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An Ode to the Content Calendar

An Ode to the Content Calendar

Weslie Oeftering
Weslie Oeftering
An Ode to the Content Calendar

I won’t beat around the bush: I love my content calendar. It is so perfectly neat, organized and just generally amazing.

I would be drowning in a sea of content without it. Contrary to popular belief, most bloggers don’t write something and immediately post it.

Many bloggers write, edit, and then schedule blogs to be posted at a later date. In other words, they develop a repository of posts. That way, if they need to miss a week, the blog stays on track.

This organized approach keeps your SEO ranking high by making it easy for you to post consistently, using relevant keywords, and creating valuable content. What’s more, it’s a great way to ensure you’ve given yourself enough time to write a great blog without feeling rushed to meet a deadline, and possibly making mistakes along the way.

This writing, editing and scheduling process leaves a lot up in the air, though.

For example, at any given time, I have about 20 posts in my repository. Some of them are ready to go, some of them still need edits, some are still being written, and some of them are just ideas.

What am I writing this week? What am I posting this week? Have I edited my draft from last week yet? Which posts have I already shared on LinkedIn? What about Facebook?

I and probably every other blogger who has ever lived cannot possibly keep track of all this information in our heads.

Enter: the content calendar.

I would be lost without it. PR Over Coffee would lose readership, and you would have to look elsewhere for information about the right time to add gifs to your content and other helpful tips.

Every single blogger needs a content calendar for this exact reason. Without it, the content will pile up and you’ll dread writing anything else for fear of adding to all the confusion.

How to Make a DIY Content Calendar

Unless your blog is already operating on a high-level, you shouldn’t have to spend money on a content calendar application for your blog.

All you’ll need is some fancy software from one of the biggest companies in the world.

That’s right, I’m talking Google Sheets!

An ultra-organized, multi-paged, labeled, hyperlinked, and color-coded Google Sheet.

In other words, it took a little work to get my content calendar into tip-top shape but it was so worth the hassle. Allow me to walk you through my content calendar to give you an idea of its basic structure.

Sheet 1: Weekly Posting Calendar

My weekly posting calendar is the most important part of the Google Sheet. Once I finish writing and editing a post, this is where I schedule it in so I know where I post it that week.

It has seven columns (A – F):

  1. Day of the Week
  2. Date (MM/DD/YYYY)
  3. Name of the Blog
  4. Hyperlink to Google Doc
    1. This is replaced by the PR Over Coffee link once it is posted
  5. Blog Category(s)
    1. This lets me know what categories I should assign to the blog when I am prepping it to post in WordPress
  6. Hashtags
    1. This lets me know what hashtags I should assign to the blog when I am prepping it to post in WordPress
  7. Posted to Social Media
    1. This column features empty checkboxes that I check only once I have posted the blog to LinkedIn or Facebook. That way, I never accidentally double-post a blog.

Sheet 2: Completed Blogs/Content Repository

The content repository is where I keep a list of all the blogs that have been edited but not posted.

It has six columns (A – D):

  1. Blog Title
  2. Google Docs URL
  3. Date Written
  4. Edited
    1. This column has a checkbox that I check only once a blog has been edited
  5. Scheduled Date
    1. This column is left empty until I have scheduled it in the Weekly Posting Calendar.
  6. Notes
    1. The notes column is where I keep track of any internal links I want to include in the blog once I go to post it in WordPress.

Sheet 3: Posted Blogs

The title says it all. This is the sheet where I keep track of all the blogs that I have already posted. Once I post a blog, I remove it from the Completed Blogs sheet and move it here.

Sheet 3 has four columns:

  1. Blog Title
  2. Date Posted
  3. PR Over Coffee URL
  4. Notes

Sheet 4: Pipeline

This sheet is the simplest. It is where I keep all my ideas for future blog posts

Sheet 4 has two columns:

  1. Title of Idea
  2. Notes

That’s it. That’s the layout of my content calendar. If you are looking for an easy to use and free alternative to a pricey content calendar, then I can’t recommend it enough.

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