Creating a Content Calendar That Sells [In Minutes, Not Hours] | Alexandra Cote | Skillshare

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Creating a Content Calendar That Sells [In Minutes, Not Hours]

teacher avatar Alexandra Cote, Digital marketer and content writer.

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (1h)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Expectations for creating your first content calendar

    • 3. Getting a full understanding of what you want your content to look like 2

    • 4. Content calendar template - Explained

    • 5. Where to get content ideas

    • 6. Mistakes to avoid

    • 7. Going beyond the blog - Where repurposing fits in

    • 8. Conclusion - Yay!

    • 9. Bonus: How to prioritize topics and themes

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About This Class

I've created more than 50 content calendars for clients and in-house in the past.

And today, I'm sharing all the hands-on tips as well as the common mistakes to avoid when creating a content calendar that will help you/your client sell.

Are you looking for one course to take you through all of the steps you need to start and grow your freelance writing business?

I've built this short course to share only actionable tips with:

  • Freelancers/consultants who need to create a content calendar for their clients
  • Bloggers who want to better structure and prioritize the topics they write about
  • In-house content marketers who aren't seeing high conversion results from the current content calendar
  • Anyone who wants to put together a content calendar that focuses on the end business goals!

I'll take you through my complete process, share a go-to template, and talk about the mistakes you shouldn't make, telling you exactly how you can achieve amazing results.

Some other points I'm covering that will be handy for creating a content calendar:

  • What resources you need before creating the content calendar
  • How a content calendar is different from an editorial calendar
  • Where to get content ideas
  • What else is helpful for ideation besides just the content calendar
  • How to include repurposed content into the calendar
  • And more!

See you inside the course where you can fundamentally change the content you write from day ONE. Let's stay in touch!

For polishing your writing skills, check out the rest of my courses.

Can't wait to share these tips with you!

Meet Your Teacher

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Alexandra Cote

Digital marketer and content writer.


Hi there,

Alexandra Cote here - SaaS Marketer and Growth Consultant.

Thank you for checking out my courses!

I've built them with YOU in mind, so you'll definitely enjoy them.

I'm a growth-oriented digital marketer and freelancer with a passion for content marketing, social media marketing wonders, conversion rate optimization, and keyword research. I strongly support permission marketing and earned media. More than anything, I love working with online communities in order to find new and unique ways to develop businesses through growth hacking.

I have embarked on the odyssey of online marketing thank to passion for social media, viral content, psychology, writing, and advertising. I am Inbound certified and I love participating in industry disc... See full profile

