should reflect your expertise and show your personality. Change it up, have fun, and most of all, be human.
One thing your audience will want and expect from you is consistency. If you publish posts, videos, or podcasts on Mondays, make sure it’s every Monday.
Think about your favorite lunch spot. Would you keep going if you never knew if they’d be open when you pulled up to the front door? No, you wouldn’t. And eventually, you’d stop going. The same principle applies to your website, blog, YouTube channel, and podcast.
Once a year is consistent, but it’s not frequent. Be frequent with your posting schedule, but don’t post so often that you can’t stay consistent. While a post every day would be great, that rigorous schedule would be hard to maintain. Post as often as you can without degrading the quality of your work.
Change It Up
Don’t just write one list post after another. Throw in a “Top 10” or a product review post. While your audience does want consistency, they’ll appreciate a little variety too.
Share Personal Stories
In 2012, when I started doing community surveys for my audience, I didn’t expect to see “personal stories” show up as one of the things my readers wanted to see the most.
If you went to a dinner party, what would you talk about? Most likely you’d share about your family, your kids, the awesome vacation you just went on, and things like that. Sprinkle these personal stories into each bit of content you create, and people will feel like they’re a part of your family.
When Shane, a fan, came up to me at a conference and asked me how Boomer was doing, I was shocked, to say the least. But, Shane had listened to a podcast episode where I’d mentioned our crazy cat, and asking me about it made him feel like an insider.
Evergreen is a term for content that is valuable and relevant for a long time. The opposite of evergreen would be something that focuses on current events or seasonal topics in the news. Evergreen content will help your SEO efforts by drawing visitors to your content for years to come.
One of my most popular blog posts, 7 Types of People Successful People Avoid, still gets traffic even though I published it almost three years ago.
I want to reiterate that your content does not have to come in the form of a written blog.
If you make custom, hand-crafted cards, your content could be behind the scenes videos of your creative processes. Your “factory tour” could be your workspace where you show off the tools you use to make such beautiful pieces. If you’re a chiropractor, maybe your audience would be best served by watching videos about how to avoid pain and injury if you work at a desk all day.
The goal of a content calendar isn’t to force you into doing something you don’t enjoy. The purpose of planning out your content is to help you cover all the bases and add value to the people who come to see you. So, when they’re ready to buy, you’re the first person they’ll go to for help.
For a limited time, I'm offering you a print copy of Exit Strategy for absolutely FREE! All you have to do is pay the cost to ship it to you (which is about $9). You can take advantage of this special offer and get your copy of Exit Strategy: The Exact Tactics to Transition from Where You Have to Be to Where You Want to Be by CLICKING HERE.