My Content Creation Schedule
But creating content can also be hard, at times it can be a real drag and it’s one of many things that small business owners can ‘put on the back burner’ for indefinite time periods.
I’m guilty of this too, just looking back over the blog posts published here at DigitalMarketingHQ I can see there were sometimes huge gaps between publication dates.
It never felt like a long time to me, in my head I was thinking it had been a few weeks since I published something. In reality it was more like a few months.
Things would get busy with clients or other projects would capture my excitement and my posts on this blog would get further and further apart. This made me a hypocrite, telling my readers to create content for marketing online but only sporadically producing anything for my own website.
So I decided that I would set myself a goal. To make sure at least one new piece of content is published here every week, either a blog post, a new page, a video or audio material and so far (6 weeks later) I have kept up with that goal.
I’d like to share with you the method that has been helping me to stick to this commitment. Believe me, some weeks it has been tough! But by having a content creation schedule to rely on, I have been able to march on through the dip and still produce.
Creating a Content Marketing Calendar
The first thing you need to do when creating your content schedule is to choose a day that you would like publish. This is not going to be on the same day that you start the task, this will be the day that it will be finished, ready to release to the world.
You can arbitrarily pick a day, or you may have some reason behind it. For example, I know by looking at my website analytics that there is a peak in visitors on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Traffic tails off over the weekend, before a gentle rise at the start of a new week.
I think that this is because business owners start the week with long lists of tasks to do, fires to put out and things to address. By mid week most entrepreneurs are more in the mood to relax a little and consume some learning materials, come the weekend they would rather not focus on much work at all.
So I chose Wednesday as my publishing day, so that my new content would be there for the readers at the time when they are most likely to visit. That’s my reasoning anyway, as I said before you can just pick a random day if you like.
Now that a publishing day has been selected you need to work backwards from there, so keeping with my example this is what my content creation schedule for articles looks like:
- Monday: Brainstorm some topics, pick one and list out the main points the article needs to cover.
- Tuesday: Flesh out the article by adding content under each bullet point, this is where the bulk of the article gets written.
- Wednesday: Re-read and finish off the article, edit if necessary and format it to be easy to read, add pictures and publish.
- Wednesday Night/Thursday morning: Share the link on social media and email my newsletter subscribers to let them know a new post is live.
If making a video was the goal the schedule may look something like this: Monday: think of topics, bullet points. Tuesday: write script or plan what I’m going to show. Wednesday: record, Thursday: edit and publish, share on social media etc.
The important thing to keep in mind is to make the process as painless as possible. This is why starting your content on the day you want to publish is not a good idea, it adds pressure which reduces creativity and if a business emergency comes up and you can’t create that day then you have missed your deadline.
By breaking up the content creation process into small chunks and spreading it out over a few days you take the pressure off, it’s much easier to find fifteen minutes to brainstorm some topics and write a few bullet points than it is to block off two hours to knock out an entire article or video in one sitting.
When you have got into the routine with one content schedule, article, video, or audio, you can add another schedule over the top, like layers.
Use Tools To Help Stay On Track
To keep myself motivated and aware of the stages of my content creation plan, I use Google calendar. It’s another free tool and it’s web based. I made a new calendar and entered in my tasks – Monday: Pick a topic and list main points etc. I then set my content creation calender as my homepage, so that every time I fire up my internet browser I’m reminded of what I need to do next.
It’s also useful to keep an ongoing list of future topics for content that you can refer to if you are struggling for ideas, most of the time my topic ideas come when I’m away from a laptop so I either use Evernote or go ‘Old Skool’ with a paper notepad.
Well, this blog post is another tick in the content marketing calendar for me. What are you producing this week?