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1. Intro: Hi everyone Alexander code here I am in SAS marketing consultant. And in this course I'm going to show you exactly how you can put together a content calendar that actually sells. Whether you are a freelance content consultant or writer, who wants to create a content calendar for your client. Or maybe you have just recently joined an in-house team as a content strategist. I'm going to show you exactly what are the prerequisites of creating a content calendar, what resources you need, who you need to talk to. And then I will actually show you a template of a content calendar that you can customize. And we're going to discuss why every single element is there. What you need to consider, how you can customize it yourself? And of course, I'm also going through some of the most common mistakes you can make when building this content calendar. And in the bonus section for this, I am showing you exactly how to prioritize the topics that go into the content calendar or how to choose your content teams, how to structure your pillar pages, if you will. And I hope you will enjoy this course. Don't forget there is a project which is obviously creating your first content calendar. And I promise this will be a super hands-on experience for you. And at the end of the scores, you can get started with your content calendar. In fact, if you do the project, you will already have a content calendar to begin with. So let's get started and best of luck. 2. Expectations for creating your first content calendar: Now before we get into the practical stuff, I really wanted to clarify what expectations you can have for creating your first calendar. But first, let's talk about what a content calendar really is. Generally there's this confusion between an editorial calendar and a content calendar. Now, I would say an editorial calendar is like a list of ideas essentially. So you probably already have this and a lot of situations your clients will already have this deme, integers you work with because every company has the ideas, but you need someone to put them altogether in one place. If the editorial calendar is mostly like a general realistic look of its ideas, it's maybe some titles, some keywords you're considering. The content calendar, on the other hand, is a detailed look at everything you're going to be doing on a daily or weekly basis. Generally, it's like a template or whatever where you have one month and then you break it out every single day. Like what are we going to post today? Are we only posting on our blog today or is it like a mix of social like YouTube and Facebook? Or it can be anything like you can have reposts today. You can have none. You can just have like one article per week essentially or one per day. For instance, when I was working as a freelance consultant and the content space, I would do a lot of these content calendars. What most of my clients needed was essentially just log content. ****, we're going to talk a bit later about why that's a mistake because your content calendar is more than just the blog posts that you can put together. But generally, I would put together for den like a content calendar, like three months, maybe 12 or 24 posts per month, depending on what they needed. So generally, I always recommend starting with the end goal in mind when crafting your content strategy. Now, expectations generally refer to the content goals that you have. These are the goals your company has. Maybe you are working with a client who has certain business goals and you want to translate those into content goals. So it's ultimately, what do you want to get out of putting effort into content creation. Now, marketing and business targets in general are closely related. But going with the approach your competitors have taken isn't always the best path to opt for. In some ways, you will need to connect the content that you create, the ones that you're planning to your business goals. Some business goals might have the goal of increasing revenue, increasing website traffic, gaming you leads, and really some other worthwhile content goals to keep in mind when creating your first content calendar include strengthening your TA, leadership and position on the market, creating brand awareness, localizing and engaging customers, educating, recruiting talent. Employee branding is assigned goal of yours, depending on what your secondary goals or the content who create and help you grow a community gets feedback, learn how prospect's think and what their needs are. Gaining new partners, strengthen your websites authority from an SEO perspective and so much more. So ultimately, what you want is to have content that really helps you get to these specific goals that you have. 3. Getting a full understanding of what you want your content to look like 2: Whether you are creating this content calendar or for your manager, for your company, if you work in house, or for your own website or for a client, you really need to get a full understanding of what you want this content strategy to look like. Specifically, there is a couple of things you might want to clarify, including what your business goals are, what your expectations from future content are, how often you would like to publish that content, who your target prospects are. So this is something that it's a highly collaborative process. If there's any competitor or brand whose content strategy you alike, if there's anything you'd like to keep from the current strategy, if you have any. At this stage, it's really important to understand the budget that you have because if your budget is limited at daily publishing schedule won't work for you and it's just not realistic to expect something like that. Similarly, if you are tackling topics that are too specific, you want, Get on Google's first page of the search engine results before high volume keywords. Yes, it's easier to rank for specific keywords, but they don't bring you into traffic, they don't bring you the potential prospects. And there are thousands of small issues like that. You can only solve them by talking to your client, your manager, your actually, you also want to be talking to your potential target audience. You can start by talking to current users, maybe two parents, people who are talking about your brands, about your content. And then just scale from that point. 