No time to read the article? Click here to request your 2022 Content Calendar Template. (Your template includes a link to this article so you can come back and read the tips and instructions later.)
My readers often confess their struggle to plan and publish content:
“I sort of have a plan for how I’m going to schedule my blog posts. But Facebook? Those are more random. And Instagram? I’m failing miserably!”
I get it. I’ve been blogging steadily since 2003 and doing social media since 2007. Publishing fresh content for years (decades, in my case) can feel overwhelming.
That’s why I am a huge advocate of using a content calendar.
Scheduling “evergreen” (non time-dated) content on a calendar keeps me – and my readers – from getting overwhelmed or underwhelmed. A calendar reminds me to publish at a reasonable, steady pace.
Plus, I’m a deadline-driven kind of girl. When I assign myself deadlines – in writing – I’m more likely to follow through.
If I randomly posted about every topic under the sun, my readers would abandon ship faster than you can say “Titanic.” But since I tightly focus every piece of content on the topic of online marketing and I strive to truly help my readers, they stick around.
A content calendar helps me hold myself accountable for publishing value-packed content on topics my readers have questions about or challenges with.
A calendar doubles as an archive of my published work. I frequently review my content calendar to analyze the topics that best resonate with my readers. (It’s also a kick to go through my archives from 2007, to see just how different social media was back in “the olden days.”)
The key to a good content calendar
A content calendar should be fluid, rather than set in stone.
Give yourself permission to interrupt your regularly-scheduled content with breaking news. Reorder updates when needed, or convert a single update into a series.
How to plan content with the calendar
To get started, grab my 2022 Content Calendar Template. It’s free, and it’ll save you a bunch of time because you won’t have to create your own calendar.
Block out important dates
After downloading your 2022 Content Calendar Template, open the Word document and block out dates for:
- important anniversaries or milestones
- product launches
- seasonal sales and promos
- conferences and events
- media appearances
- speaking engagements
- days off
Brainstorm a list of topics, links, and so on that will interest your readers.
Organize into Content Buckets.
I organize content into six content buckets, which reminds me to publish on a variety of topics and themes. For detailed info on content buckets, read or listen to Episode 40 of The Professional Writer podcast: “How to Create Winning Social Media Content.”
Work your plan.
You’ve heard the adage, “Plan your work and work your plan.” A content calendar helps you strategically plan your blog posts and social updates and turn your good intentions into reality.
About the Content Calendar Template
Warning: This template is not fancy. It’s not a complex spreadsheet that you have to color code and then obsess over where to put what. You need something that’ll make life easier, not harder!
This no-frills Word template is simple. Efficient. Functional.
If you want, you can change the shading color of the cells, change the font or font size, and add your own holidays, events, and content buckets.
Or you can use it as-is.
How I use the template
I use this template for my own business and to manage my clients’ online marketing. I simply “save as” and create a blank copy of the template for each client.
When I’m ready to draft social media content or write teasers for blog posts, I open the document and plug in content for the day, week, or month.
At the end of the year, I print the completed calendar and pop the hard copy into a folder.
Easy, huh? That’s all there is to it!
How to use your content calendar
Download it and open the document. The template includes 5 columns:
Columns 1 and 2: Day and Date
The first two columns list the day and date. In column 1, I highlighted major U.S. holidays and observances, along with “weird” observances (particularly ones that will interest writers and literary types).
Complete lists of holidays and observances (add your fave weird holidays!)
- Weird holidays and observances 2022 (click on the desired month, or search by country)
- Fun Holidays 2022
- 2022 Literary Calendar
- U.S. Holidays and Observances 2022
- U.S. Federal Holidays 2022
Column 3: Social Updates and Blog Post Teasers
In this column, write your social updates or blog post “teasers” (remember to insert the hyperlink to your blog post).
I draft “evergreen” updates (ones that aren’t time-dated) about a month in advance. At the beginning of each week or each month, I schedule my evergreen updates using Buffer or other scheduling tools.
Column 4: Networks Posted To
In this column, note which social channel you’re scheduling or posting to: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc.
Often, I’ll schedule identical content on several networks, so in Column 4, I note FB, LI, IG.
If you prefer to keep updates for each social network completely separate, “Save As” and rename the file “Twitter Posts,” or “Facebook Posts.”
Column 5: Content Type
This column identifies which content buckets (categories) your content belongs in, and ensures that you are changing up the type of content regularly:
Get Your 2022 Content Calendar Now
If you haven’t requested your free content calendar template yet, now’s the time!