2017 Content Calendars (and a head start for the months of August-December)

Have you ever felt stuck when it comes to creating new and fresh content? We have all been in that situation at some point in time as content creators and curators. It can be a very frustrating experience, especially if you are under deadlines and really need to push out new content right away. A great strategy for dealing with those times when you are feeling “less than inspired” to write is to create a content calendar for yourself. This is a calendar of potential topics, resources and subjects that you can easily write about on those days when you are not really sure where to begin. If you create a content calendar for the entire year, at any point in time you will have a wonderful content reference to help guide and assist you in making sure that you create your best content each and every time – regardless of inspiration or lack thereof.

What should a content calendar contain?

Any useful content calendar should contain the following information at minimum:

  1.    –  20-30 topics or subjects per month.
  2.   –   Resources, links, writing prompts, and ideas for each topic that can help spark creativity and writing on the topic.
  3.   –  Related hashtags to use on social media as well as categories and tags for blogging.
  4.   –  Image resources so that you can add an image to your post.

To make creating your first content calendar a little easier, we have provided a list of writing prompts you can use and add to your calendar. Use these prompts on the days your calendar feels like or is empty and allow them to fill in the blanks between your normal subjects’ content and the topics you never knew you could actually write about on a consistent basis.

  1. (1)  Product or service testimonial.
  2. (2)  Reader discount related to a special day, event, holiday, etc.
  3. (3)  Profile an employee or highlight the work of a group of employees or coworkers.
  4. (4)  Give a breakdown of your day-to-day activities or a “day in the life of” type post.
  5. (5)  Create a case study and write a series of posts about it. Include why you chose to do the case study, what is included in the case study, your methodology, testing of your theories and the results and outcomes.
  6. (6)  Create an online course that could help your target audience or sign up for one and review it for your target audience. If you sign up for someone else’s course and you want to do a favorable review of the course, reach out to the course’s creator to see if you can partner with that person to offer your audience something special or a discount of some sort for signing up for the same course in the future.
  7. (7)  Plan out and execute a few interviews with important or rarely seen but significant people in your industry. You can also do a “day in the life” profile of sorts on one of them as well.
  8. (8)  A Q&A post – answer questions and comment on feedback provided by your customers, blog commenters, and others in your industry.
  9. (9)  Pick a day each month that you are going to go all in on self promotion and marketing. Use that day each week/month to talk about your business, why you do what you do, what you offer, and more. Self promotion is allowed and welcomed by your audience. It is the single best way for them to get to know you and your business.

Be sure to add these content suggestions to your monthly content calendar. Feel free to use some of them more than once a month, or even multiple times per week if you create that volume of content. They are tested and proven ways to push you past writing fatigue and block.

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