4. Content calendar template - Explained: Now it's time to move on to the most complex process. And that is building the editorial or content calendar wherever you want to call it really. You really need to understand the three main areas of your role as a content strategic. So number one is reviewing everything we've already discussed what the business goals are, are, kind of what the company is trying to do, what their values are, what their mission is, their voice, their tone again, specific marketing goals, and also just talking to current users to your target audience and so on. Then the second step is really analyzing trends, keywords, ranking opportunities, buyer persona's, and competitors. So this ties a bit into kind of what you've already done at the previous point and that is starting to talk to your ideal target market. But at this stage you really want to outline as we think, you will want, that buyer persona document, where you will list all of the needs and challenges and pain points and jobs to be done. That's your ideal customers have. And then finally, the biggest role essentially, although if you ask me, if you don't go through the first and the second steps in here, it's impossible to really have a content calendar that will be successful. So all of these taps are mandatory, isn't DO what you ultimately see is this third, and that is writing down the content marketing, editorial content calendar with all of its details. Next, I wanted us to actually look at an editorial calendar template, which you will find in the projects and resources section of this course, because the project is also related to this. And basically you will have to put together your own editorial calendar and kind of find that format that works for you. And ultimately you will just have to customize that for every single client. Some clients might want more posts, more channels at different structure to the way you look at the editorial calendar. This is roughly what I usually use. Now keep in mind that after you start getting the data in here, this is going to be like a mass. It's going to be all over the place. You're going to have different layers on top of each other. This is just the starting point. Let me go to every single column in here and mention why it's important date. It's up to you in my case, I only added the date after and actually published the article, but it can also help you estimate like when you're going to be publishing a certain article, when you're going to be posting a social media post and so on. Then you have the URL. This is mostly so that in the future, when you look back at this, you can see the exact URL, the original URL, as well as when it was posted. Then you have this distinction between the writer and the auteur because writers sometimes are just like freelancers or a content writer. While the auditor can be either the rider or another subject matter expert, you want to use printers the brief here you will just add a link to the actual brief. Then there is the graph section here you can add against link to the draft when it's done. You can also optionally have a separate column here for the outline. And there's the status. Now, I like to go to data, go to data validation. Here, list of items, and then do something like to do In Progress done. And you can get, you can add as many status situations here. You can be as detailed as being like uploaded into CMS or published or whatever. It really depends. And we're going to click Save. Usually I just drag this essentially. And so for every article you can easily select ID status, vendors, the category. So these are your blog categories. You might have five categories more. Again, what I would do is do something like a drop-down list like this so that you can easily select the category and you'll have the headline. In practice, this headline just keep changing. What's important to understand is that this is just bike as you are building the content calendar. This is an estimate of what's the actual headline is going to look like. So after the article is life, you want to come back here and add the original article because what's going to happen is in two years you're going to be updating this article. So you want to see kind of what the original headline ones. Then you have the keyword. I would maybe sometimes kind of push these sections a bit forward just so that it's super easy to see. Something else I did was to kind of just like highlight this keyword because for me I always wrote for SEO purposes. And most of the time clients who just wanted content calendars for SEO ranking purposes. So domain focus was really kind of the keyword. In here you will have your keyword. You can also add the secondary keywords straightaway plus you can add a link to the D keyword analytics in a drafts are SEMrush, whatever you use. And then specifically I like to focus on the metrics that matter the most for my clients, for my work. The most important one really is volume. So you care about how much traffic it may be potentially that keyword can bring in. Usually this volume isn't exactly how much traffic you're going to get, but it's really how many people search for that specific keyword. You can get an idea of how popular that topic is if you use a tool like a traps, it will also give you an estimate as your potential traffic, which sometimes is less than this keyword, but sometimes it's more because one article inevitably ranks for multiple keywords. You're taking advantage of the traffic to get for all of those keywords or keywords you rank for the better your traffic. Then there's the controversial if you are difficulty. I like to add it in here just so my clients, my managers, whatever, see it and get a rough idea of how easy it will be to actually rank for this key word. In practice, this metric is not like super well or wind. You can rank for something that's in theory hard to rank for. And then you can not even be in the top 100 for something that should be relatively easy to rank for. Finally, I have in here the call to action. Now this is something you won't see in a lot of content calendars, but I think it's a must when you work in SAS or when you focus on Product Lead Content. What I do in here, essentially as I've lived, the feature or the service that I wanted to promote. Let's say you are working for a project management tool. Now every post you have my target specific feature. For instance, you might have an article on how to do in voicing. Now the call to action will obviously be like the main call to action will be on your invoicing module. Or you might have a topic like how to organize your tasks as a startup, McCall to action. The main call to action will be for your task management feature. Then of course you have general topics like best project management tools for whatever. In that case, the call to action is for the whole tool. So that's a situation. But this kind of suction in the content calendar helps you adjust, make sure you keep the product in mind at all times. Something else I do specifically for content calendars. We heard the client only once. The blog post is dimension the social media caption. The way in which this works is you have an article here or whatever. And I was just assume like all of these are articles that go on the blog. The social media captioning essentially is the snippets you use on Twitter, on LinkedIn and whatever. You can add these in here, or you can create a separate row. For instance, let's say we have an SEO article here. Instead of writing the social media caption in here, I can maybe just like add another column and the right, something like medium. So this is going to be like Blog, then this is going to be Twitter. And maybe I can add my social media captioning here or even just under the headline. However you want to structure this. So there is a bunch of ways of going around this content calendar situation. I'm going to briefly show you a past content calendar I created. This is a editorial calendar I made back in 2020. So you can see it has the same otters data's category headlines and they're just like structured so that it's like for, for Monday essentially. Basically I also added some notes, the key word in here. You can also have a call to action so you can get as creative as you want. You can also use different tools. So not just a spreadsheet. You can use air table. For instance, if you google air table content calendar or Notion or Trello, any kind of project management tool essentially. Or there's a lot of alternatives to spreadsheets these days. So for example, you can use a code, a whimsical or whatever. You will see a content calendar template in here, and it looks like this. So as you can see in their case, they've added like all of the channels in here, the campaign's name, then you have resources like images as well. You can just kind of get started with using this template right away. Notion has this post on how to create a content calendar for your marketing team. So this is interesting and again, you can see kind of how they tackle it. You can try it. I mean, just trying the template is free. They do have a free planning essentially that you can use. And there's just a bunch of details of how they sort these. You use something like Notion. It's just easier to actually move these tasks from one status to another without using spreadsheets. Spreadsheets sorting is something else you will see in this spreadsheet in particular is that besides the blog posts that were scheduled, There's also a separate sheets with blog posts ideas. So in here, I like to add this as an extra besides the editorial calendar, the, Besides the content calendar. So think of this first chief as the content calendar. And then this second one is the editorial challenge on your list of ideas like a second brain for you, for the team. So you can miss a bunch of topics. Who came up with this idea? Who can write about this? What the target date is May be you want to write about a specific topic by the end of the year or during the next quarter. And then some extra nodes. Essentially, I would definitely recommend having more, more than just the calendar in here for the project of this course, I want you to make use of this starting points essentially, and craft your own editorial calendar and you can share it with us in the resources section, there's a project and resources section under discourse. So you can share it either as a spreadsheet or if you choose to create a notion whimsical cota, irritable travel, whatever. Just take a screenshot of what it looks like so that we can see how creative you got with this. Because also keep in mind every single company clients you have will have slightly different demands. If, for instance, in bigger companies, there might be different content themes like somebody working on the SCO psi and somebody working on the editorial side. That's when the content calendar gets just like super complex. 5. Where to get content ideas: Now, the biggest challenge you will have when putting together this content calendar is actually coming up with the ideas. Because you might have a backlog of ideas that you just got in time. That is one great starting point. But as you are considering your goals, whether they are acquisition roles, attention goals, and so on, you really need to start expanding your horizon. We're going to look at a couple of ways in which you can get some amazing ideas that will actually help you sell your product. And not just, not just try to rank better or improve your taus leadership, so on alongside these goals, you will always be able to sell. In one of the future courses I'm planning, I'm actually going to go in detail over how to do a competitor analysis and how to do target market research. So all of these, as well as just putting together your brand book in your messaging document. All of this will help you come up with ideas super easily. For this exercise, let's just assume we are writing, creating a content calendar for a Mailchimp competitors for any of these tools, essentially, you've probably already got a good idea of who your competitors are and as well as what your goals are. Really kind of the first starting point before to content calendar is really outlining your competitors what they're doing, as well as getting a good idea of your ideal customer profile and what their needs are, what their pain points are. I highly recommend looking into the idea of the jobs to be done framework. This will help you kind of take every feature that your tool has or every service that you offer and turn it into actionable things including content. So ideally you will want one type of feature and then a bunch of ideas. Because this framework really helps you tell what people can do, what problem they can speak where the feature with a service, basically any kind of problem, any kind of challenge, can be turned ultimately into a topic that is like an amazing starting point. I wish I could show you some of my sample messaging books. I'm probably going to make a course about this in the future, but definitely check this topic out it to actually get the ideas one you can just again take those features and kind of put together topics for them. Or you can obviously start with doing some competitor research. If you are just launching a brand and this e-mail marketing space, it can start looking at your competitors. So what I would do is take every single competitor and just look at your blog. So take every single blog from the homepage where you can kind of check out the categories they have, how they structured their homepage, even as well as topics and how often they post. So then you will have a look at specific topics. At this point, you don't want to get into the details. This is something that you will do roughly when you start putting together two breathes, like right now you're just interested in getting an idea of what topics they write about. So for example, cause-related marketing, marketing strategy, how to develop one? Online marketing. This is a standalone keyword. Best time to post on Instagram, vendors like case studies. So another thing to consider, e-commerce, email subject lines and so on. And you can see that some of these are guides, some of these are lists and so on. Really, I cannot stress how important this is. You really want to look through all of your competitors. So if you have 50 competitors, look through all of them, take ideas from there, and then something else you can do is for instance, let's take this other websites on Nissan and you can go into a SEO tool. In this case, I chose a troughs. I added the URL on the I sorted by domain with all of its subdomains. And now I'm going to look at roughly two things. One is top pages. So here you have a bunch of sorting options. Usually I like to look at the traffic so I can see What's their most popular pages are. In this case, you can start seeing some keywords in here from subject line pasture through on the channel marketing, Mailchimp alternatives, email list, and so on. And the second option is to look at organic keywords. Again, I'm going into the details of competitor research in a future course. So right now we're just looking into the basics. You need to start with a content calendar. So looking at the organic keywords, you have a bunch of options to sort by volume and so on. I generally like to look at all of them. And that of course you can just select all of them and download them essentially, so that you can then kind of look through them in a spreadsheet, take them out and so on and kind of decide what works best for you essentially, because obviously by on the sun is not really going to be the best keyword for you. Whereas something like on the sand alternative or a more general keyword like retail marketing will definitely work as a quick secret tip. You definitely also want to look at what your competitors are doing. On now, PVC ads, we're looking at paid keywords because sometimes they tackle, let say, organic keywords. So ask them as marketing, e-mail hosting free, all of these things you could write about just organically. So take all of these ideas and put them into your list of ideas before you actually move them over to the content calendar. Of course, there's also the content gap analysis, which essentially helps you see a competitor ranks for certain keywords you haven't tackled yet. So this is a good feature to consider if you're creating a content calendar for a business that's been around for a couple of years are already something else super basic you can do is start just like looking for keywords. So you can start from something like email marketing strategy and just go through all of these websites. Sometimes you're not even going to be competitors of yours, but you will find amazing ideas in here. And so for instance, what you can do is choose something like, let's find something that's not a competitor essentially. So for example, by the way, there's always ideas that here below and just take everywhere in this therapy essentially. So the point is to just like let yourself get lost in this serve to find these ideas. But for something that's not really a direct competitor, let's say buffer, because as far as I know, they don't handle like email marketing essentially, but they do tackle this topic because their target market inevitably also has a need for email marketing. So what you can do is obviously look through the other topics they have around email marketing. And as you can see, there's quite a few. So just feel these ideas and make them yours essentially. Obviously, when you're doing this, you definitely don't want to steal the exact format, the exact topic. Always make sure you customize this. I recommend going through some of my other Skillshare courses, specifically the complete keyword research and the process of writing an article from start to finish to really understand how you can find that unique perspective to tackle. And usually you want that unique perspective to be visible in the headline of the article. So in what goes into your content calendar, by the way, that's why I was mentioning a note section is important. So I remember for one of the clients I was working with, the notes section, I would add that unique perspective that either them or their writers would need to cover. Maybe a unique section and different way of tackling the topic. Or maybe I just wanted to specify that that article needed to be a listicle or a guide, or if needed, some link building in order to actually rank. So it's always nice to add in the extra info in there. Then some other basic stuff you can do are to make use of social media. It can be Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube. It didn't be social communities like Slack communities that are the dark social essentially where people talk about a topic. So what you're going to do is again, write something like email marketing. Or you can even start doing some competitor research and look into what people are saying about a competitor and kind of go through what people are mentioning in here. For example, here is a very good topic. What are some of the best articles that explain email marketing to startup founders? So this can be an article on how to do e-mail marketing at a startup. And you can actually find loads of ideas in here. And all of them are articles that others have vetted. This is again, another great starting point for finding ideas. Something else I like doing is to look at YouTube, at something like email marketing webinars, email marketing podcasts. And you can sort these so that you can find the most recent ones and listened to these to see what some of the most common questions are with some ideas are. So as you can see these people in here, not all of them are competitors yet response is a competitor for Mailchimp for instance. But then you have agencies talking about this suffolk and advanced segmentation. There's a lot of options to kind of scale your content. Sometimes you'll find that competitor that is just ahead of your content game. So for example, mailer light is a mountain competitor. And some interesting things in here are one, they have a category for partner posts. So when you hear what you can do is look at who the partners who wrote these posts are. For instance, in this case we have Melinda and she is working for a candy bar and referral candy. So this is another SaaS solution. It's not e-mail, but if you want to, you can drop by their blog and quickly check cow, some things in here. For instance, a topic like e-commerce experts share for ways to tackle supply chain issues. You can turn this into something like e-commerce experts share for ways to use email marketing to do whatever. Or you have this group Diaries series, ten impactful brands and their stories. So you can turn this into ten impactful brands and how they use e-mail marketing. Definitely worth looking into these partners and also considering them for your content calendar because they could be guest posting on your long as well. Or you might want to have like a different type of partnership with them, an event or something like that. Sunset Miller Lite used to have a lot of content on their team because they were one of the first fully remote companies. So they would talk a lot about their culture, about the events they had as remote team, if you look through their most recent posts, they have kind of dropped that idea. So right now they are posts mostly focus on marketing and email. This is definitely something interesting to kind of keep up weather and to see how the content strategy of your competitor evolved. 6. Mistakes to avoid: Next, I really wanted to talk about some common mistakes you should avoid when creating a content calendar. Number one is targeting the same keyword. A content calendar is in many ways an SEO strategy. If your goal is to rank for a keyword, you can't expect those results if you've planned to write two or more articles targeting the same keyword. Instead, a more sensible approach would be to dedicate the time you'd spend for both articles to put together a larger piece, a single line. So if your content calendar looks like this, and as you can see, all of these topics mentioned the same keyword, team communication tools, thought right now and redo it. So turn everything, everything you have into one large guide that you update on a yearly basis. So what about similar keywords? Like team communication tools, team communication apps, theme communication software. Things depend on the readers in ten for these three keywords, the intent is the same and that is finding a detailed list of tools to use when communicating with your team. Top websites. So the ones with a high domain authority can afford to just have a large article and managed to rank for all of these three terms at once. But that's rarely happens when you are creating a content calendar for a smaller website. That's when you'll want to choose one of these three keywords. See how things evolve with your authority and maybe a target, another keyword months later. Another common mistake is too much of the same goal. So I swear that half of the companies do this. After a couple of months of writing content, you realize that all articles are the same when really every topic focuses on the same goal. Most commonly the first few articles tend to be product updates. Or look how you can use our tool types of posts. So here's an example of the close IO blog that, but when they just started their blog. So literally every post is about the product and there's nothing on the brand awareness side, on the activation side, fast forward a couple of years and we're seeing a perfect mix of content for all stages of the funnel. As you can see in here, there's definitely a strategic content improvement involved with this blog. And specifically, you should be looking to craft content for every stage of the funnel. So this way, you're also kind of diversifying the goals that you have. With some blog posts you might just want to rank for SEO purposes. While for others you might create them for your current users to kind of get them to maybe purchase more products or a pyre plans or just refer you to there fears. Or maybe you just wanted to create an editorial style content. We're talking leadership purposes to kind of position yourself as a leader, or maybe you're just announcing a product update. It really depends. Now the second mistake I often see is rushing the process so it can take years to rank for a keyword. That's just the plain truth. Because Google's current algorithm makes use of what's known as topic clusters. The more content you create on similar topics, the easier it is for you to really position yourself as a leader and for Google to consider you as a expert in a field and push your content forward. So with the latest changes to the Google algorithm, not taking this approach, not focusing on content clusters, will keep you outside of any results were good. I often see companies and blog onerous expecting to publish content as many as having five articles per week. And that's a big no because God contact takes time. It's not just the writing process that matters as you know. So the more important aspect is really kind of focusing on the research, then focusing on really deciding what's going to be the final topics in your content calendar. So this ties into the issue of aiming for too many articles. Just because you're publishing something every single day doesn't mean the blog we'll throw. In fact, only large companies and media outlets with hundreds of employees and collaborators can provide such a workload time. You will understand which days worked best in terms of engagement and adapt your schedule to that ultimately, then a matter of mistake is just. Tackling too many topics. So generally I recommend that you focus your blog on roughly five categories. One of them is going to be products updates. Then you're going to have customer success stories or case studies. And then you have three for two, it depends. Content teams, these are super closely related to your product. Let's imagine we are creating content themes for a productivity or project management team collaboration tool, one core team or one content pillars. Since we were talking about these, is team collaboration, which you can then break down into other topics essentially. But the overarching team is the team collaboration. And you would have in the future of work, which is a category that allows you to go beyond just SEO posts into taught leadership style posts. Then there is productivity. With this, again, you can get creative. The purpose is to always try to have a category that helps you build your brand category. Maybe you are just creating a content calendar for a brand that's building a new category, a new product category, it. Or maybe they're just kind of trying to stand out with an idea. This is the perfect section to actually dedicate to that idea you are trying to promote. Another common issue is not taking into account the buyer journey. And this is related to what I mentioned about having too much of the same goal. I'm giving you here a quick funnel overlook. So basically you've got the top of the funnel, the middle of the funnel, and the bottom of the funnel. And you can see in here all of the different types of content that you can create for each funnel stage. I also like to add in a brief mention of conversions, retention, and up-selling. Because to me, these emails or other types of content efforts that go into up-selling people from a Free to a paid plan or from a trial account to a paid plan. All of this is still content. In here you can see the variety of content that you can actually create and you should consider when crafting your content calendar. In relation with the first lecture, we had. Not converting goals into actionable content is another huge, big no. When putting together a content calendar for every single one of your goals, there is a certain type of content that needs to be put together since a listicle, for instance, is not the answer to all of your needs, it's ultimately duty that you have to decide which type of content works best for every goal. Next, I have some hands-on examples from the Send grid blog. So again, a Mailchimp competitor where they have a perfect mix of content for all funnel stages. If you have this, what is an API? So essentially a definition type of article that's really a top of the funnel article. With the goal of bringing visitors and ranking for a specific keyword. Then you have a company out of date, a technical product updates, as well as a metal of the funnel close displaying the results of a survey that they invested so much into. One more mistake is creating the calendar for the wrong stage of the business. The first three months worth of content on your blog will look completely different from the content you have three years later, because there's just topics you need to cover before others, different priorities you have fewer resources to work with. That's why a good editorial calendar focuses on roughly 36 months. That's just enough time for you to task formats and topic, while also being able to monitor any changes in industry as well as your own goal switches. Let's just take another brief look at a case study this time for the Unbounce blog. Strategy back in 2009 was quite good from the beginning. These are specifically the first articles they had back when they launched in this exact order. You can see they went from the basic introduction of the product to sum, suppose a funnel topics essentially, they were created to bring in traffic, create brand awareness, and just drop in Mencius of their own tool across all of these articles. Now keep in mind that actually they hadn't even launched their tool at this time. They kept boasting similar educational content for months and well beyond their beta was released. Back in the present, a larger variety of formats, topics and targets are obvious as their goals have expanded to retaining customers and becoming a thought leader. So this has been for them a perfect strategy from the start. Now, one final big mistake I see is assuming that a content calendar is just a bunch of headlines. In reality, it's the editorial calendar or your list of ideas That's mostly just headlines. But a content calendar is every topic that lows to your mind needs to be researched, attributed to a goal placed within your SEO strategy. So as you saw in the template, it's not just the headline, it's everything, all of the links, all of the research. 7. Going beyond the blog - Where repurposing fits in: So as I've already mentioned with high was working as a content consultant and even now as a growth market or a lot of my clients, once a content calendar, just for the blog. The content calendar is by no means just the posts that go into your blog. It's again, all of your social media posts, events, even you can mix it where your social media calendar and your events calendar, if you have that, generally, I would keep them separate just to kind of have more clarity into kind of everything that's going on. Sometimes, especially for smaller companies, you might want to have a mix of your blog articles, social media posts, and event, the webinar, whatever I have prepared. And in my case, it's the distribution tactics I use to promote a blog. But you'll see that these repurposing tax sex, if you will, can be turned into standalone elements that go into the content calendar. Keeping in mind that when you are building your content calendar, you want to keep in mind all of the teams that will be involved. The marketing team in your company can use, let's say, an article to turn it into a case study. Or they can just add it to a newsletter, added to a PS section in an email. They can turn it into social media posts. They can have social posts either on the company website or on personal profiles. Then there's obviously like internal link building. This is not necessarily something that goes into the content calendar, but definitely worth keeping in mind. There's obviously webinars and under imbalance, there is maybe ease in special partnership posts. Special webinars report any kind of content boat on your, on the websites of your competitors, your partners, and so on. So if you want to, I would definitely recommend putting your guest posting opportunities, your sponsored posts partnerships into your content calendar as well. Then there's also ways of involved in your sales theme and your customer experience theme into the content creation process. But I wouldn't say these are necessarily going to go into your content calendar unless it's things like, for example, creating help pages, so support pages, fun fact, there are certain criteria that helps you actually rank with those posts. You will need to focus on every single health page article as if you were writing an article. So definitely keep that in mind when putting together the content calendar as well. 8. Conclusion - Yay!: Now we are at the end of this course. There is obviously a bonus section after this, which has a lot of extra insights. But I really wanted to thank you for sitting through this course and I hope it's been super helpful for you. We went over everything you need to do before you actually start creating your content calendar. And you also have a rough idea of what the content calendar will look like, where you can get your ideas with mistakes to avoid too, I really wanted to focus on what you should do next to create your first content calendar. If you've carefully noted everything, you might just be able to start the first three months of your blogs or your client's content on your own, do expect the process to take a lot of time and editing. Even if you've already launched a couple of content strategies yourself don't rush the process. You and your team ultimately will be dedicating hours of work for that content that you create. And if you work as a freelancer, again, you don't want your clients to come back to you to ask you for loads of reviews. Now of course reviews can happen. So we open to having to review and edit the content calendar with your client. And also something very important if you want to, you can write this separately and add it as a sticky note somewhere on your office space. But D content counter that you create now is subject to change and uncertainty. It will change in time. Either when you or a content manager is putting together the breathes, realizing that maybe the reader in terms for that topic changed or it's not exactly the right fit. Or maybe the company you've created this content calendar for is still free products fit. Their ideal customer profiles change and you might need to prioritize some topics over adders. And similarly, if goals change, again, you have to be super quick about which products you should tackle next in order to meet these goals. 9. Bonus: How to prioritize topics and themes: For this bonus section, I wanted to talk about how to prioritize topics and really how to adapt as needs change, as buyer persona profiles change, as I mentioned and the conclusion to this course, you will inevitably have to continuously adapt a content calendar. My own framework for prioritizing topics has been inspired by a trial. So it's not really my framework, it's just something I've adapted from them based on what I've seen that in general, companies need for their blog. So essentially, each one of these priorities tells you how to look at a topic that you will know if it's worth going for next or if you can postpone it. For example, a number one priority is always a topic that's solves an issue for which you need the product, the product that your company or your client in cells by all means or else the problem or that need can be fixed. For example, for a project management or team collaboration tool. Topics include team collaboration, task management, because these are things you cannot do without that software in place. Now the second priority is a topic that is directly related to a product feature. And we can show readers how to solve a problem through that product. But the use of the product is not mandatory to fix the problem or the reader intent isn't directly targeted at using a tool like our product. For example, for our project management tool, any productivity topics where surgeries, one hands-on quick tips, as opposed to immediately starting to use a page tool. If it's something like how to structure your day, you can get general tips, but you can also mention how people can structure their day or the tasks they have to do within a specific day using your tool. However, people who searched for this type of topic don't always want to pay something to fix your problem. Finally, the last priority, so the topics that you would usually have to postpone. So probably everything that's under this priority stage won't go into a content calendar for the first three months. So this is topics related to a product industry and audience types where one or more features can be briefly mentioned. For our project management tool. If you talk about work-life balance, team culture, you can briefly mention your project management solution and it will probably help certain readers. However, most of the times you're looking for something completely different. When they search for something like how to improve my team culture, they don't necessarily think of a project management tool. Now, a traps also has a separate priority, priority 0 or something like that, essentially where it's topics that are completely unrelated to the product. I don't even care for those because I tried to just avoid them. If it's something that's not related to the product, do not prioritize it. Finally, in this bonus section, I want to talk about how you actually choose your teams. So I did briefly talk about engaging some examples of content clusters, but what are the exact data points and external factors that you need to take into consideration when deciding what goes into that content calendar. One is existing product feature. Let's see an example. We are looking here at a santa. This is again, another project management tool. We are heading over to the features section and you can see quite a bit of features in here. One of them is, for example, goals. Even just by looking at the landing page for this, you will be able to come up with a lot of ideas and to really understand that you need to prioritize topics related to this feature. It can be a topic like how to set strategic goals for a startup, to how to monitor marketing goals, to how to align your organization on your company goes, how to boost team performance. And then you can mention goals in there. So really, even just taking a look at the lending page gives you a rough idea of what should be prioritized in the content calendar. Then of course, you can head over, for instance, here to the blog. So in your case to a competitor as blog and kind of look through the topics they have in here on that specific feature. Now another data point that you can make yourself is how easy it is for you to get unique content out of that topic. If you're just going to put together a list of best email subject lines, it's telling us to get something super unique out of that. But if on the other end, you will maybe reach out to actual companies, marketer is at specific companies to get them to give you the actual e-mail subject lines Dave used in the past and even metrics like how successful they weren't, what the open rates were, what the click-through rates were. In this case. Definitely a big change and it's more unique, it's reporting, it does take more time. But if you're ever considering prioritizing one over the other, always go with the topic that's really going to match your goals. Because really if you want, for instance, in this specific situation, if you want to rank for a keyword like email subject lines, you will probably need, based on the reader intend to cover a listicle. So basic stuff, but you can always add in there some of these extra unique points like actual insights from people who've used those specific email subject lines, then something else you want to keep in mind is obviously current trends. So if everyone's talking about remote work, you will want to talk about remote work keeping in line that there is always that the unique part that you can cover, this is quite easy to keep up with and it's like a constant stream of ideas. You can use a website like exploding topics to actually just sort this by, for instance, e-commerce. And we're going to look at the trends over the past six months. We have in here some three examples from the e-commerce phase of just keywords and products, topics, services, people that everyone's just talking about more. So it's like super easy for you, especially if you look for something like an actual exploding topic. So an up-and-coming topic. It's easy for you to tackle those topics ahead of your competitors. Then something else you can make use is data points, mentions wherever from social media. Again, let me just briefly show you another example. So I just added the basic super high level productivity topic in here. And you can already see some interesting topics that people are actually engaging with from six slides about productivity. And then you can find some more ideas in here to some topics that make use of recent report stats, anything like that so that you know that people are talking about these topics on a regular basis. If you are in a more trendy industry than just project management, you can actually make use of actual news in the industry. For example, using e-commerce in sports, in travel and so on. And just make sure to always keep track of these and keep an open space and open slot in your content calendar so you can fit in these trending topics. I remembered this is actually something I would do. I would know that the marketing industry where I was working at some point, things change quite often. So I would leave a couple of days during a specific month for an unexpected topic like a trending topic. I would cover that in the blog, in our newsletters, so that is always super handy to have. And then I've already showed you this in the lecture in looking at competing or similar brands is definitely super easy to monitor because you can see how much interest there isn't a topic already who has tackled that? If it's maybe too competitive, if they've missed out on a specific topic. If maybe you have a complimentary brand clocking about certain topics, but your competitors have missed out on those topics specifically. This would be kind of it. Again, there is a bunch of other courses in my profile that you can check out specifically on how to improve your writing skills and how to scale your freelancing career. But specifically for content calendars, this is really all you need to get started. Again, do you prioritize the research part? So understanding the company, the goals, your target market, your target market is really the one you should understand the most, like again, what their pain points are, what their challenges are. Take the time to actually talk to them. Talk to your current user is talk to your target market folks who are users of your competitors and see again what challenges they have, what they'd like to talk about. Also, where they like to consume your content because it's not always going to be your blog. They might want a webinar instead. Sometimes you'll have a topic that just does not work for your blog. Maybe, maybe it's like a niche topic that nobody will find via the syrup. Instead, you want maybe a webinar, a social posts to guess those for it. That says for now, I hope you enjoyed the course. Let me know if you have any other questions and I will see you in a future course, enjoy the rest of your